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There Will Never Be Enough Jobs In America Again

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August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2014, 08:02:49 am »

This Is What Employment In America Really Looks Like…

The level of employment in the United States has been declining since the year 2000.  There have been moments when things have appeared to have been getting better for a short period of time, and then the decline has resumed.  Thanks to the offshoring of millions of jobs, the replacement of millions of workers with technology and the overall weakness of the U.S. economy, the percentage of Americans that are actually working is significantly lower than it was when this century began.  And even though things have stabilized at a reduced level over the past few years, it is only a matter of time until the next major wave of the economic collapse strikes and the employment level goes even lower.  And the truth is that more good jobs are being lost every single day in America.  For example, as you will read about below, Warren Buffett is shutting down a Fruit of the Loom factory in Kentucky and moving it to Honduras just so that he can make a little bit more money.  We see this kind of betrayal over and over again, and it is absolutely ripping the middle class of America to shreds.

Below I have posted a chart that you never hear any of our politicians talk about.  It is a chart that shows how the percentage of working age Americans with a job has steadily declined since the turn of the century.  Just before the last recession, we were sitting at about 63 percent, but now we have been below 59 percent since the end of 2009...



We should be thankful that things have stabilized at this lower level for the past few years.

At least things have not been getting worse.

But anyone that believes that "things have returned to normal" is just being delusional.

And nothing is being done about the long-term trends that are absolutely crippling our economy.  One of those trends is the offshoring of middle class jobs.  As I mentioned above, Fruit of the Loom (which is essentially owned by Warren Buffett) has made the decision to close their factory in Jamestown, Kentucky and lay off all the workers at that factory by the end of 2014...

    Clothing company Fruit of the Loom announced Thursday that it will permanently close its plant in Jamestown and lay off all 600 employees by the end of the year.

    The Jamestown plant is the last Fruit of the Loom plant in a state where the company had once been a manufacturing titan second only to General Electric.

This isn't being done because Fruit of the Loom is going out of business.  They are still going to be making t-shirts and underwear.  They are just going to be making them in Honduras from now on...

    The company, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway but headquartered in Bowling Green, said the move is "part of the company's ongoing efforts to align its global supply chain" and will allow the company to better use its existing investments to provide products cheaper and faster.

    The company said it is moving the plant's textile operations to Honduras to save money.

So what are those workers supposed to do?

Go on welfare?

The number of Americans that are dependent on the government is already at an all-time record high.

And doesn't Warren Buffett already have enough money?

In business school, they teach you that the sole responsibility of a corporation is to maximize wealth for the shareholders.

And so when business students get out into "the real world", that is how they behave.

But the truth is that corporations have a responsibility to treat their workers, their customers and the communities in which they operate well.  This responsibility exists whether corporate executives want to admit it or not.

And we all have a responsibility to our fellow citizens.  When we stand aside and do nothing as millions of good paying American jobs are shipped overseas so that the "one world economic agenda" can be advanced and so that men like Warren Buffett can stuff their pockets just a little bit more, we are failing our fellow countrymen.

Because so many of us have fallen for the lie that "globalism is good", we have allowed our once great manufacturing cities to crumble and die.  Just consider what is happening to Detroit.  It was once the greatest manufacturing city in the history of the planet, but now foreign newspapers publish stories about what a horror show that it has become...

    Khalil Ligon couldn’t tell if the robbers were in her house. She had just returned home to find her front window smashed and a brick lying among shattered glass on the floor. Ligon, an urban planner who lives alone on Detroit’s east side, stepped out and called the police.

    It wasn’t the first time Ligon’s home had been broken into, she told me. And when Detroit police officers finally arrived the next day, surveying an area marred by abandoned structures and overgrown vegetation, they asked Ligon a question she often ponders herself: why is she still in Detroit?

Of course this kind of thing is not just happening to Detroit.  The truth is that it is happening all over the nation.  For example, this article contains an incredible graphic which shows how the middle class of Chicago has steadily disappeared over the past several decades.

Once again, even though we have never had a "recovery", it is a good thing that things have at least stabilized at a lower level for the past few years.

But now there are all sorts of indications that we are rapidly heading toward yet another economic downturn.  The tsunami of retail store closings that is now upon us is just one sign of this.  The following is a partial list of retail store closings from a recent article by Daniel Jennings...

    Quiznos has filed for bankruptcy, USA Today reported, and could close many of its 2,100 stores.
    Sbarro which operates pizza and Italian restaurants in malls, is planning to close 155 locations in the United States and Canada. That means nearly 20 percent of Sbarro’s will close. The chain operates around 800 outlets.
    Ruby Tuesday announced plans to close 30 restaurants in January after its sales fell by 7.8 percent. The chain currently operates around 775 steakhouses across the US.
    An unknown number of Red Lobster stores will be sold. The chain is in such bad shape that the parent company, Darden Restaurants Inc., had to issue a press release stating that the chain would not close. Instead Darden is planning to spin Red Lobster off into another company and sell some of its stores.
    Ralph’s, a subsidiary of Kroger, has announced plans to close 15 supermarkets in Southern California within 60 days.
    Safeway closed 72 Dominick’s grocery stores in the Chicago area last year.

And the following are some more signs of trouble for the retail industry from one of my recent articles entitled "20 Facts About The Great U.S. Retail Apocalypse That Will Blow Your Mind"...

    #1 As you read this article, approximately a billion square feet of retail space is sitting vacant in the United States.

    #2 Last week, Radio Shack announced that it was going to close more than a thousand stores.

    #3 Last week, Staples announced that it was going to close 225 stores.

    #4 Same-store sales at Office Depot have declined for 13 quarters in a row.

    #5 J.C. Penney has been dying for years, and it recently announced plans to close 33 more stores.

    #6 J.C. Penney lost 586 million dollars during the second quarter of 2013 alone.

    #7 Sears has closed about 300 stores since 2010, and CNN is reporting that Sears is "expected to shutter another 500 Sears and Kmart locations soon".

    #8 Overall, sales numbers have declined at Sears for 27 quarters in a row.

    #9 Target has announced that it is going to eliminate 475 jobs and not fill 700 positions that are currently empty.

    #10 It is being projected that Aéropostale will close about 175 stores over the next couple of years.

    #11 Macy's has announced that it is going to be closing five stores and eliminating 2,500 jobs.

    #12 The Children’s Place has announced that it will be closing down 125 of its "weakest" stores by 2016.

But it isn't just the retail industry that is deeply troubled.

All over America we are seeing economic weakness.

In this economic environment, it doesn't matter how smart, how educated or how experienced you are.  If you are out of work, it can be extremely difficult to find a new job.  Just consider the case of Abe Gorelick...

    Abe Gorelick has decades of marketing experience, an extensive contact list, an Ivy League undergraduate degree, a master’s in business from the University of Chicago, ideas about how to reach consumers young and old, experience working with businesses from start-ups to huge financial firms and an upbeat, effervescent way about him. What he does not have — and has not had for the last year — is a full-time job.

    Five years since the recession ended, it is a story still shared by millions. Mr. Gorelick, 57, lost his position at a large marketing firm last March. As he searched, taking on freelance and consulting work, his family’s finances slowly frayed. He is now working three jobs, driving a cab and picking up shifts at Lord & Taylor and Whole Foods.

So what does Abe need in order to find a decent job?

More education?

More experience?

No, what he needs is an economy that produces good jobs.

Sadly, the cold, hard reality of the matter is that the U.S. economy will never produce enough jobs for everyone ever again.

The way that America used to work is long gone, and it has been replaced by a cold, heartless environment where the company that you work for could rip your job away from you at a moment's notice if they decide that it will put a few extra pennies into the pockets of the shareholders.

You may have worked incredibly hard for 30 years and been super loyal to your company.

It doesn't matter anymore.

All that matters is the bottom line, and in the process the middle class is being destroyed.  But by destroying the middle class, those corporations are destroying the consumer base that their corporate empires were built upon in the first place.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/this-is-what-employment-in-america-really-looks-like
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« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2014, 10:07:44 am »

And all of this is being by design - and not necessarily b/c of a President's "policy".
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« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2014, 05:53:38 am »

Two More Victims Of The Retail Apocalypse: Family Dollar And Coldwater Creek

Did you know that Family Dollar is closing 370 stores? When I learned of this, I was quite stunned. I knew that retailers that serve the middle class were really struggling right now, but I had no idea that things had gotten so bad for low end stores like Family Dollar. In the post-2008 era, dollar stores had generally been one of the few bright spots in the retail industry. As millions of Americans fell out of the middle class, they were looking to stretch their family budgets as far as possible, and dollar stores helped them do that. It would be great if we could say that the reason why Family Dollar is doing so poorly is because average Americans have more money now and have resumed shopping at retailers that target the middle class, but that is not happening. Rather, as you will see later in this article, things just continue to get even worse for Americans at the low end of the income scale.

I was also surprised to learn that Coldwater Creek is closing all of their stores...

    Women's clothing retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after failing to find a buyer said it plans to close its stores by early summer.

    Coldwater Creek joins other retailers to seek protection from creditors in recent months as consumers keep a lid on spending.

    The company said it plans to wind down its operations over the coming months and begin going-out-of-business sales in early May, before the traditionally busy Mother's Day weekend.

    Coldwater Creek, which has 365 stores and employs about 6,000 people, has five stores in Maryland.

I remember browsing through a Coldwater Creek with my wife and mother-in-law just last year. At the time, my mother-in-law was excited about getting one of their catalogs. But now Coldwater Creek is going out of business, and all that will be left of that store is a big, ugly, empty space.

Of course the fact that a couple of major retailers are closing stores is nothing new. This kind of thing happens year after year.

But what we are witnessing right now is really quite startling. So many retailers are closing so many stores that it is being called a "retail apocalypse". In a previous article entitled "This Is What Employment In America Really Looks Like…", I detailed how major U.S. retailers have already announced the closing of thousands of stores so far this year.  If the economy really was "getting better", this should not be happening.

So why are so many stores closing?

Well, the truth is that it is because the middle class is dying. With each passing day, more Americans lose their place in the middle class and fall into poverty. The following is an excerpt from the story of one man that this has happened to. His recent piece in the Huffington Post was entitled "Next Friday, I'll Be Living In My Car"...

