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Thursday, August 5, 2010

From the Oakshire Financial newsletter...

Oakshire Financial
11 East Mt. Royal Ave
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Why are we not recovering from the recession, at least not the common worker and decent paying jobs?

"Something has Changed...

We don't like to wax more than necessary on things economic, but in our view we have stepped into a new reality.  The following chart should shed some light the change.  Variations on the theme can be found all over the net.

What the chart depicts is the speed at which hiring has occurred one year after recessions ended in the U.S. over the last 50 years.  For example, after the recession of 1958 concluded in April of that year, employment grew by between 4% and 5% in the following year (bottom line on chart).  From March 1975 to March 1976, employment rebounded by slightly more than 3%.

After the recessions of '91, '01 and '09, however, hiring didn't occur in the first twelve months of the recovery.


1.    Mostly because industrial production is now conducted on a global basis, and shuttering plants in high cost locations during recessions often results in a termination of those facilities outright.  In other words, those jobs are exported and are lost forever.

2.    In addition, it often takes a recession for companies to determine just how 'lean' on labor they can become while still meeting their output obligations.  No need to rehire once you're getting big productivity gains from your current workforce.

3.    And finally, the Fed doesn't have room to drop interest rates as it has after recessions in the past.  The stoke that comes from sharply lower rates usually gets the economic fires burning.  In our current situation, however, rates are virtually at zero.  They can't get any lower."

The posting goes on to say that things are actually worse internationally, with a few bright spots that are not as bright as painted as salaries are low and already there are labor, political and other issues surrounding job and economic growth.

This is, or was, an international recession that might also be termed a depression...

Anti-Anti-Incumbency The 2010 election meme that refuses to die.

The fact is, even an "anti-incumbent" year isn't that bad for incumbents. The average rate of re-election for members of the House since 1964 has been 93.3 percent. (Over the last decade, it's been 96 percent.) In the Senate, the average since 1964 has been 81.6 percent. So what's the worst-case scenario for this year? In June, George Washington Universitypolitical scientist John Sides compared House re-election rates from years past with historical polling on whether voters would prefer candidates who have been in Congress or those who haven't. He found a slight correlation and extrapolated that, based on polling in 2010, the re-election rate would be somewhere around 87 percent. Compared with past years, that's pretty low. But if a year in which 87 percent of incumbents win re-election is considered "anti-incumbent," that says as much about the power of incumbency as it does about the year itself.

By Christopher Beam, Slate Magazine: click here for full commentary.

That's not to say a lot of incumbents won't lose in the general elections. They probably will. But that's not because of anti-incumbent sentiment so much as anti-Democrat sentiment. Many of the moderate Democrats who joined in the 2006 rebellion against the party in power are now vulnerable as the country rebels against … the party in power. Some of them, fearing defeat, have chosen not to run. So goes the pendulum.

Landmark photo contest "Imagining Our National Heritage"


Entry bubble Enter the National Park Service Photo Contest

By: Stephanie | August 05, 2010 | Category: General

Cropped cover art for 2010 NHL Event PlannerHave you ever snapped a photo of a historic place in the U.S. and thought, "Hey, this turned out pretty well—I could win a contest!" If your exceptional photo is of a National Historic Landmark, then your words just might come true.
The National Park Service’s 11th annual photo contest, "Imaging Our National Heritage," is underway, and is open to both amateur shutterbugs and professional photographers. Winning photographs will be featured in the 2011 National Historic Landmark wall calendar, sold by theGovernment Printing Office.
If you’re an American history buff like I am, chances are that you’ve taken a photo of a National Historic Landmark. There are nearly 2,500 NHLs in the country, and they’re in every state, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. Technically, they’re "nationally significant historic places…[that] possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States."
NHLs are sometimes easy to spot: American icons like the Statue of Liberty, Mount Vernon, Pearl Harbor, Alcatraz, and the Apollo Mission Control Center are just a few of the more famous landmarks.
But there are hundreds of lesser-known NHLs that are also integral to American history. Examples include the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road (an engineering marvel in Montana’s Glacier National Park); the Church of the Holy Family (a French Colonial-era log church in Cahokia, Illinois); and the Dancing Rabbit Creek Treaty Site in Noxubee County, Mississippi (which forcibly removed most Choctaw tribal members to land west of the Mississippi River).
Search the list to find an NHL near you, and see photo contest winners from past years. The contest will be open to entries through September 10, 2010. For more information, visit the photo contest website. Good luck!
Have you visited any National Historic Landmarks?

Democrats pass Senate bill to save teacher, police jobs

Legislation long sought by Democrats to prevent layoffs of tens of thousands of teachers, police and other public workers has passed the Senate.

The bill would help states and local school boards deal with severe budget problems. It would preserve the jobs of perhaps 300,000 public employees across the country by extending programs in last year's stimulus law. It passed 61-39 Thursday, after months of blocking tactics by Republicans.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling House lawmakers back to Washington next week from their summer vacation to cast the final votes to deliver the bill to President Barack Obama.

Unlike the stimulus bill, the $26 billion measure wouldn't increase the budget deficit since it's paid for with spending cuts and tax increases on U.S. companies operating overseas.

From the Las Vegas Review Journal