September’s Job Numbers

With so many threats facing or involving our country- and the president’s perpetual, head-shaking incompetence in dealing with these threats- be it confronting the perils of ISIS, dealing with Iran as it continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons; the socio-economic consequences stemming from illegal immigration; that Ebola and the “mysterious” Enterovirus both pose a considerable health threat to the nation- there’s been an understandable tendency to overlook the country’s lagging economic situation which in its own way, also poses a threat to the well being of the country.

 

And as if on cue, the president- in an attempt to remind the nation that he hasn’t forgotten about our continued financial struggles- has taken to giving yet another campaign style speech (midterms, anyone), this time at Northwestern University, to praise his administration’s economic achievements. At this point in his presidency, that he has to remind our reassure the country that the economy is slowly “recovering” is a sure sign that a majority of Americans don’t feel as optimistic as the president would mislead them to be. And according to one poll, almost 60 percent of likely voters disprove of the president’s economic leadership.

 

And for good reason- very few believe him. Given the president’s tendency to aggressively flee from the responsibility of leadership on almost every issue, it’s easy to see why he’s lost the trust of the American people.

 

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that based upon its third estimate of second quarter data, GDP grew at an annual rate of 4.6 percent, an increase from its previous estimate of 4.2 percent.  But before opening bottles of cheap champagne, know that when averaged with the first quarter’s 2.1 percent contraction, it means the economy has only grown 1.25 percent this year.

 

The overall unemployment rate shockingly dropped to 5.9 percent while the U-6 rate is 11.8 percent. The unemployment rate for blacks and black teens dropped to 11 percent and 30.5 percent, respectively. The labor force participation rate also declined to 62.7 percent– the lowest it’s been since February 1978, a 36- year low (it was 65.7 percent in June ’09 when Obama declared the recession over) while 9.3 million people are considered “unemployed.” A record 92.5 million people remain out of the workforce altogether.

 

Job creation for the month of September was up from the previous month, with ADP estimating that 213,000 private sector jobs were created, while the BLS said that 248,000 jobs were created, a considerable improvement from the previous month, even after the number of jobs created was revised upward to 180,000 from 148,000. Of those jobs, too many continue to be part time employment, which is more proof that all jobs aren’t created the same. Over 7 million people are forced to work part time jobs because they can’t find full time work, a slight decrease from the previous month. So though jobs are being created, which is obviously good, not enough full time jobs are being created at the pace needed to have the kind of economic impact many Americans need like increased employment at higher wages.

 

And speaking about not having enough jobs, a survey form Rutgers University found that 20 percent of workers were laid off in the last five years (post recession), while more than 20 percent of those who lost their jobs still haven’t another one. The survey also said that it took almost seven months for the nearly 40 percent of those who were laid off to find another job. Further, half of the estimated 30 million people who were laid off found work that paid less than their previous jobs.

 

The Senate Budget Committee released a report showing the stark facts related to this jobless recovery. The report says that 25 percent of Americans in their prime working years- almost 30 million Americans between the ages of 25-54, aren’t working.

 

Other economic related news of note-

  • A recently released Pew Research Center report shows that a majority of Americans- 79 percent- sees the current economic conditions as “fair” or “poor” while only 22 percent see the economy improving a year from now. So when the president says, as he did in his speech at Northwestern University, “Believe me, we’re better off,” most Americans simply don’t feel the same way.
  • The negative effects of Obamacare on businesses continue to grow. According to data from a report released by the American Action Forum, take-home pay at small businesses was dramatically reduced by almost $23 billion as a result of Obamacare-related insurance premium increases, totaling nearly $1000 per employee. The report also found that these insurance-related premium increases were responsible for the loss of over 350,000 jobs. The employer mandate begins in 2016, which means this kind of business-related preparation will increase meaning more lost jobs.
  • The Department of Agriculture says that 46,496,145 Americans receive SNAP assistance. This number is large enough to fill Yankee Stadium 925 times.

 

No matter how hard president Obama shakes his pom-poms in an effort to fool the country into believing his economic policies have been successful, too many Americans remain unemployed and underemployed with lower wages, coupled with rising costs. Very few Americans believe things will improve in the near future- economically or otherwise- under his tepid, incompetent and uninspiring leadership.

 

It’s the direct result of electing an inexperienced academic to the presidency.

 

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The President’s Lack of Respect For Private Sector Employees

Since Obama has taken office, over ten million people have left the workforce. The labor force participation rate is at a 35-yr low (63.2%, August 2013) and over 90 million people are not in the labor force.

 

And yet, during and after the partial government shutdown, the president along with his accomplices in the media- who willingly and regularly disseminate information which is beneficial to the president’s agenda-driven narrative, have shown more sympathy for the 800,000 non-essential government employees who were temporarily furloughed than they have to the millions upon millions of Americans who wish they were furloughed but are instead either forcibly underemployed or, as of now, permanently unemployed.

 

The president went so far as to thank these non-essential government employees for their service as if they are the backbone of the country’s economic engine as opposed to the private sector. In a very real sense- and central to the president’s ideology, he believes this to be true.  Recall the “stimulus” bill and how the president promised that repairing roads, building and renovating bridges, and tending to infrastructure projects (all public sector, union represented jobs) would revitalize the American economy?

 

The president said, “I’ve got a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who’ve either worked without pay or have been forced off the job without pay these past few weeks, including most of my own staff: Thank you. Thanks for your service. Welcome back. What you do is important. It matters.”

 

It sure would have been nice if the president, sometime during the last five years, would have acknowledged the millions of Americans who can’t work for pay; to tell the millions of resilient and resourceful Americans that what they’re doing- or at least trying to do in his ‘recovery’- “matters” (as opposed to telling innovative and resourceful business owners “they didn’t build that”).

 

 

Why didn’t the president thank those ‘dedicated’ and ‘patriotic’ Americans who still appeal to- and rely on- the American ethos of hard work and determination- who refuse to be succumb to Obama-created economic apathy and government dependency- for their service?

 

It would’ve been nice had the president enacted policies to ‘welcome back’ the ten million people who’ve left the workforce- or in the president’s words, forced off their jobs- since he’s been president, rather than doing his level best to add to them.

 

Remember, these federal employees were temporarily furloughed (which means they were still employed) and will be compensated for their inconvenience.  In other words eight hundred thousand federal employees just received an unplanned but paid, two-week vacation.

 

If that weren’t good enough, they will also be receiving a pay raise.

 

Good God it must be nice to be a federal employee!

 

These goodies come at the expense of continually contracting, private sector-employment where more and more Americans are being forced into part-time employment.  Many of these very same people are unable to find second part-time jobs to supplement their lack of income because of this less-than-stellar economic “recovery” we’re stuck in.

 

So while the constantly-shrinking numbers of private sector employees continue their struggle to keep their heads above water- which includes trying to pay the “affordable” healthcare premiums they’re (for now) stuck with, the president gives thanks and preference to federal employees.

 

This is exactly what liberalism looks like.  And since Republican congressional leadership isn’t properly equipped with intestinal fortitude, legitimate and practical strategies for success, and a common sense plan to communicate to the American people precisely why liberal policies are so destructive, we’re going to see even more of the president’s big government ideology implemented.

 

John Boehner isn’t going to be the only one crying much longer.


 

Open Letter To The President Regarding The Economy

Mr. President-

Mr. President, with all due respect, your record of economic stewardship has been a nightmare and no amount of spin can change or erase this unfortunate fact. Whether this reality is caused by your misunderstanding of basic economic principles, your rigid and religious-like loyalty to political progressivism, or because you simply and intentionally give lip service to an economic situation that isn’t main priority, no one can be sure.  But as the president of the country, credit and fault begins and ends with you.

