Category Archives: Business and Commerce
Jessica Kennedy and Laura Kray, working out at UCLA Berkeley, are concerned about the underrepresentation of women in business schools and across corporate boardrooms in the US. This is a “problem” that must be “fixed”. Women don’t particularly want to be in biz school or stuck in a boardroom? Men would much rather be there? Too bad.
We need equality, folks! And the only acceptable definition of that term is girl-drones and boy-drones doing the EXACT SAME SHIT AT ALL TIMES EVERYWHERE. Your personal interests or inclinations are irrelevant. You will be assimilated.
Ok, all snarkiness aside, there IS a gender disparity in business, both schools and practice, and whether that is a problem that needs fixing or not, it’s always interesting to explore the reasons behind such disparities. So here is the hypothesis Jessica and Laura were testing:
Women don’t like business because they associate business with immorality and that’s unacceptable to their superior lady ethics.
Only when jobs involved making ethical compromises did women report less interest in the jobs than men. Women’s moral reservations mediated these effects. In Study 3, we found that women implicitly associated business with immorality more than men did.
Let’s start with the basic assumptions underlying the whole study:
Business = immoral
Men = business
Men = immoral
Or, in the alternate:
Women = moral
Woman ≠ business
Business ≠ moral
Either way, we begin with the assumption that WOMEN ARE MORE MORAL than men, and that this morality shows up in their reluctance to dirty their pretty little hands with the ickiness of business decision-making.
Well, the Decalog, Bushido, Mosiac, Buddist and Koranic codes were all written by women, no? Most of our laws and statutes governing morality and ethics were written by women, no? Most of the books and tracts and declarations and treatises on ethics and morality over the long history of our culture were written by women, no?
Oh, oops. No. No they weren’t. Which is not to say the ladies haven’t written some smoking books over the years. Hello, Jane Austen!
But women in general have not concerned themselves overly much with morality and ethics at the universal level. At the personal level? Oh hell yeah. Check out any junior high, anywhere, in any city, any country, anywhere on the planet.
Ladies be calling each other out on morals all the time! But codifying those morals into laws that apply equally to everyone, everywhere? Yeah, not so much.
But okay, let’s accept, just for shits and giggles, that women ARE more moral than men. According to Jessica and Laura, when women are confronted with tough decisions, like whether or not to make a cancer drug that contains a cheaper ingredient that will A) save a lot of people because it’s affordable and accessible; and, B) kill a few people because a cheaper ingredient was used, the ladies are incredibly reluctant to make the decision.
You see, at the end of the day, someone is going to have to make that decision, and when the chips fall, someone will also have to own that decision. A truly brilliant business leader will have the power to make decisions, and always have some starry-eyed lackey to blame afterwards.
Oh, boo hoo! That’s so unfair.
Welcome to life, cupcake. You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.
Here’s another issue that sets the Moral Lady head aspinning: child labor. What if that shitty cancer drug is being made in a factory staffed largely by children? Another decision the ladies DO NOT WANT TO MAKE.
Now, having grown up on a farm where we produced virtually all of our own food, I have a very different take on the issue of child labor. You see, the way food works is that you mix some cow shit and dirt together and plant seeds and then water the little sproutlings and rip out all the bad little sproutlings that aren’t supposed to be there and the sproutlings grow into food and ripen under the sun and then ALL THE FOOD IS READY AT ONCE.
Seriously. It’s true. You have days and days and days with NO TOMATOES and then all the fucking tomatoes turn red on the same day and holy shit, what are we gonna do with all these tomatoes?
Pick them, cook them, puree them, can them.
There was no way my mom and dad could do all that by themselves, so we all pitched in. Yep, we were child laborers. All four of us. And not just us! Every kid in the county! That’s farm life, and although my parents were shitty and violent and stupid, the farming aspect of my childhood was absolutely wonderful. My fondest memories are of churning butter and baking bread and harvesting potatoes and there is nothing quite like the enormous satisfaction of knowing that you are living off the fruits of your own labor. Popping the lid off a jar of tomatoes YOU planted, YOU watered, YOU harvested, YOU cooked, YOU canned – there is nothing quite like it.
There is also nothing quite like a jar that wasn’t perfectly clean when you sealed it. The bacteria grows and grows and grows and then WHAM – the whole fucking jar explodes! Tomato grenade!
Child labor is, and has been, a fact of life for almost all of human history. Our own culture and economy evolved on the backs of child labor. Textile mills and coal pits and tanneries and chimney sweeps. We built our city with the help of kids.
The idea that childhood is a special time of life and that children should be protected from the adult world of production and labor is very, very new. And it doesn’t apply in most of the still developing world. Mr. JB and I spent our first year of married life in a rapidly developing city in China, and we have seen modern child labor up close.
Is it pretty? Not always. Lots of little shops and restaurants are family-owned businesses, and there is no question that the kids help out. While China has a technical “one-child” policy, the reality is that only people with bank accounts and tax returns can effectively be policed vis-à-vis that policy. The truly poor and the truly rich (who can pay the fines) very often have more than one child.
And those children work. Especially since only one of them, in the case of poor folks, can go to school. Is it fair? Nope. But it’s life. And that one kid who makes it through school and college and into the emerging middle class workforce takes the whole family along with him or her. The whole family rises, just as the whole family succeeded in North America, when they all worked together.
It’s the height of hypocrisy for the rich Western world to deny the developing world the same advantages they had while building their own economy. Our economy wouldn’t exist without the tremendous wealth and opportunity provided by agricultural sector. An abundance of FOOD is what made the Western world possible. It is the basis of all our success and it would not have happened without the labor of children.
Let’s go back to the idea that women are more concerned with making moral decisions in the business world. As you can see from Jessica and Laura’s work, women have no problem making decisions. They just don’t like making TOUGH decisions.
So, you’re an executive at a pharmaceutical company and you have a choice to make: produce a low-cost, accessible cancer drug that uses a cheaper ingredient that might actually kill some patients, OR produce a higher cost, less accessible drug that uses a more expensive ingredient, but that is UNLIKELY to kill any patients.
Except for all the patients who couldn’t afford the drug in the first place.
The executive has more than just one set of constraints. His first job is to ensure that the company (and by extension, all the workers) continue to exist. He needs to take care of his people. His second job is to make sure he is earning some PROFITS. That is HOW the company will survive. His third job is to produce a product that is safe, effective and sellable. And he needs to do all that with a pack of competitors snapping at his heels, ready to knock him off the top of the pile and take the lead market position.
It’s a tough call.
And that is where codified morals and ethics and laws come into play. If the FDA has approved the cheaper ingredient, then the executive would be foolish not to use it. If he doesn’t, someone else will. And that cheaper, more accessible drug will kick his more “ethical” drug onto the dirtpile of failed enterprise.
He will be out of a job and so will all his workers.
Sooner or later, someone will notice that, oh shit, that cheaper ingredient is actually KILLLING people, and the FDA will rescind its approval. Now EVERYONE has to use the more expensive ingredient. The playing field is levelled.
That’s how it works.
But knowing the rules of the game doesn’t make the game any easier to play. There is a distinct possibility that the executive will be held responsible for choosing the cheaper ingredient when he KNEW it could be lethal for some patients. He might have to face some music for that decision, and that’s where the ladies quaver.
Laura and Jessica aren’t terribly interested in the consequences of valuing morality and ethics more highly than good business decisions that keep people in their jobs and our whole society moving forward. Not surprising for some ivory tower eggheads who have probably never done a real day’s work in their lives. They would like to see some ethics training put into place, so that lady executives, when confronting the above situation, can actually refuse to use the cheaper ingredient.
And in doing so, run the risk that they destroy the whole business. Good plan.
But at least you won’t have to own your decision.
One promising conclusion from this research is that if more women do enter the business world, standards of ethics may evolve. “We need to see more women at the top,” Kray says. “I think that will change the culture of corporate America.”
Oh, you got that right. It will tie the hands of corporate North America. Boardrooms stuffed with chicken-shit ladies too afraid to make tough decisions and take responsibility for rational actions carried out in a context that has mechanisms to ensure, over time, that better and better decisions are made.
But hey, let’s not let the world’s most successful society and economy, the one that has delivered untold riches to the entire planet, keep on trucking. Let’s make everything pleasant and kind and fair and maybe put some special troughs out in the parking lot to feed our unicorns their sparkle dust.
Just be careful not to step in a big steaming pile of unicorn shit on your way to the corner office ladies.
Your superior moral decisions already stink. No need to make it worse.
Lots of love,
JB at Judgy Bitch: http://judgybitch.com/
As originally posted on: FSK’s Guide to Reality
September 13, 2007
I’ve been reading a bit about the philosophy of agorism, and it seems attractive to me.
The philosophy can be summarized in one sentence: “I want to do useful work, get paid, and not have to report it for taxation, confiscation, and regulation.”
Let’s start with a specific example. Suppose you don’t like the US government’s policy of aggressive wars in Iraq and other countries. You can vote, but voting is ineffective due to various corruptions in the system. The income tax means that the government confiscates 50%-95% or more of everything I produce. Productive work supports the government, even if I disapprove of its activities. I am unable to do any useful economic activity without supporting things I find objectionable.
The government’s policy is completely ridiculous. Citizens may not perform work without reporting it for taxation, confiscation, and regulation. I object to that requirement.
The fundamental goal of an agorist revolution is the creation of wealth that the red market can’t confiscate. This is the only type of revolution that has a legitimate chance of succeeding, because the participants would be profiting and undermining the government at the same time. The red market derives its power by leeching wealth. Creating unconfiscatable wealth undermines the red market’s power.
Currently, the only type of grey market work available is low-paid unskilled labor. The agorist wants to create a grey market for highly-skilled, high-paid labor.
The agorist says that all governments are inherently illegitimate. A government is merely a group of people conspiring to take away my property and my rights. Government employees benefit handsomely from this arrangement, because the salaries and pensions they receive are higher than they would get in the private sector. The people who control large corporations benefit from this arrangement, because their market position is frequently endorsed by the government and its regulations. Wealthy campaign donors love the government-granted perks they get. The Federal Reserve’s policy of inflation benefits the financial industry at the expense of everyone else. Government is merely a group of people conspiring to confiscate the wealth of the productive part of society.
The agorist says that all the functions of government could be more effectively performed by the free market. You can have a private justice system. You can have a private police force. Everyone knows that government is up for sale, manipulated by the wealthy. Why not do away with the pretense completely? Let’s privatize everything.
Why should the government have a monopoly on violence and justice?
For example, instead of paying a 50% income tax, maybe I can pay 2%, or even a fixed fee, to a private police force who will insure my property is protected. The police force would utilize a private justice system, to make sure that they don’t use force needlessly. If two people have a conflict and are subscribing to different police forces, then the incentive is for the businesses to resolve the dispute peacefully rather than violently. If a private police force was misbehaving, then it would be perfectly acceptable for people to start seeking alternate vendors. Some people might pay for protection by several police forces simultaneously, to prevent monopolies from forming.
Suppose there’s no intrinsic legitimacy given to the government. It’s perfectly legitimate to use force to defend yourself, if someone attempts to confiscate your property. Imagine what would happen if tax collectors were met with armed resistance from everyone? What would happen if everyone ceased voluntary compliance with the taxation system?
Right now, the vast majority of people are compliant with the taxation system. That means that red market workers can afford to expend vast resources tracking down violators. It needs to make sure that violators are caught so that the penalty for tax avoidance makes the risk unattractive. However, with taxation rates of 50%-95% or more, tax avoidance starts to be attractive, if it can be done with relatively low risk. I’m not just counting direct noticeable taxes. There are hidden taxes and regulations, which also cost money.
What’s the real risk of getting caught? It’s hard to say. You only hear about the people who got caught. The people who get away with it don’t come forward and admit it, do they? There’s no source of reliable statistics, so you can’t quantify the risk.
How would you make the transition to an agorist economy? There is a problem, because people aren’t going to want to give up their government-granted perks. They are going to resist change as much as they can. People are reluctant to avoid paying taxes and following government rules. However, if there’s a profit to be made, people might be convinced.
The key is to develop a system that allows people to perform productive economic activity without reporting it for taxation and confiscation. The Internet is a useful tool for this, because it would allow people to share information efficiently. It wouldn’t be too hard to write software that would facilitate an agorist economy.
The standard financial system is designed to frustrate attempts to perform economic activity without reporting it for confiscation. Transactions larger than $10,000 must be reported to the government. Repeated small transactions are also reportable. Besides, who wants to trade with worthless paper money? An alternate financial system would need to be developed. This way, transactions can be performed without reporting them to the government. People could still settle transactions with paper money or silver or gold, if they really wanted to. I think the Social Credit Monetary System is the best solution.
Whatever system is developed would need to be as decentralized as possible. As much as possible, information should NOT be stored on a centralized server. A centralized server represents an attack point. As much as possible, communications should be encrypted.
Actually, some information needs to be public. A database listing who trusted whom would need to be public and shared to be useful. On the other hand, maybe a trust database should be private, because it would represent a list of people for red market agents to harass. All transaction records should be private. Ideally, transaction records should be destroyed when completed, so red market agents can’t confiscate them.
There would be an important check that ensures people follow the rules. Just like in the BitTorrent economy, any user who misbehaves would be banned and denied a valuable resource. New users would be admitted only if another user vouched for their trustworthiness. The distributed nature would make it hard to shut it down, even if spies did infiltrate it.
Suppose there was an effective system for facilitating productive work without reporting it for taxation. With such high confiscatory taxation rates, there would be a huge incentive for people to work under such a system. The goal would be to avoid government detection as much as possible. As more productive people started working in this grey market economy, the power of government would decrease.
If the system was sufficiently distributed, there would be low risk even if you got caught. Red market agents might find out about some of your transactions, but not all of them. You could pay back taxes and fines on some of the transactions, and still come out ahead overall.
An agorist grey-market economy would also benefit because it could avoid compliance with all government regulations. It would not need to spend productive effort on regulation compliance. Its only wasted effort would be that spent avoiding detection by red market enforcers.
Ideally, an agorist economy could offer lower prices and higher wages, compared to the white market or pink market. The ability to avoid taxation and regulation should cut expenses by 50% to 95% or more.
Some pink market practitioners have their salaries artificially raised by the red market. For example, doctors need to waste a lot of money on education and spend years training. The supply of doctors is restricted by the red market. A license is required to practice medicine. A grey market doctor would not need the licensing requirement. He would only need to spend a year or two learning what is really needed to help his patients. An agorist doctor would not earn as much as a pink market doctor, but he would save the hassle of years of medical school and a residency. An agorist doctor would not have to deal with HMOs, Medicare, and insurance companies. The free market would help people decide which doctors are good and which are no good; people will share information about their experiences. Currently, the supply of doctors is artificially restricted, so there’s no mechanism for incompetent doctors to be removed from the market. The agorist doctor won’t get busted for “practicing medicine without a license” if his customers don’t turn him in to the red market. Besides, patients can always go to a pink market hospital if they have a problem their agorist doctor can’t handle. Eventually, the agorist hospitals would be better than the pink market hospitals.
Switching to a grey market agorist economy might be necessary for survival. A hyperinflationary crash of the dollar could happen at any time. A substantial amount of untaxed economic activity would facilitate such a collapse.
It probably is not possible for a person to satisfy all their needs in the grey market. However, the larger percentage of their economic activity that they can hide, the more they will benefit. If someone operated both a white-market business and a grey-market business, that would facilitate concealing their grey-market activities. On the other hand, you might be better off not having any official business at all. The IRS frequently cracks down on small business owners; registering yourself as a business owner might just be making yourself a target.
The red market derives its power solely by leeching off the productive members of society. Without them to push around, its power would rapidly collapse.
An agorist revolution has a legitimate chance of succeeding. The agorist market participants would be profiting from their activity. They would be undermining the government and making a profit at the same time. They would profit more than white market participants, because they would be unencumbered by taxes, inflation, and regulations. In that sense, once an agorist movement gets started, it would be self-sustaining. With a leaderless organization structure, it could not be easily shut down by infiltration or force. The agorist needs tools for effective operation, plus a certain number of participants.
An agorist revolution would probably be a peaceful one. Agorist market participants can hide their activity. They would appear to be normal, productive, nonviolent citizens. Agorist market participants would tend to resolve their differences peacefully, both to avoid the attention of red market enforcers, and because non-initiation of violence is part of the philosophy. By the time the agorist economy is large enough to be noticed by red market enforcers, it would have viable systems for competing and replacing government institutions. The agorist market would step in smoothly as the government loses power. The violence would come from red market participants, trying to crack down to preserve their position. However, a large number of red market workers might simultaneously be employed by agorist protection agencies. Typically, corporations infiltrate government by subverting Congress and the President. An agorist movement would infiltrate government by subverting the low-level line workers.
An agorist revolution, once started, would be self-sustaining. The participants would be profiting from their actions.
A lot of websites I read are philosophizing and speculating. I am ready to start writing tools and start using them. I would like to be a participant in an agorist economy, if only I knew other people to trade with! My primary skill is writing software. That’s the skill I’d be offering in trade. Initially, I’ll just write the code I think is needed and release it into the public domain.
Summarizing, I want to do productive work, get paid for it, and not have to report it for taxation and confiscation.
Posted by Leslie Eastman Monday, March 4, 2013 at 8:30am
Back in the early 2000′s, the Enron scandal lead to California’s rolling blackouts.
As a result, as an environmental health and safety specialist, I began including information on handing power outages into company safety manuals.
Now, thanks to “Green Energy”, it looks like I am going to have to revamp those sections. Wayne Lusvardi of Cal Watchdog has the details:
At a special meeting of California energy companies and regulators held Feb. 26, Todd Strauss of Pacific Gas & Electric saw the possibility of state power blackouts emerging in 2013 to 2015. The reason is that it has suddenly dawned on state power regulators that green power has resulted in a precarious lack of system flexibility in the state’s power grid.
Said Steve Berberich, the head of the California Independent System Operator, “The problem is we have a system now that needs flexibility, not capacity.”
The blackouts during the the California electricity crisis of 2000-01 were caused by a lack of sufficient energy capacity. But now, what experts at Feb. 26 meeting agreed is that any future state energy crisis likely will come from lack of system flexibility. The diminishing flexibility is a result of the state’s 2011 mandate, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, that 33 percent of all energy must be from green power sources by 2020.
Lusvardi discusses what a loss of system flexibility means to California’s energy grid:
What flexibility means is the need for more power plants with the capability to ramp power up or down quickly to respond to vacillations in green power when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. Coal power plants cannot typically respond fast enough to provide backup power. So this means that greater reliance on natural gas-fired power plants.
The future problem for California is that it does not have the right mix of types of power plants and new environmental regulations are forcing either closure or expensive upgrades to its coastal power plants that rely on ocean water for cooling steam generators.
And since the green-backed politicos in this state frown upon “brown energy”, solutions that enhance flexibility are unlikely to be implemented.
However, this is not the only area in which “green energy” has failed to perform. In his 5-part series on “California in Crisis“, Washington Examiner Senior Editorial Writer Conn Carrol notes that the green industry has been a jobs bust.
But all these new green energy programs must at least be creating thousands of new green jobs,…
From Legal Insurrection: http://legalinsurrection.com/
National Black Chamber of Commerce CEO: Obama policies are “borderline Communist”
By: John Hayward
2/27/2013 10:19 AM
Alford attributes Obama’s early appeal to charisma and, frankly, a good deal of racial solidarity, with voters from various minority groups seeing Obama as an avatar of their own hopes and dreams. He sees that appeal as naive after watching Obama campaign incessantly for years, while allowing the national economy to lie fallow, or imposing his agenda at a steep cost to our general prosperity.
“He’s spending, spending, spending,” said Alford. ”That’s the problem. He wants to tax, tax, tax… yet the irony of it is, he dogs successful people, he says they’re bad, rich is evil. But yet he’s courting the rich on his knees, to come and give him some money, so he can use it for whatever reason, I don’t know. He’s turned out… I don’t know what he’s planning for us.”
Alford compared Obama’s overwhelming support from the black community to the unconditional support a troubled family member might receive from parents and siblings… support which enables continued bad behavior. ”We gotta wake up, slap ourselves and wake up,” he said. ”This is America, and everybody is involved in this. If our children are hurting, it’s our responsibility to find someone who understands that pain – ‘feels it,’ like Bill Clinton would say. This guy doesn’t feel it. In fact, he issues a lot of that pain, with a smile.”
He understands that phrases like “borderline Communist” are heavily freighted, but stands by his use of the term. ”It’s so anti-capitalistic, this distribution of wealth,” Alford explained. ”That, to me, that says it all. He wants to re-distribute wealth, take money that was honestly earned by people who struggled, and suffered, and paid the price to win that money… he wants to take it from them, and give it to people who don’t have to do a thing. It’s the will of the State to oversee everyone.” Just for good measure, he went on to compare the Obama-friendly American media to Soviet propaganda.
While certainly contentious – one cannot deploy worlds like “communist” without setting off some fireworks – it is useful to consider the current conflict in terms of capitalism versus its adversaries. Obama-style government presents itself as a modification of capitalism – it’s more fair, equitable, compassionate, smarter, etc. but he would dispute Alford’s accusation that he has turned against it. But how much can the pure, practical expression of liberty be “modified” before it’s not really capitalism any more? And what are the proper terms for the ideologies historically aligned against it?
Alford concluded by deriding the supposedly agonizing 2.3 percent sequestration spending cuts as “peanuts,” noting that private-sector CEOs would be delighted if the worst thing they had to confront was such a tiny budget cut. Of course, that’s not the worst thing our unsustainable federal government must confront; they’re only acting like it is. And if they choke on the peanuts, they’ll never be able to handle the main course of fiscal restraint.
The Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says it should be a federal crime to refuse to hire ex-convicts – and threatens to sue businesses that don’t employ criminals.
In April the EEOC unveiled its “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records,” which declares that “criminal record exclusions have a disparate impact based on race and national origin.”
The impetus for this “guidance” is that black men are nearly seven times more likely than white men to serve time in prison, and therefore refusals to hire convicts disproportionally impact blacks, according to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece by James Bovard, a libertarian author and lecturer whose books include “Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen.”
Most businesses perform background checks on potential employees, but the EEOC frowns on these checks and “creates legal tripwires that could spark federal lawsuits,” Bovard observes.
An EEOC commissioner who opposed the new policy, Constance Baker, said in April that the new guidelines will scare businesses from conducting background checks.
Reason: If a check does disclose a criminal offense, the EEOC expects a firm to do an “individual assessment” that will have to prove that the company has a “business necessity” not to hire the ex-convict. If the firm does not do the intricate assessment, it could be found guilty of “race discrimination” if it hires a law-abiding applicant over one with convictions.
Bovard points out that the “biggest bombshell” in the new guidelines is that businesses complying with state or local laws requiring background checks can still be sued by the EEOC.
That came to light when the EEOC took action against G4S Secure Solutions, which provides guards for nuclear power plants and other sensitive sites, for refusing to hire a twice-convicted thief as a security guard – even though Pennsylvania state law forbids hiring people with felony convictions as security officers.
Bovard quotes Todd McCracken of the National Small Business Association: “State and federal courts will allow potentially devastating tort lawsuits against businesses that hire felons who commit crimes at the workplace or in customers’ homes. Yet the EEOC is threatening to launch lawsuits if they do not hire those same felons.”
Bovard concludes: “Americans can treat ex-offenders humanely without giving them legal advantages over similar individuals without criminal records.”
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
WASHINGTON (BHN) – President Obama’s State of the Union speech is being credited with causing a large number of suicides across the country last night.
Authorities believe many Americans were anxiously looking forward to the President’s plans for reversing the nation’s almost-inevitable economic collapse, only to hear his strategy is the same as his first term’s – spending huge amounts of borrowed money on worthless “green” and temporary infrastructure projects.
In addition, proposed tax increases on business owners combined with raising the minimum wage and the implementation of Obamacare virtually guarantee depressed corporate growth and continued high unemployment for the foreseeable future – apparently too much for some to bear.
Most of the deceased were business owners.
From Big Hairy News: http://peacemoonbeam.typepad.com/bighairynews/
THE ECONOMY IS SO BAD:
I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.
I ordered a burger at McDonald’s and the kid behind the counter
asked,”Can you afford fries with that?”
CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.
If the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call
them and ask if they meant you or them.
Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.
McDonald’s is selling the 1/4 ouncer.
Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their
A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico .
Dick Cheney took his stockbroker hunting.
Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore.
The Mafia is laying off judges.
Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.
Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madof scandal. Oh
Great! The guy who made $50 Billion disappear is being investigated by
the people who made $1.5 Trillion disappear!
I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy,
wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I
called the Suicide Lifeline. I got a call center in Pakistan and when I
told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could
drive a truck.
Found this at Tea Party Community: https://www.teapartycommunity.com/
Obama Wants More Snow
A winter storm of epic proportions has pounded the northeast. The president’s solution: make it colder. That’s the message he sent during his second inaugural speech, and it’s what we’re going to hear in the State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Not that the president’s climate change proposals will actually work. Closing down a few coal-powered plants is not going to alter global temperatures. But it will please the environmental lobby and bring in contributions in advance of the 2014 congressional elections, which is more or less the point.
If the White House could alter the climate, the 2013 supersnow would argue for making it warmer, not colder. The storm has killed at least four, shut down commerce in four states, and wrought havoc on air travel nationwide.
The recent cold spell in the eastern U.S. has been accompanied by record cold in China, Europe, and other regions. Obviously, the earth’s climate is not getting dramatically warmer, as climate alarmists claim. While it is generally acknowledged that global temperatures have risen since 1850, more recent temperature readings have been less clear-cut, and future readings are unpredictable. In the centuries-long period before 1850 known as the Little Ice Age, global temperatures were the coldest in millennia.
The next century may well revert to that pattern of cooling — a prospect not to be desired. On balance, periods of climate cooling result in devastating crop failures, higher death rates, and lower standards of living. Warming, on the other hand, produces bumper crop yields, economic growth, improved health, and greater prosperity — especially for the world’s poor.
President Obama has never shown much concern for the world’s poor. Unlike President Bush, whose Millennium Project brought a measure of reform to developing nations, Obama has been willing to meet “without preconditions” with any corrupt tyrant, anytime and anywhere. The result has been no improvement in living standards or human rights among the world’s poorest citizens. Obama is more interested in rewarding green energy investors who just happen to be major contributors to the Democratic Party than he is in relieving suffering among the poor.
The president’s climate change policies certainly don’t do much for anyone, poor or not. After the failure of Solyndra and many other government-funded green energy companies, one would have thought that Obama had learned his lesson. But his second inaugural proposal was to double down on green energy — that is to say, continue shoveling out tens of billions of dollars to wealthy investors in exchange for campaign contributions. Even with continuing trillion-dollar deficits, Obama insists that government does “not have a spending problem.” A trillion dollars is nothing to this president as long as he can wring a billion dollars of contributions out of it.
The fact that all of this spending comes at the expense of ordinary Americans seems not to matter. At a point in the economic cycle when the economy should be expanding by more than 4%, estimates of GDP growth for 2013 are coming in at 2% or less. That lack of growth, and the lack of job-creation that accompanies it, has devastated working Americans. Proposed EPA regulations of existing coal-powered plants will, if implemented, result in a tax on all Americans, but one that disproportionately affects the poor and middle class. The same thing can be said for Obama’s radical plans to raise CAFE standards on passenger vehicles. Likewise for EPA regulation of oil and gas drilling and all the other misguided climate-related policies coming out of this administration. Ordinary citizens are paying a tax equal to 25% of their income — the effect of compounding wage losses of 3% annually over eight years of the Obama administration — just to fund the president’s green energy pay-to-play schemes.
The effect on the world’s poor is even greater. It is, in fact, a matter of life and death. Obama’s continuing support for corn ethanol mandates has raised global grain prices beyond what the world’s poorest citizens can afford. Quite literally, Obama has caused billions of poor people to go to bed hungry each night and millions to starve. Ironically, America’s first African-American president would rather collect cash contributions from the green energy lobby than save the life of a child starving in east Africa.
Global hunger is already a crisis, but if Obama really could lower global temperatures, as he claims to be able to do, hunger would become a catastrophe, and not just in east Africa. Fortunately, nothing any politician can do will change the course of the earth’s climate. Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t see this, or he doesn’t want to see it. And his actions are going to cause great harm, especially to the poor the world over.
What is truly disturbing is this president’s callousness toward the poor. One stroke of the pen could eliminate corn ethanol mandates, end biofuel boondoggles, and block EPA regulation of fossil fuels. As a result, the U.S. economy — and the global economy with it — would flourish, creating new wealth that would spread not just among America’s people, but among human beings everywhere.
Real reform of this kind would lower food and fuel costs globally, thereby relieving suffering for the world’s poor. Obama’s proposal to double down on green energy, on the other hand, will drive food and fuel costs even higher. Tens of millions of desperate human beings will die as a result of the president’s policies, and billions will suffer the agony of unending hunger. Does the president even care? Not as long as donations keep rolling in.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books on American culture, including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).
From American Thinker
Nothing to see here folks, totally sustainable.
(CNSNews.com) – According to projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), entitlements and ObamaCare spending will comprise 53 percent of all federal spending over the coming decade, totaling $24.9 trillion.
In its updated Budget and Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday, the CBO projects that Social Security will account for $11.149 trillion in spending from 2014 to 2023 while federal health care entitlements, including Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare, will spend $13.85 trillion. (That total includes TRICARE, CHIP, and “other” spending listed by the CBO under healthcare.)
ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies, exchange costs, and other spending are expected to cost the government $949 billion over the next 10 years. Medicare is expected cost $8.1 trillion while Medicaid is expected to cost $4.4 trillion.
Combined, these two entitlement categories (Social Security and all health care programs) will comprise 52.9 percent of the projected $47.2 trillion in total federal outlays from 2014 to 2023.
From Weasel Zippers: http://weaselzippers.us/
Prepare to be infuriated!
After a long legal battle Morningland Dairy in Missouri was raided by the government and their property destroyed this week.
On January 25, 2013, Morningland Dairy in Missouri was raided and over 36 tons of personal property was confiscated by the Missouri State Milk Board. In operation for over 30 years, Morningland Dairy has never received one complaint from a customer or any illness reported as a result of consuming their product.
Will your business be next?
From the video: Moriningland Dairy, a family business that has been in operation for over 30 years without a single complaint or report of any illness has ceased today. The over two year battle they’ve had with the Missouri Milk Board ended today with a raid and confiscation of over 250 thousand dollars of inventory seized by the state. As a result of the legal stipulations put on Morningland Dairy which are impossible to comply with they will no longer be able to produce their product.
The real crime they are being persecuted for is producing cheese with raw milk. Whether the state wants to admit it or not that is what their real charge is and that in itself is criminal.
This should be the shot heard ’round the rural world. What has been done to this family is a travesty of justice. Their livelihood has been destroyed. These are good people who ran an honest business. How much more tyranny will we tolerate before we tell the state, Enough!
Truth Farmer has more.
And, here’s another video of the raid.
More… Here are the contact numbers for the Missouri State Milk Board Staff.
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
By Alan Caruba
The Milledgeville area plant closing will cost more than 200 jobs. (The Telegraph)
A Georgia utilities company is closing 15 coal, oil and gas plants thanks to the latest Obama EPA regulations.
Georgia Power said on Monday it plans to seek approval from Georgia regulators to retire 15 coal-, oil- and natural gas-fired power plants in the state totaling 2,061 megawatts (MW) due primarily to the high cost of meeting stricter federal environmental regulations.
Over the past few years, U.S. generating companies have announced plans to shut about 40,000 MW of older coal-fired power plants as low natural gas prices have made it uneconomic for the generators to spend millions to upgrade the plants’ emissions systems to meet the latest federal and state environmental rules.
In a press release, Georgia Power, the biggest unit of U.S. power company Southern Co, said it wanted to shut units 3 and 4 at Plant Branch in Putnam County; units 1-5 at Plant Yates in Coweta County; units 1 and 2 at Plant McManus in Glynn County; units 1-4 at Plant Kraft in Chatham County; and units 2 and 3 at Boulevard in Chatham County.
The company said it plans to file its updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with Georgia’s utility regulators on Jan. 31.
Units 3-4 at Branch, units 1-5 at Yates and units 1-3 at Kraft are coal-fired units. Kraft Unit 4 and Boulevard 2 and 3 are fired by natural gas and oil. McManus units 1-2 are oil-fired.
The company said it expects to ask to retire the units, other than Kraft 1-4, by the April 16, 2015, effective date of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule.
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
From Theo: http://www.theospark.net/
Victory is ours.
(WaPo) — At a news conference at the George W. Romney Building steps away from the state Capitol, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) announced that he’d signed the contentious right-to-work measures that have sparked protests in the state.
Before dozens of reporters assembled inside a conference room on the building’s second floor, Snyder defended his move as one that would lead to ”more jobs coming to Michigan.”
The two bills bar unions from making contracts that require employees to pay labor dues. One bill dealt with public sector unions, exempting firefighters and police officers. The other covered the private sector.
“I view this as simply trying to get this issue behind us,” Snyder said of his decision to sign the measures the day they were passed. “And I recognize that people are going to be upset. There’ll be a continuation. But hopefully what’s really going to transpire over time is you’re going to see workers making a choice and you’ll see unions being held more accountable and responsive.”
Outside the building, while the news conference was underway, some few dozen protesters were still chanting in the frigid evening air. A few yelled out, “F*** Snyder!” Some held signs reading, “Right to work? For less!” and “I’ve got a bone to pick with a dirty rat named Rick.”
From Weasel Zippers: http://weaselzippers.us/
A state that has been economically crippled by unions for years finally puts up some resistance:
The Michigan Legislature gave final approval Tuesday to a bitterly contested right-to-work plan limiting the power of unions, a devastating and once unthinkable defeat for organized labor in a state considered a cradle of the movement.
Unswayed by Democrats’ pleas and thousands of protesters inside and outside the state Capitol, the House approved two final bills, sending them on to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. One dealt with private sector workers, the other with government employees.
Unions will no longer be able to force those who want no part of them to pay dues as a condition of employment.
Neither unions nor the party that represents them was likely to take this challenge to their power lying down. Before the vote, Democrat State representative Douglas Geiss snarled,
“There will be blood, there will be repercussions.”
A tent set up on the lawn of the Michigan State Capitol by Americans for Prosperity was attacked by union thugs and torn to the ground. Steven Crowder was on hand to receive a death threat following this sucker punch:
Obama himself weighed in, appearing near Detroit to denounce the concept of having a right to work without interference from the unions that helped him to power and that have bled Michigan nearly dry.
This video will be familiar to history students from the Russia of 1917 and the Germany of the 1930s:
Our country didn’t use to be like this.
If you are glad that we now need to live in fear of vicious, knuckle-dragging union goons, thank those who voted for their leader, Barack Hussein Obama. At some level, all of them had to know that this is what they were voting for.
On tips from Steven Crowder, Artfldgr, The MaryHunter, Ghost of FA Hayek, and Bill T.
Unbelievable: Obama NLRB Sues Nursing Home To Reinstate SEIU Union Workers Who Sabotaged Patients Records Before They Went On Strike…
In a sane world these people should have been arrested for putting patients lives in imminent danger, but in Obamaland the government is suing to get their jobs back.
Via Washington Examiner:
President Obama’s National Labor Relations Board asked a judge this week to force a Connecticut nursing home to re-hire employees involved in a labor dispute, including the workers who sabotaged patient homes as they went on strike.
The Service Employees International Union members who worked at HealthBridge went on strike after rejecting the company’s final offer in contract negotiations. HealthBridge cut benefits, pensions, and raises wages 2.2 percent. [...]
That includes the union members who committed acts of sabotage on the way out the door which exploited the weakness of the Alzheimer’s patients in the nursing home in order to make it more difficult for those patients to receive care from the replacement workers. As The Washington Examiner previously noted:
The director of the facility in Newington, Conn., told police that “the name tags on the patients’ doors for the Alzheimer’s ward were mixed up. The photos attached to the medical records for these patients were removed, further complicating, but not making impossible, the identification of the patients. Also, dietary blue stickers affixed to the door name tags were removed.” Some medical equipment also went missing.
From Weasel Zippers: http://weaselzippers.us/
Hostess’s owners have decided to liquidate rather than ride out a nationwide strike by one of the largest of its dozen unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. The Texas-based company owned by the private-equity shop Ripplewood Holdings and other hedge funds essentially gave up. On Friday it shut down its 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers and prepared to fire nearly 18,500 employees en masse and auction off its brand and recipe portfolio.
Hostess posted sales of $2.5 billion in 2011 but lost $341 million and lacked the cash flow to hold out through the bakers union work stoppage that had only lost a few days of production so far. One reason is a labor-rule burden that by comparison makes Detroit look like Hong Kong.
The snack giant endured $52 million in workers’ comp claims in 2011, according to its bankruptcy filing this January. Hostess’s 372 collective-bargaining agreements required the company to maintain 80 different health and benefit plans, 40 pension plans and mandated a $31 million increase in wages and health care and other benefits for 2012.
Union work rules usually required cake and bread products to be delivered to a single retail location using two separate trucks. Drivers weren’t allowed to load their own vehicles, and the workers who loaded bread weren’t allowed to load cake. On most delivery routes, another “pull up” employee moved products from back rooms to shelves.
This year management negotiated concessions from some of the unions, including the Teamsters, but the bakers rejected a last and best offer in September. Then the courts gave Hostess unilateral authority to modify collective-bargaining contracts, prompting the strike. So now it will liquidate, instead of attempting to emerge from Chapter 11 intact.
The 18,500 layoffs are equal to about 11% of the net new jobs the entire U.S. economy created in October. The unions are blaming private equity, or Bain Capital, or capitalism, but the election is over. And so is Hostess.
From American Power Blog: http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/
Part of his “all of the above” energy strategy?
Via E2 Wire:
The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.
The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.
The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight.
Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.
Under the plan, 677,000 acres in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming would be open for oil shale exploration. Another 130,000 acres in Utah would be set aside for tar sands production.
Oil shale development is not to be confused with drilling into shale formations for oil and natural gas. The practice, which involves separating hydrocarbons bound up in rocks, has not been widely executed since Exxon’s failed Colorado venture in the 1980s.
Bobby McEnaney, senior lands analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, praised Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for the proposed final plan.
“By significantly reducing the acreage of wilderness potentially available for leasing, Secretary Salazar is laying out a creative, thoughtful and more responsible approach in managing some of our most precious resources,” McEnaney said in a Friday statement.
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
Miserable Economic Conditions Will Lead to Dependency, Envy, Strife, and Death – The Liberal Formula Being Carried Out in America
The objective of liberal politics is to induce the Democrat Death Spiral, a vicious cycle by which miserable economic conditions lead to government dependency and class envy, leading to Democrat electoral victories, leading to higher taxes and crippling regulations, leading to still more miserable economic conditions. Once the Democrat Death Spiral has been initiated, the more damage left-wing bureaucrats inflict on the economy, the more certain they are of reelection.
Detroit entered the Democrat Death Spiral decades ago. As a result of the city’s utter wretchedness, the Democrats who inflicted it receive upwards of 90% of the vote. There is no possibility of Democrats losing control, or of the city ever regaining its lost greatness.
California officially entered the Democrat Death Spiral when it brought back Jerry Brown despite a desperate economic situation that urgently required the state to turn away from Governor Moonbeam’s brand of profligate liberalism. In effect, the state committed suicide out of sheer moonbattery. Its prospects are no better than Detroit’s.
The United States of America officially entered the Democrat Death Spiral on November 6, 2012. Obama was not reelected despite the awful state of the economy under his rule but because of it. The more of a mess Obama makes, the more his Marxist rhetoric will resonate, the tighter the grip Democrats will have on America’s throat. This is why Obama will not lift a finger to improve the economic situation, but rather will deliberately worsen it by using taxation to drive up unemployment.
From here forward, the worse it gets, the worse it will get. Unless a way is found to reverse the cycle by removing liberals from power, each day will be the best day of the rest of America’s existence.
Be sure to thank the next liberal you see.
“If somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can – it’s just that it will bankrupt them” – Barack Obama
Via Washington Examiner:
President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has devoted an unprecedented number of bureaucrats to finalizing new anti-coal regulations that are set to be released at the end of November, according to a source inside the EPA.
More than 50 EPA staff are now crashing to finish greenhouse gas emission standards that would essentially ban all construction of new coal-fired power plants. Never before have so many EPA resources been devoted to a single regulation. The independent and non-partisan Manhattan Institute estimates that the EPA’s greenhouse gas coal regulation will cost the U.S. economy $700 billion.
The rush is a major sign of panic by environmentalists inside the Obama administration. If Obama wins, the EPA would have another four full years to implement their anti-fossil fuel agenda. But if Romney wins, regulators will have a very narrow window to enact a select few costly regulations that would then be very hard for a President Romney to undo.
From Weasel Zippers:
Via Daily Caller:
Just one day after President Obama went on television saying that politics had nothing to do with the now bankrupt Abound Solar receiving a taxpayer-backed loan guarantee from the Energy Department, emails have surfaced that contradict these claims and suggest White House involvement in the company receiving the loan.
“And these are decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics,” President Obama told KUSA’s Kyle Clark.
However, emails obtained by COMPLETECOLORADO.COM suggest that the White House was involved in the Energy Department awarding Abound Solar a $400 million loan gurantee, contradicting the President’s claim.
The emails also suggest that the loan guarantee was political payback to Democratic benefactor Pat Stryker.
In one email, DOE loan executive Jonathan Silver tells DOE credit advisor Jim McCrea that, “You better [let] him know the [White House] wants to move Abound forward,” referring to Treasury Advisor Ian Samuels who wasn’t moving fast enough on scheduling calls regarding Abound.
Last night, President Barack Obama dropped the biggest campaign gaffe of the season – only the media wasn’t watching. It happened during his testy exchange with Mitt Romney over gas prices. First, Obama denied that he’d done anything about denying licenses on oil and gas; he backed off of that shortly. Then he denied that production on federal land was down; he was lying. Finally, Romney hit him with this devastating line:The proof of whether a strategy is working or not is what the price is that you’re paying at the pump. If you’re paying less than you paid a year or two ago, why, then, the strategy is working. But you’re paying more. When the president took office, the price of gasoline here in Nassau County was about $1.86 a gallon. Now, it’s $4.00 a gallon.Obama’s response was horrendous:
Well, think about what the governor — think about what the governor just said. He said when I took office, the price of gasoline was $1.80, $1.86. Why is that? Because the economy was on the verge of collapse, because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of the same policies that Governor Romney’s now promoting. So, it’s conceivable that Governor Romney could bring down gas prices because with his policies, we might be back in that same mess.In other words, bringing down gas prices by drilling creates economic recession. That was Obama’s argument.
Does anyone think this president understands basic economics?
To me this is the worst type of gaffe, because it involves substance, not some brain fart or slip of the tongue. Also recall that in 2008, Democrats, including, I believe, then candidate Obama hammered President Bush over high gas prices. Of course the media completely missed this gargantuan gaffe.
Candy Crowley, who moderated the debate like she has a poster of Obama over her bed, should have given this response
Chris at Wyblog pours even more scorn on President Clueless
There is so much sand-pounding stupidity in that statement, I don’t know where to start. FortunatelyElizabeth Price Foley guest-blogging at Instapundit schools The Smartest Guy In The Room using words even an Obamabot can understand.
Gas prices, like anything else, are a function of supply and demand. A recession or depression reduces demand. If supply stays constant, gas prices will fall. But if the supply side of the equation is also negatively affected/reduced — as, for example, the reduction of leases and drilling on federal land, as pointed out by Romney — gas prices should rise (as they have). The bottom line? Gas prices should have — probably would have — fallen in our current recession, due to decreased demand. But since the Obama Administration’s anti-carbon, anti-fossil fuel policies have taken hold, the negative impact on supply has outpaced the reduction in demand, leading to significantly higher prices.
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
Obama Interior Department Closing Off Nearly Half Of Alaskan National Petroleum Reserve From Drilling
President Obama is campaigning as a champion of the oil and gas boom he’s had nothing to do with, and even as his regulators try to stifle it. The latest example is the Interior Department’s little-noticed August decision to close off from drilling nearly half of the 23.5 million acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
The area is called the National Petroleum Reserve because in 1976 Congress designated it as a strategic oil and natural gas stockpile to meet the “energy needs of the nation.” Alaska favors exploration in nearly the entire reserve. The feds had been reviewing four potential development plans, and the state of Alaska had strongly objected to the most restrictive of the four. Sure enough, that was the plan Interior chose.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says his plan “will help the industry bring energy safely to market from this remote location, while also protecting wildlife and subsistence rights of Alaska Natives.” He added that the proposal will expand “safe and responsible oil and gas development, and builds on our efforts to help companies develop the infrastructure that’s needed to bring supplies online.”
The problem is almost no one in the energy industry and few in Alaska agree with him. In an August 22 letter to Mr. Salazar, the entire Alaska delegation in Congress – Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski and Representative Don Young – call it “the largest wholesale land withdrawal and blocking of access to an energy resource by the federal government in decades.” This decision, they add, “will cause serious harm to the economy and energy security of the United States, as well as to the state of Alaska.” Mr. Begich is a Democrat.
The letter also says the ruling “will significantly limit options for a pipeline” through the reserve. This pipeline has long been sought to transport oil and gas from the Chukchi Sea, the North Slope and future Arctic drilling. Mr. Salazar insists that a pipeline could still be built, but given the Obama Administration’s decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline, Alaskans are right to be skeptical.
Alaskans also worry that the National Petroleum Reserve will become the same political football as the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, or ANWR, which Washington has barred from drilling because of dubious environmental objections. The greens now want Congress to rename the energy reserve the “Western Arctic Reserve” to give the false impression that it is a fragile wildlife area. Some parts of the area are environmentally sensitive, but those 1.5 million acres (around Teshekpuk Lake) had already been set aside. Most of the other 11.5 million acres are almost indistinguishable from acreage owned by the state that is being drilled safely nearby.
The feds and Alaskan officials disagree about how much oil and natural gas is in the petroleum reserve. Some early federal estimates put the range between six and 15 billion barrels of oil, but in its latest survey the Bureau of Land Management projects closer to one billion. State officials and industry experts put the figure much higher based on the earlier surveys and improved drilling techniques.
The truth is no one knows. Prudhoe Bay turned out to be much more productive than originally believed, but surely the best strategy is to allow private drillers to risk their own money to find out. The oil and gas industry isn’t in the business of drilling dry holes on purpose.
The Interior power play couldn’t come at a worse time for Alaska, whose economy and government are heavily reliant on oil jobs and revenues. As recently as the 1980s, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline carried some 2.2 million barrels of oil a day from the North Slope to the port of Valdez. Yet as the once-rich fields of Prudhoe Bay and the Kuparuk River have declined, oil flow has dropped to one-third of that volume. North Dakota recently passed Alaska as the second highest oil-producing state behind Texas.
The problem isn’t that Alaska is running out of oil but that federal rules are preventing the state from developing those resources. No matter what Mr. Obama says now, in a second term his great Alaska energy shutout will continue.
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
A new chart from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee details the fact that, since January 2009, for every person added to the labor force, 10 have been added to those not in the labor force. Here’s a chart showing the dwindling labor force:
“For Every 1 Person Added To Labor Force Since January 2009,” the chart reads, “10 People Added To Those Not In Labor Force.”
That is, in nearly the four years, since President Obama took office in January 2009, only 827,000 people have been added to the labor force, while during that same time period, 8,208,000 have been added to those not in the labor force.
The chart relies on data available from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The numbers represented in the chart are a measure of growth from January 2009 through September 2012,” the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee explains. “The data is sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, a sample of 60,000 households conducted by personal and telephone interviews. Basic labor force data are gathered monthly. The labor force consists of all people aged 16 and over either employed or actively seeking work. It does not include discouraged workers, people who have retired, or those on welfare or disability who are no longer looking for work. The ‘not in the labor force’ group is defined as the total civilian non-institutional population minus the labor force.”
Since January 2009, the labor force has grown by 0.54 percent, or 827,000 people (from 154,236,000 to 155,063,000). Those not in the labor force grew by 10.2 percent during the same period (8,208,000 people), from 80,502,000 to 88,710,000. In other words, for every one person added to the labor force of the United States since January 2009, the size of the U.S. population not in the labor force grew by 10 people.
And the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee concludes, “These figures reveal several troubling trends: That the jobs market is not keeping pace with U.S. population growth; that not enough younger Americans are joining the labor force to account for retirement among an ageing population; and that a large number of workers have become so discouraged that they simply stopped looking for work and left the labor force entirely. These factors pose serious fiscal challenges for the United States. A historically low labor force participation rate – together with an ageing population and a record number of people drawing federal welfare benefits – puts severe strain on the federal budget in both the near and long term.”
UPDATE: Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, comments: “The essential point of this chart is not simply how many people are employed or unemployed, but to illustrate that more and more people are simply not part of the U.S. labor force. This confirms that we are on the wrong track. It is unsustainable to have such a large and growing number of people who are not part of the productive economy. This is not a political argument, but a description of the underlying instability in our economy that has so many Americans worried about the future. The question is what can we do to reverse these trends and start moving in the right direction.”
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
by 1389 on October 9, 2012
By Flyovercountry, with h/t to yenta-fada
Here’s a tiny excerpt:
While our economy added 114,000 jobs, our population increased by 150,000 during September. This marks the 48th consecutive month that available jobs increased by a number lower than population growth. In what universe would an unemployment decrease be possible?
There’s a whole lot more at the link. Read it all!
During the robust Reagan jobs recovery in the 1980s, liberals regularly dismissed good news by attributing it to the creation of “McJobs.” So it’s interesting to see liberals celebrating the September jobs report, in which the headline unemployment figure fell to 7.8 percent, largely because of an increase in Americans settling for low paying part-time jobs.
Once a month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports two main sets of employment numbers. Under one measure, based on a survey of employers, the economy added 114,000 jobs in September. Under another measure, based on a smaller survey of households, the economy added 873,000. But a more detailed look at these numbers shows that 572,000 — or about 67 percent — of the reported job gains that contributed to the reduction in the unemployment rate came from workers who had to settle for part time work. BLS explains that, “The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.” This is why a broader measure of unemployment, which takes into account those who were forced to accept inferior jobs, remained flat at 14.7 percent.
This report is part of a broader trend that we’ve seen over the past few years, in which job gains have been concentrated in lower-wage positions. And this isn’t just spin from the Romney campaign. Over the summer, the liberal National Employment Law Project released a report that was highlighted in the Atlantic, which focused on this trend. The report found that:
– Lower-wage occupations were 21 percent of recession losses, but 58 percent of recovery growth.
