Number of people drawing unemployment continues to improve, but very slowly, as of the start of November 2021.

The number of new claims for unemployment is slowly declining.

For the week ending 11/6/21 there were 267,000 new claims. While this is encouraging progress, keep in mind the number of people who are getting laid off is still far above the average of 212,000 per week all the way back in January and February 2020. We are still seeing more people laid off every week than before the pandemic began.

(Posts on my other blogs discussing the unemployment situation are going to be cross-posted to this blog. Intentional federal policies are a drag on the employment situation and thus need to be discussed here as a drag on our economic freedom.)

Here is a recap of newly unemployed over the last several months:

(more…)

Growing resistance to involuntary vaccinations.

Burning building in thick smoke. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

There is growing resistance to forced, involuntary vaccinations.  The most noticable part of the vaccine hesitancy is amongst people who are otherwise happy to receive vaccinations.

We need to be careful on how we proceed.  There is danger ahead.

This post continues the discussion of intentional government policies which have the unintended consequence of creating further strain on the economy and the entire supply chain.

Two more of many recent articles pointing to the risks:

  • Only 55% of firetrucks in New York City were available for dispatch last week,
  • Protestors against force vaccinations tell of willingly getting fired, loosing annual bonuses, or waiting to get fired in next few days.
  • Large number of parents in California kept their children at home on 10/18/21 to protest mandatory vaccination of little children.
  • Large protest in Los Angeles against city requirement for all city employees to be vaccinated.

One has to wonder why so many health care workers are refusing the vaccination.

We as a country are willfully headed for a disaster.

The Epoch Times – 11/5/21 – NYC Firetruck Availability Down to 55 Percent, Manpower Shortages Due to Vaccine Mandate: NY Firefighters – Couple weeks ago or so I read a report that 20% of the fire stations in New York City were closed because of a shortage of firefighters.

Last week, only 55% of firetrucks were available for dispatch because of staffing shortages.

(more…)

Consumer Price Index increases 0.9% in October for the second time in 2021.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.9% in October 2021 after a more modest 0.4% increase in September and 0.2% in August.

The October increase matches the June increase of 0.9% and is slightly higher than April increase of 0.8%.

Diving into the components of the CPI shows the increases are broader than several months ago.

The press release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics explains:

“The monthly all items seasonally adjusted increase was broad-based, with increases in the indexes for energy, shelter, food, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles among the larger contributors. The energy index rose 4.8 percent over the month, as the gasoline index increased 6.1 percent and the other major energy component indexes also rose. The food index increased 0.9 percent as the index for food at home rose 1.0 percent. “

Warning sign as we roll into winter is fuel oil increased 12.3% in October and utility gas increased 6.6%. Keep in mind those are changes for the month, not for the year.

(more…)

Producer Price Index in October 2021 shows continuing inflation.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) in October 2021 continues to show unusually high and ongoing inflation. Increasing October was 0.6%, which follows a 0.5% increase in September and 0.7% increase in August.

The PPI has shown high inflation for all of 2021. The worst months were 1.2% in January, 1.0% in April, and 1.0% in July. Those extremes have not repeated for the last quarter, which is a small amount of good news.

Graph at the top of this post shows the monthly change and final demand (the total index in other words) in blue. The average of the monthly changes in green. The red line shows core change, which excludes food, energy, and trade.

The PPI was increasing around 0.4% the month until the end of 2020. Since then it has averaged 0.8% for 2021 through October. Ouch.

This index is explained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as follows:

(more…)

Just how much money has the Federal Reserve created out of thin air and injected into the economy?

Got to wondering how much money the Fed has created out of thin air and then pumped into the economy.  The answer is a vague “bunches and bunches.”

How do I know that? Because of my reading over the last few years. I pay attention to such stories (yeah, yeah, I know – I’m weird – pray for me as you feel led). I also am aware the Fed pumped a lot of money into the economy when the pandemic started.

There have been lots of news reports commenting they have been pumping something in the range of $100 billion a month into the economy after their initial round.

As I was thinking about things the federal, state, and local government have been doing to harm the economy, got to wondering just exactly how much fiat money the Fed has been creating, out of thin air of course. Yeah, I wonder about such things.

Answer is again bunches and bunches, and is measured in trillions of dollars.

Graph above shows the amount of total assets on the Federal Reserves balance sheet since around 2003.

Wow.

(more…)

About that new vaccination mandate for the private sector…

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The promised vaccine mandate for private companies with 100 or more employees were published on 11/4/21.

The federal diktat applies to private-sector employers with 100 or more employees. Companies have to verify employees have been fully vaccinated or require a weekly negative test. In addition anyone not vaccinated will have to wear a mask at work.

The vaccinate-or-test requirement goes into effect 1/4/22, two months from now.

Oh yeah, that mask requirement for the unvaccinated goes into effect 12/5/21, a month from now.

Separate federal diktats applied to federal employees, any company with a federal contract (think airlines, trucking companies, defense contractors), and any health facility with billings to either Medicare or Medicaid program.

Newest rules catch another 84 million people the mandatory vaccinate-or-else requirement.

News flash:  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary injunction against the rules on 11/6/21.This circuit covers Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah. The ruling cited “grave statutory and constitutional issues.”  Brief coverage from Investing on 11/6/21:  U.S. federal appeals court freezes Biden’s vaccine rule for companies.

Background on the rules and then the beginning points of issues with the requirements.

Wall Street Journal – 11/5/21 – OSHA Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate: What to Know

(more…)

Deliberate policies which compound supply chain issues.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

This is start of what will be a series of posts describing steps taken by federal, state, and local officials to compound the supply chain problem we are experiencing. Other policies, deliberately imposed, have the foreseeable consequence of being a drag on the economy. There are lots of recent articles pointing out policies, intentional policies by supposedly intelligent bureaucrats, which have the effect of making it more difficult to get things done.

A few policies that come to mind:

  • Tax on every container not pulled by a zero-emission truck.
  • Only a fraction of the trucks in the country allowed to pick up a container in California.
  • Owner/operators not allowed at the ports.
  • Fines on shipping companies who can’t get their containers out of the port because of congestion in the supply chain.

Additional tax on non-zero-emission trucks picking up cargo

Port Technology – 11/5/21 – Port of Los Angeles accelerates zero-emissions truck efforts – The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissions approved a requirement for trucks picking up cargo at either Long Beach or Los Angeles ports to be zero emission starting 4/1/22. Or else.

(more…)