Thursday, July 28, 2011

Britain's Hot and Cold Weather is to Blame, Don't Tell Anyone But Texas Creates Jobs with Government, Now France is Not Doing Well . . .

And Other News That Just Begs for Comments

Economic Growth for the second quarter of 2011 in Britain was announced this weak, and the figures showed a very week .2% increase over the first quarter. (Yes that is 2/10th of 1%, not 2%)  Britain’s Office of National Statistics that keeps tabs on these things explained that

"the figures had been hit by the extra bank holiday to mark the royal wedding, the unseasonably warm weather in April and the impact of Japan's tsunami and calculated that growth would have been 0.7 per cent without those one-off factors."

Wow, that wedding was just an economic killer.  Too bad they just didn't elope.  Of course, last winter the weather was also blamed for weak performance

"UK had probably only achieved "weak" average quarterly growth of 0.1% over the last six months. Robust growth since January had done little more than recover output that was lost in the final weeks of 2010 when heavy snow disrupted the economy"

The Only Good Weather Day in England

Look England, The Dismal Political Economist is willing to give you a break, and at least consider that your poor economic performance has to do with the weather (and a wedding) instead of your contractionary fiscal policy, but make up your mind.  Too cold or too hot, one or the other

It turns out a lot of the Texas job creation that readers will be hearing Gov. Rick Perry brag about came about from public hiring.  The WSJ reports that 300,000 public sector jobs have been added in Texas in the last decade.

"Over the past decade, Texas has added more people than any other state and now accounts for 8.1% of the U.S. population, up from about 7.4% in 2000. And Texas has added more than one in five of the public-sector jobs nationwide, including those at the local, state and federal levels"

Source: WSJ 7-27-11

And what does Mr. Perry have to say,
"Government doesn't create any jobs," he said last month on Glenn Beck's show on Fox News. "They can actually run jobs away."

Wow, that the man can say that with a straight face and not suffer near fatal embarrassment means that maybe he is Conservative Presidential material.

Of course,  the job creation must be high paying jobs, right

Critics say many of the new jobs are low-wage and without benefits; according to federal data, the state is tied with Mississippi for the largest percentage of hourly workers who make minimum wage or less, at 9.5%.

So there it is, if you want a minimum wage job (or less, not sure how that happens) the road to Texas is wide open for you.

Also in the Wall Street Journal is a report on expected job creation by large U. S. companies in the coming months.  The signs, dismal at best.

The Journal found about 50 companies that directly addressed head count in their remarks. The results aren't scientific, but they do provide a snapshot of sentiment at a crucial moment for the U.S. economy.
These executives remained consistently cautious. They were willing to invest only in growth businesses or international markets, largely Asia.

Outside of rail and technology companies, almost none of them discussed long-term plans to significantly expand their work force.

So ok everyone in D. C., after you have had all the fun with the debt ceiling and after you complete your August vacation and after you get back from the Redskins home opener, can you please address the jobs issue.  It it’s not asking too much, of course.

Everyone is surely getting tired of hearing about problem with European economies.  Greece, Ireland and Portugal are all in some form of bailout, and Spain and Italy are walking up the steps to Bailout Headquarters and may knock on the door at any minute.

Now we learn that France is being put on notice by the IMF.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that France will miss its target of cutting its budget deficit to 3 per cent of output by 2013 unless it carries out more spending cuts.

In a yearly review of the French economy, the Washington-based fund said it expected economic growth and tax revenues to be below the government’s own forecasts.

It appears that The Dismal Political Economist is going to have to invoke the famous “five country rule” on Europe.  This rule states that no more than five countries in a region can have economic difficulties at one time, meaning that one of the group of five already in trouble will have to have near full recovery before France can join the group of troubled economies. 

Get with it Europe.

Rep. David Wu (D, Or) is just the latest and will probably not be last member of Congress to resign after some inappropriate behavior.  Before anyone feels sorry for Mr. Wu, USA Today reports that

Rep. David Wu could be eligible for pension and benefits worth more than $1 million in his lifetime, according to an analysis by the National Taxpayers Union.

Mr. Wu

And has this to say in general about Congressional benefits.

Congressional pensions are two to three times more generous than those offered to private-sector workers who earn the same salary, the NTU says. (Rank-and-file members such as Wu are paid $174,000 a year, while top leaders get more.) Also, unlike most private-sector pension plans, a cost-of-living adjustment is applied to the congressional benefit.

So remember all that storm about cutting pensions and benefit for public employees.  Well members of Congress are public employees.  How about we start there. 

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