Greece II?

Employment: Will the last worker in America please raise your hand? We ask this because Thursday’s Labor Department report for June found yet another record collapse in the number of working Americans.

The June US jobs report is out, and while the unemployment rate is down, part of the fall in unemployment came from a 0.3 percentage point drop in the labor force participation rate to 62.6%, the lowest rate since October 1977. Americans are considered to be in the labor force by the Bureau of Labor Statistics if they are employed or actively looking for work.

The labor force participation rate steadily grew between the 1970s and the 1990s, reaching its peak of 67.3% in 2000. During the 2000s, and especially since the Great Recession, the participation rate began to drop. Part of that drop was in response to the economic crisis that started in 2008, and part of the drop comes from demographic factors like the aging of the US population and the retirement of the baby boomers.

Over the past year the number of working-age Americans who have dropped from the civilian labor force has risen by 1.5 million. During Obama’s presidency, the population of these Americans increased by nearly 16 million — while the labor force grew by under 3 million.

But you’ll never hear that from the Democrats, oh no, we’ve had years of growth and the unemployment rate is lower, etc. because you’ll only get the statistics that make them look good.

All this is “An Inconvenient Truth”. 🙂

The labor force participation rate for those 16 and over dropped from 65.7% at the start of the Obama presidency to just 62.6% last month. If this rate would have remained steady, the labor force would have been nearly 14 million stronger.

Hello! Is anyone in Washington paying attention to a trend that’s becoming a national emergency?

NO. Because they are too busy lying and covering it up.

Obama doesn’t seem to get it.  (His ideology prevents it) He’s touting the unemployment rate decline to 5.3% as he celebrates how he has supposedly resurrected the U.S. economy. Here’s what he isn’t telling us: For every three Americans added to the working age population (16 and over), only around one new job has been created under Obama.

But look at the unemployment rate, ignore all the rest, it’s just partisan propaganda from the right to make him, “The First Black President” look bad.

Where is the great American work ethic? At this pace, America will soon officially have no unemployment whatsoever. Only a few Americans will be in the labor force, but they will all have jobs. Hooray.

And Left will tout that as a great accomplishment.

There are now 102 million Americans over the age of 16 who are not working. Usually when the economy picks up, American workers who have been laid off stampede back into the workforce to earn a paycheck.

Not now. The longer the recovery lasts, the larger the number of nonparticipants in the job market.

This is partially explained by baby boomers retiring — at the pace of nearly 10,000 a day. But the largest reduction in the workforce has been among those under the age of 29. Today the labor force participation rate for the 16-24 age group is 55.1%, down from 60.8% a decade ago and from more than 66% back in the late 1990s.

Millennials continue to exit the labor market — and millions have never even held a job.

Why are workers disappearing? Minimum-wage increases are pricing the young out of the workforce. The myriad welfare programs are effectively paying the young not to work.

Tens of millions of Americans have high school and even college degrees that are next to worthless to employers, because these young entrants into the labor market lack useful skills. The jobs that America should be creating — for example, in the energy industry — are being strangled by regulation and taxes.

But we have lots of “liberal arts” and “Women/LGBT/Minority Studies” grads. Lots of Environmental activists and people with degrees in how to be a better Liberal.

It’s simple: America can’t grow and prosper if Americans aren’t working.

Barack Obama famously told the nation that massive welfare benefits were a “stimulus” to the economy. No, getting Americans working is a stimulus.

This president — who thinks he can stop the rise of the oceans — refuses to make jobs and work a priority. The next president better, or we’ll go the way of Greece. (IBD)

Michael Ramirez Cartoon
Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Straw Meet Camel

Buried deep on the website of the U.S. Census Bureau is a number every American citizen, and especially those entrusted with public office, should know. It is 86,429,000.

That is the number of Americans who in 2012 got up every morning and went to work — in the private sector — and did it week after week after week.

These are the people who built America, and these are the people who can sustain it as a free country. The liberal media have not made them famous like the polar bear, but they are truly a threatened species.

It is not a rancher with a few hundred head of cattle that is attacking their habitat, nor an energy company developing a fossil fuel. It is big government and its primary weapon — an ever-expanding welfare state.

First, let’s look at the basic taxonomy of the full-time, year-round American worker.

In 2012, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 103,087,000 people worked full-time, year-round in the United States. “A full-time, year-round worker is a person who worked 35 or more hours per week (full time) and 50 or more weeks during the previous calendar year (year round),” said the Census Bureau. “For school personnel, summer vacation is counted as weeks worked if they are scheduled to return to their job in the fall.”

Of the 103,087,000 full-time, year-round workers, 16,606,000 worked for the government. That included 12,597,000 who worked for state and local government and 4,009,000 who worked for the federal government.

