Posts Tagged ‘Economy’

Diamonds for everyone and they are all worth about as much as sand.

[Edit: these diamonds are actually so far only industrial grade so the will not be used in jewelry Huffington Post Article

But don’t get me wrong this will still largely effect the price of the stones.]


Remember about 5 months ago when a few of the largest diamond companies that were still privately owned all of a sudden sold out and cashed in on the value of their company?  I DO.

This is why. That huge diamond engagement ring you bought your lover that cost you at least a few paychecks, well the diamond is probably worth as much as any old rock in your backyard now.


Oh ya and all of the R&D money put into creating lab diamonds, that was a waste as well.


Come to Russia (AKA Super Shady Land) and buy diamonds for as cheap as sand. Basically they have an entire desert of them, and they have been laughing all the way to the bank since the 1970’s.

Russia Announces It has been hiding a 3,000 year supply of diamonds for 4 decades.

For those of you who are worried about the USA debt, you have the right idea, but take some solace in knowing that China and the rest of the world are worst off than we are.


Fears surface over Chinese debt amid lending practices

Workers on a residential construction site in Shanghai September 8, 2011China’s property market could see a slowdown
With its deep pockets and buoyant growth, China has been touted as a white knight for the world economy.

But fears are growing that the country may face its own debt crisis as its economy shows signs of a slowdown.

Premier Wen Jiabao this week urged stronger financial support for cash-strapped smaller businesses.

His call comes amid reports that many private sector enterprises are facing bankruptcy due to credit tightening and an explosion in informal lending.

In the eastern city of Wenzhou, one-fifth of the city’s 360,000 small and mid-sized businesses have stopped operating due to cash shortages, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported on Thursday.

“Effective measures should be taken to contain the trend of usury, crack down on illegal fundraising and properly handle the problems of collateral and capital shortage in order to prevent risks from spreading and evolving on a regional scale,” Mr Wen said while visiting the city.

According to Chinese media reports, more than 80 businessmen have fled the city unable to pay loans taken out from underground banks and one shoe factory owner jumped off a building and killed himself.

We consider the informal lending market the most likely short-term time bomb for the Chinese economy,”

Dong TaoCredit Suisse

Economists believe this could be the beginning of a larger wave of corporate bankruptcies.

Concern centres on China’s informal lending or shadow banking market – rich individuals and businesses that offer loans at interest rates spanning from 14% to 70%.

Companies and entrepreneurs have turned to this underground sector, with Chinese banks tightening lending as part of the government’s fight against inflation.

Credit Suisse says that hard statistics on the sector are hard to come by, but loans could total as much as 4 trillion yuan ($627bn; £406bn) – equal to 8% of the formal banking sector – and may be growing at 50% a year.

It estimates that 60% of informal loans have gone to small property developers, with the rest going to other businesses that need bridge loans.

“We consider the informal lending market the most likely short-term time bomb for the Chinese economy,” Dong Tao, Asia economist at Credit Suisse, said in a recent report.

“Either Beijing takes pro-active and decisive measures to deal with the issue, or a mini credit crisis is likely to emerge in our opinion,” he says.

Default swaps

Fears of an economic slowdown in China have also fuelled a surge in the trading of credit default swaps – financial instruments that insure against the risk of debt defaults.

The net value of outstanding credit default swaps on Chinese government debt has risen to $8.3bn, compared with $1.6bn two years ago, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Investors are worried that China’s economy could experience a “hard landing” – a sudden slowdown after years of blistering growth.

The property market is thought to be particularly vulnerable, with house prices soaring in the past two years.

The country has raised interest rates three times so far this year and ordered banks to increase their reserves six times in the same period.


Announcement To The World [Vendetta Speech Edit]

Wow this might be the first time the youth of NYC do something huge and meaningful.


As youths in America we were all taught about how all actions have consequences. It is the fundamental basis for law and order in the country and applies to every aspect of daily life for 99% of the population.  What they didn’t teach us was that it only applies to the 99% of the people in the country who don’t have ALL THE MONEY!

If you look at the signs of the protesters in NYC (HERE) and across the country (Chicago, Ohio, LA, etc.) they all have a common theme, at least in my eyes.  Hold people accountable for the action they have committed.  This applies to politicians taking lobbyist bribes (Top lobbying banks got biggest bailouts: study). Big Bank CEO making huge bonuses for breaking the law then not going to jail for their crimes (The 6 Largest Banks And The FED Are Running A Game To Make Large Profits).  The Richest 1% burying the country in national debt and then paying no taxes to help balance the budget (Economics Of Tax Loopholes and Potholes). It applies to current corporate greed where instead of hirring more employees on to fix the economy upper management just makes their current staff work harder, longer, and for less money (NO JOBS, NO ECONOMIC RECOVERY, NO STOCK GAINS0. All the while major corporations are reporting record profits ().  It applies to how huge multinational banks get  bailouts from the USA government, then use the money to foreclose on homes of citizens who did not receive the same bailout (The Big Banks Are Back In Big Trouble…Making A Strong Case Bailouts Were A Bad Idea). The list could go on and on (HERE & HERE & HERE & HERE & HERE & HERE & HERE & HERE & HERE & HERE & finally HERE)  For TOO LONG Americans have stood by and watched as corporate and individual GREED took over the country.  When was the last time America had a major corporation that they could be proud of, one that truly “does no evil”…Hint Hint…

This movement is about holding the people who participated in the SIN of our country accountable.  If they broke, are breaking, or intend to break, the law they should be in jail. I mean we arrest hundreds of thousands of people every year for stupid shit compared to fleecing America. However this does not just apply to those who broke the law.  Corporations need to be held to the same moral standards that the citizens of the country they are located in are held to.  No more misleading, no more aggressive persuasion, no more back room deals, no more private trials and out of court settlements, and NO MORE LOBBYING!!!


If a standard middle income citizen can’t do it, then a huge corporation shouldn’t be allowed to do it. This especially applies to CEO’s.  If your company was a ship in the navy and went and destroyed a peaceful population of people, the captain of the ship would be tried for war crimes, even if his crew did it under his nose.  Take control of your company. Institute a culture of morality, compassion, and accountability.  Don’t hide behind the fact that you don’t know whats going on. IT’S YOUR JOB TO KNOW WHAT IS TAKING PLACE IN YOUR COMPANY! And if you fail at this and the company does something wrong you should be held accountable.

Don’t get me wrong the buck doesn’t stop there.  This goes out to all of the peons of the world.  Following orders is not an excuse to commit immoral acts.  Did none of you take business ethics?  Just because your boss says its okay doesn’t mean it is.  Do your part too. If you have been asked to do something that you believe is morally questionable or illegal, report it through the proper channels.  If you think that it might get you into trouble at work, I will be more than happy to pass it on to your local news team as an anonymous report.  If that doesn’t work QUIT! Don’t sacrifice your morals for a paycheck, and don’t try to rationalize why its okay either. DEEP DOWN INSIDE WE ALL KNOW WHEN WE ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG!

For our Baby Boomer parents this makes almost no sense, becuase they have not been held accountable for anything in their lives, which is not entirely their fault but is one of the root causes for the situation we are currently in. [Blame Your Parents For The Messed Up Government].  But the YOUTH of America, ITS FUTURE, are trying to make a difference. The winds of change are blowing off the north Atlantic and filling NYC with this movement. This is about why sharing the burdens of the country with everyone who is a citizen is wrong.


I AM A 99%er!


I remember growing up and being taught to always respect your elders.  It was sinful to question the authority of your parents and rude at best to question another adult.  Still to this day i have the highest respect for my parents and the parents of my friends.  It is not my place to judge them for the decisions they have made and the culture they have created in America, but I think Blink 182 put it best in their song Anthem Part 2.

“Everything has fallen to pieces,
Earth is dying help me Jesus
We need guidance, we’ve been misled,
young and hostile, but not stupid.

Corporate leaders, politicians,
kids can’t vote, adults elect them
Laws that rule the school and workplace,
signs that caution, sixteen’s unsafe.

We really need to see this through,
we never wanted to be abused
We’ll never give up, it’s no use,
if we’re f*cked up you’re to blame”

The only reason I bring this up is that the problems we are having with our economy, our social welfare programs, the destruction of the nuclear family, corruption of all major corporations, corruption of our prized democratic government, and our role in the international community, have all been created by the decisions of one generation.  Yep Boomers I am talking to you.  Maybe its time to pass the torch and see if new ideas and new compromises can fix the giant whole you have dug the country into.

The article below shows why this is not entirely their fault but the youth of the world should be stepping up and sharing ideas and presenting ideas to boomers even if you are going to get a negative reaction.  WE ARE THE FUTURE not them.


Could it be that the reason our government is broken is because of which generation is running things?

Authors Morley Winograd and Michael Hais think so, insisting that the problem is that power is now firmly in the hands of self-righteous baby boomers who have spent their entire lives convinced that anyone who disagrees with them is morally inferior. Boomers won’t negotiate anything, Winograd and Hais say, because they think every position they hold is rooted in something no less sacred than their values, and they’re understandably reluctant to negotiate their values.

Winograd, who worked as a policy adviser to former Vice President Al Gore, and Hais, an expert on polling and research, insist that the situation will get better when the generational torch is passed and younger people take over. In their new book, “Millennial Momentum,” they explain how the millennial generation (born from 1982 to 2003) will remake America in education, politics, entertainment and every other conceivable endeavor. There will be more compromise, they predict, and more tolerance for different points of view. There will also be more of a desire to rule by consensus and not decree.

But until that day comes, the authors told me during a recent interview, there will be gridlock and dysfunction. And our government will stay broken.

I’m not sure I’m sold, but it’s a provocative theory. There are others out there as well, and I wanted to hear them.

I have a lot of friends who are in Generation X — in between boomers and millennials. Some of them are political insiders in their 30s and 40s who have worked as congressional staffers, run major political campaigns, worked in the White House, or been elected to legislatures and city councils. They know all about government, what works and what doesn’t.

So I asked some of them why our government is broken, and here are some of the reasons they gave:

Safe districts. Now that the redistricting process has become all about preserving incumbency, and limiting the number of “competitive” districts that could go into either party’s column, there are fewer moderates in Congress. It was bound to happen. Once politicians start thinking in terms of creating safe Republican districts and safe Democratic districts, it becomes a contest to see which candidate for a congressional seat is more of a partisan Republican or Democrat. The result: plenty of highly partisan and comfortable lawmakers who don’t have to worry about being voted out of office.

Constant need to fundraise. Because members of Congress have to stand for re-election every two years, they are in constant need of ready cash, which the candidates then turn around and spend on glossy mailers, campaign staff, and television commercials. Besides being undignified, this dialing for dollars leaves little time to get to work on solving the nation’s problems.

Words speak louder than actions. Somewhere along the road, lawmakers got the idea that talking about a subject was just as good as tackling it. On an issue like immigration, for instance, members of both parties talk endlessly — and with every utterance, move further away from ever finding a solution.

Powerful special interests. Many people run for Congress because they think these are powerful positions. But when they arrive, they realize just how little power they have. The clout lies with special interests, which turn out volunteers and give money to campaigns. Want to get education reform? Talk to the teachers unions. Want to save Social Security? You’ll need to go through the senior lobby. All politicians have pressure points, and the special interests know just where to push.

Polarization. No matter what the issue at hand, the extreme voices tend to be the loudest — and often the most inflexible. So policy debates quickly degenerate into a pair of competing and intractable positions that neither side will budge from. Compromise is unlikely, and combat is inevitable. And in that environment, it’s usually all or nothing. No one will settle for half a loaf; they all want the whole bakery.

Resistance to accountability. Lawmakers would rather wring their hands over a problem than lay claim to a remedy that might ruffle feathers. They know that, if they approve a controversial bill, they have to own it for the next election. So, oftentimes, they would rather have an issue to bat around than risk accountability at the polls for rolling up their sleeves and working out a solution to a problem.

