37 Reasons Why "The Economic Recovery Of 2013" Is A Giant Lie

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

"If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it."  Sadly, that appears to be the approach that the Obama administration and the mainstream media are taking with the U.S. economy.  They seem to believe that if they just keep telling the American people over and over that things are getting better, eventually the American people will believe that it is actually true. 

On Friday, it was announced that the unemployment rate had fallen to "7 percent", and the mainstream media responded with a mix of euphoria and jubilation.  For example, one USA Today article declared that "with today's jobs report, one really can say that our long national post-financial crisis nightmare is over."  But is that actually the truth?  As you will see below, if you assume that the labor force participation rate in the U.S. is at the long-term average, the unemployment rate in the United States would actually be 11.5 percent instead of 7 percent. 

There has been absolutely no employment recovery.  The percentage of Americans that are actually working has stayed between 58 and 59 percent for 51 months in a row.  But most Americans don't understand these things and they just take whatever the mainstream media tells them as the truth.

And of course the reality of the matter is that we should have seen some sort of an economic recovery by now.  Those running our system have literally been mortgaging the future in a desperate attempt to try to pump up our economic numbers.  The federal government has been on the greatest debt binge in U.S. history and the Federal Reserve has been printing money like crazed lunatics.  All of that "stimulus" should have had some positive short-term effects on the economy.

Sadly, all of those "emergency measures" do not appear to have done much at all.  The percentage of Americans that have a job has stayed remarkably flat since the end of 2009, median household income has fallen for five years in a row, and the rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen for eight years in a row.  Anyone that claims that the U.S. economy is experiencing a "recovery" is simply not telling the truth.  The following are 37 reasons why "the economic recovery of 2013" is a giant lie…

#1 The only reason that the official unemployment rate has been declining over the past couple of years is that the federal government has been pretending that millions upon millions of unemployed Americans no longer want a job and have "left the labor force".  As Zero Hedge recently demonstrated, if the labor force participation rate returned to the long-term average of 65.8 percent, the official unemployment rate in the United States would actually be 11.5 percent instead of 7 percent.

#2 The percentage of Americans that are actually working is much lower than it used to be.  In November 2000, 64.3 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  When Barack Obama first entered the White House, 60.6 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  Today, only 58.6 percent of all working age Americans have a job.  In fact, as you can see from the chart posted below, there has been absolutely no "employment recovery" since the depths of the last recession…

Employment-Population Ratio 2013

#3 The employment-population ratio has now been under 59 percent for 51 months in a row.

#4 There are 1,148,000 fewer Americans working today than there was in November 2006.  Meanwhile, our population has grown by more than 16 million people during that time frame.

#5 The "inactivity rate" for men in their prime working years (25 to 54) has just hit a brand new all-time record high.  Does this look like an "economic recovery" to you?…

Inactivity Rate Men

#6 The number of working age Americans without a job has increased by a total of 27 million since the year 2000.

#7 In November 2007, there were 121.9 million full-time workers in the United States.  Today, there are only 116.9 million full-time workers in the United States.

#8 Middle-wage jobs accounted for 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession, but they have accounted for only 22 percent of the jobs created since then.

#9 Only about 47 percent of all adults in America have a full-time job at this point.

#10 The ratio of wages to corporate profits in the United States just hit a brand new all-time low.

#11 It is
hard to believe, but in America today one out of every ten jobs is now filled by a temp agency.

#12 Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.

#13 In this economic environment, there is intense competition even for the lowest paying jobs.  Wal-Mart recently opened up two new stores in Washington D.C., and more than 23,000 people applied for just 600 positions.  That means that only about 2.6 percent of the applicants were ultimately hired.  In comparison, Harvard offers admission to 6.1 percent of their applicants.

#14 According to the Social Security Administration, 40 percent of all U.S. workers make less than $20,000 a year.

#15 When Barack Obama took office, the average duration of unemployment in this country was 19.8 weeks.  Today, it is 37.2 weeks.

#16 According to the New York Times, long-term unemployment in America is up by 213 percent since 2007.

#17 Thanks to Obama administration policies which are systematically killing off small businesses in the United States, the percentage of self-employed Americans is at an all-time low today.

#18 According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration

Bush Sr.: 11.3

Clinton: 11.2

Bush Jr.: 10.8

Obama: 7.8

#19 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row.

#20 The rate of homeownership in the United States has fallen for eight years in a row.

#21 Back in 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 54.9 percent of all Americans are covered by employment-based health insurance, and thanks to Obamacare millions more Americans are now losing their health insurance plans.

#22 As 2003 began, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was about $1.30.  When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.85.  Today, it is $3.26.

#23 Total consumer credit has risen by a whopping 22 percent over the past three years.

#24 In 2008, the total amount of student loan debt in this country was sitting at about 440 billion dollars.  Today, it has shot up to approximately a trillion dollars.

#25 Under Barack Obama, the velocity of money (a very important indicator of economic health) has plunged to a post-World War II low.

#26 Back in the year 2000, our trade deficit with China was 83 billion dollars.  In 2008, our trade deficit with China was 268 billion dollars.  Last year, it was 315 billion dollars.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in world history.

#27 The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at an all-time record high.

#28 Right now, 1.2 million students that attend public schools in the United States are homeless.  That is a brand new all-time record high, and that number has risen by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.

#29 When Barack Obama first entered the White House, there were about 32 million Americans on food stamps.  Today, there are more than 47 million Americans on food stamps.

#30 Right now, approximately one out of every five households in the United States is on food stamps.

#31 According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.

#32 In 2000, the U.S. government spent 199 billion dollars on Medicaid.  In 2008, the U.S. government spe
nt 338 billion dollars on Medicaid.  In 2012, the U.S. government spent 417 billion dollars on Medicaid, and now Obamacare is going to add tens of millions more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#33 In 2000, the U.S. government spent 219 billion dollars on Medicare.  In 2008, the U.S. government spent 462 billion dollars on Medicare.  In 2012, the U.S. government spent 560 billion dollars on Medicare, and that number is expected to absolutely skyrocket in the years ahead as the Baby Boomers retire.

#34 According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record high 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program.

#35 The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

#36 When Barack Obama was first elected, the U.S. debt to GDP ratio was under 70 percent.  Today, it is up to 101 percent.

#37 The U.S. national debt is on pace to more than double during the eight years of the Obama administration.  In other words, under Barack Obama the U.S. government will accumulate more debt than it did under all of the other presidents in U.S. history combined.

Fortunately, it appears that most Americans are not buying into the propaganda.  According to a new CNN survey, the percentage of Americans that believe that the economy is getting worse far exceeds the percentage of Americans that believe that the economy is improving…

Americans views on the state of the nation are turning increasingly sour, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/ORC International survey released Friday also indicates that less than a quarter of the public says that economic conditions are improving, while nearly four in ten say the nation's economy is getting worse.

Forty-one percent of those questioned in the poll say things are going well in the country today, down nine percentage points from April, and the lowest that number has been in CNN polling since February 2012. Fifty-nine percent say things are going badly, up nine points from April.

So what do you think?

Do you believe that the U.S. economy is getting better or getting worse?


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/D6WfOwxw4Yc/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Of Keynesian Cul-De-Sacs And The Fed Creating More Financial Market Uncertainty

Submitted by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital,

Although the U.S. stock market continues to hit new nominal highs on a nearly daily basis, the U.S. economy bumps along at a lackluster pace. This disconnect has been achieved by a massive Fed experiment in monetary stimulation. Through the combination of seemingly endless maintenance of zero interest rates and the injection of some $1trillion a year of synthetic money into fixed-income markets, the Fed is hoping that the boom it is creating on Wall Street will lead to a boom on Main Street. In reality, this a very dangerous economic gamble of enormously high stakes.  As we have seen in the recent past, financial bubbles can leave catastrophe in their wake.

In October 2013, Professor Robert Schiller, the renowned Yale economist, was awarded a Nobel Prize together with two others for research into asset bubbles and resulting values. In a recent interview in the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, he said, “I am not yet sounding the alarm. But in many countries stock exchanges are at a high level and prices have risen sharply in some property markets. That could end badly. I am most worried about the boom in the U.S. stock market. Also because our economy is still weak and vulnerable.”

However, there are many in the financial establishment who disagree with the professor, including, most interestingly, Professor Karl Case, the co-creator of the famous Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Most market participants either believe that current share prices are fully justified by corporate metrics or they believe the Fed has expertise, and the ability, to prevent an ugly sell-off if things turn out badly. This debate has become the defining conversation as we head into the end of the year.

However, those who believe that QE will produce positive results to compensate for the risks are finding their position to be increasingly difficult to defend. At the International Monetary Fund’s November annual conference in Washington, Mr. David Wilcox, reputed to be one of the Fed’s most important economic advisors, offered insight into some problems facing QE. In essence, he maintained that the Fed’s QE-3 program is producing only very limited results in terms of U.S. economic growth. At the same time, he seemed to hint that unlimited QE could create serious financial market distortions.

Many market observers, including myself, think that the Fed’s open-ended QE program has been a massively expensive failure. As a result, market watchers have become increasingly eager for the program to be wound down, and many do not understand the Fed’s reluctance to taper its monthly bond purchases.

Although many of the more open-minded members of the Fed’s Open Market Committee may have lost faith in the ability of QE to deliver tangible gains in the real economy, they have also shown some concern that a diminishing of QE could trigger stock and bond market turmoil. There can be little doubt that such an outcome could usher in a new round of recession. In other words the “good” that the Fed sees in QE may merely be the prevention of a potentially worse reality.

A majority of investors have seemed to convince themselves that QE has become an unneeded crutch that the Fed will be more than happy to abandon by the end of next year. Many believe that such an outcome will place limited downward pressure on stocks, bonds and real estate. These views are Pollyannish in the extreme. The recent sell-off in the bond market should attest to that. On the other hand, some investors, including some aggressive hedge funds, seem to be operating under the belief that QE will not be ended any time soon, if ever. They have even borrowed massively to invest on booming financial markets that stand already at record highs. Today, total New York Stock Exchange margin debt stands at $412 billion, an all-time record.

The disagreements of the investing public are of little weight in comparison to the opinions of the FOMC members themselves (such is the world we have created). The key point for 2014 is how many voting members of the new Yellen-led FOMC will follow her down the Keynesian cul-de-sac. Should a majority of the FOMC feel forced, in the national interest, to vote against an expansion of the Bernanke-era stimulus policies (which we believe Ms. Yellen is sure to propose), financial markets could be in for a severe shock.

Those who wish to continue equity investing in face of this risk might be well-advised to ensure they have adequate hedging policies in place. Investors in both equities and bonds must question how the Fed can coax a market into a continued boom in a manner disconnected from economic reality.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/yPYWUa9554c/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Lloyd Blankfein And The “Mega-Wealthy” Are Rushing To Buy Into This $1 Billion Miami Condo

What do you do if you have more money than you can ever spend, and own residences in most major metropolises around the world. You invest in the most exclusive “third” (or fourth, or fifth) vacation “house” that can be purchased by people for whom money is no object, such as the $1 billion Faena Miami Beach, which has lined up as buyers none other than the creme of the (bailed out courtesy of a multi-trillion ongoing taxpayer bailout) Wall Street crop including Apollo’s Leon Black, and of course Goldman’s very own resident of a duplex in 15 CPW, Lloyd Blankfein. The Faena oceanfront development for the megarich is financed by another billionaire, chairman of Access Industries, Len Blavatnik, whose $16.1 billion net worth puts him 49th in the Bloomberg Billionaires index.

What is it? Bloomberg covers the bases:

The project will feature an 18-story tower with 47 residences priced at $3 million to $50 million, two luxury hotels and an arts center designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Rem Koolhaas.

 

Faena’s residential tower, designed by Norman Foster’s Foster + Partners, also has attracted New York dealer Larry Gagosian among the buyers, according to the people.

 

Some residences will have 20-foot ceilings to accommodate large artworks, and many buyers requested to install special film in the windows to protect the art from direct sunlight, he said.

 

Anchored by the historic Surf Club, where Winston Churchill came to paint and Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor came to play, it will include a five-star hotel and two 12-story residential buildings designed by another Pritzker winner, Richard Meier. The Surf Club Hotel & Residences will be Meier’s first project in Miami, he said at a Dec. 5 poolside brunch celebrating the development.

 

The 8-acre (3.2 hectare) project includes more than 800 feet (244 meters) of beach, according to developer Nadim Achi. The 150 units will include nine penthouses, each with a private garden and a swimming pool. Three of the penthouses have sold for prices from $20 million to $25 million, he said.

 

The mega-wealthy are looking for exclusivity, service and design,” Achi said, drinking bottled water at a cabana overlooking the ocean and a giant construction pit. “A lot of buyers who are deciding to make Miami their second or third residence came through Art Basel.”

 

“Miami real estate is on steroids,” said Mera Rubell, a local art collector who attended the Faena dinner. “The fantasy is about the community. But what are the chances all these billionaires will show up at the same time?”

From the building’s website:

  • Architecture and interiors designed by Foster+Partners
  • Porte-cochère entrance with travertine paved drive
  • Dramatic 27’ triple height lobby defined by polished black concrete fin walls
  • Floor-to-ceiling window wall systems with wide, custom designed and engineered sliding panels
  • Lobby walls in polished architectural concrete with blackened steel finish on all lobby doors
  • Tranquil pools through the lobby area into the surrounding landscape
  • Lobby and elevator flooring in polished stone
  • Three passenger elevators with interiors in Bendheim glass and Japanese silk paper running at 500 feet per minute
  • Dedicated service elevator running at 350 feet per minute

Interior Features

  • Atlantic Ocean, bay and city panoramas through floor-to-ceiling glass
  • Private or semi-private elevator vestibules
  • Service entrances in 2 to 5 bedroom homes
  • 10?-6? Ceiling Heights, 11?  or 13? in Penthouses
  • Entry foyers with stone flooring and teak entry doors
  • Master bathrooms with double sink vanities, separate bathtubs and glass showers
  • Morning Kitchens in master bedrooms of all penthouses
  • Laundry Rooms with full sized side-by-side washer and dryers in most residences
  • Choice of flooring: White Venetian Terrazzo or 8? Light White Oak
  • Fan coil system with multiple zones to maintain better temperature and humidity control
  • Integrated motorized blinds in dual tone fabric throughout residences
  • Trapex door handles designed by Foster+Partners
  • Trufig flush-mounted electric fixtures
  • Optional Staff Quarters

Grand Scale

  • Interiors range from 1,307 to 4,730 sq ft (121.4 to 439.4 sq m)
  • Aleros range from 420 to 1,516 sq ft (39.0 to 140.8 sq m)
  • Half floor Penthouses range from 4,243 to 6,399 sq ft (394.2 to 594.5 sq m)
  • Half floor Aleros range from 2,727 to 3,887 sq ft (253 to 361 sq m)

Penthouse Features

  • Total Living 18,253 sq ft (1695.8 sq m)
  • Indoor 8,273 sq ft (768.6 sq m)
  • Alero 7,299 sq ft (678.1 sq m)
  • Private Rooftop with pool 2,681 sq ft (249.1 sq m)

And the punchline from none other than Blavatnik, wearing his best salesman outfit:

“I remind you, there are very few apartments left,” he told the crowd from a stage. “Hurry.”

Hurry indeed, before the music stops, the Fed’s liquidity tide recedes, and people start asking questions.

In the meantime, this is what Lloyd and company will buy with the Fed’s “wealth effect.”


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Iy9cMCIGKd8/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Lloyd Blankfein And The "Mega-Wealthy" Are Rushing To Buy Into This $1 Billion Miami Condo

What do you do if you have more money than you can ever spend, and own residences in most major metropolises around the world. You invest in the most exclusive “third” (or fourth, or fifth) vacation “house” that can be purchased by people for whom money is no object, such as the $1 billion Faena Miami Beach, which has lined up as buyers none other than the creme of the (bailed out courtesy of a multi-trillion ongoing taxpayer bailout) Wall Street crop including Apollo’s Leon Black, and of course Goldman’s very own resident of a duplex in 15 CPW, Lloyd Blankfein. The Faena oceanfront development for the megarich is financed by another billionaire, chairman of Access Industries, Len Blavatnik, whose $16.1 billion net worth puts him 49th in the Bloomberg Billionaires index.

What is it? Bloomberg covers the bases:

The project will feature an 18-story tower with 47 residences priced at $3 million to $50 million, two luxury hotels and an arts center designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Rem Koolhaas.

