sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Tepid Economy

I know that the liberal media and the White House touted the McDonalds hirings last month after the fast food giant was exempted from the provisions of ObamaCare. I'm glad that they hired people - many at sub minimum wage - because even a bad wage is better than no wage at all to many Americans. I went through the local drive-through a few days ago and the 40-something guy at the pay-window asked how my day was. I said, "Fine, how about you?" He said, "I finally have a job."
(Reuters) - Lowe's Cos reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results on a slow start to the spring selling season, prompting the world's second-largest home improvement chain to cut its forecast for the year.
My son-in-law (US Navy) shipped off to Afghanistan last weekend and I took he and the rest of my family out to dinner at a nice place in San Diego's Gas Lamp District. The meal was spectacular, but the businesses around Petco Park, the baseball stadium where the Padres play were -- mainly empty and for lease. The US Navy's presence in a landlocked hell hole (and Islamic paradise) like Afghanistan is an oxymoron. He re-enlisted in the Navy primarily because there were no jobs available on the outside. Either in his former duty station in Virginia, or his new duty station in California.
May 16 (Reuters) - The United States is expected to reach the legal limit on its debt later on Monday and will start dipping into federal retirement funds to give the country more room to borrow, a Treasury official said.
The U.S. Treasury will issue $72 billion in bonds and notes on Monday, which will push the country right up against its $14.294 trillion borrowing cap, the official said.
The US President, not really able to articulate a plan that works, is on the campaign or vacation trail. It's tough to follow him as he weaves and dodges. The man who touts the post-American world in his post-American presidency gives little cause for hope and change.
NEW YORK, May 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Monday as jitters about euro zone debt bailouts, including more financial reforms by Greece, and doubts about the pace of global growth encouraged investors to shed riskier assets.
Even though some Americans cheer when the EU falls on the rocks, their fortunes impact ours and ours impact theirs. Trade is good, trade brings wealth. The strong EU economies of Germany, France and Britain are continually being stressed by Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland. I have friends in England that I speak to on the telephone. They tell a tale of real economic distress nationwide. 
(Reuters) - A gauge of manufacturing in New York State tumbled much more than expected in May to its lowest level in five months, while prices paid rose sharply, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report on Monday.
The New York Fed's "Empire State" general business conditions index fell to 11.88 from 21.70 in April. It was the lowest level since December 2010 and well below economists' expectations of 19.85.
The pace of new orders slowed to 17.19 from 22.34.
The prices paid index jumped to 69.89 from 57.69, the highest level since July 2008. Roughly 70 percent of respondents reported price increases and none reported declines, the report said.

Does anyone else feel as though they're living in the novel, Atlas Shrugged?