If you thought last winter’s heating costs were bad, you might want to start saving for this coming winter. The National Energy Assistance Directors Association is projecting home heating costs to around $2,600 this winter. That’s more than a $600 increase over last winter. The cost of the average fuel delivery will rise from $500 to $850. The previous winter already saw more households seeking energy assistance at the highest rate since 1992.
By Doug Cunningham
There was a very scary near mid-air collision at JFK International Saturday. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association says FAA policies have forced wage cuts and bad working conditions for controllers, resulting in potentially dangerous staffing shortages at airports nationwide. The union says two jets crossed paths over JFK. One controller told the union it was the ugliest near-miss he’d seen in 24 years.
By Doug Cunningham
All over this country real people are losing real mone yand are in real pain from the housing market crash and mortgage foreclosure crisis. While much of the media focus has been on sub-prime mortgages and bad lending prices, economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research says plummeting home values are really driving this crisis. Baker says the best and most recent data shows home values dropping at a rate of over 25 percent per year in the latest three-month period. Those home prices are expected to continue to fall until well into 2009, reverberating throughout the economy and financial markets. What does this mean for hard working families? It means worse economic times ahead. Baker says the economy has yet to feel the full effects of the loss of housing equity on consumption. Higher interest rates and higher inflation, continued job loss and a weakening dollar will all hurt consumption – the deriving force in the U.S. economy. So, baker says, the economic bad news is just getting started.
The airline industry continues to struggle through the turbulent economy. Jesse Russell reports:
The week started glum enough for the airline industry. American Airlines announced Monday that it would be slashing 7000 jobs or 8-percent of the company’s worldwide workforce. Wednesday the news didn’t get any better when Northwest Airlines announced the company would be losing as many as 2500 jobs or roughly 8.3-percent of the company’s workforce. Many of the jobs that will be slashed at Northwest are white collar jobs that include management positions. The airline plans to start the process with voluntary layoffs. The cuts will likely come in the fourth quarter of this year. Comair announced on Tuesday that it would be grounding 14 planes and letting go of 300 pilots and 220 flight attendants. All three airlines site rising fuel costs as the main reason for the job cuts. Northwest said in a statement that if prices start to come down it will revisit the decision.Economic Report:If you thought last year’s heating costs were bad, you might want to start saving for this coming winter. The National Energy Assistance Director’s Association is projecting home heating costs to be around $2600 this winter, that’s a $600 increase over last winter. The cost of the average fuel delivery will rise from $500 to $850. The previous winter saw more households seeking energy assistance at the highest rate since 1992.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced today he is reopening competition for a fleet of U.S. Air Force refueling tankers. The decision comes three weeks after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) upheld Boeing’s protest of the Air Force’s decision to award the $35 billion contract to European-based EADS, maker of the Airbus, and Northrup.
Gates said he was putting his top acquisition official in charge of the competition. The GAO report cites significant errors by the Air Force that could have affected the outcome of what was a close competition between Boeing and EADS. The agency recommended that the contract be reopened.
The contest kicks off today and runs through Aug. 19. Not only does it give you a chance to vent, but you could also win:
First prize: A week’s free stay at a condo of your choice in one of more than 50 countries. You’ll also get $1,000 toward airfare and other travel/trip expenses.
Second prize: A week’s free stay at a condo of your choice in one of more than 50 countries and $500 toward airfare or other travel/trip expenses.
In the 1950s, the movie monsters and creatures that threatened the American way of life came from black lagoons, outer space and atomic bomb tests. In the 21st century, there’s a real-life threat to the nation and the globe—toxic trade that kills jobs and the environment—and it came from the “free trade” laboratory.
Today, a 20-foot tall “Toxic Trader” monster—gripping a lead-tainted Thomas the Tank Engine in one hand and wearing a necktie of $100 bills—marched through the streets of Washington, D.C. But before he could find refuge at a meeting of Bush administration officials, “free trade” lobbyists and corporate executives whose trade experiments spawned the job-killing, planet-poisoning creature, he was brought to his knees by a trio of chem-suited and caped “Toxic Avengers.”
Struggling homeowners will need Social Security and Medicare now more than ever, according to a new study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). Due to the collapse of the housing market, the vast majority of Americans have accumulated little or no wealth—and so will be almost completely reliant on Social Security and Medicare to support them in their retirement years.
Given how many more of us will be dependent upon these key family programs, it’s too bad that just this week Sen. John McCain called Social Security a “disgrace.” He seems to think it’s a disgrace taxpayers fund Social Security (but apparently it’s OK we taxpayers endlessly fund the Iraq war…).
Frank Snyder, AFL-CIO state director in Pennsylvania, reports on the presidential race.
Early yesterday, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 85 Recording Secretary Mike Harms and shop steward Ted Kielur stood outside the West Mifflin Port Authority Bus Garage near Pittsburgh and distributed worksite leaflets to members as they came into work between 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.
We are leafleting to educate our members about Sen. Barack Obama’s policies that support working families. Working people need to elect someone who will focus on issues that are relevant to them—and Barack Obama is that candidate.