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The Pronk Pops Show 1320, September 16, 2019, Story 1: Oil Prices Spike After Iran Backed Houthi Rebel Drone Strike on Saudi Arabia’s Biggest Oil Refinery and Shut Down of Oil Production– United States Accuses Iran For The Drone Attack With Evidence — Videos — Story 2: Morally Bankrupt New York Times Smear Campaign of Lies Against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — No Victim and No Witnesses — Big Lie Media — Junk Journalism — Videos — Story 3: U.S. Federal Government Record Government Spending Exceeds $4 Trillion and Rising — Videos —

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Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on IranSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

 

Story 1: Oil Prices Spike After Iran Backed Houthi Rebel Drone Strike on Saudi Arabia’s Biggest Oil Refinery and Oil Field and Shut Down of Oil Production– Videos

UPDATED: September 18, 2019

Senior U.S. official says missiles fired on Saudi oil plant were launched from Iran

President Trump: Looks like Iran was responsible for Saudi oil attack

US says Iran attacked Saudi oil refineries, Yemen rebels say they did – so who was it? | ABC News

Yemeni rebel drones spark fires at two Saudi Aramco oil facilities

Saudi Arabia slashing oil output after drone strikes: Report

Fears for global oil prices after drone attack on Saudi refineries | Nine News Australia

Drones hit 2 Saudi Aramco oil facilities, causes fires

Saudi Arabia’s oil output decimated by drone attack

Trump points finger at Iran for Saudi oil attacks

Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa visits the White House amid Trump’s push for an international pressure campaign against Iran.

Gidley on Iran agenda, Kavanaugh attacks, Lewandowski testimony

Questions raised about whether Iran is to blame for Saudi Arabia attack

 

Pompeo: Iran to blame for Houthi attack on Saudi oil facilities

Houthi rebels claim drone attack on Saudi Arabia oil facility

Yemen’s Houthi group vows to strike 300 targets in Saudi Arabia, UAE

Saudi Arabia: major fire at world’s largest oil refinery after drone attack

History of US-Iran Conflict Explained

The Middle East’s cold war, explained

Why are Iran and Saudi Arabia enemies?

Why Are Saudi Arabia And The U.S. Allies?

Israel and the Gulf: an unholy alliance?

Why the US and Iran are fighting over this tiny waterway

Can Iran Stop the US? A look at Irans Defenses

Iran vs Saudi Arabia – Who Would Win? (Military / Army Comparison)

Saudi Arabia’s Emergency Arab Summit

How the Saudis ended up with so many American weapons

UNITED STATES vs ARAB LEAGUE – Military Power Comparison ✪ 2018

Crucifixion, beheading: Saudi Arabia carries out executions

Arab League States [Population/Economic/Military] Comparison (1960~2018)

 

Attack on Saudi oil plant WAS launched from Iranian base near Iraq, US investigators conclude – as experts study images of missile wreckage and video of ‘drones flying south towards their target’

  • Saudi Arabian oil supply blown up in what Yemen’s Houthis called a drone attack 
  • US investigators have concluded that drones and missiles were fired from an Iranian air base near the border with Iraq, source said
  • Officials believe the missiles flew over southern Iraq and Kuwaiti airspace to avoid powerful radar in Persian Gulf, before striking their targets 
  • Experts are studying video from Kuwait which seems to record sound of missiles overhead, and image of what appears to be missile wreck in Saudi desert  
  • Analysts say the missile appears to be a Quds-1, which would rule out Yemen as a launch site and strongly suggest Iraq, Iran or a boat in the Persian Gulf
  • Saudi has also blamed Iran, and says it is ready to ‘forcefully respond’ to attack
  • Iran’s foreign minister said that Washington was ‘in denial’ by blaming Tehran 

America has concluded that weekend attacks on two Saudi oil facilities were launched from Iranian soil and cruise missiles were involved, an official said today.

The official, who declined to be identified, said the United States was gathering evidence about the attack to present to the international community, notably European allies, at the UN General Assembly next week.

Another source, who spoke to CNN, said the attack involved a mixture of drones and missiles launched from an Iranian base near Iraq, flying at low altitude through Iraqi and Kuwaiti airspace to avoid radar detection, before striking the Abqaiq refinery and Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia.

Kuwaiti officials have already launched an investigation into two videos that seemed to record the sound of projectiles flying over their territory shortly before the Saudi targets were struck.

The source also told CNN that investigators are studying wreckage of at least one missile that failed to hit its target that was recovered from the Saudi desert.

An image which appears to show that missile has been circulating on Saudi social media, and has been examined by weapon analysts who say its design could rule out Yemen as a launch site, with either Iraq or Iran as more likely possibilities. 

If it can be proven that the attack originated in Iran, there are fears it could spark a new Gulf War. 

Donald Trump has refused to rule out military action once the source of the attack has been proven, while Saudi Arabia has said it is ready to ‘forcefully respond’.

US investigators say they have concluded that an attack on Saudi oil facilities was launched from Iran. As part of their investigation, they have been studying the wreckage of a missile recovered from the desert that failed to hit its target. Pictured is the wreckage of a missile that was posted on Saudi social media shortly after the attack

An image of the Quds-1 missile which was released by the Houthi group in July, when they unveiled the weapon. It is similar to two Iranian designs - the Soumar and Ya Ali

An image of the Quds-1 missile which was released by the Houthi group in July, when they unveiled the weapon. It is similar to two Iranian designs – the Soumar and Ya Ali

Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that the United States is evaluating evidence on the attacks on Saudi oil facilities and stands read to defend its interests and allies in the Middle East.

In other developments…

  • The Saudi ministry of foreign affairs insisted it ‘has the capability and resolve to defend its land and people, and to forcefully respond to these aggressions’ 
  • Saudi Arabia also called on nations to ‘shoulder their responsibility in condemning the perpetrators’ and ‘clearly confronting’ those behind an attack 
  • The kingdom said its oil production could be fully online again within two to three weeks 
  • Trump said it ‘looks like’ Iran was behind the attacks but stressed that military retaliation was not yet on the table 
  • Washington confirmed it is exchanging intelligence with Saudi Arabia which it says points to Iran being responsible 
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran will never hold talks with US, killing off hopes of discussions between Trump and Hassan Rouhani
  • The chair of the UN Security Council said the attack was ‘unanimously and unequivocally condemned’ by all 15 members
  • Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the attack was a ‘legitimate defense and counterattack’ against the Saudi-led war in Yemen
  • The Islamic Republic’s foreign minister said Washington was ‘in denial’ by pointing the finger of blame at Tehran.  

Officially, Iran-backed Houthi rebels fighting against Saudi Arabia in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the blasts – which knocked out 5 per cent of the world’s oil supply – saying they used drones.

But Fabian Hinz, of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, analysed an image of the wreckage and says it clearly shows a cruise missile, not a drone.

He added that the weapon shown is likely a short-range Quds-1 missile, a Houthi weapon which was unveiled by the group in July this year.

The missile is based on the Iranian Soumar design, which has a range of some 840 miles, but the Houthi version has a smaller body – meaning less space for fuel – and is fitted with a less-efficient engine.

Because of this, Mr Hinz writes, it is unlikely the missile could have reached either the Abqaiq refinery or the Khurais oil field if it had been fired from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen.

However, he stressed that information around the attack is still emerging, that the image has not been independently verified, and his analysis is purely speculation based on that image.

He did say that the image appears to be new and does not appear to have been digitally altered.

When a Quds-1 was used to attack Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport in June, the Saudis  initially mistook it for an Iranian Ya Ali cruise missile, suggesting it could have similar specifications. 

The Ya Ali missile has a estimated range of 435 miles, which would also rule out Yemen as a launch site, with Iran and Iraq also likely launch sites. 

Washington has released satellite images which it claims shows damage on the Saudi oil refinery which is consistent with an attack from the north or northwest, in the direction of Iran and Iraq, rather than Yemen to the south

Analysts also said that the pattern of precision damage on the facility is consistent with guided missile attacks, rather than drones

Damage is shown at the Khurais oil field, which was also struck in Saturday's attacks

Damage is shown at the Khurais oil field, which was also struck in Saturday’s attacks

He also notes that, while the Quds-1 is thought to have been developed with help from Iran, it is a Houthi weapon and has never be seen in Iran itself, raising doubts over whether it could have been fired from there.

The Houthis have used the Quds-1 in combat themselves, most recently in an attack on Abha Airport in southern Saudi Arabia which wounded 26.

In that instance, the Houthis claimed responsibility and admitted using the missile, begging the question of why they would omit that detail this time around.

Quds-1 missile 

Unveiled by Houthi rebels in July, the Quds-1 is a cruise missile which appears to be based on the Iranian Soumar design.

While we know nothing of its specifications, we do know it was used in an attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport in June.

Pieces of the missile recovered by Saudi Arabia showed it uses a TJ-100 jet engine or near-replica, which uses up more fuel than its Iranian equivalent.

The Quds-1 fuselage is also significantly smaller than the Iranian Soumar missile, meaning it has less space for fuel.

Because of this, it almost certainly has a smaller range, though how much smaller is unclear.

But even a small reduction in the Soumar’s 840mile range would put the Saudi oil facilities attacked at the weekend outside of its capabilities, meaning – if the image is genuine – then the launch site would have to be outside Yemen.

On Monday, the White House released satellite imagery which it said indicated the attack came from either Iran or Iraq – where Iran has been training militia groups – because the position of blast marks was located on the north or northwest of the structures, in the direction of those two countries and away from Yemen.

American officials also told the Wall Street Journal that they have shared intelligence with Riyadh indicating that Iran was the staging ground for devastating drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations.

The US assessment determined that ‘Iran launched more than 20 drones and at least a dozen missiles,’ according to unnamed sources.

‘But Saudi officials said the US didn’t provide enough to conclude that the attack was launched from Iran, indicating the US information wasn’t definitive,’ the WSJ added.

‘US officials said they planned to share more information with the Saudis in the coming days.’

However, an analysis by the New York Times shows at least some of the blast marks faced west, which is not in the direction of any of those countries.

Experts also said cruise missiles and drones can be directed to turn around on their targets, hitting them in the opposite direction from which they were fired.

The near-symmetrical pattern of blast-marks on the buildings do appear consistent with guided missiles rather than drones, they noted, which tallies with Washington’s account of the attacks.

Meanwhile, a former US diplomat said Saudi Arabia has ‘great deal of explaining to do’ over how its oilfields were hit, disrupting global supplies, despite it possessing state-of-the-art military technology, much of it bought from America.

The attacks have knocked out half of Saudi Arabia's oil supply and 5 per cent of global supplies, leading to fear of fuel price rises

Donald Trump tweeted Sunday to say that US is 'locked and loaded depending on verification', suggesting he was waiting for Riyadh's confirmation before acting

 

Donald Trump tweeted Sunday to say that US is ‘locked and loaded depending on verification’, suggesting he was waiting for Riyadh’s confirmation before acting

Gary Grappo, former US ambassador to Oman, told CNBC: I think the Saudi leadership has a great deal of explaining to do.

‘A country that ranks third in terms of total defence spending… was not able to defend its most critical oil facility from these kinds of attacks.

‘They had to be able to see that this was a strong possibility given the previous attacks they’ve experienced in previous oil facility, airports and elsewhere.’

Saudi Arabia says its initial investigations indicate that Iranian weapons were used in attacks on key oil installations and it ‘will invite U.N. and international experts to view the situation on the ground and to participate in the investigations.’

A statement from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday says, ‘The kingdom will take the appropriate measures based on the results of the investigation, to ensure its security and stability.’

Saudi Arabia's Colonel Turki al-Malki said drone strikes against two of his country's oil facilities at the weekend did not come from Yemen, and pointed the finger directly at Tehran

Saudi Arabia’s Colonel Turki al-Malki said drone strikes against two of his country’s oil facilities at the weekend did not come from Yemen, and pointed the finger directly at Tehran

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, who currently chairs the U.N. Security Council, says the attacks on key Saudi oil installations were ‘unanimously and unequivocally condemned’ by all 15 council members.

Vassily Nebenzia said after a council meeting on Yemen on Monday that ‘it is inadmissible that civil objects and socio-economic infrastructure are being targeted.’Iran’s president says weekend drone attacks claimed by Yemeni rebels on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia were a ‘legitimate defense and counterattack’ against the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Iranian state TV broadcast Hassan Rouhani’s comments to reporters Monday during a summit in Turkey to discuss the war in Syria with the Russian and Turkish leaders.

Rouhani said: ‘Regarding the drones attack, this problem has its root in invading Yemen. They (the Saudi-led coalition) are bombing Yemen on a daily basis.’

The attack has led to fears that action on any side could rapidly escalate a confrontation that has been raging just below the surface in the wider Persian Gulf in recent months.

Just last week there were hopes of deescalation following the departure of National Security Adviser John Bolton and the suggestion of talks between Trump and Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of an upcoming UN summit.

But Washington has now rubbished the idea of talks and put the option of military action firmly back on the table.

It comes after a summer which saw attacks on oil tankers that Washington blames on Tehran, at least one suspected Israeli strike on Shiite forces in Iraq, and the downing of a US military surveillance drone by Iran.

Stalling 5.7million barrels of oil per day marks the single largest disruption to global oil supplies in history, topping the start of the Iranian revolution in 1979

Stalling 5.7million barrels of oil per day marks the single largest disruption to global oil supplies in history, topping the start of the Iranian revolution in 1979

Those tensions have increased ever since Mr Trump pulled the US out of Iran’s 2015 agreement with world powers that curtailed its nuclear activities and the US re-imposed sanctions on the country that sent its economy into freefall.

Benchmark Brent crude gained nearly 20 per cent in the first moments of trading Monday before settling down to over 10 per cent higher as trading continued.

That spike represented the biggest percentage value jump in Brent crude since the run-up to the 1991 Gulf War that saw a US-led coalition expel Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait.

The attack halted production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day, more than half of Saudi Arabia’s global daily exports and more than 5% of the world’s daily crude oil production. Most of that output goes to Asia.

At 5.7 million barrels of crude oil a day, the Saudi disruption would be the greatest on record for world markets, according to figures from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).

It just edges out the 5.6 million-barrels-a-day disruption around the time of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to the IEA.

Saudi Arabia has pledged that its stockpiles would keep global markets supplied as it rushes to repair damage at the Abqaiq facility and its Khurais oil field.

However, Saudi Aramco has not responded publicly to questions about its facilities.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been targeted by a Saudi-led coalition since March 2015 in a vicious war in the Arab world’s poorest country, maintain they launched 10 drones that caused the extensive damage.

Iraqi premier Adel Abdel-Mahdi said he received a call on Monday from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who confirmed that the attack did not come from Iraq.

The State Department did not immediately acknowledge what was discussed.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi again denied the US claims on Monday, telling journalists the accusation was ‘condemned, unacceptable and categorically baseless’.

Saudi Oil Attack Is the Big One

The technological sophistication and audacity of Saturday’s attack will linger over the energy market

Smoke billowed from an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, where attacks sparked fires Saturday. PHOTO:-/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Saturday’s attack on a critical Saudi oil facility will almost certainly rock the world energy market in the short term, but it also carries disturbing long-term implications.

Ever since the dual 1970s oil crises, energy security officials have fretted about a deliberate strike on one of the critical choke points of energy production and transport. Sea lanes such as the Strait of Hormuz usually feature in such speculation. The facility in question at Abqaiq is perhaps more critical and vulnerable. The Wall Street Journal reported that 5.7 million barrels a day of output, or some 5% of world supply, had been taken offline as a result.

To illustrate the importance of Abqaiq in the oil market’s consciousness, an unsuccessful terrorist attack in 2006 using explosive-laden vehicles sent oil prices more than $2.00 a barrel higher. Saudi Arabia is known to spend billions of dollars annually protecting ports, pipelines and processing facilities, and it is the only major oil producer to maintain some spare output. Yet the nature of the attack, which Iranian-supported Houthi fighters from Yemen claimed was the result of an attack by their forces, shows that protecting such facilities may be far more difficult today. U.S. officials blamed Iran and U.S. and Saudi officials were investigating the possibility that another Iranian-backed group carried out all or part of the attack using cruise missiles launched from Iraq. Iranian officials on Sunday denied responsibility for the attacks.

There are countries that even today see their output ebb and flow as a result of militant activity, most notably Nigeria and Libya. Others, such as Venezuela, are in chronic decline due to political turmoil. Such news affects the oil price at the margin but is hardly shocking.

Deliberate attacks by actual military forces have been far rarer, with the exception of the 1980s “Tanker War” involving Iraq, Iran and the vessels of other regional producers such as Kuwait. When Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in 1990, removing its production from the market and putting Saudi Arabia’s massive crude output under threat, prices more than doubled over two months.

Yet Saturday’s attack could be more significant than that. Technology from drones to cyberattacks are available to groups like the Houthis, possibly with support from Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran. That major energy producer, facing sanctions but still shipping some oil, has both a political and financial incentive to weaken Saudi Arabia. The fact that the actions ostensibly were taken by a nonstate actor, though, limits the response that the U.S. or Saudi Arabia can take. Attempting to further punish Iran is a double-edged sword, given that pinching its main source of revenue, also oil, would further inflame prices.

While the redundancies in Saudi oil infrastructure mean that output may be restored as soon as Monday, the attack could build in a premium to oil prices that has long been absent due to complacency. Indeed, traders may now need to factor in new risks that threaten to take not hundreds of thousands but millions of barrels off the market at a time. U.S. shale production may have upended the world energy market with nimble output, but the market’s reaction time is several months, not days or weeks, and nowhere near enough to replace several million barrels.

After the smoke clears and markets calm down, the technological sophistication and audacity of Saturday’s attack will linger over the energy market.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-oil-attack-this-is-the-big-one-11568480576

Iran-backed militants admit drone swarm strike on world’s largest oil processing plant in Saudi and at second nearby facility sparking huge fires as tensions reach boiling point following tanker attacks

  • Drone attacks sparked fires at Aramco oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia today
  • Attacks took place at 4:00am at world’s largest oil processing plant Abqaiq
  • The Saudi interior ministry said the fires have now been brought under control 
  • Iran-backed Houthis claimed responsibility for attacks in Buqyaq and Khurais 
  • Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran

Ten drones launched by Iran-backed militants sparked a huge fire at the world’s largest oil processing facility and a major oilfield in Saudi Arabia in the early hours of this morning.

The fires at Abqaiq in Buqayq, which contains the world’s largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country’s second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control since the drone attacks at 4.00am local time.

Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran.

A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, considered an Iranian proxy force in the region, has claimed responsibility for today’s attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia run by state-owned oil giant Aramco.

Houthi fighters in Yemen have previously launched attacks over the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.

Ten drones launched by Iran-backed militants sparked a huge fire at the world’s largest oil processing facility and a major oilfield in Saudi Arabia in the early hours of this morning.

The fires at Abqaiq in Buqayq, which contains the world’s largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country’s second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control since the drone attacks at 4.00am local time.

Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran.

A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, considered an Iranian proxy force in the region, has claimed responsibility for today’s attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia run by state-owned oil giant Aramco.

Houthi fighters in Yemen have previously launched attacks over the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.

Abqaiq facility, located 37 miles southwest of Aramco's Dhahran headquarters, is home to the company's largest oil processing plant, according to its website (pictured: Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq)

Abqaiq facility, located 37 miles southwest of Aramco’s Dhahran headquarters, is home to the company’s largest oil processing plant, according to its website (pictured: Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq)

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14+26

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14

A satellite image provided by NASA Worldview shows fires following Yemen's Houthi rebels claiming a drone attack on two major oil installations in eastern Saudi Arabia

A satellite image provided by NASA Worldview shows fires following Yemen’s Houthi rebels claiming a drone attack on two major oil installations in eastern Saudi Arabia

Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran

Yahia Sarie announced that the Houthi’s were taking responsibility for the attacks on Saturday in a televised address carried by the Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel.

He said the Houthis sent 10 drones to attack an oil processing facility in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, warning that attacks by the rebels against the kingdom would only get worse if the war in Yemen continues.

Sarie said: ‘The only option for the Saudi government is to stop attacking us.’

Iran denies supplying the Houthis with weapons, although the U.N., the West and Gulf Arab nations say Tehran does. Drone models nearly identical to those used by Iran have been used in the conflict in Yemen.

The attacks highlight how the increasingly advanced weaponry of the Iran-linked Huthi rebels – from ballistic missiles to unmanned drones – poses a serious threat to oil installations in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter.

A military spokesman for Yemen's Houthi rebels has claimed responsibility for today's attacks on Abqaiq (pictured) and Khurais

A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebels has claimed responsibility for today’s attacks on Abqaiq (pictured) and Khurais

The Abqaiq facility (pictured), which processes sour crude oil into sweet crude, then later transports onto transshipment points on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, has been targeted in the past by militants

The Abqaiq facility (pictured), which processes sour crude oil into sweet crude, then later transports onto transshipment points on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, has been targeted in the past by militants

Saudi Arabia’s oil production and exports have been disrupted, three sources familiar with the matter have said.

One of the sources said the attacks have impacted 5 million barrels per day of oil production – almost half the kingdom’s current output. The source did not elaborate.

Saudi Aramco operates the world’s largest oil processing facility and crude oil stabilisation plant in the world at Abqaiq, in eastern Saudi Arabia. The plant has a crude oil processing capacity of more than 7 million barrels per day.

Authorities have not reported on casualties. A witness nearby said at least 15 ambulances were seen in the area and there was a heavy security presence around Abqaiq.

The attack will likely heighten tensions further across the wider Persian Gulf amid a confrontation between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

Saudi Aramco describes its Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq as ‘the largest crude oil stabilisation plant in the world.’

The facility, which processes sour crude oil into sweet crude, then later transports onto transshipment points on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, has been targeted in the past by militants.

The fires at Abqaiq, which contains the world's largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country's second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control+26

The fires at Abqaiq, which contains the world's largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country's second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control

The fires at Abqaiq, which contains the world’s largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country’s second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major Aramco facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia (pictured: Abqaiq)

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major Aramco facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia (pictured: Abqaiq)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7463189/Drone-attacks-spark-huge-fires-two-Saudi-oil-refineries.html

Saudi Arabia Shuts Down About Half Its Oil Output After Drone Strikes

Shutdown amounts to a loss of some five million barrels a day, roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude

Smoke billowing after a fire at a Saudi Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday. PHOTO: VIDEOS OBTAINED BY REUTERS/REUTERS

Coordinated drone strikes on the heart of the Saudi oil industry forced the kingdom to shut down half its crude production on Saturday, people familiar with the matter said, potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s proxies.

Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. The production shutdown amounts to a loss of about five million barrels a day, the people said, roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil.

Officials said they hoped to restore production to its regular level of 9.8 million barrels a day by Monday.

The strikes mark the latest in a series of attacks on the country’s petroleum assets in recent months, as tensions rise among Iran and its proxies like the Houthis, and the U.S. and partners like Saudi Arabia. The attacks could drive up oil prices if the Saudis can’t turn production back on quickly and potentially rattle investor confidence in an initial public offering of the kingdom’s national oil company.

President Trump called Saudi Arabia’s day-to-day ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on Saturday and said the U.S. was ready to “cooperate with the kingdom in supporting its security and stability,” according to the Saudi Press Agency, the official news service.

Prince Mohammed told Mr. Trump that Saudi Arabia “is willing and able to confront and deal with this terrorist aggression,” according to the agency.

The attacks happened a few days before world leaders are set to gather in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, where President Trump has said he is interested in meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to defuse tensions. Iran didn’t react to the attacks on Saturday, and officials have said Mr. Rouhani won’t meet with Mr. Trump until the U.S. lifts sanctions imposed after the president pulled out of the 2015 international nuclear deal.

Saturday’s attack was the largest yet claimed by the Houthis in terms of its overall impact on the Saudi economy, thrusting the petroleum industry into crisis in the world’s largest exporter of oil. The attack hit hundreds of miles away from their Yemen stronghold.

“The attack has been quite surprising for the mere amount of damage it caused,” said Fabian Hinz, an arms researcher at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif.

“We have seen quite a few drone and missile attacks against Saudi infrastructure, but in most cases the actual damage caused has been quite minimal,” said Mr. Hinz.

The Saudi government called the strikes a terrorist attack and said it was investigating.

Armed Drones Are a Growing Threat From Rebels in Yemen

Armed Drones Are a Growing Threat From Rebels in Yemen
Yemen’s Houthi rebels are using armed drones with startling success. WSJ reporters describe their increasing sophistication and recent confirmed attacks. Illustration: Laura Kammermann

Analysts cautioned against accepting the Houthi claim of responsibility at face value. An attack in May on a Saudi oil-pumping station, which Saudi officials initially blamed on the Houthis and Iran, later turned out to have been launched by an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, according to U.S. officials.

Saudi officials aren’t sure the attack emanated from Yemen and were discussing on Saturday the possibility that the attack came from the north, according to people familiar with the matter.

Saudi oil officials said they were rushing to contain the damage as fires raged in two major oil facilities. Saudi Aramco, the national oil company, held an emergency board meeting on Saturday to manage the unfolding crisis, the people familiar with the matter said.

Disruptions in Saudi oil production could have ripple effects through the global economy, as the kingdom exports more crude petroleum than any other country.

Saudi officials are discussing drawing down their oil stocks to sell to foreign customers to ensure that world oil supplies aren’t disrupted, the people familiar with the matter said. The people said Saudi officials were trying to restore the production soon but gave no firm timetable.

The attacks hit Hijra Khurais, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil fields, which produces about 1.5 million barrels a day. They also hit Abqaiq, the world’s biggest crude stabilization facility, processing seven million barrels of Saudi oil a day, about 8% of the world’s total.

The damage at Abqaiq has knock-on effects throughout the kingdom’s oil fields because it is a collection point for much of its industry, turning crude oil into specific grades requested by customers. The Ghawar field, the world’s largest, and Shaybah, which produces one million barrels a day, also reported disruptions because of Abqaiq’s problems, said the people familiar with the matter.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The Houthis took control of Yemen’s capital, San’a, in 2014 during a civil war. Since then, a Saudi-led coalition has fought a war to unseat the Houthis and reinstate a government supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other regional powers.

In recent months the Houthis, along with Iranian-backed armed groups in Iraq, have intensified a campaign of missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, launching more than a dozen attacks at Saudi airports, a desalination plant and oil infrastructure. Suspected Houthi ordnance originating from the Yemeni border is launched at Saudi Arabia several times a week, a U.S. official said.

The strikes have put pressure on Saudi Arabia’s air defenses, as the Saudi government says it has shot down multiple drones and missiles.

Big OilKhurais, which was disrupted in a drone strike,is one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil fields.Oil field productionSource: International Energy Agency
GhawarSafaniyaKhuraisShaybahManifa0 million barrels a day2468

The increasing sophistication of the drone and missile attacks this year have shown deepening cooperation between the Houthis and Iran as Tehran has sought ways to apply pressure on their Saudi and American adversaries, according to U.S. officials and analysts. The Iranian government denies controlling the Houthi movement.

A U.N. panel last year said there were “strong indications” that Iran was the source of Houthi missile and drone technology but didn’t directly accuse the Tehran government of providing the weaponry itself. It said Iran has failed to take the necessary measures to prevent such transfers.

Saturday’s attack also came amid a sharp escalation of hostilities in neighboring Yemen after a Saudi airstrike killed more than 100 people at a detention center on Sept. 1.

“We promise the Saudi regime that our future operations will expand and be more painful as long as its aggression and siege continue,” a Houthi spokesman said Saturday.

The strikes complicate U.N. and U.S. efforts to negotiate an end to the conflict, which has killed more than 10,000 people over the last four years. U.S. officials had quietly attempted to launch a back channel to the Houthis.

A conservative kingdom with a Sunni Muslim majority, Saudi Arabia has been an opponent of Iran in a struggle for power across the broader Middle East since the 1979 revolution that toppled Iran’s monarchy.

The drone attacks on Aramco’s facilities are poorly timed for Aramco’s coming IPO and pose a challenge to oil officials after a changing of the guard in their leadership. The country’s rulers recently replaced Aramco’s chairman and the kingdom’s oil minister.

Aramco last week picked seven international banks to help it list on Saudi Arabia’s domestic exchange, an IPO that could value the company at about $2 trillion dollars and come before the end of the year.

The damage to Aramco facilities could affect investor appetite to buy into the company and its ultimate valuation, said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh, a privately funded think tank.

But Aramco, the world’s most profitable firm, could also use this crisis to demonstrate its growing push for transparency and keep potential investors abreast of developments, said Mr. Sfakianakis, a former adviser to the kingdom’s finance ministry.