    For the past 13 years, I've mostly been doing facility management in several locations across the state. After the position turned into more of a sales role, they laid me off. Since then, I've been looking to find any type of work. I've applied for food stamps, and I'm waiting for that. I'm mostly eating soup from a food pantry.

    I've been on several interviews -- second, third, fourth interviews -- and just haven't been able to land a job for whatever reason. I definitely have the qualifications and the experience. Last week, I had a job offer that I thought was secure, and we were talking my work schedule. They decided to call me back and go with an assistant rather than a manager.

    For a number of applications, I've dumbed down my resume. I don't even go with a resume sometimes, just because I don't want them to know that I'm educated and have a master's degree. It shoots me in the foot. They don't want me because they don't think I'm going to stay. I don't blame them. I was making six figures at $60-70 an hour. Now, I'm looking for a $10 an hour job.

There are millions upon millions of Americans that can identify with what that man is going through.

Once upon a time, they were living comfortable middle class lifestyles, but now they will take any jobs that they can get.

Just today I came across a statistic that shows the massive shift that is happening in this country. A decade ago, the number of women working outnumbered the number of women on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of women on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

Wow.

How could things have changed so rapidly over the course of just one decade?

And sadly, things continue to go downhill. Every day in America, more good jobs are being sent out of the country or are being replaced by technology. I really like how James Altucher described this trend the other day...

    Technology, outsourcing, a growing temp staffing industry, productivity efficiencies, have all replaced the middle class.

    The working class. Most jobs that existed 20 years ago aren’t needed now. Maybe they never were needed. The entire first decade of this century was spent with CEOs in their Park Avenue clubs crying through their cigars, “how are we going to fire all this dead weight?”. 2008 finally gave them the chance. “It was the economy!” they said. The country has been out of a recession since 2009. Four years now. But the jobs have not come back. I asked many of these CEOs: did you just use that as an excuse to fire people, and they would wink and say, “let’s just leave it at that.”

    I’m on the board of directors of a temp staffing company with one billion dollars in revenues. I can see it happening across every sector of the economy. Everyone is getting fired. Everyone is toilet paper now.

    Flush.

There is so little loyalty in corporate America these days. If you work for a major corporation, you could literally lose your job at any moment. And you can be sure that there is someone above you that is trying to figure out a way to accomplish the tasks that you currently perform much more cheaply and much more efficiently.

Most big corporations don't care if you are personally successful or if you are able to take care of your family. What they want is to get as much out of you as possible for as little money as possible.

This is a big reason why 62 percent of all Americans make $20 or less an hour at this point.

The quality of our jobs is going down, but the cost of living just keeps going up. Just look at what is happening to food prices. For a detailed examination of this, please see my previous article entitled "Why Meat Prices Are Going To Continue Soaring For The Foreseeable Future".

As the middle class slowly dies, less people are able to afford to buy homes. Mortgage originations at major U.S. banks have fallen to a record low, and the percentage of Americans that live in "high-poverty neighborhoods" is rising rapidly...

    An estimated 12.4 million Americans live in economically devastated neighborhoods, according to American Community Survey data collected from 2008 to 2012. That's an 11 percent jump from the previous survey, conducted from 2007 to 2011. Even more startling, it's a 72 percent increase in the population of high-poverty neighborhoods since the 2000 Census.

If nothing is done about the long-term trends that are slowly strangling the middle class to death, all of this will just be the beginning.

We will see millions more Americans lose their jobs, millions more Americans lose their homes and millions more Americans living in poverty.

The United States is being fundamentally transformed, and very few people are doing much of anything to stand in the way of this transformation. Decades of incredibly foolish decisions are starting to catch up with us, and unless something dramatic is done right away, all of these problems will soon get much, much worse.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/two-more-victims-of-the-retail-apocalypse-family-dollar-and-coldwater-creek
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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2014, 01:29:46 pm »

Moving in with parents becomes more common for the middle-aged
The number of Californians 50 to 64 who live in their parents' homes has surged in recent years, reflecting the grim economic aftermath of the Great Recession.

Debbie Rohr lives with her husband and twin teenage sons in a well-tended three-bedroom home in Salinas.

The ranch-style house has a spacious kitchen that looks out on a yard filled with rosebushes. It's a modest but comfortable house, the type that Rohr, 52, pictured for herself at this stage of life.

She just never imagined that it would be her childhood home, a return to a bedroom where she once hung posters of Olivia Newton-John and curled up with her beloved Mrs. Beasley doll.

Driven by economic necessity — Rohr has been chronically unemployed and her husband lost his job last year — she moved her family back home with her 77-year-old mother.

At a time when the still sluggish economy has sent a flood of jobless young adults back home, older people are quietly moving in with their parents at twice the rate of their younger counterparts.

For seven years through 2012, the number of Californians aged 50 to 64 who live in their parents' homes swelled 67.6% to about 194,000, according to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

The jump is almost exclusively the result of financial hardship caused by the recession rather than for other reasons, such as the need to care for aging parents, said Steven P. Wallace, a UCLA professor of public health who crunched the data.

"The numbers are pretty amazing," Wallace said. "It's an age group that you normally think of as pretty financially stable. They're mid-career. They may be thinking ahead toward retirement. They've got a nest egg going. And then all of a sudden you see this huge push back into their parents' homes."

Many more young adults live with their parents than those in their 50s and early 60s live with theirs. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, 1.6 million Californians have taken up residence in their childhood bedrooms, according to the data.

Though that's a 33% jump from 2006, the pace is half that of the 50 to 64 age group.

The surge in middle-aged people moving in with parents reflects the grim economic reality that has taken hold in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

Long-term unemployment is especially acute for older people. The number of Americans 55 and older who have been out of work for a year or more was 617,000 at the end of December, a fivefold jump from the end of 2007 when the recession hit, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As with Rohr, those in their 50s move in only as a last resort. Many have exhausted savings. Some have jobs but can't shoulder soaring rents in areas such as Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Whatever the cause, moving in with Mom and Dad exacts a bruising emotional toll. Even asking to move the family in was difficult for Rohr.

"I said 'Mom, I'm so sorry but I don't know what to do,'" she said. "I dreaded it. If it wasn't for my boys I wouldn't have done it. I would have lived in my car."

Jenny Chung Mejia knows how tough it can be. As a public policy consultant at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Los Angeles, she helps people and communities regain their economic health.

"It's unexpected vulnerability at this point in your life," she said. "When you're supposed to be the provider, sort of the rock for yourself and your family and maybe your parents, the table just gets turned on you and the rug gets pulled out from under you."

That's what happened to Janine Rosales, who moved into her mother's San Francisco home two years ago after a career of mostly low-paying jobs left her unable to afford the city's towering rents.

For Rosales, 53, it represented a personal defeat, an unofficial marker of unmet goals in life.

"I sit here sometimes and I see baby pictures of myself and my teenage years and remember all the dreams I had," Rosales said. "I never thought I'd end up where I am."

REST
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-adults-in-parents-home-20140421,0,2293806.story#ixzz2zXyOLiH7


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« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2014, 06:51:00 am »

The Number Of Working Age Americans Without A Job Has Risen By 27 MILLION Since 2000

Did you know that there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now?  And 20 percent of all families in the United States do not have a single member that is employed.  So how in the world can the government claim that the unemployment rate has "dropped" to "6.3 percent"?  Well, it all comes down to how you define who is "unemployed".  For example, last month the government moved another 988,000 Americans into the "not in the labor force" category.  According to the government, at this moment there are 9.75 million Americans that are "unemployed" and there are 92.02 million Americans that are "not in the labor force" for a grand total of 101.77 million working age Americans that do not have a job.  Back in April 2000, only 5.48 million Americans were unemployed and only 69.27 million Americans were "not in the labor force" for a grand total of 74.75 million Americans without a job.  That means that the number of working age Americans without a job has risen by 27 million since the year 2000.  Any way that you want to slice that, it is bad news.

Well, what about as a percentage of the population?

Has the percentage of working age Americans that have a job been increasing or decreasing?

As you can see from the chart posted below, the percentage of working age Americans with a job has been in a long-term downward trend.  As the year 2000 began, we were sitting at 64.6 percent.  By the time the great financial crisis of 2008 struck, we were hovering around 63 percent.  During the last recession, we fell dramatically to under 59 percent and we have stayed there ever since...

rest: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-number-of-working-age-americans-without-a-job-has-risen-by-27-million-since-2000
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« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2014, 07:37:44 am »

The Robots Are Coming, And They Are Replacing Warehouse Workers And Fast Food Employees

There are already more than 101 million working age Americans that are not employed and 20 percent of the families in the entire country do not have a single member that has a job.  So what in the world are we going to do when robots start taking millions upon millions more of our jobs? Thanks to technology, the balance of power between employers and workers in this country is shifting dramatically in favor of the employers.  These days, many employers are wondering why they are dealing with so many human worker "headaches" when they can just use technology to get the same tasks done instead.  When you replace a human worker with a robot, you solve a whole bunch of problems.  Robots never take a day off, they never get tired, they never get sick, they never complain, they never show up late, they never waste time on the Internet and they always do what you tell them to do.  In addition, robotic technology has advanced to the point where it is actually cheaper to buy robots than it is to hire humans for a vast variety of different tasks.  From the standpoint of societal efficiency, this is a good thing.  But what happens when robots are able to do just about everything less expensively and more efficiently than humans can?  Where will our jobs come from?

And this is not something that is coming at some point in "the future".

This is already happening.

According to CNN, there will be 10,000 robots working to fulfill customer orders in Amazon.com warehouses by the end of 2014...

    Amazon will be using 10,000 robots in its warehouses by the end of the year.

    CEO Jeff Bezos told investors at a shareholder meeting Wednesday that he expects to significantly increase the number of robots used to fulfill customer orders.

Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love Amazon.  And if robots can get me my stuff faster and less expensively that sounds great.

But what if everyone starts using these kinds of robots?

What will that do to warehouse jobs?

PC World has just done a report on a new warehouse robot known as "UBR-1".  This robot is intended to perform tasks "normally done by human workers"...

