The past couple of days there have been all sorts of stories in the news about "OMG! The budget deficit!!11!!1! Whatever shall we do?" From the news that Standard & Poor is
threatening forecasting a need to "downgrade" long term US debt to Sen Dick Durbin whining about Bernie Sanders introducing a resolution vowing that Social Security should not be cut to Treasury Secretary Geithner declaring that an "agreement is near" for long term deficit reduction, the Beltway Villagers are all in a tizzy.
Earth to the Villagers - decent paying jobs with good benefits would go a long way to resolving much of the "crisis" that has so many of you twisted in knots. And that is not to be defined as McDonald's level jobs or other primarily minimum wage service jobs. I'm talking here about jobs that can allow a family to do more than survive and jobs where the wage earner can pay a rent or mortgage, purchase new clothing, maybe even buy a new car. If the jobs actually have benefits rather than being Perma-Temp, all the better.
This morning saw a press release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the national unemployment rate:
Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in March. Thirty-four states recorded unemployment rate decreases, seven states registered rate increases, and nine states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia posted unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, five states reported increases, and one state had no change. The national jobless rate was 8.8 percent in March, little changed from February but 0.9 percentage point lower than a year earlier.Again I ask, what kind of jobs are these that are "lowering" the official unemployment rate? Since today is the big, nationwide McDonald's Job Fair that was trumpeted a couple of weeks ago, will this push the Unemployment rate down another tenth of a point? If so, it probably won't do much for the Underemployment (U6 in linked chart) numbers at all.
But of course, Wall Street will be happy to see that the Goldman Sachs banksters got Warren Buffett paid back and still was able to set aside billions for bankster bonuses:
The bank bought back $5 billion of preferred shares from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in the quarter, resulting in a one-time charge of $1.64 billion.I'm sure we will hear about how the Vampire Squid had to sacrifice with lower bonuses though in the next few days.
Excluding the preferred share redemption, the bank would have earned $4.38 a share.
A year earlier, it posted earnings of $3.3 billion, or $5.59 a share.
Goldman set aside $5.23 billion for employee compensation in the quarter, a 5 percent decline from a year earlier.
And because I can: