From The Young Conservatives Website

The following cartoon is from the Young Conservatives website:

branco min wage cartoon

The article below the cartoon states:

A survey of American economists found that 90 percent of them regarded minimum wage laws as increasing the rate of unemployment among low-skilled workers. Inexperience is often the problem. Only about two percent of Americans over the age of 24 earned the minimum wage.

Advocates of minimum wage laws usually base their support of such laws on their estimate of how much a worker “needs” in order to have “a living wage” — or on some other criterion that pays little or no attention to the worker’s skill level, experience or general productivity. So it is hardly surprising that minimum wage laws set wages that price many a young worker out of a job.

Support of an increase in the minimum wage is political–it is  not based on economic realities. Unions support it because it allows them to negotiate for higher wages. Eventually this cycle leads to inflation and hurts low-income wage earners the most.

Some Pictures From The Latest Jobs Report

On August 29, Breitbart.com posted a story about the current labor force participation rate. The chart below tells the story:

Although the unemployment numbers look good, they don’t tell the whole story:

The labor force participation rate is the lowest it has been in 34 years.

The article at Breitbart contains this rather chilling quote:

“Following the Great Recession, we’ve entered into the Great Shift,” says Express Employment Professionals CEO Bob Funk, who previously served as chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. “This is a period defined by the Boomer retirement, Millennial frustration, and growing reliance on government programs. All indicators suggest this shift is not sustainable.” (emphasis mine)

The economic policies of the Obama Administration have not worked. If President Obama will not reverse them, we need to elect people who will. Our future depends on it.

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Some Oddities In The Unemployment Numbers

Breitbart.com reported today that the the unemployment numbers reported by the Gallop polling organization jumped from 7.7% on July 21 to 8.9% today.

The article reports:

At the end of July, the BLS showed a 7.4% unemployment rate, compared to Gallup‘s 7.8%. Again, a difference not worthy of note. But Gallup’s upward trend to almost 9% in just the last three weeks is alarming, especially because this is not a poll with a history of wild swings due to statistical anomalies. Gallup’s sample size is a massive 30,000 adults and the rolling average is taken over a full 30 day period.

Gallup also shows an alarming increase in the number of underemployed (those with some work seeking more). During the same 30-day period, that number has jumped from 17.1% to 17.9%.

It will be interesting to see how this lines up with the numbers that will be released shortly.

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Underneath The Jobs Numbers

Yahoo Finance posted an article today that included the Labor Force Participation Rate in the latest jobs numbers.

According to the article:

The civilian labor force decreased by 37,000 to 155.80 million in July, while those not in the labor force rose by 240,000 to 89.96 million.

The decrease in the percentage of Americans in the labor force–63.4% last month from 63.5% the month before–is one of the main reasons for the drop in the unemployment rate–to 7.4% in July from 7.6% in June.

Many of the jobs added were part time jobs and many jobs changed from full time to part time. ObamaCare has created some serious problems for the American economy (ObamaCare is responsible for the growth of part time jobs) and will continue to do so until it is defunded and stopped. I am not sure if the Republicans in the House of Representatives are going to get anywhere with their attempts at defunding it, but I give them credit for trying.

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The Numbers Behind The Numbers

The Stock Market climbed and the media rejoiced–the unemployment rate dropped to 7.5% in March–down 0.4 percentage points since January. At least it did not go up.

The New York Times reported yesterday that in spite of the fact that unemployment decreased and the economy added jobs, that since 2010 the number of Americans with jobs has stayed between 58.2 percent and 58.7 percent. Hot Air reported yesterday that the civilian workforce participation rate remained at a 34-year low of 63.3%.

Hot Air also reported:

…the number of people not in the workforce declined slightly in the Household data from March by 31,000. It’s still 632,000 higher than in February. Discouraged workers rose by 32,000 and marginally-attached workers rose by 21,000, both of which are relatively narrow shifts.

The New York Times reported:

Baby boomers are aging into retirement. Even before the recession, the government projected in 2007 that participation would decline to 65.5 percent by 2016, from 66 percent. But the April rate of 63.3 percent means the labor force has lost roughly five million additional workers.

Furthermore, the projections were wrong. Participation has actually risen among people older than 55. The decline is entirely driven by younger dropouts.

It is good that the unemployment number is down to 7.5%; however, we have a long way to go before we actually have a healthy economy. The two biggest challenges to the economy in the coming months will be the implementation of ObamaCare and the increased taxes that go with that implementation. We won’t really understand the financial impact of ObamaCare until late this year when people begin to plan for the tax rates of 2013 and when people begin to see ObamaCare directly affect their health insurance and health insurance premiums.

The article at Hot Air quotes Reuters:

Still, details of the report remained consistent with a slowdown in economic activity. Construction employment fell for the first time since May, while manufacturing payrolls were flat. The average workweek pulled off a nine-month high, but average hourly earnings rose four cents[.]

The New York Times article concludes:

There is always some unemployment. Millions of Americans are out of work at any given moment even in the best of times. But the economy is still roughly 10 million jobs short of returning to normal levels of unemployment and labor force participation. That’s a lot of missing jobs.

Some of those losses may be permanent. The number of Americans receiving disability benefits has increased by 1.8 million since the recession began, and people on disability rarely return to the work force, even if they would have preferred to keep working in the first place.

And as the economy improves, it is likely that labor force participation among older workers will finally begin to decline.

But the evidence suggests that the majority of the 10 million are just waiting for a decent chance.

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How Much Of Our Tax Dollars Goes To Fraud

Newsbusters posted a story today about numbers released by the St. Louis Federal Reserve last week on unemployment fraud. Their research found $3.3 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims in 2011.

This is a chart from the article:
Scarier still, there were people in this country making in excess of $100,000 a year that received unemployment benefits in 2011:

Considering the media’s panic over $85 billion in supposed sequestration cuts, you would think they’d be interested in this.

The only media that covered this were the Wall Street Journal on Friday and a Huffington Post on Sunday.

It seems to me that this is something that American taxpayers might be interested in. Not only do we have a spending problem, we also have a dishonesty problem.
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There Were Some Things Left Out In The Unemployment Numbers

Yesterday Breitbart posted some of the facts the media seems to have missed in reporting on the jobless numbers this week. The article quotes James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI):

The labor force participation rate fell again as potential workers stopped looking for work.  … [I]f the LFP rate was where it was in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 10.8%. …

The share of the unemployed out of work for 27 weeks or longer increased to 40.2% from 38.1% in January.

The employment-population ratio is exactly where it was a year ago, at an almost rock-bottom 58.6%.

This really doesn’t look like much of an economic recovery to me.

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The Law Of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

The Wall Street Journal posted an editorial today entitled, “ObamaCare and the ’29ers.'” When I first looked at the title, I thought it was about the unemployment rate of the twenty-something generation. It’s not. It’s about how ObamaCare is affecting the number of hours employers allow their employees to work.

The article reports:

The law (ObamaCare) requires firms with 50 or more “full-time equivalent workers” to offer health plans to employees who work more than 30 hours a week. (The law says “equivalent” because two 15 hour a week workers equal one full-time worker.) Employers that pass the 50-employee threshold and don’t offer insurance face a $2,000 penalty for each uncovered worker beyond 30 employees. So by hiring the 50th worker, the firm pays a penalty on the previous 20 as well.

Is Washington capable of making anything simple?

The article explains how the mathematics of employing people under ObamaCare work:

The savings from restricting hours worked can be enormous. If a company with 50 employees hires a new worker for $12 an hour for 29 hours a week, there is no health insurance requirement. But suppose that worker moves to 30 hours a week. This triggers the $2,000 federal penalty. So to get 50 more hours of work a year from that employee, the extra cost to the employer rises to about $52 an hour—the $12 salary and the ObamaCare tax of what works out to be $40 an hour.

This chart from the article shows the number of people currently working part-time:

image

It’s time to repeal ObamaCare, replace it with something that has actually been thought through, and get the American economy working again.

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Both Sets Of Jobs Numbers For January 2013

Yesterday CNS News reported that the number of Americans not in the labor force grew by 169,000 in January. Meanwhile, aol.com reports that 157,000 new jobs were added in January 2013.

The article at aol.com reported:

Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday that economic activity had “paused,” but they signaled optimism the recovery would regain speed with continued monetary policy support. The Fed left in place a monthly $85 billion bond-buying stimulus plan. Economists polled by Reuters had expected employers to add 160,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.8 percent last month.

…Job growth in 2012 averaged 181,000 a month, but not enough to significantly reduce unemployment. Economists say employment gains in excess of 250,000 a month over a sustained period are needed.

We are losing jobs as fast as we are gaining them. This really does not look like a strong economic recovery.

Elections Have Consequences

On Saturday, Breitbart.com posted an article about the impact Obamacare is having on jobs.

The article explains:

The Obamacare employer mandate doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2014, but the government requires businesses to track worker schedules for three to 12 months in advance.  That means many employers plan to get a jump start on avoiding Obamacare’s $2,000 per-worker fine by firing workers now, reducing employee hours, or replacing full-time employees with part-time workers.

The article lists companies in various industries that have been forced to layoff employees or cut employee hours in order to avoid the fines that will be imposed on them by Obamacare if they do not meet the specific requirements of Obamacare in the health care they provide.

The article reminds us that unemployment is currently much higher than it normally is during a ‘recovery’ from a recession:

The looming Obamacare layoffs and hiring freezes come as a Labor Department report announced today that the unemployment rate remains at 7.8% (revised up from the originally reported 7.7%).  Presently, 22.6 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed, or marginally attached to the work force. 

If we want to see the economy grow, we need to take a serious look at the policies of the federal government and the impact they are having on businesses.

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Between The Lines On The Jobs Numbers

Breitbart.com posted an article today about the latest jobs report. The article points out that the dip in the unemployment rate was the result of over a half-million people dropping out of the workforce.

The article also points out:

Over the last five months, 73% of all jobs created were government jobs. Moreover, the unemployment rate for government workers plunged to 3.8% in November — which is considered full employment.

Logically, when the civilian workforce is smaller, fewer people are paying taxes, and the money to fund the government shrinks.

The article reminds us:

Even though deficits rule the day at every level of government, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 847,000 new jobs created since June, a full 621,000 were government jobs. In November alone, 35,000 new government jobs were created.

In other words, as the labor participation rate plummets to a thirty year low — which means we have fewer taxpayers — we’re not only increasing the number of taxpayer-funded jobs, but the government is using the creation of these jobs to juice the employment numbers in a way that makes it look as though the job situation is actually improving.

I would be very surprised to see any of these numbers reported in the mainstream media.

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Where Did The Wonderful Unemployment Numbers Come From ?

Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line explaining the sudden wonderful drop in the unemployment numbers released today.

The article reports:

But there’s a problem with the report: it doesn’t make sense. As Kevin Hassett points out, the 114,000 net jobs created in September is well below the average for this year (146,000) and the average for last year (153,000).

So how did the Department of Labor come up with an unemployment rate that indicates significant improvement in the jobs picture? It found the alleged improvement through its survey of households. As Hassett explains, the Labor Department’s jobs report is always based on two surveys, one of households and one of establishments.

Professional economists and the press usually emphasize the establishment survey because it is considered less volatile. This month, that survey continues to show the usual weakness in the job market. But the household survey purports to show massive improvement.

This sort of mathematical trickery was totally predictable to anyone who understands President Obama’s roots in Chicago politics. Over the next four weeks, we may actually be told that there is no unemployment actually remaining in America. These numbers are about as reliable as your teenage son telling you that there was a unicorn standing in the middle of the highway, and traffic slowed to a crawl to avoid an accident so he was late getting home.

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Sifting Through The Jobs Numbers

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the jobs numbers just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The news that you will probably hear Democrats talk about is that the unemployment rate has gone down to 8.1 percent. Obviously that number is nothing to brag about, but at least it went down. But when you take a look at the numbers that are part of that number, unemployment is a problem.

The article mentions that the workforce shrank by 368,000.

CNBC reported:

But job reports for June and July were revised lower. The June count fell from 64,000 to 45,000, while July’s number came in at 141,000 from an originally reported 163,000.

Despite hopes that job creation would be better than expected, the monthly report fell short of economist expectations that 125,000 jobs were added for the month. The government said private payrolls increased by 103,000, about half the 201,000 that ADP reported Thursday.

The article at Hot Air explains that the decline in unemployment was due to people leaving the workforce. The employment-population rate in August was 58.3 percent.

The article at Hot Air points out:

That’s a new 30-year low in the civilian participation rate, lower than April’s 63.6%.  That’s the reason for the decline in the jobless rate.  The workforce decline artificially depresses the official unemployment rate.  If we had the same level of civilian participation as we did at the beginning of the recovery in June 2009 (65.7%), we’d be looking at a jobless rate of well over 10%.  The employment-population ratio dropped to 58.3% in August, not as low as last year’s 58.2%, but still bouncing along a generational bottom.  That measure was 59.4% at the beginning of the recovery.

There is talk of another quantitative easing (it would be QE3) by the government, but considering that QE1 and QE2 were not overly popular, it is questionable whether this will happen.

There is a political class in Washington that wants to remain in power–it includes both Congress and the Executive branches of government. There have been a few cracks made in that power by the Tea Party, but it remains to be seen if they will be corrupted by their new acquisition of power. If the Tea Party is not corrupted by Washington, they will provide the only hope to turn this mess around. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see what those currently in power are willing to do to the economy to get themselves re-elected.

 

 

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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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If The States Can Do It, The Federal Government Can Do It Too

Kate Hicks at Townhall.com posted an article today with some interesting statistics–all 17 states that elected Republican governors in 2010 have reduced their unemployment rates.

These are the numbers from some of these states:

CHANGING UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS
STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE CHANGE
Kansas 6.9% to 6.1% decline of 0.8%
Maine 8.0% to 7.4% decline of 0.6%
Michigan 10.9% to 8.5% decline of 2.4%
New Mexico 7.7% to 6.7% decline of 1.0%
Oklahoma 6.2% to 4.8% decline of 1.4%
Pennsylvania 8.0% to 7.4% decline of 0.6%
Tennessee 9.5% to 7.9% decline of 1.6%
Wisconsin 7.7% to 6.8% decline of 0.9%
Wyoming 6.3% to 5.2% decline of 1.1%
Alabama 9.3% to 7.4% decline of 1.9%
Georgia 10.1% to 8.9% decline of 1.2%

If this can be done at the state level, it can be done at the federal level. 

 

 

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How Long Do You Keep Doing Something When It Isn’t Working ?

New unemployment figures came out today. USA Today posted an article with the headline, “Obama: Jobs report ‘step in the right direction.'” Where is that step and what is the direction?

CNBC reported:

The U.S. economy created just 80,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate held steady at 8.2 percent, reflecting continued slow growth in the economy with the presidential election just four months away.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said private payrolls increased 84,000, while the government lost 4,000 jobs. Economists expected job growth of about 100,000 and the unemployment rate to be unchanged, though many had increased their forecasts based on some recent indicators.

President Obama has been in office for 3 1/2 years. His two major legislative programs were passed by Congress–Obamacare and the 2009 stimulus, which was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent and reduce it to about 6 percent by now. It really is time to evaluate whether either of these major legislative initiatives has done anything to help employment in America. At the same time, we need to look and see if any other decisions by the White House have negatively affected employment in America. How many jobs were lost by the President’s opposition to the Keystone Pipeline? How many jobs have been lost because of the ‘permitorium’ on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico? How many jobs have been lost by the uncertainty in the business community because a President and Congress have not passed a budget in three years?

Admittedly, President Obama inherited an economic mess when he took office. However, he asked to inherit that mess because he thought he could fix it. It is becoming extremely obvious that President Obama’s economic policies will not fix this mess. It is time to give someone else a chance to set things aright.

This can be turned around. Some of us are old enough to remember the Jimmy Carter Administration–high interest rates, high inflation, gas lines, declining influence abroad, etc. Those years were followed by some of the most rapid economic growth in American history due to the leadership skills of President Ronald Reagan. I am praying that Mitt Romney has those same leadership skills–we need them now!

 

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The Numbers Tell The Story

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I remember back in the days of dinosaurs experiencing the shock of going from four years of high school college prep courses, where all I had to do was memorize and pass the tests, to two years of secretarial school where I had to prove that I could type, take shorthand, and actually balance a general ledger. It was culture shock. It was easier just to memorize what war happened when, etc. That is the cultural divide we are facing in the upcoming Presidential election.

President Obama is an academic who knows how to community organize. Mitt Romney is a businessman who actually knows how money works and how to grow businesses.

Today’s Washington Examiner reported on the new jobs numbers and unemployment numbers that came out today (and the revised numbers from the previous months). This should be the summer hiring season, but that simply is not happening. The unemployment rate has risen slightly–to 8.2 percent. Only 69,000 jobs were created last month (150,000 was the expected number). March and April numbers were also revised down. March was revised to 143,000, instead of the original 154,000. April was revised to 77,000, from 115,000. First quarter economic growth was revised downward to 1.9 percent.

The chart below (from Legal Insurrection) tells the story:

President Obama has had three and a half years to do something with the American economy. He has done something–he has doubled the national debt, he has taken over the healthcare industry, he has overregulated businesses, and he has shut down energy production on federal land.

I think it’s time to vote for the person who can actually do something positive.

 

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I Like Pictures Better Than Raw Numbers

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story about the latest unemployment numbers (an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent). The story included the chart below.

I’m not an economist–I have enough trouble just keeping track of the family budget, but there are a few things I have figured out over the years. One of them is that you can make numbers say anything you want to say if you approach them correctly. What is happening with our unemployment numbers is not unique to the Obama Administration–it is a game that has been played by Washington politicians of all political stripes for a long time. In very simple terms, if there were no jobs in America–no one was working–but no one was looking for work, Washington would report the unemployment number as zero. Yes, you read that right. If you want to lower the unemployment number, all you have to do is not count the people who are not looking for work and the unemployment number automatically gets lower. It’s magic–no–it’s Washington sleight of hand. If you look at the chart above, you can see what has happened to the American labor force in the past ten years or so.

Last month The Hill reported that Representative Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has introduced a one-page bill entitled the REAL Unemployment Calculation Act (H.R. 4128), which would require “the federal government [to] cite, as its official unemployment calculation, the figure that takes into account those who are no longer looking for work,” not only those individuals actively seeking jobs. According to Thomas.gov, the Library of Congress website, the latest action on that bill was 3/29/2012 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.

I don’t know if there will ever be a convenient time to report honestly what the unemployment figures are. If you surf the Internet, you will find claims that the current real unemployment number is about 11 percent. It would be nice if accurate numbers were reported to Americans regardless of which political party is in charge.

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The Unemployment Numbers

The truth behind the unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

 

The bottom line here is simple. The only reason the unemployment number is below 9 percent is that the number of people in the labor force is less than it has been. There are two ways to lower the unemployment rate–employ more people or remove people from the labor force so that the percentage of unemployed people is lower. As you can see, the number of people in the labor force is decreasing–not increasing. We are moving in the wrong direction.
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What The Republican Debates Should Really Be About

This chart is from the website of the House Ways and Means Committee

America Before President Obama Took Office and Now

  Before Now Change
Number of Unemployed1 12.0 Million 13.1 Million +9%
Long-Term Unemployed2 2.7 Million 5.6 Million +107%
Unemployment Rate3 7.8% 8.5% +9%
“High Unemployment” States4 22 43 +95%
Misery Index5 7.83 11.46 +46%
Price of Gas6 $1.85 $3.39 +83%
“Typical” Monthly Family Food Cost7 $974 $1,013 +4%
Median Value of Single-Family Home8 $196,600 $169,100 -14%
Rate of Mortgage Delinquencies9 6.62% 10.23% +55%
U.S. National Debt10 $10.6 Trillion $15.2 Trillion +43%

1 Number of unemployed in January 2009 and December 2011. http://www.bls.gov/data/#unemployment.
2 “Long-term unemployed” means for over 26 weeks; data for January 2009 and December 2011. http://www.bls.gov/data/#unemployment.
3 Unemployment rates in January 2009 and December 2011. http://www.bls.gov/data/#unemployment.
4 “High unemployment” means having a 3-month average unemployment rate of 6% or higher.  From the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Extended Benefits Trigger Notice” for January 18, 2009 and January 22, 2012. http://www.ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/trigger/2009/trig_011809.html and http://ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/euc_trigger/2012/euc_012212.html.
5 The “Misery Index” equals unemployment plus inflation.  For January 2009 and December 2012.  http://www.miseryindex.us/indexbymonth.asp.
6 Average retail price per gallon, January 2009 week 3 and January 2012 week 4. http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=EMM_EPMR_PTE_NUS_DPG&f=W.
7 U.S. Department of Agriculture, values represent monthly “moderate” cost per family of four for January 2009 and November 2011. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodCost-Home.htm.
8 U.S. median sales price of existing single-family homes for metropolitan areas for 2008 and 2011 Q3. http://www.realtor.org/research/research/metroprice.
9 Residential mortgage delinquencies (real estate loans) for 2008 Q4 and 2011 Q3. http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/chargeoff/default.htm.
10 Values for January 21, 2009 and January 23, 2012.  http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

This is where the focus of the debates should be.

 

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The Ever-Shrinking Labor Force

Yesterday Jim Geraghty posted an article at National Review Online about the unemployment numbers released this week and the media’s celebration that unemployment is going down.

This is the chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

As you can see, the civilian labor force is not increasing.  In January 2006, there were 150,214,000 Americans in the labor force. In December 2008, there were 154,626,000 Americans in the labor force. That is an increase of 4,412,000.

The article reports:

We’re still down 349,000 from the size of the labor force when Obama’s term began. The labor force hit its lowest point during that time in January 2011, at 153,250,000.

The economy may actually improve slightly this year, and the economy should not be the only issue in deciding who to support in November’s election. There are other issues (some of which affect the economy) such as national defense, Obamacare, government spending, tax policies, and over-regulation.. This will be an important election, we owe it to ourselves to consider carefully how we vote.

 

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A Few Things To Add To The Unemployment Picture

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today on the unemployment numbers released today. Everything is not quite what we are told it is.

Mr. Morrissey reports that the numbers are slowly going down–we are now at 8.5 percent. There is, however, a bit more to the story.

The article points out:

The civilian population participation rate hasn’t changed at all from the 64.0% of last month, which remains the lowest level since the Reagan years and which keeps the jobless rate artificially low. The civilian labor force — all the employed and all those seeking employment — actually declined by 50,000 people since November.  However, the U-6 measure of “real” unemployment dropped from 15.6% in November to 15.2% in December, which is the lowest in three years.

The economy is improving very slowly. It would improve much more quickly if we began to remove some of the choking regulations from businesses and if we revised our tax code down to one or two pages that were easily understood by average Americans. Hopefully, this year’s elections will give us leadership that will do that.

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Received In My E-Mail This Morning

This article was also published in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette this morning. It was also sent out by the author, Len Mead. I received it in my e-mail this morning.

The economic truth hurts

Did you think Republicans would “raise your payroll taxes” starting in January if no deal had been reached? Do you think unemployment just dropped to only 8.6 percent?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, the Main Street media has succeeded in deceiving you — and most other busy readers and viewers. Like our economy, truthful journalism has sunk to lows unseen in our lifetimes.

Fortunately, dear reader, you have me to help you correct these misconceptions. Let me guide you — through truth — to understand what’s really happening as we celebrate what blessings we have left this Christmas and Hanukkah.

Let’s start with the bogus “payroll tax reduction” issue. You’ve been told if the current reduced amount isn’t “extended,” 140 million plus workers will have taxes raised over $1,000 next year. The truth is this payroll withholding is simply not a tax. It is an amount fortunate working people have set aside for their own retirement to fund Social Security.

So, when it was “cut” last year, it just further short-changed funding for promised Social Security payments which, not surprisingly, were insufficient to cover pay-outs last year for the first time in history.

The truth is that payroll withholdings for Social Security was never a tax, and it never should have been reduced, because now 40 cents of each federal dollar paid to existing Social Security retirees has to be borrowed.

When you buy groceries, do you borrow 40 cents of each dollar for food? That’s the truthful state our current retirement system has fallen to.

Real tax cuts are federal income tax rate reductions implemented by presidents like John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

These real tax rate reductions all resulted in sharply higher tax revenues collected by the government due to a growing economy, with more jobs and more people being hired to pay taxes.

One could argue that the so-called payroll tax cut reduction implemented in the past was an intentional destabilizing effort by Democrats to make citizens further dependent on government — similar to now bankrupt Europe. But hey, we’re bankrupt, too, with a national debt topping — hold your breath — $15 trillion (see usdebtclock.org). Not ready to pay this debt bill? Well, surely your children and grandchildren are, eh?

The Main Street media is criminally negligent in not reporting this serious truth to us.

Moving on to the bogus reported “reduction” in unemployment: Folks, it just ain’t so.

True unemployment is rising — horribly. The “official unemployment rate” of 8.6 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not include desperate citizens who have given up looking for full-time work after months or years of failure. For example, if the same number of people were looking for work today as were looking for work when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11 percent.

But the true unemployment figure is even worse.

The more accurate Labor Department unemployment figure is not the “U-3” 8.6 percent figure but really 15.6 percent, which includes “total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.”

Estimates of the number of unemployed by this measure exceed 25 million desperate people in the U.S. out of about 153 million working. Again, the Main Street media seems criminally unwilling to report this truth to us, or to report the possible solutions for improving our economy and thus the number of available jobs people wanting to work could seek.

Fortunately, many sources for these truths exist for curious, open-minded citizens anxious for real solutions to the problems of our economy.

Solutions include real reductions in government spending and regulations, lower and certain taxes for the future, and the repeal of Obamacare, which is a cancer on businesses who simply cannot hire anybody without knowing what future real costs will exist with each new hire.

When these steps are taken, our great free economy will again explode upward — with new jobs, new tax revenues for public needs, and real new hope for the future. Our still-free republic is still our greatest blessing now at year’s end.

Len Mead can be reached at mead1720@gmail.com

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