The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Friday, June 29, 2012 Daily News Update Ugly Internet Information

Unemployment:  WTF? Unchanged???
OK, here's the deal - hot of the Labor Dept. website:
"Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 131,000 in July, and the unem- ployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Federal government employment fell, as 143,000 temporary workers hired for the decennial census completed their work. Private-sector payroll employment edged up by 71,000.
Household Survey Data
Both the number of unemployed persons, at 14.6 million, and the unemployment rate, at 9.5 percent, were unchanged in July. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult men (9.7 per- cent), adult women (7.9 percent), teenagers (26.1 percent), whites (8.6 per- cent), blacks (15.6 percent), and Hispanics (12.1 percent) showed little or no change in July. The jobless rate for Asians was 8.2 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.6 million. These individuals made up 44.9 per- cent of unemployed persons. (See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force participation rate (64.6 percent) and the employment- population ratio (58.4 percent) were essentially unchanged in July; however, these measures have declined by 0.6 percentage point and 0.4 point, respectively, since April. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes re- ferred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged over the month at 8.5 million but has declined by 623,000 since April. These in- dividuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)
About 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in July, an increase of 340,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were avail- able for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in July, up by 389,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally ad- justed.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
As long as the workforce number is being reduced, it keeps the unemployment figures in check.  However, the real number to look at is the labor participation rate.  In April it was 65.2% and now its down to 64.6%.
That's how you lose 131,000 jobs and hold the rate steady...only change the participation rate a tenth for the month...
The CES Birth/Death Model also shows declines in new/small business/estimated job creation. Last month 147,000 new jobs were estimated into existence.  This month:  Just 6,000 with another 12,000 lost in manufacturing and 9-thousand each in Financial activities and the Trade Transportation and utilities group.
On a Not Seasonally Adjusted basis,  the Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization figure was up another tenth to 16.8% of the workforce.  Same place we were a year ago.
Feedback: "George, did you mention that the June Jobs report was revised majorly downward to -221K, from -125K? eom"  No, wouldn't want to complete f/u the weekend.
Predictably, the futures point down.  But it gets worse...
How Gov't Screws Job-Seekers
As long as we're talking about the job collapse, reading InformationWeek may not be on your list of sites to scan for economic news, but a fine case of screwing up the recovery is being presented by the federal government and what the article refers to as a 'hand-picked Obama appointee" as the (got a blood pressure pill handy?) "U.S. to Train 3,000 Offshore IT Workers".
What's worse?  On Thursday InformationWeek did a follow-on story about how "USAID Funds IT in Eurasia".
If you're an unemployed American IT wizard, and you're asking "WTF is wrong with these people in Washington?  Don't they know we have a serious unemployment problem right here in America?", I'd have to point out that America isn't what it used to be.
Seems to me that when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said this week...
"The President has proposed to terminate or reduce government programs we do not need and cannot afford. He has proposed to freeze non-security, discretionary spending, which will by 2014 bring such spending to its lowest share of the economy since the 1960s.... "
...he could have mentioned that cutting government spending by outsourcing was in the plan somewhere.
No, I'm not picking on Obama; the reason all presidents have been acting the same, regardless of party, is that corporate strings pull both parties.  Obama is just the latest marionette; Bush the preceding puppet. Campaign promises to withdraw from Iraq?  Create new jobs and industries?  And what about that surveillance promise?  Bush was of the same ilk, same wars, same.....well,  you get the idea.
Ever since the Kennedy days (at least that's a good point of transition to consider, since he was killed with a move to begin taking back direct government control of money from the Federal Reserve pending under Executive Order 11110)) we have done a smooth transition from government "by, of, and for the people" to a government "by, for, and of corporation interests in general and their bankers in particular.  Need a few more zeroes on your bailout?"
But what's the use?  We're probably past the point of no return, although I'll still vote against every incumbent I can in November.  The hard part isn't the voting, it's the remembering that the corporate agenda is to keep voters believing in left-right divisions so the up/down manipulation and exploitation can profitably (to the few) continue.
Besides, we really do need more IT outsourcing to South Asia, and Armenia, don't we?  I mean, how else could American corporate interests keep cutting jobs, right?  And what better way to cut federal costs than to outsource them to South Asia and Armenia?
Hell, I'm so old I can remember when my job competitor was the human standing next to me...not a piece of software or some faceless corpslave in an Asian prison sweat shop.  Now that's old.
ViceGrips (to pinch yourself) and a Bic lighter (for your vaporizer) only go so far.
With America facing massive unemployment - and by my reckoning, more to come - how is it we need foreign aid programs, in the first place?
Bad Idea On Housing
Word this week that fixed-rate mortgages hit record lows prompted an ugly trial-balloon to be launched by the Obamanistas:  Idea tossed around Washington was "What about forgiving $800 billion in Freddie and Fannie home loans?"
So visceral was my reaction that I called my lawyer/consigliore and asked him "What's it gonna cost to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of people who have a) no mortgage, b) renters, and c) people who didn't cross the moral hazard line and lived within their means?  It's a crock of crap and a clear violation of equal protection to give one class of citizens a loan forgiveness windfall at the expense of the rest of us, right?"
His answer was instructive:
"You can't afford it, George.  It will cost at least $2-million dollars to challenge an idea as bad as this, even though it's an easy call and load of crap on the surface.  I'd need to hire researchers, spend hundreds - maybe thousands - of hours in research, hire expert opinions - and that's expensive, I've done it before - and frankly, you're pockets aren't that deep..."
Crap.  So I tried to tempt him in other way: "Could you do it on a contingent basis for part of the settlement, triple damages, and such?
"Nope.  Not interested."
In end, someone in Treasury apparently had the good sense to announce there won't be any change of Treasury policy about Freddie and Fannie.
But is that the end of it?  Hell no:  The Democorps are facing disaster at the polls in November which is probably why the week after elections is when the Middle East will blow up.  Lame ducks can do anything they want - or so they think.
Global Food Crisis, Commodities, War
Did the linguistics, or did the linguistics not tell you that food was going to go ballistic late this year.  And is not word that Russian Prime Minister and his marionette president what's-his-name have banned export of grains from Russia because of severe drought and failing crops.
Which brings us to a couple of commodities to watch:  Wheat prices are rising and so is copper.  Copper's a worry because it usually goes up ahead of major wars.
March To War Dept.
Shortly after Elaine was wandered around the house yesterday muttering about how stupid killing people over tree trimming along the Lebanese-Israel border was when this popped in: "Chinese missile could shift Pacific power balance."
While the rumor mill buzzes that Wikileaks may have a follow-on posting around August 10th only dealing with Iran War plans, the recent Ugly Truth article "assembling the evidence for high likelihood of coming third world war" is worth some study.
Or, you might want to chat with Shane over at about radiation detectors and potassium iodide pills....
Speaking of which, Shane sent me his review of the new documentary "Countdown to Zero" which also builds the case that some kind of nuke use is increasingly likely...
No surprise the new 'Countdown to Zero' disarmament movie omits any life-saving strategies from their agenda of banning nukes, like advocating public Civil Defense, to try and better survive nukes in the meantime.
The disarmament movement has for decades espoused that with nukes; all will die or it will be so bad you'll wish you had. They've largely succeeded, as most now think it futile, bordering on lunacy, to ever try to learn how to survive a nuclear blast and radioactive fallout.
Ironically, these disarmament activists have rendered millions more American families more vulnerable to perishing from nukes in the future.
For instance, most now ridicule 'duck & cover', but for the vast majority, not right at 'ground zero' and already gone, the blast wave will be delayed in arriving after the flash, like lightening & thunder, anywhere from a fraction of a second up to 20 seconds, or more.
Today, without 'duck & cover' training, everyone at work, home, and your children at school, will impulsively rush to the nearest windows to see what that 'bright flash' was, just-in-time to be shredded by the glass imploding inward from that delayed blast wave. They'd never been taught that even in the open, just laying flat, reduces by eight-fold the chances of being hit by debris from that brief, 3-second, tornado strength blast.
Then, later, before the radioactive fallout can hurt them, most won't know to move perpendicular away from the downwind drift of the fallout to get out from under it before it even arrives. And, for those who can't evacuate in time, few know how quick & easy it is to throw together an expedient fallout shelter, to safely wait out the radioactive fallout as it loses 99% of its lethal intensity in the first 48 hours.
The greatest tragedy of that horrific loss of life, when nukes come to America, will be that most families had needlessly perished, out of ignorance of how easily they might have avoided becoming additional casualties, all because they were sold it was futile to ever try to learn how to beforehand.
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