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Those Were The Days

Paul Krugman notes that in August of 2005 he wrote a piece in the New York Times telling the world that the housing bubble was at the point of bursting and that things would get ugly.

In October of that year the House passed the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2005 by a vote of 331-90 with a majority of both parties that the Republican Senate buried in committee because the White House opposed it.

Three years ago this would have been easy to fix with some more oversight and a few people getting their hands slapped for “irrational exuberance”. Now we have a worldwide crisis.

September 30, 2008   Comments Off on Those Were The Days

Reality Check

US News tells us that in 2007 the median¹ wage for women was $35,102 and the median wage for men was $45,113. The Bureau of Labor reports that in 2007 women made up 46% of the workforce. That means the median wage for all workers in 2007 was $40,507.

A lot of people are throwing around the median wage for “households” which is higher because many households have multiple wage earners. The problem with doing that is that most “benefits” are tied to the individual, not the household, and many households with seemingly high income don’t have any benefits.

People are talking a lot about 401(k) plans. In my area almost no one who is still working has one, so they don’t have any idea what a 401(k) is. If they have any kind of a pension beyond Social Security it is because they work for the government at some level or they have an IRA. People are overwhelmingly employed by small businesses, not corporations. All of the breaks go to corporations, so small businesses rarely get large enough to actually be able to afford to offer benefits, and the first benefit they go for is health insurance, not retirement plans.

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September 30, 2008   Comments Off on Reality Check

Tropical Storm Laura – 2

Tropical Storm LauraPosition: 43.6 N 48.0 W [10 PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: North-Northeast [015°] near 16 mph.
Maximum sustained winds: 50 mph [85 kph].
Wind Gusts: 65 mph.
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 230 miles [370 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1000 mb ↑.

It is 300 miles [530 km] Southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

September 30, 2008   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Laura – 2