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A Slow and Painful Death by Technology

March 5 2017

by: Morpheus X

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Death by Technology | The Economy

Warning Signs: FedEx To Slash Thousands of Jobs Citing “Weak Global Economic Conditions

October 16 2012

by: Mac Slavo


One key measure of global economic health is how much freight – raw materials and manufactured goods – is being shipped around the world and in the United States. In July of this year the Balctic Dry Index, a measure of the price to pay for the movement of raw materials by sea, hit a record breaking low and signaled a steep decline in global manufacturing and consumption.

This was a key indicator for where the economy was headed on a global scale.

Just a few months later we’ve received confirmation of this trend from FedEx, one of the largest shipping companies in the world.

Yes, Americans are still shopping, but they aren’t shopping at the same pace they were five years ago. Their jobs have been eliminated, wages reduced and credit has been restricted. FedEx’s latest earnings report is proof positive of this:

Earnings for the first quarter were below our expectations as weak global economic conditions dampened revenue growth, drove a shift by our customers to our deferred services and outpaced our near-term ability to reduce FedEx Express operating costs to match demand levels.

Source: FedEx

 Demand for FedEx services is down overall for a variety of reasons, including less retail consumption in an already struggling economy and a customer shift to cheaper shipping methods.

(Full Story...)



Decline and Collapse

Americans Continue to Struggle Post-Recession

October 2 2012



This week, we reported on the Pew Research Center’s findings that the 2000s were a lost decade for the middle class, as a result of declining household income and shrinking net worth over that 10-year period. Now, Pew reports that in the two years since the end of the Great Recession, Americans continue to shed resources.

 In fact, the decline of household median income in the last two years matched the drop that occurred during the recession itself, Pew reports. In 2009, when the recession ended, median household income was $52,195, and in 2011 (the most recent year available), it was $50,054, a decline of 4.1 percent. Back in 2007, before the recession, median household income was $54,489. That leads Pew to conclude that “recovery from the Great Recession is bypassing the nation’s households.”

 Those households are already in a weakened state. As Pew reported earlier, median net worth of middle-income families fell to $93,150 in 2010, compared to a peak of $152,950 several years earlier. And net worth is an important measure of financial security, since it offers households much-needed cash if they find themselves facing unplanned expenses or job losses. At the same time, median household income for middle-income families fell to $69,487 in 2010 compared to $72,956 at the beginning of the decade.

(Full Story...)



Death by Technology

Great Recession still slamming the middle class

October 2 2012

by: John W. Schoen



The poor stayed poor and the rich got richer, but the middle slipped a few more rungs down the economic ladder.

More than five years after the Great Recession began, the lingering impact of the worst downturn in a half-century continues to deplete the standard of living of middle-class American households.

Median household income, after adjusting for inflation, fell 1.5 percent last year to $50,054, according to the Census Bureau's annual report on income and poverty issued released Wednesday. The poverty rate, at 15 percent, remained stuck at the highest level since 1993.

For Ray Bober, 45, of Pittsburgh, whose unemployment benefits ran out this year after a family printing business failed several years ago, the dismal economy takes a toll every time he sends out another resume that goes nowhere.

“You have to learn to roll with the punches and laugh a little; it’s very depressing,” he said. “It takes a toll, especially this long. You want to reach out and shake your fist in the air and blame someone, but you can’t. The way it is, is the way it is. There’s nothing you can do about it but stay in the fight."

For millions of middle-class American households, the fight began well before the Great Recession destroyed more than 8 million jobs, or even before the financial collapse in 2008 that gave birth to the downturn. Median household income, adjusted for inflation, has been dropping for 13 years.

The drop in income has been magnified by the persistent high unemployment, currently above 8 percent, which peaked at a monthly pace of more than 800,000 jobs shed in November 2008. On top of job growth that's been weaker than any recovery in a half-century, wages haven't budged since the recession ended.

Last year's drop in the median family household income has left income for those in the median 8.1 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the recession began, and 8.9 percent lower than the median peak in 1999.

(Full Story...)


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Decline and Collapse | The Economy

Record number of coal-fired generators to be shut down in 2012

August 28 2012

by: Michael Bastasch



Facing declining demand for electricity and stiff federal environmental regulations, coal plant operators are planning to retire 175 coal-fired generators, or 8.5 percent of the total coal-fired capacity in the United States, according to an analysis by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A record-high 57 generators will shut down in 2012, representing 9 gigawatts of electrical capacity, according to EIA. In 2015, nearly 10 gigawatts of capacity from 61 coal-fired generators will be retired.

While many of those coal plants are old and relatively inefficient, the scope of this new planned shutdown is unprecedented.

“The coal-fired capacity expected to be retired over the next five years is more than four times greater than retirements performed during the preceding five-year period,” EIA noted in the analysis.

(Full Story...)



Decline and Collapse

Consumer Protection Agency Says Previous Estimates Were Too Low, Student Debt Already Exceeds $1 Trillion

March 25 2012

by: Pat Garofalo


Last year, the New York Federal Reserve estimated that student loan debt would exceed $1 trillion for the first time in 2012. At the moment, the New York Fed claims that $870 billion in student loan debt is outstanding.

However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the agency created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which is tasked with policing consumer lending — believes that the New York Fed is underestimating the amount of student debt that Americans hold. In fact, a CFPB analysis shows that student debt has already cleared $1trillion:


 Total student debt outstanding appears to have surpassed $1 trillion late last year, said officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency created in the wake of the financial crisis. That would be roughly 16% higher than an estimate earlier this year by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The new figure—released Wednesday at a banking conference in Austin, Texas—is a preliminary finding from a study of student debt that the bureau plans to release this summer. Bureau officials said the estimate is based on a survey of private lenders, as opposed to other estimates that rely on a sampling of consumer credit reports.

(Full Story...)


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Decline and Collapse

Financial experts predict plunging stock market, social unrest, bank runs before 2014

March 8 2012

by: Johnathan Benson


As optimistic as many mainstream financial pundits appear to be these days about the future of the U.S. and world economies, not everyone has bought into the mindset that the worst has already passed and recovery is on the way. Trends forecaster Gerald Celente and several other financial experts are predicting even worse turmoil ahead, including another stock market crash worse than the last one in '""9, nationwide bank runs, and widespread social unrest, all to occur before '"'4.


In a recent USA Today piece, Harry Dent, author of the book The Great Crash Ahead, Robert Prechter, author of Conquer the Crash, and Celente all shared their opinions on some of what lies ahead for Americans in the next two years. Despite differences in their advice to investors about how to approach the upcoming collapse, all three experts seem to agree that things do not look pretty, and that people need to be prepared for the worst.

"'"'' is when many of the long-simmering socioeconomic and political trends that we have been forecasting and tracking will climax," wrote Celente in his recent Top '' Trends '"'' newsletter. "When the money stops flowing down to the man on the street, the blood starts flowing in the streets."


"The current health care system is unsustainable for everyone and, like other businesses, we've had to make choices we wish we didn't have to make," said Walmart spokesman Greg Rossiter. "Our country needs to find a way to reduce the cost of health care, particularly in this economy."

(Full Story...)


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