Updates from June, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • RuralRebel 6:05 pm on June 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Latino Poverty Rate Climbs to 28% 

    Latino Poverty Rate Climbs to 28%

    Published November 14, 2012
    Fox News Latino
    While Latinos are gaining in political clout, they are also falling down the economic ladder, new Census numbers show.Latinos poverty rates climbed to 28 percent after the census reconfigured its algorithm to take into account medical costs and government programs. The Hispanic poverty level rose after the government took into account safety-net programs such as food stamps and housing, which have lower participation among immigrants and non-English speakers.AMONG THE FINDINGS:—If it weren’t for Social Security payments, the poverty rate would rise to 54.1 percent for people 65 and older and 24.4 percent for all age groups.—Without refundable tax credits such as the earned income tax credit, child poverty would rise from 18.1 percent to 24.4 percent.—Without food stamps, the overall poverty rate would increase from 16.1 percent to 17.6 percent.”These figures are timely given the looming expiration of two key measures that account for part of these programs’ large antipoverty impact: federal emergency unemployment insurance and improvements in refundable tax credits” such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, said Arloc Sherman, a senior researcher at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think-tank. “Letting these measures expire at year’s end could push large numbers of families into poverty.”Overall, the ranks of America’s poor edged up last year to a high of 49.7 million, based on the new census measure.The numbers released Wednesday by the Census Bureau are part of a newly developed supplemental poverty measure. Devised a year ago, this measure provides a fuller picture of poverty that the government believes can be used to assess safety-net programs by factoring in living expenses and taxpayer-provided benefits that the official formula leaves out.Based on the revised formula, the number of poor people exceeded the 49 million, or 16 percent of the population, who were living below the poverty line in 2010. That came as more people in the slowly improving economy picked up low-wage jobs last year but still struggled to pay living expenses. The revised poverty rate of 16.1 percent also is higher than the record 46.2 million, or 15 percent, that the government’s official estimate reported in September.Due to medical expenses, higher living costs and limited immigrant access to government programs, people 65 or older, Hispanics and urbanites were more likely to be struggling economically under the alternative formula. Also spiking higher in 2011 was poverty among full-time and part-time workers.The portrait of poverty broken down by state notably changed. California tops the list, hurt by high housing costs, large numbers of immigrants as well as less generous tax credits and food stamp programs to buoy low-income families. It is followed by the District of Columbia, Arizona, Florida and Georgia.In the official census tally, it was rural states that were more likely to be near the top of the list, led by Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona and Louisiana.”We’re seeing a very slow recovery, with increases in poverty among workers due to more new jobs which are low-wage,” said Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison economist who specializes in poverty. “As a whole, the safety net is holding many people up, while California is struggling more because it’s relatively harder there to qualify for food stamps and other benefits.”Broken down by group, poverty was disproportionately affecting people 65 and older — about 15.1 percent, or nearly double the 8.7 percent rate calculated under the official formula. They also have higher medical expenses, such as Medicare premiums, deductibles and drug costs, that aren’t factored into the official rate.Working-age adults ages 18-64 saw an increase in poverty from 13.7 percent to 15.5 percent, due mostly to commuting and child care costs.In contrast, the new measure showed declines in poverty for children, from 22.3 percent under the official formula to 18.1 percent. Still, they remained the age group most likely to be economically struggling by any measure.Hispanics and Asians also saw much higher rates of poverty, 28 percent and 16.9 percent, respectively, compared with rates of 25.4 percent and 12.3 percent under the official formula. In contrast, African-Americans saw a modest decrease in poverty, from 27.8 percent under the official rate to 25.7 percent based on the revised numbers. Among non-Hispanic whites, poverty rose from 9.9 percent to 11 percent.Economists long have criticized the official poverty rate as inadequate. Based on a half-century-old government formula, the official rate continues to assume the average family spends one-third of its income on food. Those costs have actually shrunk to a much smaller share, more like one-seventh.The official formula also fails to account for other expenses such as out-of-pocket medical care, child care and commuting, and it does not consider noncash government aid, such as food stamps and tax credits, when calculating income.In reaction to some of the criticism, the government in 2010 asked the Census Bureau to develop a new measure, based partly on recommendations made by the National Academy of Sciences. It released national numbers based on that formula for the first time last year. This year’s release features a 50-state breakdown on poverty, prompted in part by local officials such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who have argued that the official measure does not take into account urban costs of living and that larger cities may get less federal money as a result.The goal is to help lawmakers to better gauge the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs, although it does not replace the Census Bureau’s official poverty formula.Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

    Lawyer Of Fan Miguel Kicked During B .Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2012/11/14/latino-poverty-rate-climbs/#ixzz2WP4Ncxi5

  • RuralRebel 4:20 pm on June 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    But we do have a “quality” workforce!!!! 

    NY: Greece minus the riots
    Last Updated: 12:57 AM, June 16, 2013
    Posted: 11:19 PM, June 15, 2013
    New York is one of the PIGS, along with California and Illinois, according to a new study.

    New York’s economic outlook, a measurement of factors such as tax burdens, debt service and number of public employees, ranked 49th out of the 50 states, with California dead last, according to the latest edition of “Rich States, Poor States,” the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) annual survey.

    “The future is happening in the low-tax South and Great Plains, while high-tax California, New York and Illinois are increasingly looking like the Greece of North America,” the study said.

    Put bluntly, the report says our taxes are too high: New York, along with New Jersey and seven other states, has too many spending and tax burdens, too many public employees and is not a right-to-work state.

    The ALEC report also faulted New York state for raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour by 2016.

    “Raising the minimum wage would only hurt New York’s small business, farms and nonprofits that are struggling to make their current payrolls and reduce job opportunities in this difficult economy,” according to Heather Briccetti, president of the Business Council of New York.

    All these cost factors discourage the creation of new jobs, adds Arthur Laffer, a supply-side economist in the Reagan administration and one of the authors of the study.

    In the decade from 2001 to 2011, the economy and populations of nine high-tax states grew at a much slower pace than they did in the nine states with no state income tax and lower spending, the study said.

    For example, gross state product in the nine no-income-tax states was up 63.5 percent, while in the high-income-tax states the average was about 30 percent less, at 45.2 percent, according to the study.

    What happened in the last recession, Laffer contends, is that some states resorted to raising tax rates as receipts declined along with the economy.

    “And raising taxes, especially during trying economic conditions, will only make matters worse. An economy simply cannot tax itself into prosperity,” Laffer says.

    But a New York state official familiar with the study said that some aspects of it were flawed because it didn’t list all the benefits of running a business here.

    “For example, there’s nothing in the study that measures the quality of the work force here. We have an outstanding work force,” said Brian McMahon, executive director of the New York State Economic Development Council.

    Even if we are  broke….


  • RuralRebel 1:28 pm on June 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Job gains? ??? 

    Obama’s jobs statistic is overworked
    By Glenn Kessler,

    SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 4:46 PM ET

    “The good news is, today, our businesses have created nearly 7 million new jobs over the past 38 months. Five hundred thousand of those jobs are in manufacturing.”

    — President Obama, remarks on college affordability, May 31, 2013

    During a speech calling on Congress to halt a hike in the student loan rate, President Obama referenced the creation of 500,000 manufacturing jobs since February 2010 as part of the opening sentence in a paragraph touting good news about the economy (“The housing market is coming back. The stock market has rebounded.”).

    But there was something about that phrase that sounded familiar.

    Here’s the president speaking to the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 6 (nine months ago):

    “After a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years.”

    And here’s the president at the State of the Union address on Feb. 12 (four months ago):

    “After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three.”

    It’s pretty rare to hear the same talking point regarding a job statistic month after month. What’s going on here?

    The Facts

    According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the low point in U.S. manufacturing was reached in February 2010, when there were just 11.46 million manufacturing jobs in the country. That was about 1.1 million fewer than when Obama took office — and nearly 2.3 million fewer than when the Great Recession officially began in December 2007.

    Then manufacturing jobs began to rebound, thanks in part to the rescue of the auto industry. By July 2012, the number of manufacturing jobs had risen to 11.957 million, or just shy of a 500,000-job gain. That’s when it became part of the president’s campaign rhetoric.

