One Third of U.S. Baby Boomers In Work Force

Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 to 1964) are retiring in droves. According to Gallup via Economic Policy Journal, only about one third of Boomers are still working.

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PRINCETON, N.J. — The first members of the huge baby-boom generation in the U.S. have reached retirement age in recent years, and these older boomers are retiring in large numbers, just as Americans in their mid- to late 60s did a few years earlier. While about eight in 10 boomers in their early 50s are in the workforce, the percentage employed drops to about 50% for boomers who are 60, and the proportion accelerates downward with each year of age thereafter. Only about a third of those aged 67 and 68 — the oldest boomers — are still working in some capacity.

How Federal Tax Dollars Were Spent in 2014

The Tax Foundation put together a chart showing how federal tax dollars were spent.
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Compare that to 1962 federal spending
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Housing Graph: Houston, TX Beats California

Mark J. Perry over at Carpe Diem Blog shows an amazing stat on the economy of Houston, Texas.

Mental Disorders Rising for Social Security Disability

This blog has chronicled how lawyers get rich taking in Social Security Disability claims.

Now CNSNews has come out with some new SS disability data that raises some doubt if this program has any control:

One in three, or 35.2 percent, of people getting federal disability insurance benefits have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, according to the latest data from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Washington, D.C., the seat of the federal government, ranked in the top-ten list of states where disabled beneficiaries were diagnosed with mental problems.

In 2013, the latest data from SSA show there were 10,228,364 disabled beneficiaries, up 139,625 from 2012 when there were 10,088,739 disabled beneficiaries.

Disabled beneficiaries have increased 49.7 percent from a decade ago in 2003 when there were 6,830,714 beneficiaries; and the number is up 14.3 percent from the 8,945,376 beneficiaries in 2009, the year President Obama took office.


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Here is another chart showing how big the disability fund has grown in the last ten years.
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Education: Money Doesn’t Solve All Problems

Chalkbeat Indiana did an in depth write up pertaining to school funding in Indiana. I’m posting some graphs the author laid out in showing grade scores and performance between IPS and Carmel school systems. IPS is being shown as one of the poorest (families avg $20k/yr) while Carmel is one of the wealthiest (families avg $60k/yr). What makes this fascniating is the school systems are right down the road from each other.

The graphs are self explanatory. The second one shows funding to each school with IPS getting almost $3,000 more per student then Carmel students. The author links that since Carmel residents make more money and have more access to “private tutors” their scores are higher. While that maybe one factor, what this write up does not take into account is the role of having intact families. Two thirds of IPS children live in single parent homes. Carmel has only about 10% single parent homes. An amazing stat that needs to be brought into perspective.

Why Gas Prices Will Go Back Up Part II

In December I posted a blog about why gas prices will go back up and it received numerous hits. The content of that post is now playing out.  Mark J. Perry just released some data of oil rigs being shutdown due to the drop in price of crude oil.  Here is what he found:

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US Oil Rigs Fell Last Week to 1,317, Down 292 and 18% from October Peak of 1,609

This is a quick reversal so I wouldn’t be surprised if 500 shutdowns happen before March. With production falling and the strength of the dollar in question, crude oil will eventually start rising.

Percent of Fuel Cost in Your Grocery Store Bill

With fuel prices dropping over the last several months, many shoppers are asking why food prices have not shown corresponding drops in prices. The asnwer may surprise you in how much fuel costs affect grocery store bills.

Annemarie Kuhns with the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service is reporting that only 4.7 cents of every dollar spent at the supermarket goes toward food transportation costs

So less than 5% of your bill is attributed to fuel costs.

Inflation Alert: Chicken Wings

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According to the Daily Northeast Broiler/Fryer Report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Service the price for retailers purchasing chicken wings to sell at their business has jumped by 35% compared to last year. This was reported in PRNewswire:

The average price (wholesale, not retail) of whole wings is currently $1.71/lb, up from $1.35/lb at the same time last year.

This is not the highest ever seen:

This is down significantly from when wing prices hit a record high of $2.11/lb in January, 2013.

$43 Hot Dog

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CNBC reports as the financial elite meet at Davos for the World Economic Forum they are shelling out some hefty money to eat food. Appearently hot dogs are a big seller:

Full of global leaders, policymakers, business gurus and the odd music star, the attendees at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos aren’t short of a dollar or two. But they might well be at the end of the week — with some of the food prices around town proving to be a little hard to stomach.

At the posh Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvédère, a conference hotspot, even humble menu items can be astronomically pricey. A hot dog with pickles, fried onions and mustard is priced at 38 Swiss francs (about $43.50). It’s 48 Swiss francs for a chicken Caesar salad with parmesan (about $55) and a draft beer at a local restaurant – in a pint-sized glass – can cost 6.50 Swiss francs, about $7.50.

I really don’t know how this yearly meeting of financial gurus does for the world economy. Probably a lot of it is nostalgia. But you do get a lot of lecturing of how to live your life from these people. This does remind me of a story related to Walmart. One year during their annual board meeting of directors the financial numbers weren’t too hot. The meeting was getting close to lunch and board members were getting ready for a big spread. The door opened and it was a Walmart associate with bread, lunch meat and some chips. The members looked stunned and the director said [paraphrasing] “If we are losing money, that means we have to cut expenses”.

I think I’ll buy my hot dogs at Walmart.