Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Economic Issues hit the American Public hard and the reaction from our elected officials is more dithering.....

It is early June and as most know, the Summer months are the doldrums for US Businesses. Try landing a new management position with a company during June, July or August....You would have a better chance of finding the coastline of Afghanistan on the map. (Here's a hint - there is no coastline, it is a landlocked country)

The Senior Leaders of most companies are either off for 4-6 weeks of the summer period because they can be, or their Bosses are or both, and no major decisions are going to be made until after Labor Day. That means that overall, if you have a job, hang on to it and if you don't, take the Summer off as you will not likely be getting one over the next three months.

Let's look at some selected comments in the news and see if we as laymen can figure out what they are trying to say about state of the US Economy.....

" Wall Street is having a hard time figuring out what to do now that the U.S. economy appears to be sputtering and yields are so low, Peter Yastrow, market strategist for Yastrow Origer, told CNBC." - REALLY??!!?? REALLY Wall Street?? You can't figure why the American Consumer has been taking it in the neck for the past two+ years and we're at the point where most people have exhausted the abilty to try & keep ahead of rising costs to fuel, food, clothing and all other basics...Oh yeah, that's right, the thieves on Wall Street don't suffer from this issues as they have been helping themselves all along and screwing over the American public while they got "bailed out"....must be tough out there in the Hamptons this time of year....

Robert Reich comments on FT.COM - " The problem is not on the supply side of the ledger. Corporate profits are still healthy. Big companies continue to sit on a cash hoard. Large and middle-sized companies can easily borrow more, at low rates. The problem is on the demand side. American consumers, who constitute 70 per cent of the total economy, cannot and will not buy enough to get it moving. They justifiably worry that they will not be able to pay their bills, or afford to send their children to college, or to retire. Banks, with equal justification, are reluctant to lend to them. But as long as consumers hold back, companies remain reluctant to hire new workers or raise the wages of current ones, feeding the vicious cycle. " - No kidding, another genius...the guy isn't much of a politician but he understands the dynamics of present day American Consumers. The price of everything has been jacked to a level where people can't keep their heads above water. Savings are out the window too so we're not refilling the depleted savings which is where the "rainy day" fund comes from.

Reuters makes this report - " U.S. companies hired far fewer workers than expected in May and output in the manufacturing sector slowed to its lowest level since 2009, adding to concerns that the U.S. recovery is running out of steam.

Economists slashed their forecasts for Friday's payrolls report, considered the best barometer of the world's biggest economy, after private-sector job growth tumbled to just 38,000, its lowest level in eight months.

Wednesday's reports were the latest signals that economic growth remained sluggish in the second quarter after a weak start to 2011
" - NO 15 year old daughter could have discerned this insight and still had time to watch an episode of GLEE....Companies are sitting on hordes of cash but not sharing the wealth by hiring more workers, providing affordable benefits and putting people back to work. Shocker. They like having us under the gun...2nd shocker.

Soooooooo....where does the leave us ?? With an " Empty Suit " in the White House, gridlock in the Congress and the American public hurting....and some wonder why a talented and bright HR professional like myself would seek employment in a WAR ZONE?? Maybe because right now, it is the one sector of the economy that is not showing a slow-down...The War doesn't take days off and I need to do the best for my family...relying on companies back home that offer scaled down wages & benefits ain't in my game plan....sorry, I'm too smart to keep taking what they are presently offering as there are better options... I wound up taking plan " B " and it has worked out well.

SLICK MITT makes his announcement later Thursday about wanting to be President...(YAWN)...whatever. You aren't going to be President even if you raise buckets of $$$ because no one wants you to be President. IF SLICK MITT is selected by the GOP to run against DOOFUS from Chicago, say hello to 2nd term President Obama....

Sarah " You Betcha " Palin played the media for the last few days like a Violin...big surprise. She is not a dummy regardless of what the Media may think ( I hesitate to use the words " Media" and "think" in close proximity for obvious reasons) She refuses to play by the established rules, akin to playing " Calvinball" (Those of you who don't understand the reference need to read Calvin & Hobbes) What to make of Sarah's efforts and what she is trying to accomplish is anyone's guess but I will tell you this, Sarah Palin gets more attention than anyone in the race for 2012 and that alone is a tactical advantage. Underestimate this lady at your own peril.....