The 86,429,000 Americans who worked full-time, year-round in the private sector, included 77,392,000 employed as wage and salary workers for private-sector enterprises and 9,037,000 who worked for themselves. (There were also approximately 52,000 who worked full-time, year-round without pay in a family enterprise.)

At first glance, 86,429,000 might seem like a healthy population of full-time private-sector workers. But then you need to look at what they are up against.

The Census Bureau also estimates the size of the benefit-receiving population.

This population, too, falls into two broad categories. The first includes those who receive benefits for public services they performed or in exchange for payroll taxes they dutifully paid their entire working lives. Among these, for example, are those receiving veteran’s benefits, those on unemployment and those getting Medicare and Social Security.

The second category includes those who get “means-tested” government benefits — or welfare. These include, for example, those who get Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, public housing, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Women, Infants Children.

Let’s examine this second category first, which the Census Bureau reports as “anyone residing in a household in which one or more people received benefits from the program.”

In the last quarter of 2011, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 82,457,000 people lived in households where one or more people were on Medicaid. 49,073,000 lived in households were someone got food stamps. 23,228,000 lived in households where one or more got WIC. 20,223,000 lived in households where one or more got SSI. 13,433,000 lived in public or government-subsidized housing.

Of course, it stands to reason that some people lived in households that received more than one welfare benefit at a time. To account for this, the Census Bureau published a neat composite statistic: There were 108,592,000 people in the fourth quarter of 2011 who lived in a household that included people on “one or more means-tested program.”

Those 108,592,000 outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private-sector workers who inhabited the United States in 2012 by almost 1.3 to 1.

This brings us to the first category of benefit receivers. There were 49,901,000 people receiving Social Security in the fourth quarter of 2011, and 46,440,000 receiving Medicare. There were also 5,098,000 getting unemployment compensation.

And there were also, 3,178,000 veterans receiving benefits and 34,000 veterans getting educational assistance.

All told, including both the welfare recipients and the non-welfare beneficiaries, there were 151,014,000 who “received benefits from one or more programs” in the fourth quarter of 2011. Subtract the 3,212,000 veterans, who served their country in the most profound way possible, and that leaves 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers.

The 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1.

How much more can the 86,429,000 endure?

As more baby boomers retire, and as Obamacare comes fully online — with its expanded Medicaid rolls and federally subsidized health insurance for anyone earning less than 400 percent of the poverty level — the number of takers will inevitably expand. And the number of full-time private-sector workers might also contract.

According to new IRS data, the 1.35 million taxpayers that represent the highest-earning one percent of the Americans who filed federal income tax returns in 2010 earned 18.9% of the total gross income and paid 37.4% of all federal income taxes paid in that year.  In contrast, the 128.3 million taxpayers in the bottom 95% of all U.S. taxpayers in 2010 earned 66.2% of gross income and that group paid 40.9% of all taxes paid. In other words, the top 1 percent (1.35 million) of American taxpayers paid almost as much federal income tax in 2010 ($354.8 billion) as the entire bottom 95% of American tax filers ($388.4 billion)

But they are the evil “greedy” rich after all…

Eventually, there will be too few carrying too many, and America will break. (CNS)

But since that’s what the Democrats want… 🙂

We are From the Government and we are here to help you.

Don’t vote for that other guy, he’s an asshole who hates everyone and will just hurt you. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

War on Work

While 50 years ago the federal government declared war on poverty, I would submit that in recent years it has led an undeclared but real new war: a War on Work. The government increasingly is using its coercive powers to punish people who want to work, creating a vast class of able-bodied Americans dependent on the government — and politicians — for their daily bread.

The statistics are startling. A smaller proportion of working-age Americans works today than when the recession officially ended 4-1/2 years ago (June 2009).

But this trend is not just a failure of policies to encourage economic recovery, such as the stimulus package and the ineffective, highly expansionary Federal Reserve monetary policy. The decline in work has been going on since at least 2000, under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Suppose today we had the same proportion of Americans working that we did in 2000 — the end of the Clinton administration. We would have 14.6 million more workers in America — 4 million more than the number of unemployed.

Making reasonable assumptions about the productivity of these lost workers, the annual national output today would be over $2,500 per person higher — over $10,000 for a family of four. The actual recent recorded decline in real median income per household almost certainly would not have occurred. Much of the 21st-century growth dearth — the fall in growth rates from above 3% to only 2% a year — would have been averted.

While a vast number of government policies cause a decline in work, let me mention just six:

• Extended unemployment benefits.

• Expansion of food stamps.

• Higher taxes on workers, especially the most productive ones.

• Increases in Social Security disability payments.

• Increases in Pell Grants and other forms of federal higher education aid.