 

Faena’s residential tower, designed by Norman Foster’s Foster + Partners, also has attracted New York dealer Larry Gagosian among the buyers, according to the people.

 

Some residences will have 20-foot ceilings to accommodate large artworks, and many buyers requested to install special film in the windows to protect the art from direct sunlight, he said.

 

Anchored by the historic Surf Club, where Winston Churchill came to paint and Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor came to play, it will include a five-star hotel and two 12-story residential buildings designed by another Pritzker winner, Richard Meier. The Surf Club Hotel & Residences will be Meier’s first project in Miami, he said at a Dec. 5 poolside brunch celebrating the development.

 

The 8-acre (3.2 hectare) project includes more than 800 feet (244 meters) of beach, according to developer Nadim Achi. The 150 units will include nine penthouses, each with a private garden and a swimming pool. Three of the penthouses have sold for prices from $20 million to $25 million, he said.

 

The mega-wealthy are looking for exclusivity, service and design,” Achi said, drinking bottled water at a cabana overlooking the ocean and a giant construction pit. “A lot of buyers who are deciding to make Miami their second or third residence came through Art Basel.”

 

“Miami real estate is on steroids,” said Mera Rubell, a local art collector who attended the Faena dinner. “The fantasy is about the community. But what are the chances all these billionaires will show up at the same time?”

From the building’s website:

  • Architecture and interiors designed by Foster+Partners
  • Porte-cochère entrance with travertine paved drive
  • Dramatic 27’ triple height lobby defined by polished black concrete fin walls
  • Floor-to-ceiling window wall systems with wide, custom designed and engineered sliding panels
  • Lobby walls in polished architectural concrete with blackened steel finish on all lobby doors
  • Tranquil pools through the lobby area into the surrounding landscape
  • Lobby and elevator flooring in polished stone
  • Three passenger elevators with interiors in Bendheim glass and Japanese silk paper running at 500 feet per minute
  • Dedicated service elevator running at 350 feet per minute

Interior Features

  • Atlantic Ocean, bay and city panoramas through floor-to-ceiling glass
  • Private or semi-private elevator vestibules
  • Service entrances in 2 to 5 bedroom homes
  • 10?-6? Ceiling Heights, 11?  or 13? in Penthouses
  • Entry foyers with stone flooring and teak entry doors
  • Master bathrooms with double sink vanities, separate bathtubs and glass showers
  • Morning Kitchens in master bedrooms of all penthouses
  • Laundry Rooms with full sized side-by-side washer and dryers in most residences
  • Choice of flooring: White Venetian Terrazzo or 8? Light White Oak
  • Fan coil system with multiple zones to maintain better temperature and humidity control
  • Integrated motorized blinds in dual tone fabric throughout residences
  • Trapex door handles designed by Foster+Partners
  • Trufig flush-mounted electric fixtures
  • Optional Staff Quarters

Grand Scale

  • Interiors range from 1,307 to 4,730 sq ft (121.4 to 439.4 sq m)
  • Aleros range from 420 to 1,516 sq ft (39.0 to 140.8 sq m)
  • Half floor Penthouses range from 4,243 to 6,399 sq ft (394.2 to 594.5 sq m)
  • Half floor Aleros range from 2,727 to 3,887 sq ft (253 to 361 sq m)

Penthouse Features

  • Total Living 18,253 sq ft (1695.8 sq m)
  • Indoor 8,273 sq ft (768.6 sq m)
  • Alero 7,299 sq ft (678.1 sq m)
  • Private Rooftop with pool 2,681 sq ft (249.1 sq m)

And the punchline from none other than Blavatnik, wearing his best salesman outfit:

“I remind you, there are very few apartments left,” he told the crowd from a stage. “Hurry.”

Hurry indeed, before the music stops, the Fed’s liquidity tide recedes, and people start asking questions.

In the meantime, this is what Lloyd and company will buy with the Fed’s “wealth effect.”


