As the President loses his Millennial voting base, despite "fixing" Obamacare, his populist push for a raise to the minimum wage (who wouldn't want more money than 'market rates' for doing the same shit) and class-warfare-inspiring inequality speech may be his party's last best hope. However, in the meantime, if US citizens can tear themselves away from X-Factor for 30 seconds, the following clear concise chart shows how easy it is to create 140,000 jobs... Our question... why not raise the minimum wage to $100?
By standards of previous generations, the middle class has been stripmined of income, assets and purchasing power. So what does it take to be middle class nowadays? A recent paper used Census data to discuss what sort of income it takes to qualify as middle class but income is not the only the metric - indeed, it can be argued that 12 other factors are more telling measures of middle class membership than income.
You know that game involving word association at the psychotherapists? The one where you have to say the first word that springs to mind.
As we noted last month, President Obama sat down for an interview with Chuck Todd on November 7 and said: "When we buy I.T. services generally, it is so bureaucratic and so cumbersome that a whole bunch of it doesn’t work or it ends up being way over cost." Well, this week we learned that the gap’s been closed. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told us so. In its official report, HHS not only announced that it had “met the goal of having a system that will work smoothly for the vast majority of users,” but wrote that “the team is operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness.” That sure was quick. Reviewing these facts, we suppose HHS could support their claim to “private sector velocity and effectiveness” with some semantic tricks. If you interpret that phrase as referring to the principle contractors’ adeptness at winning huge, no-bid contracts through personal connections, donations, fund raising and lobbying, then it all adds up.
Pres Obama urges young people to spread the ObamaCare message on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter using #getcovered.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) December 4, 2013
Living up to its name once again, there is little here to raise any flags...
- *FED SAW `MODEST TO MODERATE' GROWTH WITH STRONGER MANUFACTURING
- *FED SAYS `HIRING SHOWED A MODEST INCREASE OR WAS UNCHANGED'
- *FED SAYS CONSUMER SPENDNG ROSE `AT A MODEST TO MODERATE PACE'
- *FED SAYS SALES OF NEW AUTOS WERE `MODERATE TO STRONG'
In the last election it was the Millennials (18-29 year olds) that brough President Obama home on his hope and change miracle tour; but now, just over a year later, a Harvard Institute of Politics poll finds that a stunning 57% of 18-29 year olds disapprove of Obamacare. As we noted before, this is a critical breakdown in making the Affordable Care Act 'affordable' but it seems less healthy customer are more likely to persevere through the techical obstacle to gain coverage than younger, healthier "customers" who feel less need for insurance (never mind the "easy" women and keg-standing men). The poll gets worse with 40% expecting the quality of their coverage to worsen, and as Bloomberg reports, even more troubling for the White House, almost half in that age group say they’re unlikely to enroll in insurance through a government exchange, even if eligible.
Having "fixed" Obamacare, the President is ready to re-pitch American 'excellence' today as he addresses the state of the economy. Remember, good is bad and bad is good - do don't over-sell it... oh, and all the bad stuff - that's the Tea-Party's fault... Just don't show him (or anyone) this chart...
While there was a plethora of macro data (starting with some ugly numbers out of Australia which clobbered AUD pairs overnight), China HSBC Services PMI dipping slighlty from 52.6 to 52.5, Final Eurozone PMI Services (printing at 51.2 up from 50.9 and beating expectations of the same on an increase in German PMI numbers from 54.5 to 55.7 and a decline in French PMI from 48.8 to 48.0), Eurozone retail sales declining by 0.2%, on expectations of an unchanged print, and much more (see below), perhaps the most important news of the day came from Japan which many expect will be the source of much more easing in the coming months and thus serve as marginal lever to push global fungible markets higher. However, not only did various BOJ officials for the first time in a while talk down expectations of a QE boost, but the head of the Japan GPIF said that it doesn't need to sell JGBs right now as it would "rock markets" and that instead can achieve its targeted 52% weighing as bonds mature, that it may buy foreign bonds instead to raise weighting to core target (as the Fed buys Japan bonds?), and that it will be very difficult for Japan to hit the BOJ's inflation target in 2 years. Is Japan already getting cold feet on rumors of more QE and did it realize there are only so many assets it can monetize. If so, watch out below on the EURJPY which has now priced in about 700 pips of expected BOJ QE boosting in early 2014.
Getting ready for Christmas? What’s Santa got in his sack for you this year? Well, if there’s one thing you should be preparing for, then it can only be the big crash of February 2014.
As an experiment, Bloomberg Businessweek typed the names of the 50 states into Google to see what people most frequently ask about them. The questions range from dumb (well, mostly dumb) to revealing, both about the states and about the people doing the searching. Lots of questions about carrying a gun, buying alcohol, getting divorced, and fighting union organizers. Whether a state is in the Midwest or South seems to be a particular obsession. But the most common question about the states is even more basic: Is it a state? or Is it racist?
Amid proclamations of hundreds of thousands accessing the "fixed" website (though no details on who is signing up), admissions that work continues to be needed, delays, and broken promises; President Obama has deemed it fit to utilize his lectern to market the Affordable Care Act once again.
*U.S. SAYS OBAMACARE WEBSITE ERROR RATES ARE 'AT LOW LEVELS'; but
*BOEHNER SAYS OBAMACARE IS 'FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED'
From "easy" women to keg-standing kids, there is something for everyone in this special one-time offer... grab your popcorn...
The House Judiciary Committee is about to discuss what it calls “The President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” focusing on the Obamacare delays, enforcement of immigration laws, and more. As Mediaite notes, the question of whether the president can take unilateral action to cease enforcing laws stretches back at least to last summer, when President Barack Obama said he would stop deporting young undocumented immigrants, an end-run around congressional refusal to pass the DREAM Act. Executive orders have played a part in everything from the non-enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act to the administration’s “fix” two weeks ago allowing insurance providers to renew policies cancelled after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It seems the constitutional lawyers want to have their say in the "most transparent" administration ever.
While on the surface total cash earnings posted the smallest possible monthly increase, or 0.1%, in October - the first rise in 4 months - the reality is that this was driven by overtime pay, which increased by 5.4%. However, the far more important component of worker compensation, regular pay, declined by 0.4% in the month. This was the 17th consecutive decline in core pay and is a glowing testament to just how flawed Abenomics has been since its inception due to its staunch inability to shift employer eagerness to boost pay even in an economy where unemployment is supposedly so much less than in the US and thus worker slack is far less prominent. Turns out that is not the case.
What do people in Utah (apparently) and Republicans have in common? Now, that’s a conundrum if ever you have heard one! The clock is ticking away and I guess you still haven’t found the answer.