JUNE# released Fri, July 7: +222,000 jobs. Unemployment up 4.4%...JUNE details HERE.. Jobs since Trump took office?... Unemp. rate under Trump? (not yet updated)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why There is a Debt Ceiling Crisis

"We are having a debt-ceiling crisis because Congress has given the president contradictory commands; it has ordered the president to spend money, and it has forbidden him to borrow enough money to obey its orders."


So speaks Jack Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale.  
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Updated jobs numbers for July on Friday, August 5.Check back then.
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I love his initial paragraph about why we are having this crisis, and I thoroughly appreciate his analysis of the various (creative) strategies that are available to Obama, including a discussion of the 14th amendment possibilities.  

What strategies are open to Obama?

Balkin talks about a trillion dollar coin and a mortgage from the Federal Reserve.  

Read about Balkin's ideas here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The poor and the elderly in the debt ceiling mess

Who should be advocating for the poor and the elderly in the debt ceiling mess?  

An article at Huffington Post about what's next for the debt ceiling mess in Congress: 

"Democrats could propose some sort of trigger mechanism that would force deeper cuts later in exchange for a debt ceiling hike now -- an idea that GOP lawmakers may find agreeable, but which advocates for the poor and elderly believe would be devastating to the social safety net."

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Updated jobs numbers for July on Friday, August 5. Check back then.
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A great comment from "icstars":
See, I think all of these elected jokers should be advocates for the poor and elderly. I'm just old fashioned that way, but the rich individual­s and corporatio­ns don't need such fierce advocacy in Washington­. Fighting for oil company welfare while proposing to cut SS and Medicare..­..that is not leadership­, compassion or sanity.
Great comment!  Nothing to add.. Thanks!. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Debt Ceiling Drama: America Held Hostage

America is being held hostage over the debt ceiling.


Tea Party Coalition Rejects Boehner's Debt Proposal, and our country continues to be held hostage by right-wing zealots.

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Updated jobs numbers for July on Friday, August 5.   Check back then.
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Posted be Ccee at the Huffington Post in response to Jennifer Bendery's article:
"Time to back away from the table entirely.. No Use Dealing with these people.. You can't give them everything they want - they won't allow it.
Just say – “We tried.. We practicall­y gave them everything they asked for besides Your Social Security or Medicare..­. We even stopped requesting for the expiration on tax cuts for rich people, stopped asking to close Corporate Tax Loopholes.­.. and it's not enough..
We are going to let the Congress do their job and avert an economic catastroph­e as they have been charged to do under the constituti­on by passing a clean Debt Ceiling Bill.
We will not sign anything else – there is no more time for these games and economic brinkmansh­ip..We cannot allow the Few to Dictate Policy in a Democracy.­. We cannot have the USA Taken Hostage by those with no grasp of the implicatio­ns of their actions outside of Idealism.
We’ll enact meaningful defect reduction – including letting the Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich Expire – AFTER the Congress has passed a clean bill for signature.­.. We will allow the Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy expire.. We Will Close Corporate Tax Loopholes We NEED To do this To Save Your Medicare and Social Security – We will Do This After Congress have passed a Clean Bill to raise the debit ceiling.”
We CANNOT Deal with these Insane Right Wing Types, who have taken over the Congress..­. This is Our Democracy - Our COUNTRY... Not Play-dough for a few Zealots to Shape in Their Image...Enough Already. Walk away from the table...”
As much as I don't want to see a default, we, the people of the United States of America, are being held hostage by these rabid dog Teaparty followers, doing the dirty work of their very rich masters and thinking they are being "Patriotic".
I agree with CeCee:  Enough already! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why So Many on the Government Dole?

Why are so many people getting Social Security. Medicare, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and all of the rest?  1 in 6?     
An article in CNN Money today claims that the Debt ceiling impasse imperils safety net .

