Sucinctly: Don’t worry about labor force participation. It’s not coming back. The unemployment rate will continue to decline – but not because the economy is picking up, but because ever more people will drop out of the labor force. Magically, less employment will lead to less unemployment. When will people begin to re-enter the labor force and start looking for jobs? Probably around 2030. Maybe 2040.
Secrets Is Secret: The administration maintains that eavesdropping on everyone all the time is simply "in the public interest" and thus constitutional. Besides, it is a secret and because no one can know the secret, no one knows enough about the secret to challenge it in court. Not even in one of the ever-popular secret courts.
Wait, Wait: The EPA now says its report on the evils of fracking will not be released until 2016, by which time most of the sweet-spots will have been fracked.
Fine Print: Senator Warren, claiming it was obscene for the federal government to make $51 billion in profits from its student loan program, has offered a bill that would allow students to borrow money at the same rate banks do - currently about 0.75% - instead of 6.8%. In response a "bipartisan group of senators" (bipartisan here meaning they represent a wide variety of banks) has reached a compromise that would lower borrowing rates for 2015 and only 2015, after which the rates would climb to 8.5%, or maybe 9.5%. Well, 10.5% for sure.
Danger, Will Robinson: The number of people becoming realtors is surging; the lure of easy money. Ditto, buyers.
Forecast: Residential construction took an immense dive last months, why? The homebuilders' association claims it is just the native caution of the builders, not wanting to get too excited. Others blame the weather – too hot, too rainy, too Philadelphia... Or maybe it's the increase in interest rates that is dampening enthusiasm. But as long as the population keeps growing, sooner or later we're going to need more houses and construction will pick up. Despite the weather.
Politics As Usual: Pennsylvania earned over $1 billion in profit from the state lottery last year, so Republican Governor Tom Corbett plans
Competition: The Arizona Public Service Co. wants to charge customers who install rooftop solar panels $50 to $100 or more a month to cover the cost of maintaining the power grid. The charge is not for an interconnect that would let the customer sell power back to the company, but simply to
Day in the Park: As a public service, the state of Ohio has a deal with their electric utilities to shut off the air conditioning in the state's prisons when the temperature puts a severe draw on the electrical supply. Money, of course, changes hands.
Money For Nothin': In the last quarter, Microsoft made nearly $5 billion in profit, selling CDs and such - not bad for essentially nothing. Sure they had to pay the coders and such, but $5 billion a quarter in profits?
Quoted: "Under Obamacare, "a few people will be hurt — young, healthy individuals too affluent to qualify for subsidies, wealthy taxpayers, etc. — a much larger number of people will be helped, some of them enormously... Conservatives are right to be hysterical about [Obamacare]: it’s an attack on everything they believe — and it’s going to make poorer Americans’ lives better. What could be worse?"
Porn O'Graph: Working In America, The Collapse
The Parting Shot: