Category Archives: Economy

Watch President Obama Seems to Admit He Knows No Poor People & Blames Conservatives for Poverty

At the Poverty Summit at Georgetown University, President Obama seems to admit he knows no actual poor people, knows no one who has trouble paying their bills, but knows they got there because rich people took their money away.

Photo: Ustream
Photo: Ustream

 

Or he assumes no rich people like him do.

The Summit, which was moderated, by E.J. Dionne, the far left Washington Post columnist, also featured American Enterprise Institute economist Arthur Brooks who’s written several books on the subject of poverty, wealth and ethics. See his response to the President below.

In this illuminating discourse by President Obama in the first video, he appears to believe there’s never before been ‘segregation’ by class and poverty level–except for black people. He seems to believe this is a new thing in the last “40 years”, though it appears he forgets about Jewish and Irish ghettos in America’s past or even old timey songs about living “on the wrong side of town” or “on the wrong side of the tracks.” 

The President, ascribing the differences between the wealthy and poor to policies of the past “40 years”, also seems to forget that roughly corresponds to America beginning to wage a  ‘War on Poverty’ by LBJ. 

In fact, according to the Heritage Foundation there have more than $22 trillion dollars in income transfers spent to “solve” the problem of poverty since that war began. As Jesus told us in Mark 14:7 (and other places), “The poor will always be among you” so the likelihood of spending our way out of it is slim. 

After you watch the President blame conservatives and rich people for impoverishing people, and Fox News for demonizing them, then watch as Arthur Brooks, economist and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, gently puncture every one of the President’s talking points. 

Arthur Brooks explains how the President has a few things wrong. 

 

Pete the Banker: Greenspan Confirms Economy is ‘Not Strong’ ‘Like Later Stages of Depression’

‘It’s a smaller economy now…entitlements are crowding out savings and capital investment.’

greenspan

Former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan was on CNBC’s Closing Bell program today echoing some of the sentiments shared in my post here earlier today.

The way I measure it, it’s probably tantamount to what we saw in the later stages of the Great Depression,

 

The former Fed Chair declared the economy is in ‘not strong’ (read: horrible) shape. Demand for U.S. Treasuries is weakening. And the 4th quarter growth numbers are likely going to be downgraded when they’re released on Friday:

Everyone expects that the growth rate for the fourth quarter is going to be about 2 percent, which is a downward revision from the earlier version. And it may even be less than that.

He also looked at the productivity numbers — the main driver of a growing economy — and declared it weak.

Capital investment is key to productivity growth. That has slowed down quite dramatically and productivity has followed right along.

And then he said what many have known since the first time President Obama uttered the word stimulus:

‘It’s a smaller economy now…entitlements are crowding out savings and capital investment.’

Pete the Banker: Where’s Our Economic Recovery?

I guess I am just tired of hearing how good it is when most Americans and Oregonians have yet to experience an economic recovery.

Image Credit: Wall Street Journal
Image Credit: Wall Street Journal
 We are constantly besieged by news that the economy is in recovery, that economic growth is accelerating, that housing is finally emerging from a long slumber.  Politicians and the Rah- Rah -Rah trade association crowd continually proclaim that better times and utopia are just ahead.  Just be patient and trust us.  Jobs will pick up and everything will be fine.  Six years and still waiting!

Yet the economy has been plagued by slow growth the so called new normal.  Demand has been tepid and intermittent.  Jobs clip along at a rate of increase of 200,000 to 250,000 per month, when in recovery economists suggested just a few years ago that we needed at least 300,000 to 350,000 per month during recovery to get us to true full employment. 

The slow recovery has been blamed on a number of factors (Bush of course) with weather and jobs being the main culprits.  Like weather hasn’t been around since man emerged from the hunter-gatherer stage. And with jobs we are just fine with waiters and hotel clerks replacing higher paying executive and engineering jobs.  And the middle class, we just sort of rediscovered them after they finally decided the new normal was a good excuse for a new Senate.

Most troubling from my perspective is the housing industry.  The headlines continuously proclaim housing is in recovery.  Their main focus has been on housing prices which have been increased given the incessant Federal Reserves QE “infinity” programs and Federal initiatives like HAMP, HARP which have spent $billions to modify mortgages and prevent foreclosure.  But continuous rumors of recidivism hampering foreclosure prevention programs undermine Administration claims of success.

Yet the fundamentals of the industry are far from solid.  Sales of homes remain at 2009 -2010 levels.  Existing sales announced this last week were at 8 month lows.  Financing is nebulous. Applications have declined massively and purchase applications are dismal. Lack of financing is a primary concern with dependence on government sources dominant.  Underwriting standards are unrealistic and dictated by the CFPB, requiring credit ratings in the 700 – 750 range as a minimum.

