Posts tagged ‘economy’

July 7, 2017

Trump’s America is fraught with bankruptcies!

by Ben Hoffman

Bankruptcies continue to pile up in the retail industry.

More than 300 retailers have filed for bankruptcy so far this year, according to data from BankruptcyData.com. That’s up 31% from the same time last year. Most of those filings were for small companies — the proverbial Mom & Pop store with a single location. But there are also plenty of household names on the list.

Most of these stores are suffering from the same thing: A shift away from traditional storefronts to online shopping.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/13/news/companies/retail-bankruptcies/index.html

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November 5, 2014

The difference between Democrats and Republicans

by Ben Hoffman

Republicans-vs-Democrats

Some people claim both parties are exactly the same. Those people are idiots. Here are the basic differences between Democrats and Republicans.

  • Democrats have good policies but are weak leaders.
  • Republicans are strong leaders but their policies are catastrophic and fail miserably each and every time.
  • Overly emotional people tend to vote Republican because that party makes them feel safe.
  • Analytical people vote Democratic.
October 27, 2014

Paul Krugman: Republicans destroyed our economy and continue to hold it back

by Ben Hoffman

gop_recessionMore than five years after the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, a whopping 72 percent of Americans think the economy is still mired in a recession. And while they’re technically wrong, it’s not hard to see why they have that idea. Despite 56 consecutive months of private sector job growth, the labor force participation rate is at its lowest level since 1978. While the top 1 percent has bounced back just fine, middle-class wages remain stagnant. Can you blame the country for not breaking into “Happy Days Are Here Again”?

In his New York Times column this morning, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman spells out what’s wrong with our economy and with our country in general. It’s “the destructive ideology that has taken over the Republican Party.”

Read more…

Now, let’s be fair… The GOP has a long history of destructive economic policies. They caused the Enron scandal, the S&L scandal, and most other economic scandals. But while they have always been extreme, they have gone full-blown fascism. Anyone who doesn’t agree with the Republican party “should be jailed or killed.” And that’s just plain un-American and pro-Nazi Germany.

October 24, 2014

Anti-veteran president Obama starts job training program for veterans

by Ben Hoffman

710284-solar-power-install-thinkstockPresident Barack Obama, once again showing his hatred for veterans, started a solar energy job training program that may lead to jobs for thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. As a result, those patriots will be forced to spend some eight hours a day, working in some office at a computer or perhaps in a factory. It just shows how much Obama hates our military veterans.

Solar energy is shattering records in the United States. Since President Obama took office, installed solar power has increased 13-fold, topping nearly 16 gigawatts today – enough to power the equivalent of 3.2 million average American homes. As solar energy continues to grow, it is becoming a major source of high-paying American jobs – employing nearly 143,000 full-time professionals last year.
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Despicable.

October 22, 2014

Defense spending has more than tripled since 1998

by Ben Hoffman

Defense-Spending
During the 2000s, we had an economy based almost entirely on massive defense spending, which put our country deep in debt. And what exactly do we have to show for it, other than 1000s of graves and 10s of thousands of wounded veterans? The war in Iraq created ISIS/ISIL, and fighting them is costing billions more.

Republicans voted to increase defense spending despite the Pentagon advocating for spending cuts. Republicans receive a lot of donations from the military industrial complex, which explains it. Their policies are driven almost entirely by who will fill their coffers.

Democrats receive a lot of money from the MIC, also, but they’re not nearly as corrupt and don’t tailor their policies to big money donors.

October 22, 2014

Obama causes gas prices to drop to well below $3.00 a gallon in many states

by Ben Hoffman

Obama causes drop in gas prices

Obama causes drop in gas prices


http://video.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365349729
Gas was under $1.00 a gallon during the Clinton administration (along with budget surpluses and low unemployment). Under George W. Bush, gas prices soared to over $4.00 a gallon. It wasn’t until our economy was heading over a cliff at the end of 2008 that gas prices went down to about $1.59 a gallon. Just a few months before that in June of 2008, gas was over $4.00 a gallon.

Obama’s policies are working. He is only able to do so much, considering Republicans flat-out refuse to work with him on anything, but things are getting better. The worst thing possible for out country would be for Republicans to gain any more power. For too many people, it’s party first.

