Tag Archives: unemployment

If YOU can say these words: “I’d rather go on Unemployment”, then YOU are the problem

There is a scene in the movie ‘Cinderella Man‘ which never fails to get me misty-eyed. It’s when Russell Crowe’s character, James J. Braddock, begins his inexplicable comeback from penniless dock-worker to Heavyweight champion:

Then, he took on Art Lasky, who had won all but one of
his last 15 fights—yet Braddock dispatched him, too, in a thrilling 15-rounder. 

With these remarkable wins, Braddock’s spirit became renewed. Remarkably, one of the first things he did with his earnings was to pay back his Public Relief debt to the government. 

Braddock had sacrificed everything for his family: his career, his house, even his pride…attempting to feed and shelter them. He eventually needed help, just a little, to keep going. And as soon as he was able, he repaid that help, in full.

So…., ‘Remarkable’? Is it “remarkable” to pay back a loan he wasn’t “forced” to repay, just because it was the right thing to do? And (especially) judging by today’s standards?

Yeah, it was. Definitely. Because now, our nation doesn’t perceive Government Assistance the same way. It’s now not just for absolute, dire emergencies; it’s for everyone, anytime.

Want proof?

The reason that scene came flooding back to me was a report I heard on the news last night, where some of the Hostess bakers were being interviewed:

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Put WHO in the zoo?

[Note:  Although “two heads are better than one,” my brother has been ably holding down the fort “single-headedly” for the past two weeks.  I’m hoping to have more of a presence here in future.  Today’s post is an apt illustration of the fact that fodder for blogs can be found anywhere…]

One of my granddaughter Lucy’s favorite books is Put Me In the Zoo, the story of a fantastical creature with large spots which change shape and color.  He visits the zoo, sees the animals being groomed and fed and generally pampered, and wonders why he can’t live there, too.

Lucy loves animals and I was counting the days last month until our local zoo opening.  We’ve visited at least five times so far…including twice this week.

We are fortunate to live in the same town as the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, which has been voted one of the ten best zoos in the country.  With a huge African Journey section, (which includes a herd of giraffes that come to a viewing station where we can actually feed them!); Indonesian Rain Forest (tigers and orangutans, among other delights); Australian Adventure (walk-through aviary and kangaroo areas); and model Indiana Farm, this zoo is not only beautiful but focuses intentionally on educating all its visitors.

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Thinning the Herd

Jobs?

We don’t need no stinkin’ jobs!! 

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Another dismal jobs report; another whirlwind of spin.

Courtesy of Yahoo News:

“The unemployment rate ticked down again,” (President Obama) said in a speech to a raucous and friendly crowd of students at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va. “So after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, our businesses have now created more than 4.2 million new jobs over the last 26 months—more than 1 million jobs in the last six months alone. So that’s the good news.”

Except…that’s a farcical interpretation of the facts.

Again from Yahoo News:

The economy created just 115,000 jobs last month, below expectations, and the slight ebb in the unemployment rate was chiefly due to people giving up on looking for work—and therefore no longer being counted in the figure.

That’s closer to the truth, but not quite there.

How about this headline instead, from the Washington Free beacon:

‘Obama won’t rest …until every American has given up looking for work’

Okay; THAT I believe.

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In that same Beacon article, the first couple of paragraphs place the actual unemployment number into the proper context:

United States labor participation rate fell to 63.6 percent in April, the lowest recorded level since December 1981, according to the the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The April report fell short of analyst expectations – 115,000 jobs added compared to consensus expectations of about 160,000 – and is the smallest reported gain in six months.

This is backed up by a chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, which shows the dramatic drop-off in the Labor Force participation rate. Look at the past three years, as compared to the last ten:

Data extracted on: May 5, 2012 (11:27:43 AM)

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Isn’t that a cheery graph? THAT is our country’s disastrous employment situation which Obama is attempting to spin as a positive.

Zerohedge.com goes one better in putting the lie to the President’s rose-colored-goggles:

In April the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 522,000 from 87,897,000 to 88,419,000. 

This is the highest on record.

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Obama’s painting the lowering unemployment number as “Good News” (when that number is dropping because people are giving up and exiting the workforce), is akin to saying the survivors of the infamous Andes flight disaster had plenty to eat, without bothering to mention that cannibalism had just become their only dinner option.

Truly Remarkable

I never watch the Sunday talk shows unless they have something to do with hockey or football, so I missed this until last night. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, he of the unpaid taxes, was on and made the following statement:

This president’s policies were extremely successful. If you measure what we did relative to the record of the United States in past crises and the record of other countries, history will judge what he did as remarkably effective crisis management at a deeply dark time for the world economy.

There’s colorful rhetoric, there’s political ‘spin’, …and then there’s that.

Did he actually say “remarkably effective”? Wow. We are three years into this presidency and our true unemployment is in the teens, for Pete’s sake. From the Congressional Budget Office:

The official unemployment rate excludes those individuals who would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks as well as those who are working part-time but would prefer full-time work; if those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent.

Well, maybe so, but with all of the stimulus spending (despite our runaway debt), at least the people who ARE working are doing better, …..right?

Ummm, not so much. US poverty levels have now reached all-time highs.  In the year after the stimulus passed, 2.6 million Americans fell into poverty.  Overall, 6.3 million more Americans are living in poverty today than when Obama took office.

Add in the inexplicable veto of the Keystone Pipeline, a busload of failed ‘investments’ in green energy, and the fact that our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) only grew 1.7% last year, or basically half of what it was in 2010….and you have something that is indeed remarkable.

Just not remarkably successful.