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Richardo's Journal
Richardo's Journal
January 31, 2012

This quote says it all: "The people at the top were not willing to pay people at the bottom wages.."

... but they were willing to lend them money."

Heard on NPR's Marketplace last evening:

Kai Ryssdal: There's reassuring news on the macro-economic personal finance front today. We learned this morning personal income rose in December by the biggest amount in nine months. And here comes the good part -- Americans saved almost all the extra money they brought home. That's no mean thing in a country where debt is all too familiar. Debt is, in fact, and has been, an American way of life. Louis Hyman is the author of a new book called "Borrow: The American Way of Debt." Thanks for being here.


Ryssdal: Yeah, which gets us to, writ very large, the banking industry. Right? Depending on who you talk to, banks are either directly responsible for the freeflow of capitalism, and thus the economic glory that is America. Or it is a vampire squid on the face of humanity. (OP's comment: )

Hyman: Yeah. Either way it's a monster and it's impersonal, and it's treated as if it were something we can't control. ...


The question is why do we let them have all our money to play with? Certianly in the last year -- with the rise of Occupy Wall Street -- you have an increased sense of, oh, people are concerned again about inequality. For me the essential question is: How did inequality produce indebtedness? And in the book I talk about how the people at the top were not willing to pay people at the bottom wages, but they were willing to lend them money.


Audio here: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/big-book/history-american-borrowing

That boils the entire economic crash down to one sentence like I've never heard. The 1% literally owns and recirculates the money - 99% are NOT paid, they're LOANED to. Amazing.

January 14, 2012

Hiring Logjam Breaks as CEOs Plan Fastest U.S. Growth Since 2006

Hiring Logjam Breaks as CEOs Plan Fastest U.S. Growth Since 2006
Thomas Black, ©2012 Bloomberg News

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Companies from General Electric Co. to yogurt producer Chobani are adding U.S. workers, accelerating a rebound in hiring, as chief executive officers prepare for greater demand in a strengthening economic recovery.

Boeing Co. is bringing in more than 100 union machinists a week for a 60 percent boost in output by 2014. Nissan Motor Co. will expand in Tennessee with 1,000 people making lithium-ion batteries. And a GE executive was at a Kentucky appliance plant before dawn this month to greet some of 500 new employees.

"The next few years are going to be a different picture than what we saw in the last few," said Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO and founder of South Edmeston, New York-based Chobani, which is building a 300-worker plant in Twin Falls, Idaho. "To get ready for this, we need to have our manufacturing capacity in place."

The hiring reflects optimism among CEOs that the economy will continue to strengthen and more workers will be needed to meet demand. It may signal an end to a lockdown on job growth following the financial crisis that lingered even after the recession ended in June 2009, with economists estimating more new jobs created this year than any time since 2006.

Manufacturing, whether for GE refrigerators or Greenbrier Cos. rail cars, is a bright spot in a labor market still so weak that December's unemployment rate of 8.5 percent was the lowest in three years. U.S. factory payrolls expanded by 225,000 jobs in 2011, more than double the total from a year earlier.


Lots more here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/01/13/bloomberg_articlesLXPL1I0D9L3501-LXPQR.DTL

I'm in procurement in the chemicals industry and I can verify that we're ordering tons (literally!) of heavy equipment, rolling stock, pressure vessels, etc.

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