Daily Digest

Daily Digest 5/4 - Companies Bracing For Rising Prices, Food Stamp Recipients At Record Highs, Spring Gas Prices Highest Ever

Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 10:44 AM
  • Portugal reportedly negotiates bailout
  • Ireland Sells Pension Assets, Helping Fund EU/IMF Bailout
  • Debt worries sidelined as spending set to soar
  • Spain’s Power Deficit Rises 20% to $8.3 Billion as Costs, Subsidies Surge
  • Update: Flint, Kodak raise prices
  • Clorox, with profit falling, raising prices
  • Parched Kansas Wheat Crops Boosting Cost of Panera Bread, Wheaties Cereal
  • Molson Coors 1Q Net Down 21%, Volumes Continue To Slide
  • Steelmakers Turn to Price Triggers as Iron-Ore Costs Rise
  • Iowa courses converted to crops
  • Food Stamps Went to Record 44.199 Million in February, USDA Says
  • As economic downturn lingers, help runs out for the unemployed
  • U.N. Forecasts 10.1 Billion People by Century’s End
  • Fed's Hoenig says easy money policy risks inflation
  • Puerto Rico Warned By Moody's Of Possible $28 Bln Rating Cuts
  • Fall Tuition Jumps to $1,382
  • Tuition hikes approved for University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College
  • Michigan gas prices hit new record of $4.21; Flint, Lansing rise is sharpest
  • Gas Prices Reach Highest Springtime Level Ever
  • Oregon's Unemployment Extension Going Fast
  • Shadow inventory will keep housing recovery at bay for three to four years
  • China may face power shortage by mid-2011
  • Thomson Reuters Healthcare Spending Index: Costs Climb 5.8 Percent for Employers in 2010
  • Americans 45 and older are new voting-age majority

Learn how to protect your wealth against the Three E forces using our 'What Should I Do?' guide

Economy

Portugal reportedly negotiates bailout

Portugal has negotiated an international bailout worth 78 billion euros ($116 billion) over a three-year period, according to reports published Tuesday. The bailout includes aid for Portugal's "cash-strapped banks," the Associated Press reported. Portugal is the third euro-zone member, after Greece and Ireland, to be forced to negotiate a bailout as a result of crippling debt. The Wall Street Journal reported that Prime Minister José Sócrates said the bailout deal will not require the privatization of Portugal's social security.

Ireland Sells Pension Assets, Helping Fund EU/IMF Bailout

The NPRF was set up almost a decade ago to fund part of the Ireland's public workers' pension liabilities from 2025, but is now being used to cover some of the country's sovereign and banking debts. Until the start of the crisis, it was financed by an annual payment provided by the government that was equivalent to 1% of the country's gross national product.

Debt worries sidelined as spending set to soar (Australia)

THE Northern Territory's minority Labor government has ignored concerns over its mounting debt and produced a big-spending budget in a bid to offset the "lingering effects" of the global financial crisis.

Net debt will rise a massive 37 per cent to $1.475 billion in Treasurer Delia Lawrie's record $5.3bn budget handed down yesterday. The government's debt is now predicted to hit $2.2bn in 2013-14. p>

Spain’s Power Deficit Rises 20% to $8.3 Billion as Costs, Subsidies Surge

Spanish utilities’ regulated costs to deliver electricity to consumers exceeded revenue by 5.6 billion euros ($8.3 billion) last year, a 20 percent increase that forced the government to loosen its law capping the shortfall.

The so-called tariff deficit rolled over 30 percent of consumer power bills for collection into future years under Spain’s decade-old system of deferring electricity payments for homes and businesses, the power regulator said on its website.

Update: Flint, Kodak raise prices

Citing the continued increase in the cost of raw materials and other related expenses, Flint Group is raising the price of newspaper and directory printing inks, effective May 1.

The increase is 8 percent for black lithographic and flexographic inks and 6 percent for color inks, said Norm Harbin, Flint's business director of newspaper inks. "The raw materials used to make newspaper inks have experienced very significant increases in global demand," Harbin said, citing in particular a 40 percent spike in the price of naphthenic oils and a 20 percent increase in the price of carbon black within just the past seven months.

Clorox, with profit falling, raising prices

Consumers will confront additional price increases. Clorox said it raised prices on Glad trash bags, effective on Monday.

"We face a challenging economic environment, as evidenced by weak category performance in the U.S. and increasing commodity costs," said Don Knauss, Clorox's chief executive officer. Inflation is worse than expected, the company said.

Parched Kansas Wheat Crops Boosting Cost of Panera Bread, Wheaties Cereal

Less output would erode inventories already expected to drop 14 percent in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.

Wheat futures are up 57 percent in the past year after adverse weather cut output from Russia to Canada in 2010, spurring companies including Grupo Bimbo SAB, the world’s largest breadmaker, to pass on higher costs to consumers. Panera Bread Co., a St. Louis-based restaurant chain, and General Mills Inc., the maker of Wheaties, plan to raise prices.

Molson Coors 1Q Net Down 21%, Volumes Continue To Slide

Chief Executive Peter Swinburn said in February that rising commodity costs wouldn't have much impact on the company's results, because of varied market preference for aluminum cans, glass and reusable containers for on-premise sales. But the company saw total costs rise 7.8% per hectoliter in the latest quarter, with higher commodity and fuel costs adding pressure.

Steelmakers Turn to Price Triggers as Iron-Ore Costs Rise

U.S. steelmakers, grappling with rising iron-ore prices, are increasingly putting stiff clauses in sales contracts that allow them to automatically raise prices on customers such as auto and appliance makers, which could pressure them to boost prices in turn.

AK Steel Holding Corp. CEO James Wainscott says the steelmaker won't sign a long-term contract without such an "escalator" clause for iron-ore prices. "We've taken it on the chin for billions of dollars in costs," he told investors and analysts last week. "Today, we won't do a deal...without one of these agreements in place."

Iowa courses converted to crops

Iowa has one less golf course this spring, thanks to rising prices for land and grain....A doubling of the price of corn and a 55 percent rise in soybean prices since mid-2010 have caused Iowa farmland prices to rise 25 percent from March 2010 to about $5,700 per acre.

Prices have risen because of 15-year lows in corn and soybean stocks, which in turn has caused farmers in Iowa to convert previously-idled conservation and creek bottom lands for cultivation.

Food Stamps Went to Record 44.199 Million in February, USDA Says

The number of Americans receiving food stamps rose to a record 44.199 million in February, up from 44.188 million in the previous month, the government said. Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases jumped 12 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a statement on its website. Participation has set records every month since December 2008. Increases have slowed in recent months as unemployment levels declined.

As economic downturn lingers, help runs out for the unemployed (Connecticut)

As the economic downturn lingers and unemployment rate hovers around 9 percent, the number of jobless residents who reach the 99-week maximum for unemployment compensation continues to skyrocket. Every week about 600 people's unemployment benefits expire, the State Department of Labor reports. That number was 500 people a week at the beginning of last year.

"This is an issue we've never had to deal with before. This is a new phenomenon," said Glenn Marshall, the commissioner for the DOL.

Learn how to protect your wealth against the Three E forces using our 'What Should I Do?' guide

U.N. Forecasts 10.1 Billion People by Century’s End

The population of the world, long expected to stabilize just above nine billion in the middle of the century, will instead keep growing and may hit 10.1 billion by the year 2100, the United Nations projected in a report released Tuesday morning Growth in Africa remains so high that the population there could more than triple in this century, rising from today’s one billion to 3.6 billion, the report said — a sobering forecast for a continent already struggling to provide food and water for its people.

Fed's Hoenig says easy money policy risks inflation

The Federal Reserve's easy money policies risk causing inflation unless the Fed scales them back soon, Kansas City Fed Bank President Thomas Hoenig said on Tuesday. "If you pump dollars into the system at a rapid pace ... eventually you will see prices rise," Hoenig said in a speech to a community group. "You should match the removal of highly accommodative, crisis accommodation, as the economy improves," he said.

Puerto Rico Warned By Moody's Of Possible $28 Bln Rating Cuts

Blaming weak pension funding and the strain it most likely will place on Puerto Rico's financial position, Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday warned it could downgrade the U.S. commonwealth's "A3" general obligation bond and related ratings. About $28 billion of debt could be affected, Moody's said, adding it expects to reach a decision within 90 days and that any rating change could be one or more notches.

Fall Tuition Jumps to $1,382 (Idaho)

The fee to enroll was $1,055 during the 2007-2008 school year, when NIC's student body was composed of roughly 2,500 full-time students. After being raised every year by an average of 6.2 percent, tuition for the 2010-2011 school year was $1,329, with a student body of more than 4,400 full-time students by that time. When the new tuition hike takes affect, students will find themselves paying up to $1,382 for full-time attendance next semester.

Tuition hikes approved for University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College

It now costs roughly a third more than it did in the fall of 2007 for Rhode Island residents to attend any of the three schools. Governor Chafee has recommended a $10-million hike in the state’s allocation for public higher education. His budget message said his top priority is to ensure that CCRI remains affordable by sparing its students — who tend to be the least affluent — from increases in out-of-pocket costs.

But Chafee’s proposed higher education budget — about $154 million in operating funds — still leaves the budget roughly $20 million short of what its leaders say is needed to maintain existing services in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Michigan gas prices hit new record of $4.21; Flint, Lansing rise is sharpest

Average gas prices have surpassed their summer 2008 peak in most of Michigan, as prices jumped between 5 cents and 10 cents a gallon between Sunday and Monday as crude oil and wholesale prices fell in the wake of the U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden. Michigan’s average is now a record high of $4.217. It’s topped only by Hawaii ($4.57), Illinois ($4.28), California ($4.26), Connecticut ($4.26) and Alaska ($4.245).

Gas Prices Reach Highest Springtime Level Ever

The U.S. Department of Energy reported late Monday that gasoline prices at the pump averaged $3.96 a gallon nationwide, up a little over 8 cents from a week ago. The price hit $4 a gallon or higher in 12 states plus the District of Columbia. AAA and other market watchers said they expect $4 to become the norm nationwide by the end of this week.

Oregon's Unemployment Extension Going Fast

Oregon's unemployment extension attracts more people than expected. More than 22-thousand out-of-work Oregonians have qualified for the 30 Million dollars in extension benefits that were approved last week. Craig Spivey of the state employment department says they are being proactive with all of them, "Our worksource centers around the state are receiving a list of these individuals and contacting them making sure that their job search is up to code basically." He says there's nothing in the works for another extension. Right now, it looks like the benefits will be exhausted by the end of next week. The state had hoped that they wouldn't be exhausted for six weeks.

Shadow inventory will keep housing recovery at bay for three to four years

A full housing recovery is three to four years off as the nation grapples with a shadow housing inventory of 4.5 million distressed properties, according to Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Fratantoni said a phenomenon is now surfacing in housing that is essentially a "tale of two cities" where home prices are beginning to stabilize in economically viable parts of the country, while other areas are paralyzed by high unemployment and large shadow inventories.

China may face power shortage by mid-2011

“Some regions are facing shortfalls that are bigger and earlier than last year,” the China Electricity Council said in a report on its website. “Supplies in provinces in the north, east and south will be tight,” the report added.

China’s power use may increase 12% to 4.7 billion megawatt-hours this year, while generation capacity may gain 9%, the council said. Demand rose 13% to 1.1 billion megawatt-hours in the first quarter, according to the council.

Thomson Reuters Healthcare Spending Index: Costs Climb 5.8 Percent for Employers in 2010

The cost of healthcare for people with employer-sponsored health insurance rose 5.8 percent in 2010, according to the Thomson Reuters Healthcare Spending Index for Private Insurance.

The index tracks healthcare costs for individuals whose coverage is provided by self-insured employers - a segment that represents about 25 percent of U.S. healthcare expenditures. It is the timeliest indicator of healthcare inflation available.

Americans 45 and older are new voting-age majority

For the first time, Americans 45 and older make up a majority of the voting-age population, giving older Americans wider influence in elections as the U.S. stands divided over curtailing Medicare and other benefits for seniors.

"The center of American politics gets older," said E. Mark Braden, a former chief counsel to the Republican National Committee who now advises elected officials and state legislatures. "Given the current fiscal concerns, it's going to be a test case whether Republicans or Democrats can talk about entitlement reform without getting killed" politically.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

15 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Posts: 4149
Treasury says roughly $2 trln debt limit increase needed

 

 

Treasury says roughly $2 trln debt limit increase needed to keep govt. operating through 2012: sources

 

"CME Group Ltd., Comex’s owner, said this week that the minimum amount of cash that must be deposited when borrowing from brokers to trade silver futures will rise to $16,200 per contract at the close of business yesterday, from $14,513. A year ago, the margin was $4,250."

....................1A) Silver Drops After WSJ Says Soros, Passport Capital Sold Precious Metals

....................1B) Another Decline In Registered Silver Brings Total Comex Physical To Multi-Year Lows (Zerohedge...look at the graph)

  • Other news, headlines and opinion:

Oil Scarcity and its impact on the Global Economy

Greek 'Soft Restructuring' to Precede 'Hard' One (CNBC)

Greek measures may push default pain into 2012

Portugal Sells T-Bills at High Yields

Alabama storms hit Jefferson County finances

County OKs layoffs, still comes up $50 million short (Clark County, Nevada)

S&P chief defends US credit outlook cut

San Francisco to face budget woes for years, report warns

Okla lawmakers require pension COLAs to be funded

Mexican central bank buys 100 tonnes of gold

Central Banks in Mexico, Thailand, Russia Add $6 Billion of Gold Holdings

A Birds Eye View on Afghanistan, Derivitives, and the Precious Metals Market (McAlvany audio....Listen at around 8 minutes about the silver market and at around 22 minutes to hear what they think taxes need to be to cover US spending)

 

........................New Gold Eagle bullion release tomorrow. I think I'll pass on these. Others may be asking a certain question after buying them though.

Quadium's picture
Quadium
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Posts: 42
Canadian Dollar vs. S&P

I've mentioned this before, but I'm still amazed at the way the Canadian dollar vs the USD tracks our equity market. Much higher correlation than the Euro. Why? I'm not sure. Canada is our largest trading partner, bigger than China. Also, though we still have a trade deficit, we export nearly as much to Canada as we import from them. Whatever the reason, it is VERY clear this correlation is no accident. Though the volatility of our markets is 2-2.5x that of the Canadian vs. USD, they move in nearly identical paths, and have since the troubles began in late 2007.

Here's a weekly chart (S&P in green, Canadian vs. UD dollar in blue):

And here's a monthly chart:

Anyone who thinks the stock market rally isn't directly related to the decline in value of the US dollar is deluded. It has nothing to do with an economic recovery (assuming there really is one, which I highly doubt!).

quad

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Posts: 4149
$14,331,792,440,897.76

 

(Debt ceiling is $14.3 trillion)

 

Treasury Direct link

The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It

( Debt Held by the Public vs. Intragovernmental Holdings )

Current Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
05/03/2011 9,698,303,861,133.10 4,633,488,579,764.66 14,331,792,440,897.76

 

 

 

 

Tall's picture
Tall
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Posts: 564
Have lying mortgage bankers met their match?

How fitting that when Wall Street finally takes a hit after years of mortgage malpractice, the stick is called the False Claims Act.

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/05/04/have-lying-mortgage-bankers-met-their-match/

Tommygun's picture
Tommygun
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George Soros

Precious metals still a good bet. When George Soros signals a sell on metals, you know that he is looking to buy at the right price and wants everyone else to sell so he can buy at a lower price. I say hold the line and wade through the first part of the summer for the shake out to occur. Then buy accordingly for a longer more steadily paced bull market. The stage has been set and the train hasn't left the station yet with PM.

GregGGH's picture
GregGGH
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Tommygun wrote: ......t.
Tommygun wrote:

......t. When George Soros signals a sell on metals, you know that he is looking to buy at the right price..............

Mentioned on ZH that he might be trading 'paper' gold for real gold .... was selling the ETF's - not  much backing that is there ?

I like Sprott timing to sell some PSLV and buy miners - hmm ...if I had 34 million - what would I buy ... (smile)  interesting post on http://tfmetalsreport.blogspot.com/2011/05/return-of-nostradumbass.html

Greg

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Damnthematrix
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Peak Oil: it's not "if" it's "when"!

http://www.climatespectator.com.au//commentary/how-close-peak-oil?cookie_check=1&

Free registration is required to read online.

How close is peak oil?

Giles Parkinson

It seems politicians everywhere are suddenly waking up to the implications of peak oil. When will it arrive? Has it already passed? What does it mean for prices? And what do those prices mean for economic growth, and geopolitical
risk? Most are finding that whatever action they are thinking of taking now, they should have been doing decades ago.

This week, US President Barack Obama has been pressuring Congressional leaders to remove $US40 billion of subsidies to the oil industry as he begins to rebuild the foundations of his clean energy policy that aims to rid the country of its dependence on foreign oil.

This has been a stated goal of every US President since Nixon, yet – as Ted Turner and T. Boone Pickens pointed out last week – the power and the influence of Big Oil has meant nothing has happened. Now, surprisingly, Obama appears to be gaining some sort of support from the Republicans.

Actually, it shouldn't surprise at all. As Pickens said last week, peak oil may have already passed. "Oil's a finite resource and it's running out," he told a National Press Club luncheon in Washington. "In the fourth quarter of this year,
demand is projected to be 90 million barrels a day and I don't think the world can produce 90 million. If they can't, the only way you can kill demand is with price." He expects that price to soar to $US400 a barrel within a decade.

Not many people will argue against it. The world's biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, may quibble about the numbers, but the kingdom's rulers are realistic enough to start planning massive investments in nuclear and renewable energy
technologies that will wean their domestic energy requirements off a reliance on oil, and free up more reserves to sell into a depleted and price-inflated market in the future.

And the change in that market could be quite dramatic. The International Energy Agency, formed as a response to the oil crisis of the early 1970s, barely recognised the existence of peak oil until last November, when it declared it
may already have passed – at least in terms of conventional supplies - in 2006!

This reappraisal, it says, was the result of the most detailed survey ever carried out of 800 oil fields, which concluded that the decline rate in existing fields is very, very deep. So sharp, says IEA chief economist Fatih Birol, that
the world would need to develop four new Saudi Arabia's over the next 25 years just to maintain current production levels. And there is considerable about whether deep lying and unconventional sources such as tar sands can provide that much oil.

"It is a huge, huge challenge that we continue to underline," he told ABC Radio's Science program last week. "And on top of that, this would mean that the world's reliance in terms of oil supply would be on a very few number of
countries in the Middle East. So you have both the financial aspect, you have the geological aspect, and you have the geopolitical aspect of the growing reliance on oil. I am afraid that there will be more and more intersection between oil and geopolitics. This is the first worry. The second worry is the sudden increase in the oil prices. This is not good news for anybody."

On the same program, Jeremy Leggett, the author of "Half Gone," a book about peak oil, and head of a UK-based industry group that is trying to get its mind around the implications of peak oil, has an even more dispiriting message.

"We think that this problem is actually as bad, if not worse, than the credit crunch. It's going to come down on a world economy that is oil dependent, nay, oil addicted, as a great surprise when oil supply begins to descend, maybe even
collapse. This is a huge whistle that we are trying to blow.

"There are so many problems with conventional oil and unconventional oil that on the massive balance of probabilities, by 2015 at the latest in the view of the industry task force, there will be a descent of global oil production. That will
cause a crunch, it will cause the price to go through the roof, it will cause price volatility and all the downsides that come with a fabulously expensive and, in some cases, simply unavailable oil."

Are our politicians worried? Yes. Prepared? No. Obama clearly sees the implications, but without Republican support cannot act. China is betting heavily on electric vehicles as part of it's solution. Australia, which exports a heap of coal and gas, but imports most of its transport fuels, faces a similar challenge.

The Australian Conservation Foundation issued a report this week noting that state and federal governments are spending at least four times more on building roads and bridges than on public transport infrastructure. Its study found that while $11.3 billion was spent on road construction around the country in 2008-9, $5 billion was given away as subsidies by the Federal government through the Fuel Tax Credits program and another $1 billion was spent through the Fringe Benefits Tax to encourage the private use of company cars. Just $3.3 billion was spent on rail construction in 2008-9. The Greens have used this study to call for a national strategy that helps the country break its reliance on oil.

The only obvious winners are electric and hybrid car makers and EV network operators. Their business is almost entirely an arbitrage play on rising oil prices. Given the current forecasts – the IEA predicted itself that sales of
conventional gasoline cars will be negligible by 2050 – it's looking something like a sure bet.

ao's picture
ao
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Posts: 2220
Soros sell
Tommygun wrote:

Precious metals still a good bet. When George Soros signals a sell on metals, you know that he is looking to buy at the right price and wants everyone else to sell so he can buy at a lower price. I say hold the line and wade through the first part of the summer for the shake out to occur. Then buy accordingly for a longer more steadily paced bull market. The stage has been set and the train hasn't left the station yet with PM.

Exactly right on Soros.  He did the same thing with gold not too long ago.  I'd trust a rabid rattlesnake in my underwear more than I trust Soros in a market.

es2's picture
es2
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CME Group Announces Further Margin Hikes For Comex Silver Future

CME Group Announces Further Margin Hikes For Comex Silver Futures http://www.kitco.com/reports/KitcoNews20110504AS_silvermargins.html

CME Group is hiking silver margins again, with a late-Wednesday notice the fourth such announcement in the last two weeks.

CME Group, which operates the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, announced margin increases that will become effective at the end of business on Thursday, with yet another increase to go into effect after the close of business next Monday.

As of the end of business on Thursday, the “initial” margin to open new speculative positions in the main 5,000-ounce silver-futures contract will rise to $18,900 from $16,200, according to a notice released by the exchange. ...

Then as of the close of business on Monday, the initial speculative margin will rise further to $21,600.

 

Nate's picture
Nate
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Posts: 590
Damnthematrix wrote: Are our
Damnthematrix wrote:

Are our politicians worried? Yes. Prepared? No. Obama clearly sees the implications, but without Republican support cannot act.

If Obama clearly sees the implications and had a solid Democratic Congress for 2 years, why did he need Republican support? 

earthwise's picture
earthwise
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Nate wrote: Damnthematrix
Nate wrote:
Damnthematrix wrote:

Are our politicians worried? Yes. Prepared? No. Obama clearly sees the implications, but without Republican support cannot act.

If Obama clearly sees the implications and had a solid Democratic Congress for 2 years, why did he need Republican support? 

Because too many Dems on the Hill sacrificed themselves ramming Obamacare down our throats.

mono's picture
mono
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Posts: 70
Partypolitics offer nothing.

Partypolitics offer nothing. Both parties created this monstercrisis and both parties are more part of the problem than anything.

As long as the Banks and Wall Street have the defacto mandate about how high the countries debt is, will be and how that money is distributed, the crisis will continue to accelerate.

grl's picture
grl
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Posts: 188
What is wrong with this

What is wrong with this country

My Google news at this moment 3/5/11 is all - and exclusively - about OBL, tried to post the headlines here but it didn't take.  (three days after his timely death)..I am starting to think the CTs understand more than I do. Give me a break! The death of OBL is not only old news now but would have been old news 5 years ago. (not saying he was already dead, just sayin' .. so what). Something isn't passing my very accurate smell test. 

 

grl's picture
grl
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Posts: 188
Americans 45 and older are new voting-age majority

As a "voter" who falls within this 45 yo+ demographic ... allow me to state that I would never vote according to my age, benefits or demographic  as this article seems to suggest. We are not our parent's AARP (and even though I am now eligible for the AARP scam, I sent back their offer with a counter offer to go FucK themselves). Don't despair Millennia’s -you are our cherished  children (I have three)  and despite the myth about the “greatest generation" (and the Burning Platform's vendetta against Boomers), we Boomers are really not as selfish as our FDR-raised parents and in fact... we totally get it. 

 

Spelling edit

Tommygun's picture
Tommygun
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Posts: 65
Americans 45 and older

@GRL,

 I agree with you on the fact that Boomers are not to be blamed for the mess. Just a s a piece of wood rises and falls with the tide, Many of us Boomers are not to be blamed for the economic boom years that rose and are now falling.

I have always maintained my 60's - 70's collective consciousness mindset/sustainability and being fiscally conservative throughout my life.

Yet Burning Platform is perhaps referring to a segment of Boomers who I see as having a need for "conspicuous exhuberant consumption" . There are ;many boomers like that here in the greater Phoenix area.

All that will change with time. Keeping up appearances will become more expensive as time/commodities pass by.

Lao Tzu said one of the three great virtues was economy. Hold fast to the center.

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