Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Thanksgiving 2011

November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

As Americans enjoy food and family at Thanksgiving dinner today, many will have an image of a Norman Rockwell painting in mind, an image of domestic warmth and plenty. But that painting was commissioned as a magazine illustration for a 1943 Saturday Evening Post issue based on one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms. The painting’s name: “Freedom From Want.” It was paired with an astounding essay by poet and novelist Carlos Bulosan, whose work and life deserve more attention.

FDR’s speech had been delivered two years earlier, while the country, still emerging from the Depression, was burdened with the expense of providing support for allies in a war the U.S. had not yet entered. Today the speech is remembered for the Four Freedoms, but it also recognized that “there is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy.”

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Berlusconi on Facebook

November 8, 2011

Berlusconi on Facebook

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is in the news again, but for his economic policies, not his romantic escapades. The Italian economy, third largest in Europe, is starting to tank. The P.M.’s allies are jumping ship, urging him to quit. “That Silvio Berlusconi is about to resign is clear. It is a question of hours, some say of minutes,” wrote one long-time friend. The Prime Minister issued a denial:  “Le voci di mie dimissioni sono destituite di fondamento” (“The rumors of my resignation are groundless “).

Silvio Berlusconi, third richest man in Italy, controls the country’s commercial television stations and newspapers and magazines. As PM, he controls RAI, the Italian government broadcasting network. So how did Mr. Berlusconi make his defiant announcement?

On Facebook.

Related:

“Quick Primer On Chances Of Italy Destroying The World Economy,” Seeking Alpha

“Politicans and Business Close Ranks Against Berlusconi,” Fiona Ehlers, Spiegel Online

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-bvb

Image (“Berlusconi on Facebook, after François Gabriel Lepaulle”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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(un)Employment Report

November 6, 2011

(un)Employment Report

In a regular monthly exercise in statistical flim-flam, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for October 2011.

The meaningless unemployment rate in the headlines: 9% , down a whopping 0.1%. The real unemployment rate: 16.2% (includes people who no longer get unemployment benefits, need work but have stopped looking because it’s futile, or have only found part-time work). Learn more here.

There was a net gain of 80,000 jobs in the past month, not all of them at McDonald’s (some were at Wendy’s). At that rate, all of America’s 13.9 million unemployed should be working by about 2030.

Related:

“Most unemployed Americans are no longer receiving unemployment benefits,” Christopher S. Rugaber, AP via New York Daily News

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-btg

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Occupy Appropriate Technology. And Yachts.

November 3, 2011

Occupy Appropriate Technology. And Yachts.

Occupy Wall Street protesters in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park had their gasoline-power generators confiscated by the NYFD as potential fire hazards. How to power life’s basic necessities, computers and cell phones? Bicycle-powered generators.

Further south, 300 Florida protesters marched on the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The chief oppostiton to the good-natured and well-tanned marchers was a torrential downpour.

Related: Appropedia.org Appropriate Technology Portal

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-bsE

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Occupy Cottage Cheese

November 1, 2011

Occupy Cottage Cheese

Hundreds of thousands of middle class Israelis began protesting a huge jump in dairy prices this summer, resulting in the largest demonstrations the country has ever seen. These soon became protests about widening economic inequalities in the small nation.

The protests are getting results. The Israeli cabinet has just approved a new tax plan reducing taxes on low-income wage earners and raising them for the rich and for corporations. Other new policies include cuts to the defense budget.

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Citibank CEO to Protesters: ‘Call Me, Dudes!’

October 17, 2011

Citibank CEO to Protesters: 'Call, Me, Dudes!'

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit said he would be happy to talk with Occupy Wall Street protesters, calling their motives “completely understandable.” “Trust has been broken between financial institutions and the citizens of the U.S., and that is Wall Street’s job, to reach out to Main Street and rebuild that trust,” said the chief of the third largest U.S. bank. He made the remarks as he mingled with plain working folks at a breakfast organized by Fortune magazine. If you can’t make it to Mr. Pandit’s executive suite, Gawker obligingly provides his mobile phone number (646-512-4269) and suggests a few questions. Can’t get through? Try Mr. Pandit’s office phone (212-793-1201) or email him (vikram.pandit@citi.com).

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-biD

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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(un)Employment Report: No New Jobs

September 3, 2011

(un)Employment Report: No New Jobs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for August 2011.

The official unemployment rate, the one in the headlines, is 9.1%. The real unemployment rate: 16.2% (includes people who no longer get unemployment benefits, need work but have stopped looking because it’s futile, or have only found part-time work). The official rate hasn’t changed from last month, the real rate has grown by a tenth of a percent. Learn more here.

45,000 jobs were temporarily lost in the Verizon strike, and those workers are back on the payroll this month, but the 17,000 government jobs eliminated last month are permanently gone. While 62,000 private sector jobs were added in August, this is no comfort to America’s 14 million unemployed.  More that 6 million of them have been out of work for over six months.

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(un)Employment News

July 8, 2011

(un)Employment News

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for June 2011.  Observers expected 100,000 new jobs; only 18,000 were created. 25,000 state and local government workers were laid off.  6.3 million Americans have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer.

The official unemployment rate, the one in the headlines, is 9.2%. The real unemployment rate: 16.2% (includes people who no longer get unemployment benefits, need work but have stopped looking because it’s futile, or have only found part-time work). Learn more here.

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-aDv

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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Employment Report: Only 7 Million More New Jobs Needed

June 2, 2011

Employment Report: Only 7 Million More New Jobs Needed

“At the rate of last month’s dismal job creation, it will take more than 15 years for America to replace the 7 million jobs that vanished in this Great Recession. The awful new job numbers — just 38,000 in May when economists say the country needs at least 244,000 new jobs per month if the United States is to ever climb out of its hole — are the latest sign America is beginning a new brutal phase of the endless crisis.”

– “Nation Needs To Replace 6,955,000 Pre-Recession Jobs; 38,000 Created Last Month,” Ken Layne, Wonkette

The Republican geniuses responsible for the global crash have an answer: pull even more money out of America’s economy.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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(un)Employment News

May 9, 2011

(un)Employment News

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for April 2011. This is a regular monthly exercise in statistical flim-flam, and the BLS knows it.

The meaningless unemployment rate in the headlines: 9% (up from 8.9%). The real unemployment rate: 16.6% (includes people who no longer get unemployment benefits, need work but have stopped looking because it’s futile, or have only found part-time work). Learn more here.

There was a net gain of 200,000 jobs in the past month, not all of them at McDonald’s (some were at Wendy’s). At that rate, all of America’s 13 million unemployed should be working by about 2016.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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