Payroll Jobs Report

The 142,000 September payroll jobs reported today (2 Oct 2015) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is too small to be consistent with the still high stock averages or the alleged economic recovery. Moreover, the BLS says that it over-estimated the July and August payroll jobs by 59,000. The average workweek declined to 34.5 hours. The labor force participation rate fell further and is now the lowest in about 40 years. This is especially damning when we remember that in those long ago years many more households could exist as one-earner households.

The 5.1 percent reported unemployment rate is inconsistent with the collapse of the labor force participation rate and stands at 5.1 percent only because it includes not a single one of the millions of discouraged workers. The way BLS gets a low and comforting rate of unemployment is not to include most of the unemployed


Unemployed Man - Public DomainThe federal government uses very carefully manipulated numbers to cover up the crushing economic depression that is going on in this nation.  For the month of September, the federal government told us that 142,000 jobs were added to the economy.  If that was actually true, that would barely be enough to keep up with population growth.  Sadly, the truth is that the real numbers were actually far worse than that.  The unadjusted numbers show that the U.S. economy actually lost 248,000 jobs in September and the government added more than a million Americans to the “not in the labor force” category.  When I first saw that number I truly believed that it was inaccurate.  But you can find the raw figures right here.  According to the Obama administration, there are currently 7.9 million Americans that are “officially unemployed” and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are “not in the labor force”.  That gives us a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.

That is not an economic recovery – that is an economic depression of an almost unbelievable magnitude…

And yet the brain dead keep touting the reported 5.1% unemployment rate as an accomplishment of the Obama regime.

War Or Education?

Since the tragic events of 9/11, the budget of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has doubled while the budgets of other departments remain stagnant. Instead of paying Lockheed Martin over $1.5 billion to provide Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates with Patriot missiles, that money could have gone towards improving the failing education system in this country…

TPP Rises From The Dead

A dozen Pacific nations closed in on a sweeping free trade pact on Sunday in Atlanta after a breakthrough over how long a monopoly pharmaceutical companies should be given on new biotech drugs.

The issue has pitted the United States, which has argued for longer protections, against Australia and five other delegations who say such measures would strain national healthcare budgets and keep life-saving medicines from patients who cannot afford them.  

The terms of that compromise, hammered out after a third all-night round of negotiations between Australia and the United States, still had to find support from other nations such as Chile and Peru as of Sunday afternoon, people involved in the talks said.

The United States has 12 years of exclusivity for the clinical data used in developing drugs like cancer therapy Avastin, developed by Genentech, a division of Roche (ROG.VX) in order to encourage innovation. Australia insisted on five years of protection to bring down drug prices more quickly.

The two-track compromise would set a minimum threshold of five years during which drug makers would have exclusive rights to clinical data behind new drugs while adding an additional protection of several more years as applications for competing drugs are reviewed, people involved said.

Under a second track, pharmaceutical companies would have eight years of exclusive rights to a new product outright in some countries, they said.

It was still unclear how that set of standards would influence pricing for future drugs and whether it would go far enough to meet the demands of the pharmaceutical industry, which has pushed the United States delegation to draw a hard line on the issue.

TPP organizers pushed back plans for an afternoon news conference where ministers were expected to announce the trade deal…

Over 94 Million Americans Not In The Labor Force For The Second Month In A Row

The number of Americans not in the labor force exceeded 94 million for the second time in a row last month hitting a new record high, according to new government data released Friday morning…

Who Owns Your Presidential Candidate?

It’s a new era of American politics. With regard to campaign finance, the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling — and the arguably worse McCutcheon v. FEC ruling — opened the doors to unrestricted corporate funding of our national elections.

The primary mechanism in place facilitating this flood of private money is the super PAC. You’ve probably heard of super PACs and how they’ve essentially taken over the role traditionally filled by individual campaign donors in Political Action Committees (PACs). But super PACs aren’t the end of it. There are puppet political non-profits, business associations, and now, single-candidate “dark money” outfits that, as of September 21, have already raised $25.1 million — five times the amount spent by this time in the 2012 election cycle.

Small, private donors still exist, of course. Their campaign contributions are still capped at about $5,000 per individual, making them the tip of the iceberg in political campaign spending. Enter super PACs and single-candidate committees, who, because of the aforementioned SCOTUS rulings, have the ability to slither in between campaign finance laws and flood our elections with unlimited corporate money. The “dark money” 501(c) groups, sometimes known as “social welfare” organizations, are particularly insidious because, unlike super PACs, they are not required to disclose their donors to the public. Since they are legally viewed as a type of business, they don’t have to disclose disbursements until the IRS requires it. This means there is essentially a network of politically advantageous winks and nods, whereby candidates receive unlimited parallel spending from an interconnected syndicate of super PACs, non-profits, and business associations.

Of the 20 biggest spenders, only one is openly committed to a liberal viewpoint, which gives conservatives an advantage. That said, while Democrats have questioned the legality of “dark money” groups, they have not discounted the possibility of utilizing this tactic in addition to super PACs, which must legally disclose the source of their funds within a few weeks (though several groups have found loopholes allowing them to wait up to 7 weeks).

Needless to say, this is an election in which most of the candidates are seeking support from wealthy donors instead of the citizens they are supposed to be representing.

Despite the arguably undemocratic, obfuscating nature of our nation’s campaign finance laws and the blatant corporatist agenda mandated by the Supreme Court, let’s attempt to break down the major sources of political spending so far in the 2016 presidential election. You may be surprised to find out who is donating money to your candidate — and how that contribution may affect future policy positions…