While average Americans have seen their wages and benefits stagnate, decrease, or even vanish altogether in recent years, federal workers have been doing very well for themselves. In August USA Today reported that “federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn” and that these same “workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row.
Over the recent clamor of approval for the outcome of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which Beltway insiders are proclaiming a success because of the high rate of repaid funds, a lone voice of comparative sanity reminded Yahoo! Finance’s Aaron Task that the Obama bailout has done far more damage than the government-massaged figures indicate. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who seems to understand finance and banking better than most celebrity economists, told Task that the monies paid back to TARP are “just a drop in the bucket compared to damage done to the economy.”
The foreclosure crisis continues to threaten the U.S. banking sector with more headaches, admitted Sheila Bair, head of the FDIC, on October 25. According to a Reuters report, the expected wave of litigation stemming from improper or downright fraudulent procedures banks have been using to speed up the foreclosure process could be “very damaging” to the housing market.
Now that the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ electric car, is about to arrive in selected dealers’ showrooms around the country, it has been getting a lot of press. Some are puff pieces, one of which appeared in USA Today, while others are much more critical.
Back in June, Republican Senate candidates Sharron Angle of Nevada and Rand Paul of Kentucky endured criticism from the mainstream media for their comments suggesting that government-run unemployment insurance was, perhaps, not the greatest idea in the world.
October 15, US Airways asked one of its passengers flying from West Palm Beach to Kansas City to exit the airplane. Johnnie Tuitel, 47, a motivational speaker with cerebral palsy, was told that he was “too disabled to fly."
Commodities markets have soared on news of a global currency inflationary war by central banks around the world, with gold prices climbing to more than $1,375 per ounce in overnight trading October 14. Other precious and semi-precious metals such as silver, platinum, palladium, and copper also topped recent highs in successive days of trading.
Social Security recipients will go a second consecutive year without receiving a cost-of-living adjustment in 2011, according to various press reports. The announcement, which will formally be made when the federal government reveals Consumer Price Index figures October 15, amounts to what MSNBC says in the subtitle to its article on the subject that the “expected announcement before election couldn't be worse for Democrats.”
Once upon a time the United States had some standing to lecture communist countries on the virtues of free markets. Today, however, our government is growing larger by the minute, while Cuba and Russia — once the most communist of communist nations — are heading in the opposite direction, at least in economic terms.
The price of gold as measured against the U.S. dollar hit a record $1,341 per ounce at the close of commodities market day October 5, just after the Bank of Japan announced plans to lower interest rates to zero and create $60 billion in new currency. Silver, copper, platinum, palladium, and most other commodities also measured recent highs in trading on the same day.