• Increases in minimum wage laws at local, state and federal levels.

Extended Unemployment Benefits

For almost eight decades, the federal-state unemployment insurance system provided 26 weeks of benefits for unemployed workers, with occasionally a modest short-term extension of those benefits (to typically 39 weeks) during recessions. In 2013, those benefits were given for 73 weeks — four years after the recession ended.

You pay people not to work — and many respond accordingly. In the month with the highest unemployment (10.8%) since the Great Depression, December 1982, the average duration of unemployment was 18.0 weeks; in December 2013, it was 37.1 weeks.

The 73-week benefit provision ended recently, but President Obama and the Senate want it extended — preventing the creation of many jobs.

Food Stamps

If the government subsidizes the purchase of life’s most critical essential — food — it reduces the need to work. In 2000, 17.1 million Americans received food stamps; in October 2013, 47.6 million did.

Higher Taxes on Workers

A decade ago, in 2004, the top marginal federal income tax rate was 35%; today, it is about 43%, counting ObamaCare-related taxes. There is overwhelming empirical evidence that high income taxes impede economic growth. There has been a vast migration of Americans, for example, from the 41 states with state income taxes to the nine states that do not tax work income.

Social Security Disability

In 1990, about 4 million Americans and their dependents received Social Security disability payments — today 11 million do. At a time when health care is improving, and more Americans work in relatively less-risky nonindustrial settings, there has been an explosion in the number of people paid not to work because of alleged inability to do so.

Federal Student Financial Aid

In 2000, fewer than 4 million Americans received Pell Grants to attend college; by 2012, nearly 9 million did. From 2002 to 2012, total federal aid more than doubled, going from $83 billion to $170 billion. Yet large portions of those recipients never graduate, and many that do are truly underemployed — we increasingly have college-educated taxi drivers, janitors, bartenders and retail sales clerks.

Minimum Wage

Seven years ago today, the federal minimum wage was $5.15. By the end of this year, if Obama gets his way, it will be $9.25. Many cities and states have enacted huge minimum wage increases, at a time when the unemployment rate of black teenagers exceeds 35%.

Future Nobel laureate George Stigler noted in 1946 that minimum wage laws caused unemployment, and subsequent empirical evidence overwhelmingly shows that they kill jobs for the most vulnerable unskilled workers.

No nation ever achieved greatness when vast portions of its productive workforce were idle. America will not regain its economic vitality until it ends this war on work.

• Vedder is a senior fellow at the Independent Institute, professor of economics at Ohio University and co-author of “Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in America.” (IBD)

But as long as they are dependent on the politicians and re-elect them what does the politician really care??

It’s fair. He gets what he wants, power. You get what you want, help.

The fact that’s it’s not what the country or you really NEED. That’s not relevant.

So everyone’s happy, right? 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

The Blockbusters

A quarter of small-business owners plan to cut hiring to stay under 50 employees so they can avoid one of Obama-Care’s many onerous mandates. In other words, small businesses will be staying small.

And that will surely create more jobs! 🙂

Oh that’s right, anti-capitalist socialist class warfare liberals will just blame it on Corporate Greed…

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which routinely appraises the small-business environment,found in its most recent quarterly survey of 1,300 executives that “the health care law has emerged as the top concern for small businesses.”

Nearly three-fourths (71%) told the Chamber that “the health care law makes it harder to hire.” And “only 30% say they’re prepared for the requirements of the law, including participation in the marketplaces, and one-quarter say they are unaware of what is required.”

Among small businesses that will be impacted by the employer mandate, half say they’ll either cut hours to reduce full-time employees or replace full-time employees with part-timers to avoid the mandate.

Meanwhile, almost a quarter (24%) say they’ll reduce hiring to stay under 50 employees.

Fifty is a key number. Under ObamaCare rules, any business with 50 or more full-time-equivalent workers has to provide them with health insurance coverage.

Noncompliance results in fines of $2,000 per employee, jumping to $3,000 for each employee who receives a health insurance tax credit and buys a plan through the federal insurance exchanges.

Implementation of this employer mandate has been delayed for a year, taking effect in 2015 rather than 2014. The delay is a tacit admission by the White House that the law is severely flawed.

But the employer mandate isn’t ObamaCare’s only glitch. Shortcomings are so plentiful that the new law is worse than the “train wreck” that Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who helped write the law, said it would be.

In fact, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a cosmic calamity — authoritarian legislation that will force Americans out of their doctor-patient relationships, increase costs, reduce choice, burden businesses and further darken a bleak job outlook.

Nothing about the law promotes protection or produces affordability. Like all left-wing solutions, it’s worse than the problems supporters claim it will solve.

But damn, they feel proud of themselves and are preening and peacocking about great they are and how nasty you are for doubting their superiority.

