BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin is the reason compasses point North.

calendar   Friday - May 17, 2013

Who Writes These Headlines?

Looks Like Drew Works For Fox News.

Yeah, I wish.

And owing to a sudden bout of ... symptoms ... I seem to be having today, this story sort of “hits home”. Or somewhere not too far from my heart.

Venezuela to import 50M rolls of toilet paper after government claims it’s wiped out



Aren’t there any of those Zimbabwe Trillion Dollar bank notes left? A few thousand tons of them ought to help, right?

First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short. Now Venezuela is running out of the most basic of necessities — toilet paper.

Blaming political opponents for the shortfall, as it does for other shortages, the embattled socialist government says it will import 50 million rolls to boost supplies.

That was little comfort to consumers struggling to find toilet paper on Wednesday.

“This is the last straw,” said Manuel Fagundes, a shopper hunting for tissue in downtown Caracas. “I’m 71 years old and this is the first time I’ve seen this.”

One supermarket visited by The Associated Press in the capital on Wednesday was out of toilet paper. Another had just received a fresh batch, and it quickly filled up with shoppers as the word spread.

“I’ve been looking for it for two weeks,” said Cristina Ramos. “I was told that they had some here and now I’m in line.”

Economists say Venezuela’s shortages stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government’s controls on foreign currency.

“State-controlled prices — prices that are set below market-clearing price — always result in shortages. The shortage problem will only get worse, as it did over the years in the Soviet Union,” said Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University.

Yup, that’s the ivory tower way of saying that fascism doesn’t work. Imagine that; an ivory tower boy knocking one of the pillars of socialism. Golly.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/17/2013 at 02:26 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsLatin-America •  
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calendar   Monday - April 29, 2013

Mother Nature Is Not Helping

Another 2 week old news story I just learned about today.



Massive Landslide Closes Bingham Canyon Mine

image



Outside Salt Lake City, Utah. The Bingham Canyon Mine is an open pit mine, the largest in the world. It is more than 3 miles across and nearly a mile deep.

The landslide went off at about 9:30 in the evening on Wednesday, April 11. It was expected: like most modern mines, Bingham has redundant sensor systems (radar, laser, seismic, GPS) that measure ground movement down to the millimeter and give plenty of warning when a collapse is imminent. The mine was evacuated about 12 hours before the landslide, and nobody was hurt.

But the scale of the landslide was a surprise. Approximately 165 million tons of rock shifted, causing a highly localized earthquake measuring 5.1 Richter. It damaged or destroyed roads, power lines, and other infrastructure, and a number of the giant shovels and dump trucks that move ore and waste rock out of the pit.

image

[April 13] BINGHAM CANYON — Limited mining activity has resumed at Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine, three days after a massive landslide.

But company officials say the activity is in an area that wasn’t effected by the slide, called “the cornerstone,” and has nothing to do with the actual mining of ore.

Rio Tinto’s Kenecott Utah Copper spokesman Justin Jones said mining of “waste rock” resumed about 1 a.m. Saturday in the southeastern part of the mine. This is rock that is cleared that has no value, to get to the ground that contains ore, he said. It marks the first activity in the mine since the slide Wednesday night.

The massive slide registered as a magnitude 2.4 shake at the University of Utah seismograph station. Pictures taken from KSL Chopper 5 have amazed viewers and readers. But the slide’s exact dimensions had not yet been determined.

On Saturday, Jones said crews still were not allowed to get to the mine floor. The Mine Safety and Health Administration has ordered work in that area stopped until further notice. Jones hoped that crews would be able to get to bottom of the pit by next week.

No further movement of the mine had been recorded as of Saturday.

“It is essential for us to get back to work and get up and running as soon as possible,” Jones said.

Some slope movement had been detected two weeks earlier, enough to cancel the visitor’s season.

The good news, which may or may not last, is that the price of copper has not spiked.

165 million tons of rockfall. The biggest dumptrucks there can carry 400 tons. It’s going to take a long, long time to get this mine cleaned up and back to full operational capacity. Maybe they’ll just start a new pit altogether ... although it’s my understanding that the ore vein is way down at the bottom. This one mine supplies 17% of all the copper in the whole country.


more pics:
http://www.ksl.com/?sid=24748916&nid=460#1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/riotinto-kennecottutahcopper/sets/72157633216160914/with/8637646879/

more coverage:
http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_4525.shtml
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/14/rio-utah-slide-idUSL2N0D10HM20130414
http://fox13now.com/2013/04/23/residents-concerned-about-bingham-mine-access-road/


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/29/2013 at 07:55 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsGuns and Gun Control •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 24, 2013

$3.19 here in NJ

Gee, Really? “Falling gas prices could boost economy”



The sharp drop in gas prices over the last month or so could provide America’s economy with a much-needed jolt, putting money into consumers’ pockets just as the impact of federal spending cuts reverberates through the economy.