    The UBR-1 is a 4-foot tall, one-armed robot that could make warehouses and factories more efficient by performing tasks normally done by human workers.

    Unlike the industrial robots widely used in manufacturing today—usually large machines isolated from people for safety reasons—this robot can work alongside humans or autonomously in a workspace filled with people.

This little robot costs $50,000, and it can work all day and all night.  It just needs a battery change every once in a while.  The creators of this robot envision it performing a vast array of different tasks...

    “We see the robot as doing tasks, they could be dull, they could be dirty, they could be dangerous and doing them repetitively all day in a light manufacturing environment,” said Melonee Wise, Unbounded Robotics CEO and co-founder. Those tasks include stocking shelves, picking up objects and assembling parts.

    The UBR-1 isn’t designed for small component assembly, but it can manipulate objects as small as dice or a Lego piece, Wise said. Unbounded Robotics is targeting companies that want some automation to speed up their manufacturing process, but can’t afford to fully automate their businesses.

To many people this may sound very exciting.

But what if a robot like that took your job?

Would it be exciting then?

Of course you can't outlaw robots.  And you can't force companies to hire human workers.

But we could potentially have major problems in our society as jobs at the low end of the wage scale quickly disappear.

According to CNN, restaurants all over the nation are going to automated service, and a recent University of Oxford study concluded that there is a 92 percent chance that most fast food jobs will be automated in the coming years...

    Panera Bread is the latest chain to introduce automated service, announcing last month that it plans to bring self-service ordering kiosks as well as a mobile ordering option to all its locations within the next three years. The news follows moves from Chili's and Applebee's to place tablets on their tables, allowing diners to order and pay without interacting with human wait staff at all.

    Panera, which spent $42 million developing its new system, claims it isn't planning any job cuts as a result of the technology, but some analysts see this kind of shift as unavoidable for the industry.

    In a widely cited paper released last year, University of Oxford researchers estimated that there is a 92% chance that fast-food preparation and serving will be automated in the coming decades.

It is being projected that other types of jobs will soon be automated as well...

    Delivery drivers could be replaced en masse by self-driving cars, which are likely to hit the market within a decade or two, or even drones. In food preparation, there are start-ups offering robots for bartending and gourmet hamburger preparation. A food processing company in Spain now uses robots to inspect heads of lettuce on a conveyor belt, throwing out those that don't meet company standards, the Oxford researchers report.

Could you imagine such a world?

When self-driving vehicles take over, what will happen to the 3.1 million Americans that drive trucks for a living?

Our planet is changing at a pace that is almost inconceivable.

Over the past decade, the big threat to our jobs has been workers on the other side of the globe that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.

But now even those workers are having their jobs taken away by robots.  For example, just check out what is happening in China...

    Foxconn has been planning to buy 1 million robots to replace human workers and it looks like that change, albeit gradual, is about to start.

    The company is allegedly paying $25,000 per robot – about three times a worker’s average salary – and they will replace humans in assembly tasks. The plans have been in place for a while – I spoke to Foxconn reps about this a year ago – and it makes perfect sense. Humans are messy, they want more money, and having a half-a-million of them in one factory is a recipe for unrest. But what happens after the halls are clear of careful young men and women and instead full of whirring robots?

Perhaps you think that your job could never be affected because you do something that requires a "human touch" like caring for the elderly.

Well, according to Reuters, robots are moving into that arena as well...

    Imagine you're 85, and living alone. Your children are halfway across the country, and you're widowed. You have a live-in aide - but it's not human. Your personal robot reminds you to take your medicine, monitors your diet and exercise, plays games with you, and even helps you connect with family members on the Internet.

And robots are even threatening extremely skilled professions such as doctors.  For instance, just check out this excerpt from a Bloomberg article entitled "Doctor Robot Will See You Shortly"...

    Johnson & Johnson proposes to replace anesthesiologists during simple procedures such as colonoscopies -- not with nurse practitioners, but with machines. Sedasys, which dispenses propofol and monitors a patient automatically, was recently approved for use in healthy adult patients who have no particular risk of complications. Johnson & Johnson will lease the machines to doctor’s offices for $150 per procedure -- cleverly set well below the $600 to $2,000 that anesthesiologists usually charge.

And this is just the beginning.  In a previous article, I discussed the groundbreaking study by Dr. Carl Frey and Dr. Michael Osborne of Oxford University which came to the conclusion that 47 percent of all U.S. jobs could be automated within the next 20 years.

47 percent?

That is crazy.

What will the middle class do as their jobs are taken away?

The world that we live in is becoming a radically different place than the one that we grew up in.

The robots are coming, and they are going to take millions of our jobs.

So what do you think of this robot invasion?  Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below...

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-robots-are-coming-and-they-are-replacing-warehouse-workers-and-fast-food-employees
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« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2015, 08:12:31 am »

Durable Goods Orders Unexpectedly Decline, Business Spending Declines 6th Month

The durable goods report for February was released on Wednesday. It was another disaster in a long line of weak economic reports. And once again economists missed their optimistic estimates by a mile.

Apparently the weather has been bad for six straight months because this is the sixth consecutive decline in overall business spending.

The Bloomberg Consensus Estimate was for a 0.7% rise. The actual number was a 1.4% decline.



Durables orders fell 1.4 percent in February after rebounding 2.0 percent the month before. Market expectations were for a 0.7 percent gain.

Excluding transportation, the core declined 0.4 percent, following a 0.7 percent drop in January. Analysts projected a 0.3 percent gain in February.

With those estimates in hand, let's dive into the Commerce Report on durable goods.

Durable Goods Synopsis

New Orders. New orders for manufactured durable goods in February decreased $3.2 billion or 1.4 percent to $231.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a 2.0 percent January increase. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.4 percent [the fifth straight decline]. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.0 percent. Transportation equipment, also down three of the last four months, led the decrease, $2.5 billion or 3.5 percent to $69.5 billion. [Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft dropped 1.4% from January. That marked the sixth straight monthly decline. This is the business spending component for machinery, computers, etc.]

Shipments. Shipments of manufactured durable goods in February, down four of the last five months, decreased $0.5 billion or 0.2 percent to $244.0 billion. This followed a 1.4 percent January decrease. Primary metals, down five consecutive months, led the decrease, $0.3 billion or 1.1 percent to $26.1 billion.

Unfilled Orders. Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in February, down three consecutive months, decreased $5.6 billion or 0.5 percent to $1,156.9 billion. This followed a 0.3 percent January decrease. Transportation equipment, also down three consecutive months, led the decrease, $4.6 billion or 0.6 percent to $731.6 billion.

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2015/03/26/durable-goods-orders-unexpectedly-decline-business-spending-declines-6th-month-n1976339?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=
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« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2015, 04:59:26 pm »

Major U.S. Retailers Are Closing More Than 6,000 Stores

If the U.S. economy really is improving, then why are big U.S. retailers permanently shutting down thousands of stores?  The “retail apocalypse” that I have written about so frequently appears to be accelerating.  As you will see below, major U.S. retailers have announced that they are closing more than 6,000 locations, but economic conditions in this country are still fairly stable.  So if this is happening already, what are things going to look like once the next recession strikes?  For a long time, I have been pointing to 2015 as a major “turning point” for the U.S. economy, and I still feel that way.  And since I started The Economic Collapse Blog at the end of 2009, I have never seen as many indications that we are headed into another major economic downturn as I do right now.  If retailers are closing this many stores already, what are our malls and shopping centers going to look like a few years from now?

The list below comes from information compiled by About.com, but I have only included major retailers that have announced plans to close at least 10 stores.  Most of these closures will take place this year, but in some instances the closures are scheduled to be phased in over a number of years.  As you can see, the number of stores that are being permanently shut down is absolutely staggering…

180 Abercrombie & Fitch (by 2015)

75 Aeropostale (through January 2015)

150 American Eagle Outfitters (through 2017)

223 Barnes & Noble (through 2023)

265 Body Central / Body Shop

66 Bottom Dollar Food

25 Build-A-Bear (through 2015)

32 C. Wonder

21 Cache

120 Chico’s (through 2017)

200 Children’s Place (through 2017)

17 Christopher & Banks

70 Coach (fiscal 2015)

70 Coco’s /Carrows

300 Deb Shops

92 Delia’s

340 Dollar Tree/Family Dollar

39 Einstein Bros. Bagels

50 Express (through 2015)

31 Frederick’s of Hollywood

50 Fresh & Easy Grocey Stores

14 Friendly’s

65 Future Shop (Best Buy Canada)

54 Golf Galaxy (by 2016)

50 Guess (through 2015)

26 Gymboree

40 JCPenney

127 Jones New York Outlet

10 Just Baked

28 Kate Spade Saturday & Jack Spade

14 Macy’s

400 Office Depot/Office Max (by 2016)

63 Pep Boys (“in the coming years”)

100 Pier One (by 2017)

20 Pick ’n Save (by 2017)

1,784 Radio Shack

13 Ruby Tuesday

77 Sears

10 SpartanNash Grocery Stores

55 Staples (2015)

133 Target, Canada (bankruptcy)

31 Tiger Direct

200 Walgreens (by 2017)

10 West Marine

338 Wet Seal

80 Wolverine World Wide (2015 – Stride Rite & Keds)

So why is this happening?

Without a doubt, Internet retailing is taking a huge toll on brick and mortar stores, and this is a trend that is not going to end any time soon.

But as Thad Beversdorf has pointed out, we have also seen a stunning decline in true discretionary consumer spending over the past six months…

    What we find is that over the past 6 months we had a tremendous drop in true discretionary consumer spending. Within the overall downtrend we do see a bit of a rally in February but quite ominously that rally failed and the bottom absolutely fell out. Again the importance is it confirms the fundamental theory that consumer spending is showing the initial signs of a severe pull back. A worrying signal to be certain as we would expect this pull back to begin impacting other areas of consumer spending. The reason is that American consumers typically do not voluntarily pull back like that on spending but do so because they have run out of credit. And if credit is running thin it will surely be felt in all spending.

The truth is that middle class U.S. consumers are tapped out.  Most families are just scraping by financially from month to month.  For most Americans, there simply is not a whole lot of extra money left over to go shopping with these days.

In fact, at this point approximately one out of every four Americans spend at least half of their incomes just on rent…

    More than one in four Americans are spending at least half of their family income on rent – leaving little money left to purchase groceries, buy clothing or put gas in the car, new figures have revealed.

    A staggering 11.25 million households consume 50 percent or more of their income on housing and utilities, according to an analysis of Census data by nonprofit firm, Enterprise Community Partners.

    And 1.8 million of these households spend at least 70 percent of their paychecks on rent.

    The surging cost of rental housing has affected a rising number of families since the Great Recession hit in 2007. Officials define housing costs in excess of 30 percent of income as burdensome.

For decades, the U.S. economy was powered by a free spending middle class that had plenty of discretionary income to throw around.  But now that the middle class is being systematically destroyed, that paradigm is changing.  Americans families simply do not have the same resources that they once did, and that spells big trouble for retailers.

As you read this article, the United States still has more retail space per person than any other nation on the planet.  But as stores close by the thousands, “space available” signs are going to be popping up everywhere.  This is especially going to be true in poor and lower middle class neighborhoods.  Especially after what we just witnessed in Baltimore, many retailers are not going to hesitate to shut down underperforming locations in impoverished areas.

And remember, the next major economic crisis has not even arrived yet.  Once it does, the business environment in this country is going to change dramatically, and a few years from now America is going to look far different than it does right now.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/major-u-s-retailers-are-closing-more-than-6000-stores
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« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2015, 05:53:52 pm »

I go to Barnes and Noble with my mom at the mall every now and then - she asked me the other day how they were doing financially. I responded that I haven't heard anything(so thought they were doing OK). Surprised they are in this list.

Anyhow - this materialism-driven society is going to come to an end soon. FYI - the greatest biblical revivals happened in the 1700's and 1800's, b/c alot of this materialism/coveteousness wasn't around then(so the population was much less distracted).

I'm not saying that it's impossible for anyone to get saved now, but just pointing out that back then, they didn't exactly have alot of these distractions.
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« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2015, 06:56:33 am »

The Average Age Of A Minimum Wage Worker In America Is 36

Did you know that 89 percent of all minimum wage workers in the United States are not teens?  At this point, the average age of a minimum wage worker in this country is 36, and 56 percent of them are women.  Millions upon millions of Americans are working as hard as they can (often that means two or three jobs), and yet despite all of their hard work they still find themselves mired in poverty.  One of the big reasons for this is that we have created two classes of workers in the United States.  “Full-time workers” are entitled to an array of benefits and protections by law that “part-time workers” do not get.  And thanks to perverse incentives contained in Obamacare and other ridiculous laws, we have motivated employers to move as many workers from the “full-time” category to the “part-time” category as possible.  It may be hard to believe, but right now only 44 percent of all U.S. adults are employed for 30 or more hours each week.  But to get any kind of a job at all is a real challenge in many parts of the country today.  As you read this article, there are more than 100 million working age Americans that are not employed in any capacity.  And according to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the federal government was actually using honest numbers the unemployment rate would be sitting at 23 percent.  That is not an “employment recovery” – that is a national crisis.

The following infographic comes from the Economic Policy Institute.  I certainly do not agree with a lot of the things that the Economic Policy Institute stands for, but I think that these numbers do accurately reflect what “part-time America” looks like today…



So what is the solution to this problem?

Most Democrats believe that raising the minimum wage would fix this.  But as Zero Hedge has pointed out, it isn’t quite that simple…

    Last week, we noted that Democratic lawmakers in the US are pushing for what they call “$12 by ’20” which, as the name implies, is an effort to raise the minimum wage to $12/hour over the course of the next five years. Republicans argue that if Democrats got their wish and the pay floor were increased by nearly 70%, it would do more harm than good for low-income Americans as the number of jobs that would be lost as a result of employers cutting back in the face of dramatically higher labor costs would offset the benefit that accrues to the workers who are lucky enough to keep their jobs.

Yes, raising the minimum wage would make life better for many minimum wage workers in America.  But a large number of them would also lose their jobs completely, and a lot of small businesses would deeply suffer financially.

Ideally, what we would love to see happen is for the U.S. economy to be producing so many good jobs that the only people that are looking for entry-level part-time jobs would be teens, people just starting out in the workforce, etc.  Back when I was a teen, I remember walking into a McDonald’s and getting hired on the spot because they were in dire need of workers.  Sadly, those days are long, long gone.

Over the past several decades, millions of good paying American jobs have been shipped overseas, and millions more have been lost to advancing technology.  And as I wrote about the other day, Barack Obama is deeply betraying American workers by working on a global economic treaty that would destroy millions more good paying jobs.

Thanks to the foolishness of our politicians, there is now intense competition even for minimum wage jobs at this point.

We keep hearing about an “employment recovery”, but it is a giant lie.  Posted below is a chart of the civilian employment to population ratio.  As you can see, the percentage of the working age population that is actually employed is much, much lower than it used to be…

Employment Population Ratio 2015

In recent months, we have seen the employment-population ratio move slightly higher.  But can this be called “an employment recovery”?  Of course not.  We are still way, way below the level that we were at just prior to the last recession, and now the next recession is just about upon us.

Meanwhile, the quality of our jobs continues to decline as more Americans are being pushed into “part-time work” with each passing year.

Since February of 2008, the size of the U.S. population has grown by 16.8 million people.  But during that same time frame, the number of full-time jobs in this country has actually decreased.

And at this point, the majority of American workers simply do not make enough money to support a middle class family.  The following income numbers come directly from the Social Security Administration…

-39 percent of American workers make less than $20,000 a year.

-52 percent of American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

-63 percent of American workers make less than $40,000 a year.

-72 percent of American workers make less than $50,000 a year.

Are you starting to see why I am so fired up about all of this?

We have developed a business culture in this country which does not care about workers.  In business schools all over America, future executives are taught that a corporation only has one goal – to maximize wealth for the shareholders.  Taking care of those that are part of your team is treated as an afterthought at best.

As corporations have gotten bigger, they have shown less and less concern for those that work for them.  These days, employees are generally regarded as “expensive liabilities” that are to be discarded the moment that their usefulness has come to an end.  And news of layoffs is often rewarded by Wall Street by a surge in the stock prices of the companies making those layoffs.

In the old days, more businesses in America were family-owned, and employees were often regarded as almost “part of the family”.  Unfortunately, those days have disappeared forever.

Now, employees are treated like scum by many big companies, and if they don’t like how they are being treated they are told that they can leave.  For example, just consider what was going on at a security company down in Florida…

    Jose Molero worked as a site inspector for the company, which provides security for neighborhoods and companies across the country, for more than a year.

    Molero says when he went to the Kensington Golf and Country Club guardhouse, he found wooden paddles on a desk, some with staff names on them and one reading “for staff discipline.”

    He says there was also what is called a “Wall of Shame,” where the supervisor points out and posts reports that contain grammatical errors.

When Molero complained about these things to his district manager, he was told that if anyone was offended “maybe they shouldn’t work here”…

    Molero contacted his operations manager, who told him to speak with the district manager. He says the district manager sent him an email response that said, “if that hurts their feelings then maybe they shouldn’t work here.”

Do you have a similar horror story to share?

Most of us do.

The U.S. economy is absolutely dominated by cold, heartless corporations that have no interest in listening to the little guy.  If they could find a way to do it, many of them would operate with no low-level employees at all.  And as technology continues to advance, they will replace as many of us as they can with robots, drones, machines and computers.

I’ll be honest with you – the future for workers in America looks really bleak.  The competition for any jobs that can’t be shipped overseas or replaced by technology is going to become even more heated.  This means that the middle class is going to get even smaller, the number of Americans dependent on the government is going to continue to explode, and the disparity between the wealthy and the poor is going to become even greater.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-average-age-of-a-minimum-wage-worker-in-america-is-36
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« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2015, 06:17:40 am »

If You Want To Know The Truth About The Unemployment Rate Read This Article

The Obama administration is telling us that the unemployment rate in the United States has fallen to 5.1 percent, but does that number actually bear any resemblance to reality?  On Friday, news outlets all over America celebrated the fact that the U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs in August.  We were told that the unemployment rate has fallen to a seven year low and that wages are going up.  So everything must be getting better for the middle class, right?  After all, isn’t that what the official numbers are telling us?

The financial markets are buzzing over this news because the unemployment rate has fallen into a range that the Federal Reserve has typically considered to be “full employment”, so there is an expectation that the Fed may raise interest rates shortly.  The following comes from Business Insider…

    The unemployment rate fell to 5.1% in August, the lowest since April 2008. This was lower than forecast, and put the measure in the middle of the 5.2% – 5.0% range the Federal Reserve considers to be “full employment.” The economy added 173,000 jobs, below the expectation for 217,000, although August payrolls are usually revised higher. We also saw some wage growth, with average hourly earnings rising 0.3% month-on-month, and 2.5% year-over-year. The payrolls gain for July was revised up to 245,000 from 215,000.

But do we actually have anything close to “full employment” in this country?

Of course not.

The truth is that the only way they have been able to get the official “unemployment rate” to steadily go down over the past few years is to eliminate hundreds of thousands of Americans that are chronically unemployed from the official labor force numbers every month.  Jim Quinn elaborated on this very eloquently in one of his recent articles…

    Now for the plunge in the unemployment rate. That comes from the household survey. The fact is that 220,000 more Americans entered the work force in August. According to this survey, 196,000 more Americans were employed. In the real world this would result in the unemployment rate going UP. Not in the Bizarro world of the BLS. They expect the peasants to believe that 261,000 Americans, of their own free will, voluntarily left the workforce in August because they don’t need a job to pay the bills, feed themselves, and keep a roof over their heads. The idiocy of this ridiculous assumption is breathtaking to behold. Only an Ivy League educated economist, CNBC shill, or complete and utter moron could believe this drivel.

At this point, the percentage of Americans that are actually considered to be “participating in the labor force” is the lowest that it has been since 1977.

According to the Obama administration, more than 94 million working age Americans are “not in the labor force”, and so they don’t count as being unemployed…

    A record 94,031,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month — 261,000 more than July — and the labor force participation rate stayed stuck at 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, for a third straight month in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday, as the nation heads into the Labor Day weekend.

