If The Economy Is Recovering, Why Is The Labor Force Participation Rate At A 36 Year Low?

Should we be concerned that the percentage of Americans that are either working or looking for work is the lowest that it has been in 36 years? In August, an all-time record high 92,269,000 Americans 16 years of age and older did not “participate in the labor force”. And when you throw in the people that are considered to be “in the labor force” but are not currently employed, that pushes the total of working age Americans that do not have jobs to well over 100 million. Yes, it may be hard to believe, but there are more than 100 million working age Americans that are not employed right now. Needless to say, this is not a sign of a healthy economy, and it is a huge reason why dependence on the government has soared to absolutely unprecedented levels. When people can’t take care of themselves, they need someone else to take care of them. If the percentage of people in the labor force continues to decline like it has been, what is that going to mean for the future of our society?
The chart below shows the changes in the civilian labor force participation rate since 1980. As you can see, the rate steadily rose between 1980 and 2000, but since then it has generally been declining. In particular, this decline has greatly accelerated since the beginning of the last recession…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on September 7th, 2014.

Ten Reasons to Condemn Inflation

Inflation, defined as an expansion of the supply of unbacked money, is an elementary evil, always and everywhere that it occurs.[1] It is the ignored and core cause of numerous problems in the economy and in society, including:
1. Inflation Causes Booms and Busts
Increasing the money supply that involves the granting of more credit means that new money is created by credit that is not covered by savings. This causes interest rates to fall more than would be the case without an expansion of the money supply. The result is an artificial economic boom, which politicians and the general public initially welcome. Investments are triggered that would not have been carried out if the invested capital had to be saved up first, prior to such investments. Therefore, there are insufficient resources available to bring all the projects thus begun to completion. In addition, resources – which are by their very nature scarce – are not brought to bear where they are most needed – in the most urgent projects. When interest rates climb again, the malinvestment comes to light, and a crisis – a bust – results. To overcome the bust, the central bank then reduces the interest rate again. A crisis that would clean things up is thus not allowed to happen, because it is politically undesirable.
2. Inflation Redistributes Wealth and Purchasing Power
An un-backed expansion of the money supply causes the prices of goods and services to rise. The parties who first receive the newly created money profit. They are able to make purchases at goods prices that still have not risen, whereas the later recipients of the money will only enjoy the benefits of the new money when the goods prices have already risen. They are put at a disadvantage and lose relative to the initial recipients of the cash. In addition, some market participants don’t gain anything from the newly created money. The initial recipients are the banks, the state, and large enterprises. This effect also occurs when the price of goods remains stable due to money expansion and would otherwise have fallen without an expansion of the money supply. In this instance, inflation is particularly nefarious.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Monday, September 08, 2014.

Fear, Loathing and Paranoia in an All-Exclusive Society

As cities around the globe continue to grow far beyond their city limits, heavily patrolled perimeter fencing and high walls are becoming a common feature of the urban and suburban landscape. Intended to provide a sense of serenity and security for high-income city dwellers, gated communities are sprouting like transgenic mushrooms, including in relatively low-crime regions of North America and Europe.
In the United States alone more than 11 million housing units – equating to roughly 10 percent of the country’s housing stock – are in gated communities, according to 2009 Census Bureau data. What’s more, it’s a trend that’s picking up pace, with gated communities accounting for more than half of all new housing developments.
As Edward J. Blakely and Mary Gail Snyder noted in their landmark study Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States, the unprecedented growth in walled cities and gated communities belies the rise of a new fortress mentality in America:
Americans are electing to live behind walls with active security mechanisms to prevent intrusion into their private domains. Americans of all classes are forting up, attempting to secure the value of their houses, reduce or escape from the impact of crime, and find neighbors who share their sense of the good life. The new fortress developments are predominantly suburban, with a growing number of urban inner-city counterparts.
A similar trend is taking place across many European nations, in particular in France, the UK and Poland. In the UK more than 100,000 residents have abandoned the open city model of the 20th century to make new homes behind fences and walls on estates modeled on American ones. A perfect case in point is the outer-London St George’s Hill estate, which has been described as Britain’s answer to Beverly Hills. Houses on the complex, with its gravel drives, manicured lawns, private tennis club, gym, bars and restaurants, change hands for up to 13 million ($18 million) a piece.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ September 7, 2014.

Fungibility

Money is one of the most important features of any civilized economy. It is the lifeblood, or the lubricant if you will, that makes an economy run smoothly without any bottlenecks that hinders capital to flow to where it creates value for the consumer. It nourishes the parts of the economic body that needs it. Without money the members of any given society, i.e. the consumers, must rely on the cumbersome and inefficient process of bartering. If we would still rely on conducting trade thru the process of barter, our society would not be nearly as highly specialized, nor have the myriad of professions and trades that we see today.
Bartering has many downsides, but one of the most obvious one is the problem of the double coincidence of wantsmeaning that if we conduct our day-to-day trade using barter, the parties engaged in a trade must both want what the other party is offering. So if a fisherman needs shoes, he has to find a shoemaker that wants fish, something that might be incredibly painstaking if not impossible. Clearly not an efficient way to do business.
In a very limited economy, consisting only of a few families, barter can suffice fairly well in maintaining livable day-to-day conditions. But when society expands beyond just a few families, the stage is already set for the emergence of some kind of standardized monetary unit.

This post was published at Silver Bear Cafe on September 6, 2014.

SILVER SQUELCHERS PART 1: And Their Interesting Associates

(By Charles Savoie)
HSBC USA in recent years was listed on the roster of the Silver Users Association (circa 2006). HSBC, with over 8,000 offices, appears to remain at the ‘centre’ of silver price suppression.
Sir Ewen Cameron whose family traced back into the 13th century, joined the Caledonian Bank in 1859 and afterwards was with the Bank of Hindustan, China and Japan, after which he joined the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation – Britain’s opium bank for China, and a major conduit for looting silver out of Chinese hands into the possession of the silver squelchers of The Pilgrims Society.
The Silver Squelchers ‘It is a burning shame in the eyes of all the world that the United States, the greatest producer of silver, will not protect her own precious metal product. It is a case without a parallel in the history of nations down through all the ages.’

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on September 5, 2014.

Government Punishes Savers to Support Debtors – Has Western Society become Fascist?

The entire problem we face going ahead stems from the very idea of Karl Marx that government is capable of managing the economy either through communism or autocratic-socialism where the state dictates to the economy under the pretense of caring for the people, that has truly become a derivative of fascism where the state comes first. This is even reflected in the conviction rate that has risen from 72% in the 1970s to virtually 99% today eliminating fair trials. We also see it taking shape in the militarization of the police that actually do not protect society, but the state from the people. Police have been converted to IRS agents on wheels to raise money by abusing the people for every possible type of traffic violation. In Princeton, New Jersey, they even have signs in a parking lot ‘park head in’. If you back into a parking spot you get a ticket. The actor Alec Baldwin was arrested for rising his bicycle against traffic. Who knew you could even be arrested for such a thing. This is autocratic-socialism where the state pretends its abuse of the people is for their benefit when in fact there is always a profit that falls to them like FATCA and the NSA really looking for money – not terrorists.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 4, 2014.

Why Is Independence So Frightening To Some People?

In past articles I have examined the nature of power and division in our society and have always come to the same conclusion, that there are only two types of people: the people who want control over others and the people who just want to be left alone. However, there are also subgroups that swim within the boundaries of each end of the spectrum. Often, psychologists and self-help gurus attempt to promote the idea that the defining quality of the average person’s life is whether he is a follower or a leader. I have seen this spectrum applied to every political and social organization.
Ironically, I have heard so-called ‘leftists’ argue that the nature of their ideology makes them more adept at leadership and that conservatives are more prone to become followers (ostensibly because conservatives tend to be more religious). I have heard the same argument from people on the so-called ‘right,’ only in reverse. The problem is that very few people in our society understand anymore what it actually means to be a leader. Most Americans today are followers, whether they know it or not. And sadly, followers tend to also seek out control over other people, if only to make up for the lack of control they feel in their own lives. That is to say, most followers tend to pursue petty opportunities for leadership.
The concept of leadership has become ridiculously warped. Many people feel that to become a leader, one must clamor his way through the system – be it government or corporate – and achieve artificial status, which others are conditioned to recognize and respect. One cannot become a designated ‘doctor’, no matter how personally skilled the individual, without earning the correct accolades from the establishment, accolades that are essentially bought at the right price or given as a pat on the head to those who excel at parroting the mainstream consensus. The same goes for scientists, economists, political authorities, etc. This creates a professional class, a percentage of the population whose opinions are treated with immediate reverence simply because of their titles.
The reality often ignored in mainstream thought, however, is that many “professionals” are actually more clueless than laymen, if only because they have been subjected to far more complex indoctrination. How many Ivy League economists, for instance, completely overlooked the inevitable collapse of the derivatives market and the housing bubble simply because they were taught by the mainstream system that such things do not happen in American finance anymore? The truth is, a glossy diploma from the establishment does not necessarily make one intelligent, nor does it automatically make that person a leader to be blindly followed.

This post was published at Alt-Market on 04 September 2014.

Are US Consumers Evil Hoarders?

Another Keynesian Meme Dragged Up A recent Fed paper reports that the Fed’s wild money printing orgy has failed to produce much CPI inflation because ‘consumers are hoarding money’. It is said that this explains why so-called ‘money velocity’ is low.
The whole argument revolves around the Fisherian ‘equation of exchange’, as you can see here. Now, it may be true that the society-wide demand for money (i.e., for holding cash balances) has increased. Rising demand for money can indeed cancel some of the effects of an increasing money supply. However, it should be obvious that there is 1. no way of ‘measuring’ the demand for money and 2. the ‘equation of exchange’ is a useless tautology.
Consider for instance this part of the argument:
‘Though American consumers might dispute the notion that inflation has been low, the indicators the Fed follows show it to be running well below the target rate of 2 percent that would have to come before interest rates would get pushed higher.
That has happened despite nearly six years of a zero interest rate policy and as the Fed has pushed its balance sheet to nearly $4.5 trillion.
Much of that liquidity, however, has sat fallow. Banks have put away close to $2.8 trillion in reserves, and households are sitting on $2.15 trillion in savings-about a 50 percent increase over the past five years.’
(emphasis added)
First of all, banks have not ‘put away’ $2.8 trillion in reserves; in reality, they have no control whatsoever over the level of excess reserves. They are solely a function of quantitative easing: when the Fed buys securities with money from thin air, bank reserves are invariably created as a side effect. Credit can be pyramided atop them, or for they can be used for interbank lending of reserves, or they can be paid out as cash currency when customers withdraw money from their accounts. That’s basically it.

This post was published at Acting-Man on September 4, 2014.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Non Farm Payrolls – Freedom Is Best

“The stupidity of the average man will permit the oligarch, whether economic or political, to hide his real purposes from the scrutiny of his fellows and to withdraw his activities from effective control…
The American business oligarchy is not as hereditary as European landed aristocracies, but is for that reason neither more virtuous nor less tenacious in clinging to its power and privilege.”
Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society
Dico Tibi Verum, Libertas Optima Rerum Nunquam Servili Sub Nexu Vivito, Fili.
‘I tell you the truth, my son, that the best of all things is freedom. Never live under the bondage of slavery’.
William Wallace Memorial
Markets continue to slough off the geopolitical drumbeat to war that Obama and his Merry Neo-cons are playing. Even a cheery beige book was unable to turn that market frown completely upside down. Profit taking is underway in stocks. I suspect that this means that we are soon to see another wash and rinse ahead of the Alibaba IPO which is a bit more than twenty days away.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 03 SEPTEMBER 2014.