In fact, some economists believe they could balance each other out nearly dollar for dollar.

Gasoline prices have fallen some 30 cents a gallon since hitting a high of nearly $3.80 a gallon earlier this year. The drop is mostly due to declining oil prices.

If the gas price drop continues—and many expect it will—prices could slip below $3.40 a gallon by summer, according to the research firm Capital Economics.

If prices stay that low, the savings for drivers over the course of a year could top $80 billion. That’s $80 billion to spend on other things like clothes, electronics or entertainment.

“To put that into context, it is roughly the same size as the sequestration spending cuts that took effect at the start of last month,” researchers at Capital Economics wrote in a recent note. As a result, economic growth “might not be as bad as we had initially feared.”



When I can fill my old Saturn’s 11 gallon tank up for under $20 again, I’ll know that a real Recovery is happening, and that all the years of the Obama Effect have been wiped away like the bird poo on the windshield that they are. I could do that when Bush left office (gas was $1.85 when Teh Won came to power).

Our local stations are selling 87 for $3.19 - 3.25/gal cash price. The current NJ state average price is $3.30/gal.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/24/2013 at 11:46 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsNo Shit, Sherlock •  
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calendar   Sunday - March 17, 2013

from each no matter what their means, to all who want some of it anyway

I have about a 100 things to get done today and this is one ovem.

While reading this I wondered if I could convince the govt. that I’m an asylum seeker from the USA.  Based on a program broadcast last night on BBC radio wherein the host had absolute proof that Nixon was a traitor and kept the war in Nam going so that he would win in 68 thus stealing the election from Humphrey, well.  They might believe the wife and I are needy of a million dollar home as this place is too small and too old.
Nah. Never work.
Wrong social group and color.

Gotta wonder though how people come here and manage to convince the authorities that living large at the txpyer expense is somehow a right. And not just a right but a very large and expensive one.

Mother of six demands she is rehoused in exclusive suburb after a cap on housing benefit forced her out of £2MILLION home ( roughly 3 million 23 thousand in dollars )

Stephanie Demouh was entitled to housing benefit because she was registered as a single mother
She lived in a four bedroom house in Belgravia, near Sloane Square, for about three years
Government housing cap resulted in Westminster Council moving family
Demouh says she needs to live in the exclusive area so her children can get to school
Westminster City Council says it will now investigate the case

By Tara Brady

A mother-of-six who was forced out of a £2million home in one of London’s most expensive areas after the government introduced a cap on housing benefit is demanding the council rehouse her in the same neighbourhood so her children can attend an elite school.

Stephanie Demouh, originally from Togo, in west Africa, was entitled to the handouts because she claimed she was a single mother.

She was allocated a four-bedroom house in Belgravia, near Sloane Square, where she has been living for about three years with her children.

It is not known how much exactly Ms Demouh’s rent was each month and whether it was all funded from the housing benefit she received which totalled £1,200 a week.

However, after the government housing benefit was capped at £400-a-week she was forced to move into temporary accommodation 10 miles away in Edgware by Westminster City Council on December 29. 

The mother, who is studying accountancy at Westminster University, wrote to councillors to complain and believes she should be rehoused by the council in the exclusive neighbourhood, where the average four-bedroom property is worth about £6million, so her four children can attend a top Church of England school.

She hopes her fifth child will start in September.

Ms Demouh says her children are now always tired because of the distance they have to travel on the bus to school.

She told The Sunday Times: ‘My children are suffering because they are overtired all the time.

‘I can’t change my place of study. If you have to attend a nine o’clock lecture, you can’t be at both places together.’

According to records single mum Demouh married in 2001 but she was the only adult living in the house with her children.

Companies House records shows that her husband owns an online clothes store called Ambro & Phany. She is listed as the company’s secretary.

Despite claiming to the council that she is a single mother, it is understood she owns 50 per cent of the shares of her husband’s company.

When asked if her husband contributes to the family’s living costs, she said ‘a lot’.

Ms Demouh has denied outright that she has been involved in any fraudulent activity.

A council spokesman confirmed the local authority will investigate the case and will look at Ms Demouh’s entire history with the council.

Cllr Jonathan Glanz, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for housing said: ‘This investigation is ongoing, so we cannot comment on the specific details.

‘Westminster City Council are committed to ensuring that homes and taxpayers’ money are used to help only those in genuine need and will not tolerate people “playing the system” to their own benefit.

‘We will unhesitatingly take court action against those who make false claims to ensure that money only goes to those who genuinely need it.’

A crackdown on housing benefit has seen a massive fall in the number of families claiming over £30,000 a year, the Government say.

There has been a 75 per cent drop in the largest claims in three years, new figures show, after ministers pledged to cut the ballooning welfare budget.

Payments to tenants in the private rented sector were capped at £250 a week for a one-bedroom flat up to £400 for four bedrooms.

source


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/17/2013 at 02:54 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsIllegal-Aliens and ImmigrationInflation and High Prices •  
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calendar   Tuesday - March 12, 2013

This Can’t Be Right

I read a post at SBPDL today that referenced an article at The Hill, wherein Barbara Lee (D-CA) is almost saying that the Sequester is raaaaacist because it will have the strongest impact on the Black community, because 20% of their workforce works for the government.

That got me thinking. And then I saw last year’s report from The Heritage Foundation that shows that 20% of our entire population is dependent on government handouts, and that does NOT include the people who work for the government.

image

Then I looked around a bit, and finally found what seems to be a fair answer to that old chestnut “How many people work for the government?” And the answer, when all is said and done, sub-contractors included, is 40 million people. And this is last year’s answer, m’kay? 40 million. 17% of the labor pool, and since Wikipedia pegs the overall population at a hair under 309 million, that’s also 12.944% of the total population. Do the tiniest bit of rounding up to bring the data up to date, and we’ve got 33% of America either working for, or getting a check from, the government. This includes the federal, state, and local levels.

But still. 33%. A solid third. 103,000,000 people. One in three. 1/3 of the American population, supported by the government in one way or another. Which means the taxes paid by the workforce that represents the other 2/3, plus whatever trillions gets borrowed from the rest of the world.

And, as you’ve heard a hundred times, half the population neither pays taxes nor is represented on a tax return by people who do.

image

Don’t forget that all those 40 million government workers are theoretically part of that income tax paying group NOT in the above graph. And it’s a really easy argument to posit that they don’t really pay income taxes except on their investments, since their income is derived from tax redistribution. That makes the bite that much sharper for anyone with a job that actually contributes to a real GNP.

This is all rolled together and called “Spreading the wealth around”. Every two citizens who pay income taxes are supporting a third citizen to a greater or lesser extent.

We are Greece.  Or at least we can see them from our house.


Just something to keep in mind when the Left and the Media tear into Paul Ryan for the next several days for his utter horrible intransigence in delivering a budget plan today that would eventually reel in some amount of excessive government spending. In a few years. And pay off the national debt in another 2 generations.

House Republicans unveiled an ambitious cost-cutting plan Tuesday that would balance the budget in 10 years without raising taxes, while repealing ObamaCare and overhauling entitlements—a document Democrats are sure to reject but could be used as a negotiating tool in talks with President Obama.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, is sticking by controversial proposals, including one to give future Medicare retirees the option of using government payments for private health care plans.

The plan warns of a looming debt crisis, and endeavors to pay off the debt by 2050. 

“We are addressing the most predictable debt crisis in this country’s history,” Ryan said Tuesday. “Our plan will balance the budget and pay off our debts.”

In response, the White House issued a statement complaining that the plan does not include tax increases for top earners and said the president believes it is the “wrong course for America.”

The wrong course for America? Hey butthole, what other course do we have left? Total bankruptcy and complete insolvency?

70% of federal spending is for handouts. Entitlements. Spreading The Wealth Around. A third of that money is borrowed from abroad.

But never mind that, you silly wage earners. It’s time to get out your 1040 forms and Pay Your Fair Share. Too bad you can’t get a deduction for your 103,000,000 dependents.

Here is some more info on the “2014 Ryan Budget”. Yes, he’s keeping Obama’s tax hike. DUH. That’s the only sane way out of this morass. “Take less, spend nothing” works, but it’s too damn drastic. “Take more, spend less” works too, and also raises the value of the money that you have left by reducing the currency supply. This is the only approach that will work, whether it’s “fine tuned” up or down a bit. But if it gets “tuned down” to the zero point, then it’s another pile of worthless crap, and the proverbial can gets kicked down the road again. Problem is, the end of the road is in sight. And it isn’t very far away. If anything, the Ryan budget needs to be made fiercer. Bigger cuts, faster. And then, perhaps in 10 years when there is clear evidence that things are improving, then we can cut the taxes severely. Granted, I would like to see two alternates, one that throws out Obamacare and ALL it’s additional taxes, and another that throws out Obamacare and HALF it’s additional taxes. Run the numbers and see where either one pushes the horizon to. Because it’s going to be hell dealing with a massive tax increase right now.

