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Nov 6 09 7:06 AM
The nation's unemployment rate rose above 10% for the first time since 1983 in October, a much worse jump than expected as employers continued to trim
jobs from payrolls.
The reading, reported by the government Friday, is a sign of the continued weakness in the
labor market even though the
economy grew in the third quarter following the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression.
The government reported Friday that unemployment rate spiked to 10.2%, up from 9.8% in September. It is the highest that this rate has been since April
1983. Economists had forecast an increase to 9.9%.
There was also a net loss of 190,000 jobs in October, according to the Labor Department, an improvement from a revised estimate of 219,000 job losses in
September. However, economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a loss of only 175,000 jobs in October. This was the 22nd straight month of job
Government efforts to end job losses have had limited effects, although the Obama administration estimated last month that 640,000 jobs were created or
saved by the federal stimulus package passed earlier this year. But that's modest compared to the 7.3 million jobs that have been lost by the economy
since the start of 2008.
Friday's report comes one day after Congress voted overwhelmingly to extend unemployment benefits by up to 20 weeks. There are now a record 5.6
million people who have been unemployed for six months or longer, as the average time an unemployed person has been out of a job hit 26.9 weeks.
Most economists forecast that the unemployment rate will keep rising and that job losses will continue into next year. Congress approves extended jobless
benefits Look who's hiring now Jobs will return - in 2012
Nov 6 09 7:23 AM
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of Americans filing personal bankruptcies surged 9% in October and were on target for the highest annual total in
four years, according to a report issued Wednesday.
The American Bankruptcy Institute, an industry research firm that relies on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center, said 135,914 consumers
filed for bankruptcy last month. Almost a third of the bankruptcies were filed under Chapter 13, in which consumers are put on a repayment plan of up to five
"The nearly 9% increase in consumer bankruptcy filings in October, together with a 7% jump reported in business cases, demonstrates the sustained
stress on the U.S. economy," said ABI executive director Samuel Gerdano.
The group forecasts total bankruptcies to exceed 1.4 million in 2009, which would be the highest since 2005. It would also be an increase of at least 30%
from last year.
"People are still carrying a lot of debt in terms of credit cards and home equity loans, and unemployment is still rising," said Maureen
Thompson, legislative director for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys in Washington. "All of those factors are hitting consumers
at the exact same time."
While some Americans are able to survive by tapping into savings and retirement funds, Thompson said many middle-income families are struggling after
becoming unemployed for longer than anticipated. And with their homes values lower, interest rates creeping higher and credit lines reducing, they are being
forced to declare bankruptcy.
The last time bankruptcies were this high was due to a change in the law rather than deteriorating economic circumstances. In October 2005, Congress
implemented legislation making it harder for consumers to prove that they should be allowed to clear their debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, forcing more to
file under Chapter 13.
To dodge the change, Americans rushed to file for bankruptcy in the months before the law went into effect.
Thompson said an economy that puts people back to work will begin to lower the number of Americans filing for bankruptcy, but she is "not expecting
the numbers to turn around in the foreseeable future."
Nov 6 09 9:07 AM
Nov 6 09 11:34 AM
Nov 7 09 4:34 AM
Nov 11 09 5:55 PM
The global recession isn't just making jobs scarce and tightening spending - it's also turning more people into thieves. According to an annual
survey released on Tuesday, incidents of shoplifting rose nearly 6% over the past year, representing nearly $115 billion in losses for businesses. One of the
more surprising findings: a growing number of new shoplifters are outwardly reputable, middle-class people who are walking off with French cheeses, quality
meats, cosmetics, mobile phones, clothing and other goodies that they feel they need to maintain a quality of life they can no longer afford. (See pictures of people shopping on Black
"People already feeling, or merely anticipating, the negative impact of recession have taken to stealing ... at the very time retailers also suffering
from the downturn have had to cut back on security staff," says Joshua Bamfield, director of the Britain-based Center for Retail Research, which
documented the findings in its annual Global Retail Theft Barometer. "In addition to the usual criminals, you have lots of newcomers to stealing
who figure they don't run much risk at getting caught, won't pay much of a price if they are and justify their action on the hard times we're all
The researchers found that shoplifting - or what's euphemistically known as product "shrinkage" - jumped 5.9% in the past year at the more
than 1,000 retail chains the group surveyed globally. In previous years, the increase hovered at 1.5% annually. Though the problem was documented across all
regions, the steepest increases occurred in North America (8.1%), the Middle East (7.5%) and Europe (4.7%). In terms of total losses, retailers in North
America topped the charts at $46 billion, followed by Europe's $44 billion and $17.9 billion in the Asia-Pacific region. In North America and Latin
America, store owners and employees were the leading pilferers; in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, it was customers who were swiping the most loot.
(See pictures of expensive
things that money can buy.)
Though Bamfield says theft by organized criminals for the purpose of resale remains the biggest segment of shoplifting, there's been a noticeable
increase in the number of middle-class people stuffing their pockets - people who are not "stealing necessities to keep themselves and their families
alive," he adds. Worse still, more than a few of these individuals regard this kind of stealing in the economic crisis as fully justified, as the
researchers discovered through interviews with shoplifters and police.
"Though most thieves rationalize their acts, the current situation has many people feeling the entire system is broken, that politicians are too
corrupt or inept to fix it, and that there's nothing wrong with stealing from these big companies and fancy stores that - the thinking goes - are
themselves making out like thieves," Bamfield explains. "There's a real perception among many new shoplifters that if you work hard, put money
away and play the game, you're asking for someone to come along and rip you off." (See the top 10 financial-crisis
Of course, the idea that shoplifting is a victimless crime is easier to believe when the prey involved is a faceless business - or better yet, an
international retail chain. In reality, however, shoplifting comes back to bite all consumers in the billfold in the same way that higher plane tickets do when
airlines face increasing gas prices. Anytime businesses have to absorb a cost, they pass it along to their clients in some form or another. Retailers make up
the money lost to shoplifting by marking up the prices of their goods. According to the Center for Retail Research, this ended up costing each U.S. household
$436 in the past year and each European household $250. So much for a victimless crime.
But don't expect this to deter the world's swelling ranks of shoplifters. Even if a return to economic growth and job production weakens the
rationalization for stealing, Bamfield says many people will likely continue to shoplift out of habit - and because they've gotten away with it for so
long. The only way to effectively combat these thieves, he notes, is for retailers to invest in better security and for authorities to treat shoplifting cases
not as "individuals stealing $50, $100, $200 worth of goods," but rather as something more serious - part of a $115 billion annual heist.
See pictures of the
global financial crisis.
Nov 12 09 3:56 PM
Nov 13 09 6:49 PM
Nov 14 09 8:47 AM
NEW YORK: US consumer sentiment
fell in early November amid a grim outlook for future job prospects, while a larger than expected trade deficit had economists scaling back estimates for third
quarter economic growth.
The Reuters/University of Michigan
Surveys of Consumers said its preliminary index of sentiment for November fell to 66.0, the lowest level since August, from 70.6 in October. This was well
below economists' median expectation of a reading of 71.0, according to a Reuters poll.
"Importantly, the decline in
confidence was already in place before the announced increase in the unemployment rate to 10.2 percent on November 6," the Reuters/University of Michigan
Surveys of Consumers said in a statement, adding "the likelihood that the sentiment index would drift even lower in the months ahead cannot be easily
Within the survey, the 12-month
economic outlook fell to its lowest since April.
Separately, the government
reported the US trade deficit widened in September by an unexpectedly large 18.2 percent, the biggest monthly rise in 10 years, as oil prices rose for the
seventh straight month and imports from China increased.
The trade gap grew to $36.5bn,
from a slightly revised estimate of $30.8bn in August, and added urgency to talks President Barack Obama will hold with Chinese leaders in coming days. Wall
Street analysts had expected the shortfall to grow modestly in September to around $31.65bn.
Both US exports and imports had
their best month since December 2008. Imports grew 5.8 percent in September, the biggest monthly gain since March 1993, while exports rose 2.9
The rise in imports spurred some
economists to downsize estimates for third quarter growth. The US government said last month the US economy grew at an annual rate 3.5 percent in the third
quarter after four quarters of contraction.
"Today's US trade report
revealed a September import surge that will take a chunk out of the (government's) optimistic 3.5 percent advance third quarter gross domestic product
figure, which we now peg at 2.9 percent," said Michael Englund, chief economist at Action Economics in Boulder, Colorado.
Some analysts had expected more of
an export boost because the drop in the value of the US dollar against other major currencies makes American goods more competitive overseas.
But "the overall upturn in US
demand is trumping the fall of the dollar," said Craig Peckham, an equity trading strategist with Jefferies and Company in New York.
Imports of industrial supplies and
materials showed the biggest gain in September, suggesting that US manufacturers are ramping up for production.
The average price for imported oil
leapt to $68.17 per barrel and imports from the Organisation of Petroleum Export Countries increased to $11.9bn in September, both the highest since November
Another report showed US import
prices rose for the third straight month in October, pushed up by a jump in the cost of fuel imports and the depreciating dollar. Import prices advanced 0.7
percent after a revised 0.2 percent increase in September, the Labour Department said.
The weak US dollar is helping to
lift US exports, but at the same time, analysts cite it as a factor pushing up the price of oil and other commodities.
The US dollar was broadly lower as
investors bought higher yielding currencies and assets such as stocks. For US Treasuries, strength in US stocks offset weaker-than-expected consumer sentiment,
and prices were little changed.
The closely watched US trade
deficit with China widened 9.2 percent to $22.1bn as imports grew 8.3 percent to $27.9bn, both also the highest since November 2008. The overall US trade
deficit, including with China, has fallen significantly this year in response to the worst economic downturn in decade.
But the gap with China narrowed
just 15.9 percent in the first nine months of the year, compared with much bigger declines for Canada (79.6 percent), the European Union (42.0 percent) and
Opec (71.8 percent).
That has reinforced
ideas that China's currency remains undervalued against the dollar, giving Chinese companies an unfair trade advantage.
Nov 15 09 10:21 AM
More stores accept food stamps
By Bonna Johnson
From dollar stores to drugstores, more shops than ever accept food stamps, a trend fueled by rising unemployment and other economic hardships that have
increased the percentage of food sales tied to government assistance.
The diverse mix of retailers comes at a time when the number of people http://www.tennessean.com/article/20091103/NEWS07/911030337/Half-of-all-U.S.-children-expected-to-need-food-stamps-sometime">getting the
food subsidy is the highest it's ever been, including many consumers on the program for the first time.
Boosted by stimulus funds, the amount of http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090713/NEWS01/907130338/Food-stamp-hike-helps-families-cope">food stamp dollars pouring into Tennessee
stores each month surged to nearly $160 million in September, up 60 percent over a year ago, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Human
Food stamp benefits "are a much more important part of the revenue of food stores now than in any time of the history of the program," according
to Kevin Concannon, undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for food, nutrition and consumer services.
And in a time of a down economy, most stores don't want to give up that sort of market share, he said.
"A lot of people in the neighborhood asked us to accept them," said Yaseen Titi, an owner of the Sannabill Bakery, a small market and Middle
Eastern bakery on East Thompson Lane. The shop opened in April and, driven by customer demand, began accepting food stamps a few months later.
Now, sales tied to food stamps make up about 40 percent of the business at the store where fresh-made pita bread is a specialty.
There were 1.17 million people in the state getting food stamps in September - a 22 percent increase from a year ago - with roughly one of every six
Tennesseans now in the program.
Buying power draws shops
Half of all those getting food stamps are children, and about 40 percent of households on the program include a working adult, which underscores how the
program acts as a safety net for many working families, too, and not just the unemployed, Concannon said.
The buying power of the 37 million people getting food stamps nationwide is not lost on retailers.
"We are seeing an even sharper increase in our sales from customers using food stamps," Rodney McMullen, vice chairman of the Kroger Co. board,
said in September in reference to second-quarter earnings at the supermarket chain.
While most major grocery stores have accepted food stamps for years, more retailers are joining the program as the process becomes streamlined and
Costco Wholesale Corp. made a splash recently when it announced it had reversed field on food stamps and would begin accepting them at its warehouse clubs
nationwide. Costco's two Nashville-area stores, one on Charlotte Pike in West Nashville and the other in Brentwood, began taking them on Nov. 5.
Costco officials initially thought their shoppers were too affluent to be on food stamps.
"I think that was probably a little bit arrogant on our part," Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti told stock analysts during an
earnings call last month.
"It's not just a question do we get some additional sales from an existing member," he said. "We're finding, in a small way …
we're getting new members that didn't shop at Costco because we didn't have them."
And some of those shoppers are abandoning competitors to shop with their http://www.tennessean.com/article/20091029/BUSINESS01/910290353/Costco-to-accept-food-stamps">food stamps at Costco, Galanti said. Costco
piloted the program in New York.
"This economy was a wake-up call," Galanti said. "It is not just low-end economic strata that are using this, that typically don't have
purchasing power. It's a lot of people that are using this as a source of their overall consumption."
Even http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/">Whole Foods, a relatively pricey, natural and organic supermarket, accepts them.
Most people are surprised because of the grocer's upscale image and a location in Green Hills here, Whole Foods spokeswoman Brittany Conner said.
"We're here and can provide healthy, affordable options," Conner said. The store recently posted fliers at Head Start centers around Nashville
to let low-income families know about its policy, and the fliers highlight how to get to Whole Foods by bus.
"We've seen a pretty significant increase of people with EBT shopping with us," Conner said. Electronic Benefit Transfer cards are issued to
food stamp users - not stamps as in years past. The cards can be swiped at checkout stations much like a credit card, making it less of a hassle for retailers
and easier for customers to be discreet with purchases.
User's profile changes
"It's a little uncomfortable, but I have to have food for me and my son, so you do what you have to do," said Charlotte Broadway, 44, a single
mother in Hermitage.
An accountant, Broadway lost her job two years ago and has been on unemployment benefits on and off since then. She had been on food stamps briefly decades
ago when she was in college and thought she'd never have to do it again.
But as she burned through savings and job prospects faded, she applied for food stamps about six months ago.
"I wouldn't ask for it if I didn't need it, but I'd rather not have to get it," Broadway said.
Broadway is among the growing number of nontraditional users of food stamps, middle-class individuals new to the system or forced into it because of a
layoff, reduced work hours or a spouse's job loss.
"They're coming from all walks of life," said Kelvin Meeks, who runs Davidson County's food stamps office as a field management
Broadway said she is glad she has more options on where to shop, and even though she usually gets groceries at http://www.Kroger.com">Kroger, she recently
began going to the http://www.dollargeneral.com">Dollar General Market in Hermitage, as well, for food items.
In recent years, drugstores and dollar stores have added more food aisles and refrigerated sections for milk and sandwich meats to entice EBT users to shop
Even take-and-bake pizza shops, like http://www.papamurphys.com/">Papa Murphy's, accept the food subsidy, including 13 locations in the Nashville area.
Stores must regularly sell at least three varieties of foods in each of four categories - breads/cereals; dairy products; fruits and vegetables; and meat,
fish or poultry - and at least two of the categories must include perishable foods. Another way stores can qualify under the program is if more than half of
total gross sales are in "staple food," which does not include candy, soft drinks or prepared food items.
Goodlettsville-based Dollar General accepted food stamps at most locations by 2004, around the same time it rolled out refrigerated food sections,
spokeswoman Tawn Miller said.
"All the dollar stores have increased the number of stores accepting food stamps," said Zoe Tan, an equity analyst with Morningstar Inc.
"It's helped them boost sales, especially during this economic downturn."
Dollar General is especially well positioned to take advantage of the uptick in food stamp use, Tan said. Almost 70 percent of its sales come from items you
can eat, compared to 50 percent to 60 percent at other chains, she said.
Dollar, which has 207 stores in Tennessee, began taking food stamps in 2007, spokesman Josh Braverman said. About 80 percent of Family Dollar stores take food
stamps, and all will do so by spring, company Chairman and CEO Howard Levine said in a recent earnings call.
Fifty http://www.dollartree.com">Dollar Tree stores across Tennessee started taking the food subsidy in the past 18 months, according to the
USDA. While it remains a small percentage of sales, it's growing and in some stores is very important, Dollar Tree President and CEO Bob Sasser said
earlier this year.
The food subsidy is accepted in about 2,400 of the chain's stores, up from 1,570 a year ago, and the company wants to add locations as quickly as
possible, just as it's trying to get more refrigerated and frozen food products on the shelves, he said.
With an expanded mix of food items, food stamps have "become a more important component in our business," Sasser said.
• As part of the federal stimulus package, families on food stamps get bigger monthly benefits. On average, a family of three receives $313 per month in
assistance, with $63 of that due to the stimulus supplement.
• At last count, 4,708 stores in Tennessee accepted food stamps, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture - up 11.8 percent over comparable numbers
from last year.
• While many of the additional locations are newly constructed supermarkets and convenience stores, others are part of chains that only started accepting the
food subsidy recently.
• Target rolled out nationwide participation in 2006, and Sam's Club joined about a year ago.
• The USDA runs the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the new name for the government's food stamp program.
• Nationwide, 192,000 retailers accept food stamps, a 32 percent increase since 2003.
- BONNA JOHNSON
Nov 18 09 12:07 PM
In a report entitled "Worst-case debt scenario", the bank's asset team said state rescue packages over the last year have merely
transferred private liabilities onto sagging sovereign shoulders, creating a fresh set of problems.
Overall debt is still far too
high in almost all rich economies as a share of GDP (350pc in the US), whether public or private. It must be reduced by the hard slog of
"deleveraging", for years.
"As yet, nobody can say with any certainty whether we have in fact escaped the prospect of a global economic collapse," said the 68-page
report, headed by asset chief Daniel Fermon. It is an exploration of the dangers, not a forecast.
Under the French bank's "Bear Case" scenario, the dollar would slide further and global equities would retest the March lows. Property
prices would tumble again. Oil would fall back to $50 in 2010.
Governments have already shot their fiscal bolts. Even without fresh spending, public debt would explode within two years to 105pc of GDP in the UK,
125pc in the US and the eurozone, and 270pc in Japan. Worldwide state debt would reach $45 trillion, up two-and-a-half times in a decade.
(UK figures look low because debt started from a low base. Mr Ferman said the UK would converge with Europe at 130pc of GDP by 2015 under the bear
The underlying debt burden is greater than it was after the Second World War, when nominal levels looked similar. Ageing populations will make it harder
to erode debt through growth. "High public debt looks entirely unsustainable in the long run. We have almost reached a point of no return for
government debt," it said.
