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Economic Warning Signs

January 30, 2011 1 comment

Do you see all of the warning signs that are flashing all around you?  These days it seems like there is more bad economic news in a single week than there used to be in an entire month.  2011 is already shaping up to be a very dark year for the world economy.  The price of food is shooting through the roof and we have already seen violent food riots in countries like Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia.  World financial markets are becoming increasingly unstable as the sovereign debt crisis continues to get worse.  Meanwhile, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits is up, foreclosures are up and poverty continues to spread like a plague throughout the United States.  What we are starting to see around the globe is a lot like the “stagflation” of the 1970s.  All of the crazy money printing that has been going on is overheating prices for agricultural commodities and precious metals, but all of this new money is not doing much to help the average man or woman on the street. Read more…

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Other Nations Outclass U.S. on Education

January 30, 2011 1 comment

In every town in America, the back-to-school rush is on, reports CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod.

In Croton, N.Y., the Arturo brothers are already cracking the books.

“I feel we get our money’s worth in Croton,” said the boys’ mother. “Especially for three kids.”

The public schools have done right by the Arturos, but that’s not the case across the board, says education consultant Mark Schneider.

“Our top students are just not world class anymore,” Schneider told CBS News.

And he’s right. Of 30 comparable countries, the United States ranks near the bottom. Take math – Finland is first, followed by South Korea, and the United States is number 25. Same story in science: Finland, number one again. The United States? Number 21.

Problem Solving

Where does the United States outrank Finland? On the amount spent per student: just over $129,000 from K through 12. The other countries average $95,000. Read more…

As Egypt Explodes, Oil Set to Increase

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By David A. Patten

Violent anti-government riots in Egypt and a grassfire of unrest torching across the sands of the Middle East fueled fears of $200-a-barrel oil and an instability some say could spread to oil-rich Saudi Arabia, and beyond.

Police Friday clashed with tens of thousands of protesters in Cairo and Alexandria. Shortly after 11 a.m. ET, as a government-ordered curfew took effect, CNN carried pictures of dozens of military trucks and armored vehicles loading police and leaving downtown Cairo as Egyptian army regulars moved in.

“We have yet to see if they will take the place of the hated Egyptian police who have cracked down so violently,” CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman reported from Iraq before his communication was disrupted. The government had responded to the “day of rage” by pulling the plug on telephone and Internet links, so protesters could not communicate.

egypt, turmoil, around, worldThe wave of unrest in the Middle East that began with the Jasmine Revolution is now having repercussions around the globe.

After the recent fall of governments in Tunisia and Lebanon, angry marches in Yemen, and the brutal crackdown in Egypt that has left seven dead and hundreds wounded, analysts worry that the governments of Algeria and Jordan could be next to see disturbances. Read more…

Technology of the New World

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Falling off the American Dream treadmill – Real median U.S. household income falls under $50,000. Poverty rate has grown exponentially since 2000, during the housing bubble.

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The U.S. Census Bureau recently released troubling data on the status of American families.  The first disturbing point was that 43.6 million Americans now fall under the poverty category.  This works out to 1 out of 7 Americans.  The growth has come from many people falling off the middle class treadmill.  While the echoes of recovery blast through Wall Street the grim reality for most people is that there is a greater and greater divide occurring.  The top 1 percent still has significant control over financial resources and wealth disparity is as high as it was during the 1920s.  While many American families wait in lines outside of Wal-Marts so their food assistance debit cards refill to buy food, those calling a recovery are usually those who have been protected via bailouts since the recession started.

The data on poverty is grim and disturbing:

poverty rate chart

Source:  Census

This data takes into full account the deeper blow of the recession.  The supposed recovery is nowhere Read more…

Home Construction Declines

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By SARA MURRAY

New-home construction dropped in December to its lowest level in more than a year as the feeble housing sector ended 2010 on a weak note.

Private building of new homes dropped 4.3% in December from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000—the lowest level of housing starts since October 2009, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The construction industry continued to stumble last year even as economic growth picked up and private-sector job creation returned. Housing starts ended the year 8.2% below December 2009 and there’s little sign building will pick up early this year.

“From what we’ve heard from builders, they’re not very hopeful for Read more…

Are You Living In A “Perfect Prison”?

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Categories: Big Brother Tags: ,