Category Archives: The Economy

Dirtball’s ‘Green’ Jeans Are Made In U.S. From Recycled Water Bottles

I’m always pleased when I see any article about things being made in the USA again.  It’s even nicer when it’s something leveraging “Green” technology and being headquartered in North Carolina.  North Carolina can use all the positive publicity it can get these days as the Governor and his cronies in Raleigh try to drag us back to the days of Jesse Helms….

I’m also glad someone has found a positive use for all those water bottles Americans, most of whom only walk about 3 feet a day, seem to always carry with them.  I guess they are afraid of dehydrating walking to the car to drive to McDonalds….

Anyway, here is an excerpt from  interesting article from the Huffington Post.  I encourage you to clink the link and read more…

 

How do you get more American than blue jeans? How about making them in America, for starters. That\’s what the eco-friendly fashion company Dirtball is doing with its new line of denim, which will be made entirely in the USA.

The blue jean has a green twist, as well. Dirtball CEO Joe Fox brags that the jeans are eco-friendly since they\’re made out of recycled water bottles (and cotton). The Green Jean just hit its $40,000 funding target on Kickstarter.

Here\’s a quick preview from the company\’s website:

More:    Dirtball’s ‘Green’ Jeans Are Made In U.S. From Recycled Water Bottles.

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Filed under Energy, North Carolina, Politics, The Economy

State by State Impacts of Sequestration: Or How Bad GOP Policy Will Hurt You and Your Friends

There is a great page at the Washington Post showing the real, state by state, impacts of the Sequester that kicked in yesterday.

The Sequester  which no one seems to be paying much attention to yet.

This is another one of those unnecessary crises that Washington Republicans specialize in creating.

And, of course, they don’t care in the least about the impacts on people or government services that help and protect us all.  All they care about is choking off as many of these government services as possible to align with their doctrinaire, Conservative ideologue, Washington-bubble induced vision that all government is bad….

Maybe it will take the people feeling the impacts of these arbitrary cuts to realize how important government programs are for all of us….

It’s a shame when people only realize the importance of what they have when they lose it…

But that may just be human nature…..

Maybe it has to be personal…

The impacts to the Economy from the resulting job and income loses don’t mean much to most people unless it hits them directly….

Maybe this is what it will take for  people to put some pressure on the GOP to stop acting like selfish, spoiled children and vote them out of office in the House and Senate in 2014.

Here is a link to the information at the Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/sequestration-state-impact/

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Filed under Congress, The Economy

North Carolina Slashes Jobless Benefits

Amazing….

Amazingly heartless, amazingly stupid and amazingly bad public policy….

I just can’t believe the People of North Carolina really want this…..even most of the ones who voted for these idiots.

But, of course, the GOP only cares about Corporations and Corporate welfare. They are the only “people” who matter to the Republicans.

Laura Clawson at DailyKos.com says it best:

Surprising no one, but brutalizing hundreds of thousands of people, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed major unemployment insurance cuts into law Tuesday. Under the new law, the maximum unemployment benefit is cut from $535 to $350, and the maximum weeks of eligibility are cut from 26 to 20, which cuts jobless North Carolinians off from the federal emergency unemployment compensation program.

The cutoff from federal benefits alone affects 170,000 people; overall, there are 400,000 unemployed North Carolinians.

The kicker is that this was done to protect businesses from having to pay higher unemployment taxes. But a big part of the reason it needed to be done was that North Carolina went into the recession with an underfunded unemployment insurance trust fund because of cuts to employer unemployment taxes. Now, with an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent, the fifth-highest in the country, the state is cutting the benefits that jobless people use to buy groceries and pay the rent and put gas in their cars to go to any job interviews they may be lucky enough to get.

Republican governance, y’all.

via Daily Kos: North Carolina slashes jobless benefits despite 9.2% unemployment.

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Filed under North Carolina, Politics, The Economy

5 Ways Republicans Have Sabotaged Job Growth

And these are just to obvious ones…

From ThinkProgress.org:

 

 

1. Filibustering the American Jobs Act. Last October, Senate Republicans killed a jobs bill proposed by President Obama that would have pumped $447 billion into the economy. Multiple economic analysts predicted the bill would add around two million jobs and hailed it as defense against a double-dip recession. The Congressional Budget Office also scored it as a net deficit reducer over ten years, and the American public supported the bill.

2. Stonewalling monetary stimulus. The Federal Reserve can do enormous good for a depressed economy through more aggressive monetary stimulus, and by tolerating a temporarily higher level of inflation. But with everything from Ron Paul’s anti-inflationary crusade to Rick Perry threatening to lynch Chairman Ben Bernanke, Republicans have browbeaten the Fed into not going down this path. Most damagingly, the GOP repeatedly held up President Obama’s nominations to the Federal Reserve Board during the critical months of the recession, leaving the board without the institutional clout it needed to help the economy.

3. Threatening a debt default. Even though the country didn’t actually hit its debt ceiling last summer, the Republican threat to default on the United States’ outstanding obligations was sufficient to spook financial markets and do real damage to the economy.

4. Cutting discretionary spending in the debt ceiling deal. The deal the GOP extracted as the price for avoiding default imposed around $900 billion in cuts over ten years. It included $30.5 billion in discretionary cuts in 2012 alone, costing the country 0.3 percent in economic growth and 323,000 jobs, according to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute. Starting in 2013, the deal will trigger another $1.2 trillion in cuts over ten years.

5. Cutting discretionary spending in the budget deal. While not as cataclysmic as the debt ceiling brinksmanship, Republicans also threatened a shutdown of the government in early 2011 if cuts were not made to that year’s budget. The deal they struck with the White House cut $38 billion from food stamps, health, education, law enforcement, and low-income programs among others, while sparing defense almost entirely.

There have also been a few near-misses, in which the GOP almost prevented help from coming to the economy. The Republicans in the House delayed a transportation bill that saved as many as 1.9 million jobs. House Committees run by the GOP have passed proposals aimed at cutting billions from food stamps, and the party has repeatedly threatened to kill extensions of unemployment insurance and cuts to the payroll tax.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, those policies — the payroll tax cut, food stamps, unemployment insurance, and discretionary spending for low-income Americans — have the highest multipliers, meaning more job boosting potential per dollar.

via 5 Ways Republicans Have Sabotaged Job Growth | ThinkProgress.

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Filed under Politics, The Economy, Uncategorized

If Congress Left For 536 Days (Like Belgium), It Could Almost Eliminate The Deficit

This is probably the best we could hope for…

The Republicans are going to block anything positive….

But, at least the GOP couldn’t do any more damage….

From ThinkProgress.org:

 

While Republicans and Democrats continue to fight over how to reduce America’s debt and deficits — moving from near-government shutdowns to failed super committees and opposition to both spending cuts and tax increases — the government of Belgium may have inadvertently provided Congress with an example of how to fix the problem: do absolutely nothing.

After 536 days without a government, Belgian opposition parties struck a deal today to form a new coalition led by Socialist Elio Di Rupo. On this side of the pond, 563 days without any congressional action on fiscal or budgetary measures would go most of the way toward achieving the deficit reduction Congress is longing for. As Center for American Progress Director of Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden has pointed out, if Congress were do to nothing between now and January 2013 (just 397 days from now), the federal budget deficit would fall to just 1.6 percent of gross domestic product and continue dropping after that:

Similarly, debt as a share of GDP would fall to just 61 percent by 2021:

Such reductions would take place primarily due to the expiration of the budget-busting Bush tax cuts, which cost roughly $2.5 trillion over 10 years. The spending cuts triggered by the inability of the supercommittee to reach a deal would also take place, and multiple policies that Congress generally kicks down the road, like the alternative minimum tax, would also take effect.

Of course, there are policies Congress could enact to actually help unemployed Americans and the struggling economy, like passing laws that would create jobs and stimulate growth while addressing much-needed improvements in infrastructure and other areas. But if the goal is only to reduce debt and deficits, perhaps it’s better if members take their cue from the Belgians and just go home for a year or two.

via CHART: If Congress Left For 536 Days (Like Belgium), It Could Almost Eliminate The Deficit | ThinkProgress.

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Filed under Politics, The Economy

Margin Call

I’m going to make a point to see this soon….

Inspired by true events (think Bear Sterns? Merrill Lynch?)  and with an all-star cast including Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Paul Bettany, Demi Moore, Penn Badley, Zachary Quinto, Simon Baker….

It was also just named “Best First Feature” by the New York Film Critics…

I’ll let you know more once I see it….

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Filed under Occupy Wall Street, Politics, The Economy

Wall Street Transaction Tax Would Raise $350 Billion

This makes way too much sense to ever become law….

This is not aimed at true investors, but rather at the Market manipulators who treat Wall Street much the way other gamblers treat Las Vegas…

Unfortunately, these same people, who would pay this miniscule tax, now own most of our Senators and Congressmen.  Therefore, they will say it’s better to cut Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security than to implement this transaction tax….

 

A minuscule tax on financial transactions proposed by congressional Democrats would raise more than $350 billion over the next nine years, according to an analysis by the Joint Tax Committee, a nonpartisan congressional scorekeeping panel.

The analysis was sent Monday to the offices of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the lawmakers who proposed the tax, and provided to The Huffington Post.

The Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act would impose a tax of 0.03 percent on financial transactions, meaning that longterm investors would barely notice it, but traders who move rapidly in and out of positions would feel its sting and, the authors hope, reduce the volume of their speculation in response.

via Wall Street Transaction Tax Would Raise $350 Billion.

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Filed under Politics, The Economy, Uncategorized