    But at that point, the number also stopped climbing and instead began bouncing around.

    In August 2012, 14,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. In the next month, an additional 18,000 were lost. Then came several months of gains — followed by three months of losses. The preliminary numbers in the employment report released this month show a loss of 9,000 manufacturing jobs in April and 8,000 in May.

    So, here we are, nearly one year later, and the United States is still stuck at a gain of 500,000 jobs.

    More striking, rather than month-by-month figures, is the trend when year-to-year calculations are made:

    Gain in manufacturing jobs

    January 2012 to January 2013: +124,000

    February 2012 to February 2013: +118,000

    March 2012 to March 2013: +74,000

    April 2012 to April 2013: +55,000

    May 2012 to May 2013: +41,000

    In other words, it’s a downhill trend — possibly headed to a zero gain in jobs over a 12-month period.

    Alan Tonelson, a research fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council, notes that the manufacturing share of non-farm employment is now actually lower than it was in February 2010, because manufacturing has added jobs less than one-third as fast as the rest of the non-farm economy.

    “No one doubts that U.S.-based manufacturing has experienced a very steep rebound from a deep recession,” Tonelson said, but “it has slowed to a crawl over the last year or so.”

    White House officials insist the 500,000 figure is still a good news story. “This is something that is very different than what we saw in the last recovery,” one official said. “We are adding jobs now where we were losing jobs then.” But he conceded, “It is probably not going as fast as it should.”

    The official noted that the manufacturing workweek is now about an hour longer than historical averages and that hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created if the workweek simply returned to normal.

    The White House also provided a lengthy statement defending the president’s repeated use of this figure. “Since May 2012, manufacturing has continued to add jobs at a pace that — prior to this administration — was not seen since the 1990s, with an average of 3,000 new jobs per month for a total of 41,000 new manufacturing jobs,” the statement said. “More broadly, a wide range of outside analysts agree that the U.S. has become a more competitive location for production as a result of factors like increasing U.S. productivity, rising wages abroad, abundant and low-cost domestic energy, and the increased understanding of ‘hidden costs’ from far-reaching supply chains.”

    The Pinocchio Test

    While the president has long preferred to point to the gain in jobs since early 2010 — the low point in employment during his presidency — the fact remains that manufacturing employment is still about 600,000 jobs smaller than it was when he took office. That stands in stark contrast to overall non-farm employment — which is about 2 million jobs larger.

    Moreover, the growth in manufacturing jobs has basically stalled over the past year. The president’s continued use of this 500,000-job statistic, even as other job stats keep improving, suggests the news is not as good as advertised. Without some presidential acknowledgment that manufacturing job growth has slowed in the past year, it might be time to retire this talking point. In the meantime, the president earns Two Pinocchios.

       Just 2? Lower wages here…and still 600,000 jobs less than when he took  office!!!!!



  • RuralRebel 12:13 pm on June 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: NSA   

    NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants -Link Shared from Drudge Report for Android 


    imageNSA =Holder!!!!

