Economy Feed

Struggling farmers are losing a huge customer to the trade war — China-but remain loyal to Trump

image from

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.

Loyalty to Trump

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.

Continue reading "Struggling farmers are losing a huge customer to the trade war — China-but remain loyal to Trump" »

Fed Cuts Interest Rates for First Time Since 2008 Crisis

Fed Cuts Interest Rates for First Time Since 2008 Crisis
President Donald Trump with Fed Chair Jerome Powell (AP)
The Federal Reserve cut interest rates on Wednesday to shore up the economy against risks including global weakness, but the head of the U.S. central bank said he did not view the move as the start of a lengthy series of rate cuts. [Full Story]
Read Newsmax: - Conservative News in Politics, Health, Finance & More
Urgent: Do you approve of Pres. Trump? Vote Here in Poll


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!


Student Debt in 'Serious Delinquency' Tops $166 Billion...

Americans Continue to Flee to Low-Tax States

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

Jobless Claims Fall Amid Shutdown Showdown

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!

The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits fell last week, but claims filed by federal employees jumped due to the partial shutdown of the federal government.

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.


Prices for Most Tariff Items Fell After Inflation Adjustment

WILBUR-ROSS Campbell Soup

The tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on steel, aluminum, and imports from China have not taxed American consumers.

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

Jobless Claims Plunge by More than Expected to Near 49 Year Low

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell by more than expected last week

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.


  image from Inc. CEO Ian Read will entrust his position to COO Albert Bourla on Jan. 1, 2019, but Read will remain as executive chairman of Pfizer’s board of directors after a tenure during which the company’s stock increased roughly 160 percent.

“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.


Trump boasts new trade deal between U.S., Canada and Mexico is 'historic'

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.

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly reached a deal on a revised North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) late Sunday evening, according to officials briefed on the negotiations. The leaders are pictured together in June

Did the housing crash cause the Great Recession? No, it was the Fed

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!

With the Federal Reserve widely expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday, financial markets are focused on whether signs of an acceleration in U.S. economic growth will prompt the central bank to ramp up the pace of monetary policy tightening.

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.

Read more


see also our story: 

Did the housing crash cause the Great Recession? No, it was the Fed

Trump Tariffs Created More than 11K American Jobs in Six Months

Solar Jobs
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump’s protective tariffs on imported steel, aluminum, solar panels, and washing machines have created more than 11,000 American jobs over the course of six months, a new study reveals.

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

America’s trucker shortage could undermine economy

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.


Trump BACKS OUT of G7 agreement

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

President Donald Trump slammed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as 'dishonest and weak' on Saturday following what the White House called a 'great meeting' between the two leaders on Friday (seen above)

Trade War- China fights back

list of 128 US products to target

  • China on Friday announced plans for reciprocal tariffs on 128 U.S. products that include pork, wine, fruit and steel.
  • Beijing said it will take measures against the U.S. goods in two stages if it cannot reach an agreement with Washington.

The world's second-largest economy has responded to President Donald Trump's controversial trade tariffs.

China's commerce ministry proposed a list of 128 U.S. products as potential retaliation targets, according to a statement on its websiteposted Friday morning.

The U.S. goods, which had an import value of $3 billion in 2017, include wine, fresh fruit, dried fruit and nuts, steel pipes, modified ethanol, and ginseng, the ministry said. Those products could see a 15 percent duty, while a 25 percent tariff could be imposed on U.S. pork and recycled aluminium goods, according to the statement.

The statement did not go into greater detail. U.S. agricultural products, particularly soybeans, have been flagged as the biggest area of potential retaliation by Chinese President Xi Jinping's administration.

President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping leave after an opera performance at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, November 8, 2017.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping leave after an opera performance at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, November 8, 2017.

Akzo Nobel Can Kick And Scream But PPG Could Get It's way!

Ton Buechner, chief executive officer of Akzo Nobel NV, gestures as he speaks during an interview at the company's headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Buechner is eschewing the splashy mega-deals that are transforming U.S. competitors such as Sherwin-Williams Co. and Dow Chemical Co. in favor of discipline and smaller operational changes. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Dutch paints and specialty chemicals group Akzo Nobel rejected a second offer by PPG, saying it significantly undervalued the company and carried significant uncertainty and risks.

Akzo Nobel itself wants to separate its specialty chemicals business and concentrate on paints, also the focus of PPG. Akzo Nobel says that there were a lot of execution risks and anti-trust issues connected to any PPG deal and expected substantial divestures and significant job cuts.

“We are convinced that AkzoNobel is best placed to unlock the value within our company ourselves. We are executing our plan, including the creation of two focused businesses and new cost structure, and believe this gives us a strong platform for continued profitability and long term value creation for all our stakeholders with substantially less execution risks.” Akzo Nobel CEO Ton Büchner said in a statement.  MORE

Drudge: GOP 'lied about wanting tax cuts'

image from Matt Drudge, editor and founder of the influential Drudge Report, attacked congressional Republicans Tuesday over what he apparently sees as their decision to abandon their pledge to cut taxes.

