March’s (Un)Employment Numbers

Economic Blog March Numbers

As another month passes, we continue to see the desired and intended economic realities of central planning, progressive idealists. This progressive ideal is diametrically opposed to what’s needed to recuperate the lost jobs, wages and capital- not to mention faith and optimism of the American people- during this “recovery.”

The unemployment rate is 6.7%; for blacks it’s 12.4% and for black teens, the rate is 36.1%. Over 20 million Americans (the unemployed, the long-term jobless, marginally attached to the labor force) still remain on the margins of the labor force, of which the participation rate is 63.2%. Only 192,000 jobs were added last month, but it doesn’t approach what’s needed to maintain pace with population growth.

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating. Despite what the unemployment rate is doctored to say- and how the Obama administration spins it, the country continues its descent into the murkiness of economic apathy and stifled productivity.

In regards to doctored data, not only has the unemployment data been intentionally manipulated to favor Obama- if one can call this information, favorable- but it appears that the Consumer Price Index may have also been falsified. The CPI- used to gauge several economic categories- measures the variation of prices for goods and services to determine the development and effect of inflation. It’s also responsible for affecting the increase of military pay and retiree benefits. The falsifying of CPI data would have costly effects to those whose income is dependent on the CPI’s report. The Obama administration has earnestly demonstrated its willingness to lie to the country regarding his healthcare promises and about the severity of the unemployment situation. That he would lie about inflation levels while cheating service members out of earned pay and the elderly out of benefits is no surprise at all.

But there is good news. Now that Obamacare has over “seven million” Americans “enrolled,” ‘we now pivot to job creation,” so says Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Now? Now?? That Obamacare was the focus when the country suffered through double-digit unemployment and then remained the focus as more and more Americans left the workforce confirms just how serious the progressive-minded, utopian fools are when it comes to the economy.

Consider this. Aside from jobless claims increasing last week:

–       Radio ShackStaplesSony, Office Depot, Sears Holding (which owns Sears and Kmart), JC Penney, and Disney – among many others– all announced plans to either close stores and or layoff employees in March;

–       Two million people more people were unemployed this past month that at the same time last year;

–       According to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies, almost 17 million Americans wanted- but were unable to find full-time work in 2013;

–       The housing market remains weak;

–       The Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that though the Fed has decided to taper its bond-buying bailout to $55 billion per month (over $4 trillion total), it will continue for “some time” to combat sustained levels of unemployment;

These are real, tangible indicators that the economy hasn’t recovered. In addition, almost 45% of Americans feel they are no longer part of the middle class. Worse still, forty percent now self-identify with being lower middle or lower class, economically.

It’s bad news for an economy that urgently needs resuscitation, but it’s significantly worse for those who are poor, who lack basic job skills and who have a checkered work history. It’s remarkably bad when the lack of available jobs intensifies the competition to find work. This glaring realization, though evidenced in the country generally, characterizes the black economic and employment situation, specifically.

As mentioned above the unemployment rate for blacks and black teens is 12.4% and 36.1%, respectively. If not for a few voices, including Project 21, many Americans would be clueless to the economic struggle and anxiety felt by many black Americans.

According to Newsbusters, over the last year ABC, NBC and CBS gave a mere TEN SECONDS – combined– in reporting the exceedingly bleak black economic plight and the black unemployment. According to the Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute, of the 145 jobs-related stories during the past year, the black unemployment rate was mentioned… twice.

Obama, ABC, NBC and CBS have continually ignored the fact that since January 2009- Obama’s first month in office- the black unemployment rate has been below 12% once; it’s been at or above 14% thirty-nine times, at or above 15% twenty-nine times, and at or above 16% eleven times. They have also continually ignored black teenage unemployment, which during the same period, has been below 35% only four times.

Yet Paul Ryan is the enemy…

This is inexcusable, but not surprising.

And nothing will change. Expect the Obama administration and his party to deliver practiced, sympathetic talking points about “putting America back to work” in solemn and determined tones, attached to concerned faces as they attempt to fleece the American public on the way toward the midterms in November.

What’s worse is that after all the destructive evidence resulting from the policies this administration advocates, that fleecing may prove convincing.

Again.

 

First Black President Bad For Black America

In the 2008 election cycle, America proceeded to elect her first black president.  Predictably, blacks euphorically voted for Barack Obama in hopes of seeing what many considered a dream, become reality. The historicity and symbolism of that election were things that most blacks wanted to participate in, evidenced by ninety-six percent of blacks casting their votes in favor of Obama. The significance of his election on the psyche of black America couldn’t be minimized nor ignored.  Many anticipated that the implications of such an historical event would be- and could be- channeled by millions of individual black Americans for their socio-economic benefit.

Four years later, with most of his self-created and externally-projected veneer having worn off, Barack Obama won his re-election bid to the presidency.  Even considering his poor economic stewardship and socially-divisive record, particularly the constant level of high unemployment and its impact on black America, exit polls showed that ninety-three percent of blacks voted for Obama anyway.

That blacks voted for Obama in 2008 was understandable; in 2012 it was inexcusable, an example of irrationality.

Why?

Because the economic situation for black Americans under the country’s first black president has been nothing short of atrocious.

Since January 2009, the first month of Obama’s first term in office, the black unemployment rate was 12.7%.  It wasn’t until December’s 2013 unemployment numbers were released that we saw black unemployment fall below twelve percent. The black unemployment rate was been at or above 13%, fifty-five times; at or above 14%, thirty-nine times; at or above 15%, twenty-nine times and at or above 16%, eleven times. Black unemployment hit its peak under Obama at 16.9% in March, 2010.

Black teen unemployment has been worse- much worse. It’s been below thirty-five percent only twice during Obama’s reign- August, 2009 and February 2012. It’s been at or above 40%, thirty times. Black teen unemployment hit a high of 49% in September, 2010. This is a catastrophic look into the socio-economic future of black America.

And no one says “boo” about it.

Last month, the overall unemployment rate for blacks and black teens was 11.9% and 35.5%, respectively.

As we know, the drop in the unemployment rate among blacks isn’t the result of a growing and expanding economy but because, like the national unemployment rate, blacks are leaving the workforce as hope of finding work continues to fade.

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, December 2013 saw the overall black labor participation dip .3% to 60.2%.  This reflected the lowest rate in thirty-seven years (December, 1977). For black men specifically, the rate fell .7% to 65.6%, which is the lowest record to date.

Sentier Research reported that between June 2009 and June 2012, median annual household income for blacks fell 11.1 percent to $32,498 (from $36,567). The drop for whites was 5.2 percent; for Hispanics, it dropped 4.1 percent.

The Census Bureau reports (2010), via CNN Money, whites ($110,729) had twenty-two times more wealth than their black counterparts ($4,995).

Also, according to the same report, of all the homes that report receiving food stamps, 26.4 percent are black; yet blacks are only 13 percent of the total population. For the record, forty-seven million Americans representing twenty-three million households now receive assistance through SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

And this year, black homeownership has hit an eighteen-year low.

With these kinds of stats, it’s no surprise that the black poverty rate now stands at twenty-eight percent, compared to just ten percent for whites.

And yet, the Congressional Black Caucus is still not marching around the White House. Actually, they’re not doing much of anything noteworthy. 

This bleak economic picture and outlook is sad and at one point in time would’ve stimulated a quantifiable amount of sympathy for- or toward- blacks.

But, not anymore because it’s very difficult to inspire sympathy when blacks intentionally contribute to that which ails them.

It’s awful but it’s also inexcusable.

Blacks that voted for Obama did so at the expense of their own best interests, period. Again, voting for Obama in 2008 was understandable- disagreeable, but understandable.

But for blacks to vote for him again in 2012 and then continue to support him and his legislation that has set blacks back a generation, socio-economically, is simply indefensible. Blacks need to think about how they look when they overwhelmingly support a man (and party) who, when questioned about his lack of attention to the economic plight of millions of black Americans- his most unquestioningly loyal demographic, responded by saying “I’m not the president of black America.”

Blacks supported this president in word and deed to the point of embarrassment- again, at the expense of their socio-economic well-being and credibility- and he says, in essence, “Take a hike!”

The sad reality is that Obama got exactly what he needed from blacks- electoral support and continued racial defenses of his increasing number of inadequacies, mistakes and lies. Blacks are also getting exactly what they voted for in Barack Obama- a black mascot, and nothing more.  Barack Obama is a false god, a symbol of a projected but poor representation of black power who has turned out to be power-less, not only for black America, but America as a whole, openly ridiculed both here and abroad.

Continued support of Barack Obama by blacks demonstrates to the country that blacks still prioritize and commodify race at the expense of all else that’s important. If worshipping at the altar of racial pride and solidarity is what blacks want, choose and continue to do, they are responsible participants of their own reality while sacrificing their future.  Blacks also severely undermine the future of their children, resigning them to a life of substandard living, government dependency or both. These are painful truths, but blacks must face them nonetheless.

Is “race” still that important?

 

Tavis Smiley Is Right

 

Last week, Tavis Smiley garnered attention for what he said on Sean Hannity’s program.  Specifically, Hannity asked Smiley if black Americans were better off after five years of the presidency of Barack Obama.

 

Smiley’s answer- which should have been a shock and surprise to exactly no one was that blacks aren’t better off and that eventually the socio-economic data would demonstrate that blacks will have certainly lost economic ground in all categories when the Obama administration culminates.

 

Again, what he said isn’t shock.  Conservatives- particularly black conservatives have been saying this for years.

 

The so-called shock is that Smiley, a black liberal, broke taboo and said it publicly.  And he said it on FOX News, no less.

 

Since January 2009, blacks have suffered economically- be it consistently high unemployment numbers, the statistical drops in income and wealth, and a drop in homeownership- in comparison to their own numbers prior to Obama’s inauguration and in comparison to their white peers.

 

Look at the unemployment rate which has devastated the economic potential of blacks as the first indicator.  Since Obama was elected, black unemployment has been below thirteen percent only twice- January of ’09 and July ’13. Twice. It’s been at or above fourteen percent, forty times and it’s been at or above sixteen percent, eleven times.

 

Black teens have fared much worse.  During this same period, black teen unemployment has never been below thirty percent. Not once. It has been at or above forty percent, thirty times.

 

That black teen unemployment has maintained such a high number isn’t a bad indicator for black America’s current reality; it is disastrous for the future of black America.  Diminishing the opportunities for black teens to enter the workforce delays their exposure to- and development of- the necessary skill set(s) that create prospects of economic ascendency which comes as a result of increased wages and or promotions into employment accompanied by salaries rather than wages.

 

This situation is compounded because many of these same black teens are subjected to substandard public education (dominated by teachers unions that fund the party that blacks vote overwhelmingly for). Coupling that substandard education with the lack of economic opportunity and prosperity and a (permanent?) underclass is intentionally being created which will be forced to seek financial support and economic stability from government provisions. Or worse, the underclass will seek economic prosperity through the black market and other violent and gang-related activities.

 

But is Obama to blame for this sorry state of affairs?  Yes, he’s partially responsible and as Smiley said, he should be held responsible. He is the president after all.

 

But more important to note and understand is that it isn’t necessarily Obama who’s the problem; it’s the party and the policies of his party that are ultimately to blame.  Whether Obama, Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden is president, these folks are simply emblematic figureheads and are ultimately interchangeable. It’s the economic policies that are the cause of so much economic destruction which is concentrated in black America.

 

This is what Tavis Smiley and his ilk intentionally and continually ignore.

 

Remember what the Congressional Black Caucus acknowledged– those wayward, black sheep who continue to embarrass themselves, Congress and black America?  They see and give lip service to the oppressive economic difficulty that blacks are subjected to.  But for them- and according to their own admission- racial solidarity and party policies are much more important than the economic well-being of their constituents.

According to Sentier Research and reported by the New York times- between June 2009 and June 2012, median annual household income for blacks fell 11.1 percent to $32,498 (from $36,567). The drop for whites was 5.2 percent; for Hispanics it dropped 4.1 percent.

 

According to Census Bureau reports (2010) and reported by CNN Money, whites ($110,729) had twenty-two times more wealth than their black counterparts ($4995).

 

Also, according to the same report, of all the homes who report receiving food stamps, 26.4 percent are black yet blacks are only 13 percent of the total population.

 

And this year, black homeownership has hit an eighteen-year low.

 

With these kinds of stats, it’s no surprise that the black poverty rate now stands at twenty-eight percent compared to just ten percent for whites.

 

Yet, exit polls from both the 2008 and 2012 election saw blacks give Obama and the Democrat party ninety-five and ninety-three percent of their votes, respectively.  In 2008 it was (emotionally) understandable; in 2012 it was neither understandable nor justifiable.

 

Sadly, blacks will continue to give whatever charlatan who receives the Democrat nomination for president in 2016 the majority of their support, continuing the humiliating pattern of reflexively voting against their own self-interest without a moment’s pause.

 

So yes, Tavis Smiley is absolutely correct.  Blacks have been- and will continue to be- worse off under the first black president and the president should be held responsible.

 

But blacks aren’t absolved from their contributions to these problems and should also be held responsible. Blacks actively underwrite their own socio-economic demise, particularly in favor of racial solidarity by continuing to demonstrate political loyalty without demanding anything of substance in return.

 

It’s far past time for blacks to understand that it’s increasingly difficult to generate sympathy for problems they’ve actively helped create.

 

Blacks aren’t victims; they’re co-contributors to their fate- in more ways than they care to admit.