JULY 4, 2019  23:44 PDT GC1628 (SAVOY)
John F. Kennedy   35th President of the United States

Joe Biden <>
Peter Johann Wagenleithner

Jul 4 at 7:07 AM

Two hundred and forty-three years ago, our founding fathers lit a torch.

They were fueled by an idea stronger than any army, bigger than any ocean, and more powerful than any dictator.

In this country, we're all bound together in this great experiment of equality and opportunity and decency. Everyone, and I mean everyone,
is in on the deal. We haven't always lived up to this promise, but we've never given up on it. That's why we've been the beacon of hope for
the rest of the world.

That idea has given hope to the most desperate people on Earth. It has instilled in every single person in this country the belief that no
matter where they start in life, there’s nothing they can’t achieve if they work at it.

That idea is America.

And more than two centuries later, we're still carrying the torch passed down by our founders.

We carry that torch around the world, serving in uniform and doing the vital work of diplomacy. We carry it in the laws that we pass, and
with the leaders we elect. We carry it in our daily acts of quiet humanity—in the moments when we choose to hear each other. When we
choose to help each other. When we choose to look past our divisions, fix our eyes on the horizon, and commit to finding a better way, and
doing it together.

That's the America I believe in -- and that's the America I'll never stop fighting for.

Happy Fourth of July. God Bless America, and may God protect our troops.

JULY 5, 2019  12:12 AM PDT GC1628 (SAVOY)
UPDATE: Happy July Fourth Weekend! 5 financial reasons millions of Americans have no reason to celebrate
Today 9:51 AM ET (MarketWatch)

By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch
Not everyone is benefiting from record-low unemployment and a decade-long bull market
The economy is doing great, according to most estimates (
The U.S. economy added 224,000 new jobs in June, more than most analyst forecasts. Analysts polled by MarketWatch
( predicted 170,000 new jobs last month. That continues a long-term period of growth for a
strong labor market or the longest expansion on record ( More good news: Mortgage rates have hit their lowest level this year
But not everyone is A-OK.
The Conference Board's consumer confidence index fell to 121.5 in June from 131.3 in May, the lowest level since September 2017. "Many adults
are financially vulnerable," according to a recent report from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. "In addition, volatile income
and low savings can turn common experiences -- such as waiting a few days for a bank deposit to be available -- into a problem for some." As a
result, people supplement income through gig work and seek financial support from family members.
The rich benefit from a rising stock market. The richest people in the U.S. have increased their share of stock ownership over the last 30 years,
Daan Struyven, senior economist at Goldman Sachs (GS), said recently. "The wealthiest 0.1% and 1% of households now own about 17% and
50% of all household equities, respectively, up from 13% and 39% in the late 1980s," he said.
This gap between the rich and everyone else can be seen in overall stock ownership. Just over half of Americans own stocks, this Gallup report
concluded ( That includes 401(k) plans, shares in an
equity mutual fund and/or an IRA account. Two-thirds of Americans do not even participate in or have access to a 401(k) plan, according to the
U.S. Census Bureau.
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Here are five takeaways:
1.Race: Nearly 80% of Caucasians were at least doing OK financially in 2018 versus 66% of blacks and Hispanics. The gaps in economic
well-being by race and ethnicity have persisted even as overall well-being has improved since 2013, the Board of Governors of the Federal
Reserve System's Sixth Annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking
Adults under the age of 35 were 8.6 percentage points more likely to report a financial hardship
(, echoing
other research that has suggested young adults experience more difficulty staying afloat financially, the Urban Institute, a nonprofit policy group
based in Washington, D.C. Women, black Americans, Hispanics and single adults were also more likely to struggle to make ends meet.
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2.Education: When asked about their finances, 75% of adults say they were either doing OK or living comfortably, up 12 percentage points since
2013, the Fed report concluded. However, adults with a bachelor's degree or higher were significantly more likely to be doing at least okay
( (87%)
than those with a high school degree or less (64%).
Twelve years after entering college during the 2003-2004 academic year, 21% of black student loan borrowers who graduated with a bachelor's
degree defaulted on their debts versus just 18% of white borrowers, according to a January 2018 analysis
( of government
data by Judith Scott-Clayton, a professor of economics and education at Columbia University's Teachers College.
3. Access to credit: Three in 10 adults have family income that varies from month to month
(, while one
in 10 adults have struggled to pay their bills because of monthly changes in income, the Fed said. What's more, people with less access to credit,
most of whom have low credit scores, are also much more likely to report financial hardship due to income volatility.
Approximately 6% of adults do not have a bank account. However, 14% of blacks and 11% of Hispanics were unbanked versus just 4% of whites.
Between one-quarter and one-third of blacks and Hispanics use alternative financial services, such as money orders and check cashing services,
compared to just 11% of whites, the Fed added.
4.Underemployed: Although unemployment fell to a 49-year-low of 3.6% in April from 3.8% in March, nearly a half-million workers also dropped out
of the labor force ( last month, according to data
released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Blacks, Hispanics, and those with less education are less likely to be satisfied with how much they are
working, according to the Fed report.
Unreliable shift work is associated with financial stress. One-quarter of employees have a varying work schedule, including 17% whose schedule
varies based on their employer's needs, the Fed report added. One-third of workers who do not control their schedule are not doing OK financially,
versus one-fifth of workers who set their schedule or have stable hours.
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5. The forgotten people: 40% of Americans struggle to pay for at least one basic need like food or rent, according to a survey of more than 7,600
U.S. adults carried out by the Urban Institute and published just ahead of Labor Day Weekend 2018. Nearly 24% of respondents reported two or
more hardships in 2017 and 14% said they experienced at least three of these.
The Urban Institute tracks individual and family health and financial security at a time when the economy is improving and unemployment is falling,
but said the social safety net for low-income Americans is "undergoing significant changes." Almost two-thirds of families with incomes below the
federal poverty level -- $25,750 for a family of four ( -- had problems meeting these basic needs.
-Quentin Fottrell; 415-439-6400;
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 05, 2019 09:51 ET (13:51 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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