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Updated jobs numbers for July on Friday, August 5.
Check back then.
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Well, yeah, the debt hysteria in Washington, brought to us by our Republican legislators and their Tea Party friends, certainly does imperil the social safety net in more than one way:  
  • First of all, if the debt ceiling isn't raised, it's unclear which of the many government benefits will be able to be paid and which ones won't. 
  • Secondly, if a deal is worked out, it's unclear how much of the social safety net will be left.  It appears that the rabid Tea Party wants to extract many pounds of flesh from the American people.  
A decent strong social safety net is an essential component of a First Class country.

To me, the social safety net is one of the things that makes us a civilized first class country, unlike a place like Somalia with no government, no taxes, and no food.  Seems are current crop of Teabag people should love Somalia.  They could exercise their "personal responsibility" on the "food" part.

Anyway, I replied to this comment to the article about the Debt Ceiling:
"No wonder the country is going broke. Practically the entire country is on the government dole. How did it get to this point?"
I wrote in reply: 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How Many Jobs Were Created in June 2011?



The following numbers are for June 2011.  Current jobs numbers and reports can be found HERE.



The June jobs report was disappointing.  How many more or fewer people are working this month?  How many more or fewer jobs are there this month?  Were jobs lost or gained?

How many more jobs are there in June than there were in May 2011?
  • 18,000 more jobs in seasonally-adjusted numbers were reported by employers now than in May.
  • 376,000 more jobs in "raw" actual numbers not adjusted for seasonal variations were reported by employers now than in May.
How many more private sector jobs are there in June than there were in May 2011?
  • 57,000 more private-sector jobs in seasonally-adjusted numbers were reported by employers now than in May.
  • 840,000 more  private-sector jobs in "raw" actual numbers not adjusted for seasonal variations were reported by employers now than in May.  (In other words, employers are saying that they have employed 840,000 more people in June than in May.) 
How many more (or fewer) government jobs are there in June than in May 2011?
  • 39,000 fewer government jobs in seasonally-adjusted numbers were reported by government employers at all levels (federal, state, and local) now than in May.
  • 464,000 fewer government jobs in "raw" actual numbers not adjusted for seasonal variations were reported by government employers at all levels now than in May.
How many more people are reporting themselves as working in June than in May 2011?
  • 445,000 fewer people reported themselves as working in seasonally-adjusted numbers than were working in May.
  • 101,000 more people reported themselves as working in "raw" actual numbers not adjusted for seasonal variations than were working in May.

More Jobs in Mining Since Obama Took Office?

How Many Jobs in Mining Has Obama Lost or Killed?  Was there job growth in Mining?

An anonymous reader wrote:
"I'm looking for an actual number of the jobs Obama has killed. Like how many oil workers, how many from coal mines because they have to shut down form the new EPA. Do you count the 200,000 that Obama hired in the Government?"
First of all, we now have more non-farm jobs in "real" numbers than we did when Obama was inaugurated, both in total and in the private sector.  Read here for detail.

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Updated jobs numbers for July on Friday, August 5.
Check back then.
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To honor this reader's request, I decided to look up the specifics of mining jobs since January 2009, when Obama took office.  I'll discuss private vs. government jobs lost or gained in another article, hopefully tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alternate Unemployment Rate Increases: 18.2% June 2011

The Alternate Unemployment Rate Has Gone Up to 18.2% in June 2011 from 17.9% in May 2011.

The seasonally-adjusted alternate rate is 18.2% for June 2011.  This is three-tenths (.3%) of a percent higher than the 17.9% that it was in May 2011.  In seasonally-adjusted numbers, 18.2% of the American labor force were either "officially" unemployed, working part-time but wanting full-time work, or "wanted work" but hadn't looked in the past four weeks for some reason such as being discouraged or convinced that there was no work for them.  (I do not count people among the alternate unemployed unless they say that they "want to work" according to the BLS Current Population Survey.) 

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Just published:
 What was the Unemployment Rate When Obama Took Office? (Update for August) 
How Many Jobs Has Obama Created or Lost? (August update).
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Who are the "underemployed"?  What is the "underemployment rate"?

See below the jump for the explanations of all of this.

Friday, July 8, 2011

How Many New Jobs Were Created in 2011 (June update)?