ObamaCare’s creators and defenders should be ashamed of what they’ve inflicted on the country. But they’re not. In fact, the White House is getting “back on offense in the debate,” according to the Hill.

But that requires humility. The Left has none.

That means Republican efforts to eliminate it should be redoubled. (IBD)

But I bet they are too chicken to do it.

The Summer of Recovery 5.0

“A human group transforms itself into a crowd when it suddenly responds to a suggestion rather than to reasoning, to an image rather than an idea, to an affirmation rather than to proof, to the repetition of a phrase rather than to arguments, to prestige rather than to competence.” (Jean-Francois Revel)

“The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.” (J.A. Schumpeter)

And an official White House e-mail by top adviser Dan Pfeiffer talks about how “this one is worth checking out” because “this moment is so important” and you won’t “be disappointed.”

Perhaps the folks at the White House are spending too much time hanging around with their Hollywood pals.

Obama’s speech will, no doubt, take its cues from one of those “tent pole” summer movies — an overwrought sequel with the same tired plot and big name stars.

As before, Obama will try to tell a gripping story about how the suffering middle class need more government money for roads, more money for education, more money for health care, more taxes on the rich, and how they’d have it all if it weren’t for those dastardly Republicans standing in the way.

But does anyone really think Obama’s got a hit on his hands? Well anyone, that is, beside the sycophantic mainstream press? (The New York Times actually ran this headline about the speech: “Obama Plans to Unveil His Agenda for Economy”—as though he’d been keeping it hidden for the past four years.)

According to Pfeiffer’s email, Obama also will trot out another tried trope about how Washington — read the GOP — “has taken its eye off the ball on the most important issue facing the country.”

Really?

It was Obama who decided to abandon his promised focus on jobs immediately after winning re-election and instead spent months pushing gun control.

It was Obama who then decided that immigration was the nation’s No. 1 priority, endlessly touting reform and even dispatching a top adviser to Capitol Hill to help craft the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” bill.

And it was Obama who decided to give a major speech on climate control, saying that it, too, was a can’t-wait priority.

It was only after these all flopped that Obama decided he’d roll his economic picture again.

Keep in mind that the entire time Obama was off on these tangents, the public hadn’t lost its focus.

Polls consistently showed that the economy ranked as a top concern, while gun control, global warming and immigration were at or near the bottom.

That’s not surprising, since economic growth continues to be anemic, and the country is still millions of jobs shy of where it would be in a normal recovery.

As we noted in this space earlier this month, all the new jobs added in June were part-time, driven largely by companies trying to avoid the ObamaCare train wreck.

No wonder the White House is feverishly promoting Obama’s retread speech as though it were some sort of 3D blockbuster. (IBD)

Coming to Town near you…Again!
With Laser Like focus…for 5 minutes, then it’s back to creating and screaming about another Crisis.
“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” (T.S. Eliot)
“A society that puts equality — in the sense of equality of outcome — ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.” (Milton Friedman)
Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

The Difference

The perfect illustration of the problem between Liberals and Conservatives just happened to me yesterday.

I have a job where you have set of performance goals you HAVE TO meet. So I have a job based on my performance of THEIR goals.

And if you meet or exceed those goals every March there is a Bonus if the company was profitable and grew over the last year. (so yes, you can meet the goals and if the company is not profitable your going to get next to bubkiss).

I got my bonus yesterday.

Now a Liberal would mostly go all hardcore anti-capitalist but let’s try make this simpler than that.

Liberal: Is it “Fair” that you get a bonus and others don’t. Gee, why not lower your prices instead of giving the money to your employees so that everyone benefits in this terrible post-Bush economy.

Don’t be so greedy and selfish. Your company is just looking out for profit. 🙂

Actual Conservative: 44% Tax taken out before you even see the check. Man that sucks. Something needs to be done about that!

Liberal: 56% is plenty when you consider no one else around you gets a bonus and they have to struggle blah blah blah…

What? do you want the government to shut down and for poor people to “fend for themselves” and old people to just die in the streets because of the lack of tax money because you just want to be a greedy,selfish bastard!

Conservative: Yeah, but 44%!! Really…

See the difference. 🙂

It’s not like I’m “rich” or anything. Far From it. Solidly middle class. Actually, I make less than everyone else in my family.

But don’t worry, to a Liberal, I just want to screw the poor and the elderly because I think taxes are too high and they don’t think they are high enough.

That’s the difference.

Now “Compromise” on those polar opposites. 🙂

Senator Patty Murray, the Democratic chair of the Senate Budget Committee, finally released a budget today. Year over year, in this proposed budget, spending jumps dramatically. 

SURPRISE! 🙂

For instance, from this year’s budget to next year’s proposed budget, spending would increase by $162 billion. This year, the federal government will spend $3.599 trillion; under Murray’s budget, the federal government would be on track to spend even more.

Over the next decade, spending under Murray’s budget would increase by 62 percent. Here’s a chart from the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee detailing the increase in spending over the next decade:

As the chart shows, the budget would increase a bit each year, under the Democratic plan.

“Murray’s budget spends $2.2 trillion more in 2023 (the last year of the budget window) than the 2013 levels – a 62% increase (significantly outpacing inflation),” says a staff member on the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee.

In an interview that aired earlier today, President Obama said, “[W]e don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next ten years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.”

Obama has not released his own budget yet. (WS)

You’d never know that the National Debt is: $16,690,614,000,000

Would you? 🙂

Liberal: When  in Debt Tax More & Spend Even More

Actual Conservative: Cut Spending because we spend too much.

That’s the Difference.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez1,307 Days no child left a dime

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Not Helpful

My first job paid $4.35/ hr. I was a “detailer” for Avis Rental Cars. That’s a fancy word for Window Washer.

That’s what I did all day.

After 18 months of that I decided to go back to College and get a degree.Which I did.

Then after college, got my first job in a Call Center. At 5.35/hr. But then I started moving up.

You don’t move up from a Window Washer. And at least one guy I worked with at that job wasn’t looking to move up from it.

It was slow. It was hard. It wasn’t glamorous or profitable. But eventually I made enough to buy this house. But it was hardly overnight. And I’m hardly set for life. I still have to perform or else.

You wanna know what the punch line to this is?

Adjusted for inflation that $4.35/hr would now be $8.82 because of inflation caused by the government and other entities.

So Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to be effectively the same as that was all those years ago.

So it’s about the politics of “caring” not about the actual problem – inflation. Especially inflation from devaluing the currency because of all the spending and borrowing.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The unemployment rate for teens is at 23%, and the rate for unskilled workers is at 12%. Why does President Obama propose raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour and indexing it for inflation, as he stated in his State of the Union Address?

Obama and his advisors seem to believe that if the minimum wage were raised and then indexed, all workers would retain their jobs. But this is not the case.

Between 2007 and 2009, the federal hourly minimum wage rose to $7.25 in three steps from the $5.15 rate that had prevailed for a decade. If the wage were raised to $9 and then indexed for inflation, it would rise every year.

It sounds compassionate to alleviate poverty by mandating that employers raise wages, but employers often replace low-skill workers with machines. Think self-checkout machines in supermarkets, or computerized call centers.

Or, try a thought experiment — would you have your job if the minimum wage were $50 an hour? Probably not.

At its current level, the minimum wage disproportionately affects teens and low-skill workers, many of whom qualify only for entry-level slots.

University of California (Irvine) economists David Neumark and J.M. Ian Salas, together with Federal Reserve Board economist William Wascher, have written extensively on the effects of the minimum wage on employment. In a National Bureau of Economic Research paper published in January, they conclude that “minimum wages pose a tradeoff of higher wages for some against job losses for others.”

They specifically mention that a higher minimum wage results in more unemployment for teens and low-skill workers.

Why is it that some studies, such as those by Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers chairman Alan Krueger, have found that increases in the minimum wage do not affect employment in the restaurant industry?

Two reasons, according to Neumark and his coauthors. First, many restaurant workers are paid above minimum wage. Second, a higher minimum wage can encourage employers to substitute more-skilled employees for less-skilled employees, so that total unemployment in that industry does not decline substantially.

Minimum wage workers are overwhelmingly young and work part-time. See the Labor Department’s Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers.

Two-thirds of minimum wage earners worked part-time in 2011, the latest year available. Only 3% of hourly wage earners earn minimum wage or less.

Workers under the age of 25 made up about half of the 3.8 million workers who earned at or below the minimum wage in 2011. Employed teenagers are seven times more likely to be among the minimum wage earners than workers older than 25.

Another 11 million workers earned between $7.26 and $8.99. Some will be in danger of losing their jobs if the minimum wage is increased.

In his State of the Union Address, Obama said that a full-time minimum-wage worker makes $14,500 a year. That’s 1.3 million workers, in a labor force of 156 million, about eight-tenths of 1%. But this understates actual income, because it does not include transfer payments.

As Michael Saltsman of the Employment Policies Institute has shown, the Earned Income Tax Credit adds to the minimum wage. Read Michael Saltsman.

Then you also add in your Obama Phone, Your Obama Internet….

In addition to the EITC, the value of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly food stamps, has risen over the past 20 years, increasing the resources of low-income workers. (See chart.)

