Tuesday, September 3, 2013

For workers and the economy, autumn could be scary!

Week #1 Article #1 

1.  Jim Tankersley. For workers and the economy, autumn could be scary 
(September 3, 2013). Washington Post 

2. Category of problem: Social Economic 

3. Level of problem: National 

4. This article concerns: Individuals and families  face expensive gas prices everyday. 

5.  Importance/affect on families: This will highly affect families because the expensive price of gases causes a burden on families because they need a means of transportation to get around to their daily routine and families are are forced to pay more for utility bills, groceries and many other things because gas prices have increased over. 

6.  My input: I personally feel the economy is getting better slowly but surely! Gas prices have increased in the past few years. As a college going student and working part time to pay bills, filling up twice a week for gas can add up pretty fast. Unemployment has increased and welfare is up, I feel the government should increase funding for government programs and one way we can do so is fixing the tax code. The reason why gas prices have gone up is due to deregulation and we can fix this by allowing government agencies to regulate laws. 
In conclusion the economy is improving slowly but it is not as strong as it needs to be to allow the working middle class to not live paycheck to paycheck. We can improve this by having low gas prices, adding more quality jobs, lowering inflation to have a stronger economy for the people!  

The U.S. economy looks headed for a rough autumn, with slowdown threats looming from the housing market, the Middle East and Washington.
Oil and gasoline prices are rising and could shoot up further if Western countries launch military strikes on Syria, pinching U.S. consumers who do not have much disposable income to spare. The housing recovery, which has been the economy’s hottest spot for the past year, is showing signs of cooling as mortgage rates rise.In Washington, the Federal Reserve could be poised to start winding down its latest round of monetary stimulus as soon as this month. Congress and President Obama appear set for another series of down-to-the-last-second fights over funding the government and raising the nation’s debt limit to ensure the United States does not default on any interest payments.
It also looks increasingly likely that Democrats and Republicans will allow the federal budget cuts known as sequestration to persist for another year, even as the economy is showing more strain from the sequester this year.
“Unfortunately, we seem to be entering another of those periods of elevated risk,” economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote last week. Researchers at RBC Capital Markets sounded even more bleak. “Just when you thought the U.S. economy was ready to break out of its lackluster 2 percent growth pace that has dominated the recovery,” they wrote, “reality hits.”
More economic turbulence would be particularly tough for poor and middle-class American workers, who are still struggling amid the historically weak growth following the recession. The typical worker’s income has fallen since the recession ended more than four years ago, and the economy, still far from full employment, is creating far more low-paying jobs than good-paying ones. Polls show that workers remain discouraged by the economic picture, with more than half believing the United States is still in recession.
This summer, economic forecasters were becoming more convinced that growth was accelerating and the job market was healing more quickly. Rising stock prices and declining unemployment raised investor expectations that the Fed would deem the economy strong enough to begin tapering its stimulus program, the asset purchases known as quantitative easing, in September.
The new wave of pessimism set in last week. A run of disappointing economic data led forecasters across Wall Street to lower their expectations for fall growth. The Commerce Department reported that personal income fell in July; so did orders for durable goods. Although the housing market continues to improve from its recessionary depths, several key indicators — including new home starts, new home sales and pending sales — have flashed signs of weakness.
Some economists expect U.S. growth to fall short of the Fed’s predictions for the year, and they expect the Federal Open Market Committee to delay tapering until December at the earliest. Such a delay could roil financial markets.
Fiscal policymakers are likely to provoke a much stronger reaction from markets if they defy expectations in their budget negotiations. For now, most investors and forecasters seem to expect a lot of bluster from the White House and Republicans, followed by an eleventh-hour agreement that avoids a government shutdown or debt default. Market indicators show little sign of investors betting on default.

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