Number of Jobs Lost in 2011 

The following numbers are for June 2011.  For current numbers, please click one of the above links.  

How many jobs were created in all of 2011, from December 2010 to June 2011?  Have jobs been lost in 2011?

  • In seasonally adjusted numbers, 757,000 jobs have been created in 2011.  That's 126,200 a month.
  • In "raw" unadjusted numbers, 1,029,000 jobs have been created in 2011.  That's 171,500 a month. 
Have jobs or workers been lost in 2011?  (after the jump:)


How Many New Jobs Were Created or Gained Under Obama (June 2011)?


June 2012 unemployment rate and jobs numbers will be released Friday, July 6.  
Check back then!


Latest (May 2012) Updates (posted in June):

    The following numbers are for June 2011.  For more recent numbers, choose a link above.
     

    The total number of jobs DID increase in June 2011.  Despite the dismay and disappointment over the recent jobs report,  the total number of jobs in 2011 continued to go up.  Stay tuned for further analysis.

    How many jobs have been created by Obama since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 to now, June 2011?
    • In seasonally adjusted numbers, 1,815,000 jobs have been created since the "trough" of the recession in January 2010.
    • In raw unadjusted numbers, 4,820,000 jobs have been created since the "trough" of the recession in January 2010.


    How many more people reported they were working since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 to now, May 2011?
    • In seasonally adjusted numbers, 1,374,000 more people are working since the trough of the recession in December 2009.
    • In "raw" unadjusted numbers, 3,320,000 more people are working since the trough of the recession in January 2010.

    Molly's articles about employment and unemployment HERE!!.

    What was the Unemployment Rate When Obama Took Office? (June Update)


    What was the unemployment rate when Obama took office?  7.8%  





    The following numbers represent June 2011 data.  Current data is found at the links above.


    How high did it go? What is it now and how many people are now unemployed?   Keep reading!
    Note: Despite the rise in the unemployment rate in June 2011, total number of jobs did increase. Despite the dismay and disappointment and the increase in the unemployment rate, the total number of jobs went up. Stay tuned for further analysis.
    The Unemployment Rate when Obama took office:
    • For the record, when Obama took office in January 2009, the "official" unemployment rate in seasonally adjusted numbers was 7.8%, with 11,919,000 people reported themselves as unemployed and actively looking. 
    • In "raw" numbers not adjusted for seasonal variance, the unemployment rate was 8.5% with 13,009,000 people reporting themselves as unemployed and actively looking for work.
    The Unemployment Rate at its Peak: 
    • At the "trough" (bottom in terms of jobs) of the recession in late 2009/early 2010, the "official" unemployment rate in seasonally adjusted numbers was 10.1% in October 2009 with 15,612,000 people (out of a labor force of 153,854,000) reporting themselves as unemployed.  
    • In "raw" numbers not adjusted for seasonal variance, the unemployment rate reached a peak of 10.6% in January 2010 with 16,147,000 (out of a labor force of 152,957,000) reporting themselves as unemployed and actively looking for work.
    The Unemployment Rate Now:
    • Now, in June 2011, the "official" unemployment rate in seasonally adjusted numbers is 9.2% with 14,087,000 (out of a labor force of 153,421,000) unemployed. 
    • In unadjusted "raw" numbers the unemployment rate is 9.3%.
    To Summarize:
    • Using seasonally adjusted numbers, the unemployment rate was 7.7% (and rising quickly) when Obama took office, and it is 9.2% today.  
    • Using nonseasonally adjusted numbers, the unemployment rate was already 8.5% when Obama took office, and it is 9.3% today. 
    (Note:  All of my employment number reports are based on monthly reports and data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Monthly numbers reports are based on the monthly Employment Situation Report.  The Employment Situation report includes month over month and year over year jobs numbers.  My analysis is taken from the monthly BLS data copied to an Excel spreadsheet every month.  I calculate detailed percentage increases/decreases, 3 month numbers, 2011 to date numbers, and I compare jobs numbers to those at the time of Obama's inauguration and at the "trough" of the recession.)

