Friday, March 09, 2012

Calling BS on the Jobs Numbers

Our president continues to tout strong jobs numbers, but he's ignoring one that I find quite telling. 31% of cities are reporting an increase in demand on what they call Survival Services which consist of food banks and homeless shelters. You can't shine shit, but thats what our leadership continues to try and do with the help of a complicit media who continually refuse to report the truth about our predicament, because they are actually worried that a clod like Mitt Romney could defeat our naked emperor. I have no idea why the mainstream media labors under that delusion, but its not serving anyone's best interest.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

How Dumb Can a 1 Percenter Be?

I find this article to be funny. How can someone this stupid still make a 1% salary. How dumb can you be to say that less wealthy people don't understand what its like to have to make tough choices on sacrificing portions of your lifestyle when other people have to choose between food and electricity.

As someone who makes a top 5% salary and aspires to a top 1% salary, I used to think these people got a bad rap, but my opinion has changed.

Actually I know how this clod got his 1% salary, his brother owns the company. So, I'd rephrase my question, how dumb can someone be to hire someone this dumb, that they'd go on the record with a reporting with these kinds of whinny complaints.

Friday, February 17, 2012

UC Citizens Continue to Pay For Obama's Largess With the Banks

US taxpayers continue to have their tax dollars used against them by their president who vilifies banksters in one breathe while he bails out his teachers pets in the next breathe. $40 BILLION this time. So, a not so subtle message to our Baby Boomers leaders, stop selling out your children.

This time, the frauds on Capitol Hill are using an undisclosed clause in the current agreement allow banks to go back as far as 2009 and receive public funds for home loan modifications that were made at that time. Its kind of like your boss giving you a raise today and then handing you a big bag of money because they feel like you deserved it for the unpaid over time you worked 3 years ago, because that over time was always expected as part of being an exempt employee. I know it sounds absurd, but that is exactly what this is ... ABSURD.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Here's the Fuel for our Modest Growth

Well, its finally starting to dawn on people why we have these low/modest growth numbers and its worse news than you can ever imagine. Sheer and utter BS is fueling the growth in our economy. Barack Obama's reelection bid will benefit from Americans mortgaging their futures, just like he has done to us. Any way you cut it, extend and pretend is thriving like never before. The American people are like sheep being led to the slaughter. The children of the Boomers have been mortgaged to the hilt and the list of manageable solutions is dwindling if its not already exhausted. Argentina was dipping into their public employees' pension funds leading into their default.

MSNBC/Reuters reported:
More than four years after the United States fell into recession, many Americans have resorted to raiding their savings to get them through the stop-start economic recovery.
In an ominous sign for America's economic growth prospects, workers are paring back contributions to college funds and growing numbers are borrowing from their retirement accounts.

Some policymakers worry that a recent spike in credit card usage could mean that people, many of whom are struggling on incomes that have lagged inflation, are taking out new debt just to meet the costs of day-to-day living.

American households "have been spending recently in a way that did not seem in line with income growth. So somehow they've been doing that through perhaps additional credit card usage," Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said on Friday.
"If they saw future income and employment increasing strongly then that would be reasonable. But I don't see that. So I've been puzzled by this," he said.

After a few years of relative frugality, the amount of money that Americans are saving has fallen back to its lowest level since December 2007 when the recession began. The personal saving rate dipped in November to 3.5 percent, down from 5.1 percent a year earlier, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

Jeff Fielkow, an executive vice president at a recycling company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, contributed less to retirement savings and significantly cut back on dining in restaurants and taking vacations in order to keep college savings on track for his two children. "We would love to save more," he said, "but we're doing the best we can."

There have been some signs of a quickening in U.S. economic growth recently after it emerged from recession in mid-2009.

Hiring was stronger than forecast in December and confidence among consumers rose to its highest level in eight months in January.

But many see a long, hard slog ahead and economic growth this year is not expected to be much more than 2.0 percent, barely up from 2011's growth pace.

The big risks include Europe's debt crisis as well as the shaky finances of many Americans, hit by a five-year decline in house prices and still high unemployment. U.S. consumers account for about two thirds of the country's economic output measured by total spending.

Retail sales rose at the weakest pace in seven months in December, according to data published last week.

Sales in 2012 are expected to grow at slower rate than last year, an industry group said on Monday. The National Retail Federation projected sales would rise 3.4 percent this year, compared with than 4.7 percent in 2011.

"When the stock market and the housing market were booming, we saw that a lot of people would take on more debt and save less. They felt the saving was being done for them," said Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"Today, the saving rate is falling out of necessity. Food and energy prices have risen and folks don't have as much money to spend on the things that they would like."

Just as Americans used to borrow against the value of their homes before the property crash, now many are taking out loans from their 401(k) retirement savings plans.
Almost a third of plan participants currently have a loan outstanding, according to an upcoming survey of 150,000 holders of 401(k)s by consulting firm Aon Hewitt.
"People are at a loss, and they are struggling," said Pam Hess, director of retirement research at consulting firm Aon Hewitt.

Loans taken from retirement savings accounts jumped 20 percent last year across all demographics, according to a survey to be published in March. Among lower earners they leapt by as much as 60 percent, said Aon Hewitt's Hess. The vast majority of borrowers, she said, need the money for essential expenses like bills, car repairs and college tuition.

