Just-Released Jobs Report Dumps Big Time On Obama’s Just-Delivered Speech To Labor Unions

Obama Labor Day speech

It was less than a week ago that President Obama boasted, in a Labor Day speech to a largely union crowd, that his economic policies have worked…that “the U.S. economy is better than it’s ever been since the 2008 recession.”

The New York Daily News noted that Obama tried to fire up his union base with aggressively positive rhetoric:

“We’re on a streak where the last six months we created more than 200,000 jobs each month; that’s the first time it has happened since 1997.”

“By almost every measure, the American economy, the American workers are better off than when I took office,” he added.

While economists and pundits may debate the accuracy of the measures Obama used to make that claim, there’s no debate when it comes to the disappointing August jobs report just released by the Labor Department. The country’s employment picture last month was anything but rosy.

The experts’ expectations for jobs growth were way off, and the labor force participation rate again showed that more discouraged Americans have given up on trying to find work. From forbes.com:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a significantly weaker than expected August jobs report Friday morning.

Employers added just 142,000 jobs in August, sharply lower than the 225,000 economists were anticipating and the smallest monthly gain of 2014.

Yes, “sharply lower” than forecasts — off by some 83,000 jobs. Plus, for the last two months — June and July — the official employment count was revised down.

Total employment gains those months were therefore 28,000 less than BLS — a division of the Department of Labor — previously reported. Job growth averaged 212,000 for the last twelve.

The August new-jobs number represents the smallest gain in eight months and no doubt will add fuel to the fire of those who argue that Obama’s economic policies are not working, no matter what the president may tell his union supporters.

 

Image Credit: youtube | The White House

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

Economy Is Gaining; Wait, No… It’s Actually Shrinking

Contrary to early reports, the American economy shrank drastically in the first quarter by 2.9 percent.  This is a far more alarming picture than the ones first painted that showed a slight growth.

The newest revision on Wednesday by the Commerce Department is nearly three times lower than the preliminary estimates — the worst quarter since the economic woes of 2009.

Fox News contributor and economist Peter Morici said that there are a few factors that can downplay the lackluster performance. But he also said there are some areas of concern.

“Business scaled back their investment, and that is a bit foreboding,” said Morici. “They just don’t believe the president’s ballyhoo about this being a breakout year.”

“It’s clear the White House doesn’t know which way is up, just two months ago bragging that ObamaCare was helping the economy; and now we’re seeing the worst economic report since the low point of the recession in 2009,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “The Republican House has sent Harry Reid and Democrats in the Senate dozens of bill to help jump-start our economy, and it’s time they stop standing in the way.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, Macroeconomic Advisers recently forecast that the economy will grow at a 3.6 percent annual rate in the April to June period.

However, the discouraging first quarter numbers might cause some to pause, given they they were told the first quarter would be a growth period as well.

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

This New Poll Should Make Conservatives Very Scared

Recent findings from a Pew Research poll titled “Millennials in Adulthood” should leave conservatives, capitalists, and generally anyone embracing smaller government, deeply concerned — because the America they know today will be much different in the near future. And here’s why.

According to this poll, millennials, now ranging from age 18 to 33-1/2, are unique, in that they are “relatively unattached to organized politics and religion.” The Pew poll also found millennials are “distrustful of people” but still lean heavily Democrat, despite the intellectual dishonesty liberals regularly display.

The poll points out that the racial makeup of millennials “is one of the key factors in explaining their political liberalism.” Millennials are “the most racially diverse generation in American history, with 43 percent non-white,” due to “a trend driven by the large wave of Hispanic and Asian immigrants who have been coming to the U.S. for the past half century, and whose U.S. born children are now aging into adulthood.”

To America’s credit, we are a nation of immigrants. But the problem for conservatives is a majority of non-whites lean left; and the trend will continue over time with “about half of newborns” in America today being non-white, and the U.S. Census Bureau predicting whites will be the minority by 2043.

Moreover, the survey found white millennials have moved much further left than white counterparts of older generations in their support of issues like marijuana legalization and same-sex marriage. Millennials also join liberals in their reluctance to be affiliated with any religion. They do, however, lean right regarding abortion and gun control.

Besides religion, this generation has also distanced itself from another core institution of society, marriage, with only 26 percent married as compared to 36 percent of Generation X, 48 percent of Baby Boomers, and 65 percent of the WWII Generation — when those generations were the same age.

Sadly, 69 percent said they would like to marry but lack “a solid economic foundation” they deem a prerequisite. A study titled “Intimate Inequalities: Love and Work in a Post Industrial Landscape,” conducted by Harvard University and University of Virginia in 2013, supports this marriage decline. It found the Obama economy has stifled millennials’ ability to marry due to “the decline and disappearance” of stable full-time jobs with health insurance and pensions, which has had profound effects on young working-class Americans, now less likely to marry and have children within marriage.

Millennials have soured on Obamacare about as much as they have soured on the president. According to ABC News, millennials comprise “only a quarter of the enrolled, down two points from a month ago,” making them “a crucial missing demographic for the law, which banks on the young and healthy millennial generation to bring down costs.” Previously, the administration’s enrollment goal of 7 million needed a 40 percent millennial participation to make it viable, explaining why President Obama diminished the office of president with an appearance on the internet comedy show “Between Two Ferns” to garner support.

Nanny State Obamanomics has failed the 86-million strong largely educated and debt-burdened millennials who can’t afford to carry the Obamacare burden, let alone get married or even leave home. According to Harvard University, half of the 6 in 10 who are employed only work part-time.

GOP beware: Although another Harvard poll found that 52 percent of young millennials and 47 percent of the elders want Obama ousted, millennials love you less, thanks to Republican dinosaurs like Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and others who pollute the conservative message.

Once the GOP cleans its own house, conservatives stand a better chance to create jobs and give millennials the opportunity they deserve to chase the American Dream capitalism affords.

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

Hope For Change In Obama’s America? Not So Fast…

Where’s the Prosperity?  Here is a new ad by the National Tax-Limitation Committee showing the frightening reality plaguing college graduates today.  Today, more than 40% of college graduates remain jobless or are in minimum wage jobs that are not in the field they studied. 16% percent are in part-time positions.

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

Obamanomics Destroying America’s Middle Class

Photo credit: terrellaftermath

The middle class in America is shrinking: numerically in terms of the percentage of the total population, as well as qualitatively in terms of the quality of life. Most of us consider ourselves to be members of the middle class, and we’re being squeezed by declining real income and rising expenses as we increasingly shoulder both the inflationary costs of corporate America and the burdensome costs of government operations.

Consider the following middle class statistics as researched by Bill Moyers and PBS. “Middle class” is roughly defined as those households ranging in income from $25,500 to $76,500. At $51,017, the real median household income in 2012 is even less than it was at the end of the ’80s; and it’s down 9 percent from its high in 1999 (with the biggest portion of that decline, 8.3%, in just the past five years.)

The median net worth of a family in 2010 was $77,300, compared to $126,400 just three years earlier. In 46 of our 50 states, the poverty rates have increased over the past five years; and the national poverty rate is over 15% for the fourth year running. The last time that happened was in 1965. More and more families are dropping from the ranks of the middle class into poverty.

One of the greatest factors adversely affecting median household income is the loss of jobs and extended unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Participation Rate, which is represented as a ratio or a percentage of the total population, is at the lowest levels in 50 years, with about 62.8% of the population working. According to the BLS U-6 data, 13% of the population is still unemployed or underemployed (and marginally attached to the labor market.)

On the cost of goods and services, the picture isn’t much better. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the most relied on figure for calculating the year-over-year inflation rate. According to Forbes, the BLS has changed the way it calculates the CPI 20 times over the past 30 years, including new formulas and indices that have separated the volatile food and energy components and created a separate “Core” inflation rate. By some economists’ calculations, these changes have resulted in a significant dissociation between what the government reports as the inflation rate, and what we see in reality for the prices of goods and services that we buy.

Earlier this month, Forbes declared that “The CPI is not a measurement of rising prices; rather, it tracks consumer spending patterns that change as prices change. The CPI doesn’t even touch the falling value of money. If it did the CPI would look much different.”

