Reaching back to 1984, education spending has nearly doubled as a share of the richest quintile’s budget. Health care spending and housing has also grown. By contrast, the portion of spending dedicated to things like reading, smoking, and clothes has declined rather significantly.
“Depressions are structural. You cannot solve a structural problem with liquidity. We don’t have a liquidity problem – there’s plenty of money around – we have structural problems. What are structural problems? Fiscal policy, Keystone Pipeline, talk of expanding the minimum wage…”
We fill up our shopping carts with lots of cheap plastic trinkets that are “made in China”, and they pile up gigantic mountains of our money which we beg them to lend back to us so that we can pay our bills.
Who is winning that game and who is losing that game?
The plunge in the unemployment rate — to 6.7 percent now, from 8.2 percent in March 2012 — has encouraged policy makers at the Federal Reserve to slowly begin easing back on their stimulus efforts.
But even as that so-called tapering process continues as expected for the remainder of 2014, a stabilization in the unemployment rate between 6.5 and 7 percent suggests the Fed will be in no hurry to raise short-term interest rates.
As Ars recently reported, red light cameras have reached a turning point across the United States. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a non-profit largely funded by auto insurance companies, last year was the first time in nearly two decades that the number of American cities with red light cameras had fallen—the systems were installed in 509 communities as of November 2013.
After 2008, the central banks tried to counter deflation by printing huge amounts of money. But the velocity of money, which is the credit in the system, is 30% down compared to 2008. It means that all the newly created “money” has not gone in the real economy. Most of the money has gone in the stock market, real estate market and government bonds. This could go on for a while. The outcomes, however, are limited. Deflation is one of them, but central banks will do whatever they can to avoid that. On the other hand, we can see hyperinflation, or a deflationary collapse, which both have the same outcome at the end of the day.
Hungry For Savings (jdargis)
“It’s this cycle that keeps going around and around,” says Jason Elchert, deputy director for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “We need to take a deep breath and think about how can we move our country forward.” Elchert says that over the past few years more and more working people in need of food assistance have been showing up at the charities his group serves. These include workers whose food stamps have run out before the end of the month as well as people who still can’t make ends meet even though they make too much to qualify for government food assistance.
State Department officials are pressing to factor in improvements to public health and lower energy costs from increased efficiency that would happen if fossil fuels were limited. Those would offset the price to be paid for switching over to cleaner forms of energy such as wind and solar and paring back on lower-cost fuels such as coal.
Gold & Silver
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