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

More Fun Stuff

Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic.

Economist Edward Lazear has cut through all of Barack Obama’s claims about “creating jobs” with one plain and inescapable fact — “there hasn’t been one day during the entire Obama presidency when as many Americans were working as on the day President Bush left office.” Whatever number of jobs were created during the Obama administration, more have been lost.

How are children supposed to learn to act like adults, when so much of what they see on television shows adults acting like children?  (Thomas Sowell)

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:

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.
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.”(Weekly Standard)
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If you truly believe in the brotherhood of man, then you must believe that blacks are just as capable of being racists as whites are.

One of the most foolish, and most dangerous, things one can do is to take love for granted, instead of nurturing it and safeguarding it as the prize jewel of one’s life.

Whenever you hear people talking about “a living Constitution,” almost invariably they are people who are in the process of slowly killing it by “interpreting” its restrictions on government out of existence.

Do either Barack Obama or his followers have any idea how many countries during the 20th century set out to “spread the wealth” — and ended up spreading poverty instead? At some point, you have to turn from rhetoric, theories and ideologies to facts.

I am so old that I can remember when liberals were liberal — instead of being intolerant of anything and anybody that is not politically correct. (Thomas Sowell)

“Mr. President, you’ve got to realize you’re fighting for your presidential life,” the leader of the Nation of Islam told an estimated gathering of 6,000 at Bojangles’ Coliseum. “You’re fighting for your vision of the Democratic Party and the country.”

Then Farrakhan spent two hours hammering at racial – some critics will call them racist – themes.

To begin, the highly controversial Farrakhan accused Republicans of having “overt” racist motives in their opposition to Obama, the country’s first black president. He attacked a political process that he says is controlled by monied interests and wants “to keep America white.”

“You aren’t going to win any more white votes by being kind and gracious,” he said. “Be a little black.”

…accusing the Republicans of using a strategy to defeat Obama “so overtly hateful and racist in nature that it has polarized America on the basis of race.”He also addressed an audience largely absent from the event: white America.

“What have I done that you could hate me so?” he said.

He then answered his own question with harsh words that had the arena on its feet: “You can’t buy me, and you can’t make me into your n—–.” (Mcclatchy)

Tolerance and Love from the Far Left. 🙂

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THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH
The question to be asked of people in the media, and that they should ask themselves, should be: “Is your first loyalty to your audience or to your ideology?” The same question should be asked of educators, especially those who see themselves as “agents of social change,” even though that is not the job description under which they have been hired and paid. (Thomas Sowell)
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LIBYA
After a month of Obfuscation, Hillary has decided to throw herself on the sacrificial pyre (whether she was pushed or not is a question)
“I take responsibility,” Clinton said during a visit to Peru. “I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world, 275 posts. The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.”
The good little soldier who tries to commit sepuku for her boss.
But then what are all those Security and Threat assessment meeting that Obama was supposedly getting about then? Hmmm…

Her remarks drew a quick response from three Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, including ranking member John McCain.

Clinton’s statement of responsibility was “a laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever,” the Arizona senator said in a joint broadside with Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. However, they added, “The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the commander-in-chief. The buck stops there.” (CNN)

* Top Pentagon officials declared the assault a terrorist attack on “Day One.” Doing so enabled them to expedite any response to the attack (Yahoo! News).

* U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials understood right away that the attacks were planned for the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 (THE WEEKLY STANDARD).

* Within 24 hours of the attack, “U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda-affiliated operatives were behind the attack and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers” (Daily Beast).

* In telephone intercepts of phone calls involving members of Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked group in Libya, members “bragged about their successful attack against the American consulate and the U.S. ambassador” (Daily Beast).

* U.S. counterterrorism officials had repeatedly warned about the growth of al Qaeda affiliate groups in Libya and noted in particular their relationship to al Qaeda’s central leadership in Pakistan (THE WEEKLY STANDARD).

The attack was, in fact, planned. It did involve al Qaeda-linked terrorists. It was not a copycat of the protests in Cairo, Egypt. Indeed, there was no protest outside the consulate in Benghazi at all. The U.S. compound was not well secured. The two ex-Navy SEALs killed in the attack were not there to protect the ambassador, and they were not, obviously, joined by several colleagues also providing security. The date of the attack was not coincidental. And the anti-Islam YouTube video at the center of the administration’s public relations effort had nothing to do with the assault that took the lives of four Americans.

This, more than anything, is the problem with the administration’s response. It wasn’t that they failed to provide enough information to the public, but that they provided incorrect information and did so long after it was clear to many in the intelligence community that the political narrative was false.

There are two possible explanations. Either the information widely available to intelligence professionals was not shared with those speaking on behalf of the president. Or those Obama administration officials had the accurate information and chose not to provide it.

If intelligence professionals had immediately concluded that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the YouTube video, why did top administration figures point to it as the trigger? 

If the Pentagon knew on “Day One” that the attacks were planned, why was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice still denying this four days later?

If counterterrorism officials had determined that the killings were the result of a terrorist attack, why did State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland refuse to acknowledge that during her briefing on September 17?

If intelligence officials knew on September 11 that the attack took place that day for a reason, why did White House press secretary Jay Carney still pretend otherwise eight days later?

Some of the misleading information provided to the public could not possibly have been a result of incomplete or evolving intelligence. The information about security for the ambassador and the compound, for instance, would have been readily available to administration officials from the beginning. And yet when Susan Rice appeared on five political talk shows on September 16, she erroneously claimed that the two ex-Navy SEALs killed in the attack were, along with several colleagues, providing security. They were not. Why did she say this?

These questions, and many others, deserve answers. And soon. (weekly standard)

But there’s an election in less than a month and then a lame duck session so nothing is going to be done. By design?

And above all, it’s Hillary’s fault!
The Commander-In-Chief and His Vice President  have the Sargent Schultz defense, “I know nothing!”

And that’s why you should re-elect them.
Hey, he killed Bin-Laden… 🙂
Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson
Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Manipulation

“What’s frustrated people is that I’ve not been able to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008. Well, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes. But what we have been able to do is move in the right direction.”–President Obama

Damn those founding fathers, they made it harder for a Dictator-King-Wanna Be to whatever he wanted whenever he wanted because he wanted!!

A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55%. Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million. No, that’s not a typo: 1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month! So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% as the BLS is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation.
The Heritage Foundation confirms the plunge in labor force participation in this chart, followed by another graph demonstrating that by the Obama administration’s own projections (which were used to sell the stimulus to anxious Americans in 2009), the unemployment rate should be more than two percentage points lower than today’s 8.3 percent:                 

And the failed-on-its-own-terms “stimulus” data:

Nevertheless, saccharine headlines and “I get better with age!” happy talk from President Obama — matched with a lackluster and increasingly bitter GOP primary — will give the incumbent an approval boost.  Right on cue, the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll purports to show Obama hitting the magic 50 percent mark and leading Mitt Romney in head-to-head general election contest.  Celebrate good times, Democrats!  Except…the poll is “worthless,” according to Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey.  Why?

First, this is a poll of general population adults rather than registered or likely voters, so it’s not even a proper polling type for the predictive outcome they claim. More importantly, though, the poll series has dropped its reporting of partisan identification within their samples.  It’s the second time that the poll has not included the D/R/I split in its sample report, and now it looks as though this will be policy from this point forward.  Since this is a poll series that has handed double-digit partisan advantages to Democrats in the past (for instance, this poll from April 2011 where the sample only had 22% Republicans), it’s not enough to just hear “trust us” on sample integrity from the Washington Post or ABC. One cannot determine whether Obama’s improvement in this series is a result of the State of the Union speech, as Dan Balz and Jon Cohen suggest, or whether it’s due to shifting the sample to favor Democrats more so than in previous samples.
Indeed, WaPo/ABC’s numbers have been raked over the coals by conservatives in the past for their ludicrously unbalanced party ID samples.  This pollster has displayed an interesting habit of surveying far more Democrats than Republicans, which — surprise! — produces favorable data for Democrats.  Rather than be held to account for their questionable methods,  WaPo/ABC has simply decided to hide their methodology from the public altogether.  Which reminds me: I’d like to announce the release of a new nationwide poll of likely voters that shows Barack Obama’s approval rating falling to 36 percent.  This IGB* survey reveals that Obama would lose to every possible Republican opponent by at least seven points.  Whom did this pollster question, you ask?  It’s IGB’s policy to adhere to the Washington Post/ABC News precedent and not release that data.  But by all means, please talk about these important findings ad nauseam on television and radio.

All sarcasm aside, this election cycle will have peaks and valleys.  This latest poll will get breathless attention from liberals, while conservatives will point to Gallup’s recent swing-state data and other numbers.  Polls are addictive to horse-race watchers (guilty as charged), but they won’t become truly meaningful until late September.  Recall that McCain-Palin raced out to a ten point lead among likely voters in Gallup on the heels of the 2008 RNC.  The rollercoaster ride continues…
UPDATE – A Democratic pollster is questioning another element of the WaPo/ABC numbers. (Townhall.com)

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Investments

ObamaCare Waiver Update:

HHS gave a waiver to Local 25 SEIU in Chicago with 31,000 enrollees on Oct. 1, 2010; to Local 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund with 4,544 enrollees on Oct. 10, 2010; and to the SEIU Local 1 Cleveland Welfare Fund with 520 enrollees on Nov. 15, 2010.

So far, the Obama administration has issued waivers to 222 entities, including businesses, unions and charitable organizations. Of that total, 45 were labor organizations.

A total of 1,507,418 enrollees are now included in the waivers. More than one-third — 512,315 – of the enrollees affected were insured by union health plans.

SEIU Local 1199’s health plan put a $50,000 cap on medical expenses for its New Jersey nursing home workers, according to 1199 SEIU spokeswoman Leah Gonzalez. That’s $700,000 under the 2011 limit stipulated by HHS regulations.

