Sunday, August 17, 2014

It's Different This Time: Humans Need Not Apply

Sure. You can make $15 an hour at McDonald's, at least in Seattle. You just have to perform better than this machine.

Read more at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/08/its-different-this-time-humans-need-not.html#ddxc55qyZLzEz66P.99

Monday, August 11, 2014

The De-Industrialization of America (Paul Craig Roberts)


Although you would never know it from the reports from the US financial press, the poor job prospects that Americans face now rival those of India 30 years ago. American university graduates are employed, if they are employed, not as software engineers and managers but as waitresses and bartenders. They do not make enough to have an independent existence and live at home with their parents. Half of those with student loans cannot service them. Eighteen percent are either in collection or behind in their payments. Another 34% have student loans in deferment or forbearance. Clearly, education was not the answer.

John Williams of Shadowstats.com calculates the true US unemployment rate to be 23.2%, a number consistent with the collapse of the US labor force participation rate.

Why?

The article is here: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/08/11/de-industrialization-america/

Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Narcissist CEO: The Light Is Not Worth The Candle


Larry Ellison towered again among the top ranks of the highest-paid CEOs in 2013 with total compensation of $78 million. He is in plentiful company. Sixty-five chief executives took home annual pay of more than $20 million last year. What prompts boards of directors to grant such astounding sums? And why would individuals, who by any objective measure have all their needs satisfied, seek such exaggerated amounts?

New research by Stanford management professor Charles A. O’Reilly shows that it is the persuasive personality and aggressive “me first” attitude embodied by narcissistic CEOs that helps them land bloated pay packages. Specifically, narcissistic CEOs are paid more than their non-narcissistic (and merely self-confident) peers. There is also a larger gap between narcissists’ compensation and that of their top management teams than is found with CEOs who do not display the trait. The longer the narcissists have held the top post, the bigger the differential, according to the study published in The Leadership Quarterly earlier this year.

Narcissism is a personality type characterized by dominance, self-confidence, a sense of entitlement, grandiosity, and low empathy. Narcissists naturally emerge as leaders because they embody prototypical leadership qualities such as energy, self-assuredness, and charisma.

“They don’t really care what other people think, and depending on the nature of the narcissist, they are impulsive and manipulative,” says O’Reilly, whose research examines grandiose narcissism, a form associated with high extraversion and low agreeableness.

Well, dear reader, cast your mind over all people that you know, both on and off the Internet---and see if you can think of anyone with these personality traits---or worse. I certainly can---and I'm sure you can too.

The article is here: http://qz.com/238854/why-narcissistic-ceos-get-paid-more-even-though-they-dont-perform-better/

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Average US Household Wealth Down 36% Since 2003

Via Zero Hedge

Does it feel like you're poorer? There is a simple reason why - you are! According to a new study by the Russell Sage Foundation, the inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36% decline... Welcome to America's Lost Decade.

Simply put, the NY Times notes, it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.

The reasons for these declines are complex and controversial, but one point seems clear: When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss.


(See link below for chart here.)


As Russell Sage Foundation concludes, through at least 2013, there are very few signs of significant recovery from the loss of wealth experienced by American families during the Great Recession. Declines in net worth from 2007 to 2009 were large, and the declines continued through 2013. These wealth losses, however, were not distributed equally. While large absolute amounts of wealth were destroyed at the top of the wealth distribution, households at the bottom of the wealth distribution lost the largest share of their total wealth. As a result, wealth inequality increased significantly from 2003 through 2013; by some metrics inequality roughly doubled.

The American economy has experienced rising income and wealth inequality for several decades, and there is little evidence that these trends are likely to reverse in the near-term.

It is possible that the very slow recovery from the Great Recession will continue to generate increased wealth inequality in the coming years as those hardest hit may still be drawing down the assets they have left to cover current consumption.
The inequality-battler-in-chief remains unaware of the greatest irony of this surging rich-getting-richer as poor-get-poorer society:


Inequality in the U.S. today is near its historical highs, largely because the Federal Reserve’s policies have succeeded in achieving their aim: namely, higher asset prices (especially the prices of stocks, bonds and high-end real estate), which are generally owned by taxpayers in the upper-income brackets. The Fed is doing all the work, because the President’s policies are growth-suppressive. In the absence of the Fed’s moneyprinting and ZIRP, the economy would either be softer or actually in a new recession.

The greatest irony is that the President is railing against inequality as one of the most important problems of the day, despite the fact that his policies are squeezing the middle class and causing the Fed – with the President’s encouragement – to engage in the radical monetary policy, which is exacerbating inequality. This simple truth cannot be repeated often enough.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-26/americas-lost-decade-typical-household-wealth-has-plunged-36-2003

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How The Fastest Growing Union Tried To Abuse The Little Guy, And Lost

"The Service Employees International Union likes to present itself as the champion of the little guy. But officials of SEIU Healthcare — “the fastest-growing union of health care, child care, home care and nursing home workers in the Midwest” — aren’t averse to a little high living.

For example, in fiscal 2013, officials of SEIU’s Illinois-Indiana health care division chalked up more than $1.1 million in travel expenses — $13,000 of it on hotel expenses rung up at President Obama’s second inaugural in Washington, D.C.

The union designated all that travel as “representation activity.” Also claimed as a “representation” expense: a $6,000 liquor-store tab for “beverages for a Christmas party.”

Article is here: http://dailysignal.com/2014/07/19/forced-unionization-contradicts-first-amendment/

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The June, 2014 Unemployent Number - They Have No Shame


While the financial press was fawning over the 287,000 jobs the government claimed were created in June, they over looked one interesting nugget in the jobs report, to-wit, the rise in the number of people who worked part-time.

While it’s a number that admitted moves wildly from month to month, it jumped by 799,000 last month, which was the largest one-month gain since January 1994. At the same time, there was a 523,000-person drop in full-time workers, the first decline since October.

This was the good news heralded by government and its PR agency, the mainstream press.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Obama's NLRB Recess Appointments Shot Down By High Court


Today, by a vote of 9-0, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down President Obama's unconstitutional overreach in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. "In our view," declared the majority opinion of Justice Stephen Breyer, "the pro forma sessions count as sessions, not as periods of recess." Therefore, "We hold that, for purposes of the Recess Appointments Clause, the Senate is in session when it says it is." This ruling represents a resounding and well-deserved defeat for the Obama administration, which failed to garner even a single vote for its expansive theory of executive power.

More can be found here: http://reason.com/blog/2014/06/26/supreme-court-strikes-down-obamas-uncons