    Number of Jobs Created by Obama: 524,000


    The following report is as of June 2011.

    For all current jobs reports, please click HERE!


    We entered positive jobs territory in May 2011 and continued in positive jobs territory in June 2011.
     

    Despite the dismay and disappointment over the jobs report, the total number of jobs continued to go up in June 2011.  We have not lost any jobs net in 2011.  Stay tuned for further analysis.


    In "raw" unadjusted numbers; employers are reporting 524,000 more jobs now in June 2011 than they were reporting in January 2009, when Obama was inaugurated.  Read below.  In other words, in seasonally-unadjusted numbers of jobs, there are 524,000 more jobs actually reported by employers now than when Obama was inaugurated.

    How many jobs have been created by Obama since the "trough" of the recession in late 2009/early 2010 to now, June 2011?
    • In seasonally adjusted numbers, 1,771,000 jobs have been created since the "trough" of the recession in January 2010.
    • In raw unadjusted numbers, 4,770,000 jobs have been created since the "trough" of the recession in January 2010.

    How many jobs have been created by Obama since he took office in January 2009?
    • In numbers adjusted for seasonal variations, we are still in negative territory since Obama took office.  In seasonally adjusted numbers, there are 2,532,000 fewer jobs than when Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.
    • But:  In "raw" unadjusted numbers, in terms of the real number of jobs offered by employers to real people, there are now more jobs than when Obama took office in January 2009.  There are now 524,000 more jobs in "raw" unadjusted numbers than when Obama took office in January 2009.
    • In real unadjusted numbers, there are 953,000 MORE private-sector jobs than when Obama was inaugurated.
    • In real unadjusted numbers, there are  429,000 FEWER government jobs at all levels (federal, state, and local).

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    More info:
    How many new jobs has Obama lost or created? (more detail)
    How many jobs were created under Obama?
    Did McDonald's create half of the new jobs in May?
    Spring Job Growth: Not That Bad?
    My Articles about Employment and Unemployment
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    All of my jobs and employment numbers are taken from the BLS Employment Situation Archived and Current News Releases. 

    How Many Jobs Has Obama Created or Lost? (June 2011 Updates)


    This report has been updated:
    How Many Jobs Added or Lost under Obama? (December 2013 update)


    The numbers in this article are jobs numbers as of June 2011, over a year ago.  For the latest numbers & reports, please click on one of the links above or below.

    Private & Govt Jobs Month by Month 2011 & 2012 

    How Many Women Have Lost or Gained Jobs under Obama?

  • Job Growth & Loss Year by Year Since 1999




  • Who Are Those 90 Million People Not in the Labor Force?




  • What Has Obama Done to Create Jobs?


  • Remember Those ZERO Jobs Last August? Revisions...



  • Initial Jobless Claims for the Past Four Years (Graph)




  • How Many Jobs Lost Before Obama Took Office?



  • The following are numbers for June 2011, over a year ago.  For the latest numbers & reports, please click on one of the above links.

    How has Obama done on jobs?  How many jobs have been lost or gained during the Obama administration?  Have more new jobs been created or have jobs been lost under Obama to date?

    Note:  Despite the rise in the unemployment rate in June 2011, total number of jobs did continue to increase.  

    The Democrats claim that 2.1 million private sector jobs have been created in the Obama administration.  Is this true?

    Yes.  Continue reading for explanation. 

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Social Security: Don't Raise the Retirement Age!

    Should we raise the retirement age for Social Security? Aren't we living longer?


    Updated for November 2012--- with no changes; everything is still true.
    Updated again in July 2015--  with minor changes; everything is STILL true. 
    Found at the Nation of Change blog.
    Some people, concerned about the financial future of Social Security and concerned about the national debt, are suggesting (again) that the retirement age be raised. They say that we now live 16 years longer than we did when Social Security was first implemented; therefore, we can certainly raise the retirement age a few years.

    Except that this is not really true.

    Life expectancy at birth vs. additional life expectancy at a given age: Two different things.

    That 16 year difference is based on life expectancy at birth, which has gone up about 16 years since the late 30's. But, for people who survive birth and young adulthood and make it to 60, their life expectancy has not increased that much.

    People who live to be 65 now only have about 4 or 5 more years of life expectancy than people who lived to be 65 back when Social Security was established. And we've already raised the retirement age by two of those years!

    When they raised the retirement age in the 1980's-- 

    We last raised the retirement age in the early 80's for those born in 1938 or later. The people these changes were going to hit, the Baby Boomers and the WWII kids, were decades away from Social Security at the time. 


    When they raised the retirement age in the 80's...

    We need the younger people to realize that you don't stay young forever. When they raised the retirement age a couple of decades back in the 80s,few Baby Boomers made a peep because we were strong, young, healthy, and thought we would keep our high-payin­g jobs forever. Hah!

    Now many Baby Boomers have been hit hard by the recession. Some are among the saddest victims. These older people in their 50's and 60's have been tossed out of work after decades of fruitful labor. Many are experiencing long-term unemployme­nt; many have gone through their savings and 401K's and don't have health insurance. 

    Those extra years until full retirement are weighing heavily on many of us. Retiring with full benefits at 65 is now just a dream.

    What is our "life expectancy" these days? 

    So, with that in mind, let's look at the numbers on life expectancy.

    Based on tables found at Infoplease, which are based on data taken from the US Census Bureau, the additional life expectancy of a 60 year old in the mid 2000's is somewhere between four and seven years more than it was in the late 30's.

    Two Extra Years, Not 16

    For 70 year olds, the additional life expectancy is between two and six more years now than it was in the 30's when Social Security was establishe­d. What this means is that, in the late 30's, someone in their mid 60's could expect to live to about age 78, give or a take a year or two depending on sex and race. Now (data from the mid 2000's), someone in their mid 60's can expect to live to live to about 82 or 83, give or take a year or two depending on sex and race. That's a difference of 4 to 5 years, and we've already raised the retirement age by 2 of those years. So that means that people now have, on average, TWO ADDITIONAL YEARS of living after they qualify for full retirement than people did in the 30's. TWO YEARS, not 16. 

    And then there are those "extra workable years": 

    Also, these figures don't account for extra "workable" years. People may be living two years longer than the retirement age than they were in the 30's, but that doesn't mean that people are able to work for two more years. 35% of people over 65 are considered disabled, but it is safe to assume that many of the other 65% of people over 65 have minor disabilities that would make it difficult for them to work full-time demanding jobs... and also make them less desirable for employers.

    Finding a job after 65? 
    Those figures also don't account for the simple fact that older people can't get hired. People over 65 have a low (about 3.9% as of June 2015) unemployme­nt rate, but that is because so few of them are in the work force (less than 19%).  And 40% of those 65+ who do work are working part-time.  Could they really find full-time jobs and actually perform the required work?

    Seniors will go without income for years before they can collect.

    Raising the retirement age, even a year or two, really isn't practical, and it will leave many seniors without any income for years before they can collect social security. 

    But Jeb Bush and the Republicans? 

    But many Republicans couldn't give one hoot about that now, could they? They already consider Social Security an "entitlement" and that Social Security recipients are "takers" instead of "makers". If Grandma hasn't saved enough and "planned" well enough to allow her to survive without the "governmen­t dole", she deserves whatever she gets. Charming people, aren't they?

    O.K., people: Write your Congresspeople; write the President; write the Presidential candidates.

    Hang tough. Don't let them mess with Social Security and Medicare!

    Raise the Retirement Age for Social Security?

    Should we raise the retirement age for Social Security?  Aren't we living longer?


    Some people, concerned about the financial future of Social Security and concerned about the national debt, are suggesting (again) that the retirement age be raised.  They say that we now live 16 years longer than we did when Social Security was first implemented; therefore, we can certainly raise the retirement age a few years. Except that this is not really true.