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Iy9cMCIGKd8/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Healthcare.gov Works! — As a Portal Into Medicaid Limbo

Healthcare.govIf you want your health care, you can
keep banging away on the federal Obamacare exchange website until
you get routed to taxpayer-funded Medicaid. But you might not get
to keep that Medicaid coverage, because you don’t necessarily
qualify, no matter what the nice, if slightly confused, robots at
Healthcare.gov say. But, at least you’ll have plenty of company.
The vast majority of people getting enrolled in coverage through
the website are being signed up for Medicaid. We just don’t yet
know how many of them will actually get covered by that
coverage.

Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute points out in the New York
Post
:

The good news, if you want to call it that, is that roughly 1.6
million Americans have enrolled in ObamaCare so far.

The not-so-good news is that 1.46 million of them actually
signed up for Medicaid. If that trend continues, it could bankrupt
both federal and state governments.

That’s no joke! My own Arizona, which has a comparatively lean
and mean version of Medicaid in the form of the Arizona Health Care
Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), has seen costs rise by 98 percent
from 2004 to 2014
(PDF). In Arizona, AHCCCS is only the second
most expensive budget item, while “For most states,” points out
Tanner, “Medicaid is the single-largest cost of government,
crowding out education, transportation and everything else.”

But hold on there! Many of those people being routed to Medicaid
by Healthcare.gov are arriving in the wrong location. Reports

USA Today
:

When consumers applying for insurance put their income
information into subsidy calculators on HealthCare.gov — the
exchange handling insurance sales for 36 states — it tells them how
much financial assistance they qualify for or that they are
eligible for Medicaid. If it’s the latter, consumers aren’t able to
obtain subsidies toward the insurance, although they could buy
full-priced plans.

If the Medicaid determination is wrong, consumers should file an
appeal with the federal marketplace, says Department of Health and
Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters, but she says she does not
have an estimate on how long that would take.

Brokers are reporting that some of their clients are in
insurance limbo as they wait for the error to be corrected by HHS
or their states so they can reapply.

Jessica Waltman, top lobbyist for the National Association of
Health Underwriters, says she’s heard a number of reports from
around the country of people making as much as $80,000 a year being
told they qualify for Medicaid on HealthCare.gov.

Yeah… That’s a mistake.

Nobody seems entirely sure how much chaos has been created yet.
Basically, officials don’t yet know what they don’t know. But
there’s plenty of uncertainty to go around for state budget
planners as well as people who just want to buy some health
coverage without a hassle.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/09/healthcaregov-works-as-a-portal-into-med
via IFTTT

“The Rent Is Too Damned High”

“In 1960, about one in four renters paid more than 30% of income for housing. Today, one in two are cost burdened,” according to a new study (ironically) by Harvard University. As Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Peter Coy notes, the availability of apartments, especially cheaper ones, hasn’t nearly kept up with demand, and the problem has worsened since the 2007-09 recession. Remarkably, the number or people with severe cost burdens (paying over 50% of income to rent) is up by 2.5 million in just four years, to 11.3 million; and as usual, the pinch is hardest on the poor. The share of cost-burdened renters increased by a stunning 12 percentage points between 2000 and 2010, the largest jump in any decade dating back at least to 1960.

 

Via Bloomberg BusinessWeek,

If you can’t afford to own, you can rent. But what if you can’t afford to rent, either? Millions of Americans are in precisely that situation, according to a study released today by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The availability of apartments, especially cheaper ones, hasn’t nearly kept up with demand, and the problem has worsened since the 2007-09 recession, the study says.

 

 

 

“In 1960, about one in four renters paid more than 30 percent of income for housing. Today, one in two are cost burdened,” according to the study, America’s Rental Housing.

 

“Cost-burdened” means you’re paying more than 30 percent of income for housing and “severely cost-burdened” means you’re paying more than half. “By 2011, 28 percent of renters paid more than half their incomes for housing, bringing the number with severe cost burdens up by 2.5 million in just four years, to 11.3 million,” according to the Harvard study, which was conducted with partial funding from the MacArthur Foundation.

 

 

 

The boom in housing prices made ownership unaffordable for many families, and the subsequent bust forced others into foreclosure. You would think that all of those foreclosed homes would make great rental properties, and they have. “Remarkably,” though, the study says, “soaring demand was more than enough to absorb the 2.7 million single-family homes that flooded into the rental market after 2007.”

