The newsprint chronicling Texas governor Rick Perry’s dedication to the Siamese principles of corporate welfare and cronyism continue to pile up. As documented earlier in The New American, during his time in Austin, Rick Perry has shown unrivaled and unashamed favoritism to the largest supporters of his campaigns.
One of the most egregious beneficiaries of Rick Perry’s largesse (and one receiving a lion’s share of the media’s scrutiny) is an economic development program developed by Perry called the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
This pet project was founded by Perry to act as a state government-controlled version of a venture capital firm. The Texas Emerging Technology Fund would act as an angel -— bestowing financial boons on technology-based start-up companies in the Lone Star State.
The global economy is facing a meltdown, according to World Bank President Robert Zoellick. “We are moving into a dangerous period,” Zoellick said to Bloomberg Television at a Singapore interview. The likelihood of an American recession is made increasingly likely by the danger of an economic implosion in the euro zone.
“I believe the U.S. will have slow growth, I don’t believe it will move to a double dip, but these things are very hard to predict because if you have events trigger uncertainty in Europe, that will flow back to the U.S.,” Zoellick noted, mentioning that the success of the euro zone “depends on the political decisions moving forward.
He added: “Sometimes people hope that you can muddle through by providing financing and liquidity, in the case of Europe, from the European Financial Stability Facility or the European Central Bank.
Information cited in a leaked 2009 diplomatic cable from the U.S. embassy in Beijing shows the Chinese regime knew about American and European suppression of gold prices to maintain dollar hegemony, but that it was buying more of the precious metal anyway. The purpose of increasing its gold reserves, according to report cited in the document, was to encourage other nations to do likewise while making China’s currency more appealing internationally. Another effect of the strategy, analysts noted, would be to weaken the U.S. dollar’s status internationally.
Gold-price manipulation by Western central banks — and the Federal Reserve in particular — has been somewhat of an open secret for decades. But the cable released by WikiLeaks triggered significant interest among metals investors and analysts, some of whom expected the news to cause another surge in gold prices.
Politicians seem to have little trouble understanding how the basic Law of Demand works when it comes to things they want to discourage, like cigarettes — or when it comes to things they want to encourage, like education.
The Law of Demand says that price increases will generally produce lower sales, so the politicians raise the price of cigarettes via more taxation so that more people quit.
“The price of a pack of cigarettes has skyrocketed to $14.50 at some New York City stores thanks to a hefty new tax, leaving even the most nicotine-addicted buttheads considering nixing their fix,” the New York Post reported last year after an extra $1.60 state sales tax was slapped on every pack.
The $1.60 hike raised the total taxes on a single pack to $4.35 at the state level in New York. Additionally, there’s a municipal cigarette tax in the city of $1.50 a pack, producing a combined state and local tax of $5.85 a pack.
Last week’s jobs report could spur further anxiety for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, as the President’s core constituencies continue to struggle with high unemployment. The Labor Department reported dismal jobs numbers for August, with unemployment continuing to hover around 9 percent — a grave concern for Obama’s approval ratings. Young workers, aged 18 to 24, are now burdened with 16.4 percent unemployment, while many more are underemployed. Such affliction for America’s youth could prove fatal for Obama’s 2012 presidential aspirations, as he garnered nearly 70 percent of 18 to 29 aged voters in 2008.
Where has all of America’s labor gone? Following the announcement that the economy added no new jobs in the month of August, President Obama’s Labor Day politicking with GM workers in Detroit was an opportunity for the President to display his grasp of basic economics. And as usual, he failed miserably, blaming America’s economic stagnation on congressional Republican obstructionism.
But the President has a plan, which he coyly referenced without unveiling the particulars (to be revealed later this week, supposedly). Government, he told his audience, must do more to create jobs:
We’re going to see if congressional Republicans will put country before party. We’ll give them a plan, and then we’ll say, do you want to create jobs? Then put our construction workers back to work rebuilding America.
We’ve heard all this before: Spend government money on public works projects like roads and bridges, and the economy will grow. It was FDR’s strategy, and President Obama recycled it in his mammoth stimulus package. And in both instances, it failed miserably, as Americans are now discovering in the case of President Obama’s beloved TARP.
Post Offices through the country may be closed early next year unless Congress either makes an emergency appropriation or changes the laws governing the debt-ridden U.S. Postal Service, the New York Times reported Monday.
"Our situation is extremely serious," Postmaster General, Patrick R. Donahoe, told the Times. "If Congress doesn't act, we will default." Members of Congress, returning from their August recess are facing the second default crisis in as many months, having averted a threatened default of the federal government with bitterly fought over legislation authorizing an increase in the nation's debt ceiling on August 1.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the agency's predicament on Tuesday. It may consider some of the proposals Donhoe has made in recent weeks for eliminating the $9.2 billion deficit for the current fiscal year, ending September 30.
Republican Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina spoke on September 1 with reporters via a conference call. The Governor accused President Obama, who will give a “Jobs Speech” to a joint session of Congress next week, of being “cowardly” when it came to jobs for South Carolinians. The National Labor Relations Board in April filed a complaint against the Boeing Corporation for planning to transfer an airline production plant for the 787 Dreamliner to South Carolina.
Governor Haley pulled no punches with her remarks: “This president works for us. This president owes us an answer. This president owes Boeing an answer. This president owes every business in this country an answer on what he thinks of the NLRB. If he is supportive of them, say he is supportive of them. If he thinks what they are doing is wrong, say what you think is wrong. But to be silent is cowardly and is just something that is unacceptable for the president of our country.”
The Governor also said what she thought of the NLRB: “It’s a rogue agency that has a bully mentality that is absolutely un-American. I don’t know any other way to say it.”
With all six of its National Guard's Black Hawk helicopters still deployed in Iraq, flood-devastated Vermont received help from neighboring New Hampshire and distant Illinois this week in bringing relief to residents stranded in 13 communities after flooding caused by last weekend's Tropical Storm Irene washed out hundreds of the state's roads and bridges.
On Monday, the New Hampshire National Guard sent over two of its Black Hawk helicopters, which transported Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate and Vermont's Gov. Peter Shumlin, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch on a survey of flood-damaged areas in the state. On Wednesday the first of eight helicopters on loan from the Illinois National Guard arrived to help with the distribution of food and other supplies as Vermonters continued to struggle with the after effects of the storm that flooded homes, business, and government offices. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn ordered the helicopters and 95 members of the Illinois Guard to Vermont from Rome, New York, where they had been sent to assist in flood relief efforts in that state.
About 200 National Guard members from Maine and 50 from West Virginia were also enroute to Vermont, the Boston Globe reported on Friday.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the economy added no new jobs during the month of August in a September 2 release. "Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (0) in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent," the BLS reported.
News of the lackluster numbers sent all of the major stock indexes tumbling, and gold and silver soared as a safe haven in early trading against the bearish market and expected inflation. Gold rose to more than $1,875 per ounce, and silver topped $43 per ounce in trading within hours of the BLS release.
Although the unemployment rate was unchanged, the report denotes upward pressure on the already high unemployment rate. Most economists estimate that the market must add about 100,000 new jobs per month just to keep up with population growth in order to keep unemployment levels stable. The economy has added fewer than 100,000 jobs in each of the last four months, and the August report was the first time the U.S. economy didn't add any jobs since September of 2010.