New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will return to her restaurant roots this Friday, tending bar in the 14th Congressional District (location TBA) to raise support for a campaign to change how tipped employees are paid.
There long have been concerns about foreigners, especially governments, owning controlling interests in American trade and transportation facilities such as airports and container ports.
The Obama administration, nevertheless, announced with fanfare in 2012 its 40-year agreement with the Orient Overseas Container Line, a division of the COSCO Shipping Holdings Co. of China, to run the port of Long Beach.
At the time, Philip Chow, chairman of the board of OOCL, promised "many benefits that this project will bring to the city." And Chris Lytle of the Port of Long Beach said he could not ask for a "better partner."
"This is a really a big deal," Susan Wise, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, said back then. MORE
California doesn’t crack the top 10, but Illinois sure does
This week, the personal-finance publication Kiplinger’s released its list of the most — and least — tax-friendly states in America. To draw its conclusions, it used a hypothetical couple with two kids and $150,000 in income a year plus $10,000 in dividend income, and then looked at the income-, property- and sales-tax burden that family would face.
Illinois took the No. 1 spot on the list, thanks in large part to its high property taxes. The Land of Lincoln was followed by Connecticut and New York, both of which have pretty high-income taxes.
The 10 least tax-friendly states:
3. New York
5. New Jersey
Should another financial crisis befall us, rendering a number of Too-Big-To-Fail banks insolvent, the good news is that taxpayers will no longer be forced to bail them out.
The bad news is that these large Wall Street banks can now legally bail themselves out internally (referred to as “bail-ins’) using depositor funds.
Thanks to Dodd-Frank, if you happen to hold your money in a savings or checking account at a bank, and if that bank collapses, it can legally freeze and confiscate your funds for purposes of maintaining its solvency.
So instead of relying on government funds (taxpayer money) to save itself from going bankrupt, a bank can simply dip into your deposit accounts to stabilize itself.
To compensate you, the bank will exchange your money for its equivalent value in company shares.
In other words, if a bank fails, it takes your money and hands you an equivalent amount of shares in its failing operation. Ethical? No. Legal? Yes.
U.S. farmers lost one of their biggest customers after China officially cancelled all purchases of U.S. agricultural products, a retaliatory move following President Donald Trump’s pledge to slap 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports.
China’s exit piles on to a devastating year for farmers, who have struggled through record flooding and an extreme heat wave that destroyed crop yields, and trade war escalations that have lowered prices and profits this year.
“It’s really, really getting bad out here,” said Bob Kuylen, who’s farmed for 35 years in North Dakota.
“Trump is ruining our markets. No one is buying our product no more, and we have no markets no more.”
Agriculture exports to China dropped by more than half last year. In 2017, China imported $19.5 billion in agricultural goods, making it the second-largest buyer overall for American farmers. In 2018, that dropped to $9.2 billion as the trade war escalated, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
This year, China’s agricultural imports from the U.S are down roughly 20%, and U.S. grain, dairy and livestock farmers have seen their revenue evaporate as a result. Over the last 6 years, farm income has dropped 45% from $123.4 billion in 2013 to $63 billion last year, according to the USDA.
Farmers are an important voting base for Trump, who is running for reelection next year. While he’s given no indication of backing off in the trade war, struggling farmers appear to remain loyal.
Now, the only question Republicans have is how many pennies of border security they will fight for, while refusing to challenge any of the nonessential and even harmful programs of the federal government. The GOP platform on debt and spending is a lie from top to bottom, as Republicans plan to pass more budget bills allowing us to blow through the budget caps without any effort to systemically reform the way we budget.
Bob Barney: The Plain Truth is that under Republicans, spending has increased far more dramatically than under Democrats. I realize most of you out there don't believe this fact but it is true. Under Trump and the Republicans, spending is at an all time high, and yet it was the Republican Party who could not find $5 billion for a wall, out a a 3 trillion dollar budget! Wake up. Republicans are liars who do not represent their voters. Democrats are EVIL, who do represent their voters, most of whom are evil themselves!
By Ryan McMaken
According to the most recent Census Bureau data on state-to-state migration flows, 523,000 people moved to California from other states. But at the same time, more than 661,000 Californians moved to other states.
That is, on net, nearly 138,000 more people left California than moved into it from elsewhere in the US.
Yet, California isn’t the worst in this regard. Both Illinois and New York lost even more residents to other states with net losses to other states totaling 144,000 and 167,000, respectively.
These numbers reinforce what has become a well-entrenched trend of US residents moving from high-tax states to low tax states. MORE
Foreword by Bob Barney: Notice 2 things in this report that the media, including Fox News is not reporting: 1) THE GOVT WORKERS ARE COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT! and 2). The shutdown has not affected the private sector at all! We are at full employment!
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., fell by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 213,000 in the week ended January 12, the Labor Department said Thursday. That is up from 216,000 reported a week earlier. Economists had forecast 221,000 jobless claims.
Those figures reflect claims filed under regular state programs. The lower than expected number for the past week indicates that private contractors working for the federal government, many of whom are not working during the shutdown, are not piling into unemployment benefits.
Federal employees file under a separate program, which is reported with a one-week lag. For the week ended January 5, the second week of the shutdown, 10,454 federal employees filed for first-time benefits. That was up 4,760 the week before and 929 the prior week. A year earlier, 1,148 federal employees filed for unemployment benefits. Claims by federal workers aren’t adjusted for seasonality.
Jobless claims are also closely watched for indications that the trade dispute with China may be taking a toll on the labor market. When the Trump administration announced it would impose tariffs on steel, aluminum, and imports from China, many predicted the tariffs and retaliation would come at a steep cost for American workers. So far, there’s no sign of tariff-triggered layoffs.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that its Consumer Price Index was flat last monthand consumer prices are up just 2.2 percent compared with a year ago. That’s a deceleration of price pressure from October when prices were up 2.5 percent compared with the prior year.
Excluding volatile food and energy doesn’t change the picture very because core inflation was also very low. Core CPI climbed just 0.2 percent for the month and is up 2.2 percent from a year ago. That is in-line with October’s 2.1 percent and September’s 2.2 percent 12-month increases. MORE
By Bob Barney
The Federal Reserve is an enemy of the people of the United States. It is a corrupt, globalist organization that has stolen more wealth from the American middle-class than any other single entity. The Fed, not George Bush, caused the single most worst economic collapse in history in the early 2000's when they raised interest rates some 40 times in a few short years, while oil and gasoline prices were skyrocketing. They did to to elect a democrat. When Obama was elected president, they lowered interest rates to ZERO and never once raise them in an unprecedented eight year span! Now that the enemy of globalist is in the White House, the Fed is back raising interest rates again, hoping for a certain collapse, which again will elect democrats. Ron Paul was right, the FED needs to be abolished!
The economic recovery is chugging along almost as fast as ever, but, beneath the surface, the best recession predictor we have is starting to flash yellow.
That indicator is the difference between interest rates on 10-year Treasury bonds and two-year ones. Now, the reason it tells us so much is that long-term rates show us what markets think short-term ones will average over that time, plus a little extra to make up for the risk that inflation ends up being higher than expected. So when long-term rates are lower than short-term ones — what's known as an inverted yield curve — it means that investors think short-term rates will be lower in the future than they are today. And why would that be? The only reason is if the Federal Reserve is going to have to cut them to fight a recession.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 207,000 for the week ended Sept. 29, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Hurricane Florence, which hit North Carolina and South Carolina last month, affected claims, according to the Labor Department. The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending September 22 was in North Carolina. Claims in South Caroline rose by 2,830, the third largest rise behind Kentucky.
Economists had forecast claims falling by 1,000 to 213,000 in the latest week. A year ago there were 265,000 new claims.
Claims were new the recent low of 202,000, hit during the week ended September 15. That was the lowest level since November 1969.
“The company has come out of the abyss it was in, and is really poised for growth,” Read, 65, told The Wall Street Journal. “Given my age, it’s time for me to move on.”
Read became the giant drug company’s CEO in 2010. The “abyss” he refers to could be drug patent loss: Read’s leadership helped Pfizer continue to innovate as it lost revenue when the patents for its products like cholesterol medication Lipitor ran out, reported TheWSJ.
Read’s replacement Bourla has been in charge of Pfizer’s “vaccines, oncology and consumer health care business,” reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
Donald Trump sent his congratulations to Mexico and Canada on Monday morning, boasting about the 11th-hour reformulation of the Clinton-era NAFTA trade pact as the United States Mexico Canada Agreement.
Late last night, our deadline, we reached a wonderful new Trade Deal with Canada, to be added into the deal already reached with Mexico. The new name will be The United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA,' the president wrote in a pair of tweets.
'It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our Farmers and Manufacturers, reduces Trade Barriers to the U.S. and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world. The USMCA is a historic transaction!'
The three North American nations agreed Sunday night to replace the North America Free Trade Agreement following a year of agonizing negotiations.
As the Plain Truth reported back in 20009, The FED's raising interest rates destroyed the US economy in 2008, NOT the housing crisis. The housing crisis was caused by the FED! For almost the entire Bush years, the pro-Democrat, Deep State, Federal Reserve kept increasing interest rates to cause the Great Depression, ignorer to get a Democrat elected-and it worked. Notice the lowered the interest rates to ZERO under Obama for 8 years! Now under Trump, they have raised them 3 times! END THE FED- they are the enemy of the American worker and middle class.
Forward Bob Barney: It was the FED, not under prime lending that caused the economic collapse of 2008-9, along with the rising price of oil, caused by the Bush war! What we are seeing is the DEEP STATE FED trying to stop this economy and Trump's re-election! END THE FED before it is too late!
IMAGE CREDITS: STEFAN FUSSAN / FLICKR.
This week’s two-day policy meeting could mark the formal end of the “accommodative” level of rates the Fed has used to support the American economy since the onset of the 2007-2009 recession.
The Fed’s current policy statement has included that description of loose policy as a staple element in recent years, though officials recently have described it as out of date and likely to be removed, either this week or in the near future.
see also our story:
Once unthinkable, in December 2015 the U.S. decided to lift the nation’s 40-year ban on crude oil exports driven by a boom in domestic drilling and production. Until then, our crude exports just went to Canada, awarded an exemption to import U.S. petroleum.
Now, some 17 months later, the shift that the U.S. has brought to the global oil market continues to reverberate.
The agreement between OPEC and some major partners like Russia to reduce production by 1.8 million b/d has allowed the U.S. to grab more market share of the ever-growing 97 million b/d global oil market.
With the surpassingly very high level of compliance for the cuts, the Middle Eastern crude benchmark Dubai has been strengthening, allowing more crude to flow west to east. Asia's refineries have jumped at this open arbitrage to buy more U.S. grades.
Since 2008, U.S. crude oil production has nearly doubled to 9.35 million b/d, helped by the rise in prices starting at the end of November. Yet, Read the rest here
Analysis conducted by a Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) finds that Trump’s tariffs, thus far, have created about 11,100 American jobs throughout the country, a far cry from the job losses that were predicted by free trade economists and pundits.
“The national media is generally ignoring the job creation arising from the country’s new strategic trade posture. This information is important. These jobs will have substantial positive effects on local economies and the national US economy,” economist Jeff Ferry said in a statement. “They are in general well-paid manufacturing jobs in high-productivity businesses. Those new jobs will contribute to the creation of thousands of service sector jobs and they will stimulate local economies.”
The CPA study found “notable increases” in domestic steel and aluminum jobs. In the steel industry, alone, nearly 5,000 manufacturing jobs have been created. In the aluminum industry, a little less than 3,000 manufacturing jobs have been created thanks to Trump’s tariffs. READ MORE
The shortage of truckers, coupled with new Fed regs on hours driven could destroy our economy.
Bob Blocksom, an 87-year-old former insurance salesman, needs a job. He hasn’t saved enough money for his retirement. And trucking companies, desperate for workers, are willing to give him one.
Age didn’t matter, they said. If Blocksom could get his “CDL” - commercial driver’s license - they would hire him for a $50,000 job. One even offered to pay his tuition for driver training school, but there was a catch: Blocksom had to commit to driving an 18-wheel truck all over America for a year.
So far, that has been too big of an ask for Blocksom, who doesn’t want to spend long stretches of time away from his wife of 60 years. “The more I think about it, it would be tough to be on the road Monday through Friday,” he said.
As the nation grapples with a historically low level of unemployment, trucking companies are doing what economists have said firms need to do to attract and retain workers: They’re hiking pay significantly, offering bonuses and even recruiting people they previously wouldn’t have considered.
But it’s not working. The industry reports a growing labor shortage - 63,000 open positions this year, a number expected to more than double in coming years - that could have wide-ranging impacts on the American economy.
Nearly every item sold in America touches a truck at some point, which explains why the challenges facing the industry, including trucking companies rapidly raising prices as they raise wages, have special power to affect the entire economy. Already, delivery delays are common, and businesses such as Amazon, General Mills and Tyson Foods are raising prices as they pass higher transportation costs along to consumers. A Walmart executive called rising transportation costs the company’s primary “head wind” on a recent call with investors.
President Donald Trump has stunned world leaders by rejecting a joint statement that traditionally follows the G7, and has escalated his feud with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by calling him 'dishonest and weak'.
Trump said in a Twitter tirade on Saturday night that he has 'instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique', just hours after all the members came to a consensus in Quebec and signed the summit's 'joint communique'.
The joint communique is a statement of broad goals and principles endorsed by the G7 leaders, and Trump's refusal means that this will be the first year that the annual summit fails to issue one. Instead, Canada will likely issue a chair's summary of the meeting listing the major topics of discussion. Trump also slammed Trudeau for 'making false statements' and accused him of being 'meek and mild' in their one-on-one meeting on Friday before the Canadian leader came out swinging against the US in a press conference on Saturday.
After the White House on Friday said that Trump's meeting with Trudeau was 'great' and the leaders were 'close to a deal' on trade, Trump's latest counter-punch cast doubt on any hopes for a quick resolution of his mounting tariff disputes with Canada and the European Union, and signaled that Trump is far from backing down. READ MORE