In 1992, the hourly minimum wage was $4.25. For a family with one parent and two children, the value of the earned income tax credit was 69 cents, and the value of food stamps was just over a dollar, for total income of $5.96 an hour. (Other possible benefits include housing and Medicaid, depending on the state.)

Fast forward to 2012. The minimum wage was $7.25 an hour. For the same family, the EITC rose to $2.62, and the food stamps program added $1.67, for a total of $11.54. Assuming 2,000 hours of work annually, and including the EITC, the family makes not $14,500, but $19,736. This family also qualified for food stamps, bringing the total family income to $23,072.

Unlike increases in the minimum wage, these government transfers do not discourage employers from hiring.

The minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, plus the mandatory employer’s share of social security, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation taxes, brings the hourly employer cost to $8, even without benefits. Raising the hourly minimum wage to $9 will bring the cost to employers to about $10.

And in 2014, employers with more than 49 workers who do not offer the right kind of health insurance will have to pay a penalty of $2,000 per worker per year, further increasing costs and discouraging hiring. Many are already cutting back or reducing workers’ hours, because no penalty is owed on those working less than 30 hours weekly.

Unemployment rates for teens and low-skill workers rose faster than others in the recession. The adult unemployment rate stood at 7.3% in January 2012. That’s over 3 percentage points higher than the 3.8% rate in December 2007, five years earlier, at the start of the recession. But the January 2012 unemployment rate for teens was about 6 percentage points higher than December 2007, at 23%.

Employers now only employ workers who can produce $8 an hour or more of goods or services. Under Obama’s proposal, they would employ only those who could produce $10 an hour, an amount that would rise every year. The government can mandate steadily rising minimum wages, but not steadily rising teen skills and productivity.

As minimum wages rise, employers change technologies or hire more skilled workers.

Forbidding employment of those whose skills aren’t worth $10 an hour prevents workers getting their foot on the bottom of the career ladder. Obama is essentially proposing to take away the right to work for low-skill workers.

Most American employers have to pay more than minimum wage just to attract and hold the workers they need. Almost 140 million workers now earn above minimum wage, not because of federal or state law, but because that is the only way that firms can attract and keep employees with skills.

Instead of more money for youth employment, why not expand the federal minimum wage exception for teens? Under federal law, employers are allowed to pay teens $4.25 an hour for 90 consecutive calendar days, or until their 20th birthday, at which point the wage has to revert to $7.25 an hour.

The law is not simple. Employers have to show that teen workers don’t displace others. If the state minimum laws don’t specifically include the teen exception, then teens have to be paid the regular minimum — and the large states, such as California and New York, don’t mention teens. Ninety calendar days might cover a summer job, but if teens want to continue the job during the school year, employers have to pay them the standard wage.

Youth unemployment is a serious social problem in some European countries, such as France (27%), Spain (55%), and Italy (37%). These governments have taken every possible step to discourage the young from working short of criminalizing work: wages are regulated to be high, and it is costly to hire a new worker and even more costly to let one go. In these countries, young people have a much harder time getting started up the career ladder than their American counterparts.

America does not want to go down this road. Working at an early age teaches useful skills, transferable to future jobs, such as getting to work on time, staying the whole day, and putting up with unpleasant colleagues.

Increasing the hourly minimum wage to $9 and indexing it for inflation is bad news for teens and low-skill workers who deserve a better opportunity, and it is bad news for America where we cannot afford to further cripple our economy. (Market Watch)

But because he “cares” he will make your boss fire you because he can’t afford you any longer and that is your Boss’s fault because he’s just a greedy capitalist pig.

But at least now you have 2 years+ of unemployment, Food Stamps, you could move back in with your parents, Your Obama Phone and Internet so Life is good… 🙂

Rich Detour 590 LI 2

Lincoln Comp 590 cdn

The Fast and The Furious

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Two months after the Department of Labor launched a special program to assist and protect illegal immigrants in the U.S. the Obama cabinet official who heads the agency is personally encouraging undocumented workers to report employers that don’t pay them fairly.

In a Spanish-language public service announcement, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis assures that “every worker in America has a right to be paid fairly, whether documented or not.” Illegal aliens who are not getting fair wages are encouraged to call a new hotline set up by the agency on a new “Podemos Ayudar” (We Can Help) web page designed to administer worker protection laws and ensure that employees are properly paid “regardless of immigration status.”

In the short video, also posted in English, Solis tells illegal immigrants that it’s a “serious problem” when workers in this country are not paid fairly and that all workers have the right to receive their salary regardless of immigration status. She encourages those who are not to call the new hotline and assures it’s free and confidential. “Podemos ayudar,” (we can help), Solis guarantees at the end of the brief segment.