– Mid-wage occupations were 60 percent of recession losses, but only 22 percent of recovery growth.
This is illustrated by the NELP chart above. Though Obama has touted modest job gains during the recovery as evidence things are getting better, looking merely at the headline jobs and unemployment number obscures the fact that the middle class has still struggled to find quality jobs, while more Americans are settling for lower-paying work.
Those of us who are employed, but at very low-paid jobs, cannot make ends meet no matter how frugally we live. To survive, many of us are dipping into what was supposed to have been our retirement savings. Sure, we’re working, in the sense that we are expending our time and effort, often at unpleasant and physically demanding tasks. But we aren’t getting paid enough to live on, nor do we have adequate insurance coverage. To count us as “employed” in any meaningful sense is to stretch the truth past the breaking point.
- American Spectator: Obama’s Jobs Flimflam: 1.7 million illegals suddenly added to job pool — but the unemployment rate drops?
- American Spectator: Crackup Central: The federal government’s own numbers crunchers project utter budgetary collapse.
- Darden Restaurants tests limiting worker hours as health-care changes loom
- Westgate Resorts CEO Threatens to Fire Employees If Obama Is Reelected and Raises Taxes
From 1389 Blog: http://1389blog.com/
Why the Country Is Unhappy Under Obama
The real unemployment rate is 15 percent,measured by what is called U-6, which includes people who are working part-time on an involuntary basis.
We have 4.7 million fewer jobs than the peak reached at the end of 2007. And indeed much of the improvement in jobs has been through dubious “seasonal” adjustments, such as the July seasonal bump of 377,000 jobs—the largest such adjustment for July in the past 10 years. The labor participation rate has dropped to a 30-year low, and if not for that development, the unemployment rate would be much higher. — Mort Zuckerman- US News and World Report
from American Digest: http://americandigest.org/
The owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants is putting more workers on part-time status in a test aimed at limiting the impact of looming health coverage requirements.
Darden Restaurants declined to give details but said the test is only in restaurants in four markets across the country. The test entails increasing the number of workers on part-time status, meaning they work less than 30 hours a week. Under the new health care act, companies will be required to provide health care to full-time employees by 2014. That would significantly boost labor costs for businesses.
About 75 percent of Darden’s employees are currently part-timers.
Bob McAdam, who heads government affairs and community relations for Darden, said the company is still learning from the tests, which was first reported by The Orlando Sentinel.
“We’re not at a point where we have results,” he said. McAdam also noted that Darden is not alone in looking at ways to keep labor costs in check, with companies industry wide prepping for the new regulations to take effect.
From Weasel Zippers: http://weaselzippers.us/
Posted on | October 6, 2012
“It’s not funny, Jack.”
Why, yes it is, Mr. Matthews. You act the peevish little schoolmarm here, attempting to beat up Jack Welch for daring to state something that is known in the Court of Public Opinion: the BLS is AFU. The last 64 revisions to initial jobless claims have been >= 0. The last 64. In a row. Unexpectedly. As if by magic.
Do you understand, Mr. Matthews? Every deceit costs a little bit of credibility. After you’ve lied enough, the set of people who believe you is reduced to you, yourself. And maybe that Maddow lady.
The timing of this jobs play is so transparent as to make one wonder why you Commies didn’t throw out a bigger lie:
May fortune favor Jack Welch. As with Eastwood at the RNC, Welch has stepped in and offered a valuable public service in decrying this Administration’s deceits. Welch has the track record to back up his tweet, and certainly doesn’t need the money. He’s doing the right thing for the right reasons here, as far as I can tell.
And as for you, Matthews: conservatives await the death of MSNBC and word that you, Mike Wallace, and Keith Olbermann have formed an outlet that thinks it’s a news organization.
Posted on | October 5, 2012
Mitt Romney spoke to a crowd of nearly 4,000 people here in a midday rally, where he emphasized for the coal industry, a vital part of the economy in southwest Virginia. There was a strong representation at the rally from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).
While at the rally, I got a chance to talk with an award-winning local reporter, Debra McCown, who explained that some 1,200 coal workers in the area had been laid off recently because of EPA regulations that have curbed the use of coal in electrical power plants. McCown explained that during the 2008 campaign, Obama made two trips to the area, as did his running mate Joe Biden, while John McCain’s only visit to the area was an airport stop at the Tri-Cities Airport in Sullivan County, Tennessee — just south of the Virginia border — the day before Election Day.
During his speech, Mitt got a cheer from the crowd when he mentioned the debate, and said that Obama’s statements during Wednesday’s debates were essentially “a reiteration of the status quo.” The biggest cheer during the entire rally was when Romney promised to repeal ObamaCare. Citing the latest employment report, Romney said, “We can do better.”
Ali Akbar gave me a ride to the event and has posted an entire Facebook page of photos from the rally.
UPDATE: Romney’s rapid response press operation is already online with this video clip of Mitt’s speech at Abingdon:
“My priority is creating jobs. I will help small business do that with everything I can do. Now, we can do better. We don’t have to stay on the path we have been on. We can do better. There was a report that just came out this morning on job creation this last month. There were fewer new jobs created this month than last month. The unemployment rate, as you know, this year has come down very, very slowly, but it has come down nonetheless. The reason it has come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work. And if you just drop out of the workforce, if you just give up and say, look, I can’t go back to work, I’m just going to stay home, if you just drop out altogether, why, you’re no longer part of the employment statistics. So, it looks like unemployment is getting better, but the truth is if the same share of people were participating in the workforce today, as on the day the President got elected, our unemployment rate would be around 11%. That’s the real reality of what’s happening out there. And then, of course, even those that have jobs are having tough times. The middle class is being squeezed with higher and higher costs and with incomes that have gone down by $4,300 a family. This can’t go on. I’ll tell you this: when I’m President of the United States, when I’m President of the United States, that unemployment rate is going to come down, not because people are giving up and dropping out of the workforce, but because we are creating more jobs. I will create jobs and get America working again.”
The Left is now claiming that criticism of the economy — the decline in the official unemployment rate caused by people dropping out of the work force, a statistical oddity — is “job trutherism,” as if Jack Welch doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Look, I mentioned this same phenomenon, as demonstrated by recent reports of employment in Crawford County, Ohio, earlier this week:
Americans have become accustomed to this sort of “good news” in the Obama era, and there was more of it in that small-town Ohio paper. “Unemployment remains the same,” declared the headline across the top of the front page. The story explained that, although the official unemployment rate in Crawford County, Ohio (population 43,389) declined from 9 percent in July to 8 percent in August, it wasn’t because more people were working. “Since the number of employed stayed the same, 200 people went off of unemployment because their time limit is up and they have not found work yet,” Dave Williamson, director of the Crawford County Economic Development Partnership, told the Bucyrus paper. “We have no more people working than we did last month.”
Extrapolate such statistical hocus-pocus at the local level across the entire state of Ohio, or nationwide, and you understand how some people might be deceived into believing that the Obama administration has actually produced an economic recovery.
Statistics that “hide the decline” (i.e., the shrinking workforce, as more and more discouraged workers cease to be counted in the official unemployment number) do not fool anyone who actually looks at the underlying data. Anyone who is confused about this should consult James Pethokoukis at The American Enterprise Institute.
From The Other McCain: http://theothermccain.com/