Posts Tagged ‘unemployment’
A small, thriving minority now dominates the national conversation, even as more and more Americans struggle to get by, writes Stuart Stevens.
Today, 21 and a half million Americans are unemployed or underemployed—about twice as many as six years ago, according to NPR. Work-force participation, a fancy term for the number of Americans either working or looking for work, has dropped to “the lowest level since the malaise of the late 1970’s,” an era when far fewer women were working, according to MSNBC.
Yes, the unemployment rate dropped last month—but only because so many people simply gave up looking for work. The dirty little secret is that after only four weeks of not looking for a job, an unemployed worker stops being counted. So far as the jobless numbers are concerned, that person ceases to exist. But, of course, they do exist and continue to be counted in other, troubling statistics:
Read more by Stuart Stevens at TheDailyBeast.com
--SNIP-- Imagine if a Republican like Bush were President, would the media quote the 7.7 percent rate but ignore the underlying numbers of 13.8 percent unemployment among black Americans or 25.1 percent among teens?
Imagine if a white Republican President were presiding over 13.8 percent black unemployment versus 6.8 percent white unemployment, what would Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, (U.S. Senator) Barack Obama and other black leaders be screaming? Would they be leading a “million man march” on Washington, D.C.? Of course they would. Would black leaders blame this all on racism and in particular a racist white Republican President? Of course they would. Would they blame it all on conservative economic policies? Of course they would. Yet with a black President following big-tax, big-spend, big-entitlement, big-government policies, we hear not a word of anger or blame — and, of course, no mention of racism.
Read more at PersonalLiberty.com
The sad truth in the USA, as we explained in great detail here, incentives to ‘work’ are increasingly non-existent. Thanks to a never-ending stream of benefits from the great and powerful Oz, as CNBC’s Rick Santelli notes, Disability payments (of which there are 14 million people covered in the US - none of which count towards the unemployment rate) pay around $13,000 per year (versus $15,000 for minimum wage work). However, Santelli exclaims, the people on disability get healthcare; and this program costs the US $300 billion per year. Is it any wonder that only 1% of those who were on disability in Q1 2011 have left? Santelli comments, “I’m not saying there aren’t people that are on disability that shouldn’t be, but much of it is illnesses like back pain… it’s a judgment call,” adding that, “without incentives, large issues go …totally unfixed.”
Always ask The Magic Question: What gets rewarded?
Sometimes societies just plod along, oblivious that the world is being reinvented right under their noses. In 2000, one never saw pedestrians bumping into themselves as they glued their noses to iPhones. Thirteen years later, it is almost rare to see anyone on the street who is not stumbling about, networking or texting. Yet most of us are scarcely aware of the collective effect of that odd habit repeating itself millions of times over each day, of millions of books not read, of “hellos” not offered, of brains wired to screens rather than the physical world about them. When cars once drifted into your lane, you assumed a DUI; now their drivers are most likely texting.
Cars, of course, look about the same as they did thirty years ago. But we just assume now that they almost never break down. Up until 1980 I used to see them with hoods up by the side of the road almost every five miles or so. Today, entire notions such as points, plugs, tune-ups, and carburetors have simply quietly passed away for most motorists. The old jalopy with 100,000 miles on it was junk; the new Accord with 150,000 miles has another easy 250,000 to go. The world changes while we snore.
Read more by Victor Davis Hanson at PJmedia.com
It’s one of the most fundamental political questions of our time: What’s driving the growth in government spending? And it has a relatively straightforward answer: first and foremost, spending on health care through Medicare and Medicaid, and other major social insurance and entitlement programs.
But I thought it was worth reviewing the evidence in a bit more detail. There are a few surprises along the way, some of which liberal readers might like and others of which will please conservative readers.
The Web site usgovernmentspending.com has an abundance of data on federal, state and local spending at different points in time. My focus will be on how government has been spending its money in the present and the past, rather than evaluating any future budgets or projections.
Read more by NATE SILVER at fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com
If you doubt there’s an American welfare state, you should read the new study by demographer Nicholas Eberstadt, whose blizzard of numbers demonstrates otherwise.
A welfare state transfers income from some people to other people to improve the recipients’ well-being. In 1935, these transfers were less than 3% of the economy; now they’re almost 20%. That’s $7,200 a year for every American, calculates Eberstadt.
He says that nearly 40% of these transfers aim to relieve poverty (through Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and the like), while most of the rest goes to the elderly (mainly through Social Security and Medicare).
Read More by Robert J. Samuelson at IBD
Do elections have consequences? If you have been paying attention to the financial markets, you might think so. Wall Street has had two horrible days since President Obama won a second term.
However, stock prices are not the only thing taking a hit. It appears that the job market is also suffering. In the last 48 hours, the following major corporations have announced layoffs in America (links take you to news stories about the layoffs – with details from the companies):
• Energizer -
Read more at TheBlaze.com
No matter which candidate wins Tuesday, it’s clear the media didn’t just cover this election, they shaped it. To paraphrase Dickens, it was the best of coverage and the worst of coverage.
If you were President Obama, you got the best of coverage and photos of you with halos around your head. Your made-up autobiography and “composite” girlfriend were a blip in the news, your radical positions downplayed and the ongoing failures of your administration – economy, fast and furious, foreign policy in general – were all given short shrift in the major media.
Even your massive failure on Libya where four Americans were killed was somehow “utterly contrived” and CNN’s Candy Crowley covered for you during the debates. Every silly thing your PR people thought up from Big Bird to bayonets to binders received journalistic attention.
Read more by Dan Gainor at Fox News
With digital technology being used for all manner of government distributions, it’s difficult to overtly distinguish between the severity of the Great Depression of the 1930′s and today’s economic crisis.
But just because we don’t see thousands of hungry people lined up for hours at a time at their local soup kitchen today doesn’t mean the lines don’t exist.
Read more by Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com
Obama has been telling the nation tales since his election. In fact, his entire life has been one long story with him as writer, director, producer, and star — you could call it “A Barack Obama Production.”
It’s not that he hasn’t told us stories; it’s that the ones he has told bear little resemblance to reality.
After all the suffering America has experienced while he was busy getting the “policy right,” there is no one left who still believes in Barack’s brilliance. After watching him in two debates sans teleprompter, his reputation as humanity’s greatest orator has evaporated along with his lead in the polls.
From the 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed and the 46 million people now on food stamps, to the decline in workforce participation and the explosion of people on disability, many now realize the fallacy of his reputedly deft decision-making skills. His claim in the last debate of having created 5 million jobs rings hollow to an electorate seeing fewer people working today than when Obama took office.
Yet, the story he insists on telling America is that he saved us.
Read more at American Thinker
As a biographer of Ronald Reagan, I’m constantly asked to compare today’s fiscal/economic situation to what Reagan faced in the 1980s. Today’s record debt/deficits remind of the 1980s, though today’s are far worse, with the deficit at least six times as high—and debt-to-GDP and deficit-to-GDP ratios two and three times (respectively) higher. The current economy is the worst since the early 1980s, with a prolonged non-recovering “recovery” older still. By 1984, the Reagan recovery was not just in bloom but exploding, with dramatically improved unemployment and economic growth six times higher than the current anemic rate, awarding Reagan millions of Democratic votes as he swept 49 of 50 states in his re-election.
But one comparison I haven’t been asked about are today’s homeless levels vs. those under Reagan. That’s a notable omission. One who has noticed is Dr. Tracy Miller, an economist and colleague of mine. Miller recently visited Chicago, where he went to graduate school in the 1980s, and was struck by what he saw. “I couldn’t help but notice the large number of homeless people in the downtown area,” says Miller, “including one homeless man pushing a child in a stroller.”
Miller observes: “Homelessness was frequently discussed during the 1980s, but seems to receive less media attention now. And yet, the number of homeless today is approximately twice as large as it was in the 1980s.”
Read more by Paul Kengor at Townhall.com
In making his case for re-election in the face of historically high unemployment and sluggish growth, President Obama has a simple and straightforward argument.
Things were terrible when I arrived, he says, thanks to Bush-era policies of tax cuts and deregulation. We stopped the decline, but the ditch was so deep that it will take time to get out. Still, we are making progress, even if it isn’t as fast as everyone would like.
So the last thing we want to do is return to the failed Bush policies that, he says, drove us into the ditch.
That argument appears to be working. More people continue to blame Bush than Obama for the current poor state of affairs, and some surveys show that consumer confidence has recently increased.
But each part of Obama’s argument is based on claims that are not accurate:
Read more by JOHN MERLINE at Investors Business Daily
Recently I received an email from a very worried senior citizen. She forwarded a poster to me and asked me, “Can this really be true?” The poster was of Obama saying, “Some people say I’m Stupid. Really? Here’s how stupid I am:
“I was hired by over 69 million voters who didn’t even do a routine background check on me. I’m doing a lousy, stinking job, with a record number of people out of work. I gave guns to Mexican drug gangs, I kill innocent people all over the world with drone strikes, and I decide which laws I’m going to enforce and which ones I won’t.
I’ve doubled the deficit. I’ve ruined our health care system. And yet I still stand an excellent chance of being rehired. That’s how stupid I am. Now, How Stupid Are You?”
That’s a good question because in spite of the fact that this administration failed miserably in not securing our embassies and State personnel on 9/11 before Ambassador Stevens and others were brutally assassinated, poll numbers show Obama leading Romney in swing states.
The media and his sycophants are still covering for this foreign policy disaster. When it was pointed out that Obama hadn’t bothered to attend intelligence briefings, National Security Council spokesman, Tommy Vietor told Marc Thiessen of the Washington Post that Obama didn’t need to because he was “among the most sophisticated consumers of intelligence on the planet.” Oh really?
When the entire Middle East Arab world exploded, President Obama went to Las Vegas in vigorous campaign mode. He fundraised with Beyonce and scheduled David Letterman while refusing to meet with Israeli PM Netanyahu. He expects to be reelected and if he is the answer to my headline’s question is a resounding YES!!!
Read more by Alicia Colon at IrishExaminerUSA.com
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) has made it official: After its latest two day meeting, it announced its goal to devalue the dollar by 33% over the next 20 years. The debauch of the dollar will be even greater if the Fed exceeds its goal of a 2 percent per year increase in the price level.
–SNIP– an increase of 2% a year over a period of 20 years will lead to a 50% increase in the price level. It will take 150 (2032) dollars to purchase the same basket of goods 100 (2012) dollars can buy today. What will be called the “dollar” in 2032 will be worth one-third less (100/150) than what we call a dollar today.
The Fed’s zero interest rate policy accentuates the negative consequences of this steady erosion in the dollar’s buying power by imposing a negative return on short-term bonds and bank deposits. In effect, the Fed has announced a course of action that will steal — there is no better word for it — nearly 10 percent of the value of American’s hard earned savings over the next 4 years.
Read more by Charles Kadlec at Forbes.com