This article is to all of the self-anointed pundits who have been wasting many hours writing blurbs about how the economy is getting better. I've already attempted to make it clear, more than once, but you're not listening. Just a quick review for you, and, pay attention this time!
By the closing bell on Friday, January 22, the stock market dropped 552 points in just the final 3 days of the week. Wal-Mart is sending another 11,200 people to the unemployment lines1, while nationwide, another 650,728 new people made claims for unemployment insurance.2 This was down from the 804,922 new claims from the prior week. That means in the past two weeks, another 1.45 million people were laid off! Unemployment rose in 43 states, but they still say the economy grew 2.2%.3
Yet, the Department Of Labor still managed to massage the numbers so they can still say the unemployment rate remains at 10%, even though there hasn't been a single week where weekly claims for unemployment have been under 400,000. Just do the math. These are weekly claims. So, even at conservative numbers, if we're losing 400,000 jobs every week, then we're losing 1.6 million a month, and have done so minimally that way since before December 2007, when the idiots in the government finally pulled their heads out of the sand and admitted the country was in a recession. My third grade math tells me that 1.6 million times 36 months is 57,600,000, or 17.4% of everyone in the U.S. And that's a conservative number, because at the beginning of 2009, new weekly claims for unemployment were running a million a week, and in September of 2008, we were seeing 1.5 million new weekly claims.
So far this year, 9 banks have been closed by the government. That's averaging 3 a week so far, which already suggests it could rival the 140 they closed last year.4 The total commitment to bailouts is at $11 trillion, and the actual doled out is $3.4 trillion.5 If there has ever been a firm statement of proof that we are being egregiously over-taxed, this is it! Apparently, the government has $11 trillion of our tax dollars just laying around for golf buddies. If given back to the people, every American could bank $30,555!
Foreclosures were up in December by 17%, which doesn't sound like much, until you understand that this number is 41% higher than in December 2007!6 Of course, foreclosures have been on an ordered moratorium from Fannie and Freddie, so we can no longer directly compare charts, but gasoline prices have risen 89 cents, or 48%, from a year ago!7
General Electric's executives are still wearing rose colored glasses thinking they will see "solid growth" in 2010.8 Yet, GE's earnings dropped almost 20% in the 4th quarter.9 As our automakers still represent the largest percentage of unemployed, GM executives are looking to collect their bonuses by building new plants and hiring new employees in China.10
And, yet, no one is being made to really learn their lesson on the cost of loss. Wall Street executive salary raises and bonuses are back with a vengeance. 62%, or $14.4 billion, of Morgan Stanley's revenues are being routed for compensation.11 Let's not forget that Morgan Stanley was one of the Wall Street peddlers so mismanaged that they had to be forced under the Bank of America umbrella. Even if a company fails, the executives are given untold amounts of money and a hand-shake! The well-known failure of the Tribune company witnessed an attempt to pay their executives $70 million in bonuses, but a bankruptcy judge has decided to "punish" them by only paying out $45 million!12 They failed! Are the bonuses for the successful bankrupting of a company?
It is sad that while our corporations are being given unlimited access to our taxes and now, unlimited access to buy the candidate of their choice,13 the $3.4 trillion in bailout money hasn't produced a single new job, even though the very banks that are supposed to be lending new money thus creating an economic recovery are raising their executive's paychecks and bonuses ever higher, and the corporations continue to ship our money and jobs out of America to other countries.