Hillary is a Chamaleon

Chamaleons change their skin color to blend with the surface they stand on. They can go from green to brown (or viceversa) in seconds.

Hillary Clinton supported TPP and TTIP (The Asia and Europe Free Trade Agreements, respectively, that Obama has been pushing through,with their contents kept secret from the public) as Secretary of State and after. Then, under attack from Bernie, she switched to a NO position about two months ago. But have no doubt she will reverse to YES if nominated, when it becomes convenient. I am certain she will claim to have “reconsidered”.

TPP and TTIP will further decimate American manufacturing, deplete good paying jobs, and thin labot unions. They will increase the GDP with the money going to the multinational corporations and the 1%.

We all know HRC is the favorite puppet of Wall Street. As Bernie Sanders put it, “She talks to Wall Street in the morning and to labor unions in the afternoon.” She is an uprincipled opportunist.

Speaking of labor unions, their myopia is enough to make one weep; most of them have shunned the only candidate (Bernie) who would stand for them. Endorsing somebody who already won is a worthless proposition. Endorsements that count and are never forgotten are those that happen during the contest, when there is risk in them.

If Clinton becomes the nominee, the unions will sheepishly line up to endorse her, she will accept the endosements with her plastic smile, and go on to thrown them under the bus at the first moment it is expedient.

Elizabeth Warren has missed a historic opportunity – so far – to participate in this battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. Well, too bad for her because sitting by the sidelines is the direct path toward irrelevancy and oblivion. Ideologically she seems akin to Bernie but has decided not to help him while it can have an impact.

I hope Bernie does well today. His campaign is a historic opportunity that won’t repeat itself. He is an extraordinary man, above all for his decency and integrity. I am proud of supporting him.

Advertisements

Did Christie’s “New Jersey Comeback” Ever Occur – Outside of His Mind?

New Jersey lost 11600 private sector jobs and added 3000 public positions in March. That is the opposite of the image Christie has been bragging about ad nauseam at every town-hall meeting and radio show since January this year. The March figures, even though reflecting a single month, are egg on his face.

Loss of 8,600 NJ jobs clouds economic picture : page all – NorthJersey.com.

Christie’s office referred questions on the job figures to New Jersey’s top economist at the Treasury Department, Charles Steindel, who admitted that there is a definite correlation between between employment and revenue. He did not say it but there are other correlations – sometimes I wonder if they understand them – such as that of employment and economic growth and with aggregate demand. Some are functions of the others.

Steindel said it is a long term relationship, and one month of bad job figures is not enough to redraw the state’s budgeting plan. Again, I must add, one month of good figures is no reason to open the champagne either.

“Data is volatile from month to month, it jumps up and down,” Steindel went on. “I think it’s a little hard to pin too much on the fact that you had a month where things seemed to go in the opposite direction.”

Mr. Steindel is assuming that the natural direction is forward. But there is no natural direction. The economy will move according to a given set of conditions. Those conditions, in New Jersey, do not favor growth. Steindel’s sentence should be corrected and say that we really do not know where the state economy is heading and should include the word stagnation. 

Although an economic failure of the Christie administration would facilitate my election, I do wish the New Jersey economy to improve. The problem is that I do not see real basis for optimism on such an expansion: Not with the current tax and government structures in New Jersey.

The stubbornly high unemployment rate – remains at 9% – betrays the governor’s portrayal of the state under his stewardship as an example of how to rebound the economy.

Christie is a lawyer who has decided to micromanage both education and the economy in New Jersey: That is a recipe for disaster because he is not qualified to do either. But he is not alone. Democrats are not far behind. In fact, he could not do many of the things he is doing without the complicity of at least some of the democrats in the NJ Legislature.

The loss of jobs is always deplorable. Even more deplorable is the rigidity and selfishness of the two political parties which rather see the state decay that give up their power and perks. We are governed by leeches. Significant structural changes in government and the tax system are desperately needed.

My entire economic revival program rests on the premise of increasing aggregate demand in New Jersey. Demand generates supply and increasing supply creates both jobs and wealth.

How the ARC Cancellation Affects Atlantic City

Actions always have consequences. The ARC cancellation abounds in them. In my article before this one I described the development of a fast train and rail line to Atlantic City and Cape May. It would be via Penn Station-Hoboken-Newark-Red Bank-Atlantic City-Cape May and it could change the future of Atlantic City and southeastern New Jersey for the better.

However, there is a problem which I did not mention yesterday: The rail tubes under the Hudson may not have the capacity to admit those new express trains to southern New Jersey. That could rule out Penn Station as the starting point. The Hoboken station, I believe, is simply a transit station and does not have a size for becoming the starting point of a new line.

That makes Cape May the next best candidate for a central rail station. But a rail line  serving the entire length of the New Jersey shore should have a very accessible point for residents of the state on start. Cape May is too south. Both Hoboken and Newark  are too east and lack sufficient parking. For most residents of Northern New Jersey trying to reach the shore, the Garden State Parkway would still be the means of choice.

Enter Xanadu: The mall that nobody cares for with the exception of governor Christie.

It is centrally located. It has abundant parking. The building, although odd-looking, is already there. Connecting it to the NJT Bergen County Line should be short work (about 3 miles) and from there on it would follow the already existing track through Red Bank when it would deviate onto its own new track bordering the GSP. The express would be reduced to convoy speed on shared tracks but once it left Red Bank I figure it could reach AC in less than one hour.

I as an example, living in Hopatcong, NW New Jersey, could hop in my car, drive 45 minutes to Xanadu, park there, catch the train and be in Cape May in about 1 hour and 30 minutes. NYC residents could catch that train at Hoboken but in their case it would involve changing trains.

And Xanadu could still have its mall. But this time it would have many more visitors.

Plans like this are what developing the state means. It makes the state more desirable to live in. And that includes investors and entrepreneurs. It also means jobs and more demand for goods and services.

New Jersey Could Follow Germany’s Drive for Renewable Energy on this Side of the Atlantic

All Eyes On German Renewable Energy Efforts.

After the Fukushima meltdown in March 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany would decommission all its nuclear power plants and aim to rely primarily on renewable sources of energy. Germany has lots of coal but no oil.

The eyes of the world are on Germany today; and mine too. Because New Jersey, with it long coastline and relatively shallow  depths offshore could be an ideal setting to build an entire new industry of energy for the future. For a relatively long term, the green energy industry of New Jersey would have to be partnership of both public and private concerns because, as of today, at least nominally, green energy can be a bit more expensive to generate than electricity generated with conventional fossil fuels or nuclear.

But of course we are not counting the nuclear waste, the CO2 and other emissions, their effect on healthcare costs, and that green energy higher price tag is mostly caused by being high-maintenance. That means jobs with very good wages for New Jersey. Most industry analysis are skewed in favor of the nuclear and fossil fuels plants. But a comprehensive view of energy generation and its by-products would show that, in both mid and long term, renewable forms of energy generation are more economical. And they are sustainable.

Germany has already created 370,000 good paying jobs and that is just the beginning.

As we pursue the revitalization of the industrial sector in New Jersey, I foresee an important niche for renewable energy.

Mixed Messages on U.S. Economy – Who’s Right?

Economy ends tough 2011 on a surprising upswing – NorthJersey.com.

chart-gdp.top.gif

After healthy growth in 2010, thanks to the temporary government stimulus, the economy plummeted in 2011 but is has been creeping up from the pit of the 1st quarter. Will the upward trend continue?

I am not an economist but I believe the basic elements required for strong growth are missing: We do not have a surge in exports and we do not have increases in wages and the standards of living which would de-leverage the American consumer and stimulate internal consumption.

Then if we add to that the dismal political atmosphere in Washington, we must come to the conclusion that growth will remain anemic throughout 2012.

New Jersey will continue to lag behind the nation due to its enormous political overhead and antiquated tax laws. The number of foreclosed homes and high property taxes will continue to hinder the revival of the housing market.

U.S. Economy Adds 110,000 Jobs in October

Stocks in U.S. Advance Amid Jobs Report as Investors Await Fed Statement – Bloomberg.

This follows an upward revision of September employment from 91,000 to 116,00.

Small and medium sized companies produced the bulk of the gains. Large corporations actually shed some jobs.

The news have sent the markets up in New york today, despite the uncertainty about Greece.

In Greece, the PM and his proposed referendum on the debt and rescue got the backing of his cabinet but the parliamentary vote of confidence is still set for Friday. If the government loses the vote, Greece will most likely have no government by the weekend.

There have been protests at the G-20 meeting in Nice, France.

The Federal Open Market Committee, FOMC, plans to release a policy statement in Washington today. FED chairman Bernanke will hold a press conference later.

In a candid statement showing the disconnect between Wall and Main Streets, Richard Bernstein CEO of Richard Bernstein Advisors LLC said that market strategy is not influenced by whether the main economy growths or goes into recession.

Wall Street lives in a world of its own.

New Jersey gets F in energy conservation program

NJ Spotlight | State Fails to Participate in Program That Could Cut Energy Costs, Report Finds.

Not only is the Christie administration apathetic to any improvements but it relies on a patchwork of temporary measures, navigating from crisis to crisis, a policy that is a quick fix to problems but ends up costing more in the long run.

The existence of more than 600 independents boards of education is also a draw back to long term planning  and implementation of a comprehensive energy policy.

Lack of action in this field is costing good paying jobs to the state.