Commentary: Solutions for America’s Unhealthy Economy

Worker That Is Stressed

LinkedIn is the worst social media site in existence.

Engaging with literal pornbots on Twitter is less soul-sucking than reading the tone-deaf striver banalities and motivational tripe that festoon the place: “Here are five things I learned about peer-to-peer marketing after proposing to my girlfriend,” etc. 

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Report: Equity Rich Mortgaged Homes See Third Straight Quarterly Decline

Home

The number of mortgaged homes that are equity rich have declined for three consecutive quarters, and the portion of mortgaged homes considered “seriously underwater” increased, according to a new report by ATTOM, a leading curator of land, property and real estate data.

ATTOM’s first-quarter 2024 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report found that 45.8% of mortgaged residential properties in the United States “were considered equity-rich in the first quarter, meaning that the combined estimated amount of loan balances secured by those properties was no more than half of their estimated market values.”

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Washington State County Approves Unincorporated Minimum Wage Hike, Ties National High

Cashier working

The King County Council has approved an ordinance that will increase the minimum wage in unincorporated parts of King County.

The legislation increases minimum wage to a high of $20.29, which ties the cities of Tukwila and Renton for the highest minimum wage in the nation.

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Walmart Cuts Hundreds of Jobs, Requires Remote Workers to Come to the Office

Walmart has announced layoffs impacting several hundred jobs at its campus offices and is requiring remote employees to come to the office. 

The retail giant said in a staff memo Tuesday most of the remote workers and personnel in its Dallas, Atlanta and Toronto offices will relocate to its primary offices in Bentonville, Arkansas; Hoboken, New Jersey; and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Tariff Proponents Say U.S. Needs Trade Fairness, but Critics Warn Costs of American Goods Will Rise

Construction site

President Joe Biden held a press conference Tuesday extolling the tariffs on Chinese products — including steel, aluminum, electric vehicles, solar panels and semiconductors — he is rolling out. The president argued that China aggressively subsidizes the products America imports, which makes it difficult for U.S. businesses to compete.

“Back in 2000, when cheap steel from China began to flood the market, U.S. steel towns across Pennsylvania and Ohio were hit hard,” Biden said.

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Inflation Stays High as Rising Prices Continue to Squeeze Americans

Grocery Shopping

Inflation ticked down slightly year-over-year in April but still remained high as rising prices continue to take a toll on average Americans’ finances, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release on Tuesday.

The consumer price index (CPI), a broad measure of the prices of everyday goods, increased 3.4% on an annual basis in April and 0.3% month-over-month, compared to 3.5% in March, according to the BLS. Core CPI, which excludes the volatile categories of energy and food, remained higher, rising 3.6% year-over-year in April, compared to 3.8% in February.

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Producer Inflation Makes Biggest Jump in a Year in Potential Warning Sign for Future Economy

Factory worker

A measure of wholesale inflation that tracks prices before they reach consumers surged to its fastest annual rate since April 2023, according to new data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The producer price index (PPI) rose 0.5 percent in April, totaling a 2.2 percent annual rate, far higher than estimates that the index would rise 0.3 percent in the month, according to the BLS. The report adds to fears that inflation is once again surging following the consumer price index jumping to 3.5 percent in March, up from 3.2 percent in February and far from the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target.

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Over Half of Illegal Aliens in U.S. are Unemployed: Report

Illegal aliens

A new report reveals that over half of the population of illegal aliens that have come into the United States under Joe Biden’s watch are unemployed, thus creating an even greater strain on the country.

As reported by Breitbart, the report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released on Monday revealed that only 46 percent of illegals who came to the U.S. “in 2022 or later” were employed at the start of 2024.

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Renewables Provided 30 Percent of Energy in 2023, but Data Disputes Claims of an Overall Energy Transition

Solar Panels

A new report from Ember-climate.org, which describes itself as “an independent energy think tank that aims to accelerate the clean energy transition with data and policy” touting that renewable energy provided 30% of electricity generation in 2023 is getting a lot of attention, with reports in The Guardian, Associated Press, and Reuters, and CNN.

“A permanent decline in fossil fuel use in the power sector at a global level is now inevitable,” the report by Ember declares.

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