Which is EXACTLY what the Democrats are planning. Give Obama a nickel, and he’ll cry for a dollar. It’s only your fair share after all, right? That’s happened already. It’s not an anecdote. Too much is never enough for Teh Won.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/12/2013 at 06:50 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsGovernmentTaxes •  
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calendar   Friday - February 01, 2013

A Ray Of Hope, A Bit Of Change?

DOW sneaks past 14,000, first time since 2007

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above 14,000 for the first time since the Great Recession.

The index rose as high as 14,000.97 in early trading. The index last traded above 14,000 in October 2007.

The Dow has gained 6.7 percent since the start of the year.

A budget deal, struck at the start of the year in Washington, that allowed the U.S. to avoid the “fiscal cliff” was the catalyst for a January rally. Investors then pushed stocks higher amid optimism that the housing market is maintaining its recovery and that the jobs market is slowly healing.

The index has more than doubled since falling to close at low of 6,547.05 March, 3, 2009 after the Great Recession.

Well that’s nice. Good for everyone who has any investments left at this point. I’m not going to get excited about it, because I’m very aware of the disconnect between the real economy and the fairytale land of Wall Street. Still, it’s a little bit of nice news.

The highest the DJI has ever closed at was 14,164.53 on October 9, 2007. Two days later on October 11, 2007, it hit it’s all time record intra-day trading point of 14,198.10. Under Booosh. Then the housing bubble broke, with that whole junk mortgage fiasco, bank crisis, and so on.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/01/2013 at 03:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Economics •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 31, 2013

Taking Off Like A Rocket

Pump Prices Going Up 2% Per Day??

Where are we, Zimbabwe?



At the local El-Cheapo no brand gas station down the street, the cash price for a gallon of low grade 87 octane gasoline today is $3.42. Last night it was $3.35. Yesterday morning it was $3.29. The day before that it was $3.27. Before that it had rested at $3.25 for 3 or 4 days, after jumping up from $3.19, which was the lowest price it had sold for in many months. This latest increase - 23¢ in under a week - is going gangbusters. 2% a day it seems ... at that rate, it will be over $4 by next weekend. Horry clap. And that’s the cheap station; the other two stations in town are already at $3.50 or higher. And NJ has just about the cheapest gas prices in the country. Help us Lord Obama, help us!


Gasoline and heating-oil futures were higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange on indications of stronger demand. The robust rally in reformulated gasoline blendstock futures continued for a 10th day as data from the Energy Information Administration showed gasoline stockpiles in the mid-Atlantic region remain near 15% below their five-year average level for this time of year.

Crude-oil futures bounced on either side of unchanged, sticking close to their highest level since mid-September.

Nymex light, sweet crude oil for March delivery was 16 cents higher at $97.73 a barrel, after trading in an intraday span of $97.32 to $98.24 a barrel. The contract settled Tuesday at the highest price since Sept. 14. ICE March North Sea Brent was 55 cents higher at $114.91 a barrel, after settling a day earlier at the highest level since mid-October.

The EIA reported that U.S. crude-oil stocks climbed by 5.947 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 25, helped by a modest rise in imports. The stockbuild exceeded the 2.7-million-barrel rise expected by analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswire and topped the nearly 4.2-million-barrel gain reported late Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group.

The large stockbuild came even as refiners boosted crude-oil process rates last week. The EIA said refiners operated at 85% of capacity, while analysts expected the level to hold at a 10-month low of 83.6% of capacity.

Gasoline stocks dropped nationwide by 956,000 barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations of a slim, 200,000-barrel rise. Nationwide stocks are 2.2% above a year ago despite low levels in the mid-Atlantic states. Distillate stocks (diesel/heating oil) fell 2.315 million barrels, more than the forecast of a 900,000-barrel drop.

Implied gasoline demand inched up to the highest level in a month, while distillate demand was the highest since mid-December.

So the prices are up because the “implied” demand is up, but the demand is up because supplies are lower. Meanwhile, crude oil on hand is at record levels, but the distilleries are just puttering along to keep the supply low. And the analysts don’t know jack. In other words, we’re being gamed. Played by the oil companies. Squeezed hard yet again. Thanks for nothing. Hosers.

Meanwhile, the economy is actually shrinking, down 0.1% for this most recent quarter after several months of modest 3-4% growth. And wouldn’t you know it, the weekly jobless claims are once again ... say it with me ... “unexpectedly higher”.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits bounced off five-year lows last week, pulling them back to levels consistent with modest job growth.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 38,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s claims figure was unrevised.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected claims to increase to 350,000.