Personally, I believe that the civilian employment-population ratio provides a much more accurate picture of the employment situation in this country.  It is a measure of the percentage of the working age population that actually has a job.

As you can see from the chart below, the percentage of working age Americans that are actually working has barely risen from the depths of the last recession…

Employment Population Ratio August 2015

Does that look like an “employment recovery” to you?

It sure doesn’t to me.

According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if honest numbers were being used we would actually have an unemployment rate of 22.9 percent in this country.

But if the mainstream media reported that number, everyone would be talking about a “Great Depression” and we would all be complaining about what a horrible job Obama was doing.

Sadly, the cold, hard truth is that the U.S. economy has been collapsing for a very long time.  According to CBS News, the number of “ultrapoor” Americans that live on less than 2 dollars a day has doubled since 1996…

    By one dismal measure, America is joining the likes of Third World countries.

    The number of U.S. residents who are struggling to survive on just $2 a day has more than doubled since 1996, placing 1.5 million households and 3 million children in this desperate economic situation. That’s according to “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America,” a book from publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that will be released on Sept. 1.

    The measure of poverty isn’t arbitrary — it’s the threshold the World Bank uses to measure global poverty in the developed world. While it may be the norm to see families in developing countries such as Bangladesh and Ethiopia struggle to survive on such meager income, the growing ranks of America’s ultrapoor may be shocking, given that the U.S. is considered one of the most developed capitalist countries in the world.

How can that be possible if we are close to “full employment”?

In a recent article on the Economic Collapse Blog, I explained that 46 million Americans used food banks in one recent year, and that lines start forming at some U.S. food banks as early as 6:30 in the morning because people want to get something before the food supplies run out.

No, economic conditions are definitely not “good” in this nation.

We are being told lies by our politicians and by the mainstream media.  The numbers simply do not match what is going on in the real world.

We can even see this in some of the wealthiest areas of the entire country.  In New York City, for example, they are dealing with an explosion in the number of people that are sleeping on the streets…

    They are sleeping in front of the Empire State building, sprawled in front of the doors of Macy’s, and panhandling outside Grand Central.

    New York is in the grip of a homeless epidemic so bad that it has raised fears of the city slipping back into the disorder of the 1970s and 1980s.

    The city’s police chief this week said that as many as 4,000 people are now sleeping rough in the city, in a crisis which even the city’s ultra-liberal mayor has finally acknowledged after months of denials.

    Police officers have identified 80 separate homeless encampments in the city, 20 of which are so entrenched that they have their own furniture, while its former mayor Rudolph Giuliani has spoken scathingly of how his successor is failing to keep order.

Robert Kiyosaki, the best-selling author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad“, recently told Newsmax that the “global economy is in a collapse right now”.  And he is right.  Things are getting worse in Asia, in Europe and in South America.

Things are also getting worse for the U.S. economy.  The “employment recovery” that we have already seen is all the employment recovery that we are going to get.

From here on out, millions upon millions of American workers are going to be losing their jobs and the suffering in this country is going to be off the charts.

So don’t fall for the lies that Obama and his minions are telling you.

All you have to do to see the truth is to open up your eyes and look at what is happening all around us.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/if-you-want-to-know-the-truth-about-the-unemployment-rate-read-this-article
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« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2015, 05:55:37 am »

Robots are going to steal the jobs...

Scientists have created a huge, in-depth analysis of what jobs are under threat from robots — with salesmen, chefs and even models all in the firing line. Researchers have assembled a full list of all the things that robots are good and bad at, and so what jobs they are likely to take. In all, about 35 per cent of jobs are likely to have been taken on by robots in the next 20 years, researchers have said.   

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/robots-are-going-to-steal-the-jobs-of-chefs-salespeople-and-models-researchers-say-as-they-unveil-full-list-of-likely-robot-professions-10499771.html
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« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2015, 06:58:48 am »

Record 94,610,000 Americans Not in Labor Force

The number of Americans not in the labor force exceeded 94 million for the second time in a row last month hitting a new record high, according to new government data released Friday morning. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a record 94,610,000 people (ages 16 and over) were not in the labor force in September. In other words they were neither employed nor had made specific efforts to find work in the prior four weeks.   

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/02/record-94610000-americans-not-labor-force/
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« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2016, 10:09:47 pm »

In 1 Out Of Every 5 American Families, Nobody Has A Job

If nobody is working in one out of every five U.S. families, then how in the world can the unemployment rate be close to 5 percent as the Obama administration keeps insisting? The truth, of course, is that the U.S. economy is in far worse condition than we are being told. Last week, I discussed the fact that the Federal Reserve has found that 47 percent of all Americans would not be able to come up with $400 for an unexpected visit to the emergency room without borrowing it or selling something. But Barack Obama and his minions never bring up that number. Nor do they ever bring up the fact that 20 percent of all families in America are completely unemployed. The following comes directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics…

    In 2015, the share of families with an employed member was 80.3 percent, up by 0.2 percentage point from 2014. The likelihood of having an employed family member rose in 2015 for Black families (from 76.4 percent to 77.7 percent) and for Hispanic families (from 85.9 percent to 86.4 percent). The likelihood for White and Asian families showed little or no change (80.1 percent and 88.6 percent, respectively).

For purposes of this study, families “are classified either as married-couple families or as families maintained by women or men without spouses present” and they include households without children as well as children under the age of 18.

Digging into the numbers, we find that there were a total of 81,410,000 families in America during the 2015 calendar year.

Of that total, 16,060,000 families did not have a single member employed.

So that means that in 19.7 percent of all families in the United States, nobody has a job.

And of course there are lots more families that are “partially employed”. In other words, maybe the wife has a job but the husband does not.

So based on these numbers, it would appear to me that the true rate of unemployment in this country is vastly higher than 5 percent, and John Williams of shadowstats.com agrees with me. According to his calculations, the broadest measure of unemployment in the U.S. would actually be sitting at 22.9 percent if honest numbers were being used.

But let’s not just focus on where we are.

Let’s take a look at where we are going.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, job cut announcements by big companies in the United States were up 32 percent during the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015, and it appears that the job losses are going to continue to mount as we roll into the second quarter. For instance, late last week Intel announced that it is going to be laying off 12,000 workers…

    As it navigates its path into the future, Intel, the 47-year-old corporation best known for making microprocessor chips that power personal computers, has announced significant changes to its business.

    On Tuesday, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich said in a letter to employees that the company over the next year will cut its 107,300-person global workforce by 12,000 people, or 11 percent.

Those are good middle class jobs, and they are exactly the kind of jobs that we cannot afford to be losing.

Meanwhile, the “retail apocalypse” appears to be accelerating once again.

Bloomberg is reporting that teen clothing chain Aeropostale is preparing to file for bankruptcy.  Aeropostale currently operates more than 800 stores across the nation, and it is unclear if any of them will be able to stay open as this process plays out. But of course it isn’t just Aeropostale that has gone bankrupt lately. Here are a few more examples of major retailers that have recently filed for bankruptcy…

    April 16, 2016: Vestis Retail Group, the operator of sporting goods retailers Eastern Mountain Sports (camping, hiking, skiing, adventure sports), Bob’s Stores (family clothing and shoes), and Sport Chalet (general sporting goods), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It will close all 56 stores and stop online sales.

    In the filing, it blamed the going-out-of-business sales at “certain Sports Authority locations,” plus the weather, which had been too warm, and trouble with switching to a new software platform. It’s owned by private equity firm Versa Capital Management LLC.

    April 7, 2016: Pacific Sunwear of California, clothing retailer with nearly 600 stores and derailed ambitions of skate-and-surf cool, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. PE firm Golden Gate Capital, a lender to the company, agreed to convert over 65% of its loan into equity of the reorganized company and add another $20 million in financing. Wells Fargo agreed to provide $100 million of debtor-in-possession financing.

    March 2, 2016: Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It said it would close 140 of its 450 stores, including all stores in Texas.

Just because the stock market has been doing well in recent weeks does not mean that the crisis has passed.

In fact, many experts believe that the crisis of 2016 is just getting started.  Albert Edwards of Societe Generale is one of them…

    But what I do know is when in the last few weeks I have heard that Janet Yellen sees no bubble in the US, when Ben Bernanke hones and restates his helicopter money speech, and when Mario Draghi says that the ECB’s policy of printing money and negative interest rates was working, I feel utterly depressed (I could also quote similar nonsense from Japan, the UK and China). I have not one scintilla of doubt that these central bankers will destroy the enfeebled world economy with their clumsy interventions and that political chaos will be the ugly result. The only people who will benefit are not investors, but anarchists who will embrace with delight the resulting chaos these policies will bring!

All over the world, the underlying economic fundamentals continue to deteriorate. Here in the U.S., retail sales have been extremely disappointing, total business sales have been steadily falling, corporate revenues and corporate profits continue to plunge, and corporate debt defaults have soared to their highest level since the last financial crisis.

All of these numbers are screaming that a major economic downturn is here, and with each passing week things look even more ominous for the second half of 2016.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/in-1-out-of-every-5-american-families-nobody-has-a-job
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« Reply #44 on: August 05, 2016, 07:52:15 pm »

The U.S. Has Lost 195,000 Good Paying Energy Industry Jobs

Not all jobs are created equal.  There is a world of difference between a $100,000 a year energy industry job and a $10 an hour job running a cash register at Wal-Mart.  You can comfortably support a middle class family on $100,000 a year, but there is no way in the world that you can run a middle class household on a part-time job that pays just $10 an hour.  The quality of our jobs matters, and if current long-term trends continue unabated, eventually we are not going to have much of a middle class left.  At this point the middle class has already become a minority in America, and according to the Social Security Administration 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year right now.  We have a desperate need for more higher paying jobs, and that is why what is happening in the energy industry is so deeply alarming.

Just today we got some more disturbing news.  According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the U.S. has lost 195,000 good paying energy jobs since the middle of 2014…

    Cheap oil has fueled a massive wave of job cuts that may not be over yet.

    Since oil prices began to fall in mid-2014, cheap crude has been blamed for 195,000 job cuts in the U.S., according to a report published on Thursday by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

    It’s an enormous toll that is especially painful because these tend to be well-paying jobs. The average pay in the oil and gas industry is 84% higher than the national average, according to Goldman Sachs.

Those are good paying jobs that are not easy to replace, and unfortunately the jobs losses appear to be accelerating.  In their new report, Challenger, Gray & Christmas went on to say that 95,000 of those job cuts have come in 2016, and 17,725 of them were in July alone.

We also got some other bad news for the U.S. economy on Thursday.

Factory orders are down again, and at this point U.S. factory orders have now been down on a year over year basis for 20 months in a row.  That is the longest streak in all of U.S. history.

Needless to say, we have never seen such a thing happen outside of a recession.

In addition, it is being reported that U.S. banks have been tightening lending standards for four quarters in a row.

Once again, this is something that has never happened outside of a recession.

On top of all that, tax receipts continue to plummet.  This is a very bad sign for the economy, because falling tax receipts are usually a sign that we are headed into a recession.  The following comes from Zero Hedge…

    July “Withheld” receipts – those tax and withholding payments that come straight from wage earner pay stubs – are down 1.0% year over year.

    This data series can be choppy, and looking at the three month trailing average yields a 3.1%.  That’s a touch slower than the 2016 YTD comp of 3.3%, and tells us to not expect too much from Friday’s number.

    Also worth noting: YTD non-withheld tax receipts (such as those that come from “Gig economy” workers) are down 6.5%, and July’s comp is 15% lower than a year ago.

    Last, corporate tax receipts are down 11% YTD, and if the current pace of these payments holds it will be the first negative comp since 2011. Bottom line: if the tax man isn’t as busy, can the U.S. economy really be expanding?

Are you starting to see a pattern here?

And let’s review what else we have learned over the past couple of weeks…

-U.S. GDP growth came in at an extremely disappointing 1.2 percent for the second quarter of 2016, and the first quarter was revised down to 0.8 percent.

-The rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen to the lowest level ever.

-The Wall Street Journal says that this is the weakest “economic recovery” since 1949.

-Barack Obama is on track to be the only president in U.S. history to never have a single year of 3 percent GDP growth.

Meanwhile, things continue to get worse around the rest of the planet as well.  For example, the economic depression in Brazil continues to deepen and it is being reported that the Brazilian economy has now been shrinking for five quarters in a row…

    Brazil’s economy, the world’s ninth largest, contracted by 0.3 percent in the first quarter, marking the fifth straight quarter it shrank. Last year, Brazil’s gross domestic product fell to its lowest level since 2009.

    Inflation has also shot higher recently, rising 9 percent in 2015, from 6.3 percent in 2014, according to data from the World Bank. Energy as a percentage of exports, meanwhile, fell to 7 percent in 2015, from 9 percent in the previous year.

And of course Brazil is hosting the Olympics this summer, and that is turning out to be a major debacle.  Many of the international athletes will actually be rowing, sailing and swimming in open waters that are highly contaminated by raw sewage, and Brazilian police have been welcoming tourists to Rio with a big sign that says “Welcome To Hell“.  And let us not forget that right next door in Venezuela the economic collapse has gotten so bad that people are killing and eating zoo animals.

As the global economy continues to deteriorate, what should we do?

Legendary investor Bill Gross shared some of his thoughts on the matter in his latest Investment Outlook…

    “Negative returns and principal losses in many asset categories are increasingly possible unless nominal growth rates reach acceptable levels,” Gross said in his latest Investment Outlook note published Wednesday.

    “I don’t like bonds; I don’t like most stocks; I don’t like private equity. Real assets such as land, gold, and tangible plant and equipment at a discount are favored asset categories.”

I tend to agree with Gross.  Bonds are in a tremendous bubble right now, and the stock market bubble has grown to ridiculous proportions.  In the end, the only wealth that you are going to be able to fully rely on is wealth that you can physically have in your possession.

As you have seen in this article, signs of economic decline are all around us.

And yet, many people out there are still convinced that good times are right around the corner.

What is it going to take to convince them that they are wrong?

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-u-s-has-lost-195000-good-paying-energy-industry-jobs
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« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2016, 06:45:04 pm »

More Jobs Shipped Out Of The Country: Ford Moves All Small Car Production To Mexico

What is going to happen when America finally doesn’t have any manufacturing jobs left at all?  On Wednesday, we learned that Ford Motor Company is shifting all small car production to Mexico.  Of course the primary goal for this move is to save a little bit of money.  This hits me personally, because my grandfather once worked for Ford.  He was loyal to Ford all his life, and he always criticized other members of the family when they bought a vehicle that was not American-made.  When I was young I didn’t understand why making vehicles in America is so important, but I sure do now.  By shipping jobs overseas, we are destroying jobs, we are destroying small businesses and we are destroying our tax base.  If we want to be a wealthy nation, we have got to make things here, and hopefully we can get the American people to start to understand this.

In 1914, Henry Ford decided to start paying his workers $5.00 a day, which was more than double the average wage for auto workers at the time.

One of the reasons why he did this was because he felt that his workers should be able to afford to buy the vehicles that they were making.  This is what he wrote in 1926…

“The owner, the employees, and the buying public are all one and the same, and unless an industry can so manage itself as to keep wages high and prices low it destroys itself, for otherwise it limits the number of its customers. One’s own employees ought to be one’s own best customers.”

These days Ford is going in the complete opposite direction.  Pretty soon, Ford won’t be making any more small vehicles in the United States at all…

Ford is shifting all North American small-car production from the U.S. to Mexico, CEO Mark Fields told investors today in Dearborn, even though its plans to invest in Mexico have become a lightning rod for controversy in this year’s presidential election.

“Over the next two to three years, we will have migrated all of our small-car production to Mexico and out of the United States,” Fields said.

Could Ford keep jobs in America?

Of course they could.  During the second quarter of 2016, Ford reported a net income of 2,000,000,000 dollars.

But if they move production to Mexico they can boost that profit just a little bit higher.

Shame on them.

Needless to say, Donald Trump is quite upset about this move by Ford.  This was his response…

“We shouldn’t allow it to happen. They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands of people, not from this country and they’ll sell their car across the border,” Trump said. “When we send our jobs out of Michigan, we’re also sending our tax base.”

And he is exactly right about all of this.  We can’t afford to lose more good paying jobs, we can’t afford for the middle class to shrink any more than it already has, and we certainly can’t afford our tax base to continue to deteriorate.

We may think that we can live on borrowed money indefinitely, but that is going to catch up with us in a major way at some point.

Sadly, Ford is not the only auto company doing this.  Just like Ross Perot once predicted, there is a giant sucking sound as good paying auto jobs leave the United States and head to Mexico…

Ford isn’t alone. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said earlier this year it will end production of all cars in the U.S. by the end of this year as it discontinues production of the Dodge Dart in Belvidere, Ill. and the Chrysler 200 in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

In recent years, automakers that include General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota and Volkswagen have all announced plans to either expand existing plants or build new ones in Mexico.

The bad news for American workers won’t end once all of our manufacturing jobs are gone.

Today there are millions of Americans that make their living by driving, but the revolution in self-driving vehicles threatens to make large numbers of those jobs obsolete.

Ford, General Motors, Tesla, Google, Apple and a whole host of other big corporations have been feverishly working on this technology, and many of the tests have gone very well so far.

Once this technology starts being rolled out on a widespread basis, the job losses could be absolutely staggering.  Just consider the following numbers which come from Wolf Richter…

1.8 million heavy-truck and tractor-trailer long-haul drivers in 2014, expected to grow 4% a year (BLS), with a median pay of $40,260 in 2015. At this growth rate, there will be 1.94 million long-haul drivers by the end of this year.
1.33 million delivery truck drivers in 2014, expected to grow 4% a year (BLS), with a median pay of $27,800 in 2015. They’re picking up and/or delivering packages and small shipments within the city or region, driving a vehicle of 26,000 pounds or less, usually between a distribution center and businesses or households. At this growth rate, there will be 1.44 million drivers by the end of this year.
233,700 taxi drivers and chauffeurs in 2014, growing at 13% annually (BLS). They earned a median pay of $23,510 in 2015. One in five worked part time. This doesn’t – or doesn’t fully – reflect the “rideshare” drivers working for Uber, Lyft, and the like.
“Over 500,000” rideshare drivers are estimated to ply the trade in the US. It’s a high-growth sector: the number of Uber drivers in the US doubled in 2015 from the prior year to 327,000. Half of them worked 15 hours or less per week.
In order to have a thriving middle class, we have got to have middle class jobs.

Unfortunately, big corporations have become absolutely obsessed with finding ways to eliminate expensive American workers by sending jobs overseas or by replacing them with technology altogether.

The elite will always need people to cut their hair and wait on them at restaurants, but those aren’t the kinds of jobs that can support middle class families.

As I noted yesterday, for the first time ever the middle class in America has become a minority and poverty is on the rise all over the nation.  The long-term trends that are eviscerating the middle class are accelerating, and there doesn’t appear to be any quick fix which will turn things around dramatically any time soon.

So the middle class is going to get smaller and smaller and smaller, and that has dramatic implications for the future of this country.


http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/more-jobs-shipped-out-of-the-country-ford-moves-all-small-car-production-to-mexico
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« Reply #46 on: February 27, 2017, 07:27:11 pm »

Retail Apocalypse Gains Momentum As David Stockman Warns ‘Everything Will Grind To A Halt’ After March 15th

J.C. Penney and Family Christian Stores are the latest retail giants to announce widespread store closings. As you will see below, J.C. Penney plans to close between 130 and 140 stores, and Family Christian is closing all of their 240 stores. In recent months the stock market has been absolutely soaring, and so most people have simply assumed that the “real economy” must be doing well. But that is not the case at all. In fact, the retail apocalypse that I have been documenting for quite some time appears to be gaining momentum.

J.C. Penney is not in as rough shape as Sears is just yet, but it is definitely on a similar trajectory. In the end, they are both headed for bankruptcy. That is why it wasn’t too much of a surprise when J.C. Penney announced that they are getting rid of about 6,000 workers and closing at least 130 stores…

    J.C. Penney (JCP) plans to close 130 to 140 stores and offer buyouts to 6,000 workers as the department-store industry sags in competition with online sellers and nimble niche retailers.

    The company said Friday that it would shutter 13% to 14% of its locations and introduce new goods and services aimed at the shifting preferences of its customer base.

Meanwhile, many observers were quite surprised when Family Christian Stores decided to fold up shop for good. They were known as the largest Christian retailer on the entire planet, but now after 85 years they are going out of business forever…

    Family Christian, which bills itself as the “world’s largest retailer of Christian-themed merchandise,” announced Thursday it is closing after 85 years.

    The non-profit company, employing more than 3,000 people in 240 stores in 36 states, said in a brief statement that the retailer had been facing declining sales since filing for bankruptcy protection in 2015 and had no choice but to shut down.

These two announcements are part of larger trend that we have been witnessing all over the country. As I have documented previously, Macy’s announced that it would be closing 100 stores earlier this year, and about the same time Sears said that it would be closing another 150 stores.

Back in 2010, Sears had a staggering 3,555 stores.

Before their recent announcement, Sears was down to 1,503 stores, and now this latest round of cuts will leave them with somewhere around 1,350.

Of course it won’t be too long before Sears has zero stores, and my regular readers know that I have been talking about the demise of Sears for a very long time.

The cold, hard truth of the matter is that the “real economy” is a total mess, and that is one of the primary reasons why these ridiculous stock market valuations that we are seeing right now are not sustainable.

One expert that agrees with my assessment is former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director David Stockman. In a recent interview, he explained why he believes that “everything will grind to a halt” after March 15th…

    Stockman, who wrote a book titled “Trumped” predicting a Trump victory in 2016, says, “I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in the hot place that’s going to happen. This is delusional. This is the greatest suckers’ rally of all time. It is based on pure hopium and not any analysis at all as what it will take to push through a big tax cut. Donald Trump is in a trap. Today the debt is $20 trillion. It’s 106% of GDP. . . .Trump is inheriting a built-in deficit of $10 trillion over the next decade under current policies that are built in. Yet, he wants more defense spending, not less. He wants drastic sweeping tax cuts for corporations and individuals. He wants to spend more money on border security and law enforcement. He’s going to do more for the veterans. He wants this big trillion dollar infrastructure program. You put all that together and it’s madness. It doesn’t even begin to add up, and it won’t happen when you are struggling with the $10 trillion of debt that’s coming down the pike and the $20 trillion that’s already on the books.”

    Then, Stockman drops this bomb and says:

    “I think what people are missing is this date, March 15th 2017. That’s the day that this debt ceiling holiday that Obama and Boehner put together right before the last election in October of 2015. That holiday expires. The debt ceiling will freeze in at $20 trillion. It will then be law. It will be a hard stop. The Treasury will have roughly $200 billion in cash. We are burning cash at a $75 billion a month rate. By summer, they will be out of cash. Then we will be in the mother of all debt ceiling crises. Everything will grind to a halt. I think we will have a government shutdown. There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace. There will be no tax cut. There will be no infrastructure stimulus. There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling that has to be increased and no one wants to vote for.”

In that same interview, Stockman also predicted that “markets will easily correct by 20% and probably a lot more“, and he noted the glaring disconnect between current stock prices and how the U.S. economy is actually performing…

    “The S&P 500 has been trading at 26 times earnings while earnings have been dropping for the past six or seven quarters. There is no booming recovery coming. There is going to be a recession and there will be no stimulus baton to bail it out. That is the new fact that neither Trump nor the Wall Street gamblers remotely understand.”

It is very difficult to argue with Stockman on this.

There are some people out there that seem to think that Donald Trump can miraculously turn the U.S. economy around just because he is Donald Trump.

It doesn’t work that way.

We are 20 trillion dollars in debt, and we are currently adding about a trillion dollars a year to that total. There is no possible way that Trump can cut taxes, increase military spending, build a border wall, spend much more on veterans and spend an extra trillion dollars on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.

We are flat broke as a nation and there simply is not money available to do everything that Donald Trump wants to do.

So we shall see what happens after March 15th.  Unfortunately, I happen to agree with Stockman that economic reality is about to come knocking and Trump and his supporters are about to get a very rude wake up call.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/retail-apocalypse-gains-momentum-as-david-stockman-warns-everything-will-grind-to-a-halt-after-march-15th
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« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2017, 05:41:20 pm »

Two iconic retailers forced to file for bankruptcy, hundreds of stores to close

It has been another terrible week for retail as two more iconic companies reveal plans to file for bankruptcy, resulting in at least 300 stores potentially closing.

RadioShack announced the contemplation of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would be the second time they have done so in two years. 200 out of 1,500 stores were already set to close this year, but additional stores could follow suit if Sprint agrees to end leases for its “stores within stores” concept at some locations. The company has already laid off dozens of employees at its Dallas Fort-Worth headquarters.

In 2015, more than 1,740 RadioShack stores were sold for $26 million to hedge fund Standard General at a bankruptcy auction. CEO Dene Rogers attempted to rebrand the stores and explore a partnership with mobile retailer Sprint. The new route, however, failed to gain much traction, especially going up against online giant Amazon which has taken much of the market share in peripherals and batteries.

The RadioShack bankruptcy comes less than a week after appliance store hhgregg announced plans to file for bankruptcy as well, a sad trend that we’ve seen so much of so early in the new year. Hhgregg also announced plans to close at least 88 stores in 15 states.

Gordmans, a 100-year-old Midwest department store chain, also appears to be ready to file for bankruptcy, with some even expecting the announcement to be made by the end of this month. While not too much information has been formally shared, what we do know is that Gordmans stock has been trading below $1 since September of last year. In November Nasdaq sent the company a “deficiency letter” letting them know that if the stock doesn’t rise above the $1-per-share requirement by May 1, it will be delisted from the exchange.

Gordmans operates about 100 stores in the upper Midwest states. The company employed 350 people at its Aksarben Village headquarters as of November but laid off an undisclosed number of those employees in January, blaming a “current sluggish retail environment.” In recent years, Gordmans has struggled and its growth slowed in 2014, causing losses to begin to mount. That same year the company replaced Jeff Gordman as CEO with Andy Hall. At first there appeared to be some turnaround as Hall added new merchandise to stores, launched a companywide cost-cutting initiative and halted what retailing analysts had deemed the chain’s excessive use of coupons and sales. The positive results were short-lived, and sales stagnated or declined through 2016. The retailer has about $85 million in debt, with much of it due in 2020.

It appears RadioShack and Gordmans are the latest victims in this tough retail climate that continually suffers from sluggish mall traffic and a move by apparel shoppers to the internet. Analysts have said the retailing industry is under pressure from several angles: the rise of online shopping; increasingly savvy consumers who are less interested in buying things and more interested in spending money on experiences; and retailers’ reliance on sales and coupons to drive foot traffic because those coupons hit profits.

http://www.thomasdishaw.com/two-iconic-retailers-forced-file-bankruptcy-hundreds-stores-close/
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« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2017, 06:12:08 pm »

A Third Of All U.S. Shopping Malls Are Projected To Close As ‘Space Available’ Signs Go Up All Over America

If you didn’t know better, you might be tempted to think that “Space Available” was the hottest new retail chain in the entire country.  As you will see below, it is being projected that about a third of all shopping malls in the United States will soon close, and we just recently learned that the number of “distressed retailers” is the highest that it has been since the last recession.  Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can possibly believe that the U.S. economy is in “good shape” after looking at the retail industry.  In my recent article about the ongoing “retail apocalypse“, I discussed the fact that Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy’s have all announced that they are closing dozens of stores in 2017, and you can find a pretty comprehensive list of 19 U.S. retailers that are “on the brink of bankruptcy” right here.  Needless to say, quite a bloodbath is going on out there right now.

But I didn’t realize how truly horrific things were for the retail industry until I came across an article about mall closings on Time Magazine’s website…

About one-third of malls in the U.S. will shut their doors in the coming years, retail analyst Jan Kniffen told CNBC Thursday. His prediction comes in the wake of Macy’s reporting its worst consecutive same-store sales decline since the financial crisis.

Macy’s and its fellow retailers in American malls are challenged by an oversupply of retail space as customers migrate toward online shopping, as well as fast fashion retailers like H&M and off-price stores such as T.J. Maxx. As a result, about 400 of the country’s 1,100 enclosed malls will fail in the upcoming years. Of those that remain, he predicts that about 250 will thrive and the rest will continue to struggle.

Can you imagine what this country is going to look like if that actually happens?

Shopping malls all over the United States are literally becoming “ghost towns”, and many that have already closed have stayed empty for years and years.

The process usually starts when a shopping mall starts losing anchor stores.  That is why it is so alarming that Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy’s are planning to shut down so many locations in 2017.  According to one recent report, 310 shopping malls in America are in imminent danger of losing an anchor store…

Dozens of malls have closed in the last 10 years, and many more are at risk of shutting down as retailers like Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears — also known as anchor stores — shutter hundreds of stores to staunch the bleeding from falling sales.

The commercial-real-estate firm CoStar estimates that nearly a quarter of malls in the US, or roughly 310 of the nation’s 1,300 shopping malls, are at high risk of losing an anchor store.

Once the anchor stores start going, traffic falls off dramatically for the other stores and they start leaving too.

Four years ago in “The Beginning Of The End” I warned that empty storefronts would soon litter the national landscape, and now that is precisely what is happening.

Now that the Christmas season is over, some retailers that have been around for decades have suddenly decided that it is time to file for bankruptcy.  Sadly, one of those retailers is HHGregg…

HHGregg Inc., the 61-year-old seller of appliances and electronics, is moving closer to Chapter 11 after announcing a store-closing plan, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The filing may come as soon as next week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Bloomberg previously reported that HHGregg might file for bankruptcy in March if it couldn’t reach an out-of-court solution.

Another retailer that was once riding high but is now dealing with bankruptcy is BCBG…

BCBG, the California-based fashion retailer that had acquired fashion design firm Herve Leger in 1998, and that once had more than 570 boutiques globally, including 175 in the US, and whose cocktail dresses and handbags were shown off by celebrities, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday.

It is buckling under $459 million of debt. It has 4,800 employees. Layoffs have already started. More layoffs and other cost cuts are planned, according to court documents, cited by Bloomberg. It started closing 120 of its stores in January. It wants to sell itself at a court-supervised auction. If that fails, it wants to negotiate a debt-for-equity swap with junior lenders owed $289 million.

If the U.S. economy was actually doing as well as the stock market says that it should be doing, all of these retail chains would not be closing stores and going bankrupt.

But of course the truth is that the stock market has become completely disconnected from economic reality.

We live at a time when middle class consumers are tapped out.  According to one recent survey, 57 percent of all Americans do not even have enough money in the bank to write a $500 check for an unexpected expense.

And people are falling out of the middle class at a staggering pace.  The number of homeless people in New York City recently set a brand new record high, and city authorities plan to construct 90 new homeless shelters within the next five years.

On the west coast we are also seeing a dramatic rise in homelessness.  The following comes from an article by Dan Lyman…

Citizen journalists have captured stunning images and video of homeless encampments that are spiraling out of control in the shadows of Disneyland and Anaheim Stadium in California.

The tent city has recently sprung up along the Santa Ana riverbed, near a busy convergence of three major California highways known as the “Orange Crush,” at the border of Anaheim and Santa Ana, the latter a “sanctuary city.”

Homeless activists estimate that as many as 1,000 people are camped in the region.

You can see some video footage of this homeless encampment on YouTube right here…



Incredibly, the Federal Reserve is almost certainly going to raise interest rates at their next meeting even though the U.S. economy is faltering so badly.  That only makes sense if they are trying to make Donald Trump look as bad as possible.

Even though this giant bubble of false economic stability that we are currently enjoying has lasted far longer than it should have, the truth is that nothing has changed about the long-term economic outlook at all.

America is still heading for “economic Armageddon”, and the retail industry is a huge red flag that is warning us that our day of reckoning is approaching more rapidly than many had anticipated.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/a-third-of-all-u-s-shopping-malls-are-projected-to-close-as-space-available-signs-go-up-all-over-america
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« Reply #49 on: March 14, 2017, 02:32:42 pm »

It's Spring Break here in North Texas - was driving by the mall today, and pretty much the parking lot was just normal as usual.

Not that I endorse going to shopping malls, but nonetheless it seems like people don't go to them anymore. And pretty much when people try to open up businesses there, they don't last long anymore.
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« Reply #50 on: March 20, 2017, 03:30:36 pm »

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« Reply #51 on: March 21, 2017, 01:05:23 pm »

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« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2017, 05:15:03 pm »

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« Reply #53 on: June 04, 2017, 06:25:10 pm »

Retail Wreck? Over 1,000 Stores Close in a Single Week

 It's been a tough week for the retail industry, with more than 1,000 stores closing their doors for good. Luxury retailer Michael Kors announced it would be closing over 100 locations, and electronics giant Radio Shack closed 1,000 locations across America.

The retail industry, which represents $5 trillion in economic impact, has changed significantly over the past several years. More than 100,000 retail workers have lost their jobs since October 2016.

Industry analysts have been sounding the "retail apocalypse" alarm for the past few months — but there are some who disagree.

"I don't think [retail] is dead. It needs a facelift," said Joseph Hancock, a professor of retail at Drexel University's Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. "Retailers really need to think outside the box on how they want to appeal to consumers to get them back into the malls."

Hancock also told NBC News that many of the shopping dollars that went to traditional mall retailers have been moving online, partly thanks to generous incentives. Amazon, for example, recently introduced Amazon Fashion, which offers free two-day shipping to its Prime customers.

rest: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/retail-wreck-over-1-000-stores-close-single-week-n767556
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« Reply #54 on: June 21, 2017, 04:46:48 pm »

http://redstatewatcher.com/article.asp?id=82650
6/17/17
Well, well, well, look where an early $15 minimum wage experiment landed this city

Bay Area cities across California who adopted the $15 minimum wage stance are steadily experiencing restaurant die-off as 60 restaurants in the Bay Area has closed since September alone.

From Fresnobee:

In a pair of affluent coastal California counties, the canary in the mineshaft has gotten splayed, spatchcocked and plated over a bed of unintended consequences, garnished with sprigs of locally sourced economic distortion and non-GMO, “What the heck were they thinking?”

The result of one early experiment in a citywide $15 minimum wage is an ominous sign for the state’s poorer inland counties as the statewide wage floor creeps toward the mark.

Consider San Francisco, an early adopter of the $15 wage. It’s now experiencing a restaurant die-off, minting jobless hash-slingers, cashiers, busboys, scullery engineers and line cooks as they get pink-slipped in increasing numbers. And the wage there hasn’t yet hit $15.

As the East Bay Times reported in January, at least 60 restaurants around the Bay Area had closed since September alone.

A recent study by Michael Luca at Harvard Business School and Dara Lee Luca at Mathematica Policy Research found that every $1 hike in the minimum wage brings a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of a 3.5-star restaurant on Yelp! closing.

Another telltale is San Diego, where voters approved increasing the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour from $10.50, this after the minimum wage was increased from $8 an hour in 2015 – meaning hourly costs have risen 43 percent in two years.

The cost increases have pushed San Diego restaurants to the brink, Stephen Zolezzi, president of the Food and Beverage Association of San Diego County, told the San Diego Business Journal. Watch for the next mass die-off there.

But what of California’s less affluent inland counties? How will they fare?

Christopher Thornberg, director of UC Riverside’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, told the San Bernardino Sun that politicians should have adopted a regional approach. He said it would been better to adapt minimum-wage levels to varying economies – something like the Oregon model, the nation’s first multi-tiered minimum-wage strategy.

Oregon’s minimum-wage law is phased, with increases over six years. By 2022, the minimum will be $14.75 an hour in Portland, $13.50 in midsize counties and $12.50 in rural areas.

“That makes sense,” Thornberg told the Sun. “That’s logical.”
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« Reply #55 on: June 29, 2017, 04:08:34 pm »

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/robot-company-zume-pizza-can-create-372-pizzas-per-hour-using-dough-bots-deliver-4-minutes/
Robot Pizza Company Zume Can Create 372 Pizzas Per Hour Using ‘Dough Bots’ And Deliver It In 4 Minutes
Zume co-founder Julia Collins already has Pepe and Giorgio, two robots, squirting pizza sauce onto the dough, and Marta, another robot, spreading the sauce. Bruno, a robotic arm, lifts the pizza into the oven. The dough is still made by humans. But now that Zume has the doughbot, as they’re calling it, it means that the only part of the pizza assembly process that requires a human touch is the toppings.

6/29/17

A great pizza dough flipper probably can’t turn out one perfectly shaped pizza dough every nine seconds, but California company’s robotic pizza dough press can make a great pie at that whiplash-inducing rate.

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We live in an age that is advancing so fast technologically that we have kinda stopped paying attention to all the changes. After hundred of billions of dollars spent by Amazon, Google and others to advance robot technology, like it or not, we are about to share this planet and our daily lives with bots of all kinds. Siri from Apple got the ball rolling with getting humans to address a machine as a person, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana have followed suit. Tesla has been quietly waging revolution with the self-driving car, followed by every other auto manufacturer on Earth. In short, robots have arrived to help us, and soon they will be in charge.

Silicon Valley start-up Zume Pizza has nearly fully automated the process of making fresh, made-to-order pizza — and it’s streamlined the delivery process, too. If you live in Mountain View, Calif., and you order a pizza, it could be at your door as quickly as four minutes later.

While other pizzas — especially the bake-at-home kind you buy at the grocery store — are also made by machine, Zume is noteworthy because it makes fresh, customizable delivery pizza with high-quality ingredients, which it considers to be artisanal even though it is not made by hand. Zume co-founder Julia Collins already has Pepe and Giorgio, two robots, squirting pizza sauce onto the dough, and Marta, another robot, spreading the sauce. Bruno, a robotic arm, lifts the pizza into the oven. The dough is still made by humans. But now that Zume has the doughbot, as they’re calling it, it means that the only part of the pizza assembly process that requires a human touch is the toppings.

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« Reply #56 on: July 18, 2017, 12:35:31 pm »

http://redstatewatcher.com/article.asp?id=87317
$15/hour is Not Enough! Look What Else They Are Demanding!

Minimum wage earners are now wanting set-schedules, despite the needs of the business.

From Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The text message came as Flavia Cabral walked to a McDonald's restaurant in Manhattan for her 6 p.m. shift on a May evening. It was from her manager. Business was slow and she was not needed.


Cabral said she was not too surprised. Her work hours fluctuate almost weekly, though losing an entire shift at the last minute happens only once every few months. This time the canceled shift took a $63 bite out of her average $350 gross weekly earnings from two part-time jobs.

"Every week you're guessing how much money you're going to get and how many days you're going to work," said Cabral, 53, who has been employed at McDonald's for four years.But a measure of relief is coming for Cabral and 65,000 other New York City fast-food workers whose schedules and incomes often change with little or no notice.

New York recently became the largest U.S. city to require fast-food restaurants to schedule workers at least two weeks in advance, or pay them extra for changes.

The law, which the restaurant industry vigorously opposed, also requires employers to allow 11-hour breaks between shifts, offer part-time staff additional work before hiring new employees, and pay retail workers to be "on call." It takes effect late this year.

McDonald's Corp did not respond to a request for comment.

Nationwide, the issue of scheduling is becoming a new battleground in the fight to boost living standards for low-paid workers, waged largely by the "Fight for $15" movement. The five-year-old, union-backed initiative has already helped convince many jurisdictions, including New York state, to raise minimum wages.

In Oregon, a bill that would set regular scheduling for workers at large food service, hospitality and retail companies is awaiting the governor's signature. Similar bills are pending in five other states.

Not only do fluctuating schedules wreak havoc with tight household budgets, they make it difficult to make appointments, arrange child care and plan family time, workers point out.

The restaurant industry vigorously opposed the New York City law. Combined with higher minimum wages, scheduling requirements will eventually cripple some fast-food outlets, which mostly operate on thin profit margins of 1.5 to 3 percent, it says.

7/17/17
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« Reply #57 on: August 07, 2017, 02:04:45 pm »

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