Friday Five

These are my Friday Five for March 7, 2014.


January unemployment numbers inched up to 6.7% while the economy added 175,000 jobs. This indicates that more people who have dropped out of the labor market and getting back in the game. We still have 11,460,000 people who are looking for work but cannot find a job. The U6 unemployment number – which I think is the better measure of unemployment in the US – is at 14.9%.

Our total Federal debt as of March 7, 2014 is 17,491,871,158,767.47 with a projected growth of our national debt to just under $25 Trillion over the next 10 years. And of course, to achieve this, we’ll have to average a 4.72% GDP growth – a rather optimistic assumption. GDP growth over the last 10 years has averaged under 3%. What we are doing to our children and grandchildren is immoral.

Apparently, there is a shortage of clowns in the United States (no jokes, please.). But that’s probably OK with the 43% of Americans who don’t like clowns. On a more serious note, Most Americans (66%) don’t want a religious freedom law in their state like the one vetoed this week by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, but 73% support a private photographer’s right to not photograph a same-sex wedding for religious reasons.

Wow. There are over 37,000 people world wide who are worth more than $100M. That number is expected to rise by 25% in the next decade. That’s a lot of wealth concentrated in a few number of people, given that we have over 7billion people on the planet right now.

Finally, constructing the Keystone Pipeline seems to make sense to most Americans. Instead of shipping the oil by rail – which is what we’re doing now – it can be more safely piped to southern refineries underground. An approval by the President is past-due.

Bill English, CEO