Inflating debt away might be seen by some governments as a lesser of evils.
If so, gold would go "up, and up, and up" as the only safe haven from fiat paper money. Private debt is also crippling. Even if the US savings
rate stabilises at 7pc, and all of it is used to pay down debt, it will still take nine years for households to reduce debt/income ratios to the safe
levels of the 1980s.
The bank said the current crisis displays "compelling similarities" with Japan during its Lost Decade (or two), with a big difference: Japan
was able to stay afloat by exporting into a robust global economy and by letting the yen fall. It is not possible for half the world to pursue this
strategy at the same time.
SocGen advises bears to sell the dollar and to "short" cyclical equities such as technology, auto, and travel to avoid being caught in the
"inherent deflationary spiral". Emerging markets would not be spared. Paradoxically, they are more leveraged to the US growth than Wall Street
itself. Farm commodities would hold up well, led by sugar.
Mr Fermon said junk bonds would lose 31pc of their value in 2010 alone. However, sovereign bonds would "generate turbo-charged returns"
mimicking the secular slide in yields seen in Japan as the slump ground on. At one point Japan's 10-year yield dropped to 0.40pc. The Fed would hold
down yields by purchasing more bonds. The European Central Bank would do less, for political reasons.
SocGen's case for buying sovereign bonds is controversial. A number of funds doubt whether the Japan scenario will be repeated, not least because
Tokyo itself may be on the cusp of a debt compound crisis.
Mr Fermon said his report had electrified clients on both sides of the Atlantic. "Everybody wants to know what the impact will be. A lot of hedge
funds and bankers are worried," he said.
Black Blade: Not really news to us as the creation of tens of $trillions out of thin air and the struggle to service the National Debt amid unbridled
government spending and corruption has made the situation entirely unsustainable. The US economy is in a :Death Spiral" that will be followed by the
Global Economic Collapse. It is inevitable and the collapse of the US dollar is only a matter of time. We sealed our fate when we left the Gold Standard
and became Keynsians.
Nov 18 09 10:29 PM
Nov 19 09 12:08 PM
Gore is attempting yet again to accelerate the fear mongering of man made global warming.
Lacking evidence, Gore has turned to Photoshop to create 'evidence' of what is occurring as a result of man made global warming.
A hurricane expert said, "A midget Southern Hemisphere cyclone is off the coast of Florida, another hurricane is sitting on the equator off the
coast of Peru - and the Arctic Ice is gone (perhaps it is summer) and the Florida Peninsula is half gone. There are other differences I am sure you
can find - but the hurricanes are just nonsense…"
Global temperatures and hurricane activity has dropped off dramatically.
Gore is attempting to create facts which do not exist and nobody is listening.
Nov 19 09 12:14 PM
The King of cap and trade simply airbrushes them in to his new book to create a more scary earth
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, November 19, 2009
With the increasingly discredited notion of man-made global warming crashing and burning on a daily basis, climate alarmists are being forced
to accelerate their fearmongering to unprecedented levels. With the evidence failing to match up to the doomsday proclamations, Al Gore has turned to photoshop
in order to make a CO2-choked earth look scary enough to sell his cap and trade scam.
The latest example of climate cult fakery comes in the form of the front cover of Al Gore's new book, Our Choice; A Plan To Solve The
Shortly after the devastation of Katrina, Al Gore was busy making a correlation between hurricanes and global warming in an effort to drive
home his claim that higher global CO2 emissions cause an increase in extreme weather events. The cover art for Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth,
features an image of a hurricane rising out of a smoke stack.
Seemingly underwhelmed that there have been no major hurricanes since Katrina, along with the fact that global hurricane activity is now at a
thirty year low, Gore came up with an ingenious method of solving the problem of the lack of scary depictions of frightening hurricanes to
display on his book - simply airbrush them in!
Ryan Maue, hurricane expert from the University of Florida writes:
The cover opens and closes half and half - so you only see one hurricane…as in the press release photo or the one on
But this is the real picture sequence from the book which I looked at Borders today and took cell-phone pictures, original (before the
retouching by some "artist") Note all of the Arctic ice and the size of the Florida Peninsula…
And the final product:
A midget Southern Hemisphere cyclone is off the coast of Florida, another hurricane is sitting on the equator off the coast of Peru - and
the Arctic Ice is gone (perhaps it is summer) and the Florida Peninsula is half gone
There are other differences I am sure you can find - but the hurricanes are just nonsense…
Despite the fact that CO2 levels are at their highest for 15 million years, just like global temperatures, hurricane activity has dropped off dramatically, as the graph below
Gore has now dropped the presentation from his slideshow claiming a link between CO2 emissions and hurricanes.
There is a clear correlation between the natural ebb and flow of global temperatures and hurricanes, but none whatsoever with human CO2
emissions. As many skeptics have attempted to highlight, in the face of official intimidation and quasi-religious decrees that "the debate is over,"
temperature levels prompted by natural factors leads the concentration of CO2
in the atmosphere, not the other way around.
With his invention of scary hurricanes for the purposes of his book, Gore is merely following his new ethos that "Simply laying out the
facts won't work," in the attempt to corral a highly skeptical public into believing claims about man-made global warming.
This represents another grasping at straws as Gore adapts his propaganda into the form of a religious sermon in a desperate effort to claw back
rapidly evaporating poll numbers that show 20% of
Americans have changed their minds over the last three years and become man-made global warming skeptics.
As we have exhaustively documented, Gore's motivation for grossly overstating the impact of CO2 emissions goes a lot deeper than his
professed love for the planet.
Since he left office, Gore's personal net worth has skyrocketed on the back of his advocacy for global warming issues and the financial
dividends this has reaped. Gore's assets totaled less than $2 million in 2001 and although he refuses to give a figure for his current net worth, a recent
single investment of $35 million in Capricorn Investment Group, a private equity fund, illustrates just how fast Gore has enriched himself from his climate
As we reported back in March, before he became President, Barack Obama also helped fund the profiteers of the carbon taxation
program that he is now seeking to implement as law.
The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) has direct ties to both Al Gore and Maurice Strong, two figures intimately involved with a long standing
movement to use the theory of man made global warming as a mechanism for profit and social engineering. Gore's investment company, Generation Investment
Management, which sells carbon offset opportunities, is the largest shareholder of CCX.