More recently given the flailing real estate sales market, Fannie, Freddie, and the FHA have reverted to “sub-prime” financing in an effort to revive the failing residential capital markets. Sub-prime financing, this time exclusively at the hands of government controlled lending sources has returned.  Mortgage Financing provided is 95% of value and higher, with little regard for the risk of default. Worse, the Federal Government is on the verge of re-instituting European Accounting and Banking Standards (Basel Accords) which at best amplified the financial crisis in 2008.  These International Standards seem more an attempt to liquefy the international monetary system than provide security to the domestic real estate industry and mortgage financing system.

This has been to little avail.  Applications continue to fall and private lenders have little appetite for the risk involved in low interest rate, long term mortgages.  The Feds are no longer subsidizing mortgage market through quantitative easing and price increases are beginning to slow.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to sell portfolio loans.
 
This Administration, has not let the market correct.  Is frightened by the lack of demand in housing and the by lack of response of housing market/housing financing markets to government intervention.  As a result the Administration has thrown caution to the wind and through HUD and the FHFA returned to reliance on the very lending factors that caused the 2008 financial collapse, subprime lending.  Nor despite repeated assertions does the Administration have any intent of reforming the residential capital markets, inclusive of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
 
The Administration  talks a good game, but its actions are at best ineffectual.  Consumer demand and housing demand continue to suffer, the result of uncertainty created between the continual promises an emergent vibrant economy and actual muted results.

Pete the Banker is a Banker who wishes to remain anonymous after what happened to Joe the Plumber by the President and his shock troops in the 2008 election. He is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.

The Oregon Myth the New York Times Won’t Report

Nike’s Phil Knight said in 2010, with its recent moves, Oregon could be in an economic death spiral, and, if voters approved two anti business measures on the ballot at the time, would be committing economic assisted suicide. Knight easily could have been talking about any of the multitude of moves made by Oregon leaders over the past 30 – 40 years which put a kibosh on economic growth. 

Beyond the Oregon Myth. Produced by Third Century Solutions.
Beyond the Oregon Myth. Produced by Third Century Solutions.

Now some smart people I know have put together an entertaining video showing how Oregon’s leaders have ‘sold out’ some of their most vulnerable citizens. Enjoy it. And tell the New York Times, won’t you? 

Tom Del Beccaro: California’s present tells nation’s future. It ain’t pretty.

 “High debt, high taxes, high regulations & high poverty”

congress-created-dust-bowl-IMG_7403

You have heard it before: “As California goes, so goes the nation.”  If that is the case, the national economy will be harmed for decades to come because of California’s misplaced priorities today.  Indeed, by emphasizing high-speed rail over water and failing to deal with its debt crisis, California poses a long-term threat to our national economy and is on an economic collision course of increased immigration and lack of water.

Despite a much-heralded recovery in the media and by Governor Jerry Brown, California still has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.  Also, more than 30% of the nation’s welfare recipients are Californians – even though California has just 12% of the nation’s population.  It is not surprising, therefore, that California is ranked number one in poverty.

The cause for those bad statistics is bad government policy.  California is the most regulated, highest-taxed, most in-debt state in America.  

Beyond debt, Governor Brown recently signed a huge tax increase featuring a top rate of 13.3%.  Overall, California taxes are 42% higher than Texas. 

Read the rest of Tom’s piece at Forbes: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdelbeccaro/2014/08/19/calfiornias-economic-collision-course-immigration-and-water/

Pete the Banker: If Possible Oregon 48th Out of 50 State Economies

…And you thought it wasn’t possible to get worse. 
Oregon falls four places from the 23rd in 2010 to the 27th in 2011in a CNBC poll. (I guess better than falling from 23rd to 32nd in State Per Capita Personal Income over the preceding decade).  Washington not to be outdone by her southerly neighbor fell five places from 15th to 20th.

 
I definitely like the increase Oregon’s “Business Friendliness” ranking which increased from 28th to 23rd??? Washington is friendlier too, just ask Boeing??? 
 
The Oregon economy isn’t feeling much love (48th!!)  Washington’s economy ranking (32nd) fell only 14 places barely staying in the top two thirds of states, not falling 15 places like Oregon which is third from last. The good news; well Oregon is still ranked above S Carolina and Harry Reid’s Nevada???

Congratulations, Democrats, your worker’s paradise utopia is getting even closer!

Oregon 
Category Score 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 238 9 19
Workforce 147 33 33
Quality of Life 210 20 22
Infrastructure & Transportation 202 16 15
Economy 56 48 33
Education 89 37 38
Technology & Innovation 142 20 20
Business Friendliness 104 23 28   ???
Access to Capital 64 19 14
Cost of Living 13 38 37
OVERALL 1265 27


Washington
Category
Score 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 98 43 33
Workforce 165 26 30
Quality of Life 234 13 8
Infrastructure & Transportation 195 18 35
Economy 114 32 18
Education 131 14 22
Technology & Innovation 190 5 5
Business Friendliness 82 31 34 ???
Access to Capital 86 8 5
Cost of Living 14 37 35
OVERALL 1309 20 15
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pete the Banker: If Possible Oregon 48th Out of 50 State Economies

…And you thought it wasn’t possible to get worse. 
Oregon falls four places from the 23rd in 2010 to the 27th in 2011in a CNBC poll. (I guess better than falling from 23rd to 32nd in State Per Capita Personal Income over the preceding decade).  Washington not to be outdone by her southerly neighbor fell five places from 15th to 20th.

 
I definitely like the increase Oregon’s “Business Friendliness” ranking which increased from 28th to 23rd??? Washington is friendlier too, just ask Boeing??? 
 
The Oregon economy isn’t feeling much love (48th!!)  Washington’s economy ranking (32nd) fell only 14 places barely staying in the top two thirds of states, not falling 15 places like Oregon which is third from last. The good news; well Oregon is still ranked above S Carolina and Harry Reid’s Nevada???

Congratulations, Democrats, your worker’s paradise utopia is getting even closer!

Oregon 
Category Score 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 238 9 19
Workforce 147 33 33
Quality of Life 210 20 22
Infrastructure & Transportation 202 16 15
Economy 56 48 33
Education 89 37 38
Technology & Innovation 142 20 20
Business Friendliness 104 23 28   ???
Access to Capital 64 19 14
Cost of Living 13 38 37
OVERALL 1265 27


Washington
Category
Score 2011 Rank 2010 Rank
Cost of Doing Business 98 43 33
Workforce 165 26 30
Quality of Life 234 13 8
Infrastructure & Transportation 195 18 35
Economy 114 32 18
Education 131 14 22
Technology & Innovation 190 5 5
Business Friendliness 82 31 34 ???
Access to Capital 86 8 5
Cost of Living 14 37 35
OVERALL 1309 20 15
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Recession wipes out 9 years of job gains


Interesting article from the Seattle Times.

Interesting in that after hearing nothing but “doom and gloom” over the last 8 years, they now admit there actually were “job gains” under Bush?

But, what I find most intriguing is a sentence buried in the middle of the article.

“The nation now has the same number of jobs as in 2000 — but 12.5 million more workers.”

Isn’t that right about the estimated number of ILLEGAL immigrants in the country?

I’m sure more tax increases on the middle class with cure everything, right?

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, it’s all getting better, the stimulus is working!

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Recession wipes out 9 years of job gains


Interesting article from the Seattle Times.

Interesting in that after hearing nothing but “doom and gloom” over the last 8 years, they now admit there actually were “job gains” under Bush?

But, what I find most intriguing is a sentence buried in the middle of the article.

“The nation now has the same number of jobs as in 2000 — but 12.5 million more workers.”

Isn’t that right about the estimated number of ILLEGAL immigrants in the country?

I’m sure more tax increases on the middle class with cure everything, right?

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, it’s all getting better, the stimulus is working!

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Crisis Here, Crisis There. Oh Wait, Never Mind!


In his best Emily Litella imitation, I can envision Pres__ent Obama, after engaging in weeks of unprecedented fearmongering, telling the country the sky is falling and everything must be bailed out by the government, now saying “Never Mind.”

Obama Declares: Economic Crisis “Not as Bad as We Think”

So, was it really necessary to plunge the nation into the deepest debt it has ever seen? Did he not really do his homework before beginning the cries of woe? Did his handlers get to him and tell him to “cool it?”

Or, did the realization that others were finally standing up against his fearmongering cause him to rethink his strategy?

If he was wrong on the dire circumstances of the economy, what else is he wrong on?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Crisis Here, Crisis There. Oh Wait, Never Mind!


In his best Emily Litella imitation, I can envision Pres__ent Obama, after engaging in weeks of unprecedented fearmongering, telling the country the sky is falling and everything must be bailed out by the government, now saying “Never Mind.”

Obama Declares: Economic Crisis “Not as Bad as We Think”

So, was it really necessary to plunge the nation into the deepest debt it has ever seen? Did he not really do his homework before beginning the cries of woe? Did his handlers get to him and tell him to “cool it?”

Or, did the realization that others were finally standing up against his fearmongering cause him to rethink his strategy?

If he was wrong on the dire circumstances of the economy, what else is he wrong on?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com