According to the BLS, the CPI was up 1.6% last year and has hovered between 1-4% over the past five years. But if the inflation rate was calculated now the same as it was in 1980, inflation over the past five years would’ve been between 5-12% per year. For example, average out-of-pocket healthcare costs have nearly doubled in just the last seven years, from $2,035 to $3,600.

Domestic energy prices have likewise increased dramatically. Over the past 10 years, energy prices have more than doubled as government energy policy has become increasingly ideological and counterintuitive. Increasing energy costs adversely affect the middle class disproportionately.

These data paint a distressing picture of the current status of the American middle class. And prospects for improvement are virtually nonexistent since the basis for the middle class demise is causally connected with the policies emanating from, and firmly entrenched, in the nation’s capital.

As best-selling authors and Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele explain in their latest book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, “What is happening to America’s middle class is not inevitable. It’s the direct result of government policy, and it can be changed by government action.”

The solution to this malaise should be relatively simple and recognized by everyone from the chairman of the Federal Reserve to the AFL-CIO. In fact, the labor organization perhaps worded it most succinctly in a piece titled “How do we fix the U.S. economy?” They declared the first step must be “to put America back to work because high unemployment keeps wages down. Our goal should be ‘full employment, meaning everybody who wants to work should be able to find a decent job.”

What’s stifling job growth is the expansive overreach of government regulation. Last July, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey showed that 74% of small businesses are positioning themselves to slash hours, lay off workers, or both because of increased regulation, primarily because of the Affordable Care Act. Investors Business Daily has a running list of nearly 300 large companies that are reducing hours for employees to get below the 32 hour threshold mandated by the Act. And that’s all from just one piece of legislation.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform published research two years ago that illuminates the role government has played in suppressing job growth. The committee reported that “Many regulations and legislation – both existing and proposed – exacerbate the uncertainty created by today’s volatile economic environment. Virtually every new regulation has an impact on recovery, competitiveness, and job creation.” The president’s own Economic Advisory Panel came to the same conclusion and reported that “regulations are harming businesses and job creation.” This panel went on to suggest several measures that could be implemented in order to quell the expansion of such job-destroying regulation.

Periods of rising middle class income coincide directly to periods of economic expansion and growth. And not coincidently, those are also the periods when diminution of government regulatory control over the engines of the economy occurred, the most significant of which led to the declaration by then-president Bill Clinton that “The era of big government is over.”

The best way for people to increase their station in life is with a good job. Ronald Reagan once called jobs the “best welfare program.” And the best way for good jobs to be created is with a healthy economy that is vibrant, growing, adapting, and adjusting to global and domestic market vicissitudes. And the best way for that to be facilitated is to get government out of the way of trying to micromanage nearly every component of the economy. If the private sector didn’t have to work around overreaching regulation and interference, market efficiencies in the private sector could unleash the creation of jobs, market synergies, and economic growth.

The job situation will not improve appreciably until the cost of doing business starts dropping. Last year, the Small Business Administration reported that regulation costs American business $1.75 trillion per year, and costs small businesses as much as $10,585 per employee. Just the costs of Obamacare, Financial Regulatory Reform, and new EPA regulations are projected to increase that cost per employee as much as 30%, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

In 2012, the President said “This country doesn’t succeed when we only see the rich getting richer. We succeed when the middle class gets bigger. We grow our economy not from the top down, but from the middle out.” He was correct. But it’s time that our policies begin reflecting that stated priority.

The history of mankind is littered with fallen nations and governments that overreached by centralized planning, stagnated their economies, and collapsed under the massive weight of their inefficiencies. Hopefully, Bartlett and Steele are correct, that the utter collapse of the middle class is not inevitable. But for it not to be, a reversal of our current trend is critical; and the sooner, the better.

Succinctly stated, we have shrinking income, inflation in energy and food “skyrocketing” (as was predicted five years ago), a weaker dollar, a ballooning debt, and a national security-risking deficit. The costs of all these challenges are landing squarely on the back of the middle class. A strong middle class equals a strong America. We can’t have one without the other. And our current policies are killing both.

 

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