Maurice Strong, who is regularly credited as founding father of the modern environmental movement, serves on the board of directors of CCX.
Strong was a leading initiate of the Earth Summit in the early 90s, where the theory of global warming caused by CO2 generated by human activity was most
Both Strong and Gore come from the Club of Rome clique, who in their 1991 Report, "The First Global Revolution" openly admitted how
they were planning to exploit the contrived hoax of global warming in order to further their agenda.
"In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine
and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be
overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.," they
Gore's defense against claims that he is peddling fearmongering about global warming to get filthy rich, and one dutifully supported by the
NY Times' whitewash report, is that he is simply putting his money where his mouth is.
However, Gore's insistence that he is walking the walk, not just talking the talk, doesn't seem to extend to his own private life in
the context of energy conservation and CO2 emissions. While lecturing the world about reducing CO2 emissions and saving energy, Gore's own mansion uses 20
times the energy of the average American home.
In February 2007, the Tennessee Center for
Policy Research revealed that the gas and electric bills for the former vice president's 20-room home and pool house devoured nearly
221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, more than 20 times the national average of 10,656 kilowatt-hours. These figures were not disputed by Gore.
"If this were any other person with $30,000-a-year in utility bills, I wouldn't care," said the Center's 27-year-old
president, Drew Johnson. "But he tells other people how to live and he's not following his own rules."
The clips below, taken from Alex Jones' new documentary Fall Of The Republic, expose how Al Gore serves as the front man for the
global carbon tax cap and trade scheme, which is designed to bankrupt the United States and drastically lower the living standards of the American people,
while introducing nightmare levels of regulation and bureaucracy into their everyday lives. Get the full DVD here.
You can watch the whole movie via You Tube by scrolling down to the third clip.
Nov 20 09 9:29 AM
By Emily Kaiser and Nancy Waitz - Analysis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is having a tough time guesstimating how many small businesses failed in this recession, casting doubt on the
reliability of vital data on employment and economic growth.
The formula the U.S. Labor Department designed to help it deliver timely, thorough monthly employment reports broke down in the heat of the financial
crisis, miscounting the number of jobs by an estimated 824,000 in the year through March.
The most likely culprit is the so-called "birth-death" model, which the Labor Department uses to estimate how many companies were created or
That model appears to have misjudged how many companies went out of business during the recession, meaning the labor market was even weaker than initially
thought when President Barack Obama took office in January. More recent figures may still be underestimating job losses now, but it will be many months before
the Labor Department is certain.
One characteristic of this recession is that it has hit small businesses especially hard, driving down demand and choking off vital sources of credit at the
Obama's administration is scrambling to try to prop up small business -- it hosted a summit on that topic on Wednesday -- because those companies are
essential to bringing the jobless rate down from its current 10.2 percent, having accounted for the lion's share of new job growth in recent years.
Government data has difficulty gauging the health of smaller firms because there are simply too many of them, leaving officials to rely on surveys and
models that are hit and miss.
Jan Hatzius, an economist at Goldman Sachs in New York, thinks that is distorting not only the employment data, but also figures for retail sales, durable
goods and even the biggest economic indicator of all -- gross domestic product.
"Our conclusion is that if small firms aren't captured well in the advance GDP data, the economy may be growing less quickly than suggested by the
recent official data," he wrote in a recent note to clients.
Recent data has suggested the economy grew at a somewhat slower pace in the third quarter than the 3.5 percent rate the government initially estimated, and
many economists think the figure will be revised down later this month.
Because of problems tracking small firms, Hatzius thinks the figure will eventually be revised down much more sharply, perhaps by as much 2 percentage
points. But this could take years.
Government statisticians always are in a tug-of-war between trying to provide economic data quickly enough to be useful for policy makers -- and investors
-- and ensuring its accuracy.
The task became even trickier during this downturn because the economy suffered such a swift and severe slump that the data struggled to keep up.
BIRTHS, DEATHS AND BREAKDOWNS
Olsson's Books & Records is one casualty of the recession. It filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation last year, closing its five stores in the
Washington area. At its height, the chain boasted nine bookstores, with some 200 employees.
Terence McCann, who was a business manager at Olsson's for 20 years, said it just got "harder and harder to compete every year."
In filing for liquidation, the company blamed low cash reserves, and an inability to renegotiate current leases, along with a continuing weak retail economy
and plummeting music sales -- common ailments among small businesses.
Indeed, 43,546 businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2008, the highest tally since 1998, and the pace has picked up this year, according to data from the
American Bankruptcy Institute.
In the second quarter of 2009, the most recent data available, 16,014 businesses filed for bankruptcy, up from 14,319 in the previous three-month period and
the highest mark in 16 years.
The Labor Department simply can't catch all those failures fast enough to compile its monthly employment reports, which are normally released on the
first Friday after the end of the month. So it must make an educated guess.
Each month, the department surveys about 160,000 firms to get a sense of how many jobs were added or cut. It also uses the "birth-death" model to
try to estimate out how many companies opened or closed.
Once a year, the department looks at unemployment insurance tax records to get a more accurate picture of how many people were employed, and matches that up
with its own data. Each February, it tries to reconcile these differences by releasing a "benchmark revision".
Normally, the discrepancy is modest. This coming February, it is likely to be about 824,000, according to the Labor Department's preliminary estimate
last month. That would mean instead of about 7.2 million jobs lost since the start of the recession in December 2007, there were more like 8 million.
"Preliminary research indicated that a big portion of that was a result of a breakdown in the birth-death model," said Chris Manning, the
department's benchmark branch chief.
Until this recession, the birth-death model had a track record of performing well regardless of whether the economy was growing or shrinking.
Manning said his department was still trying to figure out what went awry this time. One possibility is that the model was not sensitive enough to the
credit crunch, which choked off borrowing and pushed many companies into bankruptcy.
"We're researching ways to better understand the limitations of the model, in particular when it comes to responding to economic shocks," he
One change under consideration is plugging data into the model more often, perhaps quarterly instead of once a year, so that discrepancies would be apparent
If the department decides on any changes in the next couple of months, it will spell them out in February when it releases the annual benchmark revisions,
"All Is Well"
Nov 22 09 1:48 PM
Some have lain here for years, but in recent months the number of unclaimed bodies has reached a record high. For in this city that once symbolised the
American Dream many cannot even afford to bury their dead.
