When The Numbers Don’t Add Up

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the voter rolls in Rhode Island.

The article reports:

The Providence Journal reports that Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea conducted an audit of the state’s voter registry and identified some 150,000 non-Rhode Islanders registered to vote in the state. Gorbea says this group of non-state residents is primarily composed of citizens who have since moved to other jurisdictions or died and does not suggest widespread fraud.

It’s not fraud if none of them voted, but how do we know how many of them voted?

The article continues:

The Journal previously reported that there were 781,770 registered voters in the state in 2016. As such, the group of non-state residents Gorbea’s audit identified account for 19 percent of all registered voters in Rhode Island.

…Still, Gorbea concedes an inaccurate voter registry jeopardizes the state’s elections.

“[H]aving clean voter lists [is] critical to preserving the integrity of our elections and ensure that elections are fair, fast and accurate,” she said.

One has to wonder why states are not more anxious to clean up their voter rolls.

This is another example of why the Commission on Election Integrity is needed.

The Experiment Of The States

America is made up of 50 different states. Each state is unique–politically, economically,  geographically, ethnically, etc. So if people could live anywhere they wanted to, where would they live? Actually, the age of the internet has made that somewhat possible–telecommuting has grown in recent years. So let’s look at where people live.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about a study of trends in population growth in states within America. The data for the study came from the IRS. The results were not really surprising.

The article reports the findings of the study:

To measure the states that are most attractive to Americans on the move, we developed an “attraction” ratio that measures the number of domestic in-migrants per 100 out-migrants. A state that has a rating of 100 would be perfectly balanced between those leaving and coming.

Overall, the biggest winner — both in absolute numbers and in our ranking — is Texas. In 2014 the Lone Star State posted a remarkable 156 attraction ratio, gaining 229,000 more migrants than it lost, roughly twice as many as went to No. 3 Florida, which clocked an impressive 126.7 attraction ratio.

Most of the top gainers of domestic migrants are low-tax, low-regulation states, including No. 2 South Carolina, with an attraction ratio of 127.3, as well as No. 5 North Dakota, and No. 7 Nevada.

…Overall, many of the most affluent states are the ones hemorrhaging high-income earners the most rapidly. As in overall migration, New York sets the standard, with the highest outmigration of high income earners (defined as annual income over $200,000) relative to in-migrants (attraction ratio: 53). New York is followed closely by Illinois, the District of Columbia and New Jersey, which are all losing the over-$200,000-a-year crowd at a faster pace than California.

The big winners in terms of affluent migration tend to be historically poorer states, mainly in the Sun Belt and the Intermountain West. Florida has an attraction ratio for people earning over $200,000 a year of 223, the highest in the nation, followed by South Carolina, Montana, Idaho and North Carolina.

Given the opportunity, Americans move to states with lower taxes and less regulation over their businesses and daily lives. Now if we could only teach them to vote that way in national elections…

 

We Seem To Have Become Wimps

Sorry if that statement offends anyone, but indications are that it may be true. Dr. Roy Spencer, formerly a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites, posted a story on his website today about the “Historic Blizzard of 2015”–it actually ranked #41, or a weak “Category 2″. The article includes a chart showing the Blizzard of 2015 in comparison to the storm ranked Number 1, which occurred in March of 1993.

The article states:

The ranking is based upon societal impacts, so if the worst storm on Earth in the last 10,000 years hit where no one lived, it would not even rank.

So, the NESIS scale for Northeast snowstorms isn’t well suited for talking about climate change. It’s not clear that more snowstorms in recent decades aren’t just from a slight shift in the storm track bringing Northwest Atlantic winter storms (of which there are many…Greenland routinely gets clobbered) closer to New England.

As someone who lived in New England from 1967 to 2013, I was glad not to be there during snowstorm Juno. I would like to point out that this is the first year I remember naming snow storms. I was in Rhode Island for the Blizzard of ’78, and we never named it. There were 48 inches of snow in about a day and a half, and no one thought about naming the storm. We have become wimps.

My warmest thoughts go out to my friends in Massachusetts as they endure the weather expected over the next week. I think you should name the first sunny day “Fred.”

Let The Squabbles Begin

The Boston Globe posted an article today about the fight among the New England States for ObamaCare grants to set up websites. Originally, Massachusetts was given a $45 million federal innovation grant to build a state-of-the-art consumer platform for President Obama’s insurance program.

Massachusetts is a bit of a ‘techie’ state, and it was hoped that they would share the technical knowledge used to build their ObamaCare website with the other New England states. That sounds like a very reasonable idea in theory. Unfortunately, in practice it didn’t work.

The article reports:

Massachusetts has failed to produce a successful computer model to share, and in the meantime Connecticut’s insurance marketplace, built by Deloitte LLP, is working so well that the state is now offering its computer system as a model for other struggling states.

Counihan said five states have expressed interest in piggybacking off Connecticut’s insurance marketplace, but not Massachusetts.

“Some states were trying to build a Maserati. We built a Ford Focus,’’ Counihan said. “It might not be as glamorous but it runs. It can get you to the store.”

So what’s the problem? The article explains:

Connecticut health care officials are now mounting a campaign to collect a portion of a $45 million federal innovation grant that was awarded to Massachusetts to build a state-of-the-art consumer platform for President Obama’s insurance program.

…But, Rhode Island state Representative Joseph McNamara, a Democrat on the General Assembly’s Permanent Joint Committee on Healthcare Oversight, said he thinks Rhode Island could benefit from the money. Federal grants for the Rhode Island insurance marketplace end by July 2015, when the state would face a $24 million shortfall, he said.

“It’s a liability that we’re starting to discuss right now,” McNamara said. “We would appreciate any assistance from our friends in Massachusetts.”

Somewhere along the way, someone needs to remind these states that this is not ‘free’ money. It comes off the backs of overtaxed taxpayers who are paying upwards of 40 percent of their earnings in taxes. At some point we need to admit that ObamaCare is costing considerably more money than anticipated and repeal it. Unfortunately, as long as states are willing to fight over federal tax money in order to avoid spending their state tax money, the federal deficit will continue to grow.

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Some Sad News For Providence Radio Listeners

My morning radio listening varies between Helen Glover in Providence and Bill Bennett on the Salem Radio Network (on the Internet since he is not on the radio locally). Since Tuesday there has been someone on other than Helen, so I assumed that she was on vacation. I unexpectedly met her tonight, and she explained that WHJJ let her go.

On Tuesday the Providence Journal reported:

Helen Glover, morning talk-show host on WHJJ-AM has been let go by the station following her show Tuesday. Glover said her replacement will be local talk radio veteran Ron St. Pierre, who was laid off by rival WPRO-AM in February.

On Wednesday, Helen’s former producer, Dee DeQuattro, wrote a letter to the Providence Journal about her experience on the show.

The letter states:

When WHJJ pulled the plug on “The Helen Glover Show,” an already muffled conservative cry in Rhode Island was muted. Glover was known to blow the Republican rally horn and call the few, proud conservative Rhode Islanders together.

Now her voice may become an echo in Rhode Island radio history. However, Glover’s impact will survive. From helping to spearhead the original efforts of the Rhode Island Tea Party to leading the charge at national rallies, Glover put actions to her words.

The show was not over when the on-air light went off. She truly lived it. Glover would stand up for the underdog, and if she was true to a cause she turned out to support it. Glover often spoke at events — not to make a buck, like her radio counterparts, but out of loyalty to her listeners, who were so loyal to her.

I first encountered Helen at a Glenn Beck book signing in Providence a few years ago. I have since seen her at Tea Party events and events featuring speakers dealing with national security. Her show was informative and entertaining. She had wonderful guests, but she herself was also able to speak knowledgeably on a variety of subjects.

Hopefully another radio station will realize what a treasure she is, and she will be back on the air quickly. Helen, you are already missed.

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Voting With Your Feet

CBN News posted a story today about the relationship between tax rates in different states and where people choose to live.

The article reports:

Brown (author Travis H. Brown) discovered that the nine states with no personal income tax gained $146.2 billion in AGI. Those states include Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Conversely, the states with the highest personal income tax rates lost a total of $107.4 billion. They are California, Hawaii, Oregon, Iowa, New Jersey, Vermont, New York, and Maine. Washington, D.C., was also included.

Another measurement delivers similar results. Brown looked at the 10 states with the lowest per capita state and local tax burdens and found they netted $69.9 billion in AGI. Those states include Alaska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, Wyoming, Texas, New Hampshire, Alabama, Nevada, and South Carolina.

The 10 states with the highest state and local tax burden lost $139 billion in AGI. They are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine, and Pennsylvania.

This story has personal relevance to me. My husband will be retiring at the end of the year, and we are about to put our house on the market. (If anyone wants a five-bedroom house in Southeastern Massachusetts, please leave a comment). We are moving for many reasons–one of those reasons is the cost of living in Massachusetts. We will be headed to North Carolina where we have family and the cost of living is lower.

Recently, Massachusetts raised the taxes on cigarettes. I don’t smoke, so that doesn’t impact me, but I was in a store yesterday in Rhode Island near the Massachusetts state line. The person ahead of me in line was commenting that she would no longer be buying cigarettes in Massachusetts because they were cheaper in Rhode Island. Right now, gasoline is more expensive in Rhode Island than in Massachusetts, but since the gasoline tax in Massachusetts is now indexed to inflation, I wonder how long that will be the case.

When people have an option, they give less money to the government, whether it is state or federal government. The Laffer Curve explains one aspect of that.

At some point, government needs to realize that at some point it has all of the money we have earned that it is entitled to. The question is exactly where the point of enough taxes is reached.

 

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The Problem With Playing Politics With A Tragedy

In the current world of the Internet, it would behoove politicians to look into past statements regarding a tragedy before making total fools of themselves.

Yesterday’s Daily Caller posted a story about comments made by Rhode Island’s Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse after the tornado outbreak in Oklahoma. Senator Whitehouse spent 15 minutes chastising GOP senators for denying the theory of anthropogenic global warming. The implication being, of course, that the tornadoes were the result of global warming and that if the Republicans would just acknowledge global warming, the tornadoes wouldn’t have happened. Right. He somehow forgot to mention that tornadoes in the middle of the country in the spring are more common that hurricanes on the east coast in the summer. But it gets better.

A blogger named Steven Goddard posted the following Newsweek article from April 1975:

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This is the link to the entire article.

The Senator does not need to play politics with this tragedy. What he does need to do is to figure out a way to get aid to the people affected by creating a bill that will help them that does not include tons of pork-barrel spending. I strongly suggest that he devote his time to crafting that bill rather than citing science that has already been proven to be faulty.

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Where The Sequester Really Hurts

From President Obama’s perspective, the problem with the sequester is that the cuts haven’t hurt people enough for the public to understand the total folly of actually cutting the federal budget. Never mind that the sequester does not actually cut the federal budget–it only slows the rate of growth. But let’s look at some of the things that the sequester has cut, and let’s look at some of the places that could easily be cut in the federal budget.

Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted an editorial about the amount of overlapping and duplicated programs in the federal government. The editorial pointed out that according to the Government Accountability Office, which on Tuesday released its 2013 report on fragmentation and duplication of federal programs there are an estimated $95 billion in duplicative programs that waste precious tax dollars.

The editorial cites several examples:

Having three agencies doing catfish safety inspections may strike some as funny, but there is nothing to laugh about in the Department of Homeland Security having $568 million worth of overlapping research and development programs. Or that Department of Defense foreign language training services are provided by 159 separate contracting groups at a cost of $200 million. And why should taxpayers have to foot $15 billion worth of duplicative renewable energy programs?

This is the place where politics enters the picture. Wouldn’t it make much more sense to go through federal spending and eliminate waste and duplication than to cut spending in places where it has a visible negative impact? Of course–that’s why it is not being done that way.

There are two other stories on the internet this morning loosely related to this editorial. The first, found in the U.K. Mail yesterday, describes a star-studded concert held at the White House on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, children cannot tour the White House because of the financial restraints of sequestration. How much did the American taxpayers pay for last night’s party? The other story is from yesterday’s Providence Journal. The Navy has announced that the rest of the year’s performances by the aerial performance team the Blue Angels have been canceled for budget reasons. That means that they will not be performing at the Quonset Point Air Show this summer. This is just ridiculous. The air show is not solely for entertainment purposes–it is a major recruiting tool for the American military. There is a possibility that the entire air show may be cancelled, which will make things more difficult for military recruiters in the Rhode Island area.

By playing politics with the sequestration rather than dealing with major financial issues facing America, the Obama Administration and those in Congress who support this administration have done a great disservice to the American people. It is now the responsibility of the American people to vote out of office those politicians who are playing games with the federal budget rather than solving the spending problem.

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Memories Of A Horrible Time

This is a rambling article detailing some of my memories of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. There are no links–it is strictly my memories of the events–as I happened to be in Memphis at the time. Hopefully you will enjoy reading it.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. My husband and I were temporarily stationed in Memphis at that time and were scheduled to return to his home port in Rhode Island the next day. During the time we were stationed there, I worked as a temporary office employee and made use of the city’s public transportation while my husband drove to the Navy base at Millington every day.

The city had been on edge since February due to a garbage strike and the death of some city employees who were taking a break in a garbage truck when the mechanism engaged.  Martin Luther King, Jr., had visited the city in March, speaking to thousands at Mason Temple.

I was working in downtown Memphis on the day that Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot. Things were tense that day–downtown had been declared ‘off limits’ to military personnel. City buses had been surrounded by crowds and ‘rocked.’  I don’t remember whether or not any buses were tipped over. My husband disobeyed the ‘off limits’ order and came into the city to get me because we were afraid that the bus would not be a safe way to get home.

The night of April 4 was even more tense. I don’t remember whether or not there was a curfew in the city, but I suspect there was. The next day we attended graduation ceremonies for the school my husband had been attending and then headed back to Rhode Island to his next duty station. That weekend we were supposed to visit a classmate of my husband who was part of the Presidential helicopter squadron. Needless to say, when Washington, D. C. had riots, we cancelled those plans.

We had a National Guard escort through Nashville, Tennessee, on the way home. The Guard would allow six or seven cars to go through the city with military vehicles ahead and behind the cars. We had bought a car in Memphis and had Tennessee license plates on the car, so I felt as if we blended in a little better than we might have with Rhode Island plates.

After two days of hard driving, we pulled into my husband’s parents’ house right outside of New York City. The next day we went into New York City and heard a story I have never forgotten.

New York Mayor Lindsay carries in his budget

New York Mayor Lindsay carries in his budget (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During this time, John Lindsay was the Mayor of New York City. I am making no comment regarding the success or failure of his term as Mayor. We went into the city to the recording studio where my husband had worked before joining the Navy and were talking with another employee who was also a pastor in a black church in Harlem. The Pastor told us what had happened in New York City after the shooting of Dr. King. The Pastor explained why New York City had not had the riots that several other American cities had gone through after the news of the assassination broke. When the news of Dr. King’s death came over the wire, Mayor Lindsay immediately called the pastors of the churches in Harlem and asked them to meet him in the street on the edge of Harlem. He went there with his driver, got out his megaphone and said something like ‘If you want to march, I will march with you.’ That march changed the fate of New York City from one of riots to one of relative peace. Leadership matters.

The next day we headed back to our peaceful home in Rhode Island. It was really good to be home.

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Common Sense From Patrick Kennedy

Yes, you read that right. Patrick Kennedy, former Congressman from Rhode Island, has started Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), a group to fight the increasing legalization of marijuana.

Accuracy in Media posted an article yesterday showing some of the reporting on the new group::

The paper (The Washington Post) said Kennedy wants “to shift the debate from legalization to prevention and treatment—despite what appears to be a growing social acceptance of the drug.”

That “growing social acceptance” is being driven by the drug-friendly media, the pro-drug entertainment industry, and a dope lobby led by the Drug Policy Alliance that is mostly funded by billionaires such as George Soros.

I don’t know a lot about marijuana–I am so old that there were no drugs in the schools when I was in high school. The general concept of a drug addict in the early 1960’s was someone with a needle injecting drugs, and there was no way that was socially acceptable. However, I have been exposed to teenagers and adults who have used marijuana, and I can honestly say that I have never seen anyone whose life improved due to drug use. I am not convinced that we truly understand the effect of marijuana on the human body–long term or short term.

