Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mid-Week Rants And Raves -- September 16, 2015

Tweeting now: Gulf Coast gasoline production jumps 9.2% on week.


This story is getting a lot of attention. Everywhere it's being reported that five years of recovery haven't boosted median household income A lot of data points in that article.

I think the biggest problem is that mainstream media tell(s) us we've in a recovery for the past five years. Except for the oil and gas industry -- up until about a year ago -- no sector seemed to be in recovery mode. There seems to be a disconnect among a) people like you and me; b) people in the White House; c) Reuters and Bloomberg -- the mouthpieces for the people in the White House; d) Wall Street; and, e) CNBC.

When H-P announced another 30,000 jobs to be cut, it sort of put everything into perspective. And H-P isn't even in the oil and gas sector. The 30,000 jobs cut is on top of tens of thousands of cuts have already been made. I track job losses here -- the original post was dated October 26, 2012. President Obama had been president for about three years, I suppose.

When you go to that link, and scroll down just a bit -- there it is:

HP's layoffs at 55,000 and rising, October 7, 2014. And that was just the start. Wow.

Back to that "five years of recovery haven't boosted median household income." Look at this data point (my favorite data point by the way): Those 65 and older, meanwhile, saw their incomes rise 3.7 percent. No other age group saw statistically significant income gains.

It reminds of the joke about two hikers in the woods when they stumbled upon a grizzly (bear). One hiker put on his tennis shoes, telling the other hiker he didn't have to run faster than the grizzly (bear), he only had to faster than the other hiker.

I'm not quite in that "those 65 and older" group but for all practical purposes I am and I will be next year.

I could make a lot of comments on that article, but I'll let Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Rolling Stone Magazine do that for me. 

But look at that tweet up above: gasoline production along the coast jumped 9.2% this past week. My hunch is that gasoline costs less today than it did five years ago.

Later, BloombergBusiness also had a story on this miserable recovery:
Looking at eight groups of household income selected by Census, only those whose incomes are already high to begin with have seen improvement since 2006, the last full year of expansion before the recession. Households at the 95th and 90th percentiles had larger earnings through 2014, the latest year for which data are available.
Income for all others was below 2006 levels, indicating they're still clawing their way out of the hole caused by the deepest recession in the post-World War II era. 
Despite a gazillion dollars in stimulus. How's that ObamaCare working out? How's that expensive intermittent energy (solar/wind) working out? How's that killing of the Keystone XL working out? How's that war on coal working out? That alone probably accounts for a lot of "job loss" misery?And it is not going to get better any time soon. Everyone agrees -- everyone -- that a government-mandated minimum wage will result in a net loss of human jobs. Robot jobs will increase. That two-income family -- where both members are working minimum wage jobs -- will probably not see their family income increase. One or both of the jobs will evaporate with a government-mandated minimum wage.


In the past five years:
  • utility costs have gone up due to intermittent (solar, wind) energy mandates;
  • the government has done whatever it can to kill the US oil and gas industry;
  • the US government has done whatever it can to kill the least expensive form of energy (coal);
  • health care costs have risen exponentially (ObamaCare);
  • college costs continue to rise.  
Those "65 and older":
  • are less affected by higher utility bills, as they downsize to smaller homes;
  • generally have college tuition bills behind them;
  • drive less; and,
  • can get a senior pass to all national parks that never expire for ... $10.  
Connecting The Dots

If one wonders whether folks are doing well or not, consider this: the UAW tentatively signed off on a new four-year contract with Fiat Chrysler without a strike or other job action. The workers know that it's unlikely they will ever make up their lost income by going on strike.

Why I Love To Blog

From Jo Nova:
This “ambitious” goal is purely symbolic. Here’s why. Electrical power plants make 37% of US emissions, which are about one-fifth of global human emissions, which are 4% of total CO2 emissions globally.
So a 32% cut in US electrical emissions will result in a 0.1% cut in total global CO2 emissions (at best).
If the Obama/EPA plan is “successful” and if the IPCC are right, Paul Knappenberger and Pat Michaels estimate that Obama’s new plan will cool the world by an unmeasurable 0.02°C by 2100.
NERA Economic consulting estimates US electricity prices will rise 12 -17%. The Heritage Foundation estimates that rising energy costs will have an economy wide effect and the US will lose $2.5 trillion in GDP. Choosing expensive electricity as a form of global climate control will cost more than one million jobs.

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