This time of year is a favorite for children of all ages – I happen to be
one of these kids – in part because of the television programs that are
shown around Christmas.
A Charlie Brown Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph the Red
Nose Reindeer, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, have been favorites of
mine since TV went from exclusively black and white to poor quality color.
This is no coincidence as these programs were made in the mid 1960’s.
As I was watching this year, it occurred to me that if at this time in
history Christmas had not yet been established, if somehow Christmas needed
to be “started” in 2009, it wouldn’t stand a chance. Christmas would be
doomed before it ever got started.
First of all, the only time you can say Jesus Christ anymore is when you hit
your thumb with a hammer.
You can’t mention Him at City Hall, you can’t display a crè... (more)
Finally the other shoe drops. On the front page of Monday’s USA Today,
research done by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies
discovered “Homes that cost less hit the hardest.”
The article details the fact the lowest price homes in markets all across the
US have experienced price drops greater than homes which cost more. This is
no surprise and it is the natural consequence of artificial incentives
instilled into the housing market by the Community Reinvestment Act
originally signed by Jimmy Carter, and subsequently updated in the Gramm
Leach Bliley Act signed by ... (more)
Somewhere on the internet last week, mention was made that unemployment for
high income people was (essentially) non-existent, while extremely high for
low income earners. I was able to track down that data for the fourth quarter
of 2009. Here it is by income:
As you can clearly see the lower income levels are experiencing the greatest
difficulty finding jobs. Interestingly enough, this data is not making its
way into the mainstream. But even more interesting is the set of
“circumstances” that has caused this, or at least occurred in the same
approximate time frame.
Minimum Wage... (more)
In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal the following graphic appears. In it, the
IMF analyzes this period of “economic recovery” as compared to all other
U.S. economic recoveries since World War Two.
The dark green indicates the strongest recovery with the dark orange
indicating the weakest recovery. What the data shows for (this) the recovery
period from 2009-2011 is the strongest business and financial sector recovery
of any previous recession. Moreover fixed investment in equipment and
software is the strongest of any previous recession/recovery. The data
further shows the weakest e... (more)
Let’s make clear what is happening today, what relationship this bears to
the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. financial system, and how it
affects your plan for retirement.
There is some legitimacy to the concern over the debt rating reduction. For
as long as anyone can remember the United States of American has been the
gilt-edged standard of financial wherewithal and responsibility (70 years to
be exact). To be downgraded, though somewhat symbolic, is a shock to the
S&P’s concern is the amount of debt we now have; in excess of $14.5
trillion today, which is $ 4 ... (more)