I’ll say it again, if it’s so great why do they need waivers??

It’s the SEI FU!

The SEIU’s Committee on Political Education made $27,829,845.91 in independent expenditures on Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. (CNS)

And I’m sure this had nothing to do with it! It was just a return on their “Investment”.

And “investment” is the new Liberal buzzword. It will probably be in every sentence of the State of The Union speech tonight.

Obama/ Democrat “Investment” = SPENDING!

More Investment. More Spending.

So what if we are $14 Trillion in debt and are so broke our credit card company is threatening to cancel our card.

Liberals just can’t stop spending.

So they have to come up with a new Orwellian buzzword for it.

It’s an old trick, calling spending investments, one pioneered by Bill Clinton. As Obama said last month: “[C]utting the deficit by cutting investments in education [and] innovation [is] like trying to reduce the weight of an overloaded aircraft by removing its engine….It’s not a good idea.”

Keynesian economics argues that government spending comes with a beneficial “multiplier,” whereby a dollar spent on infrastructure causes many more dollars to be activated in the economy right away. When you plow a billion into a construction project, not only do the contractors’ employees and suppliers get paid that billion, they in turn spend it in local shops and such. More individuals than just construction workers see their livelihoods goosed.

The unemployment in construction these days is one of the highest of any profession out there, and is also rampant with Illegal Aliens who are cheaper than Union thugs.

The Unemployment rate last month in Construction was 20.7%.

Way to go on that “investment”.

THE REAL UNEMPLOYMENT “INVESTMENT”

The total non institutional civilian labor force (Americans 16 years and older who are not in a institution -criminal, mental, or other types of facilities- or an active military duty) is reported as 238.889 million. Of these, we see:

  • Employed: 139.206 million people (58.3% of labor force)
  • Unemployed: 14.485 million people (6.1% of labor force)

Obviously, that can’t be the total picture, we’re only at 64.4%. This is why:

  • Part time employed for economic reasons: 8.931 million people. This concerns people who want a full-time job but can’t get one.
  • Part time employed for non-economic reasons: 18.184 million people. Non-economic reasons include school or training, retirement or Social Security limits on earnings, but also childcare problems and family or personal obligations.

But the by far largest category “missing” from both the Employed and Unemployed statistics is the “Not In Labor Force”: 85.2 Million people.

The BLS definition states: “Not in the labor force (NILF). A person who did not work last week, was not temporarily absent from a job, did not actively look for work in the previous 4 weeks, or looked but was unavailable for work during the reference week; in other words, a person who was neither employed nor unemployed.” (Clearly, this does include lot of unemployed people).

To summarize: 108.616 million people in America are either unemployed, underemployed or “Not in the labor force”. This represents 45.5% of working age Americans.

If you count the “Part time employed for non-economic reasons”, you get 126.8 million Americans who are unemployed, underemployed, working part time or “Not in the labor force”. That represents 53% of working age Americans.

So only 47% of working age Americans have full time jobs. While the official unemployment rate is 9.4%. Something’s missing somewhere. (Business Insider)

So what we need is more “investment”. 🙂

Oh, here’s another Investment.

FOOD STAMPS OUTSOURCED TO INDIA

JP Morgan Chase who received Bailout money has outsourced their call center calls on Food Stamps (that they get taxpayer money for) to INDIA!

Jobs anyone?? “Investment” anyone?

JP Morgan is the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States. JP Morgan has contracted to provide food stamp debit cards in 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. JP Morgan is paid for each case that it handles, so that means that the more Americans that go on food stamps, the more profits JP Morgan makes. Yes, you read that correctly. When the number of Americans on food stamps goes up, JP Morgan makes more money.

So if unemployment goes down will this ruin JP Morgan’s food stamp business?

Well, apparently not. In the interview Paton says that 40% of food stamp recipients are currently working, and he seems convinced that there could be further “growth” in that segment.

It turns out that JP Morgan also provides child support debit cards in 15 U.S. states and they also provide unemployment insurance benefit debit cards in seven states.

Apparently states have found that they can save millions of dollars by “outsourcing” the provision of these benefits to big financial firms like JP Morgan.

So what happens if you have a problem with your food stamp debit card?

Well, you call up a JP Morgan service center. When you do this, there is a very good chance that you are going to be helped by a JP Morgan call center employee in India.

That’s right – it turns out that JP Morgan is saving money by “outsourcing” food stamp customer service calls to India.

Just try to imagine the irony – a formerly middle class American that has lost a job to outsourcing calls up to get help with food stamp benefits only to be answered by a call center employee in India.

So when you’re outsourced and on Food stamps you can be reminded where your job went every time you call. 🙂

The biggest Wall Street financial institutions had no trouble begging for bailouts from the U.S. government during the financial crisis, but when the American people have needed a little grace and mercy from them they have been less than helpful.

I guess we need more “Investment” 🙂

Political Cartoon