Last week, the Obama administration revealed the 48 recipients of $2.4 billion in federal grant money supposedly designed to stimulate domestic production of batteries and other "green" car components while saving or creating jobs. But critics are already blasting the handouts, calling them politically biased, useless, and even unconstitutional.
Unemployment numbers ticked upward during July at a much slower pace than past months, leading many establishment forecasters to conclude that an economic recovery had already begun. The official unemployment rate actually shrunk from 9.5 percent to 9.4 percent, even though the U.S. economy lost an additional 247,000 jobs in July.
First-time unemployment claims continue to increase at a faster pace than expected. “The Labor Department said the number of claims in the week ending July 25 rose by 25,000 from an upwardly revised figure the previous week,” the Agence France Press reported July 30.
In another example of turning lemonade into lemons in economically troubled times, the federal minimum wage increased yesterday from $6.55 an hour to $7.25 an hour. It's certainly a fashionable measure, but will it actually improve the lot of low-income workers?
Even the mass media is starting to take notice of the longtime cozy relationship that both the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank have with Goldman Sachs, a major Wall Street bank holding company and Democratic Party donor.