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Can You Spot the Trend?

From The Increasingly Unequal States of America(.pdf) at the Economic Policy Institute (via this item at The Nation) comes the graphic below that helps explain why so many Americans feel so strongly that the economic recovery hasn’t yet reached them, despite news that U.S. job creation in 2014 reached a 15-year high and that the unemployment rate has tumbled.

The report notes this is “not just a story of those in the financial sector in the greater New York City metropolitan area reaping outsized rewards from speculation in financial markets”. These are broad-based trends that have occurred nationwide since the 1970s following many decades when, for example, there “was a cultural and political environment in which it was unthinkable for executives to receive outsized bonuses while laying off workers”.

That’s progress, I suppose.

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Americans, Religion, and Evolution

A reminder of how different we, as a nation, are as compared to the rest of the developed world when it comes to the things we believe in (or don’t believe in) comes via this story at Vox where they found someone who thought it might be a good idea to create a scatter plot to demonstrate just how much of an outlier we really are.

Reports such as Among Wealthy Nations U.S. Stands Alone in Its Embrace of Religion from Pew Research and the sortable results of this Gallup poll about the importance of religion in countries around the world provide added context to the West’s heightened tensions with other religions around the world while, at the same time, add weight to the argument that Devo may have been right all along about our collective future.

Back to the Past

The Detroit Auto Show has focused even more attention on tumbling energy prices that, suddenly, have American car buyers thinking more about how much horsepower they can get instead of how much gas mileage they’ll need to help make ends meet.

This item at the The Atlantic had a series of pretty interesting photos from the area’s heyday many decades ago that included the photo below. Give the aforementioned energy price slide, we might see something similar to this at gas stations in the not-too-distant future.

These photos from the early-1940s include both race riots and war preparations, a timely reminder that, despite the current problems the world faces, things could be worse.

Nothing to see here … move along

The graphic below from cross-currents.net (currently unavailable, but hopefully back soon) has been popping up all over the place in the last 24 hours or so and for good reason – for those not sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to BTFD, it adds to the growing suspicion that something is terribly wrong in our current QE-fueled financial markets.

Any BTFD devotees who may have been distracted by recent market action and resulting analysis such as the above  may want to peruse this offering from the San Francisco Chronicle to get back on track Sometimes talk of a tech bubble is mostly babble and they should certainly steer clear of Bill Gross’ latest offering Ides!.

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