Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Consumer Price Index

New Unemployment Claims Drop Further, Beating Estimates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 30, 2018: 

English: A map of the 12 districts of the Unit...

A map of the 12 districts of the United States Federal Reserve system.

New claims for unemployment insurance dropped last week to the lowest level in 45 years, according to the Department of Labor: “Seasonally adjusted initial claims [for unemployment insurance benefits were] 215,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s level [which was revised downward].”

Once again the economy is beating forecasters, who expected new claims to come in at 230,000. Either way, the performance of the economy continues to astound Democrats increasingly worried about the midterms and delight Republicans who voted for tax cuts and tax reform.

The last time new claims were this low was in 1973, when the labor force was much smaller. In 1973, the U.S. labor force was 100 million; today it is more than 160 million. Translation: Unemployment claims are the lowest in U.S. history when compared to the workforce.

It gets better.

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Inflation Concerns Unfounded, Wall Street Moves Higher

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 14, 2018:  

Money-supply

Money-supply (this is an old chart, but you get the idea)

Once Wall Street traders read beyond the headlines released early Wednesday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), they reversed the early selloff and bid the market higher.

Those traders were on high alert following the January report that wages had jumped nearly three percent last year. This triggered concerns that inflation was imminent, and that the Fed would institute interest rate increases which would slow the economy.

The headline from the BLS seemed to confirm those concerns:

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Americans Eating Out Less Thanks to Higher Prices

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 24, 2017:

At Jamila's, a Tunesian restaurant on Maple St...

A Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Tuesday revealed that one-third of U.S. adults are eating out less frequently than they were just three months ago. Two-thirds of those staying home said it was because of higher restaurant prices. This news comes on top of reports that restaurant traffic was flat for all of 2016. In fact, the industry as a whole has gained just one percent in traffic since 2009.

Apologists for the industry offered all manner of explanations:

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Markit Ltd. Says U.S. Economy Is Faltering

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 22, 2016:  

Markit Ltd., the London-based global financial information behemoth, issued an early warning about signs of the coming recession in late February when it published its services purchasing managers’ index. It went negative for the first time in more than two years. At the time, Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist, said:

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Social Security’s Chief Actuary Meets Charles Ponzi

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 19, 2015:  

English: Mug shot of Charles Ponzi (March 3, 1...

Mug shot of Charles Ponzi

In its apologetic over Social Security, the New York Times saw the most significant problem facing the scheme, according to the program’s chief actuary, Stephen Goss, is “that fewer workers are paying taxes into the program … while more retirees are collecting their checks.”

And thus it has always been: every Ponzi scheme fails when “new” investors cannot be recruited into it in sufficient numbers to pay off the “older” ones. The only reason Social Security has survived for so long – it just turned 80 this year – is because of guns and badges and threats.

Charles Ponzi had no such power. He had to rely on ignorance and greed. His scheme ran for more than a year before the fraud was discovered and he was jailed. His shtick?

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Social Security Defaults Again on Its Promises: No COLA for 2016

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 19, 2015:  

Social Security Poster: old man

On Thursday the Social Security Administration announced that for the third time in six years there will be no COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) to beneficiaries’ checks next year. There was no COLA in 2010 or 2011, thanks to the government index used to determine whether an “adjustment” (increase) was justified, to offset inflation. This year’s culprit was the price of gasoline, which fell 23 percent, wiping out any chance for an increase in the checks going to more than 60 million recipients.

Heroic and often invisible measures have been undertaken in recent years to cover up the program’s insolvency:

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If the Fed has created so much new money, where is the inflation?

Frank Shostak, a scholar at the Mises Institute, asks the same question: where is the price inflation that is supposed to follow the creation of new money? Shostak asks it far more eloquently than I:

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Free Market Lesson in Health Care

Leave it to Mark Perry to uncover and display in graphical form just how one medical procedure, priced in the free market, has kept costs low:

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Wisconsin Recall Election to be Shaped by Job Numbers

Scott Walker on February 18, 2011

With little more than a month to go until Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker faces his recall vote, unions and their supporters are pulling out all the stops to replace him with one of their own.

Writing for the pro-union newsletter The Progressive, its political editor Ruth Conniff decried every major piece of “Act 10”—the highly contested Budget Repair Bill that Walker finally got passed by the Wisconsin legislature last March—saying that “If you want a preview of the Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan plan for America, take a look at Wisconsin:

  • Huge tax breaks for corporations….
  • Deep cuts to health care, education, unemployment insurance….
  • Rolling back…protections and…regulations….
  • Waging war on labor unions, taking away public employee’s collective bargaining rights….

So where does this blueprint leave us?

Wisconsin is now dead last in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for job loss.

Between January 2011 and January 2012, while 44 states and the nation as a whole were adding jobs, Wisconsin was one of only six states to lose jobs—and Wisconsin’s job loss was the worst among that handful of losers.

In its latest jobs report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Wisconsin shed 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012. Wisconsin was the only state with a statistically significant percentage change in employment to report a net loss, the report stated.

