- New Orders for manufactured durable goods in December decreased by 4.3 percent. The decrease, down two of the last three months, followed a 2.6 percent November increase.
- Shipments of manufactured durable goods in December, decreased 1.9 percent following four consecutive monthly increases.
- Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in December, up ten of the last eleven months increased 0.4 percent.
- Inventories of manufactured durable goods in December, up eight of the last nine months, increased 0.8 percent.
Real gross domestic product (GDP)
The output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter). In the third quarter, real GDP increased 4.1 percent. This is an advance estimate and will be subject to revision over the next three months. The second estimate will be released on February 28, 2014.
Led by improvements in the service sector and consumer spending indicators,
… the Midwest Economy Index (MEI) reached its highest value in December since May 2012. December’s value for the relative MEI indicates that Midwest economic growth was higher than would be typically suggested by the growth rate of the national economy.
The State Department plans to release Friday a much anticipated environmental review on the Keystone XL pipeline.
The review is likely to disappoint environmentalists but leave President Barack Obama the space to make a decision for or against construction of the pipeline. The release sets the stage for the president to make a final decision in roughly 90 days on the pipeline which would carry oil to the US from Canadian oil sands. (my view is that the pipeline would be as environmentally friendly as possible. Our ability to lessen our reliance on petroleum products purchased from those who wish us harm or at the very least, nothing good, is a worthy goal.)
The United States will seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the remaining living radical Muslim accused in the Boston Marathon Bombing. You may recall his rat brother, complicit and likely the idiot who planned the terror attack, was killed within hours of the bombing. (My view: One less rat to feed. Hopefully this will move swiftly through the system (even though he should NOT enjoy the privileges granted by our judicial system) and we will fry his ass too. Sooner rather than later.
I was in the barber shop this morning (1/30/14)and overheard the owner of the shop telling a customer how he was just notified by Medical Mutual that his premium for health care insurance will RISE from $250.00 per month to over $500.00, more than doubling his expense. Affordable Care my ass. Just an FYI….we will all be affected negatively by this behemoth of an unworkable entitlement.
State of the Union
President Obama gave his sixth State of the Union Address on Tuesday night. He says the country is strong because the people make it so….and that is true…when the American people are working, taking responsibility for themselves, are not overburdened by excessive taxes and regulations our country will be strong. It is NOT true in the United States today when 93 million Americans are receiving some sort of government assistance. There are only 300 million in the country, and ONE THIRD of the population chooses (or shall I say, are enabled) to stay home and suck off the government teat.
The president wishes to extend unemployment benefits again. Why? If you stop giving people a reason to not work, they might actually get off their collective rear ends and seek gainful employment.
Of course, you have to have an environment in which entrepreneurs and individual businesses can thrive and invest to grow their business, which means a lower corporate tax burden, lower individual tax burden and less government regulation on business and individuals. He does want to raise the minimum wage and said he will do this for government contractors, by executive order. He has a pen and a telephone….If he had any idea of how a business operates he might re-think this.
I have seen it take jobs in the metalworking industry. As the need for skilled machinists increased, the cost to hire that labor also grew, forcing the advent of robotics and all other sorts of improvements in productivity. A robot doesn’t need heat or air conditioning, health insurance or vacations, lunch breaks, smoke breaks, uniforms etc. etc. They don’t go on strike, make no wage demands, are always on time and don’t call in sick. Consequently, human jobs were and continue to be replaced.
In the retail and service industries employers are relying on technology as the government makes entry level labor more expensive. Recently, when asked if he supported a higher minimum wage, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates urged caution and said the policy would create an incentive for employers to “buy machines and automate things.” There are already tablet based menus which are ranked as the top trend in 2014 by the National Restaurant Association. You see self check-outs at some Target and Macy’s locations, Home Depot etc. These reflect lost jobs. The minimum wage has increased by 40% between 2007 and 2009. You can see where this is going can’t you?
Enjoy the Super Bowl and related activities this weekend if you are a sports fan….Omaha!
Fast & Furious-providing weapons to criminals leading to a loss of American life. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The loss of 4 American lives at our embassy in Benghazi, Libya. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The IRS targeting conservative political groups for tax-exempt status. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The National Security Administration eavesdropping on the phone calls of American citizens. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
The software program created for the Affordable Healthcare Act, at a cost of $1 billion (thus far) and 3 ½ years to “perfect”, has been unusable to the American people. No one held accountable. The president was unaware.
Spying on our Allies, specifically Angela Merkel of Germany. No one held accountable. The president was unaware. (although these things go on knowingly between countries all the time, the fact that our president denies knowledge of this is just another sign of his incompetence as the leader of the most powerful country on the planet).
“If you like your current insurance plan you can keep it. Period” Barack Obama
“If you like your doctor, you can keep him. Period” Barack Obama
Have a great weekend and….
Hug your children and grandchildren, tell them you love them.
Buy American made products whenever you can.
Hire a Veteran: they are patriots, honest, hard working, disciplined, loyal and …. They need and deserve our support.
God Bless America