Friday, February 07, 2014

Meanwhile, back at the farm, flipping is BACK!

Home flipping is back in a big way

Oddly, this sign of real estate madness isn't considered to be a bad thing. But certain observations about the general economy hold true here as well: Upscale is doing well for itself.
More expensive homes were especially popular with home flippers, as sales made up of flip-related sales from homes valued at more than $400,000 were up 36% last year. Sales of less valuable homes bought and sold within six months were up 16% over the same period.

Today's tales of woe

More men in prime working ages don't have jobs

and a lousy employment report isn't going to help. Even CNN is starting to notice, and they're second only to NBC in their desrie to be Obama's Goebbels:

Job growth remains weak 

That said, much of the decline in unemployment has come for a discouraging reason: some Americans are dropping out of the labor force. As of January, only 63% of Americans over age 16 participated in the labor market -- meaning they either had a job or looked for one. Although there was a slight improvement in January, participation is still hovering around its lowest level since 1978. 

While some of the decline is partly due to baby boomers retiring, economists are also concerned about the long-term unemployed, who may be giving up on the job market altogether. Following the report, one of President Obama's top economic advisers, Jason Furman called the unemployment rate still "unacceptably high." 
 Glad to hear that after almost five years of recovery the Administration has FINALLY noticed that their recovery is utter bullshit.

ADDED: Mish makes some observations about the last year in the US employment market:
[Over the last year, the US] population rose by over 2 million, but the labor force fell by over a quarter-million. People dropping out of the work force accounts for much of the declining unemployment rate.
 This is neither a healthy employment market nor a healthy economy.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Fruit Bat Fitness Regime

From one Eric the Fruit Bat:

Here it is, in a nutshell:

(1) Do something.

(2) Start now.

(3) Keep it simple. You didn't turn into a blob overnight and you won't get back into shape overnight.

(4) I'm serious about that. Do five squats every morning for a week. Next week, do six. After that comes seven. You get the idea.

(5) I'm serious. That's how it's done. One day at a time. Patience is a virtue.

(6) It wasn't so long ago I would have to undo my belt because it was too tight at 40 inches. Now it's about 31 inches. And yes, the femoral arteries are plain as day.

(7) You want to know what does that? Squats, diet and consistency.

(8) Oh, and one more thing . . . start now.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Dedicated to Mailbox Head

Seattle 43
Denver 8

And to Mailbox Head's boss: Don't fuck with Gator Nation, boy.


Sunday, February 02, 2014

Signs of the Times

[originally posted at Ambiance]

Saw yet another depressing story today.

States see record high in long-term joblessness

In 28 states, a third or more of the unemployed have been without a job for six months or longer, leaving them with no unemployment insurance safety net following the expiration of extended benefits in December.
In New Jersey, Florida and the District of Columbia, nearly half of the unemployed have been out of work for longer than 26 weeks, according to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among all 50 states and D.C., the average is 33%.
Before the Great Recession, the highest the long-term joblessness share ever reached was 26% in mid-1983, according to the EPI analysis. Today, 41 states and D.C. have shares of long-term unemployment above that level.
This reminded me that a few weeks ago Dave Schuler had pointed out the story linked below:

Half of U.S. Counties Haven’t Recovered From Recession

This was from the Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog. It includes an interactive map showing which counties in the USA have recovered from the Great Recession. As to be expected, I looked at the area where I live, Central Florida. In that area, it shows that Osceola, Pasco and Sumter counties have recovered. Pasco and Sumpter aren't that populous. But Osceola County surprised me. At the height of the recession somewhere between one sixth and one fifth of the houses in Osceola County were sitting empty: built but never lived in, half-built, abandoned, or foreclosed upon.

But despite the fact that Osceola (the county directly south of Walt Disney World Resort) is in recovery, all is not well:

Near Disney World, number of homeless families soars

In the shadow of Walt Disney World, Osceola County has one of the highest rates of homeless families in the nation, and the problem continues to grow at an "astonishing" rate, officials told more than 300 community leaders Wednesday.
The number of homeless school-age children and parents rose by 54 percent to more than 5,000 in the past year alone, according to a new report commissioned by county government. Current programs aimed at helping those families get back on their feet have enough funding to help fewer than 10 percent of them.
Bailey said the "shockingly high" number of homeless families in Osceola stem from a unique intersection of low-wage jobs, high mobility, cheap and plentiful motel rooms, a lack of homeless shelters and, some say, a lack of code enforcement that allows families to stay in motels for months — sometimes years — at a time.
Back in June of 2010, the Obama Administration kicked off a celebration of Recovery Summer. According to the latest data, we're still over 2,000,000 jobs short of where we were in November of 2007, a month before the recession began. And we're over 4,000,000 full-time jobs short of where we were then. (It's too depressing to break out the numbers at this time of night, we may be over 5,000,000 full-time jobs short.) And this doesn't take into account that the working age population has grown considerably in the interim.

Can someone please tell me what the Hell recovery is supposed to mean? Can someone please tell me what the Hell anyone is doing about? Can someone tell me why the people that are running the country are more concerned with trying to fix every other country in the world (sometimes by importing more people from there to here) instead of trying to fix the country we've got?

And can someone please tell me why the rulers of the country are so damned pleased with themselves when the signs of the times are the ones held by women standing in front of groceries stores, holding a child with one hand and a placard  in the other stating,


Please help

Thank you

God Bless



I left the following two comments immediately after posting:
About a week ago, maybe it was two weeks, we went to the grocery store. It’s a decent grocery store (Publix, for those that know the chain) in a decent enough area. And out front was a woman holding on to a small child and a sign like the one I mentioned above. I’ve seen more and more homeless people lately, and distressingly many of them are families. Perhaps it’s just a pick up in the number of grifters, but reading stories like those linked above, I doubt it.
I should note that the numbers used from the “According to the latest data” link use the Seasonally Adjusted Civilian Employment data recorded in the FRED system as of 2/2/2014, and measures from 11/2007 to 12/2013. When the new data comes out next Friday, the December numbers will probably be revised. But right now it shows a drop in employment of 2,009,000 from the pre-recession peak in November of 2007 (146,595,000) to December 2013 (144,586,000). FRED numbers are recorded by the 1000s.