    Continue  here--



    Monday, July 4, 2011

    More About The Minimum Wage and Bachmann


    I'm obviously not the only one trying to get my head around the renewed assault on the minimum wage compliments (mostly) from the Foster Mom Extraordinaire Michele Bachmann. 

    I found this great blurb about the Minimum Wage and Bachmann here at Irregular Times


    Michele Bachmann wants to eliminate the minimum wage. She says doing so would solve the unemployment problem.
    Would her idea work? 

    Economic studies show that increases in the minimum wage are NOT related to increases in unemployment. Wage levels and employment levels aren’t linked. So, having a minimum wage reduction – or elimination of the minimum wage, shouldn’t do very much, if anything, to create jobs.

    Please check out the rest of the article at Irregular Times.

    "My Free Will To Work for 10 cents an hour".

    My contribution to the article was a reply to this comment by Stan B:
    "So let me get this straight. If I want to make a contract to work for someone for 10 cents an hour, you feel that I, being an educated adult, need the government to protect me from that decision? When do I get my government issued butt wiper?"
    My reply to Stan was:

    1.  If you are indeed “educated” and you wanted to work for 10 cents an hour, you’d be off your rocker and not competent to handle your own affairs. Somebody should certainly protect you from that decision!
    2.   If you were starving, you would be in no position to negotiate ("contract") with anybody!
    3.   Because the creep that is trying to talk you into working for him for 10 cents is taking advantage of the government as well as your poverty and misery. He figures that whatever he doesn’t give you in reasonable wages, the big bad gub’ment will make up to you in food stamps, housing assistance, heating assistance. The big bad gub’ment wage should always be high enough so that someone getting the big bad gub’ment wage no longer qualifies for food stamps, housing assistance, etc. Why should I, a taxpayer, be stuck paying more in taxes because some corporation is too stingy and greedy to pay their workers a living wage?
    What do they teach in high school these days?

    And I couldn't resist a dig at a right-wing thinker who seems to have completely forgotten or missed out on lessons about why we need wage and labor laws:  
    Did you sleep during American history class in high school? Or did you drop out before you ever got that far?
    The author of the article, Peregrin Wood, also replied to Mr. Stan.  He talked about our obligation to our fellow workers and human beings:
    What needs to happen is that other people need to be protected from the consequences of your decision. If you’re a masochist and want to play at being someone’s slave, that’s your business. But, if the use of slaves creates a market condition in which it becomes impossible for workers to find jobs other than those that put them in the thrall of their employers for simple survival, that’s a risk to the entire society.....
    There's more.  Please click over to Irregular Times to read his whole reply.

    The Dignity of Each and Every Human Being

    I wrote my reply late last night, and I have had time to think about what I wrote amid all of the Fourth of July festivities and food.   

    One of the main reasons that we should have for a minimum wage is that we value human life.  Isn't that one of the most important points?  Any of us who has worked for a living know that our time, our life, is valuable, and work is usually either physically or intellectually demanding....sometimes both.  If any of us had a family member or friend who wanted to "contract" with an employer (as it there is equality in any such negotiation) to work for 10 cents an hour (or some other absurd wage), isn't it our obligation as a caring human being to tell our family member or friend, "Look, you are worth more.  He is taking advantage of you."  

    And we really don't have to know someone personally to believe that people should work in humane working conditions.  Is there anyone other than the hardest hearted right-wing extremist who would read these accounts of Chinese workers making iPods or working on the Oakland Bay Bridge and not deeply feel as a human being that the treatment of these workers is just plain wrong?  

    I'm almost but not quite done with the minimum wage topic. I just came across a few blogs that went on at length about the "racism" of the minimum wage.  I'll have to explore that train of thought in more depth and then post back.  I've also been exploring the idea of the incremental value of a worker towards the company's bottom line.  I'll check into that a bit more as well.

    Fireworks!

    Meanwhile, the fireworks are filling the air around here.   No organized fireworks festivals for us tonight, but we'll look out and see what our neighbors have put together.       

    I still have hope that the Great Middle Class in our Great Country can survive.

    Happy Fourth of July, everybody!!


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    Additional reading: 


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