 

The result of the spike in rental demand is a seller’s market: “From a record high of 10.6 percent in 2009, the vacancy rate turned down in 2010 and has continued to slide, averaging 8.4 percent in the first three quarters of 2013.”

 

 

 

As usual, the pinch is hardest on the poor, those with incomes under $15,000 a year who pay at least half their incomes on rent. “With little else in their already tight budgets to cut, these renters spend about $130 less on food—a reduction of nearly 40 percent relative to those without burdens.”

 

The problem would get worse if Congress, in its zeal to eliminate loopholes from the tax code, were to rid of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. That tax credit provides incentives for construction or preservation of affordable housing units—about 2.2 million since 1986.

 

Deterioration is another potential enemy of affordable housing. According to the center’s study, more than one in five mobile homes was removed from the housing stock from 2001 to 2011.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/EpFuGUKWTm0/story01.htm Tyler Durden

"The Rent Is Too Damned High"

“In 1960, about one in four renters paid more than 30% of income for housing. Today, one in two are cost burdened,” according to a new study (ironically) by Harvard University. As Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Peter Coy notes, the availability of apartments, especially cheaper ones, hasn’t nearly kept up with demand, and the problem has worsened since the 2007-09 recession. Remarkably, the number or people with severe cost burdens (paying over 50% of income to rent) is up by 2.5 million in just four years, to 11.3 million; and as usual, the pinch is hardest on the poor. The share of cost-burdened renters increased by a stunning 12 percentage points between 2000 and 2010, the largest jump in any decade dating back at least to 1960.

 

Via Bloomberg BusinessWeek,

If you can’t afford to own, you can rent. But what if you can’t afford to rent, either? Millions of Americans are in precisely that situation, according to a study released today by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The availability of apartments, especially cheaper ones, hasn’t nearly kept up with demand, and the problem has worsened since the 2007-09 recession, the study says.

 

 

 

“In 1960, about one in four renters paid more than 30 percent of income for housing. Today, one in two are cost burdened,” according to the study, America’s Rental Housing.

 

“Cost-burdened” means you’re paying more than 30 percent of income for housing and “severely cost-burdened” means you’re paying more than half. “By 2011, 28 percent of renters paid more than half their incomes for housing, bringing the number with severe cost burdens up by 2.5 million in just four years, to 11.3 million,” according to the Harvard study, which was conducted with partial funding from the MacArthur Foundation.

 

 

 

The boom in housing prices made ownership unaffordable for many families, and the subsequent bust forced others into foreclosure. You would think that all of those foreclosed homes would make great rental properties, and they have. “Remarkably,” though, the study says, “soaring demand was more than enough to absorb the 2.7 million single-family homes that flooded into the rental market after 2007.”

 

The result of the spike in rental demand is a seller’s market: “From a record high of 10.6 percent in 2009, the vacancy rate turned down in 2010 and has continued to slide, averaging 8.4 percent in the first three quarters of 2013.”

 

 

 

As usual, the pinch is hardest on the poor, those with incomes under $15,000 a year who pay at least half their incomes on rent. “With little else in their already tight budgets to cut, these renters spend about $130 less on food—a reduction of nearly 40 percent relative to those without burdens.”

 

The problem would get worse if Congress, in its zeal to eliminate loopholes from the tax code, were to rid of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. That tax credit provides incentives for construction or preservation of affordable housing units—about 2.2 million since 1986.

 

Deterioration is another potential enemy of affordable housing. According to the center’s study, more than one in five mobile homes was removed from the housing stock from 2001 to 2011.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/EpFuGUKWTm0/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Fayette County arrests report — Nov. 26–Dec. 2

The following arrests were reported by local law enforcement agencies for the past week. All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty. Rather than indicating the age of those arrested, only the year of birth will be noted below due to law enforcement procedural changes.

Tuesday, Nov. 26 — Monday, Dec. 2

Fayette County Sheriff’s Office

Nakisha M. Abercrombie, born in 1975, of Jenni Circle, Jonesboro, for revoked or suspended license.

James D. Collier, born in 1978, of Swint Road, Griffin, for bench warrant and theft by deception.

read more

via The Citizen http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/12-09-2013/fayette-county-arrests-report-%E2%80%94-nov-26%E2%80%93dec-2