The Cardinal Crisis
Is American Middle Class Being Wiped Out?
You Know When You Are In A Depression When...
The Math Formula That Killed Wall Street?
China Braces For End of Cheap Manufacturing
Are Times Changing Too Fast?
By Theodore White; mundane Astrolog.S
I continue to forecast on the economy, Wall Street, and the impacts on society here on Global Astrology for a reason. It has been, and remains my contention that we are now living in historic astrological times.
The transition between the closing of one era, that of the late 20th century, and the emergence of the new era of the decade of the 2010s.
For instance, on July 26, we have begun the fifth, and last Saturn-Uranus opposition of our current time cycle.
This last exact opposition, along the Aries/Libra axis, is now in effect as the Cardinal T-Square involving Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto strengthen during the summer of 2010 in the northern hemisphere.
In this edition of Global Astrology we look at the American Middle Class, which according to some, is being wiped out by the corrupt and uber wealthy.
We also take a look at the mathematical formula that helped lead to the global Bank Crisis in The Math Formula That Killed Wall Street?
A writer asks, You Know You Are In A Depression When...?
Also, we look to the past to understand the present with a retro-future look forward in Future Shock: Are Times Changing Too Fast?
We continue to see the power of this waning cycle of the original 1982 Saturn/Pluto square in China, where labor shortages and strikes have some western companies seriously considering a return of mass production manufacturing back to the United States?
The Cardinal Crisis
American Middle-Class Being Wiped Out?
By Michael Snyder
The Business Insider
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate.
Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace.
Why are we witnessing such fundamental changes?
Well, the globalism and "free trade" that our politicians and business leaders insisted would be so good for us have had some rather nasty side effects.
It turns out that they didn't tell us that the "global economy" would mean that middle class American workers would eventually have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and very few regulations.
The big global corporations have greatly benefited by exploiting third world labor pools over the last several decades, but middle class American workers have increasingly found things to be very tough.
Here are the statistics to prove it:
- 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
- 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
- 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
- 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
- A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
- 24 percent of American workers say that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year.
- Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
- Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
- For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
- In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
- As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
- The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
- Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
- In the United States, the average federal worker now earns 60% MORE than the average worker in the private sector.
- The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
- In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
- More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
- For the first time in U.S. history, more than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
- This is what American workers now must compete against: in China a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
- Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
- Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
- The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.
The reality is that no matter how smart, how strong, how educated or how hard working American workers are, they just cannot compete with people who are desperate to put in 10 to 12 hour days at less than a dollar an hour on the other side of the world.
After all, what corporation in their right mind is going to pay an American worker 10 times more (plus benefits) to do the same job?
The world is fundamentally changing. Wealth and power are rapidly becoming concentrated at the top and the big global corporations are making massive amounts of money.
Meanwhile, the American middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence as U.S. workers are slowly being merged into the new "global" labor pool.
What do most Americans have to offer in the marketplace other than their labor? Not much.
The truth is that most Americans are absolutely dependent on someone else giving them a job.
But today, U.S. workers are "less attractive" than ever. Compared to the rest of the world, American workers are extremely expensive, and the government keeps passing more rules and regulations seemingly on a monthly basis that makes it even more difficult to conduct business in the United States.
So corporations are moving operations out of the U.S. at breathtaking speed. Since the U.S. government does not penalize them for doing so, there really is no incentive for them to stay.
What has developed is a situation where the people at the top are doing quite well, while most Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to make it.
There are now about six unemployed Americans for every new job opening in the United States, and the number of "chronically unemployed" is absolutely soaring.
There simply are not nearly enough jobs for everyone.
Many of those who are able to get jobs are finding that they are making less money than they used to.
In fact, an increasingly large percentage of Americans are working at low wage retail and service jobs.
But you can't raise a family on what you make flipping burgers at McDonald's or on what you bring in from greeting customers down at the local Wal-Mart.
The truth is that the middle class in America is dying -- and once it is gone it will be incredibly difficult to rebuild."
It has been my contention for some years that the earth would enter a transition phase which would then turn with the advent of the Cardinal transits by 2008 and continue through the new decade of the 2010s to the next Saturn/Pluto conjunction in 2020.
The American statistics cited above prove this to be true.
For years, Wall Street firms, hedge fund players, and international bankers have depended on a mathematical formula of variables to make huge sums of money in the derivatives market.
In astrology, we deal with multiple variables. This is because all planetary bodies, the stars, the Sun, and the Moon are always in motion.
Because of this fact, astrology is a very difficult field for most because of the every-changing mathematical interactions between moving bodies along various lines of declination. It is variable mathematics in its highest form.
A trained astrologer will require at least 20-30 years of knowledge and experience to gain enough insight required to extensively forecast; especially in mundane astrology.
The patterns observed, and studied, show astrologers what is more likely to occur, and what is less likely to occur, always through the science of celestial transits relative to the Earth over periods of time.
On the sector of the world economy, forecasts by rationalist financial engineers, some who despise astrology but never studied the science in any depth, turned towards using mathematical shortcuts in an attempt to do what astrologers have been doing well for centuries - accurate forecasting.
Wall Street hired these rationalist "quant mathematicians" to improve profits.
In effect, though the financial community had no actual historical data to base their investment forecasts on economic correlation, a shortcut was taken, based on less than 10 years of data on a corrupted, and bubble priced real estate market, which then led to the near collapse of the world economy.
We discover that this shortcut, or the "formula," was primarily the result of the work of a single mathematician.
David X. Li, born in China in the 1960s, became a quantitative analyst and a qualified actuary who, in the early 2000s had pioneered the use of what he called Gaussian Copula models for pricing of collateralized debt obligations (CDO)
But, in the wake of the global Bank Crisis, and the resulting economic crisis, Li's model now has been called a "recipe for disaster."
Li was quoted as saying about his disastrous financial model that:
"The most dangerous part is when people believe everything coming out of it."
For more, see ~ The Formula That Killed Wall Street.
Li left his celebrity forecaster status in the United States, and is now working in Beijing, China.
What also makes the above somber statistics even more confusing and sad is the fact that while China has benefited from the Baby Boomer corporate/political establishment moving quality American manufacturing to Asia for cheap workers, we now witness China suffering signs of a labor shortage?
The Saturn/Pluto square, highlighted in the July 23 feature of Global Astrology detailed the business climate from the last waning square of the 1982 Saturn/Pluto cycle to the new conjunction in 2020.
We are currently in one such cycle.
Even with recent increases, wages for Chinese workers are still a fraction of those for Americans. But studies do show China's overall cost advantage is shrinking.
Many of today's factory workers have higher ambitions than their parents, who generally saved their earnings from assembling toys and television sets for retirement in their rural hometowns.
The high jobless rate as the Saturn/Pluto waning square begins in earnest in July 2010 will be stubbornly high until the generational transition is completed in the early years of the new decade.
The economy went south, as tens of millions of people struggle to survive as the volume of work continues to drop dramatically even as the need for infrastructure rebuilding and business expansion grows.
My general forecast shows the United States, Asia, Europe, and other nations continuing to feel the pinch of the contracted business climate.
I expect a slower recovery as the waning Saturn/Pluto cycle plays out. Each major aspect of the general 38-year cycle is broken down in 9.5 years.
The main story of this cycle will be the revelations of the major banks roles in the economic crisis and why the lenders of the past 18 years are not fit to manage their institutions.
Despite this, global transits shows a surprising uptick in the sector of dry bulk commodities just ahead.
Vincent Fernando reports July 26, 2010
The Business Insider
Iron ore forwards have had an extremely strong week, according to data from the Iron Ore & Steel Derivatives Association.
August 2010 forwards have had the largest gains, indicating expectations of a near-term rebound:
Despite concerns about Chinese demand growth, higher stockpiles of steel, a global growth slow-down, and Chinese plans to consolidate its steel industry into fewer players, iron ore and steel are rallying.
Where there's demand for steel, there's demand for many other commodities as well.
There's also demand for ships.
This, combined with a stabilized Baltic Dry Index and today's overall stock market rally, means it's a sea of green for dry bulk stocks today.
August & September could get interesting for the commodities space."
The Cardinal Crisis
You Know You Are In A Depression When...?
The unemployment rate for adult males (25-54 years) hit a post-WWII this cycle and is still above the 1982 recession peak, and the youth unemployment rate is stuck near 25%.
That gap in the forecast – $133 billion – was close to the size of the entire budget deficit back in 2002.
What a recovery!
By cutting their provisions for bad debts (at a time when the household debt/income ratio is still near record highs of 120% and at a time when one-quarter of the consumer universe has a sub-600 FICO score – which means they are also ineligible for
The Fed was supposed to have already started the process of shrinking its pregnant balance sheet four months ago and is now instead thinking of restarting Quantitative Easing.
What did the banks do this past week?
They replaced cash with government
As the banks find few opportunities to lend – households are either not
finance their initiatives.
Did we mention that you also know you are in some sort of depression when
The amount of securitized credit that has vanished since the credit bubble burst two years ago is $1.4 trillion – 40% of this market is gone.