The obvious point she was hoping to prove was that it was because of Act 10 that all these jobs were being lost, while hoping that few would actually take the time to look closely at what the BLS actually said.

First, Conniff is violating a rule of logic—“post hoc, ergo propter hoc”—which means, “After this, then because of this.” In other words, Conniff assumed that

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Is the Economy Slowly Gaining Momentum?

SP 8033, a GE Dash 8-39B, leading an EMD SD40T...

Zachary Karabellwriting at The Daily Beast on Thursday, claimed that the latest numbers on the US’s economy were showing some modest improvement. After reviewing comments from the Federal Reserve in their final statement of the year (the economy is “expanding moderately”), the Institute for Supply Management (index above 50 for several months, indicating growth), the Gross Domestic Product numbers (growing at about 2 percent on an annual basis), unemployment (dropping slightly), and consumer sentiment (up a little), Karabell concluded “The real dirty little secret of the American economy is that we are doing OK.” Some other numbers that came in after his article was published seemed to confirm that the economy is showing a faint blush of rose. The National Retail Federation said it expects Christmas holiday sales to rise to $469 billion this year, up about 4 percent from their October forecast, but still down from the 5.2 percent gain a year ago. The latest from the Association of American Railroads shows weekly traffic gains of nearly 4 percent year over year. The Business Outlook Survey from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank showed that “all the broad indicators remained positive and suggest a modest expansion of activity…[and] the broadest indicator of future activity reflected a trend of increased optimism about growth over the next six months.” That report noted further that hiring expectations in that region are beginning to improve as well, along with indicators for

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The Good and Bad of Impending Deflation

US Dollar Purchasing Power

Economist Gary Shilling’s claim that the U.S. economy is on the edge of deflation defies the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent announcement that inflation is high and increasing.

The one form of deflation that the Federal Reserve is most concerned about, according to Shilling, is that the general price level will experience sharp declines which will turn into a self-perpetuating downward spiral as buyers delay making purchases in the hopes of paying even lower prices in the future. But there are six other forms of deflation, and five of them “are already in place in the United States,” say Shilling.

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Unemployment 25% and Rising

A closer look at the Department of Labor’s employment report earlier this month reveals that the real unemployment number is different from the “headline” number. Restated, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) should have concluded that unemployment is at least 9.1 percent, and most certainly much higher.

If the BLS adds the 9.3 million who are “involuntarily” employed part time because their hours were cut back or because they couldn’t find a full-time job, that brings the total to

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Competing Currencies Would Expand Freedom, Limit Government

Dollar

Image by Images_of_Money via Flickr

One of the expert witnesses testifying before Ron Paul’s Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee on Tuesday was Dr. Lawrence H. White, professor of Economics at George Mason University. His testimony reinforced the case for Paul’s bill, HR 1098, the “Free Competition in Currency Act of 2011” by outlining its benefits in introducing freedom of choice into the realm of currencies.

White compared competition in currencies to competition in package delivery services among Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and the U.S. Postal Service. That competition has lowered

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Food Prices Rocket

Eighty-year-old Dottie Bell is a volunteer at the Community Market food bank in Opelika, Alabama, and every day she sees the impact of high food prices on people in her community.

In the last 12 months, more than 3,000 families have come to her food bank for food assistance. Michael Davis is just one of them. When Dottie asked him for his identification, he pulled out his driver’s license and Social Security card from a worn ZipLoc bag and handed them to her. When she asked when the last time was that he’d eaten anything, he said: “About two days. It’s not a good feeling. You have to

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Runaway Inflation on the Cusp?

2012  VOTE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT ..BECA...

Image by SS&SS via Flickr

Buried in the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the Consumer Price Index was some disconcerting news. On the surface, there appeared to be little to be concerned about, with the index “for all items, less food and energy” rising just 0.2 percent in April. On an annual basis, the BLS “all items” index increased just 3.2 percent over the past 12 months.

However, that 3.2 percent was the highest since October of 2008, reflecting increases in energy of

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High Gas Prices Set to Cause Double Dip Recession

Fuel Guage

Image by smemon87 via Flickr

“I’m sure the rising cost of energy is bothering the market,” said Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D. A. Davidson & Company last week. “I do think the uptick in gasoline prices will have an impact on consumer spending in the next few quarters.”

One could scarcely call it an “uptick,” with gasoline prices up by $.70 a gallon since the first of the year, and approaching $4 a gallon. The American Automobile Association said at that level consumers “will have to start cutting back to pay their fuel expenses. This could adversely affect restaurants, malls, and entertainment venues that count on people driving to get there.”

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Inflation? What inflation?

Huff and puff and...

Image by gorbould via Flickr

We dont have to hire historians to see where deficit spending will take us. We have only to look around now. Since the end of World War II, some of history’s greatest national disasters have taken place right here in the Americas. North Americans used to laugh or shake their heads at the economies of the south that seemed always on the brink of collapse.  Banana republics, we derisively called them. We’re not laughing now.

Here are some examples he provides of inflation lag time:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann