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  our flourishing economy

Obama Reveals New Budget That Won’t Be Approved

President Obama unveiled his 2012 budget proposal today, and everybody who pays attention to these things said, “Eh, too much/not enough.” Even with the tax increases for the wealthy and the humble request that U.S. multinationals occasionally pay a few dollars of tax and the savage cuts to programs that help the very poorest people in America do things like pay their heating bills so they don’t freeze to death in the winter, this proposal would still find our United States with the largest deficit in post-WWII History: 11% of America’s GDP — the highest since World War II. So what, right? “Deficits don’t matter,” that’s what Dick Cheney always said. Anyway, $3.7 trillion dollars. That is a lot! Yet, a trillion dollars will be cut, over the next decade. What does any of this even mean? It means Eric Cantor does not approve, that’s what. Read more on Obama Reveals New Budget That Won’t Be Approved…
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This Mortgage Modification Story Is So Terrible Because It’s Probably Very Common

Like a lot of people in ridiculous housing markets a couple of years ago, Jeremy Fletcher of Northridge paid way too much for a house in the San Fernando Valley because that was the only way to buy a house just a couple of years ago. He’s a swimming pool contractor, so there’s a double disaster in the works: overpriced house in overheated market, borrower depends on housing-related construction business income. And then a wonderful bank does a wonderful thing: Read more on This Mortgage Modification Story Is So Terrible Because It’s Probably Very Common…
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Collapse of World’s Governments Fuels Investor Concern

Ha ha, this is our attempt at a “business news” headline. (We were never very useful at the business desk.) But there does seem to be some investor concern, what with everything in free fall around the world and especially in the oil-y parts. Meanwhile, in sad-sack America, big companies from Amazon to something that starts with “Z” (Ford? Microsoft?) are revealing the desperate measures they must take, constantly, to stay afloat in this pathetic un-recovery. But at least things are good over in Asia, where America’s owners live, right? Ha, no, “broad based sell offs” started last night. Uhh. Read more on Collapse of World’s Governments Fuels Investor Concern…
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Hooray, the Super Rich Have Totally Recovered From the Collapse!

Have you been worried that maybe the super rich global elite has been suffering since the economic meltdown began three years ago? Well thanks for worrying, but they are doing just fine. Sure, there was a bit of turbulence in their NetJets charter over some of the poorer parts of America and the larger world — you try going from $1 billion a year to, say, $650 million! — but it’s smooth flying from here on out. It turns out that no matter how unemployed or cash strapped or stressed out all the non decamillionaires and hectomillionaires and cold straight billionaires might be today (and forever, until the invisible hand of death finally relieves them/us of the banal Sisyphean struggle of modern existence), the poors continues to help the super rich stay super rich. Read more on Hooray, the Super Rich Have Totally Recovered From the Collapse!…
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Unemployment Drops As Americans Abandon Pointless Search For Work

Good news for the U.S. job market: The unemployment rate miraculously dropped from 9.8% to 9.4% in December, the biggest one-month drop in the official jobless rate since 1998! Coincidentally, this plunge in the number of Americans desperately seeking work coincides with more Americans dropping out of the labor force entirely, because there aren’t even enough new jobs to keep up with “natural growth” — 26-year-olds getting their GEDs and needing that Jiffy Lube job to help momma out at home, etc. — let alone provide work for the 15 million officially unemployed Americans. Of course the real official unemployment rate is 16.7%, because that number includes “discouraged workers” and people subsisting on seasonal or part-time or temporary work while still hoping for a full-time job again, someday. Read more on Unemployment Drops As Americans Abandon Pointless Search For Work…
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Republicans Intentionally Sabotaging Economy

Here’s a fun mainstream opinion for your “Oh for chrissakes” files: The Week magazine says the GOP is intentionally sabotaging the American Economy so shit will be so bad in 2012, even Willow Palin’s pot dealer will be a “sane choice” for president. It makes a certain amount of sense, we guess? Just make things so intolerably awful — 40% unemployment, cannibalism, nuclear war — and then sit back and reap the benefits! Read more on Republicans Intentionally Sabotaging Economy…
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Most U.S. Unemployed Will Never Ever Find Work Again

Here’s some cheery news from the Roosevelt Institute: “Starting at the beginning of 2009, it is now more likely that someone who is unemployed will drop out of the labor force than find a job.” Uhh … that’s probably a bad thing, right? Anything else to weep about, behind the dumpster? “Underemployment, or those employed working part-time for economic reasons, has increased greatly, often more than doubling. This is across all analyzed sectors and occupations.” Hey, that kind of sounds like everyone we know! Read more on Most U.S. Unemployed Will Never Ever Find Work Again…
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U.S. Consumer So Totally Screwed, Economists Say

It’s a good thing Obama sort of halfway gave that Consumer Protection Bureau job to his alleged friend Elizabeth Warren, because it sort of sounds like these are terrible times for the Consumer — who, by executive order, officially replaced the U.S. Citizen back in 1983. For example, U.S. Consumer Sentiment “unexpectedly declined” this month, hitting a one-year low. How is that unexpected? Did the economists think everybody wouldn’t notice? Household wealth (!) dropped again in the second quarter of 2010, and home values are now expected to either stagnate or decline for another three years, or maybe forever, who knows. But guess who’s really worried? Read more on U.S. Consumer So Totally Screwed, Economists Say…
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44 Million Americans Now Officially Living In Poverty

With one of every seven Americans — and 20% of all U.S. children — now officially impoverished, the nation is finally back to the official level of poors last seen during the 1992-1994 recession. Unofficially, the number is at least twice that high, as “experts think that people who are getting by on as much as twice the official poverty line should nonetheless be considered poor.” In either case, things are terrible but they’re also getting much worse. Read more on 44 Million Americans Now Officially Living In Poverty…
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Now Playing: Global Starvation Riots

Well, things may be bad, but at least we don’t have massive worldwide food shortages and accompanying riots in poor countries … oh wait, we do have that now? The New York Times reports: Read more on Now Playing: Global Starvation Riots…
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Recession Makes Americans Kill Pets, Quit Having Kids

Not that you’d notice from the 40 million unemployed “workers” in this country, or the way all the houses in your neighborhood are being abandoned by night, or the miles of empty strip malls on the edge of every doomed American town, but experts in New York and Washington (the only two thriving cities in America, hah!) now say we may be “returning” to the Great Recession because the “recovery” has stalled. Oh noes. We have another theory that’s not very controversial, when you consider the almost daily “downgrades” of previously reported economic figures from the past several quarters: We never got out of recession, and we never will. Also, record numbers of cute puppies are being euthanized at American animal shelters! Read more on Recession Makes Americans Kill Pets, Quit Having Kids…
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HMMM, WHAT WAS THE NUMBER FOR XINHUA’S HR DEPARTMENT AGAIN?: Exciting new unemployment numbers are out and they are bad! 83,000 private sector jobs were added (130 to 150K are needed just to keep up with population growth), and hundreds of thousands of census workers have been tossed back into the job-seeking pool. The overall unemployment rate, based on a “different survey,” is down a smidge to 9.5 percent, because presumably some people have given up hope of ever being gainfully employed again and/or died. ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A PUNCHLINE TO THIS POST? THERE IS NO PUNCHLINE TO THIS POST, IT IS VERY DEPRESSING. [NYT] Read more on …
  our flourishing economy

Financial Reform/Communism Passes Senate, America Rich Again!

The financial reform bill passed the Senate! So exciting. “FinReg” is what people called it, on Wall Street and also on Capitol Hill. Both Chris Dodd and Barack Obama are very happy/proud. So what did they do, anyway? It’s about 175,000 pages of legislation, so who knows? Wait, actually we do know: The financial regulation bill deals with many issues and instruments that played a role in the Economic Collapse of 2008-Right Now, which means it does not cover anything that will be instrumental in the 2011-2019 depression, or the 2022-2028 recession, or the 2030-2097 “quiet time” on Earth, etc. But let’s check with the experts anyway, so they’ll feel useful offering their contradictory capsule assessments. Read more on Financial Reform/Communism Passes Senate, America Rich Again!…
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We’re Also Having Another Total Economic Collapse

Not to spread the funny news too thick today, but have you glanced at the business headlines? The stock markets have not reacted too well to the awful lack-of-employment numbers, with the Dow Jones Index plunging 325 points — that’s three-and-a-quarter percent and well under 10,000 and all the other markets looking similarly terrible. And “volumes” are high, meaning Lots of People/Institutions are dumping everything, for cash. Read more on We’re Also Having Another Total Economic Collapse…
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Nobody’s Making the House Payment, Nobody’s Getting New Mortgages

Despite the complete recovery of the American Economy — what, did you miss it? — a record 14% of households with mortgages are currently delinquent. That’s more than 7 million households. Another survey says 10% of all mortgages are in default, the highest percentage on record. Don’t worry, it gets worse. Read more on Nobody’s Making the House Payment, Nobody’s Getting New Mortgages…