The rest of the GOP field is a guessing game. We will have to see which one of these "mental midgets" sees themselves in the White House while looking through the delusional mirror.

In the meantime, you, me and the rest of the American public will watch the fools we elected help themselves first, ignore the problems until well after they have bitten us in the arse, ultimately to the detriment of all and our nation.

For two years + we have listened to Mr. Hopey-Changey lecture us about what we need to do to sacrifice, all the while he acts out a " Do as I say, not as I do" life for himself and his minions. We deserve better and the way to get that is to really look at who the GOP can line up against him as we were much better off under the past administration than we have been over the last two years....Gas was under $2 a gallon when GW BUSH left office and all other items (food, clothing, etc.) were also in a much more affordable place.

The only " HOPE " we have is that the GOP idjits offer us a " CHANGE " worth electing....Sad to say, it looks like we are going to be offered the difference between the present DEM " Donkey Crap" Sandwich or eating a GOP " Elephant Crap" Sandwich. Either way, not very appetizing or giving us much to look forward to.

The bottom line for the 2012 election will be the question, " Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago???" I said earlier, my 15 year old daughter could answer that one....

UPDATE - The NY TIMES seems to agree with my write-up....3rd shocker

Employment Data May Be the Key to the President’s Job
Published: June 1, 2011

WASHINGTON — No American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent.

Seventeen months before the next election, it is increasingly clear that President Obama must defy that trend to keep his job.

Roughly 9 percent of Americans who want to go to work cannot find an employer. Companies are firing fewer people, but hiring remains anemic. And the vast majority of economic forecasters, including the president’s own advisers, predict only modest progress by November 2012.

The latest job numbers, due Friday, are expected to provide new cause for concern. Other indicators suggest the pace of growth is flagging. Weak manufacturing data, a gloomy reading on jobs in advance of Friday’s report and a drop in auto sales led the markets to their worst close since August, and those declines carried over into Asia Thursday.

But the grim reality of widespread unemployment is drawing little response from Washington. The Federal Reserve says it is all but tapped out. There is even less reason to expect Congressional action. Both Democrats and Republicans see clear steps to create jobs, but they are trying to walk in opposite directions and are making little progress.

Republicans have set the terms of debate by pressing for large cuts in federal spending, which they say will encourage private investment. Democrats have found themselves battling to minimize and postpone such cuts, which they fear will cause new job losses.

House Republicans told the president that they would not support new spending to spur growth during a meeting at the White House on Wednesday.

“The discussion really focused on the philosophical difference on whether Washington should continue to pump money into the economy or should we provide an incentive for entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow,” said Eric Cantor, the majority leader. “The president talked about a need for us to continue to quote-unquote invest from Washington’s standpoint, and for a lot of us that’s code for more Washington spending, something that we can’t afford right now.”

The White House, its possibilities constrained by the gridlock, has offered no new grand plans. After agreeing to extend the Bush-era tax cuts and reducing the payroll tax last December, the administration has focused on smaller ideas, like streamlining corporate taxation and increasing American exports to Asia and Latin America.

“It’s a very tough predicament,” said Jared Bernstein, who until April was economic policy adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. “Is there any political appetite for something that would resemble another large Keynesian stimulus? Obviously no. You can say that’s what we should do and you’d probably be right, but that’s pretty academic.”

More than 13.7 million Americans were unable to find work in April; most had been seeking jobs for months. Millions more have stopped trying. Their inability to earn money is a personal catastrophe; studies show that the chance of finding new work slips away with time. It is also a strain on their families, charities and public support programs.

The Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank, has the means and the mandate to reduce unemployment by pumping money into the economy.

As financial markets nearly collapsed in 2008, the Fed unleashed a series of unprecedented programs, first to arrest the crisis and then to promote recovery, investing more than $2 trillion. The final installment, a $600 billion bond-buying program, ends in June.

Now, however, the leaders of the central bank say they are reluctant to do more. The Fed’s chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, said in April that more money might not increase growth, but there was a growing risk that it would accelerate inflation.

Congress charged the Fed in 1978 with minimizing unemployment and inflation. Those goals, however, are often in conflict, and the Fed has made clear that inflation is its priority. Fed officials argue in part that maintaining slow, steady inflation forms a basis for enduring economic expansion.

Eric S. Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said in a recent interview that the Fed had reached the limits of responsible policy.

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