Back up a bit.

Jobless claims increased by 24,000 to 329,000 in the week ended April 19, the most in a month, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, climbed to 316,750 from 312,000 the week before, the lowest since 2007.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 61,000 to 2.68 million in the week ended April 12, the fewest since December 2007.

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They run the show.

Via Down with Tyranny, which has the full interview.

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11 April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Learning that there is a Pigg River just leaves me hog-tied.

The Pigg River in Franklin County has gotten a clean bill of health by the health department as of Thursday night.

Last week, 30,000 gallons of cow manure spilled into the river from a holding lagoon near the intersection of Calico Rock Road and 6 Mile Post west of Rocky Mount.

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10 April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

From the site:

Elon James White talks with Fatima Goss Graves, VP of Education and Employment at the National Women’s Law Center, about the Wage gap and the breakdown of how the gap works for Women Of Color.

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10 April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Better news than usual.

Jobless claims decreased by 32,000 to 300,000 in the week ended April 5, the lowest since May 2007, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, fell to 316,250 — the lowest since the end of September — from 321,000 the week before.

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08 April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

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Writing at the Inky, James Howard Kunstler suggests that “globalism” is dead. I’ve not figured out my opinion on his thesis, but I think it’s worth a read. Here’s a snippet:

One part of our ever-evolving reality is that the global economy is in the process of cracking up. Globalism was not a permanent installation in the human condition. Rather, it was a set of transient economic relations brought about by special circumstances in a particular time of history – namely, 100 years of cheap energy and about 50 years of relative peace between the larger nations. That’s all it was. And now it’s dissolving because energy is increasingly non-cheap, and that is causing a lot of friction between nations utterly addicted to high flows of cheap oil and gas.

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03 April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

No significant change.

Jobless claims increased 16,000 in the period ended March 29 to a five-week high of 326,000, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. A revised 310,000 applications were filed in the previous week, the fewest since Sept. 7.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, was little changed at 319,500 from 319,250 the week before.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 22,000 to 2.84 million in the week ended March 22.

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26 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Cartoon explaining why hedge fund managers are worth billions, college football coaches are worth millions, working persons are worth thousands, and the unemployed are worthless.

Here’s a real life example.

Via Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog.

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22 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Aside:

When I watched this on YouTube, it was preceded by a painful, poorly-acted advertisement full of pro-Keystone XL Pipeline propaganda.

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20 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

At Asia Times, Daisy Sindelar offers six lesson that can be drawn from Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Here’s one, which also serves to explain the modus operandi of Fox News and the Wingnut World News Network; follow the link for the rest:

4. It’s Not Lying If They Believe It

Both Adolf Hitler and his propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels were avid proponents of the “Big Lie,” a falsehood so flagrant, and so consequential, that people choose to accept it rather than believe its teller capable of such underhandedness. Putin, whose KGB training and rumored plastic surgery have rendered his expression all but unreadable, has employed several Big Lies — and innumerable little ones — in his Crimea campaign:

      1) Russians are having their rights violated;
      2) He is upset by the idea of Russians having their rights violated;
      3) Power in Kyiv has been seized by fascists;
      4) The situation is so dire Ukrainians themselves are fleeing to Russia;
      5) No Russian troops entered Ukraine;
      6) “We are not considering [annexing Crimea].”

Even in instances where such claims were demonstrably false — as in Crimea, where Russian soldiers willingly identified themselves to journalists — there has been no tangible downside to the lie. Cracking down on the few remaining free news outlets in Russia has only made it easier to sell this alternate narrative at home.

And in related developments.

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20 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Still a slight positive trend.

Jobless claims increased by 5,000 to 320,000 in the week ended March 15, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average declined to 327,000 from 330,500 the week before.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits increased by 41,000 to 2.89 million in the week ended March 8 after reaching a three-month low the prior period.

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13 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

A little better.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level since the end of November, a sign of further improvement in the labor market.

Jobless claims dropped by 9,000 to 315,000 in the week ended March 8, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The jobless claims report showed the four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, fell to 330,500 last week from 336,750.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits decreased by 48,000 to 2.86 million in the week ended March 1, the lowest level since December.

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06 March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

A little better.

Jobless claims declined by 26,000 to 323,000 in the week ended March 1, the least since the end of November and fewer than any economist forecast in a Bloomberg survey, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits decreased by 8,000 to 2.91 million in the week ended Feb. 22, the fewest this year.

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Think Progress tries to understand the glibertarian tilt of the fans of bitcoin. A nugget:

. . . there’s a fair amount of privilege built directly into the currency: In order to buy the sometimes wildly expensive currency, Bitcoin users need to be wealthy. And they can afford to put their wealth into a currency that isn’t widely accepted or even recognized. Plus, they move easily through the financial and digital space — the process of “mining” bitcoins demands it; it is all about knowing coding and decryption and how to use an exchange. The sum total of these things — advanced knowledge of computer science, wealth — are also markings of the young, white male.

(snip)

Bitcoin users’ rejection of the government reflects the luxury of being able to live well without state support, while the less advantaged desperately need a larger government role in the banking system to help them them overcome deep, systemic bias.

Read the rest.

Via Zandar.

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27 February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Status quo ante.

Jobless claims increased by 14,000 to 348,000 in the week ended Feb. 22, exceeding all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey and the highest level in a month, from 334,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. A Labor Department spokesman said no states were estimated and there was nothing unusual in the data.

(snip)

Today’s Labor Department data showed the four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, was unchanged at 338,250.

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20 February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

For all practical purposes, no change.

Jobless claims declined by 3,000 to 336,000 in the week ended Feb. 15, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

Today’s data showed the four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, increased to 338,500 from 336,750 the week before. The average for the comparable survey week in January was 332,250.

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19 February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Republican homilies about how the poor are poor because they deserve to be, accompanied by the poor working themselves to death in meaningless, dead-end, low-pay jobs.

Via Escape from Whitemanistan.

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In a long and closely reasoned article, McGill University’s Reuven Brenner sees one possible redeeming aspect to BitCoins.

More important perhaps, Bitcoin’s mere existence may draw attention to the fact that its birth is due to the utter mismanagement of monetary and fiscal and regulatory affairs around the world, and thus may speed up the search for lasting solutions and re-establishing trust.

Follow the link for the full discussion. Summary cannot do it justice, especially as no one really understands how bitcoins work. Nevertheless, like any other fiat currency, bitcoins have value because (some) persons believe bitcoins have value.

________________

*With apologies to The Shadow.

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13 February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Once more, for all practical purposes, status quo ante.

Jobless claims increased by 8,000 to 339,000 in the week ended Feb. 8 from 331,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The Labor Department’s report showed the four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, increased to 336,750 from 333,250 the week before.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits decreased by 18,000 to 2.95 million in the week ended Feb. 1.

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