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Job = Just Over Broke





If you are fortunate enough to have a job in America today, the phrase "just over broke" probably describes you.  Yes, there are a handful of jobs that certainly pay very well, but most Americans that work for somebody else are just barely making it from month to month.  More than half of all working Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and more than half of all working Americans make less than $30,000 a year.  Something has gone horribly wrong, and yet our leaders just keep telling us how wonderful our economy is.

 
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Economic Confidence Languishes Near 2014 Lows; 62% Don't See It "Getting Better"





Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index dropped slightly to -17 for the week ending August 10th, hovering just off the lows of 2014 as only 38% of Americans believe the economy is "getting better." Perhaps even more concerning, given record high stock prices and cycle low unemployment rates, only 19% of Americans said the economy is "excellent" or "good," - the lowest in 5 months. Gallup concludes, generally speaking, Americans remain more negative than positive about the economy, but are less negative than they were in the first few years after the Great Recession - $4 trillion later.

 
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America The Divided: Everyone Knows We Have Problems But There Is Very Little Agreement On Solutions





A house divided against itself will surely fall.  America is more divided today than it has been in decades, and the deep divisions that are tearing us apart continue to get even worse.  In fact, a newly released Rasmussen Reports national survey discovered that 67 percent of voters believe that America is even more divided now than it was four years ago. What most Americans can agree on is that we are facing tremendous problems as a nation.  Unfortunately, there is very little agreement on what the solutions to our problems are. 

 
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US Foreign Policy Toward Russia In Two Charts





"Costs" and "Consequences"... not only has US foreign policy enabled Vladimir Putin's approval rating to surge to record highs but, perhaps more importantly, it has driven a massive wedge between the West and the rest...

 
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Gallup Slams Lid On Hopes for US Economy





Consumers are “straining against rising prices on daily essentials” and are cutting back on things they want to buy.

 
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Consumer Spending Slides In All Important June, Gallup Finds





It appears the hopes and dreams of a resurgence in US GDP in Q2 will have to be extended-and-pretended another quarter. As Gallup notes, Americans' self-reports of daily spending fell back in June, averaging $91 for the month - down notably from a six-year high of $98 in May - and flat to the $90 average found in June 2013. Not exactly the pent-up demand 'surge' so many economists (and Fed PhDs) have been calling for... Even more concerning, Gallup notes, the drop in daily spending among all Americans can largely be attributed to upper-income Americans spending less in June. Even the 1% are cutting back?

 
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These Are The "Worst Possible States To Live In" As Ranked By Their Residents





It should come as no surprise that when Gallup recently conducted a poll asking residents to rank if their state is the "worst possible to live in" a whopping 25% of its residents, by far the most of any states, responded Illinois. Which were the other "worst possible" states? The table below ranks them all.

 
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Independence Day? 79% Of Americans Are Fine With The Current Level Of Tyranny





On July 4th, the United States will celebrate Independence Day once again.  But who in the world are we trying to kid?  Our founders intended to create a society where freedom and liberty would be maximized, but that is not what America looks like today.  Instead, we live in a country that literally has millions of laws, rules and regulations.  We have a government that is obsessed with spying on the entire planet and that tries to watch, monitor, track and record as much information about all of us as it possibly can.  A “Big Brother” surveillance grid is being constructed all around us, and our militarized police are becoming more brutal with each passing day.  Sadly, most Americans don’t seem too alarmed by any of this.  In fact, a new Gallup survey has found that 79 percent of Americans are “satisfied” with the level of freedom in this nation.  That is a very alarming statistic. If most people believe that everything is “just fine”, then our leaders are going to feel free to keep doing the same things that they have been doing.

 
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Obama Worst President Since World War II, More Say US Would Be Better Under Romney, Latest Poll Finds





The president is increasingly finding that telling the Mr. Chairmanwoman to rig the market to all time highs does not translate to a comparable popularity rating. In fact, just the opposite. While Obama's slide in the polls is nothing new, the latest data from the Quinnipiac University Poll is about as bad as it gets for the president: in fact, perhaps the only thing more shocking than Obama "surpassing" George W. Bush as the worst president since World War II is the onset of revisionism, with some 45% saying the US would have been better with Romney as president, compared to just 38% who say Obama remains the better choice. Which incidentally confirms what we reported yesterday: while the Republican view of Obama has certainly never been lower, what is worse is that even the core democrat faithful are now giving up on the hope and change bringer, confirmed by the latest Gallup poll which saw democrat confidence in the economy tumbling to the lowest level for 2014.

 
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Surge In Government Job Creation, Most Since August 2008, Offset By Private Jobs Decline Adds To ADP Confusion





Moments after the outlier ADP private payrolls jobs number, the highest since November 2012, was released Gallup offered its own poll-based take on the US jobs market with the release of its monthly US Jobs Creation Index. To some this useful datapoint may explain the ADP-reported surge in hiring, although a more nuanced read simply add to the confusion.

 
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Losing Faith? Democrat Confidence In The Economy Tumbles To 2014 Lows





It appears the faithful are losing belief... Gallup reports that Democrats economic confidence has faded to its lowest since January (less than half the levels of confidence when President Obama unleashed his 2nd term). Despite exuberance conference board (government sponsored) surveys of confidence (and seasonally adjusted happiness in PMIs and ISMs), Gallup notes U.S. Economic Confidence Index remained flat in June having hovered at this lower level for most of the year (with no post-weather rebound). The outlook also remains dismal - hovering at its lowest since Dec 2013 with only 39% of Americans saying the economy is getting better and 56% saying it is getting worse.

 
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Losing Faith? Democrat Confidence In The Economy Tumbles To 2014 Lows





It appears the faithful are losing belief... Gallup reports that Democrats economic confidence has faded to its lowest since January (less than half the levels of confidence when President Obama unleashed his 2nd term). Despite exuberance conference board (government sponsored) surveys of confidence (and seasonally adjusted happiness in PMIs and ISMs), Gallup notes U.S. Economic Confidence Index remained flat in June having hovered at this lower level for most of the year (with no post-weather rebound). The outlook also remains dismal - hovering at its lowest since Dec 2013 with only 39% of Americans saying the economy is getting better and 56% saying it is getting worse.

 
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Is Obamacare Bad For US Economic Growth?





Following the rather stunning shenanigans of Q1 GDP with regard healthcare spending (as we detailed here), we thought, four years after its passage in 2010, it worth analyzing Obamacare's economic impact? Beforehand, economists generally believed that the broader coverage would raise the demand for healthcare goods and services, although there was some disagreement about related effects on healthcare inflation. In reality, as UBS notes, there was too much optimism about a positive immediate economic impact and a negative price inflation effect.

 
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UMich Confidence Beats Modestly; Outlook Tumbles To 3-Month Lows





Following June's initial largest miss in 18 months, UMich consumer confidence 'final' print inched higher to 82.5, modestly beating expectations - but well below April's peak. In case you were confused at whether you should be exuberant (conference board confidence at highest since 2008) or dysphoric (Gallup survey at lowest in 2014), we don't blame you. What is most worrisome about the UMich data, aside from the non-confirmation of exuberance offered by the government survey, is the tumble in the "outlook' index to 3 month lows.

 
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