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ECONOMIC DEVASTATION: Budget Office Estimates GDP Drop of 28 Points in Second Quarter

Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the economy.

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President Donald Trump used to regularly brag about how the U.S. economy was roaring due to his economic policies, but the coronavirus pandemic has wiped those gains out almost completely.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released a preliminary forecast on Thursday that is dire:

CBO expects that the economy will contract sharply during the second quarter of 2020 as a result of the continued disruption of commerce stemming from the spread of the novel coronavirus. The following are CBO’s very preliminary estimates, which are based on information about the economy that was available through this morning and which include the effects of an economic boost from recently enacted legislation.

  • Gross domestic product is expected to decline by more than 7 percent during the second quarter. If that happened, the decline in the annualized growth rate reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis would be about four times larger and would exceed 28 percent. Those declines could be much larger, however.
  • The unemployment rate is expected to exceed 10 percent during the second quarter, in part reflecting the 3.3 million new unemployment insurance claims reported on March 26 and the 6.6 million new claims reported this morning. (The number of new claims was about 10 times larger this morning than it had been in any single week during the recession from 2007 to 2009.)
  • Interest rates on 10-year Treasury notes are expected to be below 1 percent during the second quarter as a result of the Federal Reserve’s actions and market conditions.

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CBO’s economic projections, especially for later periods, are highly uncertain at this time.

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Americans across the country are feeling the pain regardless of what industry they are in. A study from Candor has indicated that 267 companies have instituted a hiring freeze due to coronavirus while 44 have laid off employees and 36 others have been forced to rescind offers because of the pandemic.

“The travel, hospitality, and transportation segment was particularly hard hit, with 95% of companies freezing hiring. Only two companies, Bolt and Cruise, report they are still hiring. All booking platforms — like Kayak, Expedia, and Booking.com — have suspended hiring. Uber and Lyft have a headcount freeze but continue to backfill already open positions. And 12 companies — like Bird, Expedia, Sonder, Mondee, and Knotel — have confirmed layoffs,” VentureBeat wrote in their analysis of the data.

They noted that the companies that are still hiring are doing so at a reduced pace because of the economic carnage caused by coronavirus.

“The good news: 111 companies are hiring. But 10% of those still hiring have implemented some kind of hiring freeze, laid off people, or had offers rescinded. That’s likely because hiring only continues for essential roles,” they wrote.

Forbes has published a run-down of all the companies that downsizing due to the economic calamity. They have compiled information from hundreds of employers showing the number of American workers displaced because of the pandemic.

Unemployment filings are at an all-time high, with 6.6 million beleaguered Americans filing for benefits last week. With President Trump recently announcing that he has extended his national stay-at-home recommendations until Apr. 30, the worst economic damage could be yet to come.

Big League Economics

AMERICA FIRST: President Trump Fires Tennessee Valley Authority Chairman After Drive to Fire American Workers, Replace With H-1B’s

America First!

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President Donald Trump announced his intention to fire the CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority on Monday, citing the federally owned company’s recent track record of firing its American workers and seeking to replace them with cheaper, outsourced H-1B visa workers.

The President confirmed that he would secure the resignation of TVA CEO Skip Thompson, either through the federal company’s board, or through his own authority. The TVA is the nation’s largest federally owned corporation, created in Great Depression to provide electrical and public works services to a large region of Appalachia and the American South. TVA’s recent firing of 200 American workers had represented a stark departure from its original mission of providing gainful and useful employment opportunities in what remains one of the poorer regions of the country.

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Thompson had raked in a salary of $8,000,000 dollars a year as the TVA enacted a firing campaign of its own workers, setting off alarms about executive greed within the publicly chartered company’s leadership.

The President made the announcement following a meeting with US Tech Workers, a pro-American worker organization that has been publicizing rampant greed and corrupt hiring practices in corporate America and the technology industry. Tech Workers recently highlighted the TVA’s replacement of its skilled American workforce with H-1B subcontractors, who provide cheaper labor at the cost of a reduced skill set and poorer services.

Tennessee Valley Authority Firing American Workers, Replacing With Cheaper H1B Labor

At the meeting with US Tech Workers, President Trump also signed an executive order punishing greedy outsourcing practices on the part of companies that receive taxpayer dollars through federal contracts. The new executive order entails oversight over federal contractors by the Department of Labor, which will audit companies for illegal H-1B replacement of American workers.

The TVA caved to the federal pressure immediately, making an announcement that the company would be reversing its recent firing of 200 American workers in favor of H1B replacements shortly after the President addressed the issue.

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