So, flat economy, more than expected unemployment ... all point towards lowered gasoline demand. The prices ought to be falling at the pumps, not spiking up. Rat bastards.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/31/2013 at 06:02 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Friday - January 25, 2013

A Flanking Attack

No, I’m not posting on that turbo-moron Feinstein’s anti-freedom bill she introduced. In anything close to a sane America she’d be laughed right out of DC. But this is no longer sane America, is the far-left neo-Marxist Obamerika. So anything goes, and if that utterly unconstitutional piece of crap known as Obamacare not only passed but survived examination by the Supreme Court - all due to the turncoat actions of ONE SINGLE MAN - then I would not hazard a guess as to whether DiFi’s insult to America will flourish or founder. At best it’s a crap shoot. But meanwhile, here’s another assault on guns, and an assault on legitimate business at the same time.

It is SO time to push that Reset Button, and push it HARD.




Guns Dealers Turned Away By Credit Card Processing Companies

First it was Bank of America. Now this.

LEIPER’S FORK, Tenn. - A Williamson County gun dealer recently learned a credit card processing company no longer wants to do business with him.

“We go through all the hoops and all the steps and at the end of the day it’s still a struggle to get the same services anybody else would,” said Nick McMillan.

He owns Leiper’s Fork Firearms. It is a small gun dealership McMillan runs out of his home.

“We’re set up like a business, just like every other small business out there,” he said.

McMillan is a has a federal firearms license and is heavily regulated by both the state and federal governments.

But McMillan received an email from Intuit Payment solutions informing him the company was no longer interested in processing his credit card sales.

“They either reviewed several accounts, or it was a company wide policy, because I wasn’t the only federal firearms license dealer that got pushed out the other day,” McMillan said.

In the email the company wrote “Intuit does not support the services you are providing” and then the reason stated was firearms, ammunition, gun parts and accessories sales not sold in a face-to-face environment with the credit card being swiped.

McMillan does not know the exact reason behind the policy change, but speculated the nationwide gun debate may be behind the move.

“I think companies like this are so afraid of any negative publicity they’d rather not participate,” McMillan said.

The small business owner said the move by Intuit will not stop him from selling guns.

“Intuit Processing isn’t my only option, I am set up with another company that’s a lot more friendly to the industry,” said McMillan.

He does feel as if the company is discriminating against federally licensed gun dealers.

“It’s up to them who they provide the service to, at the end of the day,

Golly gee, it’s almost too bad the guy was able to find another processing center. Otherwise he would have had to become a cash-only business, which would provide an even lower level of firearms purchase traceability.



For all morons, sheep, low information voters, willfully blind persons and liberals (but I repeat myself), there is no such thing as a direct online sale of firearms in the USA, nor has there been since 1968. The Gun Control Act of 1968 made guns by mail illegal, and internet sales are no different than the old paper catalog sales. Any firearm purchased MUST be shipped to a federally licensed gun dealer, almost always at the buyer’s cost (~$40) and then a NICS check is run on the buyer before the sale is completed. Period. Full stop. No Ifs, Ands, or Buts. The whole “online sales” thing is bullshit smoke and mirrors designed to upset the stupid and unaware, and to get them to react emotionally. Which is how Leftism works: if anyone ever stopped and thought anything through, they’d never get a single vote.

Via Say Uncle


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/25/2013 at 09:33 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsGuns and Gun Control •  
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calendar   Saturday - January 12, 2013

Paying It Off

Greece Raises Middle Class Tax Bracket To 40%,

Top Tier Grows To 42%

In other words, anybody with a halfway decent job is paying at, or near, the maximum tax rate. Guess the party’s over in Greece.

Athens passed new tax increases to boost revenue by US$3 billion to keep in line with previous commitments to creditors. The new measures limit family benefits and force the middle class to pay over 40 per cent of their annual salary in taxes.

Greek’s Conservative-led coalition has passed the new tax increases to middle and high-income earners, self-employed and businesses.

The new law increases the amount of income tax paid by those earning more than US$26,000 a year, limits tax benefits for having children, revokes tax breaks for farmers and increases corporate tax to 26 per cent from 20 per cent.

It also increased top income tax rate to 42 per cent from 40 per cent for Greeks earning more than US$56,000 a year, which is the higher-end of middle class average in Greece.

The new law was part of an overall package approved past November in order to qualify Greece for more bailouts in the future. It aims to save Greece up to US$3 billion in 2013.

If the new tax changes would not have been passed, then Greece would not qualify for more bailout money to be transferred and the nation would have fallen short of paying its own bills.