"I have not seen this many unclaimed bodies in 13 years on the job," said Albert Samuels, chief investigator at the mortuary. "It started
happening when the economy went south last year. I have never seen this many people struggling to give people their last resting place."
Unburied bodies piling up in the city mortuary - it reached 70 earlier this year - is the latest and perhaps most appalling indignity to be heaped on
the people of Detroit. The motor city that once boasted the highest median income and home ownership rate in the US is today in the midst of a long and
agonising death spiral.
After years of gross mismanagement by the city's leaders and the big three car manufacturers of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, who continued to
make vehicles that Americans no longer wanted to buy, Detroit today has an unemployment rate of 28 per cent, higher even than the worst years of the Great
The murder rate is soaring. The school system is in receivership. The city treasury is $300 million (£182m) short of the funds needed to provide the
most basic services such as rubbish collection. In its postwar heyday, when Detroit helped the US to dominate the world's car market, it had 1.85
million people. Today, just over 900,000 remain. It was once America's fourth-largest city. Today, it ranks eleventh, and will continue to fall.
Thousands of houses are abandoned, roofs ripped off, windows smashed. Block after block of shopping districts lie boarded up. Former manufacturing
plants, such as the giant Fisher body plant that made Buicks and Cadillacs, but which was abandoned in 1991, are rotting.
Even Detroit's NFL football team, the Lions, are one of the worst in the country. Last season they lost all 16 games. This year they have lost
eight, and won just a single gane.
Michigan's Central Station, designed by the same people who gave New York its Grand Central Station, was abandoned 20 years ago. One photographer
who produced a series of images for Time magazine said that he often felt, as he moved around parts of Detroit, as though he was in a
Then in June, the $21,000 annual county budget to bury Detroit's unclaimed bodies ran out. Until then, if a family confirmed that they could not
afford to lay a loved one to rest, Wayne County - in which Detroit sits - would, for $700, bury the body in a rough pine casket at a nearby cemetery, under
Darrell Vickers had to identify his aunt at the mortuary in September but he could not afford to bury her as he was unemployed. When his grandmother
recently died, Mr Vickers's father paid for her cremation, but with a credit card at 21 per cent interest. He said at the time it was
"devastating" to not be able to bury his aunt.
What has alarmed medical examiners at the mortuary is that most of the dead died of natural causes. It is evidence, they believe, of people who could
not afford medical insurance and medicines and whose families can now not afford to bury them.
Yet in recent weeks there have been signs of hope for Mr Samuels that he can reduce the backlog of bodies. Local philanthropists have donated $8,000 to
help to bury the dead. In the past month, Mr Samuels has been able to bury 11 people. The number of unburied is now down to 55.
Nov 23 09 10:47 AM
Nov 24 09 9:43 AM
WASHINGTON - A lot more Americans are feeling stressed out by debt this holiday season, raising the glum likelihood they'll behave like Scrooge rather
In fact, fully 93 percent say they'll spend less or about the same as last year, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll. Half of all those polled say
they're suffering at least some debt-related stress, and 22 percent say they're feeling it greatly or quite a bit. That second figure is up from 17
percent just last spring, despite all the talk about economic recovery.
Most people - 80 percent - say they'll use mostly cash to pay for their holiday shopping, and that generally means buying less.
For example, Joy McGavin, 26, of Pittston, Pa., says she will cut back on holiday gifts by a few
hundred dollars this year and pay for everything with cash.
"Family - nieces and nephews - we won't be able to afford this year," says the stay-at-home mother of three. They now shop at Big Lots - not
Wal-Mart. "They're too expensive this year," she says.
Her husband, Robert, had been working two-full time jobs, as a mechanic at a garage and at an auto parts store. Recently his retail job was cut back to part time. "We don't have as much as we had last year," McGavin laments. They don't have
health insurance and have racked up major medical bills.
Diane Morrison, 57, of Flemington, N.J., says simply, "I'm going to cut back." She's clipping coupons and "looking for big
She owns a payroll company, and many of her clients are laying off workers. Some of the companies are folding, she says, and "I'm feeling more
stressed because I feel my income will go down because of what's happening with my business."
Morrison and the McGavins are hardly alone with job problems. Unemployment has rocketed past 10 percent for only the second time since World War II, making it harder to pay monthly bills. Home
foreclosures have spiked to record highs, and defaults on credit card debt are rising.
What does that mean for retailers in their most-important season?
"Cash serves as a very direct governing force upon spending," says Dr. Alan Hilfer, director of psychology at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. "If you have $100 in your pocket, and that's all you can spend, you'll look around
and make a decision based on the amount of money you have." Credit cards, on the other hand, allow people to make more impulse purchases.
In the survey, people who intend to spend less during the holidays reported suffering from higher debt stress than those who plan to spend the same or more,
said Paul J. Lavrakas, a research psychologist and AP consultant who analyzed the results.
Those who plan to use cash to pay for most of their holiday season purchases have higher stress levels, he said. So do those who will carry over at least
some of their holiday season credit card charges because they won't be able to pay the bill in full
when it arrives.
Hilfer said that when debt increases and becomes a focus of anxiety, it forces people to start thinking more long term.
"They won't allow impulse buying and won't splurge as much because they are thinking that
next year they may need to have the money to fix the motor on the washing machine, so they can't spend that money now," he said.
How consumers behave during the holidays and beyond is a critical force determining how strongly the economy snaps back from the worst recession since the
1930s. Consumer spending is the single-largest driver of overall economic activity.
The traditional kickoff of the holiday sales season is Friday - the day after Thanksgiving.
This time of year is crucial for merchants, accounting for up to 40 percent of their annual sales. The
National Retail Federation believes holiday sales will decline this year, but the drop won't be as steep as last year when the country was deep in
Looking to next year, consumers won't be in much of a mood to go on a shopping spree because of high unemployment and tight credit, according to the
National Association for Business Economics. Consumer spending will rise a lackluster 2 percent next
year, restraining the recovery, NABE forecasters said. Unemployment now at 10.2 percent, will average 9.8 percent.
For people who do plan to charge their holiday purchases, 75 percent say they'll pay off the charges in full when the bill arrives.
The average amount owed on credit cards is $5,600, the poll said, up from $4,900 in the spring.
More broadly, people carry an average of about $46,000 in debt - mortgages, credit cards, auto loans
and other consumer debt. That's a far bigger load than in the early 1980s when the jobless rate last topped 10 percent. In 1982 per capita debt totaled about $14,000 in today's dollars.
The AP-GfK poll involved interviews with 1,006 adults and was conducted Nov. 5-9. The margin of sampling
error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
AP Director of Polling Trevor Tompson and Associated Press Writer Ann Sanner contributed to this report.
On the Net:
Questions and results at
"All Is Well"
Nov 25 09 1:53 PM
By Wendy Wang and Rich Morin, Pew Research Center
November 24, 2009
The journey home for Thanksgiving won't be quite so far this year for many young adults. Instead of traveling across country or across town, many grown
sons and daughters will be coming to dinner from their old bedroom down the hall, which now doubles as their recession-era refuge.
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 13% of parents with grown children say one of their adult sons or daughters has moved back home in the
past year. Social scientists call them "boomerangers" -- young adults who move in with parents after living away from home. This recession has
produced a bumper crop.
Census Bureau data confirm that
proportionately fewer young singles are living solo now than before the recession. Overall, the proportion of adults ages 18 to 29 who live alone declined from
7.9% in 2007 to 7.3% in 2009. Similar drops in the proportion of young people who live by themselves occurred during or immediately after the recessions of
1982 and 2001.
The current decline has been particularly steep among young women; the proportion who live by themselves fell by a full percentage point to 6.1%. Among
young men, the share living on their own fell 0.2 percentage points to 8.4%, a statistically insignificant change.
While the recession has touched Americans of all ages, it has been particularly hard on young adults. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a smaller
share of 16- to 24-year-olds are currently employed -- 46.1% -- than at any time since the government began collecting such data in 1948.
At the same time, college enrollment
has soared to an all-time high. Taken together, record unemployment and growing college enrollments help explain why proportionately fewer young people
today are living by themselves.
The Pew Research Center survey also asked all respondents if they had moved back home in the past year. Fully one-in-ten adults ages 18 to 34 (10%) say the
poor economy has forced them to move back in with Mom and Dad.1 An additional 12% say they acquired a roommate.
Hard times are leading young adults to put their lives on hold in other ways as well. For example, some 15% of adults younger than 35 say they have postponed
getting married because of the recession; an additional 14% say they have delayed having a baby.
Data from two different but complementary sources are used in this analysis to estimate the impact of the recession on living arrangements and family
formation. The Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey, conducted each March by the Census Bureau, was used to estimate the
proportion of adults who lived alone in 2007 and in 2009. (The recession officially began in December 2007.)
These data are supplemented by a nationally representative survey of 1,028 adults by the Pew Research Center conducted Oct. 21-25, 2009. Results from this
survey are used to produce estimates of changes in living arrangements and other actions taken by individuals in response to the recession.
To measure changes in household
arrangements, the Pew Research survey asked all adults if they lived in their own home or with one or both parents in the parents' home. The survey further
asked all adults if they had moved back in with their parents "as a result of the recession." Overall, about 11% of all adults 18 or older live with
their parents in their home and 4% of all adults say they were forced to move back with their parents because of the recession, a proportion that rises to 10%
among those ages 18 to 34.
About seven-in-ten grown children who live with their parents are younger than 30. About half work full- or part-time, while a quarter are unemployed and
two-in-ten are full-time students. Of all adults who report they currently live in their parents' home, about a third (35%) say they had lived
independently at some point in their lives before returning home. While the sample is small, roughly equal proportions of adult men and women live with their
parents, while a somewhat larger proportion of Hispanics and blacks than whites live with their parents.
When the focus shifts to parents, a similar story emerges. According to the survey, nearly half of all adults (46%) have children ages 18 or older. Among
these parents of adult children, some 13% say at least one of their grown sons or daughters had returned home in the past year for any reason.
The proportion of "boomeranged parents" increases to 19% among those ages 45 to 54 and declines sharply in later age
The survey also found that the recession has altered the lives of young adults in several other important ways. For example, fully 15% of single adults
younger than 35 say they have postponed getting married because of the recession, while an additional 14% of all young adults delayed having a baby.2
The proportion of those who postponed their wedding because of the recession increases to 21% if the sample of young adults is limited to those 25 to 34 --
the age range in which most people get married.
At the same time, the bad economy has
sent many of the youngest adults in the sample -- those ages 18 to 24 -- scurrying to find a roommate. About one-in-four in that age group say they have moved
in with a roommate because of the recession, eight times the proportion of 25- to 34-year-olds who have taken a similar step (24% vs. 3%).
But young adults are not the only ones whose lives have been changed by economic hard times. For example, about one-in-eight (12%) of all single adults
between the ages of 35 and 54 have delayed marriage because of the recession.
At the same time, few Americans of any age have been forced by hard times to take in a boarder (2%) of all adults) or postpone a divorce (1% among married
In a departure from an upward trend over
many decades, the share of adults in the United States who live by themselves was largely unchanged between March 2007 and March 2009. However, the story is
quite different for adults ages 18 to 29.
About 7.3% of young adults lived by themselves in March 2009, a 0.6 percentage point decline from 2007. Similar declines occurred during or after the
recessions of 1982 and 2001; in both cases the proportion of adults 18 to 29 who lived alone fell by 0.5 points.
In particular, young women are less likely to be living alone in 2009 than in 2007. According to the Census Bureau, the share of young women living alone
has declined from 7.1% in 2007 to 6.1% this year. The drop in the share of young men who live by themselves was a statistically insignificant 0.2 percentage
Among adults of all ages, the percentage living alone fell during this period by 0.1 points to 13.9%. If the calculation is based on households rather than
individuals, one-person households currently make up slightly more than a quarter of all American households (27%).
The proportion of Americans who live alone has risen more or less steadily since 1950, with the most rapid growth occurring roughly between 1950 and 1980.
According to the Census Bureau, less than 5% of the population lived by themselves in 1950. By 2000 this share had climbed to more than 13%, and it reached its
historic high of 14.3% in 2008. Most recently, there has been a slight drop in the overall share of adults living alone. While the proportion is largely
unchanged from two years ago, it did drop 0.4 percentage points in the past year.
Although this change may seem trivial, year-by-year CPS data collected since the 1970s suggest that a decline of 0.4 percentage points is rare. It only
happened twice in more than three decades: once between 1982 and 1983, when the live-alone percentage dropped to 11.5% from 11.8% in 1982, and again in 1992 to
1993 when it also fell 0.4 percentage points. Notably, both periods were during or immediately after a recession.
Women are more likely than men to live by themselves. Currently 15.3% of women and 12.5% of men live alone. The gap between the genders has expanded and
narrowed over the years, with the smallest gap of 1.4 percentage points occurring in 1950 and the peak of 4.1 points in 1990. Since 2000, the difference has
stayed around 3 percentage points.
Living alone is closely related to age. In general, the older you get, the more likely you will live by yourself. Trends in the share of adults who live
alone suggest a steady growth for all age groups since 1950, although the patterns are somewhat different for each group.
Only 1% of young adults ages 18 to 29 lived by themselves in 1950. That proportion increased rapidly to 7.5% by 1980 but then declined and has remained around
7.0% since 1990. In fact, the proportion of young adults living by themselves in 1980 was larger than it was for the 30-49 age group (7.5% vs. 6.5%). Today,
the opposite is true, with those ages 30 to 49 more likely to be living alone than younger adults (9.5% vs. 7.3%).
Adults ages 65 and older are the most likely of any age group to be living alone. For this older group, the percentage of people who live alone sharply
increased from 1950 to 1980 (13.7% to 29.4%) before leveling off. It now stands at 30.1%.
In particular, women ages 65 and older are much more likely than men of similar age to live alone, in large part because wives tend to outlive husbands,
leaving more widows than widowers. Currently, nearly four-in-ten older women live by themselves; that's more than double the proportion of older men (38.8%
Among those younger than 50, the opposite pattern occurs. In this age group, the percentage of men who live alone outpaces the share of women. For example,
11.4% of men ages 30 to 49 live by themselves, compared with 7.6% of women.
1. Because different questions were asked of each group, the percentage of parents who report children moved back and the percentage
of adult children who report moving back do not have to be identical. Parents were asked whether any child had moved back, while adult children were asked only
if they personally moved in with their parents. Also, parents of adult children were not asked if the children who returned did so because of the recession.
2. This survey did not determine how long individuals delayed getting married or having a child. Some may have delayed
marriage or a family for a few weeks or months, while others may have decided to put them off for a year or more.
*Paul Taylor, director of Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project, edited the report. Senior writer D'Vera Cohn provided
editorial suggestions and Marcia Kramer copy-edited the report.
Black Blade: Now ain't that cozy?
Nov 29 09 7:57 PM
By Nicole Maestri
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Consumers spent significantly less at the start of the holiday season this weekend, dimming hopes for a retail comeback that would
help propel the economy early in 2010.
While shoppers turned out in force as early as Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, many said they had zeroed in on highly discounted items, would buy only what
they needed and would walk out of a store if they did not find a good deal.
"Shoppers proved this weekend that they were willing to open their wallets for a bargain," said National Retail Federation Chief Executive Tracy
Mullin in a statement on Sunday. Retail chains "know they have their work cut out for them to keep people coming back through Christmas."
Consumers said they will have spent nearly 8 percent less on average, or about $343 per person, over the weekend that includes Thanksgiving, Black Friday
and runs through Sunday, according to the NRF.
Traffic to stores and websites rose to 195 million people from 172 million in 2008, but shoppers were focused on buying low-priced items, like $10 toys and
$9 books, the NRF said.
The NRF has forecast a 1 percent decline in holiday sales this year, which would mark an unprecedented drop for two straight years after a global financial
crisis erupted in 2008.
Total retail sales edged up just 0.5 percent to $10.66 billion on Black Friday, which is often the single-busiest day of the holiday shopping season,
ShopperTrak said on Saturday.
Online retailers, however, enjoyed an 11 percent jump in Black Friday spending to $595 million, with Amazon.com and Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Walmart.com
enjoying the biggest surges in traffic, according to comScore.
Retailers had warned investors they would take a conservative view of holiday sales and have cut inventory and reduced expenses to compensate.
"You're clearly down on a two-year run rate," said Bill Taubman of mall operator Taubman Centers Inc. But he added, "margins are going to
be extremely good because (retailers) have been careful about what they bought." For a graphic on U.S. holiday sales trends, click here
DEPARTMENT STORES ATTRACT
Shoppers interviewed across the country by Reuters over the weekend said they were lured by bargains, but would stick to pared-down budgets.
"If they don't have rebates and sales before Christmas, I don't think people are going to go back shopping after Black Friday," said Joel
Wincowski, a higher education consultant shopping at a Best Buy store in Plattsburgh, New York. He bought an Xbox 360 game console for $299.
"We're going to cut back on everybody, even the kids."
Discount chains like Walmart, department stores and higher-end chains like Saks Inc seemed to have lured more spending and avoided steep discounts, retail
consultants and executives said on Sunday.
"The market has had a negative bias toward the state of consumer spending," said Bill Dreher, senior analyst at Deutsche Bank. "We continue
to believe that there are pockets of strength with discount retailing doing very well, with select luxury retailers doing very well, like Nordstrom and Saks,
which have brought down their price points."
Specialty apparel chains, however, may face another tough year as they relied on heavy promotions to draw shoppers.
"Going through the mall on Friday, the stores that had not been doing as well -- AnnTaylor, Limited, Gap -- were very aggressively promoting,"
said Jeff Edelman, director of retail and consumer advisory services at RSM McGladrey.
Edelman expects holiday sales to be flat this year, but he said he expected profits for most retailers to be higher.
The NRF said shoppers' destination of choice appeared to be department stores, with nearly half of holiday shoppers visiting at least one. A little more
than 43 percent of shoppers said they went to a discount retailer this weekend.
Black Blade: Not surprising that shoppers are shying away this year. The economy is now toast and people are scared that the "change" they voted for
over a year ago means they will now become unemployed and living in poverty under threat of becoming homeless as the rapidly "changing" economy
dissapates before their eyes. They voted and only now many realize that Communism doesn't pay. Real unemployment is rising above 22% (shadowstats) and
companies are either cutting back production or are shutting their doors (toward the "double-dip" recession).
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