Homeownership rate drops to lowest mark in 51 years

housing market
housing market
Photo credit: You tube grab

Homeownership in the United States has dropped to its lowest rate in 51 years, according to figures released by the U.S. Census bureau.  The share of Americans owning homes has dropped to 62.9 percent in the second quarter.  That is the lowest since 1965.

Finding affordable housing, not having enough money for a down payment and a tight supply are being blamed for the drop in ownership rates.

Bloomberg News, whose owner is Michael Bloomberg, looked to put a positive spin on the story.  Bloomberg, of course, endorsed Hillary Clinton at Wednesday’s DNC, which has been the “good news and nothing else convention” this week.  The website found an economist to state the drop in ownership rate was not necessarily “a bad sign.”

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Report: Malloy, regulator misled public on Cigna. Probe underway

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
Gov. Malloy/You Tube grab

The International Business Times is claiming that Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his insurance commissioner Katherine Wade misled the public over the proposed $54B merger between Bloomfield-based Cigna and Anthem.  IBT notes that even though Wade has put a halt to reviewing the merger, because the U.S. Justice Department has sued to block the union, that she and her boss are still not out of the woods over their efforts to help Cigna in the merger attempt.

IBT reported that the Connecticut Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board and its general counsel, Barbara Housen never gave the okay for Wade to review the merger, as the commissioner suggested.   Now the board is pursuing a conflict-of-interest investigation with one member suggesting that Malloy and Wade misled the public.

Wade is under scrutiny for having once served as a Cigna lobbyist.  Her husband still works at Cigna.  Republicans and some high profile Democrats have called on Wade to recuse herself from reviewing the merger, but Wade claimed the advisory board gave her the clearance, telling her there was no conflict of interest. Housen insists no approval was ever given for Wade to proceed.  Malloy has steadfastly stood by the commissioner.

The governor and commissioner would not comment to IBT on the probe.  Wade stated she has stopped reviewing the merger proposal in the wake of JD’s lawsuit.

It has already been a tough week for Malloy as he heads to Philadelphia to play a prominent role in the Democrat National Convention.  The governor’s 2014 re-election campaign is under investigation by the feds, and a video caught him on tape getting special treatment from security last November at Bradley International Airport, to deliver his son’s backpack, which officials admitted was never checked by security.  Malloy, who chairs the Democratic Governor’s Association, has job approval ratings at a low 24 percent.

IBT has been aggressive in covering the merger story, claiming Wade set up a private email address to communicate about the proposed merger and that Malloy also worked behind the scenes to move the merger along.

The mainstream Connecticut media has covered the merger story but has not delved into the behind-the-scenes activities of the governor or commissioner that IBT has reported.

 

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Recovery favored those with college education

Help Wanted

Help WantedThe U.S.A.’s economic recovery from the 2008 recession overwhelmingly favored those with at least some college education.  That is according to a report entitled ‘America’s Divided Recovery,’ by the Center On Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.   Among the key findings:

  • 3.8 million jobs went to those with a Graduate’s degree
  • 4.6 million jobs went to those with a Bachelor’s degree
  • 3.1 million jobs went to those with an Associate’s degree
  • 80,000 jobs went to those with a high school diploma or less
  • 57 percent of all wages earned went to Bachelor’s degree holders
  • Among industries, consulting and business services added the largest number of jobs at 2.5 million
  • The largest number of jobs in any occupation went to management at 1.6 million
  • Coming in second in occupations were healthcare, professional and technical with 1.5 million jobs added
  • For the first time in U.S. history, college degree holders comprise the largest share of the workforce

According to the report, low-skilled blue collar and clerical jobs took a major hit in the recession’s aftermath, with managerial and professional jobs the major winners.

The stark numbers may be a major reason driving the 2016 presidential campaign, as economic angst remains in what appears to be an uneven recovery.

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Are big brewers trying to push out microbrewers

Craft Beer

Craft BeerAre big brewers trying to push out microbrewers?  That would seem to be the case with the latest move by The Beer Institute, the group which represents the big breweries.  The institute wants its members, such as Anheuser-Busch, Miller-Coors and others to offer more detailed labeling of the ingredients that go into making beer.  It is also pushing the Food and Drug Administration to insist on more minutiae be included on labels.

At first sip, this might seem like a noble idea, but the reality is, more needless regulation would put a strain on the small craft brewers, many of which already present important information on their labels.  However, to insist on more label detail could be costly to the craft operations, already straining under thin profit margins.  Because the small brewers make numerous styles of seasonal beers, they would be forced to constantly print different labels, a costly venture.

There is no secret the big brewers are doing everything in their power to quash the small craft brewing industry, which is an important part of the American economy.  The fact the big boys sell more than 80 percent of the beer in the U.S.A. is not enough.  The big breweries – whose parent-ownership is based in Europe – are already marketing their own craft-style beer in an effort to take over that remaining 20 percent.  Insisting on more detailed labeling would be another motive to can the small market beers.

As a fan of micro-brewed beer made locally, I am quite happy with the labeling.  Many labels are innovative in design.  I don’t need to know every last ingredient in the beer.  The labels are transparent enough.  In fact, that seems to be the sentiment of The Brewers Association, a group representing microbreweries.

Here is hoping common sense prevails and the small breweries win out.  The world is big enough for both entities to exist.  Now please pour me another beer.

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Newtown Massacre Being Used As Excuse For Taking Away Freedoms

The massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown last December, continues to provide government with the perfect vehicle for taking away more freedoms.  First it was gun control, as the Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation making an already tough state gun control law even stricter.  Now it’s the public’s right-to-know.

The Hartford Courant is reporting the administration of Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, along with the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office and General Assembly leaders, are working in secret on a bill that would withhold many of the records from the Newtown massacre from the public.  The bill has not had the proper vetting process.  There have been no public hearings, no committee talks, no nothing.  Everything has been done in secret.   There is even concern the bill might extend to the withholding of records from other major crimes committed in the state.

The administration and General Assembly leaders are playing off the fact most of the public is so absorbed in its own little world that they can get away with usurping these freedoms.  Sadly, they may be correct.

Unless the public awakens to the machinations of this administration and General Assembly, they may wake upGov. Malloy someday, to witness all of their freedoms taken away.

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No! We Don’t Have An Education Problem

The numbers are staggering and they’re even higher than what’s been revealed.

In case you missed it, the Connecticut Department of Education reported on Friday that 1,967 students ages six and under were suspended from Connecticut schools last year.  The state admitted that number is actually higher, but some numbers cannot be released because of confidentiality.   Don’t ask me why.

Not surprisingly,  most of the suspensions came from inner city schools with the majority of the students either black or Hispanic.

Officials, naturally, expressed dismay over this issue, although the story received very little play in the mainstream media.

The answer, of course, will be to throw more money at education, even though our school population is dropping and those apparently eligible for school are not attending classes.  Remember, this astronomical figure is just for students ages 6 and under.

Maybe we ought to start examining the fundamental breakdown of the family and the values that go with its make up.  2,000 suspensions is unacceptable, but my thinking is we won’t have any hearings on this issue, anytime soon.  We can expect, however, that taxpayers will be askedschool teacher to fork over more money “for the children.”

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Bridgeport Makes Top 10, But Hartford Gets The Busway

You have to love the USA Today story about the Top 10 worst traffic areas in the United States.  Bridgeport comes in at number 6, while Hartford is nowhere to be found.  Yet, who got the taxpayer funded busway?  You guessed it, Hartford.

The project, which could cost taxpayers $1 billion, when all is said and done, plus create another government bureaucracy, was pitched to the gullible public as a way to relieve traffic congestion in greater Hartford.  The reality was, it was a payoff to unions to give them work, plus a gift to Hartford and New Britain.

Connecticut needs major infrastructure improvements.  Think what $1 billion would have done to bring about such change?  Instead, it was wasted on a busway project the majority of the public does not want.

When the busway project is completed, however, we will be told what a success it is.  Government never advertises its failures, instead masking them as successes,

Busway groundbreaking
Busway groundbreaking

with maybe some tweeking required.  Of course, taxpayers are left holding the bag.   The Hartford-to-New Britain busway project is just the latest fiasco.  More are sure to follow.  Meanwhile, Bridgeport makes the Top 10 in real traffic congestion, but why let bumper-to-bumper traffic get in the way of another government handout.

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How Soon Will Connecticut Deliver Free Condoms To 12-Year-Olds?

What do Connecticut and California have in common?  Well, it’s not palm trees.  But both states are deep blue, and when it comes to government policy, if history is any indication, what happens in California usually follows in Connecticut.  Thus the question must be asked, how soon before Connecticut taxpayers start paying for “free” condoms to be delivered to 12-year-olds?   Outlandish, you say? It will never happen, you surmise?  Think again.

California taxpayers are now paying for free condoms to be shipped to 12-year-olds.  That’s right, free condoms, shipped right to their door.  The reason, we are told, is to reduce the rate of sexually transmitted diseases.

Guaranteed, liberal lawmakers in Connecticut have already heard of the new policy, and if they haven’t they will.   Guaranteed, these same lawmakers are already formulating plans to institute a similar policy in Connecticut.  It may be too late for this legislative session, but don’t count out next year, or the year after, if the General Assembly believes its too sensitive an issue to raise in an election year.   But it will happen, if the Federal government doesn’t step in, to make the policy nationwide.  Bank on it.Calif palm trees

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