28
   

Why are the American People punishing Obama?

 
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Oct, 2014 08:08 pm
@Frank Apisa,
yes. I was also wrong...about the timing of the last COLA freeze. It might have been the year before when I wrote. I'm not sure about it being one or two years as my memory got foggy. In the most recent years, we have had either 2 or 3 small increases of under 2% each, historically low increases.

This year the increase will be about 1.7%. Yes, it is tied to the Consumer CPI. Doing so is a very misguided action and does not reflect the actual cost of living. Particularly so because each region has its own peculiarities of cost of living issues...housing costs, food costs, healthcare and energy costs.
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 10:31 am
@Ragman,
The Social Security folks will announce how much of a COLA there will be for 2015 on Wednesday (10/22). It will be, as Ragman mentioned, about 1.7%
There will be howls of protest that the CPI-W which is the source understates inflation.
What would be a better measure?
Sturgis
 
  3  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 11:26 am
@realjohnboy,
Well I suppose it was more a matter of how people were seeing it at the time.

The increase which came along in January of 2010 and 2011 was non-existent. I am well aware that there are laws which indicate an increase must be brought in if there's a cost of living increase.

Now of course since the economy had not rebounded in those first days of President Obama, it was indirectly at least tied to him.

It's all a matter of how a person wishes to look at it.
(the fact that I can even recall that period of time is something of a miracle on its own)
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 11:31 am
@Sturgis,
I agree; I guess it's a matter of concentrated effort on things we feel are important.

Since we have no control over COLA's of our social security benefit, and how it's taxed, I don't worry too much about those issues. Que Sera Sera
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 12:11 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Okay. I would respectfully suggest that we get back to unemployment. Tak posted a graph of U-3 which has been called the "official" rate. I don't know who decreed that to be the standard, by the way. I don't know how to link graphs so I would ask that we see that again - perhaps since 1990.
U-6 measures those without jobs but looking, as well as those working part-time but wanting full-time jobs. I can provide a better definition of U-6 if asked. Suffice it to say that it includes the "underemployed." A graph of U-6 would be useful perhaps.
Finally we have heard about the decline in the "labor participation rate" over the last few years. Any comments on that downward trend?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 12:41 pm
@realjohnboy,
I think the government uses the same 'standards' in determining the unemployment rates. However, from BLS:

Quote:
Because unemployment insurance records relate only to people who have applied for such benefits, and since it is impractical to count every unemployed person each month, the government conducts a monthly survey called the Current Population Survey (CPS) to measure the extent of unemployment in the country. The CPS has been conducted in the United States every month since 1940, when it began as a Work Projects Administration program. In 1942, the U.S. Census Bureau took over responsibility for the CPS. The survey has been expanded and modified several times since then. In 1994, for instance, the CPS underwent a major redesign in order to computerize the interview process as well as to obtain more comprehensive and relevant information.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 12:46 pm
@realjohnboy,
Quote:
I would respectfully suggest that we get back to unemployment.


which would be a mistake.


By Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Quote:
Where have all the flowers gone? American families hoped to emerge a long time ago from the bleakness of the Great Recession that began in 2008. Only a minority has, and it’s important we understand who they are and how they escaped into the sunlit uplands of the once-upon-a-time American dream. For the great bulk of the population, the recovery is a mirage. They tell pollsters they are fed up with their economic life and most have no confidence things will improve.

Are they malcontents? Why so glum, when the total number of jobs has finally returned to pre-recession levels? What more do they want? Well, how about halfway decent pay for a half-day’s work, because that is what’s mostly available. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of full-time jobs last month was still 2.3 million below where it was back at its peak in 2007. Here’s another harsh fact that justifies the gloom: The positions now being created have pay levels that are 23 percent lower than the jobs that have disappeared, according to an August study by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and IHS Global Insight. Quite simply, in many cases low-wage and often part-time jobs are replacing high-wage full-time jobs in sectors like technology, manufacturing, and construction.


http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2014/10/17/mort-zuckerman-declining-wages-are-killing-the-american-dream

The thing to focus on is whether this economy is producing enough income for families to finance the American Dream. Or even a reasonably OK lifestyle. This we find out by looking at the number of jobs that exist, and what they pay. The unemployment rate is an irrelevant diversion, it has become an almost completely useless number.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 12:55 pm
@hawkeye10,
The only option open to governments is to increase the minimum wage. The greed of company CEO's and officers don't care about their workers who contribute to the success of their company. Those same CEO's and officers get stock options worth millions that should be shared with all the employees who make the company a success.

IF and when that changes, the economy of this country will explode; everybody will benefit.
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 01:15 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
The only option open to governments is to increase the minimum wage


I am not convinced that is an option, at least not the $15 idea. Unions took a long time to smell the coffee, but pricing themselves out of the global labor market did them in. I see no reason not to expect that this is what happens to the entire nation that has saddled itself with a high min wage. Remember not only the min wage goes up, but almost all wages will have to go up, because the wage scale has to take into account skills. If we are going to pay some drugged up teen $15 to fry french fries then people who can actually do something difficult are going to have to get paid more.

The same globalization makes it impossible to turn the screws to the holders of capital, it makes it impossible for we the people to claw some of that wealth back to spread around for the common good, because the wealth can vanish from the nation with the click of a mouse.