The Labor Secretary’s new message is part of a campaign launched a few months ago to help illegal immigrant workers in the U.S., who she refers to as “vulnerable” and “underpaid.” At least 1,000 new field investigators have been deployed to reach out to Latino laborers in areas with large numbers of illegal alien employees and the agency will focus on enforcing labor and wage laws in industries that typically hire lots of illegal aliens without reporting anyone to federal immigration authorities.

For a government agency to protect law breakers in this fashion may seem unbelievable but not if you consider the source. A Former California congresswoman, Solis has close ties to the influential La Raza movement that advocates open borders and rights for illegal immigrants. She made the protection of undocumented workers a major priority upon being named Labor Secretary, assuring illegal aliens that “if you work in this country, you are protected by our laws.” (JW)

Graduation of Debt

 The median starting salary for students graduating from four-year colleges in 2009 and 2010 was $27,000, down from $30,000 for those who entered the work force in 2006 to 2008, according to a study released on Wednesday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. That is a decline of 10 percent, even before taking inflation into account.

Of course, these are the lucky ones — the graduates who found a job. Among the members of the class of 2010, just 56 percent had held at least one job by this spring, when the survey was conducted. That compares with 90 percent of graduates from the classes of 2006 and 2007. (Some have gone for further education or opted out of the labor force, while many are still pounding the pavement.)

So 4 in 10 graduates had no job at all – not even one that didn’t use their putative skills for which they spent the money.

But let’s assume you do have a job. The median income was $27,000. What if you have $60,000 in student loans?

On a 10 year amortization schedule and a 5% blended interest rate the payment is $633.75. Every month. Your gross income is $2,250/month. More than 25% of your gross income, before taxes, is consumed by student loan payments.

But don’t worry, the Liberals will be right there to tell them it’s the Rich People’s fault! And Class Warfare is the only answer! (that is just re-enforcing it after 16 years of liberal socialism in schools to begin with). So, the answer is to vote for Democrats so they can redistribute the wealth to you!

The new American Work Ethic! 😦

Your imputed income (that is, the effective purchasing power of your “degree” when you subtract out the debt service) is $19,395, again before taxes. But you’re in a higher tax bracket than the person who simply earns $19,395 – which, I will remind you, is $9.70/hour.

Worse, your debt cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy. A high school graduate who takes on debt like this and gets in trouble can file a Chapter 7 (being well under the median household income) and shed it. You, as a graduate, cannot. You’re stuck with it, and if you lose your job you’re instantly hosed, as that $60,000 will have penalties and interest immediately added to it. (KFYI)

Isn’t Obamanomics fun!! The Labor Department is more worried about illegal aliens than the legal ones! And even if you get a college degree you’ll be in so much you’ll likely drown. Just like the US Budget Deficit! 🙂

But fear not, it’s Rich people and Corporate America’s Fault!!  (according to the Democrats).

But hey, at least ObamaCare guarantees that you can suck off your parents’ health insurance until your 26! And as reported earlier 1/2 the jobs created in a recent month were from McDonalds. So have it Obama’s Way. 🙂

Sanctuary

Last month San Francisco’s Michael Hennessey, California’s longest-serving sheriff, announced that he would ignore federal detainer orders on illegal immigrants arrested for low-level crimes such as shoplifting, disorderly conduct or public drunkenness. Under Secure Communities, arrestees identified as undocumented are held by local jails until Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials transfer them.

But the arrangement violates San Francisco’s longtime sanctuary law, which forbids public employees and police from asking anyone about their immigration status. The famously liberal city by the bay also offers illegal aliens official government identification cards and all sorts of taxpayer-financed public benefits.

Hennessy, who is an elected official, claims that all residents are equal and stresses that San Francisco is proud of its diversity and values the contributions of immigrants. “San Francisco has always been a city of immigrants,” Hennessey said, adding that all civic leaders work hard to serve all residents regardless of immigration status.

Notably absent in the rhetoric were cases in which violent criminals were protected by the sanctuary policies. For instance a few years ago a Salvadoran gang member with two felony convictions murdered a father and his two sons because he never got turned over to federal authorities for removal.

Judicial Watch obtained California public records that revealed San Francisco authorities knew the triple murderer (Edwin Ramos) was an illegal immigrant and active member of a deadly street gang known as MS-13. The records also show that Ramos had been previously arrested on gang-related and weapons charges yet was released under the county’s sanctuary policies.

The Fast & Furious

Oh, and then there’s “Fast and Furious” a brilliant strategy by Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

Let’s force gun dealers in Arizona to sell thousands of semi-automatic firearms to straw purchasers (those who buy guns for someone who can’t do so legally) — and then just watched as the guns went across the border, into the hands of Mexican drug cartels members so we can trace the guns in Mexico to the “bigger fish”.

Only, they couldn’t actually trace them! Or as it turned out, find them!

