Map: What’s The Most Unique Job In Your State?

Florida’s most unique occupation is professional athletes, Texas’ most distinctive job is petroleum engineers, and New York’s is fashion designers, according to new data.

Pew Charitable Trust analyzed information by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which listed the most unique job in each state and the District of Columbia compared to the national average.


The Washington Post

The Washington Post

03192015_Unique Job Map_The Washington Post

The Washington Post, based in the nation’s capital where political scientists are most popular, explains the data:

Pew analyzed the overall prevalence of certain professionals nationwide. They then compared the expected concentration relative to a state’s population to the actual concentration, to calculate the most unique job in each state, which are given on the map above.

Washington State’s most unique job is aircraft assemblers, as 90 percent of aircraft delivered in the United States will be assembled in the Evergreen State, according to Washington Aerospace. Nevada, not surprisingly, has 32 times more gaming supervisors than any other state in the union.

Like Texas, North Dakota relies on energy. They employ 36 times more extraction workers than expected based on the national average.

Indiana, home to the Purdue University Boilermakers, have more working boilermakers than anyone else – six times as many, in fact, than the rest of the country. Hawaii, on the other hand, employs 13 times as many professional dancers than its 49 predecessors, an important fact to keep in mind when you take your dream vacation.

h/t: The Blaze

Share this and tell us what the most unique job is in your state.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Who Are The Biggest Fans Of Minimum Wage Hikes?

a katz /  a katz /

Liberal politicians and media love to profile earnest minimum wage workers who benefit immediately from a minimum wage hike (even if they later lose their jobs because of it, after the media has moved on).

But we never see profiles of the biggest winners from minimum wage hikes: the salespeople whose job is to convince supermarkets, retail stores, and fast food restaurants to install self-service ordering and checkout kiosks.

Self-serve kiosks are no longer rare or remarkable; they are sweeping across America–and every time the minimum wage is increased, these technologies become more cost-competitive versus human workers.

In public documents, the companies selling these self-service machines tout their accuracy, ease of use, customer satisfaction, and various other features that are said to make them a wise investment.

But what these companies do not want to be seen promoting is how much labor they save – i.e., how many employees they make it possible to eliminate.

Consider an actual supermarket in Bethesda, Maryland. It has a sticker on its front door proudly proclaiming it has a unionized workforce.

The store has one employee bag groceries for every two traditional checkout lanes. So, for example, to check out six people at once, it used to employ six cashiers and three baggers, for a total of nine employees.

Then recently, over the course of a few days, it installed a group of self-service checkout machines. This cluster of six machines allows six customers to check out simultaneously, with…get this…just one employee monitoring them.

In the course of one week, this proud union shop had eliminated the need for eight workers per shift.

And the kiosk salesperson had scored another commission.

Think of all the self-service machines you saw in 2014. Now chew on the fact that 21 states have increased their minimum wage since New Year’s Eve, making those machines instantly more cost-competitive.

To be clear: there is nothing dishonorable about these salespeople or the stores that add these machines. Labor-saving devices – from the automobile to the dishwasher to the computer – are a basic feature of human progress and should be applauded.

The problem comes when government mandates like the minimum wage artificially hasten the adoption of labor-replacing devices, particularly in the midst of our ongoing underemployment crisis, with our nation experiencing the lowest labor force participation rates in three decades.

Rather than face this issue, many have their heads in the sand.

In the New York Times last summer, an article waxed eloquent about a burrito chain called Boloco. The Times noted how Boloco pays even its newest, least-efficient employee more than the minimum wage, in contrast to other fast food brands that were portrayed as stingy. The co-founder of Boloco was quoted as saying: “If we’re talking about building a business that’s successful, but our employees can’t go home and pay their bills, to me that success is a farce.” He even appeared at a photo op with Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and called for a minimum wage hike, saying that paying his workers more than minimum wage was “a no-brainer.”

But missing from the fawning media was one significant fact: Boloco uses self-ordering kiosks to reduce the need for paid employees.

Last year, for example, in its Bethesda location, not far from the supermarket mentioned above, Boloco typically had one cashier available to take orders–and four self-serve ordering kiosks. So to move five people through the line simultaneously, Boloco did not employ five workers; it employed one.

The kiosk vendor promotes its work for Boloco in materials that hint gently at the labor-replacement value of self-service machines: “Boloco wanted to keep its emphasis on guest service, without having to exponentially increase staff.” But don’t worry; it quotes a Boloco Vice President reassuring us that “Kiosks . . won’t ever 100 percent replace our cashiers. . . .”

By the way, Boloco just closed its Bethesda and Washington, DC outlets. It gave all of its now-unemployed former workers four weeks severance.

Now imagine Bethesda’s labor-replacing mechanization being replicated nationwide, and you have a sense of how our existing unemployment crisis is about to get a whole lot worse for low-skilled workers and the unemployed.

Gallup’s CEO recently posted an essay that called the official 5.6% unemployment rate “The Big Lie,” noting that “as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed.” With government-mandated wage hikes fueling the accelerating wave of self-service kiosks that will take over fast food restaurants, supermarkets, and dollar stores, many more Americans are about to be added to that figure. As union agitators promise fast food workers that they are soon going to make $15 per hour, many are actually headed to $0 per year.

Of course, mechanization is inevitable, over time. Machines get cheaper, and their quality improves. New jobs will emerge to replace many of the old ones lost.

At the same time, people must improve their skills to survive in this new economy. But instead of having a national conversation about the need for struggling Americans to get to work on improving their skills, we continue to debate endlessly the notion that politicians can wave a magic minimum wage wand and deliver pain-free higher salaries to these workers.

American workers desperately need leaders focused on policies to strengthen our economy, improve our schools, speed economic growth, and create new jobs. In the meantime, there are probably more than a few self-serve kiosk salespeople rooting instead for more minimum wage hikes.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Catholic Church Linked To Communism And ‘Progressive Forces’

Flickr/Catholic Church England and Wales

Armando Valladares, Castro’s political prisoner for 22 years, said his Catholic faith was strengthened behind bars by hearing young Catholics shouting, “Viva Cristo Rey,” for “Long Live Christ the King,” and “down with communism!” as they faced the firing squad. It has been his hope that Cuba would one day be free of communism. But he is far less hopeful now that Pope Francis has taken measures that he says “objectively favor the political and ecclesiastical left in Latin America” and could undermine the “Christian future of the Americas.”

Meanwhile, Marxist writer Richard Greeman has written an extraordinary article, “Catholicism: The New Communism?,” arguing that “progressive forces” have  “captured” the Vatican, and that Francis is conducting a “purge” of traditional elements, such as those loyal to anti-communist Pope John Paul II.

Valladares, author of Against All Hope: A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag, was the United States Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission under the Reagan and Bush administrations. He writes in a recent column that Francis was the “most eminent architect and mediator” of the Obama administration deal with Cuba that will “now provide the repressive apparatus of the Cuban regime with rivers of money and favorable publicity.”

He goes on, “We are witnessing one of the greatest examples of media sleights-of-hand in history: From a well-deserved image of aggressor, a regime which for decades spearheaded bloody revolutions in Latin America and Africa and continues to spread its tentacles in the three Americas, has been craftily made to look like a victimized underdog.”

He says the responsibility lies with the unexpected rise of a Francis-Obama “axis” in foreign affairs that benefits Marxist governments throughout Latin America.

Valladares, who received the Citizen’s Presidential Medal from President Ronald Reagan, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in communist Cuba in 1960 for being philosophically and religiously opposed to communism. He was tortured and kept in isolation for refusing to be “re-educated.” He was released after 22 years in prison, in 1982, when international pressure was brought to bear on the regime.

Valladares says it’s not just the Cuba betrayal that concerns him. He notes that Francis overturned the suspension of Nicaraguan priest Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, a former communist Sandinista foreign minister and a leading pro-Castro figure in liberation theology.

Despite his credentials as a political prisoner turned human rights activist and powerful voice for freedom, his column on the Obama-Francis “axis” has received very little attention. An associate says it seems “too politically incorrect,” an apparent reference to the fact that Francis is a global media star for identifying with the poor, and that liberals and conservatives alike are reluctant to criticize him.

Valladares, however, says the pope has gone far beyond taking up the cause of poor people. His column notes that Francis personally attended something called the World Meeting of Popular Movements last October in Rome. “It gathered 100 revolutionary world leaders, including well-known Latin American professional agitators,” Valladares points out. “The meeting turned out to be a kind of marketing ‘beatification’ of these Marxist-inspired revolutionary figures.”

One of the participants in the Vatican event was Evo Morales, the Marxist President of Bolivia who dedicated his election victory last year to Cuba’s Fidel Castro and the late Venezuelan Marxist ruler, Hugo Chávez.

The Vatican’s own description of the meeting referred to changing “an economy of exclusion” and “an idolatrous system of money.” The statement went on, “Together we want to discuss the structural causes of so much inequality (inequidad) which robs us of work (labor), housing (domus) and land (terra), which generates violence and destroys nature. We also want to face the challenge Francis himself sets puts [sic] to us with courage and intelligence: to seek radical proposals to resolve the problems of the poor.”

Valladares isn’t the only one to notice the “radical” or leftward drift of the papacy. Greeman’s article wondering if Catholicism is the “new communism” appears in New Politics, a socialist magazine “committed to the advancement of the peace and anti-intervention movements” and which “stands in opposition to all forms of imperialism…”

New Politics has strong links to the Democratic Socialists of America, a group that backed Barack Obama’s political career from the start. Its “sponsors” include Noam Chomsky, Frances Fox Piven, Michael Eric Dyson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, and the late communist historian Howard Zinn.

Greeman notes that the world’s Catholic Bishops have “explicitly pointed to capitalism as the basic cause of impending global catastrophe,” in the form of climate change, and have “called for a new economic order.” He was referring to a group of Catholic Bishops who met at the U.N. climate talks last December and blamed “the dominant global economic system, which is a human creation,” for global warming. They argued for “a new financial and economic order” and the phasing out of the use of fossil fuels.

Greeman says the Bishops’ attack on capitalism was generally ignored, even on the left, and he understands why. There have been so many “rapid changes” coming out of Rome “since the ascension to the Throne of Saint Peter” by Pope Francis that it is hard to keep up with them, he says.

Francis will issue a Vatican document, known as an encyclical, on climate change in June or July.

Greeman writes that these “radically anti-capitalist Catholic positions” have got him wondering whether Catholicism is “the new Communism,” Rome “the new Moscow,” and the church “the new Comintern.” The term “Comintern” refers to the Communist International, an association of national communist parties started by Lenin.

Growing up as a “red diaper baby” during the Cold War, Greeman writes, Catholicism was “synonymous with militant anti-Communism.” But changes that started coming years ago in the church have been accelerating under Francis, he writes. He attributes some of this “change” to Francis, who is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a Jesuit, which is a “progressive” religious order whose “solid organization and discipline” and “attempts to take over the Church” go back centuries.

Greeman refers to the Catholic or “universal” Church as “the only actually existing organized world-party,” whose “vast wealth and influence are now in Francis’ hands.” He writes about “the capture” of the church by “progressive forces,” a development which opens up “huge possibilities for human liberation and perhaps a chance for the planet to avoid climate catastrophe.” He believes Francis “and his allies” are now conducting a “purge of the apparatus” in the Vatican.

Writing in Links, an international socialist journal, Canadian activist Judith Marshall discusses meeting the pope during the World Meeting of Popular Movements and witnessing his presentation to the group. “Pope Francis’ forthright statements on the social ministry of the church hearken back to the 1960s and 1970s when liberation theology was such a dynamic force in promoting struggles for social justice, particularly in Latin America,” she wrote. “The symbolism of a World Meeting of Popular Movements which brought a multitude of the poor right into [the] heart of the Vatican has not been lost on those looking for a resurgence of liberation theology.”

Liberation theology was manufactured by the old KGB to dupe Christians into supporting Marxism.

She also insisted that Francis “has arguably made the Papacy the most radical and consistent voice in pointing to the profanity of global inequality and exclusion. He has also repeatedly named the inordinate power of multinational corporations and finance capital as key factors in reproducing global poverty and destruction of the planet.”

She says Francis met with several Marxist activists from Latin America and even met privately with President Morales of Bolivia who “stressed how Mother Earth had become ill from capitalism,” and that “under the prevailing global economy, the planet would actually do better without humans—but humans need the planet.”

In a previous meeting Morales told the pope, “For me, you are brother Francis.” The pope responded, “As it should be, as it should be.”

This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Watch A Memory-Jogging Trip Back In Time As America’s Original Electronics Stores Go Dark

Image Credit: youtube/Radio Shack

They began in Boston in 1921, when two brothers opened the first Radio Shack store. Over the years, the familiar outlets brought an exciting world of electronics to cities and towns across America, even into Mexico.

Now, after being pounded by 11 consecutive quarterly losses, Radio Shack has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, announcing it will quickly close 1,784 of its close to 5,000 stores in an effort to consolidate operations, save money, and prevent total corporate collapse.

CNN reports that only three states are being spared from the imminent store shutterings: Alaska, Nevada, and West Virginia.

“The state with the most closings is California, with 175, followed by New York and the company’s home state of Texas. Vermont has only 2 stores slated to close.”

Unable to compete with retail giants such as Best Buy, and also battered by online competition, Radio Shack has reportedly not said how many jobs will be lost from the store closings.

As the lights are about to go out in stores across America, CNN Money has shared a compilation video of Radio Shack commercials that kept those lights on for so many years.

You can take the nostalgic trip back in time by clicking on the video above.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Police Stop Teens Who Want To Shovel Snow

Photo credit: Stuart Monk /

Police recently stopped a pair of teens in Bound Brook, New Jersey, from making money by shoveling snow.

The teens, Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf, both 18, were canvassing a neighborhood and handing out fliers when they were told to stop by the police.

One Bound Brook resident saw Schnepf being questioned by police after coming to his door and asked:

Are you kidding me? Our generation does nothing but complain about his generation being lazy and not working for their money. Here’s a couple kids who take the time to print up flyers, walk door to door in the snow, and then shovel snow for some spending money. And someone calls the cops and they’re told to stop?

It turns out Bound Brook has a law against unlicensed solicitors and peddlers.

Police Chief Michael Jannone commented that neither of the teens were arrested or issued a ticket. He also stated that the primary concern of the police was that they were out in dangerous conditions, not that they were unlicensed. He said:

We don’t make the laws but we have to uphold them. This was a state of emergency. Nobody was supposed to be out on the road.

The police told the teens that, although they could not go door to door offering their services, they could shovel walkways if residents called them.

In this particular borough, anyone selling goods and services door to door must apply for a permit that costs as much as $450 and is valid for only 180 days.

Similar laws have prevented kids from operating lemonade stands or selling Girl Scout cookies.

The pair of teens did manage to get five jobs, each paying from $25 to $40 per house.

Should teens be prohibited from going door to door offering to shovel snow? Feel free to share your thoughts.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom