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What’s going on with the U.S. economy? June 12, 2020

Posted by hslu in 美國, Economics, jobs.
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This was what’s going on in April 2020: personal income in the U.S. recorded the highest monthly increase on record because of government stimulus checks and extra $600/week unemployment benefits to 40 million people who were out of work in April and May 2020. Most of that money was saved but it will be spent soon.

However, there won’t be any more checks helicoptered in by the government and the extra $600 unemployment benefits will stop at the end of July.

After money runs out, the coronavirus pandemic won’t magically stop in August. Not in the world and not in the U.S. Many people still won’t be going back to work and they won’t have any money to pay their bills or pay their rents.

Then what, 10% unemployment rate and another great recession to as far out as eyes can see?


美國窮的很 September 26, 2018

Posted by hslu in 美國, Economics, jobs.
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答案:40%。是的。美國有 40% 的成人,窮到連在銀行裏竟然沒有 $400 的存款。這是一個富有的國家應該有的現象嗎?


這些 40% 的人在美國經濟情況這麽好的時候都這麽可憐,等美國經濟開始下滑的時候,他們就變成伸手黨了。美國的中產階級薪水看起來不少,一大部分都被政府借去當福利發出去了。

我還真不騙你,一般來說,美國人比外國人懶,比亞洲人笨,不會唸書,不肯上進,英文,數學,科學都不行。上班遲到,下班提前,動不動就請假不來上班。一點都沒有競爭力。Globalization 讓美國享受了幾十年的低物價的好日子。可是,隨著資金不留在美國,工廠搬到國外,好的工作機會去國外,美國已經轉變成一個以服務業為主的經濟體系了。

請問,靠端盤子過日子,那來 $400 存銀行呢?


不過,年輕的一代,那些在 1980 以後出生的孩子,也就是 Millennials 這一代,經過了2000 年的網路泡沫和 2009 的世界財政危機,好像變的比較保守,比較踏實,不喜歡奢侈的生活,不喜歡浪費的日子,不怎麽冒險,據說連離婚的都比較少了。說不定,美國還是有一點希望吧。不過年齡老化,這些下一代的人揹負的包袱實在太重。美國政府的債務和他們自己的債務,會壓得他們抬不起頭的。




They are sending our jobs overseas. Absolutely. May 24, 2018

Posted by hslu in 特朗普, 美國, Economics, Globlization, jobs, Trump, 川普.
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Source: Vox


Let there be no doubt that everyone knows Harley Davidson is a pro-Trump and a pro-Republican Party company. Most people working for HOG probably voted for Trump in 2016 and most HOG employees and HOG bike riders are the ones who kept Trump’s ratings at 40% since Trump won the 2016 election.

We also know that Republican Party successfully passed a sweeping tax reform bill which benefited most middle income tax payers, gave Trump’s rich buddies a huge tax cut and added $1.5 trillion to the national debt. Further more, the same tax bill cut corporate federal tax rate from ~35% to 21% hoping to make American companies more competitive on the world market. The lower tax rate also encourages companies make capital investments to give American economy a boost.

So what did Harley Davidson do after they got the tax cut?

The closed a factory in Kansas, laid off 800 employees and gave stock holders a $700 million gift in stock buyback and dividends.

How do you like that if you own HOG stocks?

Source: Google


But, when your job just disappeared and at the same time HD is opening up a new plant in Thailand, you suddenly realized that none of that tax savings Trump had promised meant anything to you at all.

Source: Google


The bottom line: You are too expensive and as such you are expandable.

Globalization + capitalism = blue collar jobs moving to overseas.

China vs Trump April 23, 2018

Posted by hslu in China, Cold War, 特朗普, 美國, Economics, jobs, Taiwan, Trade, Trump, 台灣, 川普, 中國.
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The author discusses reasons “why” China WON’T yeield to Trump’s trade war.

The key points of the article are:

  • Being the surplus country, China is in a stronger position over the U.S. because China has accumulated a stronger financial claims against America.
  • Tariffs will hurt America people more: U.S. companies will be forced to raise prices as input become more expensive.
  • Industries and consumers in China will suffer too but Chinese government, if it chooses to, can overrule interest groups and stifle protests more easily.
  • Public opinion in China will back retaliation against the U.S. because Chinese people remember well the Opium Wars, the Unequal Treaties and foreign invations in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Stand up against Trump will help overcome the legacy of China’s “century of humiliation” instigated by foreign countries including the U.S.
  • Trump’s flip-flop in matters big and small gives China little incentive to bother with making a deal with Trump.
  • China can offer Trump face saving way out of his trade war by exporting less to the U.S. directly while routing products through other countries where final assembly takes place, e.g., Taiwan.
  • Moves like this will satify Trump’s demand to reduce bilateral merchandise trade deficit but will not improve America’s external balance, output, trade deficits, employment or real wages.
  • No amount of Trump’s gleeful photo ops, self-congratulatory tweets, or triumphant Fox News reports will change that.

Blame it on Trump March 22, 2018

Posted by hslu in China, 特朗普, 美國, Economics, Global Affair, Globlization, jobs, Trade, U.S. Foreign Policy, 川普, 中國.
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The world markets will crush some more in the days and weeks to come. The severities will hinge on China’s response. If Boeing becomes the primary target of China’s retaliation against Trump’s threat, DJIA will see more triple digit drops because Boeing (BA, $319.61) accounts for 9.4% of the index.

Source: http://indexarb.com/indexComponentWtsDJ.html

What does Trump’s trade war mean to you?

  • Your net worth will decline if you have IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k), 403(b), SEP-IRA, TSP, FERS or an account with any of the discount brokers.
  • The stuff you buy at your local Walmart and many other companies will be more expensive.
  • America’s trade deficits will go up. It will not go down because import goods will be morr expensive.
  • If you work for Boeing, you might see a pink slip.
  • If you work for any company affected by Trump’s action, you might see a pink slip.
  • Inflation will creep up which might force the Fed to raise interest rate faster than they have planned. The stock and bond markets don’t like that a bit. Your net worth will take more beating.
  • You will hate Trump more and vote Democrat this November. Democrats will control the House and Trump will be impeached next January. Whether Democrats have the majority of the Senate is inconsequential.
  • When the interest rate goes up, the U.S. government will pay more interest on its national debt. As a result, funding for other services has to drop unless America borrows more to pay for them.
  • If China decides to reduce its purchase of U.S. Treasury bonds, interest rates on these government bonds will go up.
  • Interest rate on student loans and credit card balances will go up. You will have less money to spend. You will be poorer than before.

If global recession comes as a result of Trump’s unilateral action on tariff, the pain on stock markets will spread far and wide.

But, is a recession likely because of a global trade war?

Consider this: In a trade war, America’s trading partners will export less and they will definitely purchase less from America.

The bottom line is: you lose whether you like Trump or not.

And what’s going to happen to Trump? Mueller is digging a hole for Trump to jump in. Trump is digging another hole for him as a backup.

臺灣的經濟有問題? November 2, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, Japan, jobs, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel, 台灣, 台北.
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這是上個禮拜六 (2017/10/28) 在台北市信義區 101 大樓邊上,世貿一館舉行的國際旅遊展。最多的旅遊地點就是日本,韓國和東南亞的幾個國家。日本有名的大城市或是無名的鄉下都有地方可以讓你去花台幣。可惜的是這些人都帶著新臺幣去國外替別的國家製造工作機會去了。






我們花了$350 (差不多$12美金),進去逛了一圈,不到一個鐘頭。裏面擠的要死,問了幾個問題,吃了半個不要錢的,很小的,不怎麽甜的冰淇淋,拿了一大堆廣告就出來了。結果裏面沒有免費的點心,好的袋子都發完了。沒什麽意思。



Talent drain will sink America fast April 18, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Technology, Trump.
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Trump got it backwards. His order will back fire.

It will send more qualified high tech workers back to their own country.

Automation=fewer jobs March 28, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Trump.
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Common sense. But Trump didn’t tell you that.

Source: Fox News

Source: Fox News

Just like the auto factories in Detroit where robots replaced union workers on the assembly line, automation on port terminals will do the same for the dock jobs. In time, many of these jobs will be gone too. 
Other everyday examples are many: cashier jobs lost to the self checkout machines at Walmart and your local grocery stores, bank teller jobs lost to ATMs and waiter and waitress jobs to the self-ordering kiosks at restaurants, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other fast food joints. 

Even lawyers’p jobs aren’t safe because AI can provide basic law information better than young lawyers can. And AI can do it more accurately.

These are the jobs Trump won’t be able to save and it has nothing to do with globlization. 

The trend can not be stopped no matter how many sound bites or tweets Trump delivers. It’s like a tsunami which will hit American jobs hard.

It’s time to use robots to replace government jobs. Robots are friendlier than government employees. They are more efficient. They don’t need breaks and they don’t need vacation or sick leaves. They don’t need 403 (b) and they don’t complain. They don’t have family problems and they don’t call in sick at the last minute. They are on time and they don’t need overtime pays either. In addition, they won’t get pregnant, ever.

Will we ever have a robot in the White House? 

At least, it won’t tweet anything about Obama, Ryan or even the Freedom Caucus in the middle of the night.

Maybe Star Trek’s Data should seriously consider the offer.

Ghost shopping malls in the U.S. March 23, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs.
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The Fed has just raised the key federal funds rate by 25 basis points, citing improvements in the labor market and rosy economic indicators. Two more rate hikes are widely expected before the end of 2017.

Indeed, the latest unemployment rate data shows that the U.S. is almost at full employment with unemployment rate at 4.7% as of 3/10/2917. In other words, according to the U3 data, most people who want a job have a job: washing dishes, flipping hambergers, driving for Uber, waiting tables at local diners or walking dogs for the top 1% in NYC near Trump Tower. 

We are not going to quibble about the U6 number because the media doesn’t report it and most Americans have never heard of it anyway.

To me, 4.7% U3 means people’s pockets are stuffed with $100 bills. They are happy. They are satisfied with their lives. They go out for beer and lobsters. They fly to exotic resorts for vacations. Of course, they buy stuff they want instead of what they need. They might save a penny here or a quarter there. They are confident in their future according tow the latest consumer confidence survey results.

But, according to this 3/23/2017 thestreet.com article on Yahoo Finance and other sources on the web, why are these U.S. retailers closing hundreds of their stores all over the United States?

Are people having less money because their jobs aren’t paying enough?
Are Amazon and eBay so successful selling almost everything on the Web that they ripped the faces off these once untouchable giants?

Have their profit margins been squeezed by higher costs because China has been exporting inflation to the world?

Do these big and small retailers simply lose touch with the changing spending habits of the consumers?

Do baby boomers stop buying from them because they only have enough to pay for medicines and food?

Or could the reason be as simple as America simply has too many shopping centers?

Whatever the reason, real estate operators in the U.S. will need to adopt and modify their operations so that they don’t end up with ghost shopping malls on their portfolio. 

Here are the known store closings for 2017. The list is long and no doubt that you have been to many of thrm:

  • JCPenney – 138 stores
  • Sears and K Mart  – 150 stores
  • Macy’s – 100 stores
  • Foot Locker – 151 stores
  • Kohl’s – 16 stores
  • CVS – 70 stores
  • Office Depot – 198 stores
  • Radio Shack – 552 stores
  • Family Christian – 240 stores
  • HHGregg – 88 stores
  • Pier One Imports – 100 stores
  • Staples – 118 stores
  • Tiffany – 11 stores
  • Bebe – 170 stores
  • Payless – 500 stores
  • Abercrombie and Fitch – 54 stores
  • Guess – 60 stores
  • Crocs – 160 stores
  • BCBG   Maxzaria – 118 stores
  • The Limited – 250 stores
  • Wet Seals – 171 stores
  • American Apparel – 110 stores

All together, there will be roughly 3,500 empty retail spaces across the U.S. To make the matter worse, WalMart reportly will close 269 stores in 2017. 

With so many stores closing up in 2017, how many employees will lose their jobs? 

Is America’s economy really that good?

供過於求 March 22, 2017

Posted by hslu in Economics, jobs, Taiwan, 林口.
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當然,對一般民眾來說,商店就在樓下,他們的生活起居就方便的多了。肚子餓了,去樓下轉角的滷肉飯攤子買一個套餐回來吃。衛生紙沒有了,全家就在對面。水果剛剛吃完,頂好在隔壁一條街上。如果你想買活魚,豬肉和魚丸,走個五分鐘,夜市就在公園的後面。你要燒餅,你要麪包,你要魷魚羮,走路五分鐘左右都有的賣。五金行,床單,化妝品,醫生診所和房地產中介公司全都不遠。有些地方,修車廠就在住宅大樓和餐館邊上。大小不同的倉庫,接收破銅爛鐵的小工廠也不遠。在龜山 (林口在新北市,高速公路另外一邊是龜山。它屬於桃園市) 還有一個煉油工廠。高高的煙囪不斷的冒著白茫茫的煙。長庚醫院就在煉油廠不遠。可能是因為臺灣地小,這個煉油廠很早以前就蓋了。現在也沒法拆。好在林口離它很遠,風向也不對,吹不到我們這裏。








林口的人口增加率不高,三井 Outlet 雖然帶來不少遊客,但是好像並沒有過多的人想要在林口定居。在比較不熱鬧的街上已經有許多租不出去的店面。新蓋好的大樓下面的店面更是沒有人問津。在附近幾個大樓下的商店生意好像都不是很好。真不知道他們是如何維持的。



在這一棟樓的左邊是一個狗公園 (給狗遊玩和方便用的)。狗公園過街開了一個早餐店,賣比較西式的早餐。我只見過幾個客人。中午根本看不到客人來,下午就打烊了。它邊上有一個名不經傳的房地產中介公司。好像天天都沒人似的。真替他們擔心。




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