PHOENIX – ATF Field Agents in Phoenix were told that they were the first Southwest Border Group to be pursuing operation Fast and Furious and that it was the “pinnacle of U.S. law enforcement techniques.”

A day after a fiery Capitol Hill hearing on the controversial program that allegedly let guns “walk” across the border, it is becoming more apparent that the strategy was ineffective and dangerous. So much so that when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and more than a dozen others were shot in Tucson, panic spread within the entire Phoenix Field Division of  ATF.

“There was concern from the chain of command that the gun was hopefully not a fast and furious gun,” Special Agent Peter Forcelli testified at a House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

“Everytime there’s a shooting whether it was Mrs. Giffords or anybody, anytime there was a shooting in the general Phoenix area or even Arizona, we’re fearful that it might be one of these firearms,” said Special Agent Olindo Casa.

The ATF was tracking a straw buyer who purchased a truckload of assault weapons in January 2010 but did not stop him.

In December two of those guns were recovered at the murder scene of Border Agent Brian Terry in Rio Rico, Arizona.

Terry’s mother, Josephine Terry, testified at Wednesday’s hearing but is now back home in Michigan.

Reached by phone she told 3TV she was pleased with how the hearing progressed. “I felt like everyone was on Brian’s side 100 percent,” said Terry.

Members of Congress vow to continue to probe the ATF operation and find out who at the highest level sanctioned the program. (KTVK-Phx)

ATF agents–turned–whistleblowers John Dodson and Olindo James Casa testified that they begged to seize the firearms, which included .50-caliber sniper rifles, once the straw purchasers handed them off. “My supervisors directed me and my colleagues not to make any stop or arrest, but rather to keep the straw purchaser under surveillance while allowing the guns to walk,” he said.

Casa also said that “on several occasions, I personally requested to interdict or seize firearms, but I was always ordered to stand down and not to seize the firearms.”

So the guns were just allowed to slip across the border. All the ATF has is the firearms’ serial numbers. They weren’t even working with Mexican authorities. As a result, Agent Dodson said, “We knew the next time we’d see the guns would be at crime scenes. And not [the scene of] the first crime these guns were used in, but at the last.”

When asked how he thought sending guns into Mexico could lead to busts of drug cartels, Agent Dodson said, “I have never heard an explanation from anyone involved in Operation Fast and Furious that I believe would justify what we did.”

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R., Iowa) testified that “the president said he didn’t authorize it and that the attorney general didn’t authorize [Fast and Furious]. They have both admitted that a ‘serious mistake’ may have been made. There are a lot of questions, and a lot of investigating to do. But one thing has become clear already: This was no mistake. It was a conscious decision by senior officials. It was written down. It was briefed up to Washington, D.C.” (NRO)

And if it leader to, say Eric Holder or Big Sis or Obama himself will they be held responsible for this stupidity.

Hell NO!

Late in the hearing, Josephine Terry — the mother of Brian Terry — was asked if there is anything she would like to say to whoever approved Operation Fast and Furious. After taking a moment to regain her composure, she said, “I don’t know what I would say to them, but I would like to know what they would say to me.”

Hope and Change?

Do you want fries with that?

Win The Future! 🙂

P.s. “Chocolate milk is soda in drag,” said Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services for the Boulder Valley School District in Louisville, Colo., which has banned flavored milk. “It works as a treat in homes, but it doesn’t belong in schools.” (NBC)

Oh then there’s this gem:

A “Labor Studies Curriculum for Elementary Schools,” entitled “The Yummy Pizza Company,” takes up to 20 classroom hours over a two-week period. Important concepts in the 10 lessons, such as the value of work and money management, are critical components, but are quickly overshadowed by the fact that 40% of the curriculum is about forming Pizza Makers Union Local 18. That’s right – the program is focused on teaching kids to unionize.

I don’t suppose this creative curriculum has anything do to with current issues, like collective bargaining privileges for public employees. Teachers wouldn’t be so blatant as to involve young children in their political issues, would they? (townhall.com)

P.p.s. Georgia lawmakers passed an immigration bill similar to Arizona’s SB 1070. The legislation allows local law enforcement to inquire about immigration status after an individual commits a crime. The law was passed in order to deal with the mounting illegal immigration problem costing the state billions of dollars each year. Now, Mexico, along with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru, are joining civil liberties groups in their efforts to sue the American state.

Mexico and 10 other countries have filed amicus briefs in a lawsuit that asks a judge to declare Georgia’s new immigration law unconstitutional and to block it from being enforced.

Yep, foreign countries are now lecturing Americans about what is and is not Constitutional with the backing of groups like the ACLU and the SEIU. (Townhall.com)

America What a Country! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler