December 20, 2013

One Woman’s Obamacare Story: ‘How Obamacare is Hurting My Family with Chronically Ill Kids’

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:01 pm

Watch — Obamacare is not about improving access for difficult medical cases, it’s about making it harder and more costly:

You might be an incorrigible statist if you think the results detailed in the video and presented in more detail here and here are acceptable.

November: Another Weak Month in Ohio’s Job Market

Filed under: Economy,Ohio Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:19 am

The key stats from today’s regional and state report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Ohio’s November seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 7.4% from 7.5% in October, moving from 0.2 points above October’s national average of 7.3% to 0.4 points above November’s 7.0%. 12 months ago, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 6.8%. Only Louisiana has seen its unemployment rate go up by an much as Ohio in the past 12 months — and the Bayou State’s current rate is a much more tolerable 6.3%.
  • Seasonally adjusted payroll employment per the Establishment Survey fell by 12,000, and is up by only 19,800 in the past 12 months.
  • Seasonally adjusted employment per the Household Survey increased by only 7,000 in November, and is roughly 31,400 lower than it was in November 2012 (not seasonally adjusted, it’s just under 17,000 lower).

Several states have notably outperformed Ohio in the past year or so:

  • Florida’s unemployment rate was much higher than Ohio’s for quite some time. 12 months ago, the Sunshine State was at 8.0%. Now, at 6.4%, it’s a full point lower than Ohio.
  • Indiana’s unemployment rate, which was also much higher than Ohio’s during most of the past several years, is now a tick lower, at 7.3%. (Right to work, anyone?)
  • North Carolina, which was a complete basket case under a Democratic governor before this year (Nov. 2012 uenmployment rate: 9.4%), now has the same unemployment rate as the Buckeye State.
  • Even Nikki Haley’s South Carolina, which struggled mightily during the first 2-3 post-recession years, has gone from 8.6% to 7.1% in the past year.
  • On top of that, Chris Christie’s New Jersey (from 9.6% to 7.8% in the past 12 months) is closing in.

If there’s a meaningful silver lining in any of this, except Metro Columbus, as usual (not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate: 6.1%), I couldn’t find it.

The Buckeye State economy is stagnating. Is anyone in Columbus paying attention?

Latest PJ Media Column (‘The Obamacare Chaos Strategy’s Outlines Begin to Emerge’) Is Up

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:42 am

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Sunday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

3Q13 Gross Domestic Product, Third Reading (122013): An Annualized 4.1%

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:14 am

The first two readings on third-quarter GDP were an annualized 2.8% and 3.6%, respectively. Almost half of the second reading consisted of inventory growth.

Business Insider thinks today’s reading will also be 3.6%. So does Bloomberg.

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent link):

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013 (that is, from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.5 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued on December 5, 2103. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was 3.6 percent (see “Revisions” on page 3). With this third estimate for the third quarter, increases in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and in nonresidential fixed investment were larger than previously estimated.

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from private inventory investment, PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by a negative contribution from federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

80% of the half-point increase from the second to third reading is in personal consumption expenditures (PCE), which went from a 0.96-point contribution to 1.36 points. No other element changed appreciably.

This may be as good as it gets, at least on the consumption side. Here’s why, in four points:

  1. Current-dollar PCE is up by 2.2 percent from 4Q12 to 3Q13 (from $11.2855 trillion to $11.5377 trillion). Real PCE growth after inflation has been 1.9 percent.
  2. The International Council of Shopping Centers, which uses an index to present its estimates of spending during the Christmas shopping season, has seen year-over-year increases averaging just 2.0 percent during the past four weeks. (The most recent week trended up from the previous awful week, but still showed only a 2.0 percent change from last year).
  3. One can infer from the combination of Items 1 and 2 that there has been no (seasonally adjusted) overall increase in PCE during the four weeks ICSC presented. It all took place in the first three quarters.
  4. If, as would be expected, sellers and producers are eating into their built-up inventories, then actual production of PCE-related items may be on the way to turning in a decrease during the fourth quarter.

A flat fourth quarter, aka a no-growth Obamacare Christmas, remains a distinct possibility.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (122013)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Pope Francis documentary becomes Amazon bestseller

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Dec 19, 2013 / 03:50 pm

A recent documentary on Pope Francis, “Francis: The Pope From The New World,” has become a bestseller on Amazon.com and at one point ranked number four in the documentary category.

“This documentary arrives as the world realizes that a very special man has assumed the leadership of the Catholic Church, and this begins — but does not end — with his gestures of humility and care for everyone,” Carl Anderson, an executive producer of the documentary, said Dec. 17.

Anderson said many of the details of the Pope’s life “remain largely unknown to the public,” including “the ways in which he has defended the voiceless and Catholic principles.”

“This documentary delves into those stories,” he said.

Anderson is Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal charitable organization with over 1.8 million members worldwide. The Knights said the documentary will help people learn more about the man who was recently named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2013.

The hour-long documentary begins with the Pope’s election on March 13, 2013 and revisits his background in Argentina, where he served as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and as a Jesuit provincial.

Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, is the first Pope from the Americas and the first Jesuit elected to the papacy. He has long been an advocate for those struggling economically, including those who lived in the slums of Buenos Aires. He also helped protect those endangered in Argentina’s Dirty War.

The documentary includes interviews with the Pope’s close friends, his fellow priests, his co-workers, his biographer, and the poor of Buenos Aires. It covers his personal life, including his family relations and his support for the San Lorenzo soccer team. …

Go here for the rest of the story.