“There will be short term concern…The latest IPO announcement is being watched by all,” he said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/drone-strikes-spark-fires-at-saudi-oil-facilities-11568443375

Country comparison Iran vs Saudi Arabia

Gouvernement
Annual GDP [+] 2018 452,275M.$ chart 782,483M.$ 2018 Annual GDP [+]
GDP per capita [+] 2018 5,529$ chart 23,219$ 2018 GDP per capita [+]
Debt [+] 2017 170,342 chart 149,279 2018 Debt [+]
Debt (%GDP) [+] 2017 39.53% chart 19.08% 2018 Debt (%GDP) [+]
Debt Per Capita [+] 2017 2,092$ chart 4,430$ 2018 Debt Per Capita [+]
Deficit (M.$) [+] 2017 -7,828 chart -36,267 2018 Deficit (M.$) [+]
Deficit (%GDP) [+] 2017 -1.82% chart -4.64% 2018 Deficit (%GDP) [+]
Expenditure (M.$) [+] 2017 83,377.9 chart 274,773.5 2018 Expenditure (M.$) [+]
Education Expenditure (M.$) [+] 2017 16,325.6 chart 26,706.2 2008 Education Expenditure (M.$) [+]
Education Expenditure (%Bud.) [+] 2017 20.04% chart 19.26% 2008 Education Expenditure (%Bud.) [+]
Gov. Health Exp.(M.$) [+] 2016 17,868.7 chart 25,107.5 2016 Gov. Health Exp.(M.$) [+]
Gov. Health Exp. (%Bud.) [+] 2016 22.60% chart 10.06% 2016 Gov. Health Exp. (%Bud.) [+]
Defence Expenditure (M.$) [+] 2018 12,064.5 chart 68,660.7 2018 Defence Expenditure (M.$) [+]
Defence Expenditure (%Bud.) [+] 2018 15.78% chart 24.59% 2018 Defence Expenditure (%Bud.) [+]
Expenditure (%GDP) [+] 2017 19.35% chart 35.12% 2018 Expenditure (%GDP) [+]
Expenditure Per Capita [+] 2017 1,024$ chart 8,154$ 2018 Expenditure Per Capita [+]
Education Expenditure P.C [+] 2017 201$ chart 1,036$ 2008 Education Expenditure P.C [+]
Gov. Health Exp. P.C. [+] 2016 226$ chart 778$ 2016 Gov. Health Exp. P.C. [+]
Defence Expenditure P.C. [+] 2018 147$ chart 2,037$ 2018 Defence Expenditure P.C. [+]
A1 04/13/2018 Moody’s Rating [+]
A- 02/17/2016 S&P Rating [+]
Fitch Rating [+] 04/24/2006 B+ A+ 04/30/2019 Fitch Rating [+]
Corruption Index [+] 2018 28 chart 49 2018 Corruption Index [+]
Competitiveness Ranking [+] 2018 89º chart 39º 2018 Competitiveness Ranking [+]
Fragile States Index [+] 2018 84.3 chart 70.2 2018 Fragile States Index [+]
RTI Raking [+] 09/28/2018 99º
Innovation Ranking [+] 2018 65º chart 61º 2018 Innovation Ranking [+]
Labour
Unemployment rate [+] 2017Q1 12.5% chart 5.6% 2016Q2 Unemployment rate [+]
Unemployed [+] 2017Q1 3,199 m. chart 699 m. 2016Q2 Unemployed [+]
NMW [+] 2011 319.0 $ chart 800.0 $ 2013 NMW [+]
Human Capital Ranking [+] 2017 104º chart 82º 2017 Human Capital Ranking [+]
Markets
US Dollar exchange rate [+] 05/14/2018 42,000.0000 chart 3.7500 05/14/2018 US Dollar exchange rate [+]
1.28% 09/19/2019 Stock ExchangeYTD % [+]
Business
Doing Business [+] 2019 128º chart 92º 2019 Doing Business [+]
Passengers vehicles Year [+] December 2017 1,592,282 chart 438,421 December 2017 Passengers vehicles Year [+]
Annual Vehicles/ 1,000 p. [+] December 2017 21.11 chart 16.84 December 2017 Annual Vehicles/ 1,000 p. [+]
Motor vehicle production [+] 2018 1,342,000
Vehicles / 1,000 people [+] 2015 177.79 chart 212.79 2015 Vehicles / 1,000 people [+]
Taxes
5.00% 01/01/2018 Standard VAT [+]
0% 2018 Top tax rate + SSC [+]
Trade
Exports [+] 2017 91,000.0 M.$ chart 218,374.0 M.$ 2017 Exports [+]
Exports % GDP [+] 2017 21.13% chart 31.71% 2017 Exports % GDP [+]
Imports [+] 2017 49,000.0 M.$ chart 134,520.0 M.$ 2017 Imports [+]
Imports % GDP [+] 2017 11.38% chart 19.54% 2017 Imports % GDP [+]
Trade balance [+] 2017 42,000.0 M.$ chart 83,854.0 M.$ 2017 Trade balance [+]
Trade balance % GDP [+] 2017 9.75% chart 12.18% 2017 Trade balance % GDP [+]
Socio-Demography
Density [+] 2018 47 chart 16 2018 Density [+]
Global Peace Ranking [+] 2019 139º chart 129º 2019 Global Peace Ranking [+]
Remittance received (M.$) [+] 2017 1,378.8 chart 286.5 2017 Remittance received (M.$) [+]
% Immigrant [+] 2017 3.31% chart 37.43% 2017 % Immigrant [+]
% Emigrant [+] 2017 1.44% chart 0.86% 2017 % Emigrant [+]
Birth Rate [+] 2017 15.92‰ chart 19.19‰ 2017 Birth Rate [+]
Remittance sent (M.$) [+] 2017 296.0 chart 46,724.6 2017 Remittance sent (M.$) [+]
Crude death rate [+] 2017 4.49‰ chart 3.58‰ 2017 Crude death rate [+]
Fertility Rate [+] 2017 1.64 chart 2.49 2017 Fertility Rate [+]
Rate Homicides per 100.000 [+] 2015 4.12 chart 1.50 2015 Rate Homicides per 100.000 [+]
Population [+] 2018 81,800,269 chart 33,699,947 2018 Population [+]
Immigrant stock [+] 2017 2,699,155 chart 12,185,284 2017 Immigrant stock [+]
Emigrant stock [+] 2017 1,170,491 chart 278,912 2017 Emigrant stock [+]
HDI [+] 2017 0.798 chart 0.853 2017 HDI [+]
Gender Gap Ranking [+] 2018 142º chart 141º 2018 Gender Gap Ranking [+]
Life expectancy [+] 2017 76.15 chart 74.72 2017 Life expectancy [+]
Number of homicides [+] 2015 3,259 chart 472 2015 Number of homicides [+]
Energy and Environment
CO2 Tons per capita [+] 2017 8.27 chart 19.39 2017 CO2 Tons per capita [+]

196519651970197019751975198019801985198519901990199519952000200020052005201020102015201520,000,00020,000,00040,000,00040,000,00060,000,00060,000,00080,000,00080,000,000IranIranSaudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia

Iran Saudi Arabia
1960 21,906,914 4,086,539
1961 22,480,372 4,218,853
1962 23,071,315 4,362,786
1963 23,680,258 4,516,533
1964 24,307,860 4,677,298
1965 24,954,873 4,843,635
1966 25,624,373 5,015,357
1967 26,317,783 5,195,135
1968 27,032,571 5,387,828
1969 27,764,924 5,599,904
1970 28,513,866 5,836,389
1971 29,281,591 6,100,626
1972 30,075,297 6,392,970
1973 30,905,707 6,711,923
1974 31,786,471 7,054,532
1975 32,729,772 7,419,493
1976 33,733,961 7,802,926
1977 34,803,045 8,207,697
1978 35,960,805 8,646,845
1979 37,237,137 9,137,927
1980 39,291,000 9,320,000
1981 40,826,000 9,786,000
1982 42,420,000 10,276,000
1983 44,077,000 10,790,000
1984 45,798,000 11,330,000
1985 47,587,000 11,897,000
1986 49,445,000 12,492,000
1987 50,662,000 13,118,000
1988 51,909,000 13,774,000
1989 53,187,000 14,463,000
1990 54,496,000 15,187,000
1991 55,837,000 15,947,000
1992 56,656,000 16,948,000
1993 57,488,000 17,277,000
1994 58,331,000 17,701,000
1995 59,187,000 18,136,000
1996 60,055,000 18,581,000
1997 61,070,000 19,037,000
1998 62,103,000 19,504,000
1999 63,152,000 19,983,000
2000 64,219,000 20,474,000
2001 65,301,000 20,976,000
2002 66,300,000 21,491,000
2003 67,315,000 22,020,000
2004 68,345,000 22,564,000
2005 69,390,000 23,330,000
2006 70,496,000 24,122,000
2007 71,366,000 24,941,000
2008 72,266,000 25,787,000
2009 73,196,000 26,661,000
2010 74,157,000 27,563,000
2011 75,150,000 28,376,000
2012 76,038,000 29,196,000
2013 76,942,000 29,994,000
2014 78,470,000 30,770,000
2015 79,476,000 31,016,000
2016 80,460,000 31,743,000
2017 81,423,000 32,552,000
2018 81,800,269 33,699,947
CountrySubcontinentContinentWorld
CountrySubcontinentContinentWorld
Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

 

 

Story 2: Morally Bankrupt New York Time Smear Campaign of Lies Against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — No Victim and No Witnesses — Big Lie Media — Junk Journalism — — Videos —

See the source image

Trump Urgest Kavanaugh To Sue New York Times For Libel

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Tucker: New York Times revives attacks on Kavanaugh

Ingraham: Democrats’ smash and smear campaign

Bongino blasts NYT’s ‘disgraceful’ reporting on Kavanaugh

Ben Shapiro blasts The New York Times’ reporting on Kavanaugh

Gowdy compares impeaching Kavanaugh to ‘political death penalty’

Gutfeld on the latest New York Times scandal

Trump demands DOJ ‘rescue’ Kavanaugh as fresh allegations emerge

Napolitano on new questions surrounding Kavanaugh accuser’s motivation

New video raises questions about Kavanaugh accuser’s testimony

Graham: Kavanaugh impeachment based on this is ‘dead on arrival’

‘Squad’ member to introduce Kavanaugh impeachment resolution

Why the Times bungled so badly in its latest Kavanaugh smear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I wrote a column Sunday torching The New York Times for its latest attempt to attack Justice Brett Kavanaugh, I had no idea how quickly its story would fall apart. Explaining how and why is now in order.

The primary reason is that the anti-conservative bias within the Times organization is now so overwhelming that, at least on the continually troubled opinion side, there is simply no one in the loop who isn’t already positive Kavanaugh is a sexual predator — no one both able and willing (which, given today’s culture of fear regarding the #MeToo subject matter, may have been the more daunting hurdle) to express skepticism about a story that seeks to prove what everyone there already “knows” to be true.

I saw an obvious red flag before I even read the story. Liberals on Twitter were immediately excited by these “bombshell” revelations about Kavanaugh in an article that was innocuously titled as a piece on Yale University’s culture at the time when he and his “accuser” went there. That is obviously not how a story with legitimate new damning information would have been framed, even on a weekend.

As it turns out, there was very good reason why the two Times reporters, who are promoting a book about Kavanaugh’s past, were forced to go that very circuitous route to sneak in their extremely flimsy allegations.

It turns out the Times’ news editors had reportedly declined to run their “revelations” as a news story due to lack of evidence, just like The Washington Post had done, correctly, a year ago.

Then comes the issue of the “country club” aspect of an exclusive place like the Times filled with alleged journalistic elites. These two reporters are obviously respected colleagues of everyone in the decision-making roles, and they are naturally going to be given far wider latitude and trust than an outside author.

Surely that had to be part of the reason the Times somehow allowed one of the book’s authors to write a totally outrageous tweet for the outlet about her own story, which the paper had to then delete. That tweet, on its own, should discredit the book’s co-author, as it could not be more obvious evidence of someone who already had her conclusion about the case and simply went about desperately — and mostly unsuccessfully — trying to find some actual evidence to substantiate it.

Connected to this is the extraordinary arrogance of people who work at the Times. In my direct experience, they truly believe that if a story comes from a Times reporter that it must be the gospel truth, unless God herself declares it not to be, and even then they will only send it out for a quick fact-check.

Then there is the increasing challenge that, thanks to having gone to a subscription model and with the advent of Twitter, the Times is becoming beholden to its very liberal base of most passionate customers.

As several recent episodes have shown, the Times is now often edited by the whims of liberal Twitter, and surely anxiety over potentially pissing off this group by either censoring potentially negative Kavanaugh information, or, even worse, making him seem potentially innocent, had to play at least a subconscious role here.

This last point is likely the cause of one of the many egregious mistakes in the piece. While it has still not gotten widespread news media coverage, the Times absurdly censored its own story by omitting what is very likely the most substantive nugget of new information in their book.

It turns out that Leland Keyser, friend of Christine Ford (Kavanaugh’s first and primary accuser) — whom Ford claimed was the only other girl at the infamous pool party — gave the authors her first major interview.

Keyser, who was once married to Democratic operative Bob Beckel, told them that Ford’s story “makes no sense,” that she doesn’t have “any confidence” in the allegation and that she was targeted by Ford allies in an effort to get her to lie by backing up Ford’s uncorroborated account.

Now THAT is a real bombshell but one that clearly conflicts with the preferred liberal narrative of this entire fiasco in which both the Times and the two reporters are invested.

All of this has backfired spectacularly, and has given President Donald Trump yet another data point in his quest to paint every negative report about him and his administration “Fake News!”

Unless the culture at the Times and other mainstream outlets dramatically changes (spoiler alert: It will not), this kind of thing is only going to continue.

John Ziegler is a senior columnist for Mediaite.com, from which this was adapted.

https://nypost.com/2019/09/17/why-the-times-bungled-so-badly-in-its-latest-kavanaugh-smear/

Alleged Victim In New York Times Kavanaugh Story Denies Any Recollection Of Incident

New York Times reporters Robin Pogebrin and Kate Kelly are out with a new book that attempts to buttress the unsubstantiated claims deployed last year against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation” is neither a look at the education of Brett Kavanaugh nor an investigation. They admit they found no evidence to support the claims made by Christine Blasey Ford or Debbie Ramirez, although they say their “gut reaction” to the allegations is that they are true. They generously concede that their “gut” tells them that Michael Avenatti client Julie Swetnick’s claims are not true, citing the lack of corroboration.

The “lack of corroboration” standard was unevenly held to by the authors. Blasey Ford’s four witnesses all denied knowledge of the party at which her alleged assault took place. Ramirez went from telling Ronan Farrow “I don’t have any stories about Brett Kavanaugh and sexual misconduct,” to telling friends of an incident for which she “couldn’t be sure” Kavanaugh was involved, to now being the centerpiece of the Pogebrin and Kelly book. Ramirez also had no eyewitness support for her story that allegedly took place at a well-attended party, even after friendly media outlets contacted some 75 classmates trying to find corroboration. Both women had the support of many friends and activists, however.

The only supposedly new claim made in the book isn’t new and comes from Democrat attorney Max Stier, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s with whom he has a long and contentious history. In the words of the Yale Daily News, they were “pitted” against each other during the Whitewater investigation in the 1990s when Kavanaugh worked for Independent Counsel Ken Starr. Stier defended President Bill Clinton, whose legal troubles began when a woman accused him of exposing himself to her in hotel room she had been brought to. Clinton later settled with the woman for $850,000 and, due to a contempt of court citation for misleading testimony, ended up losing his law license for five years. Stier worked closely with David Kendall, who went on to defend Hillary Clinton against allegations of illegally handling classified information. Kavanaugh’s reference to his opponents being motivated by “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” met with befuddlement by liberal media, despite the surprisingly large number of Clinton-affiliated attorneys who kept popping up during his confirmation hearings.

In any case, Stier’s claim, which even two Democratic senators’ offices didn’t find particularly worthwhile, was that he had seen an inebriated Kavanaugh, pants-down, at a freshman-year party. Stier’s claim to the staffers, we’re told, was that other people at the party put Kavanaugh’s genitalia into the hands of a classmate. Another unnamed person alleged said that he or she might have remembered hearing that the female student had transferred out of her college because of Kavanaugh, “though exactly why was unclear.”

The reporters, who describe Democrats in glowing terms and Republicans otherwise, say that Stier is a “respected thought leader” in the defense of the federal bureaucracy. They don’t mention his history of working for the Clintons. As for the victim? They say she “has refused to discuss the incident, though several of her friends said she does not recall it.”

To repeat: Several of her friends said she does not recall it.

So to summarize, the only new claim in the new book is that a Democratic attorney told two senators that he saw an incident where a third party allegedly did something to Kavanaugh and the young woman. In their book, the authors are upset that this claim didn’t lead to a massive FBI investigation, although they don’t explain why they think it should have.

Pogebrin and Kelly left the victim’s denial out of their New York Times story. It is unclear why the reporters and editors allowed the story to be published without this salient fact that they conceded, albeit briefly, in their own book.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. She is Senior Journalism Fellow at Hillsdale College and a Fox News contributor.

The Ongoing Smear Campaign against Brett Kavanaugh

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, September 4, 2018. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

The New York Times had a significant story to tell about Brett Kavanaugh. It’s this: In a new book, the Times reporters produced new evidence that profoundly undermined the central claims against Kavanaugh. Leland Keyser — Christine Blasey Ford’s friend and the person Ford herself testified was also at the party where Ford claimed Kavanaugh assaulted her — has stated on the record that she doesn’t have “any confidence” in Ford’s story.

Not only does she not recall the specific party at issue, she doesn’t recall “any others like it.” Moreover, Keyser maintains this recollection in spite of a determined effort by old friends to get her to change her testimony — a pressure campaign that Keyser admirably resisted.

In other words, “Never mind.” But even that editor’s note is incomplete. It turns out that Max Stier served as one of Bill Clinton’s lawyers during the Starr investigation, a fact that’s at least relevant to the existence of partisan bias.

But for sheer malice nothing can match the speed and ferocity with which reporters accepted the facially ludicrous rape story pushed by Michael Avenatti client Julie Swetnick. She claimed that she saw Kavanaugh “waiting his turn” for a gang rape and spiking punch to facilitate gang rapes. The story was never remotely plausible, but that didn’t stop media figures from shaming anyone who expressed public doubts on Twitter.

Trump Urges Kavanaugh To Sue New York Times For Libel

Perhaps the nadir of the whole affair is when Vox helped “explain the news” by publishing a piece arguing that the John Hughes movie Sixteen Candles provided “important context” for the Kavanaugh allegations. In the 1980s, you see, there was a different “cultural understanding” about gang rape.

Against this backdrop, the Democrats calling for impeaching Kavanaugh — including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris — are disgracing themselves. The claims against Kavanaugh never stood up to scrutiny, and the evidence that has emerged since the hearings last fall has only served to undercut further the claims against him.

In a speech earlier this year, Ford’s attorney Debra Katz admitted to the partisanship that at least in part motivated her client: They wanted to put an “asterisk” next to his name. “When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade,” she said, “we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important; it is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.”

2020 Dems Assail Kavanaugh Despite NYT Story Correction

By Susan Crabtree – RCP Staff

September 17, 2019

2020 Dems Assail Kavanaugh Despite NYT Story Correction

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

On Sunday, the New York Times walked back and significantly revised the latest incendiary allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but the unusual correction to a central part of its bombshell story seemed to mean little to the field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.

Sen. Kamala Harris had “pinned” her weekend reaction to the story — a call for Kavanaugh’s impeachment — to the top of her Twitter page, the social media equivalent of running a banner headline about a position on a high-priority issue.

Harris’ Tweet was still there by Monday night, without qualification, despite a fierce bipartisan backlash against the Times’ initial reporting of the uncorroborated sexual misconduct allegation, and the Gray Lady’s clumsy efforts to correct its original reporting about it.

The controversy began Saturday when the Times ran a “news analysis” piece by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, adapted from their forthcoming book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh.”

The wide-ranging story included a seemingly new allegation — that a Kavanaugh classmate at Yale, nonprofit CEO Max Stier, “saw Kavanaugh with his pants down at a drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”

Late Sunday, the Times updated the Kavanaugh story with an “editor’s note” acknowledging that the alleged victim of the incident had declined to be interviewed and several friends had said she did not recall the alleged misconduct.

The Times only added that note after The Federalist’s Mollie Hemmingway, who had an advance copy of the book, flagged the glaring omission in the Times reporting.

Pogrebin and Kelly on Monday night blamed their editors for cutting the critical pieces of exculpatory information from the story. They said they had included the details about the victim declining to be interviewed for the story and her friends saying she didn’t recall the incident, along with the woman’s name. Pogrebin said their editors decided against using the woman’s name and in “the haste” of trying to close the editorial process edited out all of the information about the woman, instead of just her name. The pair did not say why they didn’t object.

Pogrebin and Kelly are hardly new to the editing process. Pogrebin has been a Times reporter since 1995, and her mother, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, is a founding editor of Ms. magazine, a liberal feminist publication created in the early 1970s. Kelly has been covering business and finance for 20 years, including a decade at the Wall Street Journal.

“We certainly never intended to mislead in any way. We wanted to give as full a story as possible,” Pogrebin told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Monday evening.

But that wasn’t the only hole in the story. The piece also omitted relevant information about Stier’s work during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal as a member of Bill Clinton’s defense team at the law firm Williams & Connolly.

And it included a strangely constructed attribution that wouldn’t pass most major newsrooms’ standards when reporting on a sexual assault allegation against a major public figure. In the piece, the reporters wrote: “We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.” But they did not indicate what type of “officials,” government or otherwise, those sources are.

Several liberal commentators across a variety of media, from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to National Public Radio and at least one host on “The View,” spent Monday blasting the Times’ report as a particularly egregious example of journalistic malfeasance.

Despite the widespread criticism of the piece, Harris and other 2020 Democrats who spent the weekend calling for Kavanaugh’s impeachment based on the new report, aren’t dialing back their demands or even acknowledging the Times’ correction of the very story that sparked those demands.

In fact, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer jumped into the fray to call for Kavanaugh’s impeachment on Monday after the Times issued the correction.

“The @GOP is so hell bent on guaranteeing a conservative court, they are willing to overlook serious allegations on sexual misconduct and perjury,” he tweeted Monday. “The system is broken.”

RealClearPolitics reached out to spokespersons for Harris, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, all of whom called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment over the weekend after the Times’ story broke. None of the campaigns responded.

In fact, Harris continued to attack Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Twitter Monday morning, the day after the Times issued its correction.

The Times also did not respond to an RCP inquiry on how it planned to restore its credibility, whether any reporter or editor would be fired over the failings and where the breakdown in journalistic standards occurred that allowed the seemingly new but uncorroborated allegation to be published.

Since the Times’ corrected the piece, President Trump has lambasted the paper, firing off multiple tweets calling the new efforts to force Kavanaugh off the court “lies and fake news,” and encouraging lawsuits against the paper.

At a campaign rally in New Mexico Monday night, he assailed the paper once again, calling for the resignation of “everybody at the New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh smear story.”

The president was in the rare position of following a bipartisan outpouring of outrage over the story, as well as the correction, which for some journalists raised more questions about the process that led to the material’s publication than it answered.

Early Monday, MSNBC’s anti-Trump host Joe Scarborough said it was a “stunning decision to leave that central [lack of corroboration] fact out of an article filled with damning accusations.”

Liberal Yale law professor Scott Shapiro called it an “outrageous omission” and appeared to promote a boycott of the paper over the issue.

“Would love to see my fellow liberals who routinely threaten to unsubscribe to the NYT to make the same threat now,” he tweeted.

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik asserted that having the alleged victim corroborate the story was a central and necessary part of any reporting on the incident.

“One can argue that the failure to remember, given her intoxication, is not dispositive,” he tweeted. “One can’t argue, however, that that fact didn’t need to be in the Kavanaugh story from the outset.”

“The View’s” self-described moderate, Abby Huntsman, denounced the Times’ report as “sloppy and lazy” and congratulated the paper for helping Trump get re-elected.

Conservative media critics cited the Times’ reporting as proof that the media is working hand-in-glove with Democrats to relentlessly and falsely attack Republicans.

“Omitting these facts from the @nytimes story is one of the worst cases of journalistic malpractice I can recall,” tweeted National Review’s John McCormack.

The controversy also played into the hands of some of Kavanaugh’s staunchest supporters. Carrie Severino, the chief counsel and policy director for the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative group that reportedly spent $10 million backing the Supreme Court nominee last year, called the Times’ reporting of uncorroborated accusations a part of several “shameful attempts to reignite baseless smears about Kavanaugh.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, who ran Kavanaugh’s tumultuous Judiciary Committee confirmation process last year, on Twitter pointed out that no one from the Times’ had reached out to his office for the story and his office had not received an allegation against Kavanaugh “like the one referenced over the weekend.”

The Iowa Republican later Monday disputed the references to the alleged incident as a “new allegation.” Instead, during a speech on the Senate floor he said the report amounts to “barely a third-hand rumor” and the type of reckless, uncorroborated reporting that is having a corrosive impact on the country’s democratic process.

“These writers – can you believe this? – these writers didn’t even speak to the man whom they claim originally recounted this rumor. What’s left are only layers and layers of decades-old hearsay. No more corroboration, no more verification, not even anything from the accuser himself.”

Referencing the New York Times’ slogan, “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” Grassley said journalism has hit a new, Trump-era low.

“When did this stuff I described become something fit to print by the supposed American paper of record?” he asked. “The sad consequences of this article are a misinformed public, a greater divide in our own discourse, and a deeper lack of faith in our news media.”

Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics’ White House/national political correspondent.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/09/17/2020_dems_assail_kavanaugh_despite_nyt_story_correction__141272.html

 

Story 3: U.S. Federal Government Record Spending Exceeds $4 Trillion and Rising — Videos

$4,155,323,000,000: Federal Spending Sets Record Through August

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 13, 2019 | 12:48 PM EDT

(Getty Images/Win McNamee)

(CNSNews.com) – The federal government spent a record $4,155,323,000,000 in the first eleven months of fiscal 2019 (October through August), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Thursday.

While spending a record $4,155,323,000,000, the government ran a deficit of $1,067,156,000,000.

The most the federal government had ever spent in the first eleven months of a fiscal year before this one was in fiscal 2018 when the Treasury spent $3,951,247,170,000 (in constant August 2019 dollars, adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator).

Total federal tax revenues in the first eleven months of fiscal 2019 equaled $3,088,167,000,00. That was more than the $3,037,420,180,000 (in constant August 2019 dollars) that the Treasury collected in total taxes in the first eleven months of fiscal 2018, but less than the $3,099,536,720,000 in total taxes (in constant August 2019 dollars) that the Treasury collected in the first eleven months of fiscal 2017.

The Treasury also collected less in individual income taxes in the first eleven months of this year ($1,534,886,000,000) than it did in the first eleven months of fiscal 2018 ($1,548,213,460,000 in constant August 2019 dollars).

According to Table 3 in the Monthly Treasury Statement, the Department of Health and Human Services spent the most of any federal agency in the first eleven months of fiscal 2019 ($1,138,456,000,000), the Social Security Administration spent the second most ($1,013,175,000,000), and the Department of Defense-Military Programs spent the third most ($601,137,000,000).

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/4155323000000-federal-spending-sets-record-through-august

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1314, Septeber 6, 3019, Story 1: Hurricane Dorian Increased Speed to 15 MPH with Top Winds of 90 MPH, Going North East, Moving On and Downgraded to Category 1 Hurricane  — Videos — Story 2: Only 130,000 Jobs Created in August, U-3 Unemployment Rate 3.7%, Civilian Labor Participation Rate Rises To 63.3% Still Way Below The 66% to 67% Labor Participation Rate of The Late 1990s and Early 2000s — Economic Real Gross Domestic Product Growth Rate Still Below U.S. Historical of Average of 3.0 to 3.5% — Federal Reserve Should Cut Fed Funds Rate By .25% in September — No Recession Until 2021 — Prediction: Trump Reelected in Landslide Victory as American People Reject Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) Promises In Favor of Trump Promised Kept — Videos — Story 3: Universal Basic Income or Graduated Fair Tax Less With $1000 Monthly Tax Prebate — Videos

Posted on September 6, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Applications, Banking System, Blogroll, Books, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Economics, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Labor Economics, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Monetary Policy, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Psychology, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Senate, Servers, Social Sciences, Social Security, Software, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Hurricane Dorian Increased Speed to 15 MPH with Top Winds of 90 MPH, Going North East, Moving On and Downgraded to Category 1 Hurricane  — Videos

UPDATAED September 7, 2019

The latest: A Saturday, September 7, map shows how Dorian is expected to move along New England, hitting Maine, Massachusetts, Nova Scotia and then Newfoundland, over the weekend

See the source image

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UPDATED September 5-6, 2019

Tropical weather forecast & Dorian evening update: Sept. 6, 2019

Bodies everywhere’: Harrowing account of Bahamas after Dorian

Hurricane Dorian: Witnessing Bahamas aftermath shows ‘historic tragedy’ | ITV News

Hurricane Dorian NC: Storm now just off of Wilmington, tracking the timeline of the storm

Dorian Passes Charleston, Flooding And Power Outages Major Concern | NBC News

Timeline of Hurricane Dorian thus far

The 2 PM Advisory on Hurricane Dorian has been released

Tropical weather forecast & Dorian midday update: Sept. 3, 2019

Hurricane Dorian stalls off Florida coast

Erosion still major concern for South Florida beaches due to Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian 5 a.m. advisory Sept. 3

Florida locals hunker down despite Hurricane Dorian evacuation order

Hurricane Dorian: How a survivor in Bahamas escaped

 

Slow-crawling Dorian a new kind of threat

Issam AHMED

AFP
Hurricane Dorian broke into the record books on Sunday when its maximum sustained winds of 185 mph (300 kph) tied it in second place with 1998's Gilbert and 2005's Wilma as the most powerful Atlantic storm since 1950
Hurricane Dorian broke into the record books on Sunday when its maximum sustained winds of 185 mph (300 kph) tied it in second place with 1998’s Gilbert and 2005’s Wilma as the most powerful Atlantic storm since 1950 (AFP Photo/NOAA)
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 After devastating the Bahamas, Dorian is continuing its long crawl toward the southeast US with slightly weakened winds.

So what has made this relatively small hurricane so destructive?

– Packing a punch –

Hurricane Dorian stormed into the record books on Sunday when its maximum sustained winds of 185 miles (300 kilometers) per hour tied it in second place with 1998’s Gilbert and 2005’s Wilma as the most powerful Atlantic hurricane since 1950, according to Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project.

First place is still held by 1980’s Allen, which had maximum sustained winds of 190 mph.

Dorian is also the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall in the Bahamas by pressure.

From its peak as a Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, it has weakened to a Category 2 storm, but the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has warned Americans to not take it lightly.

That’s because wind speed is only one of a number of factors that make hurricanes destructive, including the storm surge and rainfall potential, as well as how long it stalls over one spot.

Dorian stalked the Bahamas for a highly unusual 18 hours, during which time it dumped in excess of 24 inches (60 cm) of rainfall, according to NASA data.

The archipelago’s northernmost island also experienced storm surges estimated by the NHC at 10- to 15-foot (3m to 4.5m) above tide levels. At least five people have so far been reported killed, though the toll is expected to rise.

– Hurricanes that stall –

While over the Bahamas, Dorian’s forward motion was at times just one mile per hour, heightening its destruction and making it harder for forecasters to predict its future path.

Kristy Dahl, a climate scientist with US advocacy group the Union of Concerned Scientists, told AFP hurricanes that stall for a long time are becoming more common, and recent studies show the phenomenon could be linked to man-made climate change.

The temperature contrast between the planet’s higher and lower latitudes is the main driver of wind. Scientists suspect that because the Arctic regions are warming faster than those at the equator, global atmospheric circulation is also falling.

Before Dorian, Harvey loitered in Texas in 2017, while Florence stalled over North Carolina last September.

A study by NASA and NOAA scientists published in June found that between 1944 and 2017, the average forward speed of hurricanes decreased by 17 percent, from 11.5 mph, to 9.6 mph.

– Climate change supercharging storms –

While the science linking climate change and hurricane stalling is cutting-edge and still under discussion, there is a far more broad consensus on the other ways that global warming is supercharging storms.

The overall number of hurricanes is not increasing, but more are going on to become powerful Category 4 and 5 storms.

There are three main factors, according to Dahl. First, the excess heat from global warming has primarily been absorbed by the oceans, meaning that storms pass over warmer water carrying more potential energy that translates into rainfall and stronger winds.

“The warming has been even more pronounced in the Atlantic Ocean, which has warmed by about 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.3 degrees Celsius) per decade since the 1970s,” Dahl wrote in a blog post.

Secondly, rising sea levels make the storm surges higher and more extensive. And thirdly, warmer air holds more moisture — an example of which was seen during Hurricane Harvey, which dumped 60 inches of rainfall.

A study by US federal researchers published in the influential journal Nature in February identified another trend: hurricanes are increasingly undergoing “rapid intensification” over a short period of time, with the scientists linking the phenomenon to man-made climate change.

Dorian also rapidly intensified not once but twice over this weekend.

“The percentage of Atlantic hurricanes that have experienced rapid intensification has tripled since the 1980s, it’s not something that we can explain by natural climate variability,” said Dahl.

https://news.yahoo.com/slow-crawling-dorian-kind-threat-201113535.html

 

Evacuations, States of Emergency Issued for States in Hurricane Dorian’s Path

Hurricane Dorian is expected to hit Florida Tuesday with 120 mph winds and unrelenting rain.

Dorian to Hit Florida, Carolinas as Category 3

A road is flooded during the passing of Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas.

Hurricane Dorian has already devastated the Bahamas, where it made landfall as a Category 5 storm with winds of 180 mph.(AP PHOTO/TIM AYLEN)

HURRICANE DORIAN IS forecast to hit the United States as a Category 3 hurricane Tuesday, making landfall over Florida.

Dorian is packing 120 mph winds as it moves northwestward from the Bahamas to the east coast of Florida, where it is expected to hit with life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds. It is projected to strike the east coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, and the risk of similar conditions is increasing for North Carolina.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered mandatory evacuations for 11 counties, and voluntary evacuations are in place for an additional five. Eighty-five shelters have been opened and almost 200,000 free WiFi hotspots have been established to enable communication, according to the governor’s office.

Additionally, Florida has 819,000 gallons of water and 1.8 million meals ready for distribution with a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for an additional 9 million liters of water and 6.5 million meals. More than 4,500 Florida Guardsman have been deployed, and 21 Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces are being prepared.

Hurricane Dorian has already devastated the Bahamas, where it made landfall as a Category 5 storm with winds of 180 mph. The slow-moving system has lingered over the islands, bringing rain, violent winds, dangerous flooding and catastrophic damage.

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said authorities have confirmed five deaths and that many more people are “in serious distress” amid the “historic tragedy.”

After Florida, Dorian is expected to move northward, hitting Georgia and South Carolina on Thursday, where hurricane watches are in effect, according to the hurricane center.tional Guardsman for storm preparation and response. Emergency shelters are being established, and Kemp ordered mandatory evacuations for six counties, the governor’s office reported. A state of emergency is in effect for a dozen counties.

In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency and ordered mandatory evacuations for residents in eight counties, the governor’s office said.

https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2019-09-03/evacuations-states-of-emergency-issued-for-states-in-hurricane-dorians-path

Terrifying moment screaming group is swept away in raging Bahamas floodwaters as Hurricane Dorian pounds the Caribbean island, leaves five dead and moves ‘dangerously close’ to the Florida shore as thousands evacuate and Disney World shuts early

  • Dorian is expected to move towards Florida today with 110mph winds, storm surges and possible tornadoes 
  • Thousands have fled their homes and boarded up shops and houses, with 9,500 people staying in shelters
  • The hurricane is not currently predicted to hit land but ‘only a small deviation’ could send it into the mainland 

Terrifying video shows the moment a screaming group of people desperately swim through raging floodwaters to safety as Hurricane Dorian passed over the Bahamas.

Four people are seen being swept away by the fast-moving water in the Abaco Islands on Sunday.

As they continue to struggle against the current, they grab onto downed trees in an attempt to help one another to safety.

As they make their way out of the floodwaters, a rope appears to be keeping them together. In the video, which was obtained by ABC News, a man is then seen helping the group out of the water using the rope.

The Coast Guard was deployed to Andros Island, where they evacuated residents from the Marsh Harbour Clinic to Nassau International Airport on Monday.

Four Jayhawk aircrews completed five medical evacuations of 19 people, ranging in ages from children to elderly, in various medical conditions.

The Coast Guard continued its search in the Bahamas, where five people have been killed by Hurricane Dorian, early Tuesday morning.

Scroll down for video  

Terrifying video shows the moment a screaming group of people (pictured) desperately swim through raging floodwaters to safety as Hurricane Dorian passed over the Bahamas

Terrifying video shows the moment a screaming group of people (pictured) desperately swim through raging floodwaters to safety as Hurricane Dorian passed over the Bahamas

Four people are seen being swept away by the fast-moving water in the Abaco Islands on Sunday. As they continue to struggle against the current, they grab onto downed trees (pictured) in an attempt to help one another to safety

Four people are seen being swept away by the fast-moving water in the Abaco Islands on Sunday. As they continue to struggle against the current, they grab onto downed trees (pictured) in an attempt to help one another to safety

As they make their way out of the floodwaters, a rope appears to be keeping them together. In the video, which was obtained by ABC News, a man is then seen helping the group out of the water using the rope

As they make their way out of the floodwaters, a rope appears to be keeping them together. In the video, which was obtained by ABC News, a man is then seen helping the group out of the water using the rope

On Tuesday morning, United Nations officials estimated that more than 60,000 people in the northwest Bahamas will need food following the devastation left by Dorian.

A spokesman for the UN World Food Program said that a team is ready to help the Bahamian government assess storm damage and prioritize needs.

Herve Verhoosel said preliminary calculations show that 45,700 people on Grand Bahama island may need food, along with another 14,500 in the neighboring Abaco islands.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says some 62,000 people also will need access to clean drinking water.

The Royal Family shared their condolences to the victims of Hurricane Dorian in a statement shared on Instagram

The Royal Family shared their condolences to the victims of Hurricane Dorian in a statement shared on Instagram

Matthew Cochrane says about 45 per cent of homes in Grand Bahama and Abaco were severely damaged or destroyed and the organization will help 20,000 of the most vulnerable people, including a large Haitian community.

Bahamas Health Minister Duane Sands said Dorian devastated the health infrastructure in Grand Bahama island and massive flooding has rendered the main hospital unusable.

He said Tuesday that the storm caused severe damage in the neighboring Abaco islands and he hopes to send an advanced medical team there soon.

Sands said the main hospital in Marsh Harbor is intact and sheltering 400 people but needs food, water, medicine and surgical supplies.

He also said crews are trying to airlift between five and seven end-stage kidney failure patients from Abaco who haven’t received dialysis since Friday.

The Royal Family shared their condolences to the victims of Hurricane Dorian in a statement that was shared on Instagram.

‘Prince Philip and I have been shocked and saddened to learn of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian, and we send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives following this terrible storm,’ a message from Queen Elizabeth II reads.

‘At this very difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have seen their homes and property destroyed, and I also send my gratitude to the emergency services and volunteers who are supporting the rescue and recovery effort,’ the statement concluded.

Florida is now bracing for the impact of Hurricane Dorian on Tuesday as gusty winds and heavy rain start to hit the US coast.

The Coast Guard was deployed to Andros Island, where they evacuated residents people from the Marsh Harbour Clinic (pictured) to Nassau International Airport on Monday. Four Jayhawk aircrews completed five medical evacuations of 19 people, ranging in ages from children to elderly, in various medical conditions

The Coast Guard was deployed to Andros Island, where they evacuated residents people from the Marsh Harbour Clinic (pictured) to Nassau International Airport on Monday. Four Jayhawk aircrews completed five medical evacuations of 19 people, ranging in ages from children to elderly, in various medical conditions

The NHC said Dorian's maximum sustained winds decreased to near 110mph, but it's expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days

The NHC said Dorian’s maximum sustained winds decreased to near 110mph, but it’s expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days

Thousands have been ordered to flee their homes and more than 9,500 people have taken cover in shelters across the state with many shops and houses boarded up

Thousands have been ordered to flee their homes and more than 9,500 people have taken cover in shelters across the state with many shops and houses boarded up

hurricane and could cause highly dangerous storm surges even if it does not make landfall on the US coast

Although Dorian has weakened, it remains a menacing Category 2 hurricane that could cause highly dangerous storm surges even if it does not make landfall on the US coast

While the storm is expected to stay offshore, experts have warned that 'only a small deviation' would be needed to bring it towards the mainland

While the storm is expected to stay offshore, experts have warned that ‘only a small deviation’ would be needed to bring it towards the mainland

 

This satellite image shows the devastation from the floods brought on by Hurricane Dorian on Grand Bahama

This satellite image shows the devastation from the floods brought on by Hurricane Dorian on Grand Bahama

Shortly after 11am on Tuesday, forecasters said Dorian had weakened to a Category 2 hurricane that could still cause highly dangerous storm surges even if it does not make landfall on the US coast.

The NHC said Dorian’s maximum sustained winds decreased to near 110mph, but it’s expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days.

While the storm is expected to stay offshore, experts have warned that ‘only a small deviation’ would be needed to bring it towards the mainland.

Today Disney World announced it was closing early, shutting its doors at 3pm amid fears that Orlando could come into Dorian’s path if it veers off course.

‘We are closely monitoring the progress of the storm and are making operational adjustments as needed,’ the attraction’s website said.

Orlando International Airport is also closed.

‘This storm at this magnitude could really cause massive destruction. Do not put your life in jeopardy by staying behind when you have a chance to get out,’ warned Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Trees blow in the wind on Cocoa Beach in Florida as a woman stopped to take a picture Monday night ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Trees blow in the wind on Cocoa Beach in Florida as a woman stopped to take a picture Monday night ahead of Hurricane Dorian

A woman shields her face from the wind, rain and blowing sand whipped up by Hurricane Dorian as she walked on Cocoa Beach in Florida on Monday

A woman shields her face from the wind, rain and blowing sand whipped up by Hurricane Dorian as she walked on Cocoa Beach in Florida on Monday

The hurricane is seen in a satellite image with the state of Florida marked. The storm stalled over the Bahamas but is set to move towards the US coast later Tuesday

The hurricane is seen in a satellite image with the state of Florida marked. The storm stalled over the Bahamas but is set to move towards the US coast later Tuesday

The National Hurricane Center shared a photo mapping out Hurricane Dorian’s possible path, with the storm reaching Florida on Tuesday

Florida Senator Rick Scott wrote on Twitter that ‘a slight wobble west’ would bring the storm ‘on shore with devastating consequences’.

‘If you’re in an evacuation zone, get out NOW. We can rebuild your home. We can’t rebuild your life,’ he said.

Dorian was due to move towards Florida Monday night but instead stalled over the Bahamas.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) now predicts the ‘extremely dangerous’ storm will ‘move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late today through Wednesday evening’.

More than 1,300 flights have been cancelled already with another 1,600 scrapped on Tuesday, many involving Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami airports.

Port Everglades, a seaport which is home to several major cruise lines, was also shut.

Today a hurricane watch was in effect for Florida’s East Coast from Deerfield Beach north to South Santee River in South Carolina.

Businesses are boarded up near Fort Pierce Jetty Park in Florida, with graffiti on one shutter saying: 'Go away Dorian'

Businesses are boarded up near Fort Pierce Jetty Park in Florida, with graffiti on one shutter saying: ‘Go away Dorian’

Kacy Carvajal holds her friend's daughter, two-year-old Emily Castaneda, as they check in to an evacuation shelter at the Vero Beach High School Freshman Learning Center in Florida on Monday

Kacy Carvajal holds her friend’s daughter, two-year-old Emily Castaneda, as they check in to an evacuation shelter at the Vero Beach High School Freshman Learning Center in Florida on Monday

Juna Beach residents Anneka (left), 8, and sister, Breanna, 10, right, along with their mother, Leah Hanza, center, get a close look at the waves crashing against the Juno Beach Pier as the hurricane crawls towards Florida

Juna Beach residents Anneka (left), 8, and sister, Breanna, 10, right, along with their mother, Leah Hanza, center, get a close look at the waves crashing against the Juno Beach Pier as the hurricane crawls towards Florida

Hurricane Dorian caused evacuations in numerous areas of Florida, including in Palm Beach where President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club is located. A photo of the resort just days before the storm

A photo of Mar-a-Lago from Tuesday shows a storm surge brought on by Hurricane Dorian

A storm surge watch was extended northward to South Santee River in South Carolina. Lake Okeechobee was under a tropical storm watch.

The evacuation zone includes some areas in Palm Beach County, home to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. A photo showed the storm shutters covering the doors and windows of Mar-a-Lago.

In southern Florida’s Port Saint Lucie – a low-income area where mobile home parks stood all-but emptied of their residents – Dan Peatle, 78, fled his retirement community to take shelter in a hotel.

‘It makes me sick. I don’t like it,’ he said.

‘I’ve been through seven or eight of them since I’ve been in Florida, since ’73. And, they’re all the same, you know. Tear everything up, put it back together. But, I chose to live here so I might as well live with it, you know.’

Shop windows are seen boarded up in Deerfield Beach, Florida, with the storm set to move towards the US mainland today

Shop windows are seen boarded up in Deerfield Beach, Florida, with the storm set to move towards the US mainland today

A lifeguard tower is seen on the shore under gloomy skies at Las Olas Beach in Fort Lauderdale yesterday, only two beachgoers visible in the water

A lifeguard tower is seen on the shore under gloomy skies at Las Olas Beach in Fort Lauderdale yesterday, only two beachgoers visible in the water

A sign tells motorists that Port Everglades, where several major cruise lines are docked, is closed due to the hurricane

Homes on the Intracoastal Waterway are seen with their hurricane shutters up as Hurricane Dorian approaches in Boca Raton

More than 9,500 people have taken cover in 121 shelters in Florida, according to the state’s Division of Emergency Management.

Among them is 30-year-old Stefanie Passieux, who took shelter along with her two children and mother.

‘I came yesterday, as soon as it opened. They said we were in a state of emergency so I came,’ she said. ‘My dad is staying with the cats, but we left. He never leaves. He doesn’t do shelters.’

Further up the coast, some 830,000 people were ordered to evacuate in South Carolina with all lanes of Interstate 26 out of Charleston reversed on Monday to allow motorists to head inland.

Georgia has also ordered mandatory evacuations on its Atlantic coast.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned his state that it could see heavy rain, winds and floods later in the week.

His Virginia counterpart Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency yesterday although state officials are yet to order any evacuations.

Beachegoers are seen on the shore under dark and gloomy skies at Las Olas Beach in Fort Lauderdale on Monday

People walk the shoreline of Juno Beach near the pier under high gust winds as Hurricane Dorian crawled toward Florida

Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale

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Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale
Category Wind speeds
Five ≥70 m/s, ≥137 knots
≥157 mph, ≥252 km/h
Four 58–70 m/s, 113–136 knots
130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h
Three 50–58 m/s, 96–112 knots
111–129 mph, 178–208 km/h
Two 43–49 m/s, 83–95 knots
96–110 mph, 154–177 km/h
One 33–42 m/s, 64–82 knots
74–95 mph, 119–153 km/h
Related classifications
Tropical
storm
18–32 m/s, 34–63 knots
39–73 mph, 63–118 km/h
Tropical
depression
≤17 m/s, ≤33 knots
≤38 mph, ≤62 km/h

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffir%E2%80%93Simpson_Hurricane_Scale

Story 2: Only 130,000 Jobs Created in August, U-3 Unemployment Rate 3.7%, Civilian Labor Participation Rate Rises To 63.3% Still Way Below The 66% to 67% Labor Participation Rate of The Late 1990s and Early 2000s — Economic Real Gross Domestic Product Growth Rate Still Below U.S. Historical of Average of 3.0 to 3.5% — Federal Reserve Should Cut Fed Funds Rate By .25% in September — No Recession Until 2021 — Prediction: Trump Reelected in Landslide Victory as American People Reject Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) Promises In Favor of Trump Promises Kept — Videos —

 

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Record 157,878,000 Employed in August; Record Low Unemployment Rate for Blacks

By Susan Jones | September 6, 2019 | 8:44 AM EDT

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – The number of people employed in the United States hit a record 157,878,000 in August, the 21st record set under President Donald Trump, according to the employment report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s an increase of 590,000 from the record 157,228,000 employed in July.

The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent. For blacks, the unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 5.5 percent last month. And for Hispanics, the unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in August, which ties the record low set earlier this year.

In August, the civilian noninstitutional population in the United States was 259,432,000. That included all people 16 and older who did not live in an institution (such as a prison, nursing home or long-term care hospital). Of that civilian noninstutional population, 163,922,000 were in the labor force, meaning that they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month.

That boosted the labor force participation rate to 63.2 percent, which matches the Trump-era high set this past January and February. That’s a 0.2 percent gain from the 63.0 percent in July.

Of the 163,922,000 who were in the labor force, 6,044,000 were unemployed, which put the unemployment rate at 3.7 percent for a third straight month.

Among the major worker groups, BLS said, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (12.6 percent), Whites (3.4 percent), Blacks (5.5 percent), Asians (2.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or no change in August, although — as noted above — it’s never been better for blacks and Hispanics.

The economy added 130,000 jobs in August, boosted by employment gains  in the federal government, largely reflecting the hiring of temporary workers for the 2020 Census, BLS said. Notable job gains also occurred in health care and financial activities.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down by 15,000 to +178,000, and the change for July was revised down by 5,000 to +159,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 20,000 less than previously reported.

After revisions, job gains have averaged 156,000 per month over the last 3 months.

According to an August 21 update from the Congressional Budget Office:

Strong demand for goods and services over the past several years boosted the demand for labor and caused labor market conditions to strengthen steadily.

The labor market carried momentum from 2018 into the first half of 2019 and is expected to continue to grow at a healthy, albeit slower, pace over the next several years.

In CBO’s projections, the unemployment rate averages 3.7 percent in 2019 and 2020 and then steadily rises to 4.6 percent by the end of 2023 as output growth slows. Employment rose above its potential, or maximum sustainable, level in 2018 and is expected to remain above its potential level over the entire 2019–2023 period.

The labor force participation rate among prime-age workers (those between the ages of 25 and 54) has rebounded since 2015, adding about 1.5 million workers to the labor force and offsetting downward pressure on labor force participation from the retirement of baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1960). The labor force participation rate is projected to remain stable through 2020 before falling gradually toward its long-run trend.

Wage growth has accelerated and become increasingly broad-based in recent years, with low-wage earners experiencing particularly robust gains in their hourly wages. In CBO’s projections, wage growth picks up further before slowing in 2021.

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/record-157878000-employed-august-21st-record-under-trump

Here’s where the jobs are — in one chart

Civilian Labor Force Level

163,922,000

 

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1999 139003 138967 138730 138959 139107 139329 139439 139430 139622 139771 140025 140177
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155763(1) 155312 155005 155394 155536 155749 155599 155605 155687 154673 155265 155182
2014 155352(1) 155483 156028 155369 155684 155707 156007 156130 156040 156417 156494 156332
2015 157053(1) 156663 156626 157017 157616 157014 157008 157165 156745 157188 157502 158080
2016 158371(1) 158705 159079 158891 158700 158899 159150 159582 159810 159768 159629 159779
2017 159693(1) 159854 160036 160169 159910 160124 160383 160706 161190 160436 160626 160636
2018 161123(1) 161900 161646 161551 161667 162129 162209 161802 162055 162694 162821 163240
2019 163229(1) 163184 162960 162470 162646 162981 163351 163922
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 Labor Force Participation Rate

63.2%

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1999 67.2 67.2 67.0 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.1 67.0 67.0 67.0 67.1 67.1
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.7 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.2 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8
2015 62.9 62.7 62.6 62.7 62.9 62.6 62.6 62.6 62.4 62.5 62.6 62.7
2016 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7
2017 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.7 62.8 62.7
2018 62.7 63.0 62.9 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.9 62.9 63.1
2019 63.2 63.2 63.0 62.8 62.8 62.9 63.0 63.2

 Employment Level

157,878,000

Series Id:           LNS12000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Employment Level
Labor force status:  Employed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1999 133027 132856 132947 132955 133311 133378 133414 133591 133707 133993 134309 134523
2000 136559(1) 136598 136701 137270 136630 136940 136531 136662 136893 137088 137322 137614
2001 137778 137612 137783 137299 137092 136873 137071 136241 136846 136392 136238 136047
2002 135701 136438 136177 136126 136539 136415 136413 136705 137302 137008 136521 136426
2003 137417(1) 137482 137434 137633 137544 137790 137474 137549 137609 137984 138424 138411
2004 138472(1) 138542 138453 138680 138852 139174 139556 139573 139487 139732 140231 140125
2005 140245(1) 140385 140654 141254 141609 141714 142026 142434 142401 142548 142499 142752
2006 143150(1) 143457 143741 143761 144089 144353 144202 144625 144815 145314 145534 145970
2007 146028(1) 146057 146320 145586 145903 146063 145905 145682 146244 145946 146595 146273
2008 146378(1) 146156 146086 146132 145908 145737 145532 145203 145076 144802 144100 143369
2009 142152(1) 141640 140707 140656 140248 140009 139901 139492 138818 138432 138659 138013
2010 138438(1) 138581 138751 139297 139241 139141 139179 139438 139396 139119 139044 139301
2011 139250(1) 139394 139639 139586 139624 139384 139524 139942 140183 140368 140826 140902
2012 141584(1) 141858 142036 141899 142206 142391 142292 142291 143044 143431 143333 143330
2013 143292(1) 143362 143316 143635 143882 143999 144264 144326 144418 143537 144479 144778
2014 145150(1) 145134 145648 145667 145825 146247 146399 146530 146778 147427 147404 147615
2015 148150(1) 148053 148122 148491 148802 148765 148815 149175 148853 149270 149506 150164
2016 150622(1) 150934 151146 150963 151074 151104 151450 151766 151877 151949 152150 152276
2017 152128(1) 152417 152958 153150 152920 153176 153456 153591 154399 153847 153945 154065
2018 154482(1) 155213 155160 155216 155539 155592 155964 155604 156069 156582 156803 156945
2019 156694(1) 156949 156748 156645 156758 157005 157288 157878
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 Employment-Population Ratio

60.9%

Series Id:           LNS12300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Employment-Population Ratio
Labor force status:  Employment-population ratio
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1999 64.4 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.3 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.3 64.4 64.4
2000 64.6 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.4 64.5 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.3 64.4
2001 64.4 64.3 64.3 64.0 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.2 63.5 63.2 63.0 62.9
2002 62.7 63.0 62.8 62.7 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.7 63.0 62.7 62.5 62.4
2003 62.5 62.5 62.4 62.4 62.3 62.3 62.1 62.1 62.0 62.1 62.3 62.2
2004 62.3 62.3 62.2 62.3 62.3 62.4 62.5 62.4 62.3 62.3 62.5 62.4
2005 62.4 62.4 62.4 62.7 62.8 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.8 62.7 62.8
2006 62.9 63.0 63.1 63.0 63.1 63.1 63.0 63.1 63.1 63.3 63.3 63.4
2007 63.3 63.3 63.3 63.0 63.0 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.9 62.7 62.9 62.7
2008 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7 62.5 62.4 62.2 62.0 61.9 61.7 61.4 61.0
2009 60.6 60.3 59.9 59.8 59.6 59.4 59.3 59.1 58.7 58.5 58.6 58.3
2010 58.5 58.5 58.5 58.7 58.6 58.5 58.5 58.6 58.5 58.3 58.2 58.3
2011 58.3 58.4 58.4 58.4 58.3 58.2 58.2 58.3 58.4 58.4 58.6 58.6
2012 58.4 58.5 58.5 58.4 58.5 58.6 58.5 58.4 58.7 58.8 58.7 58.7
2013 58.6 58.6 58.5 58.6 58.6 58.6 58.7 58.7 58.7 58.3 58.6 58.7
2014 58.8 58.7 58.9 58.9 58.9 59.0 59.0 59.0 59.1 59.3 59.2 59.3
2015 59.3 59.2 59.2 59.3 59.4 59.3 59.3 59.4 59.2 59.3 59.4 59.6
2016 59.7 59.8 59.8 59.7 59.7 59.6 59.7 59.8 59.8 59.7 59.8 59.8
2017 59.9 59.9 60.1 60.2 60.0 60.1 60.1 60.1 60.4 60.2 60.1 60.2
2018 60.2 60.4 60.4 60.3 60.4 60.4 60.5 60.3 60.4 60.6 60.6 60.6
2019 60.7 60.7 60.6 60.6 60.6 60.6 60.7 60.9

 

Unemployment Level

6,044,000

 

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1999 5976 6111 5783 6004 5796 5951 6025 5838 5915 5778 5716 5653
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12471 11950 11689 11760 11654 11751 11335 11279 11270 11136 10787 10404
2014 10202 10349 10380 9702 9859 9460 9608 9599 9262 8990 9090 8717
2015 8903 8610 8504 8526 8814 8249 8194 7990 7892 7918 7995 7916
2016 7749 7771 7932 7928 7626 7795 7700 7817 7933 7819 7480 7503
2017 7565 7437 7078 7019 6991 6948 6927 7115 6791 6588 6682 6572
2018 6641 6687 6486 6335 6128 6537 6245 6197 5986 6112 6018 6294
2019 6535 6235 6211 5824 5888 5975 6063 6044

 

U-3 Unemployment Rate

3.7%

 

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

 

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1999 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.0
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.2 6.9 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.1 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6
2015 5.7 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.6 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.1 5.0
2016 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.8 4.9 4.8 4.9 5.0 4.9 4.7 4.7
2017 4.7 4.7 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.2 4.1
2018 4.1 4.1 4.0 3.9 3.8 4.0 3.9 3.8 3.7 3.8 3.7 3.9
2019 4.0 3.8 3.8 3.6 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.7

 

Not In Labor Force

95,510,000

 

Series Id:           LNS15000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Not in Labor Force
Labor force status:  Not in labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1999 67715 67906 68306 68277 68320 68304 68390 68609 68642 68712 68641 68655
2000 69142 69120 69338 69267 69853 69876 70398 70401 70645 70782 70579 70488
2001 70088 70409 70381 70956 71414 71592 71526 72136 71676 71817 71876 72010
2002 72623 72010 72343 72281 72260 72600 72827 72856 72554 73026 73508 73675
2003 73960 74015 74295 74066 74268 73958 74767 75062 75249 75324 75280 75780
2004 75319 75648 75606 75907 75903 75735 75730 76113 76526 76399 76259 76581
2005 76808 76677 76846 76514 76409 76673 76721 76642 76739 76958 77138 77394
2006 77339 77122 77161 77318 77359 77317 77535 77451 77757 77634 77499 77376
2007 77506 77851 77982 78818 78810 78671 78904 79461 79047 79532 79105 79238
2008 78554 79156 79087 79429 79102 79314 79395 79466 79790 79736 80189 80380
2009 80529 80374 80953 80762 80705 80938 81367 81780 82495 82766 82865 83813
2010 83349 83304 83206 82707 83409 84075 84199 84014 84347 84895 84590 85240
2011 85441 85637 85623 85603 85834 86144 86383 86111 85940 86308 86312 86589
2012 87888 87765 87855 88239 88100 88073 88405 88803 88613 88429 88836 88722
2013 88900 89516 89990 89780 89827 89803 90156 90355 90481 91708 91302 91563
2014 91563 91603 91230 92070 91938 92107 92016 92099 92406 92240 92350 92695
2015 92671 93237 93454 93249 92839 93649 93868 93931 94580 94353 94245 93856
2016 94026 93872 93689 94077 94475 94498 94470 94272 94281 94553 94911 94963
2017 94389 94392 94378 94419 94857 94833 94769 94651 94372 95330 95323 95473
2018 95657 95033 95451 95721 95787 95513 95633 96264 96235 95821 95886 95649
2019 95010 95208 95577 96223 96215 96057 95874 95510

 

 

 

 

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   subcription required(Subscription required.)  View  Download Excel CSV File   Last Updated: September 6th, 2019

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for August 2019 is 21.2%.

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

 

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until	      USDL-19-1573
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, September 6, 2019

Technical information: 
 Household data:	(202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:	(202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:		(202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov

	
                  THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- AUGUST 2019


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 130,000 in August, and the unemployment
rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. Employment in federal government rose, largely reflecting the hiring of
temporary workers for the 2020 Census. Notable job gains also occurred in health
care and financial activities, while mining lost jobs. 

This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household
survey measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic
characteristics. The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and
earnings by industry. For more information about the concepts and statistical
methodology used in these two surveys, see the Technical Note.

Household Survey Data

In August, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent for the third month in a row,
and the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 6.0 million.
(See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent),
adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (12.6 percent), Whites (3.4 percent), Blacks
(5.5 percent), Asians (2.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or
no change in August. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little
changed at 1.2 million in August and accounted for 20.6 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate edged up to 63.2 percent in August but has shown
little change, on net, thus far this year. The employment-population ratio, at 60.9
percent, also edged up over the month and is up by 0.6 percentage point over the year.
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 397,000 to 4.4 million in August; this
increase follows a decline of similar magnitude in July. These individuals, who would
have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had
been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In August, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little
different from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for
a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because
they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 467,000 discouraged workers in August,
about unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged
workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are
available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the
labor force in August had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance
or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 130,000 in August. Job growth has averaged
158,000 per month thus far this year, below the average monthly gain of 223,000 in 2018.
In August, employment in federal government rose, largely reflecting the hiring of
temporary workers for the 2020 Census. Private-sector employment was up by 96,000, with
notable job gains in health care and financial activities and a job loss in mining.
(See table B-1.)

In August, employment in federal government increased by 28,000. The gain was mostly
due to the hiring of 25,000 temporary workers to prepare for the 2020 Census.

Health care added 24,000 jobs over the month and 392,000 over the past 12 months. In
August, employment continued to trend up in ambulatory health care services (+12,000)
and in hospitals (+9,000). 

In August, financial activities employment rose by 15,000, with nearly half of the gain
occurring in insurance carriers and related activities (+7,000). Financial activities
has added 111,000 jobs over the year. 

Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in August (+37,000).
Within the industry, employment increased by 10,000 both in computer systems design and
related services and in management of companies and enterprises. Monthly job gains in
professional and business services have averaged 34,000 thus far in 2019, below the
average monthly gain of 47,000 in 2018. 
 
