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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Employers are Stealing Billions of Dollars from their Workers

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119410/economic-policy-institute-wage-theft-could-total-50-billion-year

As the economy slowly recovers, it’s become increasingly clear that it’s not just unemployed Americans who need help from the government. It’s those that are employed as well.

That’s the main finding of a new report from the Economic Policy Institute on wage theft. What is wage theft? It’s when employers refuse to pay their workers their rightful wages and benefits, such as refusing to pay overtime. It’s a major problem across the United States. One study, which EPI cites, examined three cities (New York, Chicago and Los Angeles) and found that two-thirds of workers in low-wage industries had experienced a pay-related offense in any given week in 2008. Those violations cost workers more than $2,600 a year on average—nearly 15 percent of their total earnings. If wage theft is as prevalent in the rest of the United States as it is in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, then it costs workers more than $50 billion a year.

It’s tough to calculate how widespread wage theft is because much of it goes unreported. But not all. The U.S. Department of Labor, state departments of labor, state attorneys general, and private attorneys file cases on behalf of workers to recover lost wages. No single database collects this information so EPI consulted with state labor departments and attorneys general and researched private civil litigation cases to estimate the total amount that workers recovered in wages. In 2012, it totaled at least $933 million. In fact that understates the total since the researchers didn’t receive data from six state departments of labor and five attorneys general.

Remember, the actual amount recovered is only a fraction of the total wage theft. In other words, wage theft totals billions of dollars every year. EPI puts these numbers in perspective to show just the significance of these pay-related offenses. For instance, in 2012, people and companies reported $341 million in lost property from robbery, all forms of it. These are just reported instances of robbery, so that certainly understates the true extent of it. Even so, workers recovered three times as much in stolen wages as Americans lost in reported robberies. That's a massive loss for low-wage workers.
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Strange Object Near Milky Way's Black Hole Stirs Scientific Debate

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/02/strange-object-milky-way-debate_n_6401402.html


Astronomers may be a step closer to solving the mystery of a strange object seen orbiting the massive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

Dubbed G2, the object was first spotted in 2011 and was thought initially to be a gas cloud on the verge of being ripped apart by the black hole, which is known as Sagittarius A*. But when the object stayed intact, some scientists suggested G2 was something else: a pair of binary stars.

But now a team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany have sparked new debate, offering more evidence to support the gas cloud theory.

For their research, the team used a computer model to compare the orbit of G2 to that of G1, another object observed near Sagittarius A* a decade ago.

“We explored the connection between G1 and G2 and find an astonishing similarity in both orbits,” team member Dr. Stefan Gillessen said in a written statement.
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The Economy in 2014 -

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/16/economy-2014

The U.S. economic recovery took a major step forward in 2014, achieving a number of important milestones. American businesses set a new record for the most consecutive months of job growth: now 57 straight months and counting. By November, the economy had already added more jobs than in any full calendar year since the 1990s. And crucially, the pickup in job growth during 2014 occurred primarily in higher-paying industries, while nearly all of the employment gains have been in full-time positions. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell below 6 percent for the first time since 2008.

(click on image to see slideshow)
click on image to see slideshow


Despite this progress, it is still too hard for many families to get ahead. Further reductions in long-term unemployment and faster wage growth are still needed, but the data from 2014 show that trends are clearly moving in the right direction.

The President’s policies have contributed to this progress in a number of ways, including setting the stage for the recovery in 2009 and taking further steps to accelerate several favorable underlying economic trends. Some critical policies include:

•The Recovery Act and Subsequent Fiscal Measures: The United States has come further in its recovery than most other advanced economies around the world, in part because of the President’s aggressive policy response that included the Recovery Act, the payroll tax cut, and about a dozen additional fiscal measures. Indeed, since 2010 the increase in employment in the United States exceeds that in Europe, Japan, and every other advanced economy combined.

•Response to the Financial Crisis: Even when it was not popular, the President took steps to rescue the auto industry, implement historic consumer protections, recapitalize the financial sector, and institute strict new rules for Wall Street. The President’s policies have also helped millions of families stay in their homes and weather the storm, and today we are seeing rising home prices lift millions back above water on their mortgages.

•Affordable Care Act: Changes in the health care system, in part due to the Affordable Care Act, are creating major savings for households, businesses, and the Federal government. In 2014, employer health insurance premiums grew at a rate tied for the lowest on record, reflecting in part the lowest health care price inflation in nearly half a century.

•All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy: The United States is leading the world in both oil and natural gas production, contributing to a roughly 40 percent drop in oil prices over the second half of 2014, which means lower gas prices for families. At the same time, solar energy is up tenfold since 2008, while wind energy is up threefold. In addition to this energy boom, the United States has also made great strides in energy efficiency, contributing to a 10 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2007 to 2013 -- the largest absolute emissions reduction of any country in the world. These developments signal that the President’s All-of-the-Above energy strategy is having a key impact.

•Catalyzing Technological Innovation: The United States is the most innovative economy in the world, and to continue this tradition into the 21st century, the President signed into law the most sweeping patent reform in decades, made significant investments in research and development, and will nearly double the amount of wireless spectrum available for mobile broadband. Indeed, we are currently seeing the most successful wireless spectrum auction ever, a sign of the tremendous potential that stands to be unleashed as a result of these steps.

•Reducing the Deficit: The Budget Control Act, the Affordable Care Act, and returning to Clinton-era tax rates for upper-income households will contribute to nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. Reflecting these policies, the additional revenues associated with an improving economy, and the aforementioned slowdown in health care costs, the deficit in fiscal year 2014 fell to 2.8 percent of GDP, below its average for the past forty years and down by about two-thirds from its peak. A shrinking deficit has boosted national saving and set the stage for more sustainable and balanced growth in the coming years.

To build on this progress, the President will continue to push for steps that support further growth of middle-class jobs and reward those who work hard and play by the rules, including investments in infrastructure, reforms to the business tax code and immigration system, expanded overseas markets for America’s goods and services, and an increase in the minimum wage.

Take an in-depth look at the progress our economy made in 2014 here.

Good page for historical economic data - pertaining to Gov (e.g. revenues/Recpts as % of GDP) - it

enables you to downloas Excel SSs of the data.


http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

for example:

Table 1.2—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-) as Percentages of GDP: 1930–2019

(note: Excel file download symbol will appear at bottom of window. Click on it to call Excel to open file)







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