The article further reports:

Kennedy’s involvement follows other experts who have been discussing marijuana’s threat. Mental health expert Clayton Cramer tells Accuracy in Media, “The studies that have been done on the subject clearly demonstrate not just a correlation between mental illness and marijuana use, but a causal connection.”

However, the pro-marijuana movement is on the move, with the state of Oregon sinking so low as to authorize the use of “medical marijuana” for a 7-year-old child with leukemia. The child’s father, who is divorced from the girl’s mother, reported the marijuana use to child welfare officials and said that he found the little girl “stoned out of her mind.”

The prospect of Patrick Kennedy’s involvement gives hope to those who believe the U.S. has been surrendering the war on drugs.

It is good news that Patrick Kennedy has taken up this cause. Hopefully we can stop the legalization train before we become a nation of narcissists smoking pot to avoid facing reality.

I would like to mention something that I noticed on a visit to California, where medical marijuana is legal. The last two pages of the Sunday newspaper were filled with advertisements from doctors stating that they prescribed marijuana for headaches, digestive problems, etc. It was obvious from the ads that all you had to do if you wanted to smoke marijuana legally was go to one of these doctors and complain that you had a headache. In states where marijuana has actually been legalized, it is not even necessary to visit a doctor, but in California, a doctor’s visit is necessary before you can legally smoke pot.

I rather doubt that increasing drug use is an indicator of a healthy society. The obvious questions here is, “Who profits by making marijuana legal?” I don’t have the answer to that questions, but I suspect it would explain a lot.

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Doesn’t Anyone Have Any Common Sense ?

Yesterday’s Providence Journal reported that a mother who is a single parent contacted the ACLU because her daughter was not able to attend a father-daughter dance the school was having. The Cranston School Department has now banned traditional “father-daughter” and “mother-son” activities, saying they violate state law.

The article reports:

Supt. Judith Lundsten said the move was triggered by a letter ifrom the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a single mom who had complained that her daughter had not been able to attend her father-daughter dance.

Lundsten said school attorneys found while federal Title IX legislation banning gender discrimination gives an exemption for “father-son” and “mother-daughter” events, Rhode Island law doesn’t.

This is the place where common sense would be useful. One of my daughters is a military wife. When her daughter’s school had a father-daughter dance at a time when my son-in-law was in Afghanistan, another father who was going with his daughter simply stepped in and added my granddaughter to his family for the night. I think rather than rain on everyone else’s parade, the answer would be to find a male friend willing to stand in for the night. Why did this single parent feel the need to spoil the fun for the other children and parents?

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How To Steal An Election

On August 25th, the Providence Journal posted an article and a video (the video is also on YouTube) showing the promise of absentee ballots in exchange for a weekly paycheck.

The article reports:

The recording, obtained by The Providence Journal, captures a meeting secretly recorded by investigators working for Gemma in which the man promises hundreds of such absentee ballot votes for the congressional candidate in exchange for a weekly paycheck of $500.

The man, Erasmo Ramirez, also is recorded saying that he has prior experience working for Rep. David N. Cicilline, whom Gemma is challenging. Eric Hyers, Cicilline’s campaign manager, said Ramirez worked as an unpaid volunteer for Cicilline when he first ran for mayor of Providence in 2002 and has not worked for Cicilline since then.

This is the video:

It is a long video, but it is worth watching. There is no clearer argument for voter identification laws. I have no idea how to enforce those laws with absentee ballots, but it seems as though a thorough check of addresses might solve that problem.

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What Voter Fraud ?

Yesterday the Providence (RI) Journal posted a story and video clip concerning a press conference held by Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma, charging voter fraud in past Rhode Island elections.

This is the video of the press conference:

Mr. Gemma explained that he had hired TRP Associates, a detective agency run by three retired state troopers, to investigate voter fraud in recent Rhode Island elections.

The article reports:

Gemma contends an investigation he initiated by retired state troopers found evidence of people being paid to vote for certain candidates, people voting multiple times at different voting places and people who impersonated other voters.

Speaking at an outdoor press conference near his headquarters, Gemma called Cicilline the “common denominator” through most of the evidence, some of which dates to 2002.

The findings, Gemma said, are not “run-of-the-mill dirty politics” or “gossip, but evidence of conduct that compromises the very core of our electoral process.”

…Gemma says he has met with the head of the state police Col. Steven G. O’Donnell to discuss the evidence. Gemma said he also turned over information to the FBI.

There are a few things to remember here. These charges are being made in the heat of a Democrat Party primary election campaign. That means that the charges should be examined carefully, but it doesn’t mean that they should be dismissed out of hand. Rhode Island is a one-party state–Democrat. The Democrats in Rhode Island have a very strong political machine, and it is hard for a non-sanctioned-by-the-machine candidate to get past a primary with a machine candidate.

This is a story that needs to be watched to see what evidence actually is made public and how important that evidence is.

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The U-6 Unemployment Number

The U-6 unemployment number was up to 15 percent in July. The overall unemployment number is currently at 8.3 percent.

The DRUDGE REPORT posted the following links today:

THEY BOTH CANT BE RIGHT:

Reuters: Labor market slowed sharply after strong gains in winter, spelling trouble for Obama…

AP: Stronger job creation could help Obama’s re-election hopes…

The unemployment number announced today is 8.3 percent, but that number only includes those people who are currently looking for work. If every unemployed worker stopped looking for work, the number would drop to 0 percent–which logically makes absolutely no sense.

CNBC posted a story today about the U-6 number, which includes discouraged potential employees who have quit looking, and those who are underemployed — wanting to work full-time but forced to work part-time. The U-6 numbers in various states are alarming.

The article at CNBC reports:

Consider: Nevada‘s U-6 rate is 22.1 percent, up from just 7.6 percent in 2007. Economically troubled California has a 20.3 percent real rate, while Rhode Island is at 18.3 percent, more than double its 8.3 percent rate in 2007.

Those numbers compare especially unfavorably to the national rate, high in itself at 14.9 percent though off its record peak of 17.2 percent in October 2009.

Only three states — Nebraska (9.1 percent), South Dakota (8.6 percent) and North Dakota (6.1 percent) — have U-6 rates under 10 percent, according to research from RBC Capital Markets.

Note that the states with the low U-6 rates are the states involved in developing America’s energy resources contained in the Bakken Shale Oil Formation. That might be a clue as to what we need to do to turn around America’s economy.

Meanwhile, the bottom line is simple–the current recovery is as bad, if not worse, than the recession. It’s time to change the people in charge.

Investors.com reports today:

Looked at another way, the labor force participation rate fell to 63.7% in July. That’s down from 65.7% in June 2009, and it’s just above the lowest since January 1982. Back then the economy was in the midst of a deep 16-month recession and the share of women in the work force was still significantly lower.

This continues a trend set since the economic recovery officially started in June 2009. Sluggish job growth has failed to keep pace with population growth, creating an ever larger pool of people who either don’t have jobs or have given up looking for one.

In fact, since June 2009, the number of people in the labor force has climbed just 283,000, while the number of people not in the labor force has exploded by 7.5 million.

This is not a recovery.

So why is the stock market going up today? I suspect it is factoring in the fact that these numbers will make it more difficult for President Obama to be re-elected. Governor Romney is an experienced businessman. If anyone can turn this mess around, he can.

 

 

 

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How I Spent My Weekend

My husband and and I went house-hunting this weekend–in Delaware. Sometime in the next two years, he will retire. Massachusetts is not a good place to retire (for us, anyway)–it is too expensive and too cold. So we looked at Delaware.

This is a picture of what the southern end of the New Jersey Turnpike looked like at 11:45 this morning–note that there are people walking on the roadway–the traffic is at a dead standstill.

This is another picture–we stayed at the rest stop for about an hour and a half while the traffic cleared.

There were also some interesting signs along the way–these are taken from two restaurants–one in Delaware and one in Rhode Island.

The first picture seems a little bit confusing–if there is a $6 menu, why is it $8 every day? I loved the second picture because the British are so polite in reminding us to mind our manners.

More to follow at a later date…

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Running The White House By Chicago Rules

At the risk of sounding totally disrespectful, I fully believe that in 2008 we elected a Chicago thug to the White House. The list of reasons why I believe this is long–it includes disregard for the Constitution (attacking the Supreme Court), trying to undermine the right to bear arms (Fast and Furious), and just general tackiness (which I guess is not a serious crime, but sometimes it ought to be!).

As we approach the 2012 election, the press, possibly in an effort to regain some semblance of credibility before they begin to act as Obama campaign workers, are beginning to report things that we all knew, but they weren’t reporting.

The Weekly Standard posted an article today citing a rather lengthy New York Times article (is there any other kind?) entitled, “White House Opens Door to Big Donors, and Lobbyists Slip In.” Are we supposed to be surprised?

The article at the Weekly Standard reports:

Patrick J. Kennedy, the former representative from Rhode Island, who donated $35,800 to an Obama re-election fund last fall while seeking administration support for a nonprofit venture, said contributions were simply a part of “how this business works.”

“If you want to call it ‘quid pro quo,’ fine,” he said. “At the end of the day, I want to make sure I do my part.”

It seems to me that that shouldn’t be “simply a part of how this business works.” It really is time to clean house in Washington–and the house cleaning has to be the President, the Congress, and the bureaucrats who continue to spend taxpayer money recklessly–whether they are staffers or government employees. The taxpayers of America need to take our country back.

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Does Anyone Actually Believe This ?

 

Shamrock Texas Tornado

Shamrock Texas Tornado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Real Clear Politics reported yesterday on a statement made by Senator Dick Durbin earlier this week.

The Senator stated:

“It’s your money or your life. We are either going to dedicate ourselves to a cleaner, more livable planet and accept the initial investment necessary or we’re going to pay a heavier price in terms of loss of human life, damage and costs associated with it.”

This statement was made in response to the recent tornadoes in Texas. There are a few problems with the statement. I don’t think any American politician supports pollution–I just don’t.

I might be a good idea to remember that hurricanes and tornadoes have been with us for a long time. Out of curiosity I looked up the Rhode Island hurricane of 1938 (I couldn’t remember the year). In reading the article, I found a reference to the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635. In 1939, Hollywood produced “The Wizard of Oz.” Obviously, someone familiar with tornadoes wrote the script. In the 1930’s America did not have the highways and power generating plants that it has now, and weather was still happening. Imagine. Again, I support clean air, but I don’t like being threatened.

This is simply another attempt to convince the American people that the government needs to take more of their money.

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Do Politics Influence Where People Choose To Live ?

Map of USA showing states with no state income...

Image via Wikipedia

Yahoo Finance posted an article yesterday entitled, “States Where No One Wants To Buy A New Home.” Since I live in one of the states on the list (Massachusetts is listed as number 7 of 10), I read the article.

The map above shows all the states with no state income tax in red and the states that tax only interest and dividend income in yellow. I am not sure how much of a factor this is in the number of housing starts. It is interesting, though, that none of the states with no state income tax are on the list of states with the lowest number of housing starts.

The article reports:

Surprisingly, our list of states where few permits have been issued recently is different from the typical list of the worst housing markets. California, Nevada and Florida are always on those lists because homes are vacant and home values continue to drop. But the three are not on this list. It may be that prices have dropped so low in these markets that home inventory has begun to move, even if only tentatively. Instead, markets where housing permits are very small in relation to total homes are markets in which builders have abandoned any hope of near-term sales.

In case all you really wanted to do was see the list, here it is:

  1. Rhode Island
  2. West Virginia
  3. Illinois
  4. Michigan
  5. Connecticut
  6. Ohio
  7. Massachusetts
  8. New York
  9. Maine
  10. Pennsylvania

What in the world do these states have in common? I suspect there are a lot of reasons for the number of building permits to decrease in these states. Michigan for instance has lost a lot of businesses due to the tax policies of recent state administrations. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island all have state income taxes and business environments that do not necessarily encourage businesses to migrate there. New York is a very expensive place to live, although I believe the current governor is trying to ease the burden on the state’s taxpayers. It is interesting to me that these are all states in the northern areas of the country. Could it be that as the baby boomers age, they are simply looking for warmer places to live?

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