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: Jobs

January Jobs Report: Is America Running Out of Workers?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 5, 2018: 

The headline numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report released on Friday once again caught forecasters by surprise: Predicting job growth of 177,000 for January, they got instead 200,000 — the 88th month in a row of positive job growth, with many recent months where the economy outperformed forecasters.

The other number also caught them by surprise:

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Is America’s Welfare State Stifling the Economy?

This article was published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, February 5, 2018:

There were two numbers buried in Friday’s jobs report from the BLS that portend difficulty for the economy: The number unemployed remains at 6.7 million, and the labor participation rate remains stuck at 62.7 percent. In September 2015 that latter number was 62.4. In 2000 it was 67.3 percent.

How is that possible? With the unfettering of the economy through deregulation and now the recapture and reinvestment of tax dollars that were previously being directed to Washington, just about every economic indicator is green. Why aren’t these millions reentering the workforce?

There’s good news and bad news. Some of those people are leaving the workforce and retiring. Their savings, pension, profit-sharing and 401(k) plans are reflecting the performance of the stock market and consequently are allowing them to recalibrate their retirement plans: they’re retiring sooner than later.

Some of the younger cohort – age 25-54 – are going back to school to learn the skills they need for the new economy.

But others are content just to stay right where they are:

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Fracking Revolution Pushes U.S. Daily Crude Oil Production Over 10 Million Barrels

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 2, 2018:  

English: Logo of the U.S. Energy Information A...

November’s production of crude oil in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), not only exceeded October’s by four percent, but rose to a level not seen in nearly 50 years: 10 million barrels a day. The agency went even further: At this rate daily U.S. crude oil production will exceed that of both Russia and Saudi Arabia by the end of next year.

If not sooner. The EIA’s forecast is that crude oil production will grow by 10 percent this year, but that could turn out to be much too low. As Todd Staples, head of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, noted:

American crude oil [production] is a game-changer in international trade, global politics and domestic energy security. Crude oil imports are down 20 percent from 2006 and, today, we are competing with the Middle East in the export market.

 

These outcomes were unthinkable a decade ago.

Indeed. As recently as 2011 the United States was only producing about

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Americans Expect Booming Economy to Continue, Says Conference Board

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 31, 2018: 

The Conference Board’s January survey of consumer confidence came in at 125.4, beating December’s number and outperforming predictions of economic forecasters. Additionally, December’s number had to be revised upward as the original index of 122.1 understated consumer confidence that month as well.

As a measure of the strength of the economy, the Conference Board, which has been conducting similar surveys since it was founded in 1916, established its “baseline” for its consumer confidence index at 100 in 1985. Put another way,

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“What Hath God Wrought?” Tax Reform and Deregulation Unleashing an Economic Tsunami

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 31, 2018: 

When Samuel Morse asked for suggestions on what his first message over his telegraph should be on May 24, 1844, Annie Ellworth suggested a verse from Numbers 23:23: “There is no magic charm, no witchcraft, that can be used against the nation of Israel. Now people will say about Israel: Look what God has done!” [Good News Bible translation.]

The same might be said about the effect that the magic elixir of deregulation and cuts in tax rates is having not only in the United States, but globally as well. Economists at the International Monetary Fund just announced that, thanks to the combination of those two potent medicines, it has revised its global economic growth estimates for each of the next two years to 3.9 percent.

This is a staggering 70 percent improvement over the average global GDP growth experienced during the unlamented Obama years.

And it’s just getting started. Walmart, Boeing, Apple, Comcast, and more than 200 other companies have announced what they’re doing with their tax savings, impacting directly the paychecks of an estimated three million workers. Now comes ExxonMobil with its announcement: $35 billion of new money is going to be pumped into its operations in the United States. The company’s CEO, Darren Woods, gave credit where credit is due:

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ExxonMobil Announces $35 Billion in New Investments in U.S. Thanks to Tax Reform

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 30, 2018: 

The chief executive of ExxonMobil, the largest of the seven publicly traded “supermajor” oil companies known as “Big Oil,” Darren Woods, posted a blog on Monday announcing that his company would be redirecting $35 billion that would otherwise be headed for Washington, D.C., into much more potentially profitable projects. He gave credit to the new tax reform law just signed into law by President Trump:

These investments are underpinned by the unique strengths of our company and enhanced by the historic tax reform recently signed into law….

 

These positive developments will mean more jobs and economic expansion across the United States in a myriad of industries.

This $35 billion is on top of the $23 billion to $27 billion the company said last year that it would be investing globally over each of the next three years. And there’s more to come, said Wood: “We’re actively evaluating the impact of the lower tax rate on the economics of several other projects currently in the planning stages.”