Social assistance employment continued on an upward trend in August (+13,000). Within
the industry, individual and family services added 17,000 jobs. Social assistance has
added 100,000 jobs in the last 6 months.

Mining employment declined by 6,000 in August, with nearly all of the loss in support
activities for mining (-5,000).  

Retail trade employment changed little in August (-11,000). General merchandise stores
lost 15,000 jobs over the month and 80,000 jobs over the year. Building material and
garden supply stores added 9,000 jobs over the month.

Employment showed little change over the month in construction, manufacturing, transportation
and warehousing, and leisure and hospitality. Job growth in these industries has moderated
thus far in 2019 compared with 2018.

In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by
11 cents to $28.11, following 9-cent gains in both June and July. Over the past 12 months,
average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent. In August, average hourly earnings
of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 11 cents to $23.59.
(See tables B-3 and B-8.) 
 
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour
to 34.4 hours in August. In manufacturing, the average workweek increased by 0.2 hour to
40.6 hours, and overtime declined by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek of private-
sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours. 
(See tables B-2 and B-7.) 
 
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down by 15,000 from
+193,000 to +178,000, and the change for July was revised down by 5,000 from +164,000 to
+159,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 20,000
less than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received
from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the
recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 156,000 per
month over the last 3 months. 

_____________
The Employment Situation for September is scheduled to be released on Friday,
October 4, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).



The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: September 06, 2019 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Aug.
2018
June
2019
July
2019
Aug.
2019
Change from:
July
2019-
Aug.
2019

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

258,066 259,037 259,225 259,432 207

Civilian labor force

161,802 162,981 163,351 163,922 571

Participation rate

62.7 62.9 63.0 63.2 0.2

Employed

155,604 157,005 157,288 157,878 590

Employment-population ratio

60.3 60.6 60.7 60.9 0.2

Unemployed

6,197 5,975 6,063 6,044 -19

Unemployment rate

3.8 3.7 3.7 3.7 0.0

Not in labor force

96,264 96,057 95,874 95,510 -364

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

3.8 3.7 3.7 3.7 0.0

Adult men (20 years and over)

3.5 3.3 3.4 3.4 0.0

Adult women (20 years and over)

3.5 3.3 3.4 3.3 -0.1

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

12.7 12.7 12.8 12.6 -0.2

White

3.4 3.3 3.3 3.4 0.1

Black or African American

6.3 6.0 6.0 5.5 -0.5

Asian

3.0 2.1 2.8 2.8 0.0

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4.7 4.3 4.5 4.2 -0.3

Total, 25 years and over

3.2 3.0 3.0 2.9 -0.1

Less than a high school diploma

5.7 5.3 5.1 5.4 0.3

High school graduates, no college

3.9 3.9 3.6 3.6 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.5 3.0 3.2 3.1 -0.1

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.0 2.1 2.2 2.1 -0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

2,868 2,736 2,798 2,876 78

Job leavers

866 888 833 781 -52

Reentrants

1,864 1,868 1,810 1,801 -9

New entrants

586 541 595 574 -21

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,199 1,961 2,201 2,207 6

5 to 14 weeks

1,722 1,830 1,797 1,757 -40

15 to 26 weeks

927 769 905 835 -70

27 weeks and over

1,320 1,414 1,166 1,243 77

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

4,368 4,347 3,984 4,381 397

Slack work or business conditions

2,581 2,707 2,385 2,678 293

Could only find part-time work

1,377 1,337 1,364 1,351 -13

Part time for noneconomic reasons

21,803 21,524 21,437 21,697 260

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,443 1,571 1,478 1,564

Discouraged workers

434 425 368 467

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: September 06, 2019 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.a.htm

 

Story 3: Universal Basic Income or Graduated Fair Tax Less With $1000 Monthly Tax Prebate — Videos

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Joe Rogan Experience #1245 – Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang Talks Universal Basic Income, Benefitting From Tech, His Run For President + More

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang talks A.I. and a universal basic income

Andrew Yang: A wealth tax is not the way to go

The colossal problem with universal basic income | Douglas Rushkoff

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Jordan Peterson on Universal Basic Income.. ‘Money ISN’T the Problem!’

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Jobs of the future and how we can prepare for them | Avinash Meetoo | TEDxALC

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Why everyone is talking about free cash handouts—an explainer on universal basic income

11:42
Elon Musk and Andrew Yang support Universal Basic Income — here’s what it…

The idea of free cash for all may seem too good to be true, but a growing number of high-profile people — from Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang to tech billionaire Elon Musk — say universal basic income, or UBI, may become a reality.

And the rest of America is becoming more interested, too: Google searches for the term “universal basic income” have multiplied as much as 50 times between 2015 and 2019.

So what is UBI? Here’s a primer.

What is UBI?

Universal basic income refers to regular cash payments made to a given population (such as adult U.S. citizens, for example) with minimal or no requirements for receiving the money, in order to increase people’s income, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Beyond that, however, there is often disagreement about what constitutes UBI.

”[T]here is no established common understanding” of UBI, according to economists Maura Francese and Delphine Prady. And therefore, “very different income-support programs are often labeled ‘universal basic income,’ even when they have little in common or do not aim at the same goal.”

However, common variances on the basic tenet include whether cash handouts replace or supplement existing social welfare programs, whether payments are distributed to a household or individual, who foots the bill and how often the payments are distributed.

Why is everybody talking about UBI now?

There are two main conditions fueling the emergence of UBI as a serious topic over the last few years.

The first is fears that automation will put millions of people out of work, leaving them with little or no income.

“There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation,” SpaceX and Tesla boss Elon Musk told CNBC in 2016. “Yeah, I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen.”

0:00
Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage

This is Andrew Yang’s thinking too. Yang, a 44-year-old entrepreneur running for the Democratic presidential nomination, has made UBI the foundation of his 2020 campaign platform. His plan, which he calls the “Freedom Dividend,” is for the federal government to give all U.S. citizens ages 18 and over $1,000 per month.

Fellow Democratic hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders said in 2015 he is “absolutely sympathetic to that approach,” and former Vice President Joe Biden said in 2018 he would consider a UBI as a last resort. Republicans are more likely to be against UBI.

Americans, however, are split on whether they would support universal basic income as a solution for those whose jobs are replaced by robots: 48% support and 52% do not, according to a February 2018 Gallup survey.

There is also debate as to whether robots will actually take people’s jobs: A 2017 McKinsey & Company report estimates as much as one-third of the U.S. workforce may need to learn new skills and find a new job because of automation by 2030, while a 2017 report from Gartner says artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it eliminates.

The other major situation motivating the current conversation about UBI is America’s extreme and growing wealth inequality. Some see cash payments as a way to help even the playing field.

CNBC Andrew Yang
Andrew Yang in his campaign headquarters in February 2019.
CNBC Make It

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, for one, falls into this camp.

“Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract …. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas,” Zuckerberg said in his 2017 Harvard commencement speech. After all, he said, it was because he had a financial safety net from his dentist father that he felt free to try something as risky as turning Facebook into a business.

The wave of interest in UBI is also inspiring a smattering of experiments and pilot studies with UBI in the U.S.

The once-bankrupt town of Stockton, California, initiated an 18-month experiment in February, distributing monthly checks for $500 to 130 randomly selected Stockton residents to mitigate poverty and inequality. Michael Tubbs, the town’s now 28-year-old mayor, decided on the program after reading Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” In the book, King writes: ”… the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.”

And one of the country’s top start-up accelerators’ research arm, Y Combinator Research, has run small-scale tests in Oakland, California, to test and improve procedures ahead of a larger-scale program. In that program, 1,000 randomly selected individuals across two as-yet-undisclosed states will receive $1,000 per month for three years to study the impact of the cash transfer.

Who pays?

That depends on who you talk to.

Hillary Clinton seriously considered running her 2016 campaign for president on a platform built with UBI. But she couldn’t figure out a reasonable way to pay for it.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t make the numbers work,” Clinton wrote in her campaign memoir, “What Happened.” “To provide a meaningful dividend each year to every citizen, you’d have to raise enormous sums of money, and that would either mean a lot of new taxes or cannibalizing other important programs. We decided it was exciting but not realistic….”

Others believe there is a solution.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, a UBI supporter, says a guaranteed basic income should be paid for by the wealthiest 1% of society, according to his book, “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn.”

Chris Hughes

@chrishughes

Recurring cash payments, directly to the people who need it most, are a proven tool to beat back against the rising tide of . Discover how a can help lift 20 million people out of poverty overnight at http://fairshotbook.com .

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And Yang proposes to pay for UBI by implementing a value-added tax, or VAT, of 10% on goods and services a company produces. “Because our economy is so vast, this would generate between $700 and $800 billion in revenue,” he said on Reddit in 2018. Indeed, Eric Toder of the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Policy Center told CNBC Make It in 2018 that such a VAT in the United States could raise anywhere from $500 billion to $1 trillion, depending on how broadly the tax is applied.

One thing is certain, however: It would cost a lot.

“A truly universal UBI would be enormously expensive,” say Hilary Hoynes and Jesse Rothstein, economics and public policy professors at the University of California at Berkeley. “The kinds of UBIs often discussed would cost nearly double current total spending on the ‘big three’ programs (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid),” according to their working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in February. They also say these social welfare programs would still be needed even with UBI.

Will it work?

Critics say universal basic income is too expensive, that it gives people incentive to be unproductive, that it’s bad for people’s self-worth and that there are more efficient ways to spend government money to help those who can’t support themselves.

“Just giving $1,000 to everybody in itself is not the right solution” if helping those who need it most in society is the goal, Thomas Piketty, an economist and professor at the Paris School of Economics, told CNBC Make It at Columbia University in March.

And Ian Goldin, a professor of globalization and development at the University of Oxford, argued in the Financial Times that “individuals gain not only income, but meaning, status, skills, networks and friendships through work. Delinking income and work, while rewarding people for staying at home, is what lies behind social decay.”

Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz told CNBC in April, “I think there’s a certain dignity from work. Some of my younger students say, ‘Oh there could be a lot of dignity from meditation and from other ways of spending time.’ But I think for most people there will be a real desire to work,” Stiglitz says.

As far as the data goes, it’s mixed.

Some of the news seems positive. For example, left-leaning think tank Roosevelt Institute says a $1,000-a-month payment would actually grow the economy by $2.5 trillion by 2025 if it was paid for by increasing the federal deficit; however, increasing taxes would have no net benefit to the economy.

And some small UBI use cases seem to show that cash handouts help those who receive them in some ways — alleviating emotional stress and helping individuals pay their bills. However, it is not a silver bullet for unemployment.

Joseph Stiglitz on inequality, automation and UBI

For instance, preliminary results of a two-year experiment in Finland that gave 2,000 unemployed people 560 euros ($638) a month show that, for the first year of the study, 2017, those getting cash payments reported improved well-being. However, there was no effect on employment status. Results for employment status in 2018, the second year of the study, are not yet available.

A basic income pilot program in Ontario, Canada, launched in April 2017 with a plan to distribute varying monthly payments to more than 4,000 people living on incomes less than $34,000 Canadian (or about $25,925 U.S.) for up to three years via tax credits. In July, the government of Ontario announced it would shut down the program (due to the cost and a change in government leadership), and in August, it said that payments would run through March. But the advocacy group Basic Income Canada Network got some feedback. Responses from 424 participants indicated the payments gave them increased personal agency, relief from anxiety, increased social connection and the ability to invest in things like education and job-hunting.

Then there are the residents of Alaska, who receive a yearly dividend from the Alaska Permanent Fund, which was launched in 1982 to pass along oil profits to future generations. In 2018, the payment was $1,600. Alaskans reportedly use the money for everything from heating oil and clothing to medical emergencies, travel and student loan payments. And a 2018 study of Alaskans suggests that “a universal and permanent cash transfer does not significantly decrease aggregate employment.”

Mark Zuckerberg: Alaska’s cash handout program “provides some good lessons for the rest of the country”

Correction: This article has been revised to reflect that Andrew Yang expanded his “Freedom Dividend” to include all U.S. citizens ages 18 and over and to reflect that Google Trends data shows the term “universal basic income” has been searched 50 times more in 2019 as it was in 2015.

See also:

Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage

This California city’s 27-year-old mayor will give residents $500 free cash per month

Billionaire Mark Cuban: One of the ‘most patriotic’ things you can do is get ‘obnoxiously rich’

Universal Basic Income, Its Pros and Cons With Examples

Should Everyone Get a Guaranteed Income?

A universal basic income is a government guarantee that each citizen receives a minimum income. It is also called a citizen’s income, guaranteed minimum income, or basic income.

 

The Purpose of Universal Basic Income

In 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. said a guaranteed income would abolish poverty. That means reducing income inequality as well.

Economist Milton Friedman proposed a negative income tax. The poor would receive a tax credit if their income fell below a minimum level. It would be equivalent to the tax payment for the families earning above the minimum level.
In 2018, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes outlined his plan in his book “Fair Shot.” He argues that U.S. workers, students, and caregivers making $50,000 or less a year should receive a guaranteed income of $500 a month. “Cash is the best thing you can do to improve health outcomes, education outcomes and lift people out of poverty,” Hughes said.
Hughes’ guaranteed income is financed by taxes on the top 1 percent. It would work through a modernization of the earned income tax credit.

To Hughes, it’s the only solution to an economy where “a small group of people are getting very, very wealthy while everyone else is struggling to make ends meet.” Hughes said automation and globalization have destroyed the employment market. It’s created a lot of part-time, contract, and temporary jobs. But those positions aren’t enough to provide a decent standard of living.

Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates agree. They argue that automation has fundamentally changed the structure of the U.S. economy. Sir Richard Branson said a guaranteed income is inevitable. Artificial intelligence will take too many jobs from people. Elon Musk said robotics will take away most people’s jobs, so a universal income is the only solution.
  • Workers could afford to wait for a better job or better wages.
  • People would have the freedom to return to school or stay home to care for a relative.
  • The “poverty trap” would be removed from traditional welfare programs.
  • Citizens could have simple, straightforward financial assistance that minimizes bureaucracy.
  • The government would spend less to administer the program than with traditional welfare.
  • Payments would help young couples start families in countries with low birth rates.
  • The payments could help stabilize the economy during recessionary periods.

Cons

  • Inflation could be triggered because of the increase in demand for goods and services.
  • There won’t be an increased standard of living in the long run because of inflated prices.
  • A reduced program with smaller payments won’t make a real difference to poverty-stricken families.
  • Free income may disincentivize people to get jobs, and make work seem optional.
  • Free income could perpetuate the falling labor force participation rate.
  • It would be difficult especially in the US to get legislation passed because of stiff opposition to handouts for the unemployed.

 

Detailed Advantages

An unconditional basic income would enable workers to wait for a better job or negotiate better wages. They could improve their marketability by going back to school. They could even quit their job to care for a relative.

Current welfare programs are also complicated for administrators and recipients. A simple cash payment would cut down on bureaucracy. It would replace housing vouchers, food stamps, and other programs.
The simplicity of the program means it would also cost governments less. Cash payments that went to everyone would eliminate costly income-verification paperwork. Conservative Utah Senator Mike Lee told the Heritage Foundation, “There’s no reason the federal government should maintain 79 different means-tested programs.” Only applicants with low incomes qualify for means-tested programs.
Some countries are concerned about falling birth rates. A guaranteed income would give young couples the confidence they need to start a family. It would also provide workers the confidence to bid up wages. From a macro viewpoint, it would give society a much-needed ballast during a recession.

 

Detailed Disadvantages

If everyone suddenly received a basic income, it would create inflation. Most would immediately spend the extra cash, driving up demand. Retailers would order more, and manufacturers would try to produce more. But if they couldn’t increase supply, they would raise prices. Higher prices would soon make the basics unaffordable to those at the bottom of the income pyramid. In the long run, a guaranteed income would not raise their standard of living.

A guaranteed income that’s enough to eliminate poverty would be too expensive. In 2012, there were 179 million working-age adults. It would cost $2.14 trillion to pay each of them $11,945 (the poverty level) each year. But it would replace existing welfare programs that cost $1 trillion a year. So it would add $1.2 trillion to the deficit, or 7.5 percent of the total economic output that year.
To save money, some programs would not pay as much. But research shows that payments of a few hundred dollars aren’t enough to make a real difference in the lives of the poverty-stricken.
If everyone received a free income, it could remove the incentive to work hard. Oren Cass, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, says it would make work seem optional. Many recipients might prefer to live on the free income rather than get a job. They would not acquire work skills or a good resume. It could prevent them from ever getting a good job in a competitive environment. It could reduce an already-falling labor force participation rate.
Lastly, such a plan would be difficult to get passed in the United States. Most people are opposed to handouts to those who don’t work. For that reason, many already oppose welfare and even unemployment benefits. Even raising the U.S. minimum wage has been difficult, despite the widespread belief that hard workers should be rewarded.

 

Guaranteed Income History in the U.S.

In 1968, President Johnson’s administration launched a test of the negative income tax in New Jersey. It found that welfare recipients received a higher payment from that program than they did from the standard income tax. A higher-paying program was tested in Seattle and Denver.

Results showed reduced incentive to work. It also broke up families, since husbands and wives no longer had to remain together for financial reasons. The administrative costs were very high for both programs.
The earned income tax credit is a form of guaranteed income. It provides a percentage tax credit for every dollar of earned income up to a maximum credit. Since the credit increases along with income, it promotes the incentive to work. But as the income reaches a maximum level, the tax credit phases out and decreases. That creates a disincentive to earn more. A 1990 study revealed that 40 percent of benefits were paid to families who weren’t eligible for the EITC.

 

Current Examples in the U.S. and Other Countries

Alaska has had a guaranteed income program since 1982. The Alaska Permanent Fund pays each resident an average of $1,200 a year out of oil revenues. Almost three-fourths of recipients save it for emergencies.

In 2017, the Hawaii state legislature passed a bill declaring that everyone is entitled to basic financial security. It directed the government to develop a solution, which may include a guaranteed income.
In Oakland, California, the seed accelerator Y Combinator will pay 100 families between $1,000 to $2,000 a month.
Stockton, California, is planning a two-year pilot program for fall 2018. It would give $500 a month to 100 local families. It hopes to keep families together, and away from payday lenders, pawn shops, and gangs.
Chicago, Illinois, is considering a pilot to give 1,000 families $500 a month.
Canada is experimenting with a basic income program. It will give 4,000 Ontario residents living in poverty C$17,000 a year or C$24,000/couple. They can only keep half of their income from any jobs they have.
In 2017, Finland began a two-year experiment. It gave 2,000 unemployed people 560 euros a month for two years, even if they found work. The recipients said it reduced stress. It also gave them more incentive to find a good job or start their own business. The Finnish government was supposed to extend the trial to employed workers in 2018. Researchers wanted to see if that would help them get better jobs, as well. But the Finnish government scrapped the expansion before it began. It is exploring other social welfare programs instead.
A pilot program in Utrecht, Holland, pays 250 people 960 euros a month.
In 2017, Kenya announced a 12 year pilot to benefit 6,000 villagers. They will receive a $22 monthly payment on their smart phone equivalent. It will double some residents’ income. They must remain in their town. MIT economist Abhijit Banerjee will monitor the results.
Scotland is funding research into a program that pays every citizen for life. Retirees would receive 150 pounds a week. Working adults would get 100 pounds and children under 16 would be paid 50 pounds a week.
Taiwan may vote on a basic income. Younger people have left rural areas in search of decent wages. Some have even left the country to look for work. A guaranteed income might keep them from emigrating. It would also help the senior citizens left behind who live in poverty. The country only spends 5 percent of its gross domestic product on welfare programs. The average for developed countries is 22 percent.
Under the proposal, the government would pay NT$6,304 per month for children under 18 and NT$12,608 per month for adults. It would cost NT$3.4 trillion, or 19 percent of GDP. To fund it, Taiwan would levy a 31 percent tax on earnings above NT$840,000 per year. As a result, the program would raise the incomes of two-thirds of the population. The richer third would lose NT$710 billion.
In 2016, Switzerland voted against universal income. The government proposed paying every resident 2,500 Swiss francs per month.
Economists Kalle Moene and Debraj Ray propose a payment system tied to a country’s economic output. They suggest 10 to 12 percent of GDP go directly to the universal income payments. The benefit is it would automatically rise with national prosperity and inflation.
It’s too soon to tell if these pilot programs will work. The universal income’s simplicity makes it an attractive alternative to welfare programs. But its proponents haven’t suggested solutions to its several potential issues.

https://www.thebalance.com/universal-basic-income-4160668

Stanford scholar explores pros, cons of ‘basic income’

Stanford historian Jennifer Burns said that while political challenges exist to implement a “universal basic income,” this type of measure would protect workers and families against the fluidity of today’s workplace and employment worlds.

Given the flux of American politics right now, an idea like “universal basic income” could gain political traction, a Stanford historian says.

Stanford scholar Jennifer Burns, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and an associate professor of history in the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences, says such a program could help protect workers who hit rock bottom in an age of technological disruption.

A basic income – also called basic income guarantee, universal basic income or basic living stipend – is a program in which citizens of a country receive a regular sum of money from the government. Tech leaders Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have floated the idea, and the city of Chicago is considering such a proposal as a way to reduce the disruptions of automation in the workforce.

Jennifer Burns, associate professor of history, says a universal basic income program could help protect workers who have hit rock bottom.(Image credit: Courtesy Jennifer Burns)

Burns researches and writes about 20th-century American intellectual, political, and cultural history and is currently writing a book about the economist Milton Friedman, who supported the idea of a universal income.

 

What would be the benefits of a universal basic income if it were to become a reality?

The most attractive aspect of universal basic income, or UBI, is that it can serve to underwrite market participation, in contrast to other welfare programs that essentially require people to not be employed to receive the benefit. Some programs even require participants to have essentially zero assets in order to qualify. In effect, the programs kick in when people have hit rock bottom, rather than trying to prevent them from getting there in the first place.

 

What are the best arguments against a universal basic income?

The best argument against UBI is feasibility. You may be surprised I do not mention cost. If one multiplies the popular figure for an annual UBI – typically $12,000 a year – by the population of the United States, you get an eye-popping figure of over $3 trillion. The figure varies depending on whether children are included and at what benefit level. However, if you set this against current taxes and transfers, and conceptualize the UBI as a benefit that can be taxed for higher earners, the costs come down significantly.

The real challenge is political. First, there is significant bias against unconditional transfer programs. Most welfare programs in the United States are tied in some way to employment; for example, think of Social Security. Building popular support for a program that breaks this connection between welfare and work will require political leadership of the highest order. And then there is the enormous hurdle of integrating a UBI with the extant institutional and bureaucratic structure of the federal state. For these reasons, we may see a UBI on the state level first.

 

What did Milton Friedman think of the idea of a universal basic income?

Although he didn’t call it a UBI, the idea of a minimum income was the earliest policy proposal Friedman came up with. In his papers, I was astounded to find his first proposal for what he called “a minimum standard of living” written in 1939. This is when he was completely unknown as an economist, although he was clearly already thinking big.  Eventually, he revised it into a proposal for a negative income tax, which was enacted through the earned income tax credit, or EITC, a policy still in place today. The EITC is considered a highly successful program, with well-documented benefits for children in particular. Scholars have also found it serves to increase workforce participation among recipients.

Although he has a reputation as a radical libertarian, Friedman believed there was a clear role for the state in society. In particular, he believed there would always be persons who could not compete effectively in a market economy. He also recognized the role of luck in life, even calling the memoir he wrote with his wife, Rose, Two Lucky People. Whether it was temporary assistance or long-term support, Friedman saw a place for welfare. But Friedman was a great believer in the power of choice. Rather than give poor people specific benefits – food stamps, for example – he favored giving people cash that they could then bring into the marketplace and use to exercise individual choice.

 

Wouldn’t people stop working if they got “free money”?

That’s another common response to the idea of UBI. In most scenarios, the grant would not be enough to forsake paid employment altogether. The idea is that when combined with paid income, a UBI would lift the living standard of even low-skilled, low-income workers. This is why the EITC has been so effective. However, families could pool grants, perhaps enabling several members to leave the workforce altogether. This possibility has proven a point of interest both to conservatives, who point out that current welfare programs often incentivize fathers to live apart from their children, and progressives who want to provide cash benefits to mothers and others providing family care.

Milton Friedman had an interesting take on this issue. William F. Buckley asked him if he wasn’t worried about people taking the money and neglecting their children, etc. Friedman responded: “If we give them the money, we will strengthen their responsibility.” He seemed to be making a point that more recent social science research has fleshed out. Poverty, scholars have found, actually makes it harder to be responsible, to plan, to think about the future. When you are focused on getting enough to eat, or making rent, you don’t have many psychological resources left over to focus on anything else. And, when you can’t pay a traffic fine or afford safe housing, all the other foundations of a good life like steady employment and getting your children an education can also be out of reach.

 

What does the future hold for universal basic income in the U.S.?

If the future of UBI can be gauged from media interest, its future is bright. Also, the idea has attracted an enormous number of high-level supporters. Particularly in Silicon Valley, it’s a genuine fad, attracting adherents from entrepreneurs and tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.

There are two challenges ahead. The first is to spread the basic idea so that it continues to move from fringe to mainstream. The second is to build it into a workable policy with a political base. Given the fluidity of American politics right now, it could be the perfect moment for a policy that is at once utopian, bipartisan and deeply rooted in American thought.

Stanford scholar explores pros, cons of ‘basic income’

California City Experiments With Universal Basic Income

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang wants to give cash to every American each month.

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Susie Garza has never heard of Yang. But since February, she’s been getting $500 a month from a nonprofit in Stockton, California, as part of an experiment that offers something unusual in presidential politics: a trial run of a campaign promise, highlighting the benefits and challenges in real time.

Garza can spend the money however she wants. She uses $150 of it to pay for her cellphone and another $100 or so to pay off her dog’s veterinarian bills. She spends the rest on her two grandsons now that she can afford to buy them birthday presents online and let them get the big bag of chips at the 7-Eleven.

“I’ve never been able to do that. I thought it was just the coolest thing,” said Garza, who is unemployed and previously was addicted to drugs, though she said she has been sober for 18 years following a stint in prison. “I like it because I feel more independent, like I’m in charge. I really have something that’s my own.”

Garza is part of an experiment testing the impact of “universal basic income,” an old idea getting new life thanks to the 2020 presidential race, although Stockton’s project is an independent one and has no connection to any presidential race.

Yang, a tech entrepreneur, has anchored his longshot bid with a proposal to give $1,000 in cash to every American, saying the payments will shield workers from the pain of certain job losses caused by automation. The idea has helped him win unexpected support and even muscle out some better-known candidates from the debate stages. His proposal isn’t too far off from one by U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, one of the top contenders for the Democratic nomination, who has a proposal to give up to $500 a month to working families.

Stockton, once known as the foreclosure capital of the country and for one of the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcies, is a step ahead of both candidates. In February, the city launched the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, a pilot program spearheaded by a new mayor and financed in part by the nonprofit led by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. The city chose 125 people who live in census tracts at or below the city’s median household income of $46,033. They get the money on a debit card on the 15th of each month.

“I think poverty is immoral, I think it is antiquated and I think it shouldn’t exist,” said Michael Tubbs, the city’s 29-year-old Democratic mayor.

Tubbs’ personal story includes a cousin who was killed, a father who is in prison and a mother who, as a teenager, raised him with the help of multiple jobs. He found his way to Stanford and public service, where he persuaded his beleaguered city to sign on to a provocative new idea: guaranteed cash.

Stockton residents, who have elected Republican mayors for 16 out of the last 22 years, were skeptical, worried about encouraging people not to work. Tubbs said he calmed their fears by noting the money came from private donations, not taxpayer dollars.

“I would tell people all that time that would be upset or would call angry, I would say, well, I’m just as angry as you are, but I’m angry about the problem. I’m not angry about possible solutions,” Tubbs said.

A team of researchers is monitoring the participants. Their chief interest is not finances but happiness. They are using what they call a “mattering scale” to measure how much people feel like they matter to society.

“Do people notice you are there? Those things are correlated to health and well-being,” said Stacia Martin-West, a researcher at the University of Tennessee who is working on the program along with Amy Castro-Baker at the University of Pennsylvania.

The money has made Jovan Bravo happier. The 31-year-old Stockton native and construction worker is married and has three children, ages 13, 8 and 4. He said he didn’t see enough of his children when he worked six days a week to pay the bills.

That changed when he started getting $500 a month. Now he only works one Saturday a month. He uses the other Saturdays to take his kids to the amusement park and ride bikes with them in the park.

“It’s made a huge difference,” he said. “Just being able to spend more time with the wife and kids, it brings us closer together.”

Stockton officials do not release the names of the program participants. They arrange interviews with journalists only for those who volunteer to discuss their experiences.

The idea of a guaranteed income dates back to at least the 18th century and has crossed ideological and cultural lines.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Republicans Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney oversaw four guaranteed-income experiments scattered across the country when Rumsfeld, later a defense secretary, was director of President Richard Nixon’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Cheney, the future vice president, was his deputy.

The program had some hiccups, including a woman who spent all the money on alcohol and a man who went into debt buying expensive furniture for his government-subsidized apartment, according to a 1970 New York Times story. But the experiment concluded that the money did not stop people from working and led Nixon to propose expanding the program, which ultimately did not pass Congress.

Since then, other studies have reached similar results. A 2018 study in Alaska, where residents have gotten a share of the state’s oil revenue every year since 1982, found the money has not shrunk the state’s labor force. The same was found in a 2010 UCLA study in North Carolina, where the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has shared casino revenue with its members since the mid-1990s.

The latest momentum comes with the help of the technology industry, which is grappling with how to prepare for the job losses likely to come with automation and artificial intelligence.

The tech connection has drawn criticism from left-leaning labor unions skeptical of the industry’s motives.

“We think the future of work should be defined by working people, not tech billionaires,” said Steve Smith, spokesman for the California Labor Federation, a group of 1,200 unions and a reliable ally for some of the state’s most liberal policies. “If there are no jobs available, you are pretty much stuck with your $1,000 a month check while the CEO of the tech company that automated you out of a job is being paid a billion dollars a year.”

Other critics note that the programs can chip away at the social safety net. Yang’s plan requires recipients to decline food stamps and some other government assistance.

There’s also the question of how to pay for it.

Stockton’s program, giving 125 people $500 per month for 18 months, will cost just over $1.1 million. Harris’ plan, which covers working families making up to $100,000 annually, would cost about $275 billion per year, according to the Tax Policy Center. To pay for it, she says she would repeal some of the 2017 GOP tax cuts and impose new taxes on corporations.

Yang’s plan, which covers every adult in the United States, would cost $2.8 trillion per year. He would impose a new tax on businesses’ goods and services while shrinking some other government assistance programs. Representatives for Yang and Harris did not respond to interview requests.

The Stockton experiment runs through July 2020. Researchers expect to release their first round of data this fall, when the presidential campaigns are preparing for the Iowa caucuses and state primaries.

Tubbs says he already sees success in making the city a focal point in the discussion about the future of capitalism and the U.S. economy. But once the experiment is over, he’s not sure what’s next. He says guaranteed income would need to be much bigger — at least statewide — to really have an impact.

Garza does not know what’s next for her, either. She relies on her husband for most things, and he recently lost his job. The extra $500 a month was so helpful, it left her wondering how she was lucky enough to get it — a question she posed to the program’s director.

“She goes, ‘Because you’re blessed,'” Garza said. “And I just left it at that.”

https://hosted.ap.org/article/758f8d90cb664ba5bca303f93e46da3a/california-buzzy-campaign-idea-gets-test-run

Fighting technological unemployment

With advanced technology taking over more and more blue and white collar jobs, UBI would act as a sort of security net for the millions of people who will be left jobless by the tech revolution. Research shows that the longer you are unemployed, the longer it takes to find employment. If the jobless had a small source of income to help them back on their feet, they could find new jobs and start contributing to the economy sooner.

Ending abuse

Those who suffer domestic abuse, mainly women, become trapped in violent situations because they don’t have the means to leave them. UBI would make leaving an abusive partner easy, and would unleash the potential of countless people trapped by domestic violence.

Supporting unpaid care workers

Those with ill or differently abled relatives are often forced to quit their jobs and look after them full-time. UBI would allow care-workers to support themselves, encouraging care work and taking pressure off public services that provide care to the sick and elderly.

Expanding the middle class

The economic growth of high-income countries is making the rich richer, but having very little effect on the working classes. The research of economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty showed that “the bottom half of earners went from making 20 percent of overall income in 1979 to just 13 percent in 2014. The top 1 percent, on the other hand, have gone from making 11 percent to 20 percent. The pie has gotten vastly bigger, and the richest families have reaped bigger and bigger pieces from it.” UBI would help balance this inequality and expand the ever-shrinking middle class.

Ending poverty

Advocates for UBI believe that in some of the richest countries in the world, no one should be too poor to live. UBI would bring everyone’s income above the poverty line.

Eliminating the need for social security

There exist countless governmental organisations responsible for helping those in poverty, handing out unemployment benefits, food stamps, subsidised housing, etc. UBI would cut a country’s spending by eliminating these organisations.

Discouraging low wages

UBI would give employees bargaining power. As Annie Lowrey says, “why take a crummy job for 7.25 an hour when you have a guaranteed 1,000 dollars a month to fall back on?”

Think of it like Monopoly

Most people intuitively think that jobs lead to money, but the reality is that money actually leads to jobs. Without money, you cannot build a life that will get you a job. In order to get a job, you need to have a house with a shower, a set of clothes, money for transport, money for food, etc. If you want to contribute to the economy on an even greater scale and start your own business, you’ll need even more money. In the game Monopoly, everyone starts off with a little bit of money – without it, the game wouldn’t work and no one would be able to become rich or successful. UBI is like Monopoly – everyone starts off with a little bit of money, and uses it to fuel a thriving economy.

Successful implementation of UBI would mean improvements in food security, stress, mental health, physical health, housing, education, and employment.

Universal Basic Income

What are the possible disadvantages of Universal Basic Income?

Motivation to work

The biggest concern is that UBI would incite millions of workers to stop working. If people aren’t working, there is less taxable income. However, people may choose to stop working for reasons that benefit society as a whole, like getting a better education or caring for an elderly relative.

Cost

The cost of implementing UBI in the United States is estimated to be about 3.9 trillion per year. The idea is that UBI would take pressure off health services and make social security institutions redundant, but this is still a high cost.

Inequality

Some wonder if it is really fair to give the same amount of money to those born into poverty as multi-millionaires. Does Bill Gates really need extra money each month? Some believe that a certain accumulation of wealth should show you have out-grown UBI.

Philosophical counterarguments

Is money a birthright? Capitalist countries are built on the ideological foundation that money is something we earn – UBI would completely change this. Some believe that community service should be a requirement for receiving UBI.

Case Studies

Iran 

In 2010, the government of Iran ran a UBI trial, giving citizens transfers of 29 percent of the median income each month. Poverty and inequality were reduced, and there was no sign of large amounts of people leaving the labour market. In fact, people used it to invest in their businesses, encouraging the growth of small enterprises.

Canada 

A UBI trial in Manitoba, Canada, showed a modest reduction in workers, along with fewer hospitalisations and mental health diagnoses.

In her new book, Give People Money, Annie Lowrey speaks to experts around the world about Universal Basic Income, the simple idea to solve inequality and revolutionise our lives.

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2018/universal-basic-income-pros-cons/

Basic income

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On 4 October 2013, Swiss activists from Generation Grundeinkommen organized a performance in Bern in which roughly 8 million coins, one coin representing one person out of Switzerland’s population, were dumped on a public square. This was done in celebration of the successful collection of more than 125,000 signatures, forcing the government to hold a referendum in 2016 on whether or not to incorporate the concept of basic income in the federal constitution. The measure did not pass, with 76.9% voting against changing the federal constitution to support basic income.[1]

Basic income, also called universal basic incomecitizen’s incomecitizen’s basic income in the United Kingdom, basic income guarantee in the United States and Canada, or basic living stipend or universal demogrant, is a periodic payment delivered to all on an individual basis without means test or work requirement.[2] The incomes would be:

  • Unconditional: A basic income would vary with age, but with no other conditions. Everyone of the same age would receive the same basic income, whatever their gender, employment status, family structure, contribution to society, housing costs, or anything else.
  • Automatic: Someone’s basic income would be automatically paid weekly or monthly into a bank account or similar.
  • Non-withdrawable: Basic incomes would not be means-tested. Whether someone’s earnings increase, decrease, or stay the same, their basic income will not change.
  • Individual: Basic incomes would be paid on an individual basis and not on the basis of a couple or household.
  • As a right: Every legal resident would receive a basic income, subject to a minimum period of legal residency and continuing residency for most of the year.[3]

Basic income can be implemented nationally, regionally or locally. An unconditional income that is sufficient to meet a person’s basic needs (at or above the poverty line) is sometimes called a full basic income while if it is less than that amount, it is sometimes called partial. A welfare system with some characteristics similar to those of a basic income is a negative income tax in which the government stipend is gradually reduced with higher labour income. Some welfare systems are sometimes regarded as steps on the way to a basic income, but because they have conditionalities attached they are not basic incomes. If they raise household incomes to specified minima they are called guaranteed minimum income systems. For example, Bolsa Família in Brazil is restricted to poor families and the children are obligated to attend school.[4]

Several political discussions are related to the basic income debate. Examples include the debates regarding robotization, artificial intelligence (AI), and the future of work. A key issue in these debates is whether robotisation and AI will significantly reduce the number of available jobs. Basic income often comes up as a proposal in these discussions.

Contents

History

The idea of a state-run basic Income dates back to the early 16th century, when Sir Thomas More‘s Utopia depicted a society in which every person receives a guaranteed income.[5] In the late 18th century, English radical Thomas Spence and American revolutionary Thomas Paine both declared their support for a welfare system that guaranteed all citizens a certain income. Nineteenth-century debate on basic income was limited, but during the early part of the 20th century a basic income called a “state bonus” was widely discussed, and in 1946 the United Kingdom implemented unconditional family allowances for the second and subsequent children of every family. In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States and Canada conducted several experiments with negative income taxation, a related welfare system. From the 1980s and onward, the debate in Europe took off more broadly and since then it has expanded to many countries around the world. A few countries have implemented large-scale welfare systems that have some similarities to basic income, such as Bolsa Família in Brazil. From 2008 onward, several experiments with basic income and related systems have taken place.

Governments can contribute to individual and household income maintenance strategies in three ways:

  1. The government can establish a minimum income guarantee and not allow income to fall below levels set for various household types, maintaining these levels by paying means-tested benefits.
  2. Social insurance can pay benefits in the case of sickness, unemployment, or old age, on the basis of contributions paid
  3. Universal unconditional payments, such as the United Kingdom’s Child Benefit for children.[6]

In more detail:

  1. A means-tested benefit that raises a household’s income to a guaranteed minimum level is unlike a basic income in that income delivered under a system of guaranteed minimum income is reduced proportionally as other sources of income increase whereas income received from a basic income is constant regardless of other sources of income. Johannes Ludovicus Vives (1492–1540), for example, proposed that the municipal government should be responsible for securing a subsistence minimum to all its residents “not on grounds of justice but for the sake of a more effective exercise of morally required charity”. However, Vives also argued that to qualify for poor relief the recipient must “deserve the help he or she gets by proving his or her willingness to work”.[7]
  2. The first to develop the idea of a social insurance was Marquis de Condorcet (1743–1794). After playing a prominent role in the French Revolution, he was imprisoned and sentenced to death. While in prison, he wrote the Esquisse d’un tableau historique des progrès de l’esprit humain (published posthumously by his widow in 1795), whose last chapter described his vision of a social insurance and how it could reduce inequality, insecurity and poverty. Condorcet mentioned, very briefly, the idea of a benefit to all children old enough to start working by themselves and to start up a family of their own. He is not known to have said or written anything else on this proposal, but his close friend and fellow member of the Constitutional Convention Thomas Paine (1737–1809) developed the idea much further, a couple of years after Condorcet’s death.
  3. The first social movement for Basic Income developed around 1920 in the United Kingdom. Its proponents included Bertrand Russell, Dennis Milner (with his wife Mabel) and C. H. Douglas.
  • Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) argued for a new social model that combined the advantages of socialism and anarchism, and that basic income should be a vital component in that new society.
  • Dennis and Mabel Milner, a Quaker married couple in the Labour Party, published a short pamphlet entitled “Scheme for a State Bonus” (1918) that argued for the “introduction of an income paid unconditionally on a weekly basis to all citizens of the United Kingdom”. They considered it a moral right for everyone to have the means to subsistence, and thus it should not be conditional on work or willingness to work.
  • C. H. Douglas was an engineer who became concerned that most British citizens could not afford to buy the goods that were produced, despite the rising productivity in British industry. His solution to this paradox was a new social system he called social credit, a combination of monetary reform and basic income.

In 1944 and 1945, the Beveridge Committee led by the British economist William Beveridge developed a proposal for a comprehensive new welfare system of social insurance, means-tested benefits and unconditional allowances for children. Committee member Lady Rhys-Williams argued that the incomes for adults should be more like a basic income. She was also the first to develop the negative income tax model.[8][9] Her son Brandon Rhys Williams proposed a basic income to a parliamentary committee in 1982 and soon after that in 1984 the Basic Income Research Group, now the Citizen’s Basic Income Trust, began to conduct and disseminate research on basic income.[10]

In the 1960s and 1970s, some welfare debates in the United States and Canada included discussions of basic income. Six pilot projects were also conducted with the negative income tax. Then President Richard Nixon once even proposed a negative income tax in a bill to the Congress, but Congress eventually only approved a guaranteed minimum income for the elderly and the disabled, not for all citizens, thus:[11]

Nixon proposed more ambitious programs than he enacted, including the National Health Insurance Partnership Program, which promoted health maintenance organizations (HMOs). He also proposed a massive overhaul of federal welfare programs. The centerpiece of Nixon’s welfare reform was the replacement of much of the welfare system with a negative income tax, a favorite proposal of conservative economist Milton Friedman. The purpose of the negative income tax was to provide both a safety net for the poor and a financial incentive for welfare recipients to work.

[11]

In the late 1970s and the 1980s, basic income was more or less forgotten in the United States, but it started to gain some traction in Europe. Basic Income European Network, later renamed to Basic Income Earth Network, was founded in 1986 and started to arrange international conferences every two years.[2] From the 1980s, some people outside party politics and universities took interest. In West Germany, groups of unemployed people took a stance for the reform.[12]

From 2010 onwards, Basic Income again became an active topic in many countries. Basic income is currently discussed from a variety of perspectives—including in the context of ongoing automation and robotisation, often with the argument that these trends mean less paid work in the future, which would create a need for a new welfare model. Several countries are planning for local or regional experiments with basic income or related welfare systems. For example, experiments in Canada, Finland, India and Namibia have received international media attention. The first and only national referendum about basic income was held in Switzerland in 2016. The result was a rejection of the basic income proposal by a vote of 76.9% to 23.1%.

Perspectives in the basic income debate

Automation

The debates about basic income and automation are closely linked. For example, Mark Zuckerberg argues that the increase in automation creates a greater need for basic income. Concerns about automation have prompted many in the high-technology industry to argue for basic income as an implication of their business models. Presidential candidate and non-profit founder Andrew Yang states automation causing the loss of 4 million manufacturing jobs in the midwest, resulting in the election of Donald Trump[13] Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk came out in support of basic income and Andrew Yang due to automation and AI.[14]

Many technologists believe that automation, among other things, is creating technological unemployment. Journalist Nathan Schneider first highlighted the turn of the “tech elite” to these ideas with an article in Vice magazine which cited Marc AndreessenSam AltmanPeter Diamandis and others.[15][16][17] Some studies about automation and jobs validate these concerns. In a report to the Congress, the White House estimated that a worker earning less than $20 an hour in 2010 would eventually lose their job to a machine with 83% probability. Even workers earning as much as $40 an hour faced a probability of 31%.[16] With a rising unemployment rate, poor communities would become more impoverished worldwide. Proponents of universal basic income argue that it could solve many world problems like high work stress and could create more opportunities and efficient and effective work. In a study in Dauphin, Manitoba, only 13% of labor decreased from a much higher expected number.[18] In a study in several Indian villages, basic income in the region raised the education rate of young people by 25%.[19]

Besides technological unemployment, some tech-industry experts worry that automation would destabilize the labor market or increase economic inequality. One example is Chris Hughes, co-founder of both Facebook and Economic Security Project. Automation has been happening for hundreds of years and while it has not permanently reduced the employment rate, it has constantly caused employment instability. It displaces workers who spend their lives learning skills that become outmoded and forces them into unskilled labor. Paul Vallée, a Canadian tech-entrepreneur and CEO of Pythian, argues that automation is at least as likely to increase poverty and reduce social mobility as it is to create ever-increasing unemployment rate. At the 2016 North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress in Winnipeg, Vallée examined slavery as a historical example of a period in which capital (African slaves) could do the same things that paid labor (poor whites) could do. He found that slavery did not cause massive unemployment among poor whites, but instead it increased economic inequality and lowered social mobility.[20]

Bad behavior

Some worry that some people would spend a basic income on alcohol and other drugs.[21][22] However, studies of the impact of direct cash transfer programs provide evidence to the contrary. A 2014 World Bank review of 30 scientific studies concludes: “Concerns about the use of cash transfers for alcohol and tobacco consumption are unfounded”.[23]

Basic income as a part of a post-capitalistic economic system

Harry Shutt proposed basic income and other measures to make all or most enterprises collective rather than private. These measures would create a post-capitalist economic system.[24]

Erik Olin Wright characterizes basic income as a project for reforming capitalism into an economic system by empowering labor in relation to capital, granting labor greater bargaining power with employers in labor markets which can gradually de-commodify labor by decoupling work from income. This would allow for an expansion in scope of the social economy by granting citizens greater means to pursue activities (such as the pursuit of art) that do not yield strong financial returns.[25]

James Meade advocated for a social dividend scheme funded by publicly owned productive assets.[26] Russell argued for a basic income alongside public ownership as a means of shortening the average working day and achieving full employment.[27]

Economists and sociologists have advocated for a form of basic income as a way to distribute economic profits of publicly owned enterprises to benefit the entire population, also referred to as a social dividend, where the basic income payment represents the return to each citizen on the capital owned by society. These systems would be directly financed from returns on publicly owned assets and are featured as major components of many models of market socialism.[28]

Guy Standing has proposed financing a social dividend from a democratically-accountable sovereign wealth fund built up primarily from the proceeds of a levy on rentier income derived from ownership or control of assets—physical, financial and intellectual.[29][30]

Herman Daly, considered as one of the founders of ecologism, argued primarily for a zero growth economy within the ecological limits of the planet. To have such a green and sustainable economy, including basic economic welfare and security to all people, he wrote a lot about the need for structural reforms of the capitalistic system, including basic income, monetary reform, land value tax, trade reforms and higher eco-taxes (taxes on pollution and carbon dioxide). For him, basic income was part of a larger structural change of the economic system towards a more green and sustainable system.

Different ideological arguments

  • Georgist views: geolibertarians seek to synthesize propertarian libertarianism and a geoist (or Georgist) philosophy of land as unowned commons or equally owned by all people, citing the classical economic distinction between unimproved land and private property. The rental value of land is produced by the labors of the community and, as such, rightly belongs to the community at large and not solely to the landholder. A land value tax (LVT) is levied as an annual fee for exclusive access to a section of earth which is collected and redistributed to the community either through public goods, such as public security or a court system, or in the form of a basic guaranteed income called a citizen’s dividend. Geolibertarians view the LVT as a single tax to replace all other methods of taxation which are deemed unjust violations of the non-aggression principle.
  • Conservative views: support for basic income has been expressed by several people associated with conservative political views. While adherents of such views generally favor minimization or abolition of the public provision of welfare services, some have cited basic income as a viable strategy to reduce the amount of bureaucratic administration that is prevalent in many contemporary welfare systems. Others have contended that it could also act as a form of compensation for fiat currency inflation.[31][32][33]
  • Feminist views: feminist views on basic income are loosely divided into two opposing views. One view supports basic income as a means of guaranteeing minimum financial independence for women and of recognizing women’s unpaid work in the home. The opposing feminist view opposes basic income as something that might discourage women from participation in the workforce—reinforcing traditional gender roles of women belonging in the private area and men in the public area.[34][35]

Economic critique

In 2016, the IGM Economic Experts panel at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business was asked if “Granting every American citizen over 21-years old a universal basic income of $13,000 a year — financed by eliminating all transfer programs (including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing subsidies, household welfare payments, and farm and corporate subsidies) — would be better policy than the status quo”, 58 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed, 19 percent were uncertain and 2 percent agreed. Cost was an issue for those who disagreed as well as a lack of optimization in the structure proposed. Daron Acemoglu, Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, expressed these doubts in the survey: “Current US status quo is horrible. A more efficient and generous social safety net is needed. But UBI is expensive and not generous enough”.[36] Eric Maskin has stated that “a minimum income makes sense, but not at the cost of eliminating Social Security and Medicare”.[37] Simeon Djankov, professor at the London School of Economics, argues the costs of a generous system are prohibitive.[38]

Another critique comes from the far-left. Douglas Rushkoff, a professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at the City University of New York, suggests that universal basic income is another way that “obviates the need for people to consider true alternatives to living lives as passive consumers”. He sees it as a sophisticated way for corporations to get richer on the expense of public money.[39]

Economic growth

Some proponents have argued that basic income can increase economic growth because it would sustain people while they invest in education to get interesting and well-paid jobs.[40][21] However, there is also a discussion of basic income within the degrowth movement, which argues against economic growth.[41]

Employment

One argument against basic income is that if people have free and unconditional money, they would “get lazy” and not work as much.[42][43][44] Critics argue that less work means less tax revenue and hence less money for the state and cities to fund public projects. The degree of any disincentive to employment because of basic income would likely depend on how generous the basic income was.

Some studies have looked at employment levels during the experiments with basic income and negative income tax and similar systems. In the negative income tax-experiments in United States in the 1970s, for example, there was a five percent decline in the hours worked. The work reduction was largest for second earners in two-earner households and weakest for the main earner. The reduction in hours was higher when the benefit was higher. Participants in these experiments knew that the experiment was limited in time.[43]

In the Mincome experiment in rural Dauphin, Manitoba also in the 1970s, there were also slight reductions in hours worked during the experiment. However, the only two groups who worked significantly less were new mothers and teenagers working to support their families. New mothers spent this time with their infant children, and working teenagers put significant additional time into their schooling.[45] Under Mincome, “[t]he reduction of work effort was modest: about one per cent for men, three per cent for wives, and five per cent for unmarried women”.[46]

A recent study of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend—the largest scale universal basic income program in the United States which has run since 1976—seems to show this belief is untrue. The researchers—Damon Jones from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and Ioana Marinescu from the University of Pennsylvania School of Public Policy and Practice—maintain that although there is a small decrease in work by recipients due to reasons like those in the Manitoba experiment, there has been a 17 percent increase in part-time jobs. The authors theorize that employment remained steady, because the extra income that let people buy more also increased demand for service jobs. This finding is consistent with the economic data of the time. No effect was seen when it came to jobs in manufacturing, which produce exports. Essentially, the authors argue, macro-economic effects of higher spending supported overall employment. To use an illustrative but hypothetical example, someone who uses the dividend to help with car payments can cut back on hours working as a cashier at a local grocery store. Because more people are spending more, the store must replace the worker who started working less. Meanwhile, distribution of the dividend doesn’t affect the international demand for oil and the jobs connected to it.[47][48] Jones and Marinescu found instead that the larger scale of the program is what allows it to work and not dissuade people out of the work force.

Another study that contradicted such decline in work incentive was a pilot project implemented in 2008 and 2009 in the Namibian village of Omitara. The study found that economic activity actually increased, particularly through the launch of small businesses, and reinforcement of the local market by increasing households’ buying power.[49] However, the residents of Omitara were described as suffering “dehumanising levels of poverty” before the introduction of the pilot, and as such the project’s relevance to potential implementations in developed economies is unknown.[50]

James Meade states that a return to full employment can only be achieved if, among other things, workers offer their services at a low enough price that the required wage for unskilled labor would be too low to generate a socially desirable distribution of income. He therefore concludes that a “citizen’s income” is necessary to achieve full employment without suffering stagnant or negative growth in wages.[51]

If there is a disincentive to employment because of basic income, the magnitude of such a disincentive may depend on how generous the basic income was. Some campaigners in Switzerland have suggested a level that would be only just liveable, arguing that people would want to supplement it.[52]

Tim Worstall, a writer, blogger and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute,[53] has argued that traditional welfare schemes create a disincentive to work because such schemes typically cause people to lose benefits at around the same rate that their income rises (a form of welfare trap where the marginal tax rate is 100 percent). He has asserted that this particular disincentive is not a property shared by basic income since the rate of increase is positive at all incomes.[54]

Freedom

Philippe Van Parijs has argued that basic income at the highest sustainable level is needed to support real freedom, or the freedom to do whatever one “might want to do”.[55] By this, Van Parijs means that all people should be free to use the resources of the Earth and the “external assets” people make out of them to do whatever they want. Money is like an access ticket to use those resources, and so to make people equally free to do what they want with world assets, the government should give each individual as many such access tickets as possible—that is, the highest sustainable basic income.

Karl Widerquist and others have proposed a theory of freedom in which basic income is needed to protect the power to refuse work[56] which can be summarized as follows. If the resources necessary to an individual’s survival are controlled by another group, that individual has no reasonable choice other than to do whatever the resource-controlling group demands. Before the establishment of governments and landlords, individuals had direct access to the resources they needed to survive. Today, resources necessary for the production of food, shelter and clothing have been privatized in such a way that some have gotten a share and others have not.

Therefore, the argument goes that the owners of those resources owe compensation back to non-owners, sufficient at least for them to purchase the resources or goods necessary to sustain their basic needs. This redistribution must be unconditional because people can consider themselves free only if they are not forced to spend all their time doing the bidding of others simply to provide basic necessities to themselves and their families.[21] Under this argument, personal, political and religious freedom are worth little without the power to say no. In this view, basic income provides an economic freedom which—combined with political freedom, freedom of belief and personal freedom—establish each individual’s status as a free person.

Gender equality

The Scottish economist Ailsa McKay has argued that basic income is a way to promote gender equality.[57][58] She noted in 2001 that “social policy reform should take account of all gender inequalities and not just those relating to the traditional labor market” and that “the citizens’ basic income model can be a tool for promoting gender-neutral social citizenship rights”.[57]

Poverty reduction

Advocates of basic income often argue that it has the potential to reduce or even eradicate poverty.[59]

According to a randomized controlled study in the Rarieda District of Kenya run by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on the Give Directly program, the impact of an uncondition was that for every $1,000 disbursed, there was a $270 increase in earnings, a $430 increase in assets, and a $330 increase in nutrition spending, with a 0% effect on alcohol or tobacco spending.[60]

Milton Friedman, a renowned economist, supported UBI, reasoning that it would help to reduce poverty. He said:

The virtue of [a negative income tax] is precisely that it treats everyone the same way. […] [T]here’s none of this unfortunate discrimination among people.[61]

Martin Luther King Jr. was also an advocate of UBI, as he believed that a basic income was a necessity that would help to reduce poverty, regardless of race, religion or social class. In King’s last book before his assassination Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, he said:

I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.[62]

Reduction of medical costs

The Canadian Medical Association passed a motion in 2015 in clear support of basic income and for basic income trials in Canada.[63]

British journalist Paul Mason has stated that universal basic income would probably reduce the high medical costs associated with diseases of poverty. According to Mason, stress, diseases like high blood pressure, type II diabetes and the like would probably become less common.[64]

Transparency and administrative efficiency

Basic income is potentially a much simpler and more transparent welfare system than welfare states currently use.[65] Instead of separate welfare programs (including unemployment insurance, child support, pensions, disability, housing support) it could be one income, or it could be a basic payment that welfare programs could add to.[66] This could require less paperwork and bureaucracy to check eligibility. The lack of means test or similar bureaucracy would allow for saving on social welfare which could be put towards the grant. The Basic Income Earth Network claims that basic income costs less than current means-tested social welfare benefits, and has proposed an implementation that it claims is financially viable.[67][68]

A real world example of how basic income is being implemented to save money can be seen in the program that is being conducted by the Netherlands in a few cities. The city councillor for the city of Nijmegen, Lisa Westerveld had this to say in an interview – “In Nijmegen we get £88m to give to people on welfare, but it costs £15m a year for the civil servants running the bureaucracy of the current system”.[69] Her view is also shared by Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman who believes the Netherlands welfare system is flawed and also economist Loek Groot who believes the country welfare system wastes too much money. Outcomes of this program will be analysed by eminent economist Loek Groot, a professor at the University of Utrecht who hopes to learn if a guaranteed income might be a more effective approach.[70] However, other proponents argue for adding basic income to existing welfare grants, rather than replacing them.

Wage slavery and alienation

Frances Fox Piven argues that an income guarantee would benefit all workers by liberating them from the anxiety that results from the “tyranny of wage slavery” and provide opportunities for people to pursue different occupations and develop untapped potentials for creativity.[71] André Gorz saw basic income as a necessary adaptation to the increasing automation of work, yet basic income also enables workers to overcome alienation in work and life and to increase their amount of leisure time.[72]

These arguments imply that a universal basic income, or UBI, would give people enough freedom to pursue work that is satisfactory or interesting even if that work does not pay enough to sustain their everyday living. One example is that of Nelle Harper Lee, who lived as a single woman in New York City in the 1950s, writing in her free time and supporting herself by working part-time as an airline clerk. She had written several long stories, but achieved no success of note. One Christmas in the late fifties, a generous friend gave her a year’s wages as a gift with the note: “You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas”. A year later, Lee had produced a draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel that subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize.[73][74] Most proponents of UBI argue that the net creative output from even a small percentage of basic income subscribers would be a significant contributor to human productivity, one that might be lost if these people are not given the opportunity to pursue work that is interesting to them.

Welfare trap

The welfare trap or poverty trap is a proposed problem with means-tested welfare. Recipients of means-tested welfare may be implicitly encouraged to remain on welfare due to economic penalties for transitioning off of welfare. These penalties include loss of welfare and possibly higher tax rates. Opponents claim that this creates a harsh marginal tax for those rising out of poverty. A 2013 Cato Institute study claimed that workers could accumulate more wealth from the welfare system than they could from a minimum wage job in at least nine European countries. In three of them, namely Austria, Croatia and Denmark, the marginal tax rate was nearly 100%.[75][76]

Proponents of universal basic income claim that it could eliminate welfare traps by removing conditions to receive such an income, but large-scale experiments have not yet produced clear results.[77]

Pilot programs and experiments

Omitara, one of the two poor villages in Namibia where a local basic income was tested in 2008–2009

Since the 1960s and in particular after 2010, there has been a number of so-called basic income pilots. Among them the following:

  • Experiments with negative income tax in United States and Canada in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • The province of Manitoba, Canada, experimented with Mincome, a basic guaranteed income in the 1970s.[78]
  • The basic income grant in Namibia, launched in 2008 and ended in 2009.[79]
  • An independent pilot implemented in São Paulo, Brazil.[80]
  • Basic income trials in several villages in India,[81] whose government has proposed a guaranteed basic income for all citizens.[82]
  • The GiveDirectly experiment in Nairobi, Kenya—the biggest and longest basic income pilot as of 2017.[83]
  • An experiment in the city of Utrecht in the Netherlands, launched in early 2017, that is testing different rates of aid.[82]
  • A three-year basic income pilot that the Ontario provincial governmentCanada, launched in the cities of HamiltonThunder Bay and Lindsay in July 2017.[84] Although called basic income, it was only made available to those with a low income and funding would be removed if they obtained employment,[85] making it more related to the current welfare system than actual basic income. The pilot project was cancelled on 31 July 2018 by the newly elected Progressive Conservative government under Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
  • A two-year pilot the Finnish government began in January 2017 which involves 2,000 subjects[86][87] In April 2018, the Finnish government rejected a request for funds to extend and expand the program from Kela (Finland’s social security agency).[88]
  • A project called Eight in a village in Fort Portal, Uganda, that a nonprofit organization launched in January 2017 which provides income for 56 adults and 88 children through mobile money.[89]

Examples of payments with similarities

Alaska Permanent Fund

The Permanent Fund of Alaska in the United States provides a kind of basic income based on the oil and gas revenues of the state to nearly all state residents, however the payment is not high enough to cover basic expenses and is not a fixed, guaranteed amount. For these reasons it is not considered a basic income.

During his 2020 presidential campaign, founder of the nonprofit Venture for America (VFA) Andrew Yang used the Alaska Permanent Fund as evidence that Republicans can be convinced to implement a dividend. The entrepreneur and philanthropist claims it has improved children’s health, created thousands of jobs, and decreased income inequality.[90]

During her 2016 presidential campaign, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton considered including a policy similar to the Alaska Permanent Fund called Alaska for America as part of her platform after reading Peter Barnes‘s book on the subject With Liberty and Dividends for All. Ultimately, Clinton decided not to, stating in her 2016 presidential election memoir What Happened: “Unfortunately, we couldn’t make the numbers work”.[91] However, Clinton also said in retrospect: “I wonder now whether we should have thrown caution to the wind and embraced ‘Alaska for America’ as a long-term goal and figured out the details later”, considering that former Republican Treasury Secretaries James Baker and Henry Paulson have also proposed a similar nationwide policy.[92][93]

Quasi-UBI programs

  • Old age pension is a payment which in some countries is guaranteed to all citizens above a certain age. The only difference from Basic Income is that it is restricted to people over a certain age.
  • Child benefit – A similar program to old pensions but is restricted to children, or more precisely it is given to parents for each child they have. It is also like Basic Income except that is restricted to children.
  • Conditional Cash Transfer – This is also a regular payment given to families, however it is only given to the poor and is usually dependent on basic conditions such as sending their children to school or having them vaccinated. Programs include Bolsa Familia in Brazil and a similar program in México.
  • Guaranteed Minimum Income – Despite the name, this differs from a Basic Income in that it is restricted only to those in search of work. Example programs are unemployment benefit in the UK and RSA in France.

Bolsa Família is a large social welfare program in Brazil that provides money to many poor families in the country. The system is related to basic income, but has more conditions, like asking the recipients to keep their children in school until graduation. Brazilian Senator Eduardo Suplicy championed a law that ultimately passed in 2004 that declared Bolsa Família a first step towards a national basic income. However, the program has not yet been expanded in that direction.

Rythu Bandhu scheme, is a welfare scheme started on 10 May 2018 aimed towards helping farmers that is being implemented by the state of Telangana in India where each farmland owner gets a fixed amount of money ₹4000 per acre twice a year for rabi and kharif harvests. A budget allocation of ₹12,000 crores($138 billion at the time of conversion) was made in 2018–2019 state budget, the scheme offers a financial help of ₹8,000 per year to each farmer (two crops) and there is no cap on money disbursed to number of acres of land owned and it does not discriminate between rich or poor land owners.[94] The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been monitoring the program and is doing a study they have yet to published, but their preliminary results already show promising results in getting farmers funding they need to invest in farming—procuring fertilizers, seeds, pesticides and other inputs—which serves the purpose of the scheme. The first phase of the survey concluded that 85% of farmers received cheques for amounts ranging from ₹1,000 to ₹20,000 for farm land comprising less than an acre to about five acres and about 10% of farmers received cheques for amounts above ₹20,000 to ₹50,000 and only 1% of farmers got amounts more than ₹50,000. The spending pattern revealed that a large chunk, 28.5% of farmers opted to buy seed, about 18% spent the money on fertilizer, 15.4% on new agricultural assets, including farm equipment, 8.6% on pesticides and some used it to engage farm labor and only 4.4% of beneficiaries said they utilized it for household consumption and a minuscule percentage for repayment of loans.[95] The scheme received a high satisfaction rate of 92% from farmers since other forms of capital investment like welfare or loans had many strings attached to it and would not reach the farmers before the cropping season starts, many other states and countries are following the development of the program to see if they can implement it for their farmers. Since farmers worldwide are facing many difficulties and in a lot of countries it has become unprofitable, governments are either proving subsidies, welfare or loans, but this a new type of program that is considered as an embryonic UBI or quasi-UBI to replace traditional systems of agricultural support.[96]

Citizen Capitalism is a supplemental income program proposed by the legal scholar Lynn Stout and her co-authors Tamara Belinfanti and Sergio Gramitto in their book Citizen Capitalism: How A Universal Fund Can Provide Influence and Income to All which was published in 2019. In the book, Stout and her co-authors propose the building of a not-for-profit universal fund composed of shares donated by corporations and philanthropic individuals in which every American would receive one share. These shares could not be sold, bequeathed, donated, or borrowed against, but each “citizen shareholder” would receive an even portion of the net dividends paid out by shares in the fund, therefore contributing to the amelioration of income inequality. Each shareholder would also receive additional influence in the form of a vote (corresponding to their shares in the fund), providing in theory for a significantly expanded degree of citizen engagement in the role that public corporations play in American society.[97]

Basic income in crypto currencies and as part of social media apps

Nimses is a concept that offers universal basic income to every member of its system.[98] The idea of Nimses consists of time-based currency called Nim (1 nim = 1 minute of life). Every person in Nimses receives nims that can be spent on different goods and services. This concept was initially adopted in Eastern Europe.[99]

Electroneum is a cryptocurrency project which uses a mobile application to pay users.[100] The first KYC/AML compliant cryptocurrency, Electroneum enables users to mine[101] using their mobile phone through a simulated mining system. The system pays up to $3.00 per month to its users, with the goal of enabling the world’s unbanked population with financial freedom.[102] The cryptocurrency can currently be used to purchase mobile top-ups from the South African telecommunications company The Unlimited[103] as well as to transact with any business that has integrated the Electroneum API, or directly between individuals.

National debates

Basic Income is debated in many countries. There have also been several basic income experiments held in various countries such as Namibia, Kenya and Canada as discussed elsewhere on this page. The policy was discussed by the Indian Ministry of Finance in an economic survey in 2017,[104] and a green paper was commissioned on the topic by the Government of Ireland in 2002.[105] There are also a number of countries such as Ireland and Mexico that have programs with elements reminiscent of UBI such as child benefitold age pensions or conditional cash transfers, but these are usually not discussed in relation to Basic Income. So far no country has introduced an unconditional basic income as law.

Public opinion

Support for a universal basic income varies widely across Europe, as shown by a recent wave of the European Social Survey. A high share of the population tends to support the scheme in southern and central eastern european union countries, while support tends to be lower in western european countries such as France and Germany, and even lower in Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden. Individuals who face greater economic insecurity, for instance because of low income and unemployment tend to be more supportive of a basic income [106]

Petitions, polls and referendums

  • 2008: an official petition for basic income was started in Germany by Susanne Wiest.[107] The petition was accepted and Susanne Wiest was invited for a hearing at the German parliament’s Commission of Petitions. After the hearing, the petition was closed as “unrealizable”.[108]
  • 2013–2014: a European Citizens’ Initiative collected 280,000 signatures demanding that the European Commission studies the concept of an unconditional basic income.[109]
  • 2015: a citizen’s initiative in Spain received 185,000 signatures, short of the required number to mandate that parliament discuss the proposal.[110]
  • 2016: the world’s first universal basic income referendum in Switzerland on 5 June 2016 was rejected with a 76.9 percent majority.[1][111] Also in 2016, a poll showed that 58 percent of the European people are aware of basic income and 65 percent would vote in favor of the idea.[112]
  • 2017: Politico/Morning Consult asked 1,994 American people about their opinions on several political issues. One question addressed attitudes towards a national basic income in the United States. 43 percent either “strongly supported” or “somewhat supported” the idea.[113]

Prominent advocates

Prominent contemporary advocates include Economics Nobel Prize winners Peter Diamond and Christopher Pissarides,[114] tech investor and engineer Elon Musk,[115] political philosopher Philippe Van Parijs,[116] Yanis Varoufakis, former finance minister of Greece,[117] Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook[118][119] and entrepreneur and non-profit founder Andrew Yang, who is running for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 United States presidential election on a platform of instituting a universal basic income called The Freedom Dividend.[120]

Prominent critics

See also

References …

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income

Who Really Stands to Win from Universal Basic Income?

It has enthusiasts on both the left and the right. Maybe that’s the giveaway.

In 1795, a group of magistrates gathered in the English village of Speenhamland to try to solve a social crisis brought on by the rising price of grain. The challenge was an increase in poverty, even among the employed. The social system at the time, which came to be known as Elizabethan Poor Law, divided indigent adults into three groups: those who could work, those who could not, and those—the “idle poor”—who seemed not to want to. The able and disabled received work or aid through local parishes. The idle poor were forced into labor or rounded up and beaten for being bums. As grain prices increased, the parishes became overwhelmed with supplicants. Terrorizing idle people turned into a vast, unmanageable task.

The magistrates at Speenhamland devised a way of offering families measured help. Household incomes were topped up to cover the cost of living. A man got enough to buy three gallon loaves a week (about eight and a half pounds of bread), plus a loaf and a half for every other member of his household. This meant that a couple with three children could bring home the equivalent of more than twenty-five pounds a week—a lot of bread. The plan let men receive a living wage by working for small payments or by not working at all.

Economics is at heart a narrative art, a frame across which data points are woven into stories about how the world should work. As the Speenhamland system took hold and spread across England, it turned into a parable of caution. The population nearly doubled. Thomas Malthus posited that the poverty subsidies allowed couples to rear families before their actual earnings allowed it. His contemporary David Ricardo complained that the Speenhamland model was a prosperity drain, inviting “imprudence, by offering it a portion of the wages of prudence and industry.” Karl Marx attacked the system years later, in “Das Kapital,” suggesting that it had kept labor wages low, while Karl Polanyi, the economic historian, cast Speenhamland as the original sin of industrial capitalism, making lower classes irrelevant to the labor market just as new production mechanisms were being built. When the Speenhamland system ended, in 1834, people were plunged into a labor machine in which they had no role or say. The commission that repealed the system replaced it with Dickensian workhouses—a corrective, at the opposite extreme, for a program that everyone agreed had failed.

In 1969, Richard Nixon was preparing a radical new poverty-alleviation program when an adviser sent him a memo of material about the Speenhamland experiment. The story freaked Nixon out in a way that only Nixon could be freaked out, and although his specific anxiety was allayed, related concerns lingered. According to Daniel P. Moynihan, another Nixon adviser, who, in 1973, published a book about the effort, Speenhamland was the beginning of a push that led the President’s program, the Family Assistance Plan, toward a work requirement—an element that he had not included until then.

Nixon had originally intended that every poor family of four in America with zero income would receive sixteen hundred dollars a year (the equivalent of about eleven thousand dollars today), plus food stamps; the supplement would fade out as earnings increased. He sought to be the President to lift the lower classes. The plan died in the Senate, under both Republican and Democratic opposition, and the only thing to survive was Nixon’s late-breaking, Speenhamland-inspired fear of being seen to indulge the idle poor. By the end of his Administration, a previously obscure concept called moral hazard—the idea that people behave more profligately when they’re shielded from consequences—had become a guiding doctrine of the right. A work requirement stuck around, first in the earned-income tax credit, and then in Bill Clinton’s welfare reforms. The core of Nixon’s plan—what Moynihan, in “The Politics of a Guaranteed Income,” called “a quantum leap in social policy”—was buried among his more flamboyant flops.

Recently, a resurrection has occurred. Guaranteed income, reconceived as basic income, is gaining support across the spectrum, from libertarians to labor leaders. Some see the system as a clean, crisp way of replacing gnarled government bureaucracy. Others view it as a stay against harsh economic pressures now on the horizon. The questions that surround it are the same ones that Nixon faced half a century ago. Will the public stand for such a bold measure—and, if so, could it ever work?

Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World” (Crown), by the economic journalist Annie Lowrey, is the latest book to argue that a program in this family is a sane solution to the era’s socioeconomic woes. Lowrey is a policy person. She is interested in working from the concept down. “The way things are is really the way we choose for them to be,” she writes. Her conscientiously reported book assesses the widespread effects that money and a bit of hope could buy.

A universal basic income, or U.B.I., is a fixed income that every adult—rich or poor, working or idle—automatically receives from government. Unlike today’s means-tested or earned benefits, payments are usually the same size, and arrive without request. Depending on who designs a given system, they might replace all existing governmental assistance programs or complement them, as a wider safety net. “A UBI is a lesson and an ideal, not just an economic policy,” Lowrey writes. The ideal is that a society, as a first priority, should look out for its people’s survival; the lesson is that possibly it can do so without unequal redistributive plans.

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People generally have a visceral reaction to the idea of a universal basic income. For many, a government check to boost good times or to guard against starvation in bad ones seems like an obviously humane measure. Others find such payments monstrous, a model of waste and unearned rewards. In principle, a government fixes the basic income at a level to allow subsistence but also to encourage enterprise and effort for the enjoyment of more prosperity. In the U.S., its supporters generally propose a figure somewhere around a thousand dollars a month: enough to live on—somewhere in America, at least—but not nearly enough to live on well.

“So basically you’re a dog now.”

Recent interest in U.B.I. has been widespread but wary. Last year, Finland launched a pilot version of basic income; this spring, the government decided not to extend the program beyond this year, signalling doubt. Other trials continue. Pilots have run in Canada, the Netherlands, Scotland, and Iran. Since 2017, the startup incubator Y Combinator has funded a multiyear pilot in Oakland, California. The municipal government of Stockton, an ag-industrial city east of San Francisco, is about to test a program that gives low-income residents five hundred dollars a month. Last year, Stanford launched a Basic Income Lab to pursue, as it were, basic research.

One cause of the program’s especial popularity in Northern California is also a reason for the urgency of its appeal: it is a futurist reply to the darker side of technological efficiency. Robots, we are told, will drive us from our jobs. The more this happens, the more existing workforce safety nets will be strained. In “Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream” (2016), the labor leader Andy Stern nominates U.B.I. as the right response to technological unemployment. Stern, a lifetime labor guy, is a former president of the two-million-member Service Employees International Union. But he thinks that the rise of robots and the general gig-ification of jobs will “marginalize the role of collective bargaining,” so he has made a strategic turn to prepare for a disempowered working class. “You go into an Apple store and you see the future,” he quotes an economist saying. “The future of the labor force is all in those smart college-educated people with the T-shirts whose job is to be a retail clerk.” (This presumes that people will frequent brick-and-mortar shops in the first place.)

By Lowrey’s assessment, the existing system “would falter and fail if confronted with vast inequality and tidal waves of joblessness.” But is a U.B.I. fiscally sustainable? It’s unclear. Lowrey runs many numbers but declines to pin most of them down. She thinks a U.B.I. in the United States should be a thousand dollars monthly. This means $3.9 trillion a year, close to the current expenditure of the entire federal government. To pay, Lowrey proposes new taxes on income, carbon, estates, pollution, and the like. But she is also curiously sanguine about costs, on the premise that few major initiatives balance out on the federal books: “The Bush tax cuts were not ‘paid for.’ The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not ‘paid for.’ ” When the country wants to launch a big project, she insists, the double joints and stretchy tendons of a giant, globalized economy come into play.

This open planning won’t exactly soothe the cautious. A big reason for chariness with a U.B.I. is that, so far, the program lives in people’s heads, untried on a national scale. Then again, by the same mark, the model couldn’t be called under-thunk. The academic counterpart to Lowrey’s journalistic book is Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght’s recent “Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy” (Harvard), a meticulously comprehensive, frequently persuasive accounting of U.B.I.’s superiority by measures economic, philosophical, and pragmatic. Like Lowrey, they see basic income as a sound social program and a corrective “hope”: not a perfect system, but better than anything else.

Traditionally, a challenge for means-tested aid is that it must determine who is most deserving—a vestige of the old Elizabethan system. Often, there’s a moralizing edge. Current programs, Lowrey points out, favor the working poor over the jobless. Race or racism plays into the way that certain policies are shaped, and bureaucratic requirements for getting help can be arcane and onerously cumulative. Who will certify the employee status of a guy who’s living on the streets? How can you get disability aid if you can’t afford the doctor who will certify you as disabled? With a universal income, just deserts don’t seem at issue. Everybody gets a basic chance.

Observers often are squeamish about that proposition. Junkies, alcoholics, scam artists: Do we really want to hand these people monthly checks? In 2010, a team of researchers began giving two-hundred-dollar payments to addicts and criminals in Liberian slums. The researchers found that the money, far from being squandered on vice, went largely to subsistence and legitimate enterprise. Such results, echoed in other studies, suggest that some of the most beneficial applications of a U.B.I. may be in struggling economies abroad.

Like many students of the strategy, Lowrey points to Kenya, where she reported on a U.B.I. pilot in a small village. (She won’t say which, for fear of making it a target for thieves—a concern worth counting as significant.) The pilot is run by a nonprofit called GiveDirectly, and is heavily funded through Silicon Valley; in that respect, it’s a study in effective philanthropy, not a new model of society. But the results are encouraging. Before GiveDirectly sent everyone the equivalent of twenty-two U.S. dollars a month (delivered through a mobile app), Village X had dirt roads, no home electricity, and what Lowrey genteelly calls an “open defecation” model for some families. Now, by her account, the village is a bubbling pot of enterprise, as residents whose days used to be about survival save, budget, and plan. (The payments will continue until 2028.)

A widow tells her, “I’ll deal with three things first urgently: the pit latrine that I need to construct, the part of my house that has been damaged by termites, and the livestock pen that needs reinforcement, so the hyena gets nothing from me on his prowls.” A heavy-drinking deadbeat buys a motorbike for a taxi business, sells soap, buys two cows, and opens a barbershop. His work income quadruples. He boasts to Lowrey of his new life.

Purely as a kind of foreign aid, Lowrey suggests, a basic income is better than donated goods (boxes of shoes, mosquito nets), because cash can go to any use. The Indian government’s chief economic adviser tells her that, with a U.B.I. of about a hundred U.S. dollars a year, India, where a third of the world’s extreme poor live, could bring its poverty rates from twenty-two per cent to less than one per cent. Those figures are stunning. But India is in the midst of major bureaucratic change. Would there be any chance of a U.B.I. finding a foothold in the entrenched U.S. political climate?

Advocates have noted that the idea, generally formulated, has bipartisan support. Charles Murray, the conservative welfare critic, was an early enthusiast. His book “In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State” (2006) called for a U.B.I. of ten thousand dollars a year, plus catastrophic health insurance, to replace existing social programs, including Social Security. Rather than fester for years under the mismanaging claws of Big Government, he thought, money could flow directly to individual recipients. “The UBI lowers the rate of involuntary poverty to zero for everyone who has any capacity to work or any capacity to get along with other people,” Murray declared.

But although politically dissimilar people may support a U.B.I., the reasons for their support differ, and so do the ways they set the numbers. A rising group of thinkers on the left, including David Graeber and Nick Srnicek, tout a generous version of U.B.I. both as a safety net and as a way to free people from lives spent rowing overmanaged corporate galleons. Business centrists and Silicon Valley types appreciate it as a way to manage industry side effects—such as low labor costs and the displacement of workers by apps and A.I.—without impeding growth. In “The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future” (Hachette), Andrew Yang, the Venture for America founder who has already filed for Presidential candidacy in 2020, recommends the model as a way to bypass kludgy governmental systems. He imagines it paired with something he calls “human capitalism.” “For example, a journalist who uncovered a particular source of waste, an artist who beautified a city, or a hacker who strengthened our power grid could be rewarded with Social Credits,” he explains. “Most of the technologists and young people I know would be beyond pumped to work on these problems.”

Many of the super-rich are also super-pumped about the universal basic income. Elon Musk has said it will be “necessary.” Sir Richard Branson speaks of “the sense of self-esteem that universal basic income could provide to people.” What’s the appeal for the plutocracy? For one thing, the system offers a hard budget line: you set the income figure, press start, go home. No new programs, no new rules. It also alleviates moral debt: because there is a floor for everyone, the wealthy can feel less guilt as they gain more wealth. Finally, the U.B.I. fits with a certain idea of meritocracy. If everybody gets a strong boost off the blocks, the winners of the economic race—the ultra-affluent—can believe that they got there by their industry or acumen. Of course the very rich appreciate the U.B.I.; it dovetails with a narrative that casts their wealth as a reward.

Anotable exception is Chris Hughes, who, in “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn” (St. Martin’s), seeks to shed the idea that special skills brought him success. Hughes, who is helping to fund the Stockton U.B.I. experiment, was part of the dorm-room crew that founded Facebook. By his late twenties, when the company went public, he was worth around five hundred million dollars. Before the I.P.O., he worked for Barack Obama’s first Presidential campaign; afterward, he bought a majority stake in The New Republic, mismanaged it so brazenly as to prompt a huge staff exodus, then sold it. He’s forthright about his failures, and he’s diffident about his putative triumphs. “Fair Shot” tells an interesting success story, because its author has doubts about how he succeeded. It’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” if Charlie said “Why me?” and Wonka shrugged.

Hughes’s book is divided between policy and memoir. When he was growing up, in suburban North Carolina, he writes, his mom clipped coupons and he went to an after-school program with mostly nonwhite kids. He dreamed of a bigger life, and applied to top high schools. Andover offered financial aid, but not enough. He called up its admissions office and pleaded for more. Once there, Hughes felt poor, and sought validation in schoolwork. This led him to Harvard, where he ended up rooming with three guys he didn’t know too well, including Mark Zuckerberg.

Hughes had no technical knowledge. But he was there when Facebook was being set up, and he could talk and write, so he was put in charge of its early P.R. On graduating, he found himself leading Facebook’s communications and marketing and watching venture capitalists invest “jaw-dropping” sums. It bemused him. “I didn’t feel like some kind of genius, and while Mark was smart and talented, so were many of the other people I went to college with,” he writes.

Hughes searches for points of exception that explain why he, not someone else from another middle-middle-class family, ended up with half a billion dollars and a speaking circuit out of the gate. His scramble to get into Andover, for one thing, seems central. But should the randomness of this early ambition—which, even if it doesn’t have to do with resources, does reflect community information transfer—really determine who’s in with a chance? Hughes thinks these individual zaps of opportunity have a large-scale correlate: the very economic setup that made him and his roommates super-rich. “In a winner-take-all world, a small group of people get outsized returns as a result of early actions they take,” he writes. Massive tech companies such as Facebook have been possible because of deregulation, financialization, tax cuts, and lowered tariffs rolled out, he thinks, at a cost to ordinary people since the nineteen-seventies.

“Is the flight completely full, extremely full, or very full?”

The solution, Hughes has decided, is a modest basic income: five hundred dollars a month for every adult in a household making less than about fifty thousand dollars. He sees it as a boost to the current system, and argues that the money can be found by closing tax exemptions for the ultra-wealthy—“people like me.”

Six thousand dollars a year is not a lot of money. But Hughes believes that a light padding is enough. He describes receiving his first big payout from Facebook—a hundred thousand dollars—and realizing that if he set aside a five-per-cent return each year he could count on a lifelong annual income of at least five thousand dollars, no matter what. It was a little, but it meant a lot. “The further you get from subsistence, the easier it is to ask fundamental questions like: What do I want, and how do I get it?” he writes. The covetable entity that the Andover kids of his youth possessed wasn’t actually wealth. Their crucial asset was the assurance of choice.

Framing basic income in terms of choice, not money, helps to clarify both its opportunities and its limits. On the immediate level, one might wonder whether Hughes’s proposal of five hundred dollars a month is really enough to boost one’s existential swagger. That number, he says, would lift twenty million people over the poverty line, but any three-hundred-billion-dollar program should. More to the point are Hughes’s qualms about a universal basic income—or even a lower-middle basic income, like his—replacing means-tested aid. (“Trading in benefits earmarked for the poor for a benefit like guaranteed income, which is designed to provide financial stability to the middle class and the poor alike, would be regressive,” he says.) Why spray so much money over people doing fine, he wonders, when you could direct cash as needed?

One answer is that it makes the program palatable to those who cannot stomach anything resembling government handouts. A wide range of people stand to benefit from a cushion: any worker with an abusive boss is free to take the basic wage and leave. By certain measures, in fact, giving everyone a flat check naturally rebalances opportunities for choice. A thousand bucks handed to a multimillionaire means almost nothing, but it’s significant for a middle-income person, and for a poor person it could open up the world.

Skeptics might point out that what was meant to be a floor can easily become a ceiling. This was Marx’s complaint about Speenhamland: a society with a basic income has no pressure to pay employees a good wage, because the bottom constraint, subsistence, has fallen away. We see such an effect already in the gig economy, where companies pay paltry wages by claiming that their endeavors are flexible and part-time and that workers surely have subsistence income from elsewhere.

Supporters of the U.B.I. frequently counter that the raised floor will lift other things. If workers are no longer compelled to take any available job to put food on the table, supporters say, work must be worth their while. Certainly, this will be true for highly undesirable jobs: the latrine cleaner can expect a pay bump and an engraved pen. But for jobs whose appeal goes beyond the paycheck—in other words, most middle-class jobs—the pressures are less clear. Competitive, prestigious industries often pay entry- to mid-level employees meagrely, because they can; ambitious people are so keen for a spot on the ladder that they accept modest wages. And, since that is an easier concession for the children and intimates of the moneyed classes, influential fields can fill up with fancy people. This is not a problem that the U.B.I. would solve. If anything, paychecks in desirable jobs would be free to shrink to honorarium size, and choice opportunity would again redound to the rich, for whom the shrinkage would not mean very much.

In that sense, what’s at issue with U.B.I. isn’t actually the movement of money but the privileging of interests—not who is served but who’s best served. An illuminating parallel is free college. One criticism of Bernie Sanders’s no-tuition plan, in 2016, was that many American families could afford at least part of a tuition. With no fees to pay, that money would be freed to fund enrichments: painting lessons, private tutoring, investments, trips to rescue orphans and pandas, and other things with which well-resourced people set the groundwork for an upward-spiralling bourgeois life. Especially among the small subset of colleges that have competitive admissions—the sector of the education market which, today, serves most reliably as an elevator toward class, influence, and long-term employment access—those who truly have no cash for college would still be starting from behind. Opportunity would be better equalized, at least while other things in America remain very unequal, by meting out financial aid as kids actually need it.

Hughes was one such kid, of course, and then he stepped into a jet stream leading from Harvard Yard to the cover of a business magazine. Now he is part of the one per cent, which means that his son is seventy-seven times as likely to end up in the Ivy League as his counterpart from the bottom fifth in the income distribution. These effects relate to what’s often called “structural inequality.” Since, his story suggests, they have little to do with the details of Hughes’s childhood finances and a lot to do with the decades-long diversion of profit from workers to shareholders, any program to protect the workforce in the long term must go deeper than just redisbursing cash or benefits. Such a solution would need to privilege public interests, not just public awards. It may even require what many U.B.I. fans hate: a rejiggering of regulation. Simply lifting the minimum-income level leaves the largest, most defining foundations of inequality intact.

The realization that a universal basic income is useful but insufficient for the country’s long-term socioeconomic health—that you can’t just wind up a machine and let it run—may cause attrition among some supporters who admire the model precisely because it seems to mean that no one will have to deal with stuff like this again. It may also dampen the scheme’s sunny political prospects, since a healthy U.B.I. would have to be seated among other reforms, the sum of which would not be cost- or interest-neutral. This doesn’t mean that it’s not a practical idea. It means only that it’s not a magic spell.

Or perhaps the difference could be split. A couple of years ago, the Dutch professional thought leader Rutger Bregman championed universal basic income in his popular book “Utopia for Realists”—a title that reflects the volume’s tone. Bregman, who studied history, hoped that we could abolish poverty, border control, and the forty-hour workweek. (He prefers fifteen.) He pointed out that G.D.P. is a questionable metric of prosperity, since it doesn’t reflect health, clean air, and other attributes that now define First World success. His interest in a basic income was meant to synthesize the wishful and the practical; like many supporters, he touted it as a matter of both categorical principle and maximized good, and tried to make these virtues square. The effort brought him back to Speenhamland, whose reputation as a failure Bregman called, flatly, “bogus.”

According to Bregman’s analysis, accounts of Speenhamland’s disastrousness were based on a single report by the commission empowered to replace it. The report was “largely fabricated,” Bregman writes. The era’s population growth was attributable not to irresponsible family planning, as Malthus thought, but to an excess of responsibility—children, once they reached working age, were lucrative earners for a household—plus declining rates of infant mortality. (Parallel population explosions happened in Ireland and Scotland, where the Speenhamland system was not in effect.) Wages were low during Speenhamland, but, the historian Walter I. Trattner has noted, they were nearly as low before Speenhamland, and the extra falloff followed the adoption of the mechanical thresher, which obviated an entire class of jobs.

Speenhamland does offer a lesson, in other words, but it is not the one most widely taught. In “The Failed Welfare Revolution” (2008), the sociologist Brian Steensland suggests that, if Nixon’s Family Assistance Plan had passed, conservative policy might have evolved along a different path. George H. W. Bush, then a congressman, supported the guaranteed-income scheme. So did Donald Rumsfeld. From the late sixties into the seventies, he and Dick Cheney helped run trials on thirteen hundred families to see how much a modest financial top-up discouraged them from working. The falloff was smaller than expected, and the researchers were pleased. We might hope that, with Speenhamland’s false myths finally cleared, the United States will do better going forward. But our aptitude for managing the future is no stronger than our skill at making sense out of the past. ♦

This article appears in the print edition of the July 9 & 16, 2018, issue, with the headline “Take the Money and Run.”

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1306, August 14, 2019, Story 1: President Trump Delays Tariffs on Chinese Goods to After Christmas — Videos — Story 2: Normal Flight Operations Resume Again in Hong Kong — Videos — Story 3: Progressives Try To Panic American People Over Inverted Yield Curve Leading To Recession — U.S. Economy is Growing — Missy Higgins Singing — Videos — Story 4: President Trump Energy Speech at Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania 

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Story 1: President Trump Delays Tariffs on Chinese Goods to After Christmas — Americans Would Have Been Paying The Tariff or Tax — Videos —

Trump Blinked With China Tariff Delay, Exante Data’s Setser Says

Trump says China tariffs delayed for ‘Christmas season’

China Is Changing Strategy in Trade War, Says LSE’s Jin

 

Trump CAVES on China tariffs and puts off levies on laptops, cell phones and toys until after Christmas shopping season following ‘very good call’ with Beijing – in move set to boost faltering stock market

  • The Trump administration announced Tuesday morning that is delaying tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods like laptops and cell phones until Dec. 15
  • Trump’s trade office says that certain products ‘will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent’ due to health, safety or national security concerns 
  • Some of e products it listed were cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, computer monitors, footwear and clothingth
  • USTR said it will post a list of items that are being excluded on its website
  • It announced the postponement shortly after the the stock market opened, and the Dow jumped nearly 500 points within minutes of the news
  • Donald Trump has not commented directly but hinted n a tweet that the action was intended to get China to move forward with large agricultural orders

The Trump administration announced Tuesday morning that is delaying tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods like laptops and cell phones until Dec. 15, when price hikes from the penalties won’t drive up the price of popular Christmas presents.

Trump’s trade office says that certain products ‘will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent’ due to health, safety or national security concerns.

However, the categories of goods that are being protected suggest that Trump was concerned about the consumer pricing index and the billions of dollars in value of this month’s stock losses.

The U.S. trade office announced the postponement shortly after the the stock market opened in the United States, causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average jump nearly 500 points within minutes.

That excitement tempered off as the day wore on. The Dow leveled out at a 400-point rise that was close to 1,000 points off from where it was a month ago when it started to drop.

Speaking to reporters on the tarmac in New Jersey, before a day trip to Pennsylvania from his vacation, the president defended his tough-on-China stance, saying that other presidents should have tightened the screws on Beijing, too.

He said that he backed off on tariffs because he had a ‘very good call with China.

The Trump administration announced Tuesday morning that is delaying tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods like laptops and cell phones until Dec. 15. Donald Trump is seen here at the White House the previous Friday

The Trump administration announced Tuesday morning that is delaying tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods like laptops and cell phones until Dec. 15. Donald Trump is seen here at the White House the previous Friday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 500 points within minutes of the statement

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 500 points within minutes of the statement

Donald Trump said he’d impose a 10 percent penalty on $300 billion in untaxed goods on Sept. 1, if China continued drag out trade talks. 

U.S. negotiators say a deal was nearly finished, when Beijing backed away from major provisions.

A new round of talks was scheduled for September, however Trump drove down skittish markets with claims last week that the meetings could be cancelled.

On Tuesday morning, USTR announced it was loosening the noose on China, specifically on items in the tech and and clothing manufacturing industries.

‘Products in this group include, for example, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing,’ according to a United States Trade Representative statement.

USTR said it will post a list of items that are being excluded on its website today.

The president continued to defend his position in a Tuesday morning in tweet that claimed consumers have not paid the price for the 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of other Chinese items that he’s put in place.

Trump did not mention the policy shift in that tweet or one that he sent a half-hour after the the USTR announcement, however, he hinted that unfilled agricultural orders were part of the calculus.

He said of China’s retracted promises to purchase more American agricultural goods: ‘Maybe this will be different!’ 

Less than an hour prior, the president had been ripping China. He blasted Beijing for financial tinkering the U.S. has blasted as currency manipulation while promising American buyers that tariffs wouldn’t affect everyday product pricing.

‘Through massive devaluation of their currency and pumping vast sums of money into their system, the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. is receiving is a gift from China. Prices not up, no inflation. Farmers getting more than China would be spending. Fake News won’t report!’ he said.

‘Later, at a manufacturing event in Pennsylvania, the president said in an extended riff on China that it had ‘ripped off our country for years’ and taken advantage of World Trade Organization rules that allow the nation to be classified as a developing economy.

‘And I’m being nice when I say took advantage,’ he argued.

He recounted his threat to leave the WTO, unless it started adjudicating cases in his favor.

‘And it’s only because of attitude,’ he said of a change in behavior. ‘Because we know that they have been screwing us for years.’

He added, ‘And I’d like to use a different word but there’s no word that’s quite as descriptive.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7352783/Trump-postpones-new-tariffs-China-months-stock-shares-lose-billions-value.html

 

Story 2: Normal Flight Operations Resume Again in Hong Kong — Videos

 

Normal operations resume at Hong Kong airport as city braces for more protests

Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said normal flight operations would resume on Thursday after pro-democracy protests forced the cancellation of nearly 1,000 flights this week, while the city braced for more mass protests through the weekend.

China reiterated on Wednesday that Hong Kong’s protest movement was “near terrorism” and more street clashes followed ugly and chaotic scenes at the airport on Tuesday, when protesters set upon two men they suspected of being government sympathisers.

Police and protesters faced off again on the streets of the financial hub overnight, with riot officers quickly firing tear gas as their response to demonstrators toughens .

Ten weeks of increasingly violent confrontations between police and protesters have plunged Hong Kong into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

Heightened security would remain at the city’s international airport and the Hong Kong Airport Authority said late on Wednesday an application for protests to be held in the terminal must be made in advance with a “Letter of No Objection” to be obtained from police.

More protests are planned on Friday and over the weekend in different areas of the Chinese-controlled territory.

Protesters have expressed remorse after a peaceful sit-in turned violent at one of the world’s busiest airports earlier this week.

It was not clear whether the violent clashes might have eroded the broad support the movement has so far attracted in Hong Kong. The protests have also hit the city’s faltering economy.

The United States said it was deeply concerned at news of Chinese police forces gathering near the border, urged Hong Kong’s government to respect freedom of speech, and issued a travel advisory urging caution when visiting the city. (Writing by Farah Master Editing by Paul Tait)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7358413/Normal-operations-resume-Hong-Kong-airport-city-braces-protests.html

 

Story 3: Progressives Try To Panic American People Over Inverted Yield Curve Leading To Recession — U.S. Economy is Growing — Missy Higgins Singing — Videos

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Missy Higgins – Any Day Now (Live)

Any Day Now

Missy Higgins

How long, how long, how long will we take to come undone?
If you know the answer tell me now and I’ll write up a calendar for our count down.
‘Cause what if what we see is all, is all we’ve got?
Say you’ve kept some fire aside to set light to me some surprising night.
And say you’ve locked some fire away to set light to me some surprising day.
To me some surprising day, any day now
How come, how come, how come I’m now on a road holding out my thumb?
If you know my destination please buy me the fastest car and throw me the keys.
‘Cause what if what we see is all, is all we’ve got?
Say you’ve kept some fire aside to set light to me some surprising night.
And say you’ve locked some fire away to set light to me some surprising day.
‘Cause finger by finger we’re losing grasp and
I’m questioning the reason why nothing beautiful does last
Say you’ve kept some fire aside to set light to me some surprising night.
And say you’ve locked some fire away to set light to me some surprising day,
To me some surprising day any day now.
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Melissa Higgins
Any Day Now lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Words & Music A Div Of Big Deal Music LLC

Why Investors Are Obsessed With the Inverted Yield Curve

Fed Must Act on Inverted Yield Curve, Credit Suisse’s Golub Says

What Is An Inverted Yield Curve And How Does It Affect The Stock Market? | NBC News Now

Yield curve inversion does not mean there will be a recession tomorrow, strategist says

Mohamed El-Erian talks yield curve, recession and global economy

President Trump calls Fed Chair Jerome Powell ‘clueless’ and inverted yield curve ‘crazy’

Missy Higgins (9-27-2008) Sugarcane

Sugarcane

Missy Higgins

Baby ballerina’s hiding
Somewhere in the corner
Where the shadow wraps around her
And our torches cannot find her
She will stay there till the morning
Crawl behind us as we are yawning
And she will leave our games
To never be the same
So grow tall, sugarcane
Eat that soil, drink the rain
But know they’ll chase you
If you play their little games
So run, run fast, sugarcane
You see my peep show booth is handy
There’s a one way only mirror
So I can dance here with my hair down
But I don’t see if you get bitter
And there’s a button right beside me
If I happen to want a wall to hide me
If only the ballerina had one too
So grow tall, sugarcane
Eat that soil, drink the rain
But know they’ll chase you
If you play their little games
So run, run fast, sugarcane
And she said, “Always be afraid”
Yes, she said, “Always be afraid”
So grow tall, sugarcane
Eat that soil, drink the rain
But know they’ll chase you
If you play their little games
So run, run fast, sugarcane
Yeah, you’d better run, run fast, sugarcane
Yeah, you’d better run, run fast sugarcane
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Melissa Higgins
Sugarcane lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

Missy Higgins – Where I Stood (Official Video)

Where I Stood

Missy Higgins

I don’t know what I’ve done
Or if I like what I’ve begun
But something told me to run
And honey, you know me, it’s all or none
There were sounds in my head
Little voices whispering
That I should go and this should end
Oh, and I found myself listening
‘Cause I don’t know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
‘Cause she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
See, I thought love was black and white
That it was wrong or it was right
But you aren’t leaving without a fight
And I think, I am just as torn inside
‘Cause I don’t know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
‘Cause she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
And I won’t be far from where you are if ever you should call
You meant more to me than any one I, I’ve ever loved at all
But you taught me how to trust myself
And so I say to you, this is what I have to do
‘Cause I don’t know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
‘Cause she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
She who dares to stand where I stood
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Melissa Higgins
Where I Stood lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

Kimberley Music – Missy Higgins

Missy Higgins on why she used to break into cemeteries | The Weekly

Missy Higgins & Friends Live

Dow plummets 800 points and 3% in a day amid fears of economic crisis as Treasury yields invert for the first time since the Great Recession

  • Dow Jones plunged more than 800 points on Wednesday on recession fears
  • Yield on the 10-year Treasury note briefly dipped below the two-year yield
  • Known as an ‘inverted yield curve,’ it is a sign investors fear a recession 
  • The past five inverted yield curves have all preceded a recession
  • Trump blasts Fed over rates and calls chairman Jerome Powell ‘clueless’ 

Stocks plunged on Wednesday after the bond market threw up one of its last remaining warning flags on the economy.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury briefly dropped below the two-year Treasury’s yield Wednesday morning, the first time those yields have flipped since 2007. The so-called inversion has correctly predicted many past recessions and is the loudest warning bell yet about a possible recession ahead.

Investors responded by dumping stocks, more than erasing gains from a rally the day before.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 801 points at 25,479, a loss of 3%, in the largest one-day point drop since October 2018,

A one-day view of the yield spread between the 10-year and two-year Treasury bond shows two brief yield curve inversions when the ratio drops below the red line on Wednesday

Based on the latest available data, the S&P 500 lost 85.72 points, or 2.93%, to 2,840.6, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 242.42 points, or 3.02%, to 7,773.94.

While the market was falling Wednesday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to again criticize the Federal Reserve for hampering the U.S. economy by raising rates “far too quickly” last year and not reversing its policy aggressively enough – the Fed cut its key rate by a quarter point last month. 

Trump blasted Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as ‘clueless’. 

He also defended his trade policy, even though investors remain worried that the trade war between the world’s two largest economies may drag on through the 2020 U.S. election and cause more economic damage.

“We still see a substantial risk that the trade dispute will escalate further,” said Mark Haefele, global chief investment officer at UBS in a note to clients.

‘The relief rally inspired by the Trump administration delaying tariffs on some Chinese imports was short lived – blink and you missed it,’ said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index.

With bond yields falling, banks took heavy losses Wednesday. Lower bond yields are bad for banks because they force interest rates on mortgages and other loans lower, which results in lower profits for banks. Citigroup sank 5.1% and Bank of America gave up 5%.

Trump is seen at a White House meeting last month. He is relying upon a strong economy to bolster his reelection chances, and the latest economic signal is a worrying one

Trump is seen at a White House meeting last month. He is relying upon a strong economy to bolster his reelection chances, and the latest economic signal is a worrying one

Much of the market’s focus was on the U.S. yield curve, which has historically been one of the more reliable recession indicators.

If all this talk about yield curves sounds familiar, it should. Other parts of the curve have already inverted, beginning late last year. But each time, some market watchers cautioned not to make too much of it.

Academics tend to pay the most attention to the spread between the three-month Treasury and the 10-year Treasury, which inverted in the spring. Traders often pay more attention to the two-year and 10-year spread.

Each of the last five times the two-year and 10-year Treasury yields have inverted, a recession has followed.

The average amount of time is around 22 months, according to Raymond James’ Giddis.

The indicator isn’t perfect, though, and it’s given false signals in the past.

Some market watchers also say the yield curve may be a less reliable indicator this time because technical factors may be distorting longer-term yields, such as negative bond yields abroad and the Federal Reserve’s holdings of $3.8 trillion in Treasurys and other investments on its balance sheet.

What is a yield curve inversion?

The yield, or the effective interest rate paid, on a 10-year Treasury bond is usually higher than the yield on a two-year bond — because investors typically want to see a higher return for a longer-term investment.

However, bond yields move in the opposite direction of bond prices, which are driven by demand. When investors clamor for bonds, driving prices up, yields go down.

The inversion of the 10-year and two-year yield curves is a signal that investors are rushing money from stocks into bonds, depressing yields and flipping the return on long- and short-term bonds in a way that appears to make little economic sense.

Data from Credit Suisse going back to 1978 shows:

  • The last five 2-10 inversions have eventually led to recessions.
  • A recession occurs, on average, 22 months following a 2-10 inversion.
  • The S&P 500 is up, on average, 12% one year after a 2-10 inversion.
  • It’s not until about 18 months after an inversion when the stock market usually turns and posts negative returns.

This chart shows the spread between 10-year and two-year Treasury bonds since 1978. The portions below the black line represent yield inversions, and shaded areas are recessions

This chart shows the spread between 10-year and two-year Treasury bonds since 1978. The portions below the black line represent yield inversions, and shaded areas are recessions

Macy’s plunged 11.4%, the sharpest loss in the S&P 500, after it slashed its profit forecast for the year. The retailer’s profit for the latest quarter fell far short of analysts’ forecasts as it was forced to slash prices on unsold merchandise. The grim results from Macy’s sent other retailers sharply lower, too. Nordstrom sank 10% and Kohl’s dropped 11%.

Energy stocks also sank sharply, hurt by another drop in the price of crude oil on worries that a weakening global economy will drag down demand. National Oilwell Varco slumped 7.4% and Schlumberger skidded 6.5%. The price of benchmark U.S. crude slid 3.9% to $54.88 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 3.7% to $59.04.

Gold gained $13.70 to $1,515.90 per ounce, close to a six-year high. Investors also bid up shares in mining company Newmont Goldcorp 1.8%.

Overseas, Germany’s DAX dropped 2.3% following the weak German economic data. France’s CAC 40 fell 2.2%, and the FTSE 100 in London lost 1.7%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1%, the Kospi in South Korea gained 0.7% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.1%.

Trader Andrew Silverman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The threat of a recession doesn't seem so remote anymore, and stocks sank Wednesday

Trader Andrew Silverman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The threat of a recession doesn’t seem so remote anymore, and stocks sank Wednesday

Markets have largely been in a spin cycle since Trump announced on Aug. 1 that he would impose 10% tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese imports, which would be on top of 25% tariffs already in place on $250 billion in imports.

On Tuesday, responding to pressure from businesses and growing fears that a trade war is threatening the U.S. economy, the Trump administration is delaying most of the import taxes it planned to impose on Chinese goods and is dropping others altogether.

Investors are still worried that the trade war between the world’s two largest economies may drag on through the 2020 U.S. election and cause more economic damage.

For all its whipsawing up and down, the S&P 500 remains within 5% of its record, which was set in late July.

A five-day view of the Dow shows a sharp drop at the open of trading on Wednesday

A five-day view of the Dow shows a sharp drop at the open of trading on Wednesday

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7356699/Warnings-economic-crisis-Treasury-yields-invert-time-Great-Recession.html

Federal funds rate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Federal Funds Rate compared to U.S. Treasury interest rates

2 to 10 year treasury yield spread

Inflation (blue) compared to federal funds rate (red)

Quarterly gross domestic product compared to Federal Funds Rate.

Federal Funds Rate and Treasury interest rates from 2002-2019

In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions (banks and credit unions) lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight on an uncollateralized basis. Reserve balances are amounts held at the Federal Reserve to maintain depository institutions’ reserve requirements. Institutions with surplus balances in their accounts lend those balances to institutions in need of larger balances. The federal funds rate is an important benchmark in financial markets.[1][2]

The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee which normally occurs eight times a year about seven weeks apart. The committee may also hold additional meetings and implement target rate changes outside of its normal schedule.

The Federal Reserve uses open market operations to make the federal funds effective rate follow the federal funds target rate. The target rate is chosen in part to influence the money supply in the U.S. economy[3]

Mechanism

Financial institutions are obligated by law to maintain certain levels of reserves, either as reserves with the Fed or as vault cash. The level of these reserves is determined by the outstanding assets and liabilities of each depository institution, as well as by the Fed itself, but is typically 10%[4] of the total value of the bank’s demand accounts (depending on bank size). For transaction deposits of size $9.3 million to $43.9 million (checking accountsNOWs, and other deposits that can be used to make payments) the reserve requirement in 2007–2008 was 3 percent of the end-of-the-day daily average amount held over a two-week period. Transaction deposits over $43.9 million held at the same depository institution carried a 10 percent reserve requirement.

For example, assume a particular U.S. depository institution, in the normal course of business, issues a loan. This dispenses money and decreases the ratio of bank reserves to money loaned. If its reserve ratio drops below the legally required minimum, it must add to its reserves to remain compliant with Federal Reserve regulations. The bank can borrow the requisite funds from another bank that has a surplus in its account with the Fed. The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is set by the governors of the Federal Reserve, which they enforce by open market operations and adjustments in the interest rate on reserves.[5] The target rate is almost always what is meant by the media referring to the Federal Reserve “changing interest rates.” The actual federal funds rate generally lies within a range of that target rate, as the Federal Reserve cannot set an exact value through open market operations.

Another way banks can borrow funds to keep up their required reserves is by taking a loan from the Federal Reserve itself at the discount window. These loans are subject to audit by the Fed, and the discount rate is usually higher than the federal funds rate. Confusion between these two kinds of loans often leads to confusion between the federal funds rate and the discount rate. Another difference is that while the Fed cannot set an exact federal funds rate, it does set the specific discount rate.

The federal funds rate target is decided by the governors at Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The FOMC members will either increase, decrease, or leave the rate unchanged depending on the meeting’s agenda and the economic conditions of the U.S. It is possible to infer the market expectations of the FOMC decisions at future meetings from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Fed Funds futures contracts, and these probabilities are widely reported in the financial media.

Applications

Interbank borrowing is essentially a way for banks to quickly raise money. For example, a bank may want to finance a major industrial effort but may not have the time to wait for deposits or interest (on loan payments) to come in. In such cases the bank will quickly raise this amount from other banks at an interest rate equal to or higher than the Federal funds rate.

Raising the federal funds rate will dissuade banks from taking out such inter-bank loans, which in turn will make cash that much harder to procure. Conversely, dropping the interest rates will encourage banks to borrow money and therefore invest more freely.[6] This interest rate is used as a regulatory tool to control how freely the U.S. economy operates.

By setting a higher discount rate the Federal Bank discourages banks from requisitioning funds from the Federal Bank, yet positions itself as a lender of last resort.

Comparison with LIBOR

Though the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the federal funds rate are concerned with the same action, i.e. interbank loans, they are distinct from one another, as follows:

  • The target federal funds rate is a target interest rate that is set by the FOMC for implementing U.S. monetary policies.
  • The (effective) federal funds rate is achieved through open market operations at the Domestic Trading Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which deals primarily in domestic securities (U.S. Treasury and federal agencies’ securities).[7]
  • LIBOR is based on a questionnaire where a selection of banks guess the rates at which they could borrow money from other banks.
  • LIBOR may or may not be used to derive business terms. It is not fixed beforehand and is not meant to have macroeconomic ramifications.[8]

Predictions by the market

Considering the wide impact a change in the federal funds rate can have on the value of the dollar and the amount of lending going to new economic activity, the Federal Reserve is closely watched by the market. The prices of Option contracts on fed funds futures (traded on the Chicago Board of Trade) can be used to infer the market’s expectations of future Fed policy changes. Based on CME Group 30-Day Fed Fund futures prices, which have long been used to express the market’s views on the likelihood of changes in U.S. monetary policy, the CME Group FedWatch tool allows market participants to view the probability of an upcoming Fed Rate hike. One set of such implied probabilities is published by the Cleveland Fed.

Historical rates

As of 19 December 2018 the target range for the Federal Funds Rate is 2.25–2.50%.[9] This represents the ninth increase in the target rate since tightening began in December 2015.[10]

The last full cycle of rate increases occurred between June 2004 and June 2006 as rates steadily rose from 1.00% to 5.25%. The target rate remained at 5.25% for over a year, until the Federal Reserve began lowering rates in September 2007. The last cycle of easing monetary policy through the rate was conducted from September 2007 to December 2008 as the target rate fell from 5.25% to a range of 0.00–0.25%. Between December 2008 and December 2015 the target rate remained at 0.00–0.25%, the lowest rate in the Federal Reserve’s history, as a reaction to the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 and its aftermath. According to Jack A. Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, one reason for this unprecedented move of having a range, rather than a specific rate, was because a rate of 0% could have had problematic implications for money market funds, whose fees could then outpace yields.[11]

Federal funds rate history and recessions.png

Explanation of federal funds rate decisions

When the Federal Open Market Committee wishes to reduce interest rates they will increase the supply of money by buying government securities. When additional supply is added and everything else remains constant, the price of borrowed funds – the federal funds rate – falls. Conversely, when the Committee wishes to increase the federal funds rate, they will instruct the Desk Manager to sell government securities, thereby taking the money they earn on the proceeds of those sales out of circulation and reducing the money supply. When supply is taken away and everything else remains constant, the interest rate will normally rise.[12]

The Federal Reserve has responded to a potential slow-down by lowering the target federal funds rate during recessions and other periods of lower growth. In fact, the Committee’s lowering has recently predated recessions,[13] in order to stimulate the economy and cushion the fall. Reducing the federal funds rate makes money cheaper, allowing an influx of credit into the economy through all types of loans.

The charts linked below show the relation between S&P 500 and interest rates.

  • July 13, 1990 — Sept 4, 1992: 8.00%–3.00% (Includes 1990–1991 recession)[14][15]
  • Feb 1, 1995 — Nov 17, 1998: 6.00–4.75 [16][17][18]
  • May 16, 2000 — June 25, 2003: 6.50–1.00 (Includes 2001 recession)[19][20][21]
  • June 29, 2006 — (Oct. 29 2008): 5.25–1.00[22]
  • Dec 16, 2008 — 0.0–0.25[23]
  • Dec 16, 2015 — 0.25–0.50[24]
  • Dec 14, 2016 — 0.50–0.75[25]
  • Mar 15, 2017 — 0.75–1.00[26]
  • Jun 14, 2017 — 1.00–1.25[27]
  • Dec 13, 2017 — 1.25–1.50[28]
  • Mar 21, 2018 — 1.50–1.75[29]
  • Jun 13, 2018 — 1.75–2.00[30]
  • Sep 26, 2018 — 2.00–2.25[9]
  • Dec 19, 2018 — 2.25–2.50[31]

Bill Gross of PIMCO suggested that in the prior 15 years ending in 2007, in each instance where the fed funds rate was higher than the nominal GDP growth rate, assets such as stocks and housing fell.[32]

International effects

A low federal funds rate makes investments in developing countries such as China or Mexico more attractive. A high federal funds rate makes investments outside the United States less attractive. The long period of a very low federal funds rate from 2009 forward resulted in an increase in investment in developing countries. As the United States began to return to a higher rate in 2013 investments in the United States became more attractive and the rate of investment in developing countries began to fall. The rate also affects the value of currency, a higher rate increasing the value of the U.S. dollar and decreasing the value of currencies such as the Mexican peso.[33]

See also

References

  1. ^ “Fedpoints: Federal Funds”Federal Reserve Bank of New York. August 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  2. ^ “The Implementation of Monetary Policy”. The Federal Reserve System: Purposes & Functions (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Federal Reserve Board. August 24, 2011. p. 4. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  3. ^ “Monetary Policy, Open Market Operations”. Federal Reserve Bank. January 30, 2008. Archived from the original on April 13, 2001. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  4. ^ “Reserve Requirements”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  5. ^ Stefan Homburg (2017) A Study in Monetary Macroeconomics, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-880753-7.
  6. ^ “Fed funds rate”. Bankrate, Inc. March 2016.
  7. ^ Cheryl L. Edwards (November 1997). Gerard Sinzdak. “Open Market Operations in the 1990s” (PDF)Federal Reserve Bulletin (PDF).
  8. ^ “BBA LIBOR – Frequently asked questions”. British Bankers’ Association. March 21, 2006. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007.
  9. Jump up to:a b “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement” (Press release). Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. December 19, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Tankersley, Jim (March 21, 2018). “Fed Raises Interest Rates for Sixth Time Since Financial Crisis”The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  11. ^ “4:56 p.m. US-Closing Stocks”. Associated Press. December 16, 2008. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  12. ^ David Waring (February 19, 2008). “An Explanation of How The Fed Moves Interest Rates”. InformedTrades.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
  13. ^ “Historical Changes of the Target Federal Funds and Discount Rates, 1971 to present”. New York Federal Reserve Branch. February 19, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008.
  14. ^ “$SPX 1990-06-12 1992-10-04 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  15. ^ “$SPX 1992-08-04 1995-03-01 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  16. ^ “$SPX 1995-01-01 1997-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  17. ^ “$SPX 1996-12-01 1998-10-17 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  18. ^ “$SPX 1998-09-17 2000-06-16 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  19. ^ “$SPX 2000-04-16 2002-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  20. ^ “$SPX 2002-01-01 2003-07-25 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  21. ^ “$SPX 2003-06-25 2006-06-29 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  22. ^ “$SPX 2006-06-29 2008-06-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  23. ^ “Press Release”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2008.
  24. ^ “Open Market Operations”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  25. ^ “Decisions Regarding Monetary Policy Implementation”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. Archived from the original on December 15, 2016.
  26. ^ Cox, Jeff (March 15, 2017). “Fed raises rates at March meeting”CNBC. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  27. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 14, 2017.
  28. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 13, 2017.
  29. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. March 21, 2018.
  30. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 13, 2018.
  31. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 19, 2018.
  32. ^ Shaw, Richard (January 7, 2007). “The Bond Yield Curve as an Economic Crystal Ball”. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  33. ^ Peter S. Goodman, Keith Bradsher and Neil Gough (March 16, 2017). “The Fed Acts. Workers in Mexico and Merchants in Malaysia Suffer”The New York Times. Retrieved March 18,2017Rising interest rates in the United States are driving money out of many developing countries, straining governments and pinching consumers around the globe.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_funds_rate

Missy Higgins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Missy Higgins
A woman in her twenties with short blonde hair, wearing a black jacket and grey shirt with black stripes.

Missy Higgins, ARIA No. 1 Chart Awards, 10 August 2012
Background information
Birth name Melissa Morrison Higgins
Born 19 August 1983 (age 36)
Origin MelbourneVictoria
Genres Pop rockindieacoustic
Occupation(s) Singer-songwritermusician
Instruments Vocalspianosynthesiserguitarmelodicaxylophonecowbellukulele
Years active 2001–present
Labels Eleven
Reprise
Warner Bros.
Associated acts
Website missyhiggins.com.au

Melissa Morrison Higgins (born 19 August 1983) is an Australian singer-songwriter, musician and actress. Her Australian number-one albums are The Sound of White (2004), On a Clear Night (2007) and The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle (2012), and her singles include “Scar“, “The Special Two“, “Steer” and “Where I Stood“. Higgins was nominated for five ARIA Music Awards in 2004 and won ‘Best Pop Release’ for “Scar”. In 2005, she was nominated for seven more awards and won five. Higgins won her seventh ARIA in 2007. Her third album, The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, was released in Australia in June 2012 (July 2012 in the US). As of August 2014, Higgins’ first three studio albums had sold over one million units.[1]

Higgins’ fourth studio album, OZ, was released in September 2014 and consists of cover versions of Australian composers, as well as a book of related essays.

Alongside her music career, Higgins pursues interests in animal rights and the environment, endeavouring to make her tours carbon neutral. In 2010 she made her acting debut in the feature film Bran Nue Dae and also performed on its soundtrack.

Biography

Early life

Higgins was born in Melbourne, Victoria, to Gregory Higgins, an English-Australian Tipstave, and Margaret (née Morrison), an Australian childcare centre operator.[2][3] Her sister, Nicola, is seven years older and her brother, David, six years older.[3] Higgins learned to play classical piano from age six, following in the footsteps of Christopher and David, but realised she wanted to be a singer at about 12, when she appeared in an Armadale Primary School production of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.[4] Bored with practice, she gave up playing piano at that time.[5] Hoping for more freedom, she urged her parents to send her to Geelong Grammar School, an independent boarding school that her siblings attended. At Geelong, Higgins took up the piano again, this time playing jazz and performing with her brother David’s group on weekends.[6]Introverted by nature, Higgins found that piano practice helped her cope with living at boarding school.[5]

At 15, while attending Geelong Grammar’s Timbertop, she wrote “All for Believing” for a school music assignment, completing it just hours before the deadline.[7] The assignment earned an A and she performed her song in front of classmates. She approached a Melbourne record company and was told that they wanted more than one song.[5] She wrote more songs and worked with the Kool Skools project, which enables students to record music.[8] In 2001, Missy’s sister Nicola entered “All for Believing” on her behalf in Unearthed, radio station Triple J‘s competition for unsigned artists. The song won the competition and was added to the station’s play list.[9]

Two record companies showed an interest in Higgins—Sony and Eleven.[5] She signed with Eleven, partly because they agreed that she would not be “made into a pop star”[10] and partly because they were happy for her to take time off for a backpacking holiday.[5]Higgins’ manager is Eleven’s John Watson, who also manages rock band Silverchair.[2] Watson later disclosed that “Missy’s the only time in my career I knew after 90 seconds I really wanted to sign her.”[11] The backpacking trip had been planned with a friend for years and the pair spent most of 2002 in Europe; while Higgins was travelling, “All for Believing” started to receive airplay on Los Angeles radio station KCRW.[12] Such radio exposure attracted the attention of American record labels and, by year’s end, an international recording deal with Warner Bros. had been negotiated.[13]

2003–2005: The Sound of White

Higgins is seated. She sings into a microphone and plays a keyboard instrument. The lettering RD-300SX and Roland are visible across its front.

Higgins, San Francisco, 11 August 2005
Courtesy Nabeel Hyatt

Higgins was the support act on a 2003 Australian tour by folk rock band The Waifs and rock band george.[13] She travelled to the US to work with John Porter, who produced her first EPThe Missy Higgins EP,[14] which was released in November and entered the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Singles Chart Top 50 in August 2004.[15]

She toured Australia, supporting Pete Murray and John Butler Trio.[16] Her four-track single “Scar'” was released in July 2004 and debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Charts.[15][17] Her first album, The Sound of White, was released in September, and debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart.[15] Also produced by Porter, it sold over 500,000 copies.[18] She was nominated in five categories at the ARIA Music Awards of 2004 for “Scar”: Best Female Artist’, ‘Single of the Year’, ‘Best Pop Release’, ‘Breakthrough Artist – Single’ and ‘Best Video’ (directed by Squareyed Films).[19] At the awards ceremony on 17 October she received the award for Best Pop Release, beating Delta GoodremThe DissociativesKylie Minogue and Pete Murray.[19] This was followed by her first national headline tour.[20] Her second single “Ten Days” was co-written with Jay Clifford (guitarist in US band Jump, Little Children) and was inspired by Higgins’ 2002 break-up with her boyfriend before she travelled to Europe.[21] Released in November, it peaked at No. 12.[15]

On 29 January 2005 Higgins performed with other local musicians including Nick Cave and Powderfinger at the WaveAid fundraising concert in the Sydney Cricket Ground.[22] The concert raised A$2.3 million for four charities supporting the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.[23] In March Higgins performed at the MTV Australia Awards and won the prize for ‘Breakthrough Artist of the Year’.[24] The following month she released her third single, “The Special Two”, which was a radio hit and reached No. 2.[15] “The Special Two” was released on an EP which included her cover of the Skyhooks song, “You Just Like Me Cos I’m Good In Bed”, recorded for Triple J‘s 30th anniversary. The song had been the first track played on Triple J when it launched (as Double J) in 1975.[25] In May, Higgins won the ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Breakthrough’ awards for “Scar” from the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).[26] She continued touring in mid-2005 and released her fourth single, “The Sound of White”, in August.[15] In September she played a sold out performance at the Vanguard in Sydney with the proceeds going to charity.[27] She was nominated for seven more ARIAs and in October won ‘Album of the Year’, ‘Best Pop Release’, ‘Breakthrough Artist – Album’ and ‘Highest Selling Album’ (all for The Sound of White) and ‘Best Female Artist’ (for “Scar”).[28] She teamed up with fellow ARIA award-winning singer Ben Lee in late 2005 for a national tour.[29]

2006–2009: On a Clear Night

Higgins stands and plays an acoustic guitar with her left hand high on the fret board. She sings into a microphone. Her right arm and bottom of guitar are not in view. Background has large stage lights.

Higgins, Live Earth concert, Sydney, 7 July 2007
Courtesy Itapp

During 2006, Higgins lived in Broome, Western Australia for six months, away from the entertainment industry. The relaxed lifestyle helped her focus on writing new material.[30] The landscape made a big impression, “It was the first place I’d ever felt honestly connected with my country, with the physical land of my country” and inspired her to write “Going North”.[31] She then toured the United States and South Africa, writing more material on the road.[32] In September she based herself in Los Angeles to record her second album, On a Clear Night, with producer Mitchell Froom.[33][34] “Steer” was released as an EP, followed a fortnight later by its album on 28 April 2007, both debuted at No. 1 on their respective charts.[15]

In February, Higgins had contributed a tribute song to the album, Cannot Buy My Soul, for noted indigenous singer, Kev Carmody, singing “Droving Woman” with musician Paul Kelly and group Augie March.[35] On 7 July, she participated in the Live Earth concert in Sydney, performing her own set before joining Carmody, Kelly and vocalist John Butler on stage for the song “From Little Things Big Things Grow“.[36] Emily Dunn in The Sydney Morning Herald wrote “[the song] could have been the event’s anthem”.[37] Rolling Stone‘s Dan Lander pointed out a highlight, when the “whole crowd sung along – all eleven verses.”[38]

Higgins returned to Los Angeles to focus on the US market—she spent September and October touring—where she was still relatively unknown.[39] On 26 October, backed by the Sydney Youth Orchestra, she headlined the annual Legs 11 concert, a breast cancer benefit held in The DomainRoyal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.[40] Two days later Higgins performed at the 2007 ARIAs where she was nominated for ‘Best Pop Release’, ‘Highest Selling Album’ and ‘Highest Selling Single’ (for “Steer”) and won ‘Best Female Artist’ (for On a Clear Night)—her seventh ARIA Music Award.[41] On 31 October, she was a guest at television music channel MAX‘s inaugural Concert for the Cure, a private concert for people affected by breast cancer. She sang headline act Powderfinger’s “Sunsets” with front man Bernard Fanning and joined in with the encore of “These Days“.[42][43] She spent November and December on her For One Night Only Tour, taking in Cairns, Sydney and Perth. You Am I lead singer, Tim Rogers, joined her on some shows.[44]

On a Clear Night, was released in the US on 26 February 2008, supported by a tour in March. Her ten-month stay in Los Angeles during 2008 promoted her songs for films and television shows.[33][45] Her first US single “Where I Stood” was featured in US series including Grey’s AnatomyOne Tree Hill and So You Think You Can Dance.[46] During 2008, Higgins supported the Indigo Girls and then Ben Folds on their respective US tours.[47] February and March 2009 saw her co-headlining a US tour with Canadian Justin Nozuka.[48] On 31 March she released an EP, More Than This in Australia that features cover versions of “More Than This” by Roxy Music, “(I’m) In Love Again” by Peggy Lee, “Breakdown” by Tom Petty and “Moses” by Patty Griffin.[49] “Moses” had been included on Triple J’s 2005 compilation album Like a Version: Volume One and “More Than This” was recorded as part of Covered, A Revolution in Sound, a Warner Bros. tribute album also released in March 2009.[50]

2010–2013: The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle

Higgins performing live in December 2012

Higgins started writing music for her third album in 2009.[51] After about seven years of touring and recording she took a break from the music industry to pursue other interests.[52] In 2010 she enrolled in a course in indigenous studies at the University of Melbourne.[53] Her acting debut was as Annie in 2010 film Bran Nue Dae directed by Rachel Perkins. The film is an adaptation of the 1990 musical, Bran Nue Dae, “Australia’s first Aboriginalmusical”.[54] Although Higgins would consider future acting projects she has no plans to actively pursue it as a career.[51][55]

In July and August 2010, Higgins played several dates of Sarah McLachlan‘s Lilith Fair tour in the US.[56][57] At Lilith Fair, she met Australian musician Butterfly Boucher and they decided to work together. In 2011, Higgins travelled to where Boucher was living in Nashville to record her third album, which is co-produced by Boucher and Brad Jones.[58] Titled The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, the album was released on 1 June 2012.[59] Its first single, “Unashamed Desire“, co-written with Boucher, was released on 23 April.[60] In November 2011, at the ARIA Music Awards, Higgins performed a duet of “Warwu”with Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, from his Rrakala album.[61]

“The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle” album debuted at #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart the week of 12 June 2012. It was Higgins’ 3rd straight number one album. As of January 2019, Higgins ties Olivia Newton-John for the 3rd highest tally of Australian Number One albums by an Australian female artist. Only Delta Goodrem (with four Number 1 ARIA albums) and Kylie Minogue and Kasey Chambers (with five each) have achieved more.

2014: Oz

In September 2014, Higgins released her fourth studio album, Oz, which features cover versions of Australian composers, including The Angels, Slim Dusty, Something For Kate, Warumpi Band, Paul Kelly and The Drones. The album is also accompanied by a book of related essays, in which Higgins uses each of the recordings to reflect upon subjects such as music and love.[62] Higgins collaborated with Dan Sultan for the recording of the Slim Dusty song “The Biggest Disappointment”.[63]

Higgins explained in an October 2014 interview that she experienced a significant bout of writer’s block following the completion of her second album and someone suggested an album of cover versions at the time, but she only revisited the idea during the conception of Oz. Higgins further explained:

I responded to all these songs on an emotional level, when I first heard them. I wanted songs I felt I could tell with my own voice, and interpret them authentically … But it was important to maintain the emotional integrity and the heart of the song. It was a high priority to keep true to the songs.[63]

The album was co-produced by Jherek Bischoff, who previously worked with David Byrne, formerly of Talking Heads, and Amanda Palmer.[1]

Oz debuted at number 3 on the ARIA Albums chart[64] and remained in the top five positions until 18 October 2014.[65]

The national Australian tour in support of Oz commenced on 20 September 2014 in Cairns, Queensland, and ended in Melbourne in October 2014. Higgins was accompanied by Bischoff, and Australian artist Dustin Tebbutt appeared as a special guest.[1]

2015–present: Solastalgia and The Special Ones

Higgins, performing live in Taronga Zoo, February 2016.

On 19 February 2016, Higgins released a new single titled, “Oh Canada“,[66] in her response to the Death of Alan Kurdi.

In May 2017, Higgins released “Torchlight“, for the Australian drama film, Don’t Tell.[67]

In October 2017, Higgins appeared in a revival of the 1996 musical Miracle City by Nick Enright and Max Lambert at the Sydney Opera House, playing the role of Bonnie Mae.[68]

In February 2018, Higgins released the single “Futon Couch“, the first single from her fifth studio album, called Solastalgia, released in May 2018.[69]

In February 2018, it was announced that Missy Higgins would support Ed Sheeran‘s tour around Australia.[70]

In November 2018, Higgins released her first greatest hits album titled The Special Ones.[71]

Musical influences and technique

Higgins grew up in the 1980s and 1990s listening to artists that her older siblings liked—Nicola played Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, while David favoured Queen and Kiss.[72][73] Departing for boarding school at age 13, she was exposed to alternative artists like Nirvana and Hole and started teaching herself guitar and writing her own music.[73] She also began singing with David’s jazz group on weekends. As an adult she prefers Nina Simone and Ray Charles to “poppy dance music”.[73] She has cited Patty GriffinRon SexsmithRufus WainwrightPaul Kelly and Sarah McLachlan as influences.[5][51][74] Material from her third album is influenced by ambient music from LowJon Hopkins, Icelandic band Sigur Rós and Estonian classical composer Arvo Pärt.[51]

Higgins’ song writing grew out of a desire to express her emotions when she was at school and her lyrics describe her feelings about her own life and relationships.[75][76] The piano was the first instrument she learned to play, and she continues to use it as well as digital pianos including a Roland RD-300SX, RD-700 and KR-15.[77][78] She also uses guitars extensively in her music particularly when touring, due to their portable nature and favours the Australian brand, Maton.[78] On occasion she plays keytarxylophone and melodicaduring performances.[31][79]

On 7 September 2012, Higgins recorded a cover version of Gotye‘s “Heart’s A Mess” for the “Like a Version” segment on Australian radio station Triple J, explaining on-air that the song is her favourite Gotye composition. Higgins had travelled with Gotye previously and referred to him as “an incredible singer” in the interview prior to the rendition.[80]

Causes

As a vegetarian, Higgins promoted the health benefits of not eating meat in a 2005 advertising campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA);[81] and has supported their anti-fur stance.[45] She is interested in environmental issues and is involved with the Sierra Club, a grassroots organisation based in California.[45] She has protested against the proposed industrialisation of the Kimberley region of Western Australia and donated the royalties from her 2009 EP More Than This.[49] Since early 2007, Higgins has tried to make her tours carbon neutral, she purchases green energy to power venues, uses hybrid cars where possible and purchases carbon offsets.[82]

On 5 October 2012, Higgins performed at two “Save the Kimberley” events held at Federation Square in Melbourne and The Esplanade in Fremantle, Western Australia.[83][84] A march to protest against the proposed gas refinery construction at James Price Point accompanied the free concert and campaign supporters were photographed with banners and placards.[85]

As of 2012, Higgins is one of numerous publicly known advocates for the ‘Oscar’s Law’ campaign. The campaign, launched in 2010, protests against the existence of “puppy factories” in Australia, whereby animals are factory farmed. One of the campaign’s slogans is “Break the Puppy Trade—Don’t buy puppies from pet shops” and the list of notable advocates includes Paul Dempsey (musician), Kate Ceberano (singer) and Mick Molloy (comedian).[86]

In response to the proposed dumping of around 3 million cubic metres (110 million cubic feet) of dredged seabed onto the Great Barrier Reef,[87] a legal fighting team was formed by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) in late 2013/early 2014.[88] The legal team received further support in April 2014, following the release of the “Sounds For The Reef” musical fundraising project. Produced by Straightup, the digital album features Higgins, in addition to artists such as The HerdSiettaJohn ButlerThe Cat EmpireFat Freddys Drop, The Bamboos (featuring Kylie Auldist) and Resin Dogs. Released on 7 April, the album’s 21 songs were sold on the Bandcamp website.[89][90]

Personal life

Higgins has been a patron of multiple mental health charities since 2003. She described her younger self as “a bit of a depressed child” and “introverted”, and that she had “experienced various degrees of depression”.[14][91] Prescribed antidepressant medication while in high school, she learned to channel low moods into songwriting, calling music her “emotional outlet”.[3][72] In a 2006 interview she said that her songs were “coming from more of a happier place”.[92] While recording her second album she discovered a passion for rock climbing, as a “meditative pursuit”[93] and that, “It’s the first and last thing I’ve had — other than music — that I’m passionate about.”[72]

From 2004 to 2007, Higgins’ sexual orientation was the subject of media speculation based partly on interpretations of her lyrics and her interviews. In an October 2007 interview with Australian lesbian magazine Cherrie, she was asked if she fell under the moniker of “not-so-straight” girls. She replied “Um, yeah, definitely. … I think sexuality is a fluid thing and it’s becoming increasingly more acceptable to admit that you’re that way.”[94] In November her Myspace page reported, “I’ve been in relationships with both men and women so I guess I fall most easily under the category ‘Bisexual'”.[95][96]

In 2013, Higgins began a relationship with Broome playwright and comedian Dan Lee.[97][98] Higgins gave birth to her son named Samuel Arrow Lee, on 5 January 2015.[99] They got married in March 2016,[100][101] and she gave birth to daughter named Luna, on 13 August 2018.

Discography

Filmography

Awards and nominations

Higgins at the ARIA Awardsceremony, December 2013, Star Event Centre, Sydney

APRA Awards

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).[102] Higgins has won two awards from six nominations.[103][104]

 
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2005 Scar” (Missy Higgins, Kevin Griffin) – Missy Higgins Song of the Year[103] Won
Ten Days” (Missy Higgins, Jay Clifford) – Missy Higgins Song of the Year[105] Nominated
Missy Higgins Breakthrough Award[104] Won
2006 The Special Two” (Missy Higgins) – Missy Higgins Song of the Year[106] Nominated
Most Performed Australian Work[106] Nominated
“Ten Days” (Missy Higgins, Jay Clifford) Most Performed Australian Work[106] Nominated

ARIA Awards

The ARIA Music Awards are presented annually from 1987 by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Higgins has won nine awards from twenty-four nominations.[107][108]

 
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2004 Scar Single of the Year Nominated
Best Female Artist Nominated
Breakthrough Artist – Single Nominated
Best Pop Release Won
“Scar” – Squareyed Films Best Video Nominated
2005 The Sound of White Album of the Year Won
Best Female Artist Won
Highest Selling Album Won
Breakthrough Artist – Album Won
Best Pop Release Won
The Sound of White – Cathie Glassby Best Cover Art Nominated
The Special Two Single of the Year Nominated
Highest Selling Single Nominated
2006 If You Tell Me Yours, I’ll Tell You Mine Best Music DVD Nominated
2007 On a Clear Night Best Female Artist Won
Best Pop Release Nominated
Highest Selling Album Nominated
Steer Highest Selling Single Nominated
2008 Peachy Best Female Artist Nominated
2012 The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle Best Female Artist Nominated
Album of the Year Nominated
Best Adult Contemporary Artist Won
Everyone’s Waiting” – Natasha Pincus Best Video Won
2013 “Set Me on Fire” Best Female Artist Nominated
2018 Solastalgia Best Adult Contemporary Album Nominated

Other awards

She has won an MTV Australia Video Music Award.[24]

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missy_Higgins

 

 

Story 4: President Trump Energy Speech at Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania 

FULL SPEECH: President Trump speech on energy in Pennsylvania

Trump was supposed to give a speech on energy. He went way off script.

Updated 

President Donald Trump on Tuesday headed to a Shell petrochemicals plant being built outside Pittsburgh to give what was billed by the White House as a speech on “America’s Energy Dominance and Manufacturing Revival.”

But the hourlong address was light on energy policy and heavy on stump speech material and off-script riffs, as Trump touched on everything from his love of trucks to his assessment of his potential 2020 rivals. The meandering speech came on a day when the president had already attacked a CNN anchor, endorsed a controversial World Series hero’s potential congressional bid and defended his parroting of a conspiracy theory concerning the apparent suicide of his onetime friend Jeffrey Epstein.

Here are some of Trump’s most off-key comments:

On the supposed benefits of natural gas over renewable energy: “When the wind stops blowing, it doesn’t make any difference does it? Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds. One day the environmentalists are going to tell us what’s going on with that. And then all of a sudden it stops. The wind and the televisions go off. And your wives and husbands say: ‘Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight. But the wind stopped blowing and I can’t watch. There’s no electricity in the house, darling.’”

On his construction chops: “I was a good builder. I built good. I love building; in fact, I’m going to take a tour of the site.”

On doing some campaigning: “I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, ‘I hope you’re going to support Trump, OK?’ And if they don’t, vote ‘em the hell out of office because they’re not doing their job — it’s true.”

On his love of trucks: “I love cranes, I love trucks of all types. Even when I was a little boy at 4 years old, my mother would say, ‘You love trucks.’ I do, I always loved trucks, I still do. Nothing changes — sometimes you know you might become president, but nothing changes — I still love trucks. Especially when I look at the largest crane in the world, that’s very cool. You think I’ll get to operate it? We’ll put the media on it and I’ll give them a little ride, right?”

On pundits suggesting he might not leave office willingly: “Can you imagine if I got a fair press? I mean, we’re leading without it; can you imagine if these people treated me fairly? The election would be over. Have they ever called off an election before? Just said, ‘Look just let’s go, go on four more years.’ You want to really drive them crazy? Go to #ThirdTerm, #FourthTerm — you’ll drive them totally crazy.”

On what Trump perceives as a trade imbalance with Japan: “They send us thousands and thousands — millions of cars, we send them wheat. Wheat. That’s not a good deal. And they don’t even want our wheat. They do it because they want us to at least feel that we’re OK, you know, they do it to make us feel good.” This assertion is false.

On the price tag of the presidency: “This thing is costing me a fortune, being president. Somebody said, ‘Oh, he might have rented a room to a man from Saudi Arabia for $500.’ What about the $5 billion that I’ll lose — you know, it’s probably going to cost me, including, upside, downside, lawyers, because every day they sue me for something. These are the most litigious people. It’s probably costing me from $3 to $5 billion for the pleasure of being — and I couldn’t care less, I don’t care. You know if you’re wealthy, it doesn’t matter. I just want to do a great job.”

On his pledge to salvage manufacturing jobs: “You guys, I don’t know what the hell you’re going to do. You don’t want to make widgets, right? You don’t want to make — do you want to learn how to make a computer? A little tiny piece of stuff. … You put it with those big, beautiful hands of yours like … you’re going to take these big hands, going to take this little tiny part. You’re going to go home, ‘Alice this is a tough job.’ Nah, you want to make steel, and you want to dig coal — that’s what you want to do!”

On the number of members of the media at the event, at about 2:45 p.m.: “That’s a lot people back there for, like, an 11 o’clock speech. That’s a lot of people.”

On the Oscars: “Like the Academy Awards during the day, it used to be — you know the Academy Awards is on hard times now, you know that right? Nobody wants to watch it. You know why? Because they started taking us on, everyone got tired of it. It’s amazing. That used to be second after the Super Bowl, and then all of a sudden now it’s just another show because people got tired of people getting up and making fools of themselves and disrespecting the people in this room and the people that won the election in 2016.”

On attacking Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden, potential 2020 rivals: “I did it very early with Pocahontas, I should have probably waited. She’s staging a comeback on Sleepy Joe. I don’t know who’s going to win, but we’ll have to hit Pocahontas very hard again if she does win. But she’s staging a little bit of a comeback. What a group — Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe.”

On Mexico deploying soldiers to stem the flow of Central American migrants: “I want to thank Mexico, it’s incredible. We have close to 27,000, you think of that. We never had three — I think we had about 2½ soldiers, one was sitting down all the time. We had nobody.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/13/donald-trump-energy-speech-pittsburgh-1461337

 

Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex
Monaca, Pennsylvania

2:06 P.M. EDT

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much.  And thank you, Gretchen.  It’s great to be back in the incredible Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Great place.  And this is my 13th visit to Pennsylvania during my administration, which is more than any other President to this point in the term.

And I really love Pennsylvania.  I went to school in Pennsylvania — Philadelphia.  So, we love this state.  And I love the unions and I love the workers.  And, you know, when I built buildings in New York — (applause) — I built them exclusively with unions.  People don’t understand that.  I was exclusive.

And, in the last really great election, our election of 2016, you know, we did great with the union workers.  Great.  But we didn’t do good with the leadership.  The leadership said, “Well, we’ve always gone Democrat.  Let’s keep going that way.”  That didn’t work out too well for some of them, I want to tell you.  (Applause.)  I’ll tell you.  And as Gretchen said, this would have never happened without me and us.  This would have never happened.  So, I’m with you.  I’m with you.  Remember that.
And remember that Pennsylvania — you know, Pennsylvania has the best numbers they’ve ever had in the history of the state.  And that’s for a very good reason.  And you know what that reason is.

(Audience member waves.)  Hello.  Here I am.  (Applause.)

And I’m truly honored to be here with the amazing energy workers and construction workers.  These are talented people.  The craft workers who make America run and who make America proud.  We’re proud again.  We’re proud again.  (Applause.)

And no one in the world does it better than you.  Nobody.  Nobody does it better.  There’s nobody in the world that does it.  And we’re unleashing that power again like we’ve never seen before, I will say.

And we are doing well and we’re fighting against a lot of countries that have taken advantage of us for many, many years.  But they’re not doing it so much anymore.  And in a little period of time, they won’t be doing it at all anymore.  They have taken advantage of this country.  (Applause.)

Today, we celebrate the revolution in American energy that’s helping make our economy the envy of the world.  This Shell petrochemical plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania — I did very well here.  We did very well.  How many points did we win by?  Does anybody know?  I’ll tell you.  Isn’t it, I think, 28 points?  That’s a lot.  That’s against a Democrat — (laughter) — or whatever.

It’s one of the single-biggest construction projects in the nation.  And it made it possible and was possible by clean, affordable, all-American natural gas.  Powerful, clean, natural gas.  (Applause.)

And when the wind stops blowing, it doesn’t make any difference, does it?  Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds.  Someday, the environmentalists are going to tell us what’s going on with that.  And then, all of a sudden, it stops; the wind and the televisions go off.  And your wives and husbands say, “Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight.”  (Laughter.)  “But the wind stopped blowing and I can’t watch.  There’s no electricity in the house, darling.”  No, we love natural gas and we love a lot of other things, too.

Each of you is taking part in the largest investment in Pennsylvania history.  It’s the largest investment in the history of Pennsylvania, in the history of our country — the money that’s being invested in your state right now.

With your help, we’re not only unleashing American energy, we’re restoring the glory of American manufacturing, and we are reclaiming our noble heritage as a nation of builders again.  (Applause.)  A nation of builders.

I was a good builder.  I built good.  I love building.  In fact, I’m going to take a tour of the site.  They said, “Sir, we were going to do it before the speech, but we’re waiting for it to stop raining.”  I said, “Don’t worry about the rain.  Do we have umbrellas?  Don’t worry about the rain.  Umbrellas work very well, especially when they’re made in America.”  (Laughs.)  (Applause.)  So, I don’t care.  But we’re going to take a tour afterwards.

I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, “I hope you’re going to support Trump.”  Okay?  (Applause.)  And if they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they’re not doing their job.  It’s true.  It’s true.  (Applause.)  Vote them out of office.

When completed, this facility will transform abundant natural gas — and we have a lot of it — fracked from Pennsylvania wells, which they never would have allowed you to take if I weren’t President.  If my opponent won, this would be a lot of nice, new structures outside.  I guess you would have stopped long ago.  You would have stopped construction before it started too much.

But I was talking to Gretchen.  They would have never gotten the approvals to do what’s needed to fuel these plants.  That wouldn’t have been good.  So, probably, they wouldn’t have started.  But if they would have started, it would have stopped.

But they put it into plastic through a process known as “cracking.”  That raw material will then be shipped all over the country and all over the world to be fashioned into more products stamped with that very beautiful phrase: “Made in the USA.”  Right?  “Made in the USA.”  (Applause.)  Beautiful.

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  That is a beautiful phrase.

Getting this massive job done right has required more than 1,500 pieces of heavy equipment; one of the largest cranes anywhere in the world — I look forward to seeing it.  I love cranes.  I loves trucks of all types.  Even when I was a little boy at four years old, my mother would say, “You love trucks.”  I do.  I always loved trucks.  I still do.  Nothing changes.  Sometimes, you know, you might become President but nothing changes.  I still love trucks, especially when I look at the largest crane in the world.  That’s very cool.  Do you think I’ll get to operate it?  I don’t know.  (Applause.)  We’ll put the media on it, and I’ll give them a little ride, right?   (Applause.)

And you have thousands of tons of concrete, aluminum and steel, and nearly 6,000 of the strongest, toughest, and most talented workers anywhere on Earth.  (Applause.)  True.  I know.  It was the Trump administration that made it possible.  No one else.  Without us, you would never have been able to do this.

I want to thank all of our great union members: the boilermakers, carpenters — (applause) — cement finishers — (applause) — electricians — (applause) — iron workers — (applause) — laborers — (applause) — millwrights — (applause) — operators — (applause) — plumbers — (applause) — painters — (applause) — steamfitters; I know them well.

And a group that I’ve used more than anybody that’s ever run for office times 1,000, because in New York City they would drive those cement trucks up to my building and those trucks were always on time, and sometimes they were lined up for six blocks when I was doing different things.  Even when I was doing the Wollman Rink, the city couldn’t build it.  Took them nine years.  They had no idea what they were doing.

And I had that whole big — about 70,000 feet — it’s like a massive office floor — bigger than an office floor.  We did it all in one day, and the trunks were lined up from Central Park all the way back into Harlem.  And they did it all in one day — that pour.  It was called a contiguous pour.  The city used to build little pieces.  A little piece here.  A little piece there.  A little piece here.  A little there.  (Laughter.)  A few years later: a little piece here.  Then they had pipes underneath and the pipes were made out of copper.

And during the evening, things would happen, like the copper would be stolen because it was very valuable.  (Laughter.)  So they’d have a little piece with copper, and then the rest of the pipe they’d lay.  And they’d get ready to pour, and they’d leave, and everybody would steal the copper.  So they — this took place for — I guess, from seven to nine years.  Nobody actually knows.  Nobody wants to talk about it.  (Laughter.)  But those trucks were operated incredibly well, and I never missed a delivery.  And it’s called the “Teamsters.”  (Applause.)

I also want to thank I also want to thank Bechtel, a real incredible company.  We talk about the great builders of the world: President Jack Futcher.  Where is he?  Where is he?  Jack.  Where is Jack?  (Applause.)  Jack.  What a great job you’ve done, Jack.  Some big ones.  Think of it this way, Jack.  If we don’t win, you won’t be doing anything in this country.  (Laughter.)  And, you know, the world follows us.  You see that.  The world follows us.  And it won’t be so good.  But you and I are friends, and you’re going to have a lot of work to do, I think, Jack.  A lot of work.  Thank you, Jack.  Great job.  (Applause.)  Jack has done an incredible job.  That’s an incredible company.  Incredible — they’re incredible builders.

And the Secretary-Treasurer of North America’s Building Trades Unions, Brent Booker.  Where’s Brent?  Brent.  Thank you.  Great job.  (Applause.)  Young guy.  You’re so young, Brent.  How the hell did you get that job?  (Laughter.)  Man.

We’re honored to be joined by two leaders who truly have the backs of American workers.  They’ve become friends of mine.  They do such an incredible job.  They break up the roadblocks.  We have a lot of roadblocks in this country, where you have — a little clause can stop a project.  A little clause can stop it for years.  And we break up those little clauses.  We break them up fast.  Energy Secretary Rick Perry.  Where’s Rick?  Rick?  (Applause.)  Thank you, Rick.  What a great guy.

I had to compete with him.  You know, he wanted to be President.  He was tough.  He was nasty.  Man.  (Laughter.)  He was nasty.  But then he said, “I want to do something great.”  And you have been incredible.  He ran Texas for like 14 years — (applause) — and he did it well.  And now he’s running a little thing called “Energy.”  And nobody has ever done it better.  Thank you, Rick, very much.  Great job.

And a man who has been incredible in every way.  You know, EPA — Environmental Protection Agency.  You’ve heard a lot of horror stories where nothing can get done, nothing gets passed.  It takes years and years and years to get a simple permit.  It can take 20, 21 years to get a road, before they reject it.  How about this?  They go 20 years — 21 years, in certain cases — for a highway or a road.  Not even a highway.  At the end of the 21st year, they vote to reject it.  How would you like to be — you’re a young person, you’re starting out, and you’re all excited about this project.  And it starts off as being a simple, straight road, and then it ends up being a total catastrophe because of nesting and lots of other things that we can take care of.  And it’s 20 years later, and then they reject it.  You’ve devote half of your working life to a rejection.  It happened to many people.

And we have a man that knows how to break it up but he’s also a great lover of the environment: EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.  He’s done an incredible job.  Andrew?  (Applause.)  Great job, Andrew.  Great.  Really great job.

And I also want to recognize some of my great friends that have helped me so much: Congressman John Joyce.  John?  (Applause.)  John.  Where is John?  John.  John, usually you’re in the front row.  I can’t believe this.  I guess you got shut out by the unions.  Look.  (Laughter.)  Thank you, John.  Fantastic job.  John Joyce.  Been a great friend — a great friend of all of us.

Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Michael Turzai.  (Applause.)  Michael Turzai.  Thank you.  Michael, great job.  Thank you.  Good to see you, Michael.  Michael Turzai.  Great name in this state, I’ll tell you, for a long time.  How long has it been, Michael?  You’ve been there a long time.  How long?

SPEAKER TURZAI:  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.  Good luck.  (Laughter.)  It’s not that long.  Thank you, Mike.

And one of my good friends from Beaver County, David Urban.  David.  (Applause.)  David.  Where’s David?  David?  Thank you, David.  Great football player.  Great athlete.  And he was a Trump supporter.  He liked Trump.  And when he liked Trump, nobody was going to get in his way.  Right, David?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love Trump!

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  Thank you.  Thank you.
How are we doing in the state, David?  We looking good?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  I appreciate it.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

I think we’re looking very good.  I think we’re looking good all over: in Ohio, in North Carolina, in South Carolina, Florida.  We just got numbers in Florida.  We’re looking fantastically good.

Now, you know, sometimes — and they do.  They do.  They say, “Donald Trump…”  Can you imagine if I got a fair press?  I mean, we’re leading without it.  Can you imagine if these people treated me fairly?  (Applause.)  The election would be over.  Have they ever called off an election before?  Just