That’s the way Greece ... Tax The Rich™ - anyone earning more than $56K per year.

Coming soon to a neo-Turd World dictatorship near you!

So now that they’re going to tax their people naked to pay their way out of debt, that step towards austerity lets them get even more money lent to them, so that they get deeper in debt. Yeah, that makes sense. Uh huh.

Just last month Greece has received another US$45.5 billion in frozen loans and now with the passage of the new tax bill it is on track to get another US$19.9 billion in the next few months.

But it’s been a free ride over there for ages, and it’s time somebody has to pay the piper

Trying to hold control of the economy at the end of 2012 Greece adopted a 2013 budget that involves 9.4 billion euro of spending cuts, mainly in state wages, pensions and benefits, all of which have already been significantly reduced over the past two years.

Tough austerity measures have also led to a drastic surge of unemployment – in September 2012 it reached a record 26 per cent, which is one of the lowest levels amongst the EU nations.

Oops. Yup, the party’s over.  But I think they meant to write “highest” instead - the EU27 is at 10.7.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/12/2013 at 06:03 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsEUro-peons •  
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Pretty Amazing At This Point

U.S. Trade Deficit Unexpectedly Surges to $48.7B



The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly grew in November, a drag on economic growth, although the gap’s widening was driven by a surge in consumer goods imports, which gives a positive signal for consumer spending.

The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap increased 16 percent in November to $48.7 billion.

Analysts were expecting the deficit to shrink to $41.3 billion, so the report could lead some economists to trim their forecasts for economic growth in the fourth quarter.

Net imports suck cash out of the economy, subtracting from gross domestic product.

The trade deficit was the widest since April, and its expansion was driven by a 3.8 percent increase in imports, the largest gain in eight months.

Imports of consumer goods rose by $4.6 billion, while imports of petroleum products fell by $870 million. That might point to firmer consumer demand, which is the main engine of the U.S. economy.

“That might point to ... “ I think somebody is trying to gold plate a turd. Gee, I wonder why?

As far as petroleum products are concerned, I think a better indicator would be petroleum products purchased. That way we can see what the economy is actually doing, instead of getting false hopes because the balance between imports and domestic production may have shifted a tiny bit. Still, if domestic production is up some, that is a good sign. But if overall demand is still low, that’s a stronger negative sign.

Let’s cut the carp, m’kay? I’m so tired of these fishy “unexpected” numbers.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/12/2013 at 03:47 PM   
Filed Under: • Economics •  
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calendar   Wednesday - January 09, 2013

Life Here In Upside Down World

They say you better listen to the voice of reason
But they don’t give you any choice
‘cause they think that it’s treason.
So you had better do as you are told.
You better listen to the radio.

I wanna bite the hand that feeds me.
I wanna bite that hand so badly.
I want to make them wish they’d never seen me.

-Elvis Costello, Radio Radio



AIG Considering $25 BILLION Lawsuit Against Government

For $182 BILLION Bail Out



As American International Group Inc. weighs whether to join a lawsuit against the government that spent $182 billion to save it from collapse, U.S. lawmakers have a message for the insurance behemoth: “Don’t even think about it.”

In a letter to AIG Chairman Robert Miller, U.S. Reps. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Michael Capuano, D-Mass., characterized the insurer as the “poster child” for Wall Street greed, fiscal mismanagement and executive bonuses.

“Now, AIG apparently seeks to become the poster company for corporate ingratitude and chutzpah,” the letter read. “Taxpayers are still furious that they rescued a company whose own conduct brought it down. Don’t rub salt in the wounds with yet another reckless decision that is on par with the reckless decision that led to the bailout in the first place.”

In widely reported comments, former inspector general for the financial industry bailout Neil Barofsky said AIG joining the suit would be a “giant middle finger” to the American taxpayer.

AIG said Tuesday its board of directors will weigh whether to take part in a shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. over the government’s $182 billion bailout of the insurer.

If AIG decides to join the complaint, which seeks $25 billion in damages, it would pit the company against the government that rescued it in 2008 from collapsing under the weight of huge losses on mortgage-backed securities and other toxic assets.

AIG said that its directors will take up the matter on Wednesday and expects they will have a decision by the end of the month.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said it was “simply outrageous” that AIG officials would even consider such a lawsuit.