Translation: Monday’s announcement is just the beginning for ExxonMobil. The company has 20 billion barrels of proven reserves of crude oil “equivalent” (oil and natural gas) and a refinery capacity of nearly five million barrels a day. Its 20 refineries are spread across 14 countries, and it operates 100 major exploration projects around the world. It recently purchased $6 billion worth of oil leases from the Bass family on top of the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, and is expected to expand further its operations in North Dakota above the Bakken Formation.

Wood praised tax reform for providing his company the opportunity to redirect its resources to more profitable opportunities:

These are quality investments for our shareholders that are made even better by tax reform. These are all possible because of the resource base developed by our industry along with sound tax and regulatory policies that create a pro-growth business climate here in the U.S.

Wood estimated that the new investments, once completed, will add an estimated 12,000 new workers to his company which already employs 73,500 people. The implications for the economy are obvious, and enormous: Exxon rarely misses an opportunity to move capital into profitable projects, adding to its already enormous $330 billion asset base. It will still pay taxes on those additional profits, just at a much lower level. Those nearly 90,000 people on the payroll will also be paying taxes, also at lower levels than before.

But what is often missed is that ExxonMobil is just one, although one of the largest, of the companies announcing such investments directly as a result of tax reform and its lower tax rates. Walmart, Apple, Boeing, Comcast, and hundreds of others have announced similar plans to reward their employees through bonuses and/or salary increases or through additional expanded employment opportunities. What also is often missed is the “ripple-effect” of monies being redirected from Washington to places where it is much more profitably employed. Every company does business with dozens if not hundreds of other companies that consider those investments as increased business revenue. That new flow encourages further investment at a micro level. It’s the unseen hand of Adam Smith that improves the standard of living for everyone, even as each individual and company seeks its own best opportunities.

All of this is highly annoying to far-left liberal Democrats, who seem to have a death wish, especially during this mid-term election year. California’s House Democrat Nancy Pelosi seems most skilled at self-immolation by calling those salary increases and bonuses “crumbs,” while former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) dismissed them as “chump change.” To this writer’s knowledge, not a single employee offered either a bonus or a salary increase has turned it down. And $35 billion from ExxonMobil alone is hardly “chump change.”

Not only are these new funds being redirected away from Washington, known for its extravagant wastefulness in spending other peoples’ money, it is very likely to be employed in highly profitable projects that have now become viable thanks to tax reform.

Why, even the International Money Fund (IMF) has been forced to admit that these new investments are of such a magnitude that the ripple effect worldwide will be to drive global GDP to close to four percent in 2018 and years following.

Does Trump Really Want a Trade war?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 24, 2018: 

It would seem so. Following Monday’s announcement by President Trump that tariffs of between 30 and 50 percent would immediately apply to imported solar panels from China and washing machines from South Korea, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer rejoiced: “The president’s action makes clear again that the Trump administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranches, and businesses.” This view was confirmed by a White House trade official who told reporters:

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Apple’s Repatriation of Its Profits: Talk About Stimulating the Economy!

English: Apple's headquarters at Infinite Loop...

Apple’s headquarters at Infinite Loop in Cupertino, California

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 22, 2018:

After paying the world’s largest tax bill – $38 billion – Apple, Inc., the world’s largest company by market capitalization and now the government’s largest taxpayer, will have $214 billion left over.

It is making plans for that $214 billion. In its announcement on Wednesday, the company said it would be making “a new set of investments to build on its commitment to support the American economy and its workforce, concentrated in three areas where Apple has had the greatest impact on job creation: direct employment by Apple, spending and investment with Apple’s domestic suppliers and manufacturers, and fueling the fast-growing app economy that Apple created with iPhone® and the App Store®.”

It added:

Apple is already responsible for creating and supporting over 2 million jobs across the United States, and expects to generate even more jobs as a result of the initiatives being announced today.

The numbers are almost incomprehensibly large. Apple generates worldwide revenues of $230 billion, making profits of nearly $50 billion. It employs 124,000 people worldwide, 84,000 of them in the U.S. It has independent contractual arrangements with another 1.6 app designers, to whom it paid $5 billion last year. It operates 500 retail stores worldwide.

Apple’s biggest problem is that

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The Coming Avalanche of Repatriated Dollars

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 19, 2018: 

English: Historical GDP per capita for the Uni...

This is an old chart of US GDP. Get ready for the next leg up

On Thursday The New American speculated about the impact of Apple’s repatriation of its overseas profit hoard of some $250 billion and where Apple intends to invest some of it. It raised questions about the $2.5 trillion in profits that is still held overseas by American companies unwilling to subject those profits to the United States’ outrageously high income tax rates.

With Apple’s decision, and the repatriation tax rate of just 15.5 percent in the new tax law, some of those questions can be addressed.