The non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute's (EBRI) annual retirement confidence survey hit a new low in 2011 with 27 percent of workers saying they're "not at all confident" they'll have enough for a comfortable retirement. Almost 15 percent expect to work until at least the age of 70, up from 11 percent in 2006.
New York real estate broker Leila Yusuf had been very conscientious about saving for retirement, typically socking away $5,000 to $10,000 a year. But her income slid by 30 percent in the last two years as the housing market hit the doldrums and she stopped making contributions.

"I couldn't afford to do it after four deals didn't go through," said Yusuf, 37. "I need money to live on."

In another sign of Americans struggling to make ends meet, EBRI found that more than 20 percent of those aged 50 or older changed their medical prescriptions to save money and almost as many had skipped or postponed doctor appointments for the same reason. Almost 28 percent reported having difficulty paying their monthly bills.
College savings hit .

The amount of money Americans put aside for their children's college fees is taking a hit too. Assets in the popular state-managed college savings funds known as 529s dipped more than 10 percent in the third quarter of 2011. Estimated outflows were $354 million between July and September contrasted with inflows of $927 million in the same period of 2010, according to Financial Research Corp.

Indicative of the trend, contributions to the 529 plans managed by investment management firm Vanguard dropped 1.0 percent in 2011 after climbing 17 percent from 2009 to 2010. Parents of younger children are continuing to save, according to Vanguard, "but they may be concerned about the economy and market conditions and have cut back a little."

At the same time, college students are borrowing twice as much as they did a decade ago when adjusted for inflation, according to the College Board, and Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards.

Household borrowing on cards, car loans, student loans and other installment debt jumped almost 10 percent from October to November, according to the Federal Reserve, its biggest jump in a decade.

Welcomed by some as a sign of confidence in the economic recovery, others worried it was really a reflection of desperation.

"Apparent stronger consumption at year-end was associated with falling savings rates, compensating for stagnating income growth," Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta said on Jan. 11.

"I question whether this consumer spending momentum will be sustained without a pickup in income growth."

In a sign of concern among policymakers about the weak finances of many Americans, the Federal Reserve this month suggested an array of ways the U.S. government could help shore up the housing market.

House prices have fallen 33 percent from their 2006 peak, resulting in an estimated $7 trillion in household wealth losses and about 12 million homeowners are saddled with mortgages worth more than their properties.

Americans are steadily working off their overall debt levels, including their mortgages. Credit card balances, while little changed compared to a year ago, are down 18 percent from a peak in September 2008.

"It's not like it was a year or two ago when it really felt like a recession, and there was no job growth," said Scott Hoyt, a senior director of consumer economics at Moody's Analytics. "It's better than that and you can see that in the spending. But there's still no reason to go back to the free-spending.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

12 Reasons to Vote Democrat

1. I voted Democrat because I believe oil company's profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn't.

2. I voted Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

3. I voted Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.

4. I voted Democrat because I'm way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.

5. I voted Democrat because I believe that people who can't tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don't start driving a Prius.

6. I voted Democrat because I'm not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.

7. I voted Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education and Social Security benefits, and we should take away the Social Security from those who paid into it.

8. I voted Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit.

9. I voted Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.

10.. I voted Democrat because I think that it is better to pay billions to people who hate us for their oil, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher or fish.

11. I voted Democrat because while we live in the greatest, most wonderful country in the world, I was promised "HOPE AND CHANGE".

12. I voted Democrat because my head is so firmly planted up my ass, it's unlikely that I'll ever have another point of view.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Huntsman 2012

The Last Good Idea endorses former Utah Governor and US Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman for the 2012 Republican nomination as candidate for the Presidency of the United States.

This is the only guy who can defeat our current spender in chief. The rest of the Republicans are just playing house with the Tea Party.

Debt = GDP

No those aren't variables in my latest piece of software, its the actual grim truth of things in this country and how our president and Congress are spending us down the drain.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Things Are Really Screwed Up

So last night, my wife, son and I went out with another couple and their son. As our two year olds climbed all over each other in the booth, our discussion switched to paying for their educations. While we both have that issue well in hand, it is alarming to consider the cost of education these days and whats its going to cost in another 15-20 years as universities continue to add administrative bloat. Then we moved onto the topic of retirement and that's when I really got into the discussion.

My wife and I make a good living and so does the other couple we dined with, but it occurred to me that most people around out age (35-40) are not taking care these sorts of issues as perhaps they should. And truthfully, how can they pay off their student loans, buy a house, raise a couple children, pay to educate those children and retire some day? The answer is, they can't. There is no way in H-E double L the average family of earners could ever manage all those expenses along with $4 gas, car payments, new TVs every 7 years (that's the stated average), an occasional vacation, new clothes once in a while, because we know people buy these things far more often than can afford. The numbers just don't add up.

And you know that when the math is broken, the truth is revealed.

Gen X isn't going to be able to afford retirement after years of having the current crop of politicians punishing us for saving. Millenials will not be able to afford their student loans, homes or children. Its that simple. Something has to change and neither the party of the stupid (the Democrats) nor the party of the ignorant (the Republicans) are paying any attention to the real problems. They are too busy trying to get elected or reelected. An entire generation of US politicians need to be renamed Nero who fiddle, rap or sample while our country burns.