    The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.” If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee. Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA’s formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls. Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler’s disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval. The disclosure appears to confirm some of the allegations made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst who leaked classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden said in a video interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this ability, he could from Hawaii “wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president.” There are serious “constitutional problems” with this approach, said Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who has litigated warrantless wiretapping cases. “It epitomizes the problem of secret laws.” The NSA yesterday declined to comment to CNET. A representative said Nadler was not immediately available. (This is unrelated to last week’s disclosure that the NSA is currently collecting records of the metadata of all domestic Verizon calls, but not the actual contents of the conversations.) Earlier reports have indicated that the NSA has the ability to record nearly all domestic and international phone calls — in case an analyst needed to access the recordings in the future. A Wired magazine article last year disclosed that the NSA has established “listening posts” that allow the agency to collect and sift through billions of phone calls through a massive new data center in Utah, “whether they originate within the country or overseas.” That includes not just metadata, but also the contents of the communications. William Binney, a former NSA technical director who helped to modernize the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network, told the Daily Caller this week that the NSA records the phone calls of 500,000 to 1 million people who are on its so-called target list, and perhaps even more. “They look through these phone numbers and they target those and that’s what they record,” Binney said. Brewster Kahle, a computer engineer who founded the Internet Archive, has vast experience storing large amounts of data. He created a spreadsheet this week estimating that the cost to store all domestic phone calls a year in cloud storage for data-mining purposes would be about $27 million per year, not counting the cost of extra security for a top-secret program and security clearances for the people involved. NSA’s annual budget is classified but is estimated to be around $10 billion. Documents that came to light in an EFF lawsuit provide some insight into how the spy agency vacuums up data from telecommunications companies. Mark Klein, who worked as an AT&T technician for over 22 years, disclosed in 2006 (PDF) that he witnessed domestic voice and Internet traffic being surreptitiously “diverted” through a “splitter cabinet” to secure room 641A in one of the company’s San Francisco facilities. The room was accessible only to NSA-cleared technicians. AT&T and other telecommunications companies that allow the NSA to tap into their fiber links receive absolute immunity from civil liability or criminal prosecution, thanks to a law that Congress enacted in 2008 and renewed in 2012. It’s a series of amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, also known as the FISA Amendments Act. That law says surveillance may be authorized by the attorney general and director of national intelligence without prior approval by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, as long as minimization requirements and general procedures blessed by the court are followed. A requirement of the 2008 law is that the NSA “may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States.” A possible interpretation of that language, some legal experts said, is that the agency may vacuum up everything it can domestically — on the theory that indiscriminate data acquisition was not intended to “target” a specific American citizen. Rep. Nadler’s disclosure that NSA analysts can listen to calls without court orders came during a House Judiciary hearing on Thursday that included FBI director Robert Mueller as a witness. Mueller initially sought to downplay concerns about NSA surveillance by claiming that, to listen to a phone call, the government would need to seek “a special, a particularized order from the FISA court directed at that particular phone of that particular individual.” Is information about that procedure “classified in any way?” Nadler asked. “I don’t think so,” Mueller replied. “Then I can say the following,” Nadler said. “We heard precisely the opposite at the briefing the other day. We heard precisely that you could get the specific information from that telephone simply based on an analyst deciding that…In other words, what you just said is incorrect. So there’s a conflict.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the head of the Senate Intelligence committee, separately acknowledged this week that the agency’s analysts have the ability to access the “content of a call.” Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell indicated during a House Intelligence hearing in 2007 that the NSA’s surveillance process involves “billions” of bulk communications being intercepted, analyzed, and incorporated into a database. They can be accessed by an analyst who’s part of the NSA’s “workforce of thousands of people” who are “trained” annually in minimization procedures, he said. (McConnell, who had previously worked as the director of the NSA, is now vice chairman at Booz Allen Hamilton, Snowden’s former employer.) If it were “a U.S. person inside the United States, now that would stimulate the system to get a warrant,” McConnell told the committee. “And that is how the process would work. Now, if you have foreign intelligence data, you publish it [inside the federal government]. Because it has foreign intelligence value.” McConnell said during a separate congressional appearance around the same time that he believed the president had the constitutional authority, no matter what the law actually says, to order domestic spying without warrants. Former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente told CNN last month that, in national security investigations, the bureau can access records of a previously made telephone call. “All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not,” he said. Clemente added in an appearance the next day that, thanks to the “intelligence community” — an apparent reference to the NSA — “there’s a way to look at digital communications in the past.” NSA Director Keith Alexander said this week that his agency’s analysts abide by the law: “They do this lawfully. They take compliance oversight, protecting civil liberties and privacy and the security of this nation to their heart every day.” But that’s not always the case. A New York Times article in 2009 revealed the NSA engaged in significant and systemic “overcollection” of Americans’ domestic communications that alarmed intelligence officials. The Justice Department said in a statement at the time that it “took comprehensive steps to correct the situation and bring the program into compliance” with the law. Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, says he was surprised to see the 2008 FISA Amendments Act be used to vacuum up information on American citizens. “Everyone who voted for the statute thought it was about international communications,” he said.

    This news link http://tiny.iavian.net/13c0 was sent from a friend.

  • RuralRebel 10:32 am on June 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    NK to the rescue 


Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc