Friday, March 6, 2015

Via JMG: Unemployment Hits Seven Year Low

Via the New York Times:
The economy gained fresh momentum last month as the Labor Department reported on Friday that employers added 295,000 workers in February, far exceeding expectations, and the unemployment rate took another dip. But wage gains continued to lag, rising only 2 percent from a year earlier. The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, its lowest since mid-2008, down from 5.7 percent in January. Last month, wages rose just 0.1 percent, according to the Labor Department, a disappointment coming off an increase of 0.5 percent in January.  Despite the disappointing wage numbers, the report prompted a new round of optimism about the economy’s recovery and spurred more talk on Wall Street that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates at its June meeting rather than wait until September. The news prompted a rise Friday morning in the yield on 10-year bonds and a dip in the stock market, where investors fear that higher interest rates will take a bite out of corporate profits.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Infrastructure (HBO)

Via Join the Coffee Party Movement / FB:

Monday, March 2, 2015

VIA Robert Reich: Monday with Robert Reich.

What’s the difference between progressives and their opposite – regressives? 

Progressives believe we’re all in it together: We all benefit from public investments in schools and health care and infrastructure, and from efforts to reverse climate change. We all do better with strong safety nets, reasonable constraints on Wall Street and big business, and a progressive tax system. Progressives worry that the middle class is shrinking, a quarter of our nation’s children are poor, and the rich and privileged have become powerful enough to undermine our democracy. The issue for progressives isn’t the size of government; it’s who government is for: It should be for all of us, not a privileged few. 

Regressives take the opposite positions. They believe each of us is on his or her own: Investments in schools or health care or infrastructure are better done through private individuals and corporations than government. Safety nets coddle the weak. Those who are losing ground lack adequate education and ambition, and must learn to take responsibility for themselves. Those who are thriving are entitled to their rewards; constraints and taxes on them only reduce their incentive to invest. They have every right to their disproportionate power and influence. Regressives want to take us back to 19th century social Darwinism
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