American Elephants


If You Want More Jobs, Stop Destroying Them. Incentives Matter. by The Elephant's Child

ObamaCare is not a popular subject, and as people actually begin to interact with it, it’s going to be a lot less popular. Democrats are desperate to make their stand for the mid-term elections about something entirely different. They have decided on the culture wars.

Today it is “Equal Pay for Women” which everyone thought was dead as a doornail after it became illegal to pay a woman differently than a man for the same job— way back in 1963— when the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was passed. President Obama is out there again today trying to claim that women are paid only 77¢ for the same job for which a man was paid $1.

Since that is against the law, it’s hardly surprising that the only place it still happens is in the increasingly lawless White House, where female aides are indeed paid less than male aides.

whitehouse

Obama brags about the Lily Ledbetter Act which he claims was to make equal pay for women a reality, but it actually only eliminated the time limit for filing discrimination claims — and was more correctly referred to as a law to benefit trial lawyers (who donate to Obama).

Nevertheless you constantly hear the 77¢ claim. Why? It is a statistical anomaly. When you look at male and female careers, men are apt to do the dangerous or high risk jobs. They have traditionally been in logging, mining, high-rise construction, linemen, explosive experts —jobs that pay way more because of the risk involved. Women are more apt to be secretaries, teachers, social workers. Women frequently drop out of the job market to raise children, for a few years or for longer periods.Women just assume more responsibility for child-rearing than men. The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act recognized that fact.

The 77¢ number comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figure refers to the annual earnings of full-time, year-round workers. It doesn’t compare comparable men and women, and does not reflect that full-time men work 8%-10% more hours per week than full-time women.

The Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) is based on the faulty idea that “It’s Not Fair” in the interest of capturing more votes from women. The bill forces employers to raise women’s pay by sharply reducing their ability to defend what they believe is a justified differential in pay based on merit.  The PFA limits the use of work experience or education to discriminate by requiring employers to demonstrate that they are job-related ‘necessities.’ The bill authorizes grants to supporters of the bill like the AAUW for training women in negotiation skills. Men are excluded. It will increase the cost of employing women, and so reduce job opportunities. It will also provide a bonanza for lawyers.

If you make it more costly to hire someone, employers will hire fewer someones. The current theme in the media is the continuing dearth of jobs, the Great Recession with few jobs, why aren’t there more jobs? No one seems to point out that Obama is passing more and more laws and more regulations that eliminate jobs. Whether the Affordable Care Act, the continuing drive to shut down coal-fired power plants and destroy the entire coal industry in the name of climate change, or the simple refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline — Obama talks jobs, but his ideas are that only government really creates jobs. Then we’re back at “crumbling roads and bridges,” job-training programs, and improving education. Same old talk.

It drags on. Businesses I patronized regularly close. Supposedly the job situation here is fine, but health clubs are closing and the biggest ones are increasing their advertising. If you pay attention to new advertisers, you can tell what businesses are hurting.



Some Lessons Are Just Hard To Learn. by The Elephant's Child

America has grown by about 13 million new immigrants since 2000, who brought energy, talent and a work ethic, and a view that America continues to be a land of freedom and opportunity. There are now 308.74 million Americans, an increase of 37 million.

The census again revealed that America is a nation in motion. We move across state lines, change residence and change jobs.

The ten states with the greatest population gains were Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Colorado and South Carolina. These states gained an average of 21% in population. These states are more conservative, have lower taxes and more market-friendly business climates,

The states with progressive, public-sector orientation and higher taxes grew by only 2% on average. They include most of the states now well-known for fiscal distress. Michigan, Ohio, New York, Illinois, California, and New Jersey. Michigan was the one state that had a net loss in population in the last decade. New York, California and New Jersey are in the economic doldrums as well as the population doldrums. The Northeast continues to stagnate. Only New Hampshire, which has no income of sales tax, has a population growth two times the rest of the region.

Texas is a standout. It gets four new Congressional seats, followed by Florida with two seats, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington each gain one seat.

New York and Ohio each lose two seats. Illinois Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are all down one seat. When combined with the impact of redistricting within states, Republicans could be in position to gain more House seats in 2012.

For the first time in history, the Northeast and Midwest will have less than 40% of the electoral college votes needed to elect a president.  High taxes and onerous business regulation have been chasing people out of New York for decades.  The absence of a sales tax and the presence of a more friendly business climate attract folks to Florida and Texas.

To quote Walter Wriston once more:

Capital will go where it is wanted and stay where it is well treated.  It will flee from manipulation or onerous regulation of its value or use and no government power can restrain it for long.




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