April 28, 2011

The Republican War on Science

by Ben Hoffman

There is overwhelming scientific consensus that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity are causing global average temperatures to rise. Conservative think tanks are trying to undermine this conclusion with a disinformation campaign employing “reports” designed to look like a counterbalance to peer-reviewed studies, skeptic propaganda masquerading as journalism, and events like the AEI luncheon that Crichton addressed. The think tanks provide both intellectual cover for those who reject what the best science currently tells us, and ammunition for conservative policymakers like Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, who calls global warming “a hoax.”

This concerted effort reflects the shared convictions of free-market, and thus antiregulatory, conservatives. But there’s another factor at play. In addition to being supported by like-minded individuals and ideologically sympathetic foundations, these groups are funded by ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company. Mother Jones has tallied some 40 ExxonMobil-funded organizations that either have sought to undermine mainstream scientific findings on global climate change or have maintained affiliations with a small group of “skeptic” scientists who continue to do so. Beyond think tanks, the count also includes quasi-journalistic outlets like Tech CentralStation.com (a website providing “news, analysis, research, and commentary” that received $95,000 from ExxonMobil in 2003), a FoxNews.com columnist, and even religious and civil rights groups. In total, these organizations received more than $8 million between 2000 and 2003 (the last year for which records are available; all figures below are for that range unless otherwise noted). ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Lee Raymond serves as vice chairman of the board of trustees for the AEI, which received $960,000 in funding from ExxonMobil. The AEI-Brookings Institution Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, which officially hosted Crichton, received another $55,000. When asked about the event, the center’s executive director, Robert Hahn—who’s a fellow with the AEI—defended it, saying, “Climate science is a field in which reasonable experts can disagree.” (By contrast, on the day of the event, the Brookings Institution posted a scathing critique of Crichton’s book.)

During the question-and-answer period following his speech, Crichton drew an analogy between believers in global warming and Nazi eugenicists. “Auschwitz exists because of politicized science,” Crichton asserted, to gasps from some in the crowd. There was no acknowledgment that the AEI event was part of an attempt to do just that: politicize science. The audience at hand was certainly full of partisans. Listening attentively was Myron Ebell, a man recently censured by the British House of Commons for “unfounded and insulting criticism of Sir David King, the Government’s Chief Scientist.” Ebell is the global warming and international policy director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which has received a whopping $1,380,000 from ExxonMobil. Sitting in the back of the room was Christopher Horner, the silver-haired counsel to the Cooler Heads Coalition who’s also a CEI senior fellow. Present also was Paul Driessen, a senior fellow with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow ($252,000) and the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise ($40,000 in 2003). Saying he’s “heartened that ExxonMobil and a couple of other groups have stood up and said, ‘this is not science,’” Driessen, who is white, has made it his mission to portray Kyoto-style emissions regulations as an attack on people of color—his recent book is entitled Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death (see “Black Gold?”). Driessen has also written about the role that think tanks can play in helping corporations achieve their objectives. Such outlets “can provide research, present credible independent voices on a host of issues, indirectly influence opinion and political leaders, and promote responsible social and economic agendas,” he advised companies in a 2001 essay published in Capital PR News. “They have extensive networks among scholars, academics, scientists, journalists, community leaders and politicians…. You will be amazed at how much they do with so little.”

Read more…

May 7, 2010

U.S. Economy Adds 290,000 Jobs In April

by Ben Hoffman

The economy is recovering, thanks in part to the stimulus bill passed last February. Here’s a graph of the change in number of jobs during the past two years:

The stimulus was passed in February of 2009. By April, the rate of job loss had slowed dramatically and now we’re seeing good positive growth. Coincidence? Maybe. But it certainly didn’t hurt.

Read more…

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April 2, 2010

U.S. Economy Added 162,000 Jobs in March, Most in 3 Years

by Ben Hoffman

The American economy added 162,000 jobs in March, offering some hope that the labor market, after shedding millions of jobs during the recession, had reached a turning point.

But economists sounded a cautious note, pointing out that a sizable portion of the growth came from the government’s hiring of 48,000 census workers. There were clear signs, however, that the private sector was slowly gaining strength: over all, it added 123,000 jobs last month.

Recent strength has come from sectors like health care, which added another 27,000 jobs in March. In addition, employers added 40,000 temporary jobs, raising hopes that they might soon begin hiring permanently.

