More expensive homes were especially popular with home flippers, as sales made up of flip-related sales from homes valued at more than $400,000 were up 36% last year. Sales of less valuable homes bought and sold within six months were up 16% over the same period.
Friday, February 07, 2014
That said, much of the decline in unemployment has come for a discouraging reason: some Americans are dropping out of the labor force. As of January, only 63% of Americans over age 16 participated in the labor market -- meaning they either had a job or looked for one. Although there was a slight improvement in January, participation is still hovering around its lowest level since 1978.Glad to hear that after almost five years of recovery the Administration has FINALLY noticed that their recovery is utter bullshit.
While some of the decline is partly due to baby boomers retiring, economists are also concerned about the long-term unemployed, who may be giving up on the job market altogether. Following the report, one of President Obama's top economic advisers, Jason Furman called the unemployment rate still "unacceptably high."
ADDED: Mish makes some observations about the last year in the US employment market:
[Over the last year, the US] population rose by over 2 million, but the labor force fell by over a quarter-million. People dropping out of the work force accounts for much of the declining unemployment rate.This is neither a healthy employment market nor a healthy economy.
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
From one Eric the Fruit Bat:
Here it is, in a nutshell:
(1) Do something.
(2) Start now.
(3) Keep it simple. You didn't turn into a blob overnight and you won't get back into shape overnight.
(4) I'm serious about that. Do five squats every morning for a week. Next week, do six. After that comes seven. You get the idea.
(5) I'm serious. That's how it's done. One day at a time. Patience is a virtue.
(6) It wasn't so long ago I would have to undo my belt because it was too tight at 40 inches. Now it's about 31 inches. And yes, the femoral arteries are plain as day.
(7) You want to know what does that? Squats, diet and consistency.
(8) Oh, and one more thing . . . start now.
Monday, February 03, 2014
Sunday, February 02, 2014
[originally posted at Ambiance]
Saw yet another depressing story today.
In 28 states, a third or more of the unemployed have been without a job for six months or longer, leaving them with no unemployment insurance safety net following the expiration of extended benefits in December.This reminded me that a few weeks ago Dave Schuler had pointed out the story linked below:
In New Jersey, Florida and the District of Columbia, nearly half of the unemployed have been out of work for longer than 26 weeks, according to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among all 50 states and D.C., the average is 33%.
Before the Great Recession, the highest the long-term joblessness share ever reached was 26% in mid-1983, according to the EPI analysis. Today, 41 states and D.C. have shares of long-term unemployment above that level.
But despite the fact that Osceola (the county directly south of Walt Disney World Resort) is in recovery, all is not well:
In the shadow of Walt Disney World, Osceola County has one of the highest rates of homeless families in the nation, and the problem continues to grow at an "astonishing" rate, officials told more than 300 community leaders Wednesday.Back in June of 2010, the Obama Administration kicked off a celebration of Recovery Summer. According to the latest data, we're still over 2,000,000 jobs short of where we were in November of 2007, a month before the recession began. And we're over 4,000,000 full-time jobs short of where we were then. (It's too depressing to break out the numbers at this time of night, we may be over 5,000,000 full-time jobs short.) And this doesn't take into account that the working age population has grown considerably in the interim.
The number of homeless school-age children and parents rose by 54 percent to more than 5,000 in the past year alone, according to a new report commissioned by county government. Current programs aimed at helping those families get back on their feet have enough funding to help fewer than 10 percent of them.
Bailey said the "shockingly high" number of homeless families in Osceola stem from a unique intersection of low-wage jobs, high mobility, cheap and plentiful motel rooms, a lack of homeless shelters and, some say, a lack of code enforcement that allows families to stay in motels for months — sometimes years — at a time.
Can someone please tell me what the Hell recovery is supposed to mean? Can someone please tell me what the Hell anyone is doing about? Can someone tell me why the people that are running the country are more concerned with trying to fix every other country in the world (sometimes by importing more people from there to here) instead of trying to fix the country we've got?
And can someone please tell me why the rulers of the country are so damned pleased with themselves when the signs of the times are the ones held by women standing in front of groceries stores, holding a child with one hand and a placard in the other stating,
About a week ago, maybe it was two weeks, we went to the grocery store. It’s a decent grocery store (Publix, for those that know the chain) in a decent enough area. And out front was a woman holding on to a small child and a sign like the one I mentioned above. I’ve seen more and more homeless people lately, and distressingly many of them are families. Perhaps it’s just a pick up in the number of grifters, but reading stories like those linked above, I doubt it.
I should note that the numbers used from the “According to the latest data” link use the Seasonally Adjusted Civilian Employment data recorded in the FRED system as of 2/2/2014, and measures from 11/2007 to 12/2013. When the new data comes out next Friday, the December numbers will probably be revised. But right now it shows a drop in employment of 2,009,000 from the pre-recession peak in November of 2007 (146,595,000) to December 2013 (144,586,000). FRED numbers are recorded by the 1000s.
Posted by Icepick at 2/02/2014 01:37:00 AM
Saturday, January 25, 2014
The dogs finally got their teeth into someone this morning. They jumped a fence to attack someone's pet and the woman of the house got bit trying to save her dog. (My understanding is that she wasn't too badly injured.) The husband chased the dogs off with a baseball bat and fortunately an Animal Services officer was up the street. The husband got the AS Officer, she called in a couple of Sheriff deputies, and two of the three dogs were removed.
Naturally, my neighbor is blaming me for this. He vows to get his dogs back. (Left unspoken is that he intends to let them loose again.) I left out the part where the dogs have possibly mauled and/or killed a cat, that they were tearing up my car again, and that they were trying to come through my front door to get at my family.
Despite it all, this is a good day, and hopefully, later, we will be taking my daughter to her first movie. They were supposed to be at the theater by now, but the stuff with Animal Services and the Sheriff deputies took too long to make the early showing. Alas!
Posted by Icepick at 1/25/2014 11:11:00 AM
Friday, January 17, 2014
And two other dogs treated similarly. And the person that thinks that chaining a dog like this and leaving it unattended to chase children onto roofs and keep people hiding in their houses is a good idea, while the dog owner spends most of his time elsewhere. Also, the system that hamstrings local government from doing anything about such dangerous dangerous animals until they actually get their teeth into someone.
By the way, these pics were taken on my front porch, with the dog less than five feet away. He isn't all that friendly, I just happened to have a nice plexiglass door between me and him.
Posted by Icepick at 1/17/2014 04:39:00 PM
Monday, November 18, 2013
Sam Behr died recently. He was 86. Here in Orlando he was notable for two things.
First, he had a store downtown that sold shoes. The store's slogan was "We can fit any human!" And they had any number of improbable stories backing it up.
Second, in the 1980s he became a local media celebrity for his work on TV commercials for Allied Discount Tires, a local tire chain, run by a friend of his if I recall correctly.
Anyhow, here's a sample of Sam's work:
Rest in Peace, Sam, and here’s hoping that in the afterlife your nuts always get hand-torqued and never fall off!
Posted by Icepick at 11/18/2013 02:56:00 PM
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Cross-posted as a guest post over at Comment Home.
From the Baltimore Sun:
Eastern Shore professors to get bulletproof whiteboards
Calling "campus violence a reality" to prepare for, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore announced plans Thursday to spend $60,000 on the Clark Kent of teacher supplies: an innocuous-looking white board that can stop bullets.
The high-tech tablet — which hangs on a hook, measures 18 by 20 inches and comes in pink, blue and green — can be used as a personal shield for professors under attack, according to the company that makes it, and a portable writing pad in quieter times.
[George] Tunis envisions teachers using the whiteboards to fend off attackers individually or as a group, standing side-by-side to create a wall that could shield evacuating students or to fend off an attacker.
"It's designed to be a last resort and to buy you some extra time," he said.Yeah, extra time is good. I can see a shooter faced by a phalanx of professors (possibly including wannabe Hoplites from the Classics Department) holding these white boards up in formation, blocking all of 20" of vertical target, max. All he'd have to do is aim low and chop them down like a Ma Deuce through the under-growth in Vietnam. It'd take a committed mad man whole milliseconds to figure this out.
