Maintaining a positive trend:

Applications for U.S. jobless benefits remained below 300,000 for the 12th straight week, signaling the labor market remains firm even as the economy has been slow to rebound from a first-quarter slump.

Jobless claims increased by 7,000 to 282,000 in the week ended May 23, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, climbed to 271,500 from a 15-year low of 266,500 the prior week.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits increased by 11,000 to 2.22 million in the week ended May 16. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits rose to 1.7 percent from 1.6 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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21 May 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Somewhat better.

The average number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits over the past four weeks dropped to a 15-year low, a sign the labor market continues to strengthen.

The four-week average for jobless claims decreased to 266,250 in the period ended May 16 from 271,750, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits decreased by 12,000 to 2.21 million in the week ended May 9, the lowest level since November 2000.

Republican efforts to counter this trend are, no doubt, continuing.

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20 May 2015 · Comments Off on Brackets · Categories: Political Economy

Dick Polman offers his suggestion for managing the Republican “debates”: Brackets. He says, “Under my system, only a manageable handful will make it to debate night.”

Here’s his list of proposed brackets; follow the link to see who he thinks should be in each one.

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14 May 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still somewhat positive.

Jobless claims decreased by 1,000 to 264,000 in the seven days ended May 9, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 53 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected 273,000. The four-week average, a less-volatile measure, was the lowest since April 2000.

(snip)

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits held at 2.23 in the week ended May 2.In that same period, the unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.7 percent, where it’s been since mid-March, the report showed.

Aside:

It is almost certain that the Republican Party is looking for a way to reverse this trend.

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09 May 2015 · Comments Off on The “Me” Generation · Categories: Political Economy

It’s not who you think they are.

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07 May 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still trending positively.

Jobless claims increased by 3,000 to 265,000 in the week ended May 2, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected 278,000. The four-week average, a less-volatile measure, fell to 279,500, the least since May 2000.

(snip)

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 28,000 to 2.23 million in the week ended April 25, the fewest since November 2000.

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Read what happens when someone takes the Laffer Curve seriously.

It’s not pretty.

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27 April 2015 · Comments Off on Trickle On Economics · Categories: Political Economy

Waitress looking at series of tips:   big tip (she smiles); small tip: she looks disappointed; No tip (she frowns); GOP legislators' tip (reducing the minimum wage--legislator turns her upside down and shakes money out of her pockets).

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23 April 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

For all practical purposes, status quo ante.

Jobless claims increased by 1,000 to 295,000 in the week ended April 18, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, climbed to 284,500 from 282,750 in the prior week. The comparable reading for the March payroll survey week was 305,250, signaling employment could have picked up.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 50,000 to 2.33 million in the week ended April 11. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.7 percent, where it’s been since mid-March. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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20 April 2015 · Comments Off on The Snaring Economy · Categories: Geek Stuff, Political Economy

Seems Uber may be the ride for the discriminating.

Uber Technologies Inc must defend against a lawsuit accusing the popular ride-sharing service of discriminating against blind people by refusing to transport guide dogs, a federal judge ruled.

In a decision late Friday night, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins in San Jose, California, said the plaintiffs could pursue a claim that Uber was a “travel service” subject to potential liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The judge also rejected Uber’s arguments that the plaintiffs, including the National Federation of the Blind of California, lacked standing to sue under the ADA and state laws protecting the disabled.

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17 April 2015 · Comments Off on Right To Freeload · Categories: Mammon, Political Economy

Man explaining

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16 April 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still not too bad.

While a Labor Department report in Washington Thursday showed jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 294,000 in the week ended April 11, readings this low are typically consistent with an improving job market.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, was little changed at 282,750 compared with an almost 15-year low of 282,500 in the prior week.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 40,000 to 2.27 million in the week ended April 4, the fewest since December 2000. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.7 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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12 April 2015 · Comments Off on ‘Tis the Season · Categories: Political Economy

Man:  My tax refund!  Free money!  Obviousman:  No, it's not.  It means you gave the government an interest free loan and are now just getting repaid.


Click for a larger image.

The VP-Finance of my one of my employers believed that, if you qualified for an income tax refund of no more than $50.00, you had managed your tax liability effectively in the previous year.

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09 April 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Somewhat better.

From mid-March through the seven days ended April 4, jobless claims averaged 282,250 a week, the lowest since June 2000, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. Applications over the latest week climbed by 14,000 to 281,000. The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 283,000.

(snip)

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits declined by 23,000 to 2.3 million in the week ended March 28, the fewest since December 2000. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.7 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

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02 April 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Better.

Jobless claims dropped by 20,000 to 268,000 in the week ended March 28, the lowest since the period ended Jan. 24 and second-lowest in at least a year, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week moving average for jobless claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly numbers, decreased to 285,500 last week, from 300,250, the Labor Department’s report showed.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 88,000 to 2.33 million in the week ended March 21. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits fell to 1.7 percent from 1.8 percent. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

Also, in something that cannot be called news because it’s olds, Bloomberg still needs new “experts.”

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01 April 2015 · Comments Off on Chris-Crossing the Privatization Scam · Categories: Political Economy

Chris Christie plays the privatization lottery . . . and loses.

When Chris Christie privatized New Jersey’s lottery two years ago, he said its new overseers would “modernize and maximize” the games.

Instead, a lottery once ranked among the nation’s top performers is now lagging for the second straight year, trailing its state income targets by $64 million seven months into the current fiscal year. Meanwhile, the company running it has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire lobbyists and a public relations firm with close ties to the governor.

I am no fan of lotteries as a means to raise public funds. They are a scam used by cowardly politicians to prey on the poor so as to avoid honest taxes.

This, I reckon, is a case of scammers out-scammed.

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26 March 2015 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Somewhat better.

Jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 282,000 in the seven days ended March 21, the lowest level since mid-February, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly numbers, declined to 297,000 last week, from 304,750. . . .

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 6,000 to 2.42 million in the week ended March 14. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.8 percent, where it’s been all year. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

The Republican Party has not yet revealed its plans for reversing this trend. Oh, I forgot.

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24 March 2015 · Comments Off on Pretzel Logic · Categories: Political Economy

One thing about growing up in the Jim Crow South was this: Racists, along with their sympathizers and apologists, did not have to twist themselves into pretzels to pretend that they weren’t being racist. They just admitted it.

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23 March 2015 · Comments Off on Theft of Labor–It’s a Thing · Categories: Political Economy

“Right to work” laws are not about the right to work. They are about the right to underpay for work. They are a fraud and a scam, dressed up in a three-piece suit.

If the Republican Party could have its way, it would bring back the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, because only regulations can prevent more Triangle Shirtwaist Factories from happening and, in Republican World, regulations are scarey and bad and impinge on the fee hand of the market.

After all, those Triangle Shirtwaist Factory ladies had the right to work. They were at work when they died, weren’t they?*

Martin Luther King, Jr. accurately captured the impact of right-to-work laws in undermining economic justice and genuine democracy back in 1961: “Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer, and there are no civil rights.”

While “right-to-work” advocates among business elites claim to be generously protecting the individual freedom of workers to avoid paying union dues, this display of concern is simply “a fraud,” King declared. “Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone.”

Recent data bear out King’s conclusions. The Congressional Research Service concluded in a December, 2012, report that states like Wisconsin, which permitting (sic) “fair-share” or “union-security” provisions showed sharply higher median wages: $50,867 compared with $43,641 in right-to-work states, a 16.5% differential amounting to $7,226 per year. Workers in “right-to-work” states are much less likely to have healthcare and pension benefits as well.

Follow the link. Read the rest.

_______________

*Yeah. I’m in a mood. But it’s a legitimate mood.

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19 March 2015 · Comments Off on Food Chains · Categories: Political Economy

Kimberly Garrison of The Philadelphia Daily News looks into the agricultural industry and is distressed by what she sees.

The new exploited group are the Mexican migrant workers who are paid, if we want to call it pay, a measly $40 per day for a sunup to sundown job. As difficult and physically demanding as I know this work is, they should probably be earning more like $40 an hour. Though, that’s not likely to ever happen.

But, at the bare minimum, shouldn’t the people who harvest our food earn enough to be able to afford to buy it? Whatever happened to fair pay for honest work?

I bet most Americans couldn’t last an hour, let alone an entire day, picking. I’m not even going to front like I could do it; I could barely survive the hayride and the fun farm day picking apples at the orchard. Yeah, right, live healthy and happily on a measly $10,000 a year. Honey, please.

When I was in college, I worked for three summers with a project providing basic health care to migrant workers, many of whom had been kidnapped or entrapped into joining a migrant crew. In their world, the company store was still a very real thing, used to keep them in servitude and penury.

It looks as if not much has changed.

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