Pt1 Austerity Not a Solution
Pt2 A Crisis in Business Confidence?
Pt3 If Stimulus Works, Why Is Unemployment So High?
Pt4 U.S. Economy a Train Wreck?
Pt5 "Creative Destruction" and Fascism
Jacqueline Greig was "..a 17 year veteran with the Public Utilities Commission and specifically the lead of the natural gas section of analysts who devoted their careers to the statutory mission of the DRA (Division of Ratepayer Advocates) of minimizing costs to ratepayers consistent with good safety and consumer protection. Greig spent the summer analyzing the PG&E's request for a $4.2 billion rate increase."
"In what I'd call very effective analysis, the DRA (especially Greig, as lead) pointed to so many unsubstantiated cost allegations, including inexplicable doubling of estimates after previously adjusting for wage inflation, that the DRA countered with a $1 billion over three years counter-proposal. That's a difference of $3.2 billion -- and gives PG&E approximately 3.2 billion reasons not to like Jacqueline Greig."
|Figure 1 Cross-plot of Copper versus Gold 2001-2010|
|Figure 2 Cross-plot of Silver versus Gold 2003-2008|
|Figure 3 Cross-plot of Silver versus Gold 2008-2010|
|Figure 4 Cross-plot of Silver versus Gold 2003-2010|
|Figure 5 Real & Synthetic Price of Silver 2003-2010|
|Figure 6 Real & Synthetic Gold/Silver Ratio 2003-2010|
. Longer sentences.
. The passage of laws that require minimum sentencing, without regard for circumstances.
. A large expansion of work by prisoners creating profits that motivate the incarceration of more people for longer periods of time.
. More punishment of prisoners, so as to lengthen their sentences.
|Consumer Price Index: Change from Previous Year|
1. The Labor Department reports that consumer prices are essentially flat. Compared to August 2009, prices are up 1.1 percent. That's only slightly lower than the 1.2 percent year-on-year rise in July. Excluding volatile food and energy, however, consumer prices in August were 0.9 percent higher than a year earlier. That's below the Fed's informal inflation target of between 1.5 percent and 2.0 percent.
2. In a separate report, the Labor Department said real average weekly earnings were unchanged in August from July, as both the average work week and hourly earnings were flat.
3. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan September reading of consumer confidence shows consumers more pessimistic in September than in August. In fact, consumer sentiment is the lowest since August 2009.
“The number of multifamily households increased by 11.6 percent from 2008 to 2010, and the proportion of adults 25-34 living with their parents rose from 12.7 percent in 2008 to 13.4 percent in 2010. The poverty rate for these young adults was 8.5 percent when they were considered part of their parents’ household, but would have been 43 percent if they had been living on their own.”This trend is currently increasing. Although it is terribly under-reported, foreclosure rates continue to rise. We just experienced the worst month of foreclosures in history; the generation just graduating from college is carrying record levels of student-loan debt, and they are being forced into much lower income levels than anticipated, if they can even find employment.
“As Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, along with economist Jean-Paul Fitoussi, write in their new book Mis-measuring Our Lives, ‘Income and consumption are crucial for assessing living standards, but in the end they can only be gauged in conjunction with information on wealth.’ This point is just as relevant to poverty measurement as it is to other measures of living standards.
To understand why this is the case, consider two families: one had an income that puts them a few thousand dollars below the poverty line, which was $22,050 for a family of four in 2009; the other has an income a few thousand dollars above the line. Looking only at income, the first family is worse off than the second.
Now add what the family owns and owes into the mix. Let’s say the first family has substantial net equity in its home and moderate liquid savings for a ‘rainy day,’ while the latter has no liquid savings or, as is becoming too common these days, has liabilities that dwarf their assets such as an ‘underwater’ mortgage. Using this more comprehensive method, the latter family, despite a modestly higher income, is actually the poorer one.”
Blogger: Emphasis mine.