The Rural Patriot

October 16, 2006

Deconstructing a Negative Ad

I’ve recently received the mailing from the Kuhl Campaign, “Eric Massa must think money grows on trees”.  As with any negative ad I read or hear, my natural instinct is to (first cringe, because I feel that what I’m reading is distorted)  look beyond the rhetoric and try to find the truth. So, lets take a look.

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October 10, 2006

The Fiscal Conservative Case for Voting Democratically

Filed under: Federal Government,US Economy — ellicatt @ 12:57 pm

I read a pretty good summary this morning of the fiscal state of our federal government from the past 25 years:

Why Fiscal Conservatives Should Vote Democratic This Election

If you’re a moderate Republican you probably believe in smaller, more effective government and sound fiscal policy.

So – in the last 25 years who increased the size of the Federal government the least?

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September 18, 2006

Deficits and GDP – New Commerce Dept. Numbers

Filed under: US Economy — theruralpatriot @ 2:22 pm

This graph is a representation of the national debt in relation to GDP, not of actual debt.

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September 11, 2006

The National Association for Business Economics Revises Projections

Filed under: US Economy — theruralpatriot @ 11:14 am

“Growth is not as robust as it was in the spring, but the economy is by no means going dormant,” said Carl Tannenbaum, NABE president-elect and chief economist at LaSalle Bank/ABN AMRO, N.A. in Chicago. “While the NABE outlook is less sanguine that it was when we last polled in May, our panel still sees only a 1-in-4 chance the current expansion will end before the end of next year.”

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September 5, 2006

Mortgage Moms – the New “Swing Voter”?

Filed under: November 2006 Election,Polls,US Economy,Wages,working families — theruralpatriot @ 9:34 am

First, it was the soccer moms; then we had the security moms.  This November, it may be the mortgage moms – “voters whose sense of well-being is freighted with anxiety about their families’ financial squeeze” –  who help to determine the outcome of the elections.

Even though the economy is growing and the national unemployment rate is low, middle-class families are finding themselves in a vulnerable position.  Adjustable interest rates, flat wages, rising energy prices, and the increasing national debt are contributing factors to their sense of unease. (more…)

August 14, 2006

Wal-Mart: Friend or Foe?

Earlier this spring, we were informed that there was a possibility that Wal-Mart stores might be built in Salamanca and Wellsville.  At this point, I’ve not been able to verify where those plans stand as of now.

Salamanca Area Chamber of Commerce President Susan Zaprowski thought “it would be terrific”.  Salamanca Planning Board Chairman Michael Zaprowski said, “We certainly could use a project like this.” Joe Roosa, one of the possible developers of the project, said “It will be good news for Salamanca”. 

State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, said, “I think it’s important to open up the area for development because of the positive economic benefits.”

Personally, I think that it would be just great … for Wal-Mart.

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August 7, 2006

Are You Ready for Some … Higher Gas Prices?

Filed under: US Economy — theruralpatriot @ 4:40 pm

Due to infrastructure problems, crude oil production at the BP PLC-operated (BP) Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska has been shut down.

BP said late Sunday it had begun the shutdown of Prudhoe Bay, the largest producing oil field in the U.S. accounting for 8% of domestic output, after discovering severe corrosion along a transit line.

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August 3, 2006

The U.S. Economy and You (Part 3)

Filed under: US Economy,Wages — theruralpatriot @ 9:12 pm

The US consumer is altogether shopped out, over-indebted, with negative savings and now bombarded with high oil prices, fluttering housing and rising short and long rates. The poor consumer also suffers from a slumping labor market generating a pathetically low number of jobs, flat real wages and suffering of the redistribution of income from labor to capital (as the profit share of the economy has surged); on top of it all, the equity market downturn has negative wealth and consumer confidence effects.”

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July 25, 2006

The U.S. Economy and You (Part 2)

Filed under: US Economy,Wages — theruralpatriot @ 8:31 am

In Part 1, I touched upon the decrease in average annual wages from 2000 to 2004 for four-year college graduates.  Today we will take a further look at the possible reasons for this.

That Raise Might Take 4 Years to Earn as Well

Wage stagnation, long the bane of blue-collar workers, is now hitting people with bachelor’s degrees for the first time in 30 years. Earnings for workers with four-year degrees fell 5.2% from 2000 to 2004 when adjusted for inflation, according to White House economists.

It is a remarkable setback for workers who thought they were well-positioned to win some of the benefits of the nation’s economic growth, and it may help explain why surveys show that many Americans think President Bush has not managed the economy well.

Not since the 1970s have workers with bachelor’s degrees seen a prolonged slump in earnings during a time of economic growth. These workers did well during the last period of economic growth, 1995 to 2000, with inflation-adjusted average wages rising 12%, according to an analysis by the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

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July 24, 2006

The U.S. Economy and You (Part 1)

Filed under: Unemployment,US Economy,Wages,working families — theruralpatriot @ 7:35 pm

The U.S. economy is strong!  The tax cuts are working and we must make them permanent!  The estate tax, (now known as the “death tax”), must be repealed!  We have to do this to keep our economy strong and growing! 

If you have any exposure to traditional media, there is no doubt that you have heard these phrases.  But, I ask, how’s your “personal economy” doing these days?  How did you like your last raise? (what??? You didn’t get a raise? )  But you received a tax cut, didn’t you? (you mean the one that we didn’t notice because the price of EVERYTHING has risen and the cut was barely noticeable?).   What’s that I hear about how your money just doesn’t seem to go as far as it used to go? 

I think it is time to take a look at some real numbers.  We can find  those numbers at our own government’s websites. 

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