OR IS IT?
The first quarter of 2014 was a wash for the U.S. economy … or a freeze out of Biblical proportions, according to the command economists who have been shoving the global warming myth down our throats for the last few decades.
Thanks to the weather, though, gross domestic product (GDP) fell by a whopping 2.9 percent – the economy’s worst performance in five years.
The “blame the weather” crowd has prevailed on public sentiment, though – and upbeat analysts are projecting economic growth of anywhere between 3-4 percent in the second quarter of 2014, which ends on Monday.
This growth would be due to “pent-up demand” from consumers who wanted to spend during the first quarter, but were apparently too cold to do so.
You buying that?
Our friends at Zero Hedge aren’t … and they’ve got data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) to back them up.
Specifically, they’ve got this chart from the BEA showing the “surge” in services spending in April and May of 2014 – which last time we checked represented two-thirds of the second quarter.
Take a look …
(Click to enlarge)
(Pic: Zero Hedge via BEA)
Ummmm … yeah.
Where’s that “bounce back” everybody keeps talking about? Good question … if the services spending from April and May are any indication, it’s a figment of the command economists’ imaginations.
For those of you keeping score at home, services spending comprises more than two thirds of America’s GDP and four out of every five U.S. jobs.
If it’s not “bouncing back,” there’s a good chance the broader economy isn’t either …
Obamacare is wrecking state budgets.
Obamacare soon will wreck uninsured budgets.
The employer mandate was delayed in 2013 till 2015.
People are underemployed, underpaid, or unemployed.
State and Federal public workers are the middle class without manufacturing jobs.
Thanks to an economy that thrived with negligible booms and busts (mild recessions), an economy that was robust and ripe, I am benefitting through trust funds set up by dear old Dad, a Fortune 500 Chairman of the Board. If you all keep electing big government Democrats and Republicans, you get what you deserve.
There are lots of us Boomers benefitting from the current generational wealth transfer. If you are over 21 and do not have a clue, I got my ride, eat shit and die.
You obviously missed the past few years. Most state and local gov’t workers are in the lower middle class at best, now. Rich folk wanted to save on taxes while still getting all that corporate welfare. Money had to come from somewhere, so they took it from the employees.
The Lex-2 Superintendent makes 200k a year. That Software Director who had not a Computer Science degree and allowed our accounts to be hacked at DOR made 125k a year. A Deputy with a GED starts at 30k…makes Master Deputy in less than five years. Tell me, what does a Airport HS janitor make, a DOT machine operator…then put in the subsidized healthcare and pension if you stay sober for 28 years.
Those state/public workers and the inheritances from one generation to another, even first generation wealth over 5 million net worth, are the 10%.
Everyone else is having trouble paying the power bill….but stubbornly, even crassly, they line up every two years and vote for big government politicians who lie to their faces…to them, the 90%, I say thank you, suckers.
While you vote for candidates whose biggest joy in life is figuring out ever more creative ways to cut taxes for millionaires.
Get a new shtick Bubba!
Georgia was a penal colony back in the day. A hell of a lot of that gene pool spilled over into the Midlands judging by your and tm’s logic.
The Koch boys,George Soros, Steve Forbes, and Hell,Hillary Clinton appreciate your support Bubba in their quest for lower damn taxes!
Supply Side economics forever!!
I don’t know what state agency you’re referring to, fool, but I haven’t gotten a raise above 2% in years. Then our health insurance and retirement both get increased so it all amounts to a zero-sum gain.
You da fool, fool. You got a 5% raise since 2012. Help is on the way with higher taxes and county penny option sales and use tax hikes. SC takes care of the 10% in state/county jobs. Just keep voting for big government politicians, fool.
Georgia was a penal colony back in the day. A hell of a lot of that gene pool must have spilled over into the Midlands. So many cauliflower ears and type 1 facial bone densities abound…like in your family tree.
South Carolina was settled as a Royal Colony, not penal colony, and early Georgians moved west. Your speculation may account for Alabama through Texas though..
Whatchoo talking about Willis? For 2013 and 2014 SC workers got a 5% raise.
