Soft Creamy Filling: US wages rose by 0.2% in the last quarter, giving a 2% y/y increase. This is the weakest wage growth since records began in 1982 and lower than all estimates by the inflation fighters at the Fed. Couple no wage growth with the crappy sort of jobs the recovery is providing (adding 1.4 million waiters and barkeeps while losing the same number of good-paying manufacturing jobs) while headline unemployment reaches 5.3% as the employment participation rate sets another new low.
Caving Inn: Naturally, with fewer workers making less real income, home ownership continues to drop, now reaching a 48 year low, while the median monthly rent reaches a record $803. New home sales are at about one-third of 2005's level.
Growth Sputter: As measured by GDP growth, the US economy hasn't grown much in the last decade – the first decade since WWII with not a single year with a 3% or higher GDP increase. “This has been a uniquely slow period of growth that's delivered very little for low- and middle-income households.''
The Sky May Fall, The Sky May Fall! Given the poor economy, terrible housing industry, absent wage pressure and decided lack of enthusiasm for borrowing money by the real economy outside of Wall Street, why should money cost more this fall? The only plausible explanation is that the bright guys at the Fed are scared that all the QE money printing is going to suddenly turn in to rampant inflation. It is not, but failing to learn from experience seems to be an essential requirement to be a central banker (“We are in good shape...”). So they'll start hiking rates – at least 0.25% this fall, just in time for the next rung down in our descent into a deflationary depression.
The Other 1%: “The job of finance is to provide capital to companies. We do it to the tune of $250 billion a year in IPOs and secondary offerings,” Vanguard's Jack Bogle explains. . “What else do we do? We encourage investors to trade about $32 trillion a year. So the way I calculate it, 99% of what we do in this industry is people trading with one another, with a gain only to the middleman. It’s a waste of resources.” That $32 trillion is about twice the entire US economy, constantly from pocket to pocket with Wall Street extracting a toll for every transfer and, in then end, ending up with most of it. And yet they're the ones who get the bailouts – as a reward for their reckless and wasteful gambling.
War On Women: Mike Huckabee says that as president he would use federal troops to stop women from having abortions. Constitution? What Constitution. Rights don't matter when votes are at stake.
Ah, That Explains It: Research suggests we are more creative when we are being sarcastic. I thought it was a substitute for hitting something. Or someone.
Reading, Writing & Robbery: Nevada has a new school voucher plan that is, like all the other voucher plans in all the other states, designed to bankrupt public schools and convert education into propaganda sessions. Nevada is a one-party, all Republican state; there are 24 of them ripe for the picking. Starting next school year, any parent in Nevada can pull a child from the state’s public schools and take tax dollars - $5,100 to $5,700 per student - with them. The money can be spent on private schools, parochial schools, or best of all, home schooling. The bill was shaped by Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education.
Priorities: The cop cars in Jefferson County, IL now have “In God We Trust” painted on them. Well, you sure can't trust the cops.
Porn O'Graph: Sharing the wealth, not.