On social media Tuesday morning, Drudge accused the GOP of lying about their promise on tax reform.

“[By the way], Republicans lied about wanting tax cuts,” Drudge wrote on Twitter. “Can we get our votes back?”

Here's what 'free trade' really does to U.S.

image from www.wnd.comAuthor and fund manager at Janus Capital Bill Gross says that Brexit marks “the end of globalization as we’ve known it.”

If he’s right, that’s a good thing, and a strong wake-up call to Thomas Freidman and his ardent free trade supporters who are “flatists” and resist those who question their orthodoxy.

A July edition of Bloomberg BusinessWeek says Bill Gross is right about the end of globalization, in a sense. Many Americans have been predicting the same thing for years. After all, the United States ushered in globalization on the thinking that trade inter-dependence would result in greater peace and partnership among nations, giving us greater influence around the world. I guess that means if only we had bought more Yugos in the 1980s, we would have had better ties and foreign influence with Yugoslavia. I doubt it.

Read more HERE

Wash Roger Babson Right? The Plain Truth about Our Economy's Future

30 years ago Herbert Armstrong wrote a small piece about something he had learned back in the early 1900's about morality and the economy. Roger babson was a good man that lived a good life, helping others where he could. Building businesses and schools that provided inspiration and education to a great number of people. (see website devoted to him here).

image from

"It is not knowledge which young people need for success, so much as those basic qualities of integrity, industry, imagination, common sense, self-control and a willingness to struggle and sacrifice. Most individuals already have far more knowledge than they use. They need inheritance and development of a character which will cause them properly to apply this knowledge... Real business success comes through the qualities above mentioned, not through money, degrees, or social standing."
- Roger W. Babson


Continue reading "Wash Roger Babson Right? The Plain Truth about Our Economy's Future" »

The Crude Gift! Low Oil Prices

The Myth of the Clinton Surplus

The government can have a surplus even if it has trillions in debt, but it cannot have a surplus if that debt increased every year. This article is about surplus/deficit, not the debt. However, it analyzes the debt to prove there wasn't a surplus under Clinton.

image from 

For those that want a more detailed explanation of why a claimed $236 billion surplus resulted in the national debt increasing by $18 billion, please read this follow-up article.

Time and time again, anyone reading the mainstream news or reading articles on the Internet will read the claim that President Clinton not only balanced the budget, but had a surplus. This is then used as an argument to further highlight the fiscal irresponsibility of the federal government under the Bush administration.

The claim is generally made that Clinton had a surplus of $69 billion in FY1998, $123 billion in FY1999 and $230 billion in FY2000 . In that same link, Clinton claimed that the national debt had been reduced by $360 billion in the last three years, presumably FY1998, FY1999, and FY2000--though, interestingly, $360 billion is not the sum of the alleged surpluses of the three years in question ($69B + $123B + $230B = $422B, not $360B).

While not defending the increase of the federal debt under President Bush, it's curious to see Clinton's record promoted as having generated a surplus. It never happened. There was never a surplus and the facts support that position. In fact, far from a $360 billion reduction in the national debt in FY1998-FY2000, there was an increase of $281 billion.

Verifying this is as simple as accessing the U.S. Treasury (see note about this link below) website where the national debt is updated daily and a history of the debt since January 1993 can be obtained. Considering the government's fiscal year ends on the last day of September each year, and considering Clinton's budget proposal in 1993 took effect in October 1993 and concluded September 1994 (FY1994), here's the national debt at the end of each year of Clinton Budgets:

National Debt Deficit
FY1993  09/30/1993  $4.411488 trillion  
FY1994  09/30/1994  $4.692749 trillion  $281.26 billion
FY1995  09/29/1995  $4.973982 trillion  $281.23 billion
FY1996  09/30/1996  $5.224810 trillion  $250.83 billion
FY1997  09/30/1997  $5.413146 trillion  $188.34 billion
FY1998  09/30/1998  $5.526193 trillion  $113.05 billion
FY1999  09/30/1999  $5.656270 trillion  $130.08 billion
FY2000  09/29/2000  $5.674178 trillion  $17.91 billion
FY2001  09/28/2001  $5.807463 trillion  $133.29 billion

As can clearly be seen, in no year did the national debt go down, nor did Clinton leave President Bush with a surplus that Bush subsequently turned into a deficit.

Read More

Jobs shock: 100% of female employment gains taken by foreigners since 2007

All of the employment gains among women since the recession hit in December 2007 have been taken by foreigners, even at a time when the numbers of U.S.-born women surged more than 600,000, according to new federal statistics.

The jobs data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed gains in the "employment level" among "foreign born women" and losses among "native born women."

AP Photo

The charts show that 9.041 million foreign-born women held jobs in December of 2007 compared to 10.028 million today – or a gain of roughly 1 million jobs.

In contrast, 59.322 million U.S.-born women held jobs in December of 2007 compared to 59.258 million today – or a loss of nearly 64,000 jobs.

SOURCE Washington Times


Record 93,770,000 Americans Not in Labor Force...

Participation Rate 38-Year Low...

Record 56,209,000 Women Not Working...