Middle-class families, which used to be the backbone of the United States economy are becoming poorer. Despite the constant bombardment of news of a “healthy economy,” 62% of middle-class families struggle to afford a basic middle-class lifestyle.
Even though the unemployment rate that has reached a 50-year low of 3.7 percent, most jobs across the U.S. don’t support a middle-class or better lifestyle, leaving many Americans struggling, according to a new study. When factoring in both wages and the cost of living in the metro area where the job is located, 62% struggle to provide a middle-class lifestyle according to the study by Third Way, a think tank that leans center-left on the political spectrum. Continue reading
Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the US Presidential Election and the Brexit win here in 2016 brought the social divisions of both countries to the fore.
James Bartholomew was quick to highlight the dangers of Britain’s new great divide. In a Spectator article after the EU referendum result, he showed how it had exposed a split Britain – geographically between city and country, and socio-economically between the haves and the have-nots; and one overarching divide: between the metropolitan elite and the rest.
Changes brought about by globalisation and large-scale immigration had affected different classes in contrasting ways. Continue reading
One of the first things I learned as a registered Washington lobbyist, (yes, I admit it, I was a lobbyist in the 1990s), is “you can’t beat something with nothing.”
That’s a Washington insider’s way of saying that if you don’t like an opponent’s policies, it’s not enough to moan and complain about them and throw insults. You have to come up with a policy of your own that appeals to voters and can be offered to the public as an alternative.
This has been a problem for Democrats lately.
They can’t stand Donald Trump and insult him all day long, but they won’t prevail in major elections scheduled in 2018 and 2020 unless they offer the voters something other than constant ridicule of Trump. Continue reading
Almost every weekday, some arm of the US government issues some sort of economic statistic. News media and financial analysts review and report it. Then 99.9% of the adult population, and probably 90% of the financial industry, forget all about it. And they’re probably right to do so.
The monthly jobs report isn’t like that. Yes, any single month doesn’t tell us much. Yes, the Labor Department’s methodology has some flaws, both major and minor. But imperfect as it is, the jobs report is our best look at the economy’s pulse. Jobs matter in a visceral way to almost all of us, as you know well if you’ve ever lost one. Almost any survey that asked questions around employment would reveal the angst that many Americans feel about the possibility of losing their jobs.
Right now, automation tops the list of things that might threaten our jobs. Artificial intelligence and robotics technology are rapidly learning to do what human workers do, but better, faster, and cheaper. Continue reading
While many “conventional” indicators of US economic vibrancy and strength have lost their informational and predictive value over the past decade (GDP fluctuates erratically especially in Q1, employment is the lowest this century yet real wage growth is non-existent, inflation remains under the Fed’s target despite its $4.5 trillion balance sheet and so on), one indicator has remained a stubbornly fail-safe marker of economic contraction: since the 1960, every time Commercial & Industrial loan balances have declined (or simply stopped growing), whether due to tighter loan supply or declining demand, a recession was already either in progress or would start soon. Continue reading
If the popular media are to be believed, artificial intelligence (AI) is coming to steal your job and threaten life as we know it. If we do not prepare now, we may face a future where AI runs free and dominates humans in society.
The AI revolution is indeed underway. To ensure you are prepared to make it through the times ahead, we’ve created a handy survival guide for you.
Step 1: Recognizing AI
The first step in every conflict is knowing your target. It is crucial to acknowledge that AI is not in the future; it is already here. Continue reading
Satyajit Das has written an excellent article in Bloomberg which clearly details the risks facing the global financial and monetary system and how central bankers are out of monetary ammunition and weapons.
“No one likes to admit defeat. But global policymakers, who continue to insist that there’s more they can do to revive growth and inflation, are starting to sound like Monty Python’s Black Knight (click link to see video), the limbless and mortally wounded warrior who threatens to bleed on his victorious opponent. The truth is that governments and central banks have very few weapons left — and have probably lost any chance they once had of averting a prolonged stagnation. Continue reading
In 1990 former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt told me in an interview that massive Islamic immigration into Europe kept him awake at night. Between pinches of snuff, Schmidt said he worried Muslims wouldn’t assimilate, and that this would become a big problem for the continent.
Schmidt’s ruminations are worth remembering following French President Francois Hollande visit to President Obama Tuesday to ask for help in what he has called France’s war on the Islamic State (ISIS). Hollande, who has been much more assertive than his host on defeating ISIS, to say the least, has been candid that “complicity from the inside” is one of the problems he will have to tackle. Continue reading
A 2010 article that couldn’t be more relevant today:
Like a forgotten downtown billboard, Detroit proclaims a warning about the rest of America for any who will stop and look.
If ever an American city was a warning for the nation, it is Detroit. Its crumbling mansions, overgrown boulevards and abandoned factories drive a message home to those who will pay attention. We cannot afford to ignore this once-great city. Why? What killed Detroit is killing America.
Detroit used to be synonymous with wealth and prosperity. It was a city humming with big-finned cars and Motown rhythms. Factories churned out products that ended up on store shelves around the world. Full employment empowered high salaries, flourishing schools and manicured storefronts, with flashy neon lights lining the boulevards. Multiple generations of families shared the same streets and barbecues.
When such a newsletter comes from an institution such as Guggenheim, the soon-to-come problems America faces couldn’t be more surreal.
As economic growth returns again to Europe and Japan, the prospect of a synchronous global expansion is taking hold. Or, then again, maybe not. In a recent research piece published by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, global economic growth, as measured in nominal U.S. dollars, is projected to decline in 2015 for the first time since 2009, the height of the financial crisis.
In fact, the prospect of improvement in economic growth is largely a monetary illusion. No one needs to explain how policymakers have made painfully little progress on the structural reforms necessary to increase global productive capacity and stimulate employment and demand. Lacking the political will necessary to address the issues, central bankers have been left to paper over the global malaise with reams of fiat currency.
An eerie and well-laid out article from 2006 that warrants attention. What this article doesn’t take into account is that the USSR underwent a controlled and planned strategic collapse to dupe the West into thinking that it was going to become democratic and full of freedom, no longer a threat. As explained by Anatoliy Golitsyn, America has been sold New Lies for Old the entire time and fell for the Perestroika Deception. Slide 23 hints at it, but misses the mark. Over 92% of Golitsyn’s predictions came true, yet alarmingly received very little attention.
While the undertones of the article may seem pro-Soviet or Communist to some in an ‘America vs Russia’ framework, it remains objective in illustrating the final point(s) in principal of how the USSR panned out and how America might pan out. It doesn’t take into account
Most of the article will be posted here for documentation purposes, the remaining portions can be found on the source link.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am not an expert or a scholar or an activist. I am more of an eye-witness. I watched the Soviet Union collapse, and I have tried to put my observations into a concise message. I will leave it up to you to decide just how urgent a message it is.
My talk tonight is about the lack of collapse-preparedness here in the United States. I will compare it with the situation in the Soviet Union, prior to its collapse. The rhetorical device I am going to use is the “Collapse Gap” – to go along with the Nuclear Gap, and the Space Gap, and various other superpower gaps that were fashionable during the Cold War.
Don’t believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud.
In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government. Continue reading