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TomCADem

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Member since: Fri May 8, 2009, 12:59 AM
Number of posts: 12,369

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Wages aren't growing when adjusted for inflation, new data finds

While Trump takes a "victory lap" and Republicans prepare to give another huge tax cut to the rich and explode the deficit, the middle class is continuing to take body blow after body blow during the so-called Trump-boom. Oh well, Trump will just blame it on immigrants and trade.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/wages-arent-growing-when-adjusted-for-inflation-new-data-finds-2018-07-17

?uuid=c0b66924-89eb-11e8-9260-ac162d7bc1f7

Wages aren’t growing when adjusted for inflation, a new report released Tuesday showed.

According to the Labor Department, median weekly earnings fell 0.6% in inflation-adjusted dollars in the second quarter, compared to the same time period of 2017.

That’s now the third straight quarter where inflation has outpaced wage growth.

The issue of inflation-adjusted wages stagnating came up in the hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday. He was asked by Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Ohio Democrat, whether the typical worker really is better off than he or she was a year ago.

Consumer debt is at an all-time high. Should banks be worried?

With Republicans extending billions in tax cuts to the rich, as well as rolling back consumer protections and financial regulations, is it any wonder that average Americans are going deeper and deeper in debt while wages stagnate. Of course, Trump and Republicans are too busy taking a "victory lap" with the mainstream media playing along.

https://www.americanbanker.com/news/consumer-debt-is-at-an-all-time-high-should-banks-be-worried

September 2008 was one of those rare interludes when the world shifts beneath your feet. Markets froze. Fabled banks stood on the precipice. The U.S. government, after initially standing by idly, brought out its bazooka. After a generation of deregulation, it genuinely seemed possible that the U.S. banking system would be nationalized.

The crisis had immense economic and political consequences over the following decade. It helped fuel the rise of the Tea Party, and later, both Trumpism and the anti-corporate left. It led to new regulations that transformed banking into a safer, far more boring industry. And it wreaked havoc in tens of millions of American lives. Foreclosures became an epidemic. College graduates were forced to move into their parents' basements. Aging workers had their retirement plans upended.

But 10 years later, what's remarkable is how little the financial crisis changed Americans' relationship to debt and savings. We still borrow more and save far less than prudence would dictate.

U.S. household debt, which declined between 2008 and 2013, has rebounded sharply. By the first quarter of 2018, it was at an all-time high of $13.2 trillion. The composition of our debt has changed, and we've been better able to manage our obligations, thanks in substantial part to an extended period of low interest rates. But the crisis did not teach us a lesson about the perils of borrowing too much.

U.S. government on course to borrow the most money since the financial crisis

Source: Morningstar

The Treasury Department predicted the U.S. government’s borrowing needs in the second half of this year will jump to the most since last decade’s financial crisis as the nation’s fiscal health deteriorates despite a strong economy.

The department expects to issue $329 billion in net marketable debt from July through September, the fourth-largest total for that quarter on record and higher than the $273 billion estimated in April, Treasury said in a report Monday.

The department’s forecast for the October-December quarter is $440 billion, bringing the second-half borrowing estimate to $769 billion, the highest since $1.1 trillion in July-December 2008.

The estimates were “quite a bit higher than our expectations,” Thomas Simons, senior money-market economist at Jefferies, said in a note.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-treasury-borrowing-20180730-story.html



I can understand deficit spending and tax cuts as stimulus during the Great Recession, but doing so when the economy was near full employment? Also, to implement such tax cuts in a manner that only benefits the rich?

Don't worry. When the economy takes a dive, watch Republicans suddenly start crowing that its time to cut social security and Medicare.

GDP Is Growing, but Workers' Wages Aren't

Even as Republicans plunge the Country deeper into debt to goose the GDP, American workers are losing ground under Trump close to a decade after the Great Recession. Note in the graph that in 2011, House Republicans instituted austerity measures after winning control of Congress even as the Nation was climbing out of recession. In sharp contrast, even as the Nation is near full employment, Republicans passed massive tax cuts under Trump, which benefit the rich but with no real benefit to workers.

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2018/07/26/454087/gdp-growing-workers-wages-arent/





President Donald Trump recently said that the U.S. economy is “stronger than ever before” and points to his tax plan as one of the major reasons why. But the fact is that workers are not getting ahead in the Trump economy. Official data released in recent weeks have shown that workers’ wages are flat or even slightly down, in real terms, over the last year.2 These data fly in the face of many tax plan boosters who have claimed that the bill’s passage has already been a boon to middle-class workers.

This Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce will release its first estimate of the nation’s economic output in the second quarter of 2018. For a number of reasons, second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to be relatively strong. But one quarter’s GDP estimates hardly indicate that the economy is experiencing the sustained, broad-based growth that tax cut proponents promised would happen. Indeed, as the wage data show, the economy’s gains have not trickled down to regular workers. In fact, President Trump’s policies have only made it harder for them to get ahead.

GDP growth is the biggest-picture view of the economy; it’s important for macroeconomists who focus on long-term shifts in what the U.S. economy produces. GDP, however, is only one measure of economic progress, so its effectiveness at measuring workers’ well-being is limited. In the modern economy, benefits are shared unequally. As economic benefits have gone increasingly to those at the top, overall economic growth tells us less than it once did about how the living standards of all Americans are changing. To be sure, economic growth is an important goal, but it’s naïve to ignore the growing disconnect between changes in economic output and living standards for the vast majority of workers—especially when there are much more applicable measures of how workers are faring.

Outside of the very wealthy, virtually all working Americans’ income and standard of living is determined by wages. Unfortunately, wage growth has been at best mediocre for most of the last four decades. Since the Great Recession, nominal wage growth has been worryingly low, exceeding 2.5 percent only a handful of times through the end of 2017—growing barely faster than inflation.3 But with the unemployment rate continuing to fall, many experts predicted workers were poised to finally see gains outpace inflation this year. That hasn’t happened. In fact, when adjusting for inflation, wages have actually fallen this year. It’s not that wages haven’t ticked up at all—they have, in part due to increases in the minimum wage. But even with slightly faster nominal wage growth, workers have lost ground because inflation has picked up more than wage growth.



GDP Is Growing, but Workers' Wages Aren't

Even as Republicans plunge the Country deeper into debt to goose the GDP, American workers are losing ground under Trump close to a decade after the Great Recession. Note in the graph that in 2011, House Republicans instituted austerity measures after winning control of Congress even as the Nation was climbing out of recession. In sharp contrast, even as the Nation is near full employment, Republicans passed massive tax cuts under Trump, which benefit the rich but with no real benefit to workers.

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2018/07/26/454087/gdp-growing-workers-wages-arent/





President Donald Trump recently said that the U.S. economy is “stronger than ever before” and points to his tax plan as one of the major reasons why. But the fact is that workers are not getting ahead in the Trump economy. Official data released in recent weeks have shown that workers’ wages are flat or even slightly down, in real terms, over the last year.2 These data fly in the face of many tax plan boosters who have claimed that the bill’s passage has already been a boon to middle-class workers.

This Friday, the U.S. Department of Commerce will release its first estimate of the nation’s economic output in the second quarter of 2018. For a number of reasons, second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to be relatively strong. But one quarter’s GDP estimates hardly indicate that the economy is experiencing the sustained, broad-based growth that tax cut proponents promised would happen. Indeed, as the wage data show, the economy’s gains have not trickled down to regular workers. In fact, President Trump’s policies have only made it harder for them to get ahead.

GDP growth is the biggest-picture view of the economy; it’s important for macroeconomists who focus on long-term shifts in what the U.S. economy produces. GDP, however, is only one measure of economic progress, so its effectiveness at measuring workers’ well-being is limited. In the modern economy, benefits are shared unequally. As economic benefits have gone increasingly to those at the top, overall economic growth tells us less than it once did about how the living standards of all Americans are changing. To be sure, economic growth is an important goal, but it’s naïve to ignore the growing disconnect between changes in economic output and living standards for the vast majority of workers—especially when there are much more applicable measures of how workers are faring.

Outside of the very wealthy, virtually all working Americans’ income and standard of living is determined by wages. Unfortunately, wage growth has been at best mediocre for most of the last four decades. Since the Great Recession, nominal wage growth has been worryingly low, exceeding 2.5 percent only a handful of times through the end of 2017—growing barely faster than inflation.3 But with the unemployment rate continuing to fall, many experts predicted workers were poised to finally see gains outpace inflation this year. That hasn’t happened. In fact, when adjusting for inflation, wages have actually fallen this year. It’s not that wages haven’t ticked up at all—they have, in part due to increases in the minimum wage. But even with slightly faster nominal wage growth, workers have lost ground because inflation has picked up more than wage growth.




Glenn Greenwald Tells Russians Liberals Are Blaming Them As Excuse for Clinton

There is definitely a market for liberals, as well as conservatives, who are willing to sell out the U.S., though I have never considered Greenwald to be a liberal, and always wondered why he was referenced so often on DU.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/glenn-greenwald-tells-russia-liberals-are-scapegoating-them.html

In his recent appearance at a panel on “fake news” in Moscow, the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald described his bold iconoclastic policy of speaking truth to power, and then proceeded to repeat an absurd lie told by the leader of the American government. In Greenwald’s telling, the notion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election came about as a desperate way for media elites to explain why their preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, did not prevail.

“The American political system needed an explanation about why something like that could happen, and why they got it so wrong,” began Greenwald. “One of the explanations about why it happened was the favorite tactic of governments, which was to say, it wasn’t anything wrong with our country, it was this other foreign country over there that was to blame. And that’s a major reason why fingers continue to be pointed at the Russian government.”

Greenwald was very clear about his belief that the whole theory of Russian involvement was a postelection exercise in blame-shifting: “Excuses were needed, villains were required, people needed to point fingers at someone other than themselves for this very shocking event, and that’s why there became this obsession with the Russian government.”

This also happens to be President Trump’s theory of the case. Democrats needed an excuse, he argues, so rather than admit “Crooked Hillary” was a terrible candidate, they concocted the notion that Russia helped Trump win.

Politico - Beto-mania Sweeps Texas

It is a longshot given how deeply many Republicans cling to racism along with the fear of many men about the rising political voices of women, particularly with fear and resentment be fanned 24/7 by Sinclair Broadcasting and Fox News. But, it is nice to see real people make a difference against the RW infrastructure.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/09/beto-mania-sweeps-texas-218961

FORT WORTH, Texas — Beto O’Rourke is running to replace Ted Cruz. Literally. Sweat pours off his lean, 6-foot-4-inch frame as the El Paso Democrat jogs along the southern bank of the Trinity River surrounded by 300-odd supporters and curious voters jogging along with him. Incredibly, they have shown up at 8 a.m. on a Sunday to join him for a double shot of politics and cardio. In between panting breaths, O’Rourke explains to me the origins of this novel campaign event, which has him running several miles under the Texas sun, stopping in the middle to take questions and lingering at the end to pose for selfies. “Some sadistic member of our team,” he recalls, “was like, ‘So we’re doing like six town halls a day in six different counties. We’re driving hundreds of miles every day, we’re visiting all 254 counties. What more could we do? Ah, get up earlier and have running town halls.’”

This, in short, is how O’Rourke plans to pull off his long-shot bid to take away Cruz’s Senate seat: by outhustling his opponent. O’Rourke, a third-term congressman, often boasts that he has hired no consultants or pollsters. He is his own strategist, and his strategy is simple: campaign relentlessly, project vitality and hope his raw charisma combines in just the right proportion with anti-Cruz animus, Texas’ changing demographics and national Democratic momentum to put him over the top.

It’s a lot to hope for. Cruz is among the country’s shrewdest politicians. He may be reviled in Washington and on the left, but his approval rating remains above water in most polls of Texas, which has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1988. Liberals have been fantasizing about turning the state blue for a decade, to no avail. And Cruz retains a double-digit lead in recent polls.

But something is catching here. Fueled by millions in small-dollar donations, O’Rourke is outraising Cruz. In recent weeks, President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant families detained at the border has given his campaign a jolt of moral clarity. And voters are responding in a way that Texas Democrats say they have not seen before in modern times.

Poll: Trump approval rating ticks up to 47 percent

Source: The Hill

President Trump's approval rating has reached an all-time high of 47 percent in the new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill, a two-point hike from last month.

Trump's approval rating was lifted in part by a 10-point climb among Hispanic voters. His approval rating rose by 6 points among Republicans and by 4 points among Democrats compared to last month's poll.

Trump's approval rating fell by 4 points among independents, and 53 percent of those polled hold an unfavorable view of him.

The rising numbers appear to reflect the strong economy and the president's summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Read more: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142096742#post6



It sure helps to have billions in RW propaganda through Sinclair Broadcasting and Fox News to celebrate a North Korean nuke deal that isn't and a rising economy that is actually falling. At times, it just gets exhausting dealing with the gas lighting that is going on through Fox, Sinclair, Limbaugh, Alex Jones, etc. This does not even address the corporate media that happily gives Trump 24/7 news coverage.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/27/politics/pompeo-north-korea-threat/index.html

Pompeo: North Korea remains a nuclear threat

Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told US lawmakers on Wednesday that North Korea remains a nuclear threat, but defended President Donald Trump for tweeting earlier this month, "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea."

"I'm confident what (Trump) intended there was, 'we did reduce the threat,'" Pompeo told a Senate panel. "I don't think there's any doubt about that."

"We took the tension level down," he added.

Pompeo also confirmed North Korea has yet to return the remains of any of the fallen US service members who died in the country during the Korean War, despite the President saying last week that transfers were under way.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/15/for-the-biggest-group-of-american-workers-wages-arent-just-flat-theyre-falling/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7d3130e6caf0

For the biggest group of American workers, wages aren’t just flat. They’re falling.

The average hourly wage paid to a key group of American workers has fallen from last year when accounting for inflation, as an economy that appears strong by several measures continues to fail to create bigger paychecks, the federal government said Tuesday.

For workers in “production and nonsupervisory” positions, the value of the average paycheck has declined in the past year. For those workers, average “real wages” — a measure of pay that takes inflation into account — fell from $22.62 in May 2017 to $22.59 in May 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

This pool of workers includes those in manufacturing and construction jobs, as well as all “nonsupervisory” workers in service industries such health care or fast food. The group accounts for about four-fifths of the privately employed workers in America, according to BLS.

Without adjusting for inflation, these “nonsupervisory” workers saw their average hourly earnings jump 2.8 percent from last year. But that was not enough to keep pace with the 2.9 percent increase in inflation, which economists attributed to rising gas prices.

June 30th - Families Belong Together March - Nationwide Protest and Day of Action

March. Vote. Resist.

https://www.familiesbelongtogether.org/

NY Mag - Most Americans' Wages Have Actually Declined Over the Past Year

Can you have a great economy when workers' real wages are not merely stagnant, but somehow are falling even though unemployment is allegedly low. Put another way, if you have low unemployment, this should cause wages to rise, since it is should be difficult to hire. Perhaps Trump's unemployment numbers are as accurate as his estimates of crowd size or Puerto Rican hurricane deaths?

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/most-americans-wages-have-declined-over-the-past-year.html

On the other hand, Americans are deeply indebted, many are stuck with part-time jobs, and wage gains have been so disappointing, their weakness has challenged fundamental premises of mainstream economics: Simply put, you aren’t supposed to be able to pay workers this little when the unemployment rate is this low.

And on Tuesday, the big picture on Americans’ paychecks grew even darker: In May, U.S. inflation accelerated to its fastest pace in more than six years — and wiped out what little wage growth the typical American worker had seen over the past 12 months in the process.

The consumer price index was 2.8 percent higher this past pay May than it was the same month one year ago; that increase leaves real average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers (a.k.a. the vast majority of workers) 0.1 percent lower than they were 12 months ago.

Notably, while wage growth was infamously tepid during the Obama years, the low-inflation environment of 2015 and 2016 did allow ordinary workers to secure real raises. Part of the uptick in inflation this year is a product of rising oil prices, a phenomenon over which the American president has little control. But some of it is likely attributable to the deficit expansion that Trump used to finance his regressive tax cuts. (To the extent that is the case, ordinary workers are effectively paying for the price for the Koch brothers’ big payday).
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