First,

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Apple’s Repatriation of Its Profits: Talk About Stimulating the Economy!

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, January 19, 2018: 

After paying the world’s largest tax bill – $38 billion – Apple, Inc., the world’s largest company by market capitalization and now the government’s largest taxpayer, will have $214 billion left over.

It is making plans for that $214 billion. In its announcement on Wednesday, the company said it would be making “a new set of investments to build on its commitment to support the American economy and its workforce, concentrated in three areas where Apple has had the greatest impact on job creation: direct employment by Apple, spending and investment with Apple’s domestic suppliers and manufacturers, and fueling the fast-growing app economy that Apple created with iPhone® and the App Store®.”

It added:

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Apple to Repatriate Its Foreign Profits and Put Them to Work in America

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 18, 2018:  

Apple announced Wednesday that not only would it repatriate nearly all its foreign cash holdings under the new tax reform law, but it was going to put a lot of it to work right away. This puts the lie to anti-capitalists who predicted that such a plan would only further enrich the already rich.

Instead Apple is going to spread the repatriated funds around, announcing that it would not only be creating new jobs but would be building new facilities and expanding its financial commitment to the company’s “innovation” fund. It also is expanding its efforts to reach students in high school to teach them coding language (for free) so that many of them will be able to provide Apple with the coders and software developers it will need as it expands into the future.

In the process it will also pay the largest single tax bill in history:

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Credit Card Debt Hits $1 Trillion; Wall Street and Michael Snyder Yawn

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 10, 2018: 

Michael Snyder rivals only David Stockman in his pessimistic economic outlook, reflecting that outlook by naming his blog “The Economic Collapse.” On the first day of the New Year, Michael dug into his files for the most “crazy” numbers from 2017. He found 44, including these:

One out of every ten young adults in the United States has been homeless at some point over the past year;

 

The United States has lost more than 70,000 manufacturing facilities since China joined the WTO in 2001;

 

A total of 6,985 store locations were shut down last year, and we are expected to break the record again in 2018:

 

Only 25 percent of all Americans have more than $10,000 in savings right now; and

 

44 percent of all U.S. adults do not even have enough money “to cover an unexpected $400 expense,” according to the Federal Reserve.

What’s missing from Michael’s list? Credit card debt, student loan debt, and vehicle financing debt. Surely he was aware of these numbers, but for some reason didn’t include them in his list. For the first time in history, credit card debt last year hit $1 trillion, eclipsing the record set back in 2008 following the real estate collapse and the beginning of the Great Recession. Snyder didn’t mention the nearly $3 trillion in “non-revolving” debt (i.e., auto and student loans) either. Seeking Alpha called these numbers “scary” but Snyder ignored them.

A closer look behind the numbers reveals that these may not be such “scary” numbers after all. Perhaps that’s why Snyder ignored them, simply because, by his definition, they didn’t qualify as “crazy.” For one thing, fewer than 40 percent of all households carry any sort of credit card debt. Among millennials ages 18 to 29 only a third even have a credit card.

Next, the ratio of income to credit card debt at the end of 2017 (before the new tax cuts) was already declining with the ratio of credit card debt compared to the nation’s gross domestic economic output at about 5 percent, compared with 6.5 percent in 2008.

Also, credit card delinquencies remain way below the 9 percent historical average, at just 7.5 percent, and far below the rate of 15 percent touched following the 2008 financial crisis.

There’s another way to look at credit card debt: compare outstanding balances to incomes.ValuePenguin performed such a service, showing that households with annual incomes of between $25,000 and $100,000 have less than $7,000 in outstanding balances on their credit cards. Further, that analysis showed that the average has increased only slightly since 2013.

With almost two million more people working today than held jobs a year ago, and others enjoying wage and salary increases, that $1 trillion in credit card debt becomes far less “scary.” In a $20 trillion economy that is growing at three percent a year, $1 trillion in credit card debt may reflect that growth as banks are willing to issue more cards to more credit-worthy individuals and those individuals, having perhaps learned lessons from the Great Recession, are using them more prudently. That “trillion” dollar number may instead reflect a growing and increasingly healthy economy employing more people making more money who are using credit opportunities more wisely.

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Sources:

USATodayCredit card debt hits new record, raising warning sign

SeekingAlpha.comCredit card debt on watch

Michael Snyder: 44 Numbers From 2017 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

ValuePenguin.com:  Average Credit Card Debt in America: 2017 Facts & Figures

Credit Card Debt Hits $1 Trillion, Raising Alarms

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 9, 2018: 

For the first time in history credit card debt hit $1 trillion last year, reported the Federal Reserve on Monday. This eclipsed the previous record set almost 10 years ago, just before the housing and credit bubbles burst. In addition, “non-revolving” (i.e. auto and student loans) debt is approaching $3 trillion.