Manufacturing, which has been a rare bright spot, added 17,000 jobs in March, continuing an upward trend fueled by a surge in orders and production.

Source

Government hiring and the stimulus packages have created jobs, but the government needs to do more to bring jobs back to the U.S. The “buy American” provision of the stimulus was defeated by both Democrats and Republicans who are in the pockets of big business, and a lot of our tax dollars went to overseas manufacturing. We need to stop these anti-American activities.

Every other country that had a stimulus program had protectionist provisions in them. It’s time we did what’s right for America. It’s time for stronger tariffs and penalties for companies that ship jobs to China and other places where workers are paid slave wages.

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February 22, 2010

Whining About Being Unemployed

by Ben Hoffman

An article in the Denver Post this morning — Minority leaders call for response to racial disparity in unemployment rate — got me thinking about the times I’ve been unemployed. I don’t think there was ever a time when I wasn’t working. There were just times when I wasn’t getting paid for the work I was doing.

Times of unemployment are opportunities to learn new skills or improve on existing ones. When the economy is in a slump, those are good times to go back to school. While college is expensive, there are grants and scholarships that can help pay tuition. And a college degree is an investment will almost always yield positive returns.

I was talking to an unemployed young man a few days ago who asked me if I had any work that he could do. He complained that there were no jobs out there. I am looking for help, but as an owner of a small business, I can’t just hire people for the hell of it. I needed highly skilled people and he didn’t have any marketable skills. So I just wished him luck. Luck is the only thing that is going to get an unskilled person a job in this economy. People with marketable skills can find work if they try hard enough.

But back to the Denver Post article…

“The times require that the federal government step in and provide temporary employment opportunities,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus’ jobs task force. “Not Social Security payments, not one-time checks, but jobs where people get up in the morning and go to work.”

It’s that kind of attitude that gives government a bad name. The government can’t and shouldn’t just create jobs out of thin air. There is work that needs to be performed by the government, but most work is done by private companies. Most government projects use private companies to do the actual work.

“We can’t just go back to the economy of three to four years ago when African-Americans suffered perennial unemployment rates that were consistently twice that of whites,” said Ben Jealous, chief executive of the NAACP.

Why has black unemployment been so much higher than that of whites? One of the main reasons is education. Especially in this information age, unless you have a college degree, you’re probably not going to be able to find a decent paying job, if you can find one at all. And there’s a huge disparity between whites and blacks when it comes to higher education.

Westminster resident Sydney Hobbs, who is black, lost his job working at a Goodwill warehouse in November. He has put out several dozen resumes for warehouse jobs and electrician apprenticeships but hasn’t gotten any responses. In recent weeks, he visited the Denver Workforce Center on Speer Boulevard downtown, which helps people search for jobs.

“Companies aren’t hiring, but they say, ‘Send in a resume,’ ” said Hobbs, 50, who is married with two children. “Hopefully, things will get better soon.”

Hobbs is considering renewing his lapsed commercial driver’s license and looking for work driving a delivery truck. He’s worried about losing his family’s apartment.

Hobbs is just “considering” renewing his commercial driver’s license? What the hell is he waiting for? To find work, you have to be proactive. You have to make your own luck, which means getting marketable skills, going to school, learning a trade, finding out what skills are in demand…

“We are calling for the government to create jobs for Latinos, but the policies enacted so far have not done enough to help these workers,” Janet Murgía, chief executive of the National Council of La Raza, said during a teleconference on Friday.

If you go into almost any motor vehicle bureau in the Denver area, you’d be hard pressed to find a white person working there. The government often uses affirmative action hiring to help minorities, as do many large corporations that receive government contracts. There is also financial aid available to minorities that are not dependent on income, meaning middle class blacks or Hispanics can get financial aid not available to poor whites.

“It’s a really hard economy and really hard market right now,” said Smith-Duran, who has a master’s degree in social work. “I was in tears for a bit after losing that job, but I was able to regroup and go on.”

A master’s degree in social work? Basically, that’s a degree to help poor people, and there’s not a whole lot of money or career opportunities in that field other than teaching or working for the government.

People who feel victimized by society are always going to be left behind. They feel helpless to do anything about their problems and therefore, don’t even try. After all, it’s not their fault. More than anything, it’s that attitude that needs to change.

Read the full article here.

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