As such, I’m writing this letter on behalf of America in an appeal to the one thing that didn’t contract during the economic recession and has managed to withstand your economic “recovery” -your ego.  I’m thinking that if we as Americans appeal to that which you hold so dear, which your reactions have proven sensitive when challenged, there may be a possibility that you just might realize the massive error of your economic ways.

The employment situation is continuing to go in a direction that the country rather not, nor cannot afford to see.  Though we saw another month where the employment rates continued to drop- no matter how your administration attempts to spin the news- clear-thinking Americans know- many from personal experience, the economic situation isn’t improving. Statistically, the BLS says the national unemployment rate dropped to 7.3% and the rate for Latinos dropped to 9.3%.  Unfortunately, the rate for blacks has increased to 13% and the rate for black teens is now 38.2%.

Obviously, this isn’t cause for celebratory chest bumps or misrepresentations by your press secretary. The labor force participation rate is at a thirty-four year low at 63.4% and has been under 64% for nineteen straight months. Ninety million Americans are no longer in the labor force; teen unemployment is at record lows and almost a million people have given up hope of finding a job because of the weak job market. This also says nothing about the more than two hundred-fifty companies that have been forced to reduce employee hours and actual employment in proactive attempts to comply with your signature legislation the misnamed Affordable Care Act.

As captain of this rudderless ship Mr. President, more Americans are on disability insurance than there are people living in New York City.  Reinforcing this sad and unfortunate reality, the Cato Institute notes that federal welfare programs in 35 states provide more of a financial incentive than actually working.  In 13 of these states, the welfare equivalent is above $15 per hour.  In your homes state of Hawaii, welfare recipients receive the equivalent of almost $61,000 pre-tax income per year in a state where minimum wage is $7.50 an hour and the median salary is just above $36, 000.

Mr. President, since you were elected in 2008, the median family income has dropped for most Americans- for whites there’s been a 3.6% decline, for Hispanics 4.5% decline and for blacks, a 10.9% decline. But that’s not all. Your economic policies have also resulted in a spike in the poverty rate, particularly distressing for blacks as it’s almost 26%. This is in combination with the black labor force participation rate being at 61.4% and an unemployment rate that has been continually near or at 13% during your presidency. According to the National Urban League’s 2012 State of Black America, in most statistical measures the economic gains that blacks have made during the past thirty years- particularly as a result of the economic policies of Ronald Reagan- have been wiped out as a result of the recession and the so-called recovery that followed.  As a result, though the middle class has been negatively affected by your policies, the black middle class has been particularly hardest hit.

Mr. President, these statistics aren’t abstract numbers; they represent real people who continue to press on despite losing hope- in a real and sustained economic recovery- and faith in you as our leader.  These prolonged, negative economic indicators are a confirmation in many minds of your unpreparedness for office.

Many will continue to excuse your lack of leadership qualities, preferring to lay the blame for the economy on everything from obstinate Republicans to the repercussions of slavery. You yourself have blamed your poor stewardship on the obstruction of “phony scandals.”  Sir, these excuses, characterized by the ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ does you no favors; actually they further expose your inability and reluctance to accept responsibility and embrace leadership. It’s precisely why the American public no longer trusts what you say or what you do.  It’s also why you have been found wanting as a leader in the international community.

These critiques aren’t because of your blackness but rather your ineffectiveness; the frustration is palpable.  In the spirit of Rev. King, you’re rightly being judged on the content of your character- and the actions brought forth from it, not by the color of your skin.

Mr. President, again, we appeal to your ego.  History may not be as kind to you as the bubble you currently reside.  Being the first black president of the United States is historical and it’s a remarkable testament to the character of the American ethos. But being “the first black” simply isn’t enough.  The novelty has worn off and it’s time you actually do something of substance to warrant the reverence in which you see yourself and which American posterity will remember you. You have three years left and the clock is ticking.

Respectfully yours,

America.