” With unemployment at record high levels , I’d like to give 12 million illegal aliens the right to compete with you for jobs .”
Hmm , now what could his motive be ? Purely humanitarian , no doubt .
” To all our American readers, Happy Labor Day! And to all our Canadian readers, Happy Labour Day! That’s what the day used to be about: putting the “u” in Labor. You can’t spell labour without you, and without you and your labour this planet would be a primitive state of nature, red in tooth and claw. Consider the words of Peter J McGuire, General Secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, proposing the very first Labor Day a mere century-and-a-third ago. The new day would be an occasion, he said, to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold”.
What a crazy! All the grandeur we behold comes from man and his work? What fossil fuel is he inhaling? Today, rude nature is the state we aspire to, and you can’t even delve and carve a Keystone pipeline underneath it, out of sight. Labor itself, in the sense Mr McGuire used the term, is morally dubious among our elites, and, down at the other end, simply unknown. A statistic from my book After America, personally autographed copies of which are exclusively available from the SteynOnline bookstore and which help support my campaign against Nobel fraud Michael Mann’s rude nature, into which I hope to be carving a hearty “up yours”…
Whoops, sorry. Where was I? Ah, yes. A quote from After America:
One fifth of British children are raised in homes in which no adult works. Just under 900,000 people have been off sick for over a decade, claiming “sick benefits”, week in, week out for ten years and counting.
By 2012, one tenth of the adult population had done not a day’s work since Tony Blair took office on May 1st 1997 – a decade and a half earlier. In such households, the weekday ritual of rising, dressing, and leaving for gainful employment is entirely unknown. In Ferguson, Missouri, the “conversation”, as they say on MSNBC, is between the dependent class and the governing class that ministers to them and keeps them in line. If you’re a convenience store owner, your low-skilled service jobs are the only labor on offer, and, for your pains, you get burned and looted by the dependent class while your 911 calls go unanswered by the governing class, both of which you fund.
Now there’s a glimpse of the world to come, for those who wish to ponder it. Of course, nothing dates quicker than the future, as I suggested in this Labour Day column from Canada’s National Post twelve years ago:
This Labour Day, I thought about the working class, the masses.
No, honestly, I did. Okay, I was on the beach, but the folks around me lying on the sand had jobs they’ll be getting back to this morning. They worked. They would be classed as workers. But they’re not an homogeneous “working class”, they’re not conscripts in Karl Marx’s “masses”. The transformation of Labor Day, from a celebration of workers’ solidarity to a cook-out, is the perfect précis of the history of Anglo-American capitalism. “
As usual , read it all
” The International Monetary Fund slashed its forecast for US economic growth on Monday, citing a harsh winter, problems in the housing market and weak international demand for the country’s products.
In its annual review of the US economy, the IMF cut its growth forecast by 0.8 percentage points to 2%. At a press conference IMF managing director Christine Lagarde blamed the bad winter for much of the cut and said the setback should be temporary. But she warned: “Growth in and of itself will not be enough.”
As part of a series of reforms the IMF has called for an increase in the minimum wages in the US, currently the lowest when compared to the average wage in any of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s 34 countries.
She said the number of long-term unemployed, 3.4 million in May according to the Department of Labor, remained too high and the percentage of people in or actively looking for work, the so-called participation rate, remained too low.”
While acknowledging the impact that our huge unemployment rate is playing in the lack of recovery , Ms Lagarde proceeds to lecture the US on the need to hike the minimum wage … that will spur employment , yeah , right . Their second recommendation is the other tried and true Statist “recovery tool” … government stimulus …
” The IMF believes the US also needs to do more to mitigate the impact of its aging population and to stimulate productivity. The best option would be for government to boost spending, notably on infrastructure, the IMF said.”
The Guardian has more
” A vote on Sunday to establish a minimum wage of $25 an hour would make mostly immigrants here in agriculture, housekeeping, and catering among the world’s highest paid unskilled workforce.
The vote comes after hundreds of fast-food workers walked off their jobs in many U.S. cities and in more than 30 countries on Thursday in a protest for higher wages. If the Swiss proposal passes, the country would have the highest minimum wage in the world.
But some who would be eligible for the higher wage worry that it may do more harm than good.
Luisa Almeida is an immigrant from Portugal who works in Switzerland as a housekeeper and nanny. Almeida’s earnings of $3,250 a month are below the proposed minimum wage but still much more than she’d make in Portugal.
Since she is not a Swiss citizen, she cannot vote but if she could, “I would vote ‘no’,” she says.
” If my employer had to pay me more money, he wouldn’t be able to keep me on and I’d lose the job.” “
If this minimum wage law passes get ready to see Switzerland’s low unemployment rate skyrocket as all wages will necessarily have to rise . If your average laborer is making a grand a week where does that leave the tradesmen and civil servants ?
The list at the link is just a small collection of ridiculously regulated trades that various state governments have instituted in the name of “protecting” the public , but which are really the result of lobbying efforts by private industry to protect/restrict their businesses , one example of which we highlight below . This is the power of government , picking winners and losers . Crony capitalism at work .
8. Makeup Artists
” Teaching someone how to put on makeup without a government permission slip is illegal in 36 states. Even worse, many of these states demand makeup artists get a cosmetologist or esthetician license, which covers many skills they don’t even use. For example, in Nevada, these entrepreneurs are forced to spend “700 hours in a classroom to learn about subjects that have nothing to do with makeup artistry, like how to cut hair, wax eyebrows and manicure nails.” The state’s restrictions are so strict they triggered a lawsuit.”
Read more about this protectionism in the guise of “public safety” at BuzzFeed
” Facts are unbelievably stubborn things.
Compare these changes for the last year of the Bush presidency 2008 versus the last full year of the Obama presidency 2013:
- Full time workers: 120 million vs. 116 million
- Workforce participation: 66% vs. 63.2%
- Home ownership: 70% vs. 62%
- Median income: $55,484 vs. $52,098
- Poverty rate: 13% vs. 15%
- People on food stamps: 31.6 million vs. 47.8 million
- Debt-to-GDP: 64.8% vs. 101.6% “
Read the rest at IJR
” America’s two major political parties are inevitably coalitions, forced by the winner-take-all Electoral College and the need of candidates in single-member congressional districts to amass 50 percent of the vote, or nearly that, to win election.
In a nation of America’s cultural variety, that means holding together groups that have different priorities and conflicting positions on issues.
So coalitions don’t last forever, and change composition over time. John Kennedy’s Democratic coalition united white Southerners and northern Catholics. Half a century later, Republican Mitt Romney carried white Southerners and white Catholics by wide margins.
Barack Obama’s Democratic Party is a top-and-bottom coalition, with affluent gentry liberals and blacks, single women, recent Hispanic immigrants and young voters — all groups of little political heft in Kennedy’s day.
Now in the sixth year of the Obama presidency, with his job approval stuck below 50 percent, there are signs of strain. And choices made earlier, when Democrats held congressional supermajorities, are starting to prove troublesome.
One choice was to not bring forward immigration legislation that would provide a path to legalization for immigrants in the country unlawfully. This was a top priority for the Hispanic Caucus, but Obama and Democratic congressional leaders chose not to advance an issue that would cost them the support of some Democrats and require Republican votes.”
It’s always worth your while to read what Michael Barone has to say . This article is no exception .
” Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs has a new academic discipline for America’s scholars:
The course, called The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media, is a 251-level special topics course taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology Carolyn Chernoff. The professor encourages students to look past the colon in her course title and see what the class is really about.
In the photograph at right, it’s actually not that difficult to see past the colon.
Skidmore junior Layla Lakos, a sociology/philosophy major, first heard about the new Miley course on Facebook. Lakos laughed, but was intrigued all the same.
” You can study a lot of things based on Miley,” she said. “She represents how transient wealth and fame can be, and shows how possible it is to change your image.”
One of the easiest ways to understand how transient wealth is is to invest a six-figure sum in Twerk State University. The Atlantic reports on “the least valuable colleges and majors in America“:
The self-reported earnings of art majors from Murray State are so low that after two decades, a typical high school grad will have out-earned them by nearly $200,000. “
~ Since we’re talking about The Atlantic, a few years ago, back when I was the magazine’s obituarist, a New Hampshire neighbor of mine called me up and said they were considering mortgaging the family homestead because their daughter wanted to go to Columbia Journalism School. Her ambition was to be an editor at The Atlantic and, as I wrote for the magazine, they thought I might have some useful advice for her. I don’t have a degree from Columbia Journalism School or even Murray State University; I don’t have a high-school diploma. Apparently, that’s fine if you want to write a column for the magazine, but to copy-edit the same column, and to correct any Canadian spellings I may have slipped in, your parents need to mortgage the home your family’s lived in for the last two-and-a-quarter centuries.”
Make this your mandatory Saturday morning read … Mr Steyn is spot on , as usual .
” That’s why I think the best way to judge the stimulus as a whole is to say that we don’t really know how well it worked—but that it didn’t live up to some of the promises that were made when it was passed.
In theory, fiscal stimulus juices the economy through a multiplier effect, in which one dollar of borrowed government spending produces more than a dollar of overall economic gain. With a multiplier of 1.5, a stimulus of $100 million would produce $150 million in economic activity. A multiplier of 2.0 would result in double the economic jolt of the initial cash infusion. The higher the multiplier, the bigger the boost.
The problem, as I noted in my April 2013 story on the stimulus, is that no one really knows what multiplier effect of fiscal stimulus is. Reputable economists don’t even really agree about the possible range for the multiplier. Some economists think it could be in the range of 3.0 or even higher, given the right circumstances. The Congressional Budget Office puts the estimated multiplier for government purchases at somewhere between 0.5 and 2.5. A broad survey of estimates by University of California San Diego economist Valerie Ramey found that the range was usually between 0.8 and 1.5, although the data could support anywhere from 0.5 to 2.0.”
The whole issue is quite confusing , even to trained economists , but one thing seems like a no-brainer to me . While the egg-heads debate the effective rate of the government “multiplier” and give it a possible effectiveness rating of up to 2.5 … meaning that every dollar the government spends produces as much as 2.5 dollars in economic activity , a simpleton like myself asks how can that possibly be ?
For every dollar the State spends is taken out of the economy by way of taxes , greases a few federal palms by way of wages and overhead and then is redistributed into the economy . By the time that original dollar is sent on it’s way to “stimulate” economic growth it’s value is not a dollar but probably less than fifty cents ( we could not locate accurate administrative costs , quickly enough for this post ) .
If it costs the tax payer 50 cents on the dollar for the Feds to be the middleman in a redistribution scheme of epic proportions how could said stimulus , which was nothing but redistribution , achieve ANY positive economic effects AT ALL other than securing the jobs of the bureaucrats and administrators themselves ?
I am not an economist but have been a businessman for thirty years and if I “stimulate” my vendors by paying more so they can keep their employees living in the comfort to which they’ve grown accustomed that lowers my profit margin and takes food off of my table . Who benefits ? Not the consumer/taxpayer that’s for sure .
The idea that the State can “stimulate” growth is predicated solely on the notion that the government knows better how to spend the individual’s hard earned money and can do so more efficiently than the earner . If anyone believes that mail a letter , take a ride on Amtrak or visit your local VA hospital for much needed healthcare . Let us know how you make out .
” Obamacare is now expected to take 2.3 million full-time workers out of the labor market through 2021 while insuring 2 million fewer Americans in 2014 than expected, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.
The overall result of Affordable Care Act regulation will be a 1.5 percent to 2 percent reduction in the numbers of hours worked between 2017 and 2024, the CBO concluded in its 2014 Budget and Economic Outlook.
The updated numbers are nearly triple the 2011 estimate, which found that Obamacare would push just 800,000 people would leave the work force.”
The story continues at The Daily Caller
” Here are a few facts to bear in mind when we’re all regaled about Obama’s ‘historic’ presidency at his State of the Union address:
- The Number Of Americans That Have Joined The Food Stamp Program SinceObama Took Office: 19.4 Million.
- The Number Of People Unemployed At The End Of Obama’s Fifth Year AsPresident: 10.4 Million.
- The Number Of People Working Part-Time That Would Like To Work Full-Time: 7.8 Million.
- The Number Of People That Have Entered Poverty Since 2008: 6.7 Million.
- Americans Who Received Cancellation Notices For Their Health PlansDue To ObamaCare After Obama Promised They Could Keep Their Plans In His 2010 State Of The Union Address: 5 Million.
- The Number Of Americans Struggling With Long-Term Unemployment Of 27 Weeks Or Over: 3.9 Million.
- The Increase In Americans Struggling With Long-Term Unemployment Since Obama Became President: 1.2 Million.
- Construction Jobs (aka “Shovel-Ready Jobs”) Lost Since Obama Took Office: 721,000.
- Manufacturing Jobs Lost Since Obama Took Office: 528,000.”
” Morning Joe’s crack news team did make a half-hearted stab at blaming “cold weather,” but you could tell they’re just not into the argument. The fact is there’s simply no way to spin this data as anything other than dismal. They even bemoaned the fact that the unemployment rate only went down because so many people left the workforce. For MSNBC, that comes dangerously close to actual reporting.
Probably the best part of the segment was the look on Mika Brzezinski’s face. Dour, downcast, and frustrated, she looks like her head’s about to explode. This may be because, like liberals everywhere, she treats each and every bit of negative news that stems from her political messiah’s administration as a personal assault.”
” Alabama senator Jeff Sessions responds to the latest jobs report:
” Today’s jobs report underscores a deeper problem facing our economy: a large and growing block of people who are chronically jobless and completely outside the workforce. In December, the economy added only 74,000 jobs – not nearly enough to keep up with population growth –and 347,000 left the workforce. That means for every one job added, nearly 5 people left the workforce entirely. “
” After a 30-year military career in which he earned three graduate degrees, rose to the rank of colonel, and served as an aide to Pentagon brass, Robert Freniere can guess what people might say when they learn he’s unemployed and lives out of his van:
Why doesn’t this guy get a job as a janitor?
Freniere answers his own question: “Well, I’ve tried that.”
Freniere, 59, says that his plea for help, to a janitor he once praised when the man was mopping the floors of his Washington office, went unfulfilled. So have dozens of job applications, he says, the ones he has filled out six hours a day, day after day, on public library computers.
So Freniere, a man who braved multiple combat zones and was hailed as “a leading light” by an admiral, is now fighting a new battle: homelessness.”
” A word of caution for kids heading off to college this year: Your degree may be worth less and cost more than you think. Your job prospects will likely be grim, whether or not you get that sheepskin. Oh, and you’re on the hook for trillions in federal debt racked up by your parents and grandparents.
Washington has willfully ignored the looming crisis of entitlement spending, knowingly consigning young Americans to a future of crushing debt, persistent underemployment, and burdensome regulation. Politicians on both sides of the aisle share the blame.
This summer, Congress made a big bipartisan show of cutting student loan rates to 3.4 percent from an already artificially low 6.8 percent. But even that seemingly helpful gesture will wind up hurting the Americans it claims to help. Federal student aid, whether in the form of grants or loans, is the main factor behind the runaway cost of higher education. Subsidies raise prices, leading to higher subsidies, which raise prices even more. This higher education bubble, like the housing bubble before it, will eventually pop. Meanwhile, large numbers of students will graduate with more debt than they would have in an unsubsidized market.
And when those new, debt-laden graduates head out into the labor market with their overpriced diplomas, they may not be able to find a job. According to data provided to me by my Mercatus Center colleague, former Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) commissioner Keith Hall, fewer than half of Americans today between the ages of 18 and 25 are employed. For those in that cohort actively on the job market, the unemployment rate is 16 percent, versus 6 percent for job-seekers aged 25 and above.
This jobs crisis will have long-term consequences for young Americans. A forthcoming paper in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics on Canadian college graduates by the economists Philip Oreopoulos, Till Von Wachter, and Andrew Heisz shows that in economies like ours, during normal times, the average person sees 70 percent of career wage growth in the first 10 years on the job. That is terrible news for people who are unemployed or underemployed at the start of their careers. The study also shows that those unlucky enough to graduate during a recession will suffer a 9 percent pay hit from the start of their careers-and it will likely take them a decade to climb out of that hole.
Weak economies always hit younger people hard, but this weak recovery is taking a particularly heavy toll, despite the massive government intervention in the form of stimulus and job programs. In fact, much of the uncertainty that gets in the way of employers hiring new full-time workers can be traced to government policies.“
Illustration by RJ Matson
” America is still gaining jobs under President Obama, but millions more live in poverty, typical household incomes have not kept pace with inflation, and the federal debt is up nearly 90 percent and on pace to double before he leaves office. Stockholders, meanwhile, are far wealthier than they were the day he was sworn in.
U.S. oil production continues to boom, as do wind and solar power, while dependence on foreign oil keeps dropping. International opinion of the United States has slipped a bit, but generally remains far higher than before he took office, except in the Muslim world, where it has gotten even worse.
These are among the findings in our latest update of “Obama’s Numbers.”
Take these numbers with a grain of salt .
” In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.
In an unguarded moment earlier this year, the president commented that the private sector of the economy was “doing fine.” Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak.”
” The U.S. homeownership rate fell to the lowest in almost 18 years, reflecting rising demand for rentals and investor purchases in the housing market.
The share of Americans who own their homes was 65 percent in the first quarter, down from 65.4 percent a year earlier and the lowest level since the third quarter of 1995, the Census Bureau reported today. The vacancy rate for rented homes dropped to 8.6 percent from 8.8 percent a year earlier, while vacancies for owner-occupied houses fell to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent.”
” As a conservative, picking out things you don’t like about Barack Obama is kind of like pointing to the wettest part of the ocean. It also goes beyond politics. Not only is Barack Obama wrong politically, he’s not a good guy, “cool,” or even moderately likable. To the contrary, he’s one of the nastiest, least admirable people in politics and he gets by based on a phony persona he created when he ran for President in 2008 — along with the help of press corps liberals that work to protect him like they’re on his payroll. Based on his performance and his personality, Barack Obama deserves to be the least popular man ever to sit in the White House.
1) Nobody but an ass would say, “It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person.”
2) He’s a former (maybe, who really knows?) coke-snorting pothead who governs with all the care and due diligence you’d expect from a coke-snorting pothead.
3) Barack Obama actually said, “The private sector is doing fine.” Given that the private sector has never at any point been doing fine since he became President, he’d have to be dumb, dishonest or delusional to say something like that.
4) He is a bigger liar than Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter put together. There’s nothing the man says you can count on his meaning unless he’s saying something nice about himself.”