These numbers have put credit card debt on “watch” at Seeking Alpha, which said that that trillion dollar number is “scary.”

A closer look behind the numbers reveals that these may not be such “scary” numbers after all.

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What the Latest Jobs Reports Really Mean

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 8, 2018:

There were three jobs reports released last week: two from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (one based on its “household” survey, the other on its “establishment” survey), and one from ADP based upon its payroll data.

ADP’s numbers came in first on Thursday, showing job growth in December exceeding forecasters’ predictions at 250,000. This was followed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on Friday, showing 148,000 new jobs in December. They both said that the unemployment rate held steady at a record low 4.1 percent.

Mark Zandi, the establishment economist at Moody’s, was “disappointed” in Friday’s numbers from the BLS and thinks they’re going to get worse going into the New Year. First,

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Economist Mark Zandi Exposes His Statist Worldview

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 8, 2018:

Mark Zandi should be embarrassed. Not because he is an establishment economist. Not because he is a Keynesian. And not because he’s not a smart guy. He should be embarrassed that someone allowed him to publish nonsense about the state of the economy in order to promote his worldview.

He lives in a world that is behaving much differently than he expected or than he apparently wants. He wants the Trump tax reform law to fail. He must admit that the economy is working much better than he ever expected it to. But, in the end, he says that it’s all a mirage, temporary, that the resurgence measured by nearly every metric isn’t going to last.

He is establishment to the core, and perhaps that’s why he’s willing to go to the mat for a worldview that is being overturned and increasingly discredited: that statists can control things much better than an uncontrolled “free” economy can.

He admitted in an article for CNBC that things are going just swimmingly:

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Trump’s Interior Secretary Proposes Selling Offshore Drilling Leases Starting in 2019

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 5, 2018: 

English: Nancy Pelosi photo portrait as Speake...

One of the usual suspects

President Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was very careful in announcing his agency’s next step in expanding energy development to include the United States’ offshore reserves. He knew that environmentalists and far-left politicians would attack his plan and did what he could to placate them in advance. Said Zinke:

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Minimum Wage Increases in 2018 Putting People Out of Work

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 3, 2018: 

According to Mic, the left-wing internet and media company that caters to millennials, Seattle “is quickly becoming one of the most interesting cities in the country for political observers.” The city boasts having an avowed socialist on its city council and proved his influence through its $4.8 billion budget in 2014 that is “loaded with a number of initiatives that illustrate how Seattle is making strides toward becoming a testing ground for boldly progressive policies.”

That salute to Seattle’s progressivism was published in 2014, and little has changed in the city council’s ideology. It now boasts a minimum wage of $15.45 an hour, with predictable effects: total wages paid to lower-income people has gone down, not up. A study just released by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) explained:

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18 States Raise Minimum Wage in 2018

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 2, 2018: 

Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage

Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage

Through new legislation, successful ballot measures or inflation adjustments built in to previous statutes, some 4.5 million people should see increases in their paychecks in the New Year. Ten of those states — Maine, Vermont, Washington, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, California, Colorado, Arizona, and Hawaii — are seeing increases as the result of legislative or ballot measures. The other eight — Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota — will see so-called “automatic” increases in their minimum wage laws in 2018.

Most new minimum wage legislation is phased-in through gradual increases, declaring loudly the hypocritical claim that such increases won’t affect employment. It’s like feeding nightshade to a victim in such small doses that he doesn’t even notice — until he’s dead.

Take Washington State for example.

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Bah Humbug: The Left Is Unhappy with Year-end Bonuses Paid Following Tax Reform

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 27, 2017:  

Within hours of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) on December 20, major American companies began announcing year-end bonuses, salary increases, and plans to expand capital investment. This was an unexpected but pleasant surprise to many, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who tweeted: “It’s only been a few hours … and companies are already announcing new investments into the US economy & raises for their employees.”

Senator Tim Scott, Republican conservative from South Carolina, called its passage “a tremendous victory,” adding that it’s an “early Christmas present for the American people.”

Details of raises, bonuses, and capex expansion plans poured out of Comcast

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Opening ANWR to Energy Development May Be Too Late

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 20, 2017: 

Part of the motivation by Republicans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to energy development — off limits for nearly 40 years thanks to environmental extremists and the Obama administration — is to use lease fees to offset the deficits in the tax reform bill.

The numbers coming from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) are impressive. Leasing even a tiny part of the tiny part that “Section 1002” represents of the total ANWR acreage would produce $2.2 billion in revenues over the next 10 years, to be split evenly between Alaska and the federal government.

Alaska’s Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said in a speech on the floor of the Senate late Tuesday night that

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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.