Voter apathy. The irony is that the worse government performs, the greater the public cynicism, and the less likely it is that many Americans will turn out to vote — which, in turn, only makes government even worse, because it offers little incentive for politicians to do better. That’s dangerous. After all, as former Wyoming Sen. Al Simpson likes to say, politics is a contact sport: “You take part, or you get taken apart.”

What if you were in charge?

The old saying dictates that people get the government they deserve. But they also get the government they’ll tolerate. If it’s really true that record numbers of Americans are fed up with their government, as the latest polls show, they have to make it known — and make some changes. And one way to fix government is to replace those who are doing the governing — whatever generation they’re from.


Below is a chart of the history of generation and how they are cyclical. from the book GENERATIONS

Howe and Strauss characterize generations and their types as follows:

Generation Type Birth years Formative era
Late Medieval Saeculum
Arthurian Generation Hero (Civic) 1433–1460 (27) Unraveling: Retreat from France
Humanist Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1461–1482 (21) Crisis: War of the Roses
Reformation Saeculum (104)
Reformation Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1483–1511 (28) High: Tudor Renaissance
Reprisal Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1512–1540 (28) Awakening: Protestant Reformation
Elizabethan Generation Hero (Civic) 1541–1565 (24) Unraveling: Intolerance and Martyrdom
Parliamentarian Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1566–1587 (21) Crisis: Armada Crisis
New World Saeculum (112)
Puritan Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1588–1617 (29) High: Merrie England
Cavalier Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1618–1647 (29) Awakening: Puritan Awakening
Glorious Generation Hero (Civic) 1648–1673 (25) Unraveling: Religious Intolerance
Enlightenment Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1674–1700 (26) Crisis: King Philip’s War/
Glorious Revolution
Revolutionary Saeculum (90)
Awakening Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1701–1723 (22) High: Augustan Age of Empire
Liberty Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1724–1741 (17) Awakening: Great Awakening
Republican Generation Hero (Civic) 1742–1766 (24) Unraveling: French and Indian War
Compromise Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1767–1791 (24) Crisis: American Revolution
Civil War Saeculum (67)
Transcendental Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1792–1821 (29) High: Era of Good Feeling
Gilded Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1822–1842 (20) Awakening: Transcendental Awakening
Hero (Civic)0
Progressive Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1843–1859 (16) Crisis: American Civil War
Great Power Saeculum (82)
Missionary Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1860–1882 (22) High: Reconstruction/Gilded Age
Lost Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1883–1900 (17) Awakening: Missionary Awakening
G.I. Generation Hero (Civic) 1901–1924 (23) Unraveling: World War I/Prohibition
Silent Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1925–1942 (17) Crisis: Great Depression/World War II
Millennial Saeculum (67+)
(Baby) Boom Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1943–1960 (17) High: Superpower America
13th Generation
(a.k.a Generation X)1
Nomad (Reactive) 1961–1981 (20) Awakening: Consciousness Revolution
Millennial Generation2 Hero (Civic) 1982–2000 (18) Unraveling: Culture Wars
New Silent Generation 34 Artist (Adaptive) 2001–present (10+) Crisis: War on Terror/Late 2000s recession

Below is my reflection of the article written for Seth Godin Blog.


Seth states that there are two different recessions going on during the current economic down turn.

“There are actually two recessions:

The first is the cyclical one, the one that inevitably comes and then inevitably goes. There’s plenty of evidence that intervention can shorten it, and also indications that overdoing a response to it is a waste or even harmful.

The other recession, though, the one with the loss of “good factory jobs” and systemic unemployment–I fear that this recession is here forever.” 

I agree completely with this idea, but I do not fear that the factory jobs may be gone forever I KNOW THEY ARE. Factory jobs are irreplaceable and will not be returning to the USA. They can be done for way cheaper wages over seas and due to union dominance were demanding way to high of wages here for way to long.  I actually fear this will be the case with many skilled labor jobs including welding, plumbing, electrician work, and carpentry. This being the case due to changing policy on migrant workers and immigration may allow for a completely migrant workforce to handle these jobs for way less than the current USA born and raised workers demand.

Seth Then States:

“If it can be systemized, it will be. If the pressured middleman can find a cheaper source, he/she will. If the unaffiliated consumer can save a nickel by clicking over here or over there, then that’s what’s going to happen.” 

This had been the case not only with manual labor jobs but also with many desk jobs.  More and more firms are going to automated answering services, some are so good you may not even realize you just spoke to a computer.  Also many finance related jobs are being replaced by computers, like progressives online insurance buying, or etrades investment trading, or even the automated tellers and Bank of America.  These were all positions where in the past an actual human sat at a desk and did this work and now it is all being done by computer.  If you think of all of the jobs that have been replaced by computers and automation over the last 20 years it is a wonder that we do not have higher unemployment than the conservatively reported 9%.

As he then states:

“The industrial age, the one that started with the industrial revolution, is fading away. It is no longer the growth engine of the economy and it seems absurd to imagine that great pay for replaceable work is on the horizon.”

If you can’t learn and adapt to the new world you are going to get left behind. I used to tell my mom this as new technology came out with cell phones, but as a young male who is very tech savvy never thought it would apply directly to my life.  The world is moving faster than even those of us who grew up in a ever changing world can keep up with.

He then states:

“I’m not a pessimist, though, because the new revolution, the revolution of connection, creates all sorts of new productivity and new opportunities. Not for repetitive factory work, though, not for the sort of thing ADP measures. Most of the wealth created by this revolution doesn’t look like a job, not a full time one anyway.

When everyone has a laptop and connection to the world, then everyone owns a factory. Instead of coming together physically, we have the ability to come together virtually, to earn attention, to connect labor and resources, to deliver value.”

I again agree only am slightly more pessimistic.  I see the boomers having a hard time adjusting to this new world and the ones who do not have secure financial futures already could to washed over in the tsunami of cultural evolution.  Also the laptop thing is completely inaccurate, in the near future everyone will have cell phones that can do more than most laptops can today, and by the near future I mean really near like next summer (reference: Quad-Core Processors Are Coming, But Are You Ready To Say Goodbye To Your Laptop. [POWER] & Google Bought Motorola For Great Hardware Not Just Patents [BOOM!!][UPDATING]). This also applies to Google+ which is taking the aspect of satellite offices to the next generation with its huddles and document shares ETC.

“The future feels a lot more like marketing–it’s impromptu, it’s based on innovation and inspiration, and it involves connections between and among people–and a lot less like factory work, in which you do what you did yesterday, but faster and cheaper.”

The future may be in marketing we Americans are the best in the world at influencing culture and maybe that will be were everyone finds work.

“Job creation is a false idol. The future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects. It will change the fabric of our society along the way. No one is demanding that we like the change, but the sooner we see it and set out to become an irreplaceable linchpin, the faster the pain will fade, as we get down to the work that needs to be (and now can be) done.”

Maybe one day soon offices will be a thing of the past, people will spend the workday where ever they want, with whoever they want and will still be just as productive.  However it will be difficult to feel productive when you do not make anything tangible.  The future will tell the real story.



I am sure this topic will be criticizer from both sides but I feel it is an important subject to tackle because it can effect the lives of so many Americans.

First I wanted to point out that I have no problem with immigration.  I think America has been successful in the past due to its mixing of cultures and would be greatly against disallowing immigrants to come to the country.

That being said I am completely against illegal immigration. I do not agree with people coming to the country taking advantage of our governmental system, (medicare, free schooling, jobs without paying taxes, etc).

This cannot be blamed 100% on the immigrants however it is equally shared with Americas failed governmental policies.  If we could find a way to allow migrant workers to enter the country and pay taxes on the wages they earn, then we could avoid this whole problem.  I respect the fact that the migrant workers are an important part of the rural  economy, and can see huge benefits to the country.

Maybe if we could work out a way for these migrant workers to become successful members of our society which implies paying taxes staying out of jail, and not being a drain on society then laws like the one passed in Alabama won’t have to be passed.

Article Below originally posted HERE


Even before federal judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn upheld the toughest parts of Alabama‘s groundbreaking immigration law Wednesday, daily life in Alabama had already begun to look – and feel – a little different.

The state’s agriculture commissioner says some farmers are mourning squash rotting in the fields, after migrant workers either left or avoided the state, some in fear that their children would be used as deportation tools as schools next week begin checking the immigration status of incoming students.

Two days before Judge Blackburn proffered her ruling, Alabama announced a new car-registration database called ALVerify, to head off fears of citizen revolts against long courthouse lines as residents prove their citizenship.

And those working to rebuild the state from this spring’s massive tornado outbreak predicted delays under the expectation that Hispanic workers will be harder to find to lay roofs, build decks, and pour foundations.

“The question is, now that the law has passed and is in effect, who will fill these labor-intensive jobs?” says Jay Reed, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors trade group of Alabama. “To date, we haven’t had anyone waiting in line.”

To be sure, Blackburn blocked several parts of the law that strayed from what she saw as federal precedent, including the ability of the state to nullify contracts signed by undocumented workers and new fines for those who pick up migrant workers for daywork or church purposes.

But she reaffirmed other measures that had failed court review in states like Georgia and Arizona– in particular, a clause that makes it illegal for anyone not legally in the United States to apply for a license plate, driver’s license, business license, or other license. The decision, which took many by surprise, probably laid the groundwork for crackdowns in other states, as well as for legal challenges that are likely to rise to the US Supreme Court.

“[The] ruling is nothing short of a great victory for the State of Alabama and for those who support the rule of law,” Alabama House majority leader Micky Hammon (R), co-author of the legislation, told reporters. “Many of the law’s most vocal critics, including the Obama Justice Department, theACLU, and other liberal extremists, were simply proven wrong.”

Patterned on similar laws in Georgia and Arizona, the law was passed by the first Republican supermajority in Montgomery since Reconstruction, and it was signed this summer by Gov. Robert Bentley (R).

Alabama trailed only South Carolina in the number of Hispanics moving to the state in the past decade, but that trend has probably been curtailed now – even reversed, some say. About 120,000 undocumented workers live in the state, up from 25,000 10 years ago, according to thePew Hispanic Center. Hispanics make up about 3 percent of the total population in Alabama.

Towns like Alabaster, Pelham, and Collinsville saw up to 1,000 percent increases in Hispanic residents in the past decade. Now, the faces of such communities change dramatically as those residents, who had become what Alabama activist Isabel Rubio has called “part of the daily fabric,” pull up stakes.

“The new law touches on all aspects of employment and everyday life, from contracts to schooling to renting an apartment,” writes Challen Stephens of The Huntsville Times.

At the very least, the law will challenge the workforce dynamics in the state, in which more-labor-intensive jobs have largely been abandoned by the historic white and African-American populations. Even when the Alabama economy was booming a few years ago, the Associated Builders and Contractors had trouble recruiting American workers, who were more interested in pursuing a four-year college degree.

The group’s 2012 platform will focus on getting whites and blacks back into manual labor jobs, where career success requires strong backs and a solid work ethic.

For their part, farmers are looking to several new guest-worker proposals in Congress to help their plight. But they’re already making changes to contracts for next year’s crops in anticipation that workers will be hard to find.

“This decision affects every farmer and every person who hires one or more employees,” saysMac Higginbotham, a commodity director at the Alabama Farmers Federation in Montgomery. “The fact is, a lot of Americans aren’t willing to do temporary jobs that involve intense work in the hot sun.”

John McMillan, Alabama’s agriculture commissioner, has urged the state to force residents receiving unemployment benefits to take farm-labor jobs or risk losing their benefits.

“[The Legislature] had no idea of the unintended consequences,” Mr. McMillan told a meeting of Alabama editorial writers recently.

Perhaps the most controversial part of the law is the mandate that schools check the immigration status of incoming students. State officials have said the rule won’t be used to ferret out families who are in the state illegally. But taken together, such measures are pushing even legal Hispanic workers out of the state, says Mr. Reed of the Associated Builders and Contractors. It’s also putting educators in the position of enforcing immigration law.

“Teachers are not immigration officers, but we will obey the law,” Nez Calhoun, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County School System, told The Huntsville Times. “This is another responsibility for schoolteachers that they were not expecting to have to do.”

While the impact of the law will primarily be felt by Alabamians who interact with, and depend upon, the Hispanic community, it may also affect how Alabamians view themselves, and how others view the state.

“I think it reflects nationally on Alabama, the kind of state this is,” says Raymond Mohl, a sociologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. But after the state “dodged a bullet” by allowing people to update car registrations online instead of at the courthouse, he adds, “I don’t think it will affect most people at all. There’s an ambivalence here, a cultural politeness, but it may just be kind of surface level.”

Any blowback is a price worth paying, Alabama’s Republican leadership says. “Our goal has always been to make sure Alabama jobs and taxpayer-funded resources are going to legal Alabama residents, and Judge Blackburn’s ruling is a significant win for this cause,” said Del Marsh (R), Senate president pro tem.

Funny how back in June i made the statement that Groupon wasn’t worth what it went for in its IPO because the company itself has serious profitability issues. Check here –> Groupon’s Hug IPO May All Have Been For Nothing. or here –> I Stand By My Statement That Groupon Will Be Dead In The Water. [Competition] .  Now almost 4 months later that numbers are making my predictions the TRUTH. Sell Groupon before it is too late.

Groupon’s revenue measure shrinks more than 50 percent

Donald B. Marron is director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and a visiting professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. He previously served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and as acting director of the Congressional Budget Office.

The company revised its financial results Friday, and the revenue picture looks less explosive. In the latest update of its S-1 registration statement, Groupon reported $393 million in Q2 revenues. That’s a remarkable figure for such a young company but a far cry from the $878 million it previously reported.

About a month ago, I remarked on Groupon’s explosive revenue growth (and its equally impressive cost growth).

Skip to next paragraph

And what happened to the almost $400 million in missing revenue? That money–payments to the merchants who provide goods and services for Groupons–is now subtracted before reporting revenue rather than deducted after as an expense. In short, Groupon went from a gross measure of revenue to anet one.

The bad news for Groupon is that the new presentation makes the company appear less than half as big as it did previously. The good news, I suppose, is that its expenses went down by the same amount.

Groupon’s effort to go public has been one of the bumpier ones in recent memory. Its first filing emphasized a profit measure, essentially profits less marketing expenses, that was widely ridiculed. That got dropped in the second draft. And now a gigantic restatement of revenue in the third draft. Not to mention, the company’s recent difficulties with the SEC’s quiet period requirements.

The annual Forbes list of wealthiest Americans has landed just in time to throw some extra fuel on a hot political debate over “the rich” and whether their taxes should go up.

The top 400 on this “rich list,” led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett, saw their net worth rise 12 percent in the past year (the 12 months ended on Aug. 26).

All 400 had net worth of at least $1.05 billion, and their combined wealth reached $1.53 trillion,Forbes magazine reported as it released the list Wednesday.

For comparison, Americans overall have also seen their net worth rise, on average, but with a percentage gain somewhere in the single digits, judging by data tracked by the Federal Reserve.

The “rich get richer” trend won’t necessarily come as a surprise, but it does come as the nation is focusing on a gauntlet thrown down earlier this week by President Obama, as he outlined a proposal for reducing federal deficits.

“I will veto any bill that changes … Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share,” Mr. Obama said.

His plan calls for raising an extra $1.5 trillion in tax revenue during the next decade from households earning more than $250,000 in income. Obama mentioned Mr. Buffett as a supporter of such a tax hike. Much of the Nebraska billionaire’s income is taxable at the low rate levied on long-term capital gains, leading Obama to say that “Warren Buffett’s secretary shouldn’t pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett.”

