American Elephants


Enthusiasm For The Second Term Is Not Strong. by The Elephant's Child

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Another Cabinet Secretary is departing. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced her resignation today. President Obama thanked her, expressed his reluctance to see her go, and described her as a particularly valuable member of his economic team.

Yesterday, I watched a video in which she praised the extension of unemployment benefits — because more unemployment benefits helped to create jobs.  ?  There’s a lot of strange and weird magic going on in the president’s economic team’s deliberations. Add an entitlement— create a job?

Republicans always worry about extending unemployment benefits, because statistics show that people are more apt to go out and find, or create, a job for themselves, when the unemployment benefits run out and doing something becomes a necessity. This is not a lack of compassion on the part of Conservatives, but simply a recognition of human nature. I’ve known any number of people who, upon losing their job and receiving unemployment benefits, promptly went on an extended vacation, figuring that they’d look for a job — later.

Democrats are fixated on Keynesian economics, and not even Lord Keynes’ real ideas, which he later recognized didn’t work. The idea that if you just inject money into society in any old place, that it will increase demand and thus get the economy working again has never worked. It didn’t work for FDR, and hasn’t worked for anyone else, but they still — believe.

ADDENDUM: The media reports I hear on the radio about Ms. Solis’s departure always begin with “The Highest-Ranking Hispanic” in the Obama Administration.  Could the media possibly give up on “diversity” and racial division? It isn’t race that matters, it is accomplishments or lack of accomplishments, and the content of their character.



The Keystone Pipeline’s Back in The News: Will Obama Deny It Again? by The Elephant's Child

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Opponents of the Keystone XL Pipeline last year protested vigorously about the route the pipeline would take, with claims that the planned route would cross ecologically sensitive areas of Nebraska’s Sand Hills, although the State Department had already approved it.  That was supposedly what led to the U.S. government’s denial of permits last year, although I suspect the government would have grabbed at any excuse. The environmental lobby was opposed to the pipeline. They only like the kinds of energy that don’t work.

The new route which goes from Alberta down to Nebraska will cost a projected $5.3 billion, and is backed by TransCanada Corp. The pipeline will connect Canada’s booming oil sands industry with the important refineries and ports along the Texas Gulf Coast, and provide millions of new jobs.

The State Department’s environmental report will be released soon, and could decide the fate of the pipeline. Nebraska’s governor, Dave Heineman, now has 30 days to decide whether to go forward with this project change or not.

Obama denied permission to the pipeline last year, catering to his environmental supporters demands, and rousing the ire of most Americans and the Canadian government. The original application was made in 2008.

The pipeline promised 20,000 jobs constructing the pipeline, and estimated 250,000 spinoff jobs. The hapless Jay Carney last year redefined the whole process to make the denial the Republican’s fault. It had to be somebody’s fault, the decision wasn’t popular, and nothing is ever Obama’s fault. The American people were well aware that we needed the jobs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid loftily proclaimed that:

The proponents of the pipeline would be wiser to invest in job-creating clean energy projects, like renewable power, energy efficiency, or advanced vehicles that could employ thousands of people in the United States, rather than increasing our dependency on unsustainable supplies of dirty and polluting oil that could easily be exported. The fastest and best way to break our addiction to oil and free our country and our economy from the dangerous grip of OPED is to develop and deploy new technologies and clean affordable alternatives that destroy demand for oil, not exacerbate it.

Every word is false, including ‘the’ and ‘and.’ The linked article provides corrections. Has the climate changed now that Obama doesn’t have to run for re-election and big contributions are not so necessary? Will the crony-capitalism practiced by the administration fade out? Don’t bet on it.

But we really do need those new jobs. The employment picture in not improving, but continuing to decline. The job-numbers portray the number of jobs created in an ever smaller group of working Americans; which creates a false impression. We had 155,000 new jobs created last month, 40% of them subsidized by the government.  It takes a minimum of 200,000 jobs just to keep pace with new people entering the job market. And pipeline jobs are good high-paying jobs.




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