In no particular order, here are 50 things about our economy that blow my mind:
50. The S&P 500 is down 3% from 2000. But a version of the index that holds all 500 companies in equal amounts (rather than skewed by market cap) is up nearly 90%.
49. According to economist Tyler Cowen, “Thirty years ago, college graduates made 40 percent more than high school graduates, but now the gap is about 83 percent.”
48. Of all non-farm jobs created since June 2009, 88% have gone to men. “The share of men saying the economy was improving jumped to 41 percent in March, compared with 26 percent of women,” reports Bloomberg.
47. A record $6 billion will be spent on the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Adjusted for inflation, that’s 60% more than the 2000 elections.
46. In 2010, nearly half of Americans lived in a household that received direct government benefits. That’s up from 37.7% in 1998.
45. Adjusted for inflation, federal tax revenue was the same in 2009 as it was 1997, even though the U.S. population grew by 37 million during that period.
44. In November 2009, the nationwide unemployment was around 10%. But dig into demographics, and the rates are incredibly skewed. The unemployment rate for young, uneducated African-American males was 48.5%. For Caucasian females over age 45 with a college degree, it was 3.7%.
43. About the same number of people was awarded bachelor’s degrees in 2010 as filed for personal bankruptcy (1.6 million).
42. According to The Wall Street Journal, “U.S. refineries are producing more gasoline and diesel than ever. And Americans’ gasoline consumption is at an 11-year-low.”
41. Americans spend an average of 1.8% of their income on alcohol and tobacco. In the U.K., it’s 4.8%.
40. In 2009, 5% of Americans accounted for 50% of all health care costs.
Read the rest of them HERE.
Innocent Or Not, the NSA Is Watching You
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Wired: “Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter.’ It is, in some measure, the realization of the ‘total information awareness’ program created during the first term of the Bush administration — an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.”
Wow! Our president, who says he creates jobs, can not even create ONE job!
Update to this story.
FORT WORTH — More than two months after President Barack Obama asked for Darin Wedel’s résumé, the phone is quiet, e-mails are no longer flooding in and the long-sought-after job interviews — which had begun to be scheduled — have petered out.
“Not even recruiting companies are calling anymore,” said Jennifer Wedel, the Fort Worth mother of two who chatted online this year with Obama about her out-of-work husband.
She says his job search has been hurt by a program to hire skilled foreign workers.
It’s been more than three years since Darin Wedel lost his job as a semiconductor engineer at Texas Instruments.
But the family had newfound hope after Jennifer Wedel participated in a Jan. 30 video chat with the president using the “hangout” feature on Google Plus.
She asked the president why the government issues and extends H-1B visas to foreign workers when highly skilled Americans like her husband can’t find full-time work.
Obama, who said industry leaders have told him that the U.S. doesn’t have enough high-tech engineers to meet its needs, ended up asking for Darin Wedel’s résumé.
For weeks after that, the family’s telephone rang constantly with calls from recruiters, headhunters, the news media, the Texas Workforce Commission, the White House, and out-of-town and out-of-state companies about possible job opportunities.
Old superman comic had this (nah, could not find anywhere the issue this cam from). But it sure fits our president!
Back when I was a kid, we all did this, though not a high swing like this.
Interesting. I have noticed in the past week that all the media seem to sort of let this story die out.
The NY Times maintains its eerie silence on the Trayvon Martin case. On April 1 they delivered a comprehensive review and impressive diorama of the Martin killing, which culminated a week of extensive coverage and commentary.
From a different tack, let’s check the four bylines from the comprehensive April 1 piece and ask, ‘where are they now’?
Lizette Alvarez had a lot of pre-April Fool’s coverage of Trayvon Martin but no stories on anything afterwards.
Campbell Robertson has had one bylined story on a the sentencing of ex-cops in New Orleans.
Serge F. Kovaleski has had nothing.
and columnist Dan Barry has had nothing.
What are they working on? Are they still working?
Eventually the meta media mavens who report on the processes that deliver the stories will take up the question of why the Times’ coverage of Trayvon Martin is flatlining. One possibility – the Times has spent decades dancing with Al Sharpton; maybe they don’t want to be his shills anymore? But would responsible journalists just walk away or steer the rest of us away as well?
China And The Ultimate Secret Weapon
Cyber War (attacks on computer networks, usually via the Internet) requires ammunition, and the most common form of ammo is “Zero Day Exploits” (ZDEs). These are freshly discovered and exploitable defects in software that runs on the Internet. These flaws enable a hacker to get into other people’s networks and PCs. In the right hands these flaws enable criminals to pull off a large online heist or simply maintain secret control over someone’s computer.
ZDEs are rare. They are in great demand and are increasingly expensive to find, or buy, from legitimate researchers or on the hacker black market. The price of ZDEs varies a lot. That’s because not all vulnerabilities are equal. Some are much more valuable than others because they are more effective or allow attacks on a larger number of targets. Commercial Internet security firms offer rewards to people (usually software engineers who spend too much time on the Internet) who first discover a “zero day vulnerability.” These “vulnerabilities” are software bugs that have not yet been put to use by a hacker to create a ZDE. The rewards for really good ZDEs can sometimes exceed a million dollars. The commercial security firms, which provide services for corporate and government clients, offer the rewards openly. There is a more lucrative underground market, financed by criminals and some governments that offer even larger rewards.
Seems it is now official! Any and all criticism of our dictator is racist.
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AND MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Look all of this othering of Obama, like he’s from some other planet. Everything he does is subject to a different lens and seen through a microscope that really tends to pick him apart. I think it’s indivisible from the broader issue of his race, of his being a black man with a certain kind of authority. These are impolite things we don’t want to talk about. We think that they’re being extraordinary ratcheted up. But I don’t see any other way to explain it but a remarkable resistance to the integrity of this man that has no other explanation.
JAKE TAPPER, HOST: When you hear Republicans say that President Obama is being a bully, you hear racial subtexts?
DYSON: Of course. Bully — I mean look this guy — if — if you can’t deal with this reasoned, articulate expression of difference and dissent and calling that bullying. And on the one hand Obama has to be worried about, I can’t be an angry black man. I can’t speak up in a certain way. He’s already constrained by the stereotypes that prevail. If you can’t even take his dissent as an expression of legitimate disagreement and instead of ascribing to him bullying, I don’t see how…
Do you interpret this as any sane person would? That the special prosecutor didn’t think a grand jury would indict Zimmerman based on the evidence so she took it upon herself to ensure he is brought up on charges. Maybe a grand jury should look into the special prosecutor (has to be a liberal democrat with the blessing of sharpton and jackson and obama).
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Special prosecutor Angela Corey says she will not bring the Trayvon Martin shooting death before a grand jury.
Corey said Monday she continues to investigate the case and will not involve a grand jury set to meet Tuesday.
Corey says her decision to skip the grand jury shouldn’t be considered a factor in determining whether charges will be filed against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has admitted to fatally shooting the unarmed Martin.
That means the decision now rests solely with Corey
The bridge that suspends belief…
The highest and longest valley suspension bridge in the world has opened in southern China’s Hunan Province. The Aizhai suspension bridge spans over a half mile and soars approximately 360 yards above the ground.
Look at the cute puppy!
What’s the Deal?
John was going up to bed when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed which she could see from the bedroom window. Then he looked for himself and saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.
He phoned the police, but they told him that no one was in his area to help, so he said ok, hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again.
“Hello. I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed. Well, you don’t have to worry about them now cause I’ve just shot them all.”
Within five minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, an Armed Response unit, the works. Of course, they caught the burglars red-handed.
One of the policeman said to this man: “I thought you said that you’d shot them!”
John replied “I thought you said there was nobody available!”
Very interesting story about WWII and the Poles, Germans, Jews, and communists.
Volunteer For Auschwitz – Witold Pilecki. The Murder of Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki (1901-1948) who volunteered to be sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp to gather information about Nazi war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
“The Cavalry Captain, Pilecki, is one of our nation’s foremost heroes, whom all military men ought to salute […] We are no better than the Germans and Russians, for by our own hands, we were capable of murdering our own
Our dictator, being a racist. Yes, I said it again!
A photo of Obama’s “army” originally posted on the campaign’s Tumblr site and run in conjunction with a BuzzFeed story on the Obama campaign reveals a stunning lack of diversity among the president’s Chicago staff.
The Obama campaign’s Chicago headquarters has it all—from Jack Daniels and Ping Pong to bouncy balls and ironic desk mementos.
Yet the “army of twenty-somethings” campaign manager Jim Messina has assembled in the president’s hometown is almost uniformly white, according to photos contained in a detailed BuzzFeed report Monday. [...]
In August 2011, Obama signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to develop plans for improving workforce diversity.
Why We Need Voter-ID Laws Now
Hunger Games Star Jennifer Lawrence: “Screw PETA!” ( I have never understood why people actually support peta – known to us as “people eating tasty animals”)
NATIONAL REVIEW – Through the magic of Washington Math and the Obama Labor Department, the metric “unemployment rate” has become as nonsensical as “jobs created or saved” by the stimulus. The Obamedia creates a free campaign ad out of the purported drop from 8.3% to 8.2% (i.e., from appalling to marginally less appalling), but meantime millions have been added to the black-hole category of “Not In the Labor Force” — people who are so discouraged that they are not looking for work. That number is at an all-time high: 88 million. Thus the labor force participation rate, at under 64%, is lower than it’s been in 30 years. Mish Schedlock concludes, “Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.”
Instead of giving the Left ammunition by bizarrely implying that our outlook is improving, maybe the Romney campaign could give some thought to breaking through the fudged “unemployment rate” chatter. Something like:
Total Population of Germany: 82,000,000
Population of U.S. Not in Labor Force: 88,000,000