Saturday, February 11, 2006

economic huh?

last night, macs backs and and policy now presented tamara draut, author of "strapped: why america's 20-30 somethings can't get ahead" and bakari kitwana, author of "why white kids love hip hop".

while the entire evening was interesting and full of interesting ideas on economic difficulties my age bracket is facing, the evening was somewhat dominated by the older members in the audience, turning the conversation away from the four main econmic challenges identified by tamara to a more "my generation had it just as rough but we still turned out better..." based spin. i can only identify one question an audience member posed to the author that was truly relevant to the topic at hand, and not a distraction.

this was truly disappointing. i will read both the above mentioned books, but i think an opportunity to have an indepth interactive understanding on how i can approach our own economic futures was lost. but one thing ms. draut mentioned which was not lost to me was an aside comment on investor's fear of decreased unemployment levels and increased wages. from:

"NEW YORK - In the good-news-can-be-bad-news world of Wall Street, recent data showing growth in employment and wages have worried some investors. Their fear: More jobs and higher wages could spark inflation and prompt the Federal Reserve to continue its march of short-term interest rate hikes.

But the strong employment and pay numbers have become a source of contention on the Street. Some economists and strategists believe the employment and pay picture is less inflationary than the data would suggest...

Among the data at issue is January's unemployment figure, which sank to 4.7 percent, its lowest level since July 2001. The four-week average of jobless claims on Thursday fell to its lowest level in six years, according to the Labor Department. Then, there are employees' average hourly earnings, which trailed inflation for most workers last year, but rose to $16.41 in January, up 3.3 percent from a year ago.

The January employment report "began to rattle the cozy consensus that has been expecting just one or two more rate hikes from the Federal Reserve in 2006," Bank of America strategist Thomas McManus wrote, saying the drop in the unemployment rate and indications of wage pressure were "particularly troubling."

--Tamara pointedly stated that one reason job security is so low in this market is the importance on putting money into the stockholders portfolio, not having a reliable workforce. i unfortunatly do not really understand how interest rates work, or, therefor, what this article says beyond the rich would rather have people out of work and working for slave wages then a healthy society for all.

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