I dont know what the answer is, but I do know that we should stop talking about the so called unemployment rate. It is nonsense, it is a number passed down from the elite that has very little connection to reality, and it is of no use when trying to analyse or improve our situation.
0 Replies
 
Moment-in-Time
 
  0  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 01:17 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:

The only option open to governments is to increase the minimum wage. The greed of company CEO's and officers don't care about their workers who contribute to the success of their company. Those same CEO's and officers get stock options worth millions that should be shared with all the employees who make the company a success.

IF and when that changes, the economy of this country will explode; everybody will benefit.


I agree with you totally! If the GOP take over the senate the US will be in a free-fall. There will be slash and burn all across the board involving the poor and the middle class who has been downgraded under the Tea Party. We lost 24 billion dollars during the Government shutdown under the clown Ted Cruz. I don't think they will have success in repealing the Obamacare but the Republicans will make it so bad in other areas there just might be a revolution by the American people which will be a good thing!
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 02:43 pm
@Moment-in-Time,
You wrote,
Quote:
I don't think they will have success in repealing the Obamacare but the Republicans will make it so bad in other areas there just might be a revolution by the American people which will be a good thing!


When the GOP wins both houses of congress, that's based on the votes made by the American people. They're not going to turn around and suddenly realize they screwed up! The GOP has been the party of NO for the past six years, and they've already tried over 54 times to repeal ObamaCare. THEY STILL GET THE VOTES.

Let's face it; American voters are stupid.
They want their social security benefits converted into a private investment program - as advanced by the GOP. They don't want to increase minimum wage, but still expect everybody to pay their own way for everything.
They don't want ObamaCare, and wants it repealed, so their family and friends can live without health care.
They don't want the minimum wage to be increased, because the rich will create jobs.

They don't want the rich to pay more in taxes (see above) - all while our schools are underfunded, our infrastructure breaks down, and we spend more and more on our intelligence agencies that spies more on Americans. They approve of torture of any prisoner who is identified as a terrorist, and that includes American citizens. No trial, no right to a defense, go straight to prison.

Who's worried? Me! nah..........

roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 02:48 pm
@realjohnboy,
Oh, Goodie! Just enough to allow an increase in Medicare premiums.

Actually, I didn't check the threshold, but that sounded kind of good.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 10:38 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Hmmm stupid you say.

And, I suppose, you are not among the stupid despite the evidence provided by this post.

It appears that your definition of "stupid" is not agreeing with CI.


0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 10:47 pm
@cicerone imposter,
The economy of this country is going to explode if a very small segment of the work force has their hourly wage increased?

If I'm not mistaken you are one of the voices arguing that these people simply can't get by on the current minimum wage and that they unable to pay for essentials let alone luxuries. If this is the case how will their increased spending power (not-with-standing how small it will be in it's entirety) provide a life giving stimulus to the economy? Or are you suggesting the minimum wage be increased to such a point that these folks are launched into the Middle Class?
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 10:51 pm
@Moment-in-Time,
Quote:
I agree with you totally! If the GOP take over the senate the US will be in a free-fall.


A free-fall?

Hyperbolic much?

First of all, Obama will still be president and he'll still have veto power.

Secondly, you don't think they will be able to repeal ObamaCare (their #1 target) but somehow they will be able to otherwise destroy the nation.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  3  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 10:54 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
The economy of this country is going to explode if a very small segment of the work force has their hourly wage increased?


False. When min wage goes up lots of wages above it also go up, because those with premium skills need to get paid premium money. this is how markets work, better things(or in this case people) cost more.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 11:00 pm
@hawkeye10,
So you join CI in believing that increasing the minimum wage will result in an economic boom.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2014 11:29 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

So you join CI in believing that increasing the minimum wage will result in an economic boom.

Some increase makes sense, but the $15 min wage seems to be driven by an urge to stick it to the rich, make them pay more for labor, when I am smart enough to know that labor exists in a global marketplace so labor that is too expensive for the work that they do will lead to certain doom. I also am aware of what happened when unions had the power to warp labor compensation rates.

We have class inequality problems, but government mandates that workers be overpaid is not going to do us any good in the long run. THere is no way that most people who do min wage work now are worth $15 an hour, and most of the people who do $10-$15 jobs now are not worth the $15-$20 that they will get paid under the $15 min wage.

Bottom line: $15 min wage is a huge distortion in the labor markets, and I see no way that it ends well. A $9 min wage however likely makes good sense. $10 possibly.
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2014 10:21 am
@hawkeye10,
You're offering a lot of opinions with any support from credible sources. How do you explain that?

FACT: Most states and cities that have implemented minimum wage laws have seen growth in their economies, and a reduction in their unemployment rates.

How do you reconcile those facts with your personal opinions?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2014 10:33 am
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
FACT: Most states and cities that have implemented minimum wage laws have seen growth in their economies, and a reduction in their unemployment rates.

How do you reconcile those facts with your personal opinions?

as I have said before, a raise in min wage is probably a good idea, so a reasonable raise in Min Wage I would not expect to be a problem. It is a min wage on the order of $15 which I expect to be disastrous if widely implemented. The only reason it is not in SF is a combination of people willing to spend a premium to live there and because of long term intense constriction of building places to live (which constricts labor). Seattle might be able to get away with it, but I doubt it.

However, I dont believe that it is fact that raising min wage has proved to be good always. The evidence is mixed from by readings, and the economists dont seem to have a good sense of where the min wage should actually be to promote max economic good. In seattle at least economic health was rarely mentioned in the campaign for $15, what was said is " they deserve it!" an " stick it to the rich!".
 

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