For the last three months:
Consumer Durables +6.23%
Consumer Non-Durables +5.63%
Commercial Services +5.11%
Electronic Technology +9.78%
Energy Minerals +12.59%
Health Services +3.75%
Retail Trade +0.53%
Technology Services -1.95%
I got House of Cards season 2 today…gonna watch it this weekend…and count those bad economy checks I get from PNC Wealth Management to name a few. Hope the economy and the dollar will crash…I’ll just short the NASDAQ 100 and Blue Chips. Making dat phat cheese up or down. Good night Smirks, Grand Tango…see ya Monday.
I’m counting on the the disproportionate number of jobs that went to illegal aliens to really whip the economy back into shape. More of the hopey changey.
I’m sorry to hear you may lose your job to a fruit picker.
Racist much EM?
I’m way to qualified in what I do to lose my job to a “fruit picker”. The jobs that are at jeopardy of being encroached upon by illegal immigrants are in blue collar segment of the workforce.
Yea, you know, those jobs the Bush Administration said we did not want. The ones they said it would be good for the nation to outsource to China.
I’m way to qualified in what I do to lose my job to a “fruit picker”.
I’m sure your are
Not sure how you would know that, but thanks.
Fruit pickers are generally thin and healthy… with calloused hands and not much use for computers.
I saw an illegal alien yesterday, writing an application for an embedded system to use ALPR on intersection turn-signal cameras for vehicle tracking. That job should have gone to an H-1 visa Indian or Chinese!
“According to a major new report from the Center for Immigration Studies
(CIS), net employment growth in the United States since 2000 has gone
entirely to immigrants, legal and illegal. Using data from the Bureau of
Labor Statistics, CIS scholars Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler
found that there were 127,000 fewer working-age natives holding a job in
the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants
with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level.” http://bit.ly/1sKPDRx
Obama’s a GREAT American……….if you’re talking about South America…
Bush/Cheney is the same for Iraq, point is, close to a AGZIOOIAN was spent for nothing. Get your checkbook out you ” GREAT AQMERICON “
Not sure if FITS is a died-in-the-wool Democrat, or scared all his readers will quit him if he tells it like it is…but FITS is danicing around the truth…like an effeminate, coffee-house liberal…
This site (linked) spells it out, w/o mincing words: http://scdigest.blogspot.com/
Hey idiot, Haley needs a friend in you !
I think is is pathetic that you blatantly and constantly promote your blog on FITSNews constantly. You have been posting your ideas on this site for a long time and most posters here have a good idea about how you think. Why would anyone want to read your stuff? I think you are dumb as shit.
When you present something of higher quality, more honest, and more insightful, it would be almost criminal not to expound on it. It would be wrong to keep it from the hateful and ignorant….like you. LMAO.
LMAO! Tango, when is Breitbart going to pick up one of your opinion pieces?
i used to wonder why Fits didn’t block GTs crap. seeing it made me feel stupid for even being in a conversation on the same page with him. but now i suspect that GT actually is Fits himself. he’s just expanding horizontally. drawing in different types of readers to different platforms. its not a bad strategy and this explanation makes more sense than the idea that GT is a real person.
FITS isn’t worried ’bout good ole Tango. Tango’s mom had more hits on her ass than that blog.
I want Allen Wilson to assemble the grand jury to investigate you.
Free Market Drugs
zillionare to his fellows: income disparity won’t last
Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.
You’re a STUPID F*#king Cliché.
I admire your restraint.
Haley and the lawmakers are big ass liars…..
Child-welfare workers in the Midlands bear some of the
highest caseloads in the state – with one Lexington County worker
managing 48 cases and 103 children at one time.
caseworkers are not alone, according to a review by The State of May 21
caseloads for every S.C. child-welfare caseworker.
percent of child-welfare workers across South Carolina – including
two-thirds of the workers in Kershaw County, more in half in Lexington
and 43 percent in Richland County – try to handle more than the 17 cases
at any one time that national experts recommend.
That work load
is far higher than the one portrayed to a state Senate panel
investigating the state Department of Social Services earlier this year.
agency’s then-director, Lillian Koller, told a state Senate panel that
Social Services caseworkers manage, on average, six to seven cases.
Koller later acknowledged that average — while accurate — was
misleading, including some staffers who only manage one case at a time.
about those caseloads are driving an ongoing investigation into Social
Services by a state Senate panel. Child-welfare advocates charge the
agency has missed cases of abuse and neglect that led to children dying.
concerns are justified, according to Social Services’ own internal
evaluations of child-welfare services in South Carolina’s 46 counties.
State reviewed those evaluations and found that in 25 of 46 counties –
including Lexington and Richland – investigations of alleged child abuse
were more likely than not to be closed in violation of the agency’s own
In some instances, Social Service found, cases were so poorly documented that it was unclear whether the alleged abuse happened.
Other cases included documented evidence of abuse.
But the cases were closed anyway.
‘They just don’t have the time’
Jessica Hanak-Coulter, a Social Services deputy director, said the agency is moving forward with a plan to reduce caseloads.
department also wants to evaluate all 46 county child-welfare offices
this year to improve training, support for staff and oversight of
child-welfare services. Those evaluations now are required every five
The agency also is hiring. The General Assembly approved 50
new child-welfare positions in the state budget that takes effect
Those changes – and more caseworkers – desperately are needed, child-welfare advocates say.
the wrong call on a possible abuse cases is a result of high caseloads,
said Carla Damron, executive director of the National Association of
Social Workers in South Carolina.
“You work the hours that you
have to work to do your job, and the burnout rate is huge,” said Damron,
who said she has received calls from Social Services case workers who
say their workloads are too high.
“What I’m hearing is that they
just don’t have the time and resources to take care of the kids that
were put in their care,” Damron said. “When you have a really large
caseload, you deal with a pot that’s boiling or you deal with the one
that’s on fire.”
Questions about caseloads
questions about whether the state’s child-welfare agency is doing
enough to protect children are stories of children dying after contact
with Social Services.
Some of those children were from Richland
County, the home county of the state agency’s loudest critics. The
children include Robert Guinyard, a 4-year-old autistic boy who was
fatally beaten in his home, and Bryson Webb, a 5-month-old who died in
the back of a car several weeks after Social Services had been tipped
off that he was in danger. Social Services said it was unable to locate
Bryson after being warned.
The Richland Social Services office now
is the subject of a state intervention with help from Wilbert Lewis.
Lewis retired after 35 years at Social Services but returned to the
agency, at its request, to lead a state takeover of the Richland
child-welfare office, where, he said, a team of outside caseworkers now
is helping meet demands.
That intervention appears to be producing
results, said Paige Greene, executive director of Richland County CASA,
a nonprofit that provides children with court-appointed advocates.
May, Paige said her agency had 110 new children accepted for new
services from Social Services, more than she recalls ever having in a
single month. That increase, she said, likely was the result of Richland
Social Services getting extra help and opening cases that previously
had been put on hold.
Senators reviewing the agency want to know why caseloads are so high.
asked Koller to explain the caseload numbers at a hearing set for
earlier this month. But Koller, an appointee of Gov. Nikki Haley,
resigned two days before she was scheduled to testify about those
The next hearing of the Senate panel is scheduled for July 23.
senators – Tom Young, R-Aiken; Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington; and Joel
Lourie, D-Richland – said they were frustrated the agency initially
reported caseload averages of six and seven per worker, only to find
that, for many workers, caseloads were many times higher, reaching 40 or
more cases per worker involving more than 100 children.
The State reviewed caseload statistics, finding the average of six or seven cases per worker is accurate.
that six or seven cases per worker average includes supervisors and
workers in training who may have only one case at a time to deal with,
Hanak-Coulter of Social Services said. That lower workload is far from
typical, she added.
Instead, of 705 caseworkers statewide reviewed by The State, nearly three-quarters had more than seven cases.
‘Going to need more staff’
The Child Welfare League of America says a caseworker should have to manage no more than 17 active families.
recommended limits are lower for some cases: 12 families for initial
investigations of alleged child abuse and 15 children for foster-care
Social Services says it is finalizing its own child-welfare
caseload limits and hopes to have them in place by June 30,
Under the proposed caseload limits, workers
who screen alleged abuse cases and conduct initial assessments and
investigations would have 10 to 16 families ideally but never more than
Workers handling ongoing cases, where workers help
families address issues, would have 14 to 20 families but never more
than 26 families. Foster-care workers would have 14 to 20 children in
their caseload but never more than 26 children.
organizations, including the Child Welfare League, have set
recommendations for caseloads, no set of standards universally are
accepted across states. That is because of the differences in the ways
child-welfare systems are structured from state to state, Social
Services officials said.
Hanak-Coulter said the S.C. agency came
up with its own caseload standards after studying how long it takes its
caseworkers to work cases. That review included looking at performance
data, interviews with caseworkers and performance coaches, and taking
into account the complexity of the different types of cases, she said.
on the May 21 caseload statistics, 25 percent of S.C. caseworkers have
10 to 17 cases to manage. But about 40 percent of caseworkers have 17 to
48 cases, far above the number recommended by national child-welfare
Caseloads in Lexington County were among the highest in the state, according to May 21 data provided to The State.
of 705 caseworkers reviewed, five from Lexington made the state’s top
10 for the highest caseload per worker – shouldering between 41 and 48
cases apiece. One caseworker was responsible for 106 children.
caseloads have been an ongoing problem at Social Services statewide,
said Lewis, the retired caseworker recently called back to duty.
caseload levels did not get out-of-hand overnight, Lewis added.
Instead, they came as the result of cuts to staffing over time.
address the problem, Social Services is “going to need more staff,” he
said, adding high caseloads are only one factor impacting whether
workloads are manageable. How far a caseworker has to drive to reach a
child or a family is another of many factors to consider, Lewis said.
both Lewis and CASA’s Greene said the new standards proposed by Social
Services are appropriate, and would help caseworkers manage their work
and provide better services to families.
‘Really dangerous mistakes’
said Social Services is working on completing performance reviews of
all 46 counties to fast-track improvements to training provided to
caseworkers and their supervisors.
One part of the evaluation
looks at whether county agencies are following state policies in
determining whether evidence exists to substantiate alleged cases of
abuse or neglect.
In more than half of South Carolina’s counties, those policies have been ignored, according to Social Services evaluations.
to a review by The State of each county’s most recent evaluation,
Social Services offices in 25 of 46 counties more likely than not acted
against state policy in closing investigations of abuse or neglect. The
review looked at five randomly selected cases that had been closed in
Some of the cases reviewed – including all five
reviewed in Richland County – were closed against agency policy after
workers failed to document the case adequately, determine the risks to
children, make timely contact with children, or investigate parents and
In other incidents, cases were closed despite evidence that abuse might be occurring.
example, following the death of a two-month-old in McCormick County, a
case was opened and closed before an autopsy report despite the family
having an “extensive history” with Social Services. The mother had a
history of substance abuse, physical violence and “had stated that she
was going to kill her children,” a subsequent state review found.
In Greenwood, a case alleging sexual abuse was closed without the child having a forensic interview.
Lexington, a child said her father punched her in the face. The agency
only made one contact with the father, who said it was an accident. He
was punishing her, and she fell to her knees and he hit her, he said.
can imagine how that happens if you have such a huge caseload,” said
Damron with the National Association of Social Workers, referring to
cases closed despite evidence of abuse. “Those are really dangerous
‘Because we care’
who is now working to bail out the Richland County Social Services
office, said he recently asked a child-welfare caseworker why she
continued to come to work every day, despite heavy caseloads and
questions about her office’s ability to protect vulnerable children.
Her response? “Because we care,” said Lewis.
caseworker knows that she will “face great challenges, but that inner
personal drive, almost like a calling, has her coming back every day
doing the best she can with the resources she’s been given,” Lewis said.
When bad things happen to children in the care of Social Services, caseworkers feel “devastated,” he added.
always going to question yourself, not just in child-death cases, but
in your day-to-day work, you will constantly second- guess yourself.
“Sometimes, you go home and you can’t leave it at the door.”
That looks like liberal Propaganda that is designed to BLAME us taxpayers for not ponying up even more to pay for social ills you liberals perpetuate….
Quit supporting the weakening of the family, FIRST.. It’s easy to blame Haley when your IGNORAT @$$ should look in the mirror.
Easy divorce, no respect for infant life, hate for men, attacking the family…all part of liberal feminism…is MUCH more responsible for the peril of our kids..
And clueless Idiots like YOU are more to blame than anyone…
When a service is not provided, people go elsewhere.