Did Someone Pay Google News to Run This Group of News Stories?

Am I supposed to believe that Google News’ ‘Editors’ Picks’ section is picked for any other reason than money? Consider today’s ‘hot’ stories about India’s world of computers.
I don’t know who in the United States would regard these stories as news. But I can well imagine that some PR guy hired by a group of programming firms in India could earn his salary this week by persuading his employers that this in some way will generate income for the Society of Indian Programmers, or some such trade association.
This group of stories appeared about 4:30 a.m., EDT. It was gone by 5 a.m. So, hardly anyone saw these ‘picks.’ If some schnook in India paid money for this, he should be fired.
I look at this section of Google News every day with this question in mind: ‘Who have the folks at Google persuaded to pay good money to run stories in ‘Editors’ Picks’ today?’ This is because I cannot imagine blocks of stories like this being picked by editors for any reason other than cold, hard, digital cash.
Maybe MSNBC is overlooking a source of much-needed revenue

This post was published at Tea Party Economist on September 2, 2014.

ALL GREEK TO ME: Tsipras ahead in new poll as Samaras economic rationalisation becomes more Dali than Draghi

A roasting not roosting for Samaras the chicken
Greek Prime Minister Antonikis Scamaras yesterday leveraged his olive-stone brain to change tack on the economic recovery process for his country. Last November, he declared Greece to be in recovery and past the stage of needing help with its debt. Since then, Greece has taken (very quietly under the Schuble/Draghi table) brown envelopes to the tune of 26bn to avoid two defaults scheduled for May and September this year. In the face of this contrarian outcome, Mr Scamyerass has decided that Hellas is now entering recovery, not actually in it as such: the foot is in the door as it were, but the door is rather heavier than anticipated. So in order to actually prise the door open, unemployment must be defeated…for it is ‘a treacherous and tough opponent of society, undermining the dreams of the youth’. As well as being, of course, Brussels-am-Berlin policy.
In the streets of Kalamata last night, joyous crowds of well-wishers surged forward to heap praise upon their local hero. But in slightly less enthusiastic parts of the country, pollsters discovered that – come the forthcoming General Election – ungratefully starving Greeks not benefiting from a brand new tourist motorway to Kalamata commissioned by the Kalamata Samurai himself are likely to give the New Democracy leader a swift boot up the Samararse.

This post was published at Investment WatchBlog on September 2nd, 2014.

The ‘New’ Silver Fix and the Powers That Be!

The ‘New’ Silver Fix and the Powers That Be! With Remarks On Texas Governor Rick Perry & Texas Gold! Accompanied by a Warning to Jewelers!
Presented August 2014 by Charles Savoie
Effective mid-month August 2014, the old silver ‘fix’ has been replaced by a new silver ‘fix,’ run jointly by the CME Group, owner of the COMEX, and Thomson Reuters. But has anything of real substance changed? It certainly has not. The new ‘fix’ was awarded by the LBMA, London Bullion Market Association, composed of neer-do-well entities including Barclays Bank, HSBC Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase Bank, and additionally Bank of Nova Scotia, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Mitsui & Company, and Paris based Societe Generale. For 116 months I’ve routinely made details available about a unique organization known to few as ‘The Pilgrims Society.’ Persons who haven’t become aware of this group can find details on Google search. If you especially want the monetary details relating to this group and precious metals, add my name to theirs in the search box or read ‘The Silver Stealers’ documentary. Therefore, I won’t go into another basic explanation of The Pilgrims Society here. The ringleaders of the megabanks above have all had heavy representation in The Pilgrims Society. The rest have been and remain represented in interlocking groups such as the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg conferences – groups founded by Pilgrims Society members. I am not among the commentators you can read the fastest, because of the nature of these presentations, in depth examinations must be made to substantiate my claims. However, just to make reference to this alleged ‘new’ silver fix, and how bogus it is, I offer this brief report. An oft repeated phrase most have heard, and which drives home how dismal this old world often is, has it that ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same.’ We will not get into a long documentary such as ‘Who Controls The Gold Stealing New York Fed Bank,’ released last February, but will let a few points suffice. This is a mere matter of a group of gangsters who tossed the ball to others in their racketeering organization. Mitsui Global Precious Metals, a Silver Users Association member, is a subsidiary of Mitsui & Company – a Trilateral Commission interest. The Mitsuis and the Rockefellers have been associates since before 1907 when the Japan Society was founded by Rockefeller-Vanderbilt liaison Lindsay Russell as another offshoot of The Pilgrims Society. The Japan Society in fact was forerunner to the Trilaterals, founded 66 years later, but represented an expansion into Britain and Europe, in response to Bilderberg not including Japanese industrialists and bankers. Meaning that Bilderberg is over-rated compared to the Trilaterals! However, they both sprang from this older organization which remains in the shadows.

This post was published at Silver-Investor on August 29, 2014.

Gold And Silver – Elite’s NWO Losing Traction. Expect [More] War

The lies and deceit coming from Western governments continue unabated, whether it is [Pollyanna] economic news that is non-reflective of existing reality or more false flag ‘war’ news that is also non-reflective of existing reality. Whether it be Obama, Cameron, or Merkel, supposed leaders of their countries but totally failing to provide leadership, each can best be described as pimps for the banking elites.
No one, not even [non-existing] Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction Bush Jr, has been more hell-bent on starting wars throughout the world than Nobel Peace Prize winner, [cough, cough], Obama. Cameron has nothing positive to contribute, coming from a country that produces nothing, just running on spent debt fumes. He just announced his idea of more sanctions against Russia by kicking them out of the SWIFT program, the elite banker’s Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.
How have all of those other sanctions been working, David? There simply is no right way for doing stupid things, but he and Obama continue to try to disprove stupidity with the same proven results.
Merkel, the one who has the best opportunity to defy the elites and take Germany forward into the new world’s developing economic order, primarily China and Russia, leaders of BRICS and its fast-growing associated countries, [new members not currently allowed] Instead, Merkel keeps Germany rooted as the step-child satellite country of the federal United States.

This post was published at Edge Trader Plus on August 30, 2014.

30 BLOCKS OF MURALS & CIGARETTE TAXES FOR THE CHILDREN

It’s that time of year again – when the little juvenile delinquents, future prison inmates, and functionally illiterate junior members of the free shit army pick up their ‘free’ backpacks and ‘free’ school supplies they will never use and shuffle off to the decaying prison like schools in the City of Philadelphia to eat ‘free’ breakfasts and ‘free’ lunches, while being taught government sanctioned pablum by overpaid mediocre union teachers.
It’s a repeat of every year for the Phila school district. As the school year approaches they are shocked to report a massive deficit and beg the State of PA for more funding. The $12,000 per child simply isn’t enough, even though Parochial schools provide ten times the education for $9,000 per child. The district has a slight $80 million deficit this year. Last year they had a $100 million deficit and the mayor proposed a soda tax to fill the gap. It was defeated, so they raised property taxes instead. Mayor Nutter’s name is fitting. He is just another in a long line of Democratic mayors who have ruled Philadelphia since the 1950′s and whose policies of welfare handouts for their voting base paid for by taxing the producers, has resulted in a population decline from 2.1 million in 1950 to 1.5 million today. Doug Casey captures the essence of Philly with this definition:
Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy)
: a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers. The liberal solution to an ever decreasing tax base and an ever growing level of benefits for the free shit army and government union drones, is to increase taxes on the few remaining producers. They then flee the city, leaving fewer producers to tax. Rinse and repeat. Your neighborhoods then look like this.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 28th August 2014.