I admit to being a bit confused here. Ordinarily, my response to such amounts of gall would include copious quantities of large caliber artillery fire, but if whack-a-doodle-do Maxine thinks it’s wrong then I have to step back and give it some thought. The shareholders got screwed royally here, so they are suing. If AIG joins the suit on their side, then it’s a CYA effort that will keep them from being named on the other side of the lawsuit. Better to be the plaintiff than the defendant when death is on the line when billions are involved, so this might be a smart move for them. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/09/2013 at 03:12 PM   
Filed Under: • Big BusinessEconomicsStoopid-People •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - December 27, 2012

Wall Street Is Nuts

Smith & Wesson Stock Drops
As Order Backlog Reduces
To ONLY $333 Million

That’s still at least a solid year of production, isn’t it? Just about, and that’s at their current, ramped-to-the-max production rate.

Shares of Smith & Wesson Holdings fell Friday, declining about 6% on worries over slowing demand. While the firearms maker posted robust increases in second-quarter profit, a decline in its backlog raised a red flag with at least one analyst. “We note that the company’s order backlog is now $333 million, down sequentially from $392 million last quarter and $439 million two quarters ago,” wrote Rommel Dionisio of Wedbush. “While still high on a historical basis, this appears to indicate dealers who place such orders do not expect the now year-long industry demand surge to last that much longer.” Smith & Wesson was down 57 cents at $10.28.

Far more than 57¢; this morning it was going for $8.29, which is a drop of around $2.50, or about 18%.

Which is absolutely insane. The company is just about minting gold these days. They’re really only a $150-$200 million in sales company, and they’ve been hitting $300M plus, since Obama got elected the first time. And by working their butts off, churning OT like mad, investing hugely in their production assets, they’ve been able to reduce a sales overhead by $100 million.

A sales overhead. Horry Clap!!

Name another kind of business that has people lined up around the world waiting to buy their product. Ok, Mac. Fine. But Macintosh is huge. S&W is a gun factory not much bigger than 3 large supermarkets. It ain’t GM. So now that they’ve spun straw into gold so fast that the hay barn is now only 90% full, their stock has taken a tumble. Because they’re risky and investors are worried. Gadzooks. Investors are morons.

PS - Oh Wall Street? Actually go to one of S&W’s retail points. A gun store. And see if you can find a single new product of theirs sitting around waiting for a buyer.  Not one. Heck, right now you’ll be lucky if you can find a single second hand product of theirs less than 5 years old. Sales are booming like never before, and keep right on booming year after year. And they just took another fat spike in the past couple weeks.

So scuttle their stock.

No wonder we’re in a permanent recession. These guys are mental.

Update: Fox Sux. Never mind, mostly. Sorta. Fox Sux. They linked this story in this morning AS IF IT WERE TODAY’S NEWS but it’s actually from 12/07. But still ... an 18% drop in 3 weeks for the stock of 100% American company that is going gangbusters. So I guess my opinion is still valid. Nut jobs in suits.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/27/2012 at 02:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Economics •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Tuesday - December 11, 2012

what’s yours is hers and what’s hers remains hers

What can anyone add to this?

Do you blame the young mom who really believes it’s all hers, because after all, the system here has told her it’s all free for the taking. And so she is.

She’s old enough of course to know damn well better. But does she truly do know better? Bah. This is a product of a state that has gone overboard and told ppl that they are entitled.  Do you then blame the taker?  Is there much of a difference between her and a corporation like Starbucks, who earn in the BILLIONS but manage to find legal loopholes so they pay miniscule tax in a country making them those billions?  I realize it’s more like apples and oranges but unless the tax people close the loopholes, corporations will quite naturally use them.  In the case of this woman, the state has co-operated with her and perhaps even encouraged her to take full legal advantage of the state. And so she has.  And she isn’t the only one.  There are hundreds of them out there. Maybe thousands.
Her values are surely skewed but who skewed them for her? Who made it oh so easy?  Well, for one, the benefits people themselves. Here’s a quote for you to ponder from the lady herself.

“The people at the Job Centre have actually told me I’m better off on benefits than in a minimum-wage job. It’s the system’s fault. My kids would suffer if I worked. This way, taxpayers know I’m raising two well-brought-up kids.”

But it never occurs to her that it’s being done on other people’s money.

She manages to save a couple thousand to splurge on Christmas gifts.  Never occurs to her who actually own the money she is saving.
It also has not occurred to her that she might look to the future and try and get more of an education. But no. The state has promised her that all would be well.
She became a mother while still almost a kid herself.  What are the chances her two “accidents” won’t follow the same path? 

Although it has nothing to do with the story I can’t help but bring it up.
What’s with the made up dumb ass names for her daughters?  And look closely at the photos.  She plays straight into the stereotype.  But we must not say that because to notice the fact is to be raaaaacist.  Not intended but ok. So be it.

Story and photo from The Daily Mail

Unemployed single mother on benefits who spends £2,000 on Christmas with 20 presents for each of her children

* Leanna Broderick plans to give children designer outfits, iPads and jewellery

* The 20-year-old has never worked and claims nearly £15,500 a year ( $24,974.00 )

* Claims she is better off on benefits and last year saved £2,500 ( just a bit over $4,000.00 )

* Said there was ‘no point’ getting minimum wage job and paying for childcare

By Rosie Taylor

While many families are worrying about how to afford Christmas this year, one jobless single mother has revealed she receives so much in benefits she has £2,000 to spend on designer gifts, clothes and partying.

Mother-of-two Leanna Broderick plans to buy 20 presents for each of her children, including Burberry and Ralph Lauren outfits, iPads and gold jewellery.

The 20-year-old, who has never worked, claims nearly £15,500 a year in state handouts.
image
She claims she is better off on benefits and would not get a job unless she could continue her luxury lifestyle, which includes designer outfits, holidays abroad, clubbing, lunches out and expensive gifts for her daughters Zelekah, two, and Zakirah, one.

‘Last year, I saved £2,500 and my kids had 50 presents each, including Burberry and Ralph Lauren clothes and dolls, DVDs and CDs.

‘This year, I’ve saved £2,000 and they’ll get 20 presents each, including iPads and a new Disney-themed bedroom to share, with designer wall art and bed linen,’ she said.

She is also buying gold earrings for Zelekah, who has pierced ears, and keeping £300 for the sales and £150 for a New Year’s Eve outing.

Miss Broderick, who left school at 16 with no GCSEs, said: ‘I don’t care if people get annoyed. I don’t take advantage, I just choose to save – it’s smart.’

She said there was ‘no point’ earning less in a minimum wage job and having to pay for childcare on top.

I’ll stay on benefits and get as much as I can out of it.’

After becoming pregnant at 17 with her on-off 23-year-old boyfriend, Miss Broderick was allocated a temporary three-bed council house.

When Zelekah was eight months old she considered working in care, but then became pregnant again by the same man.

Now split from the girls’ father, she has a new two-bedroom council flat in Croydon, South London, with a garden, which is paid for by her £111 weekly housing benefit – part of £1,290 a month total claim.

She said: ‘I didn’t want to miss out on my kids’ childhoods or have someone else raise them. I’m not one of those girls who gets pregnant for the benefits.’

The money for Christmas comes from the £250 she saves each month, which she said shows she is ‘really responsible’.

She adds: ‘Anyone who thinks people on benefits don’t deserve nice things is talking rubbish. I work 24/7 as a mother.

‘This way, taxpayers know I’m raising two well-brought-up kids.’

But she admits Christmas might not be so lavish next year because of the Government’s benefit cuts.

‘I’m not against the cuts, but only if the Government helps me find a job,’ she said.

‘In the meantime, I’ll stay on benefits and get as much as I can out of it.’

And where is the daddy in all of this?
Most likely unemployed himself and on benefits as well, so no hope of child support there.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/11/2012 at 03:30 PM   
Filed Under: • CULTURE IN DECLINEDaily LifeEconomicsUK •  
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calendar   Monday - December 10, 2012

John Galt Is Laughing

The first of what I hope is an infinite number of “Told Ya So, Assholes” posts, as the evil swamp dragon of reality rises up out of the fiscal ooze to bite a bunch of leftards in the buttocks.

This one, h/t to The Rot

Despite Tax Increase, California State Revenues in Freefall

California State Controller John Chiang has announced that total state revenue for the month of November 2012 fell $806.8 million, or 10.8%, below budget.

Democrats thought they could hammer “the rich” by convincing voters to pass Proposition 30 to create the highest state income tax in the nation. But it now appears that high income earners have already “voted with their feet” by moving themselves and their businesses out of state, resulting in over $1 billion shortfall in corporate and income taxes last month and the beginning of a new financial crisis. 

As panic spreads that goosing taxes on the rich may have created enough “tax flight” that the California will actually collect less taxes, there was welcome news that a business had committed to opening in the State. Executives of the 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. proclaimed they would be opening a new location in Beverly Hills on formerly posh Rodeo Drive. 

Yeah, and all 4 employees at the Dollar Store will get minimum wage. The manager makes a whole 50¢/hr more.



C’mon Boner, don’t blink, don’t cry, don’t wobble. Let Ocommie drive us over this Fiscal Cliff and then the next one and then the one after that. Let it all crash and burn. And keep that secession movement going. Just make sure to trim off the loser bandwagon states first. The solid blue ones with the humongous welfare spending. Or at least the coastal parts of them, which is where >80% of that EBT and SNAP money goes.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/10/2012 at 09:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsEconomics •  
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