Obama’s support for such a tax change is not new, nor is the response of Republican opponents. They have blasted Obama and other Democrats for engaging in “class warfare” that seeks to pit the majority of voters against their richest fellow citizens.

House Speaker John Boehner called Obama’s deficit-reduction proposal “a $1.5 trillion tax hike on American job creators,” and said it amounted to a “campaign document” rather than a sound fiscal plan.

Both parties appear moving increasingly into campaign mode as the 2012 elections come into closer view. Political analysts say Obama is sounding more passionate, and more willing to fight against the firm no-tax-hike line that Republicans have laid down in the deficit debate.

A bipartisan “supercommittee” of a dozen lawmakers in Congress has until late November to come up with a plan to reduce future deficits, either through spending cuts alone or with some increased tax revenues added in.

The 12 percent gain in net worth for those on the Forbes 400 list may sound surprising, given all the recent weakness in the stock market. But thanks to gains late last year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by nearly that much during the 12-month period tracked by the magazine.

How have average Americans fared during that time?

The answers depend on the circumstances of individuals and families, but Federal Reserve data show overall American wealth to have risen by about $4.4 trillion between the second quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of this year. That’s about an 8 percent gain, fueled largely by changes in financial assets. (Home prices have fallen during that time, as has household debt.)

The Fed data do not allow an exact comparison with the time period in the Forbes report, but by looking at the performance of the stock and housing markets during the August-to-August period, it seems likely that overall American net worth rose by less than 8 percent.

But for millions of middle- or lower-income families, their home is a bigger part of their net worth than are financial assets. Meanwhile, ownership of such assets is concentrated in the hands of the wealthiest 20 percent of Americans. For these reasons, any gains in net worth for the typical USfamily were probably very modest. And according to recently released Census Bureau numbers, the number of Americans living in poverty rose in 2010.




Below is a breakdown of all of the cultural wars going on in America right NOW! The country is looking pretty divided where do you stand?


It is a common observation that American political discourse has become rife with hyperbole and hostility. Fierce partisans on both the left and right, not content to simply point out errors in each others’ reasoning, frequently accuse each other of outright malevolence. This enraged tone is epitomized by the frequency with which policies and proposals are said to represent “wars” on various innocent sectors of society.While the “war” metaphor may win media coverage and rile voters, it prevents Americans from having the type of debate that could lead to more effective responses to our society’s problems.

The length of the following list of examples, which was culled from mainstream politicians and commentators using simple Google searches, illustrates the extent of this phenomenon.

The left accuses the right of waging: The right accuses the left of waging
War on the poor Class warfare
War on working people War on business
War on the middle class War on the middle class (yes, both)
War on immigrants War on savers
War on the family War on the family (again, both)
War on children War on marriage
War on the elderly War on the American way of life
War on public employees War on religion
War on teachers War on Christmas

It’s a miracle any of us are still alive! Taken at face value, this partisan rhetoric claims there are wars being waged against virtually all Americans, with most of us being attacked on multiple fronts. Obviously this rhetoric is absurd, but the war talk is worth delving into because it is absurd in specific ways that have serious consequences.

Let us clarify what this particular war metaphor is not. It is different from the metaphor of war on social ills such as poverty, drugs, and terrorism. Warfare might be a simplistic model for these efforts, but we really do want to eliminate poverty, drug abuse, and terrorism, so in this sense, it is fair to say that we are waging war against them. However, the notion that any mainstream political faction is actually trying to harm the middle class, children, or the institution of marriage is not just simplistic but preposterous and grotesque.

The problem is not simply one of exaggeration. If it were, the distortion would be quantitative, but this distortion is qualitative. If partisans viewed their opponents as well intentioned but sadly mistaken in their beliefs, they could exaggerate by calling the other side uninformed, unreasonable, ignorant, stupid, or even idiotic.

The war metaphor means something different; it says opponents are not well intentioned but are engaged in a purposeful attempt to harm. Opponents might even be described as smart – in their intentional campaign to destroy segments of the American population and way of life.