Also from the article:
"It needs to be a great whiteboard and a useful tool so that it doesn't get hidden in the closet," said maker George Tunis. His Worcester County company Hardwire LLC starting out making military armor, then adapted it for the classroom after the tragic shootings last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed.Maybe it's be useful if you're writing answers down and flashing them to the class? I don't know. But we used most of the large blackboards that measured their dimensions in feet when I was a TA in college, and I don't ever remember a professor only using a space that measured that small. So these things aren't even all that practical for a classroom, despite the claims of the manufacturer.
Distressingly, the school in question doesn't seem to have anyone capable of doing a cost-benefit analysis. How many classrooms does the nation have? Tens of thousands? Hundreds of thousands? How many of these classrooms see the kind of random violence where such a device MIGHT have an impact?
These things cost $299 a pop, so they're not cheap. But at least they come in a variety of attractive colors! I'd suggest that they add red to the pink, blue and green currently offered. It would better hide blood spatter and thus be more intimidating to any shooters out there. (See "red coats" for more.) Or perhaps they should be rainbow-colored on the non-writing side, to demonstrate the school's commitment to diversity.
Spending $60,000 on these for this one college in a backwater part of Maryland seems ludicrous. It would be ludicrous for just about any other school as well. (And if there is a school for which this isn't a ludicrous expense, they need to MOVE THE SCHOOL!) Surely there are other things that can be done with the money.
So, can anyone else think of how the school could have better spent the money? Remember that this is a one-time expense (or at least not a regular expense) so hiring an additional security guard is out, as that is an ongoing expense.
What better ideas has everyone got?
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
NBCNews: Businesses, Unions, Colleges all say employee hours being cut over Obamacare but WH says “no evidence”
But the White House, NBC News reports, says that there is no systematic evidence that this is because of Obamacare....Right. Instead it's because of the shitty economy.
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
I've been noticing a weird trend lately, namely that lefties are increasingly in-bed and in-love with plutocrats. For example, today I see a story on Politico about Ralph Nader predicting, and hoping, that a bunch of billionaires will run for the Presidency in 2016. Apparently the only way to save the people from themselves is to let the richest people in the land buy all the important offices and then tell us how we're supposed to live our lives.
Well, that and give a 140,000,000 Mexicans citizenship.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Comments made on the
""Clinton will take a long, much-deserved vacation, then assume a low-key schedule of advocacy work and lucrative speaking engagements.""
Posted by Icepick at 1/10/2013 02:04:00 AM
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
I just realized that as of November 1st I have been out of work longer than I was ever employed at any one single job. My longest career stint is now officially as an unemployed person. This is the victory all the Obama fans are celebrating today. It's the grave of my middle class status they're dancing on. Nice country you've created.
Posted by Icepick at 11/07/2012 12:13:00 PM
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
I've got a crazy neighbor. Considering the times he's probably not all that crazy, but that's another story.
He's got four children, one by his ex-wife and three by his girlfriend that he lives with now. The other day we were talking about our children and he asked me, "When are you going to give your little girl a brother?" I said, "We can't afford it." He said, "The government will pay for it."
Tonight it looks like he's right.
Posted by Icepick at 11/06/2012 11:24:00 PM
Today I've seen several Romney signs around Pine Hills and not just at the polling places. My polling place had a couple of Romney signs and a BUNCH of Obama signs. The polling station over on Clarcona-Ocoee Road had nothing but Romney signs. That's on the fringe of Pine Hills and probably serves Clarcona, Lockhart and Rosemont.
And not only have I seen Romney signs on the roadsides, but two houses _in_my_neighborhood_ have put up Romney signs. Here's a photo of one of them:
At the second house the owner was out working on his porch. I got out and shook his hand for having the guts to do it. He's lived here for 43 years.
Friday, November 02, 2012
Coming home from our usual park I decided to take a different route home. Turns out I zigged when I should have zagged at some point. I got lost and ended up in Apopka. In fact, I ended up in a black section of town so I saw lots of Obama signs. But I was a bit taken aback by the one I saw for Obama in front of a funeral home! Yikes! That's support I'd rather not have!
Or is this a Chicago thing? Are the dead going to rise from their graves and vote in Orange County? Hmmm.