American Elephants

Obama’a Unprecedented Record of Failure to Encourage Job Creation. by The Elephant's Child

Barack Obama has the worst jobs record of any president in modern times. In spite of 40 months of ‘economic recovery’ the number of payroll jobs today is just 0.1% above where it stood when Obama took office. In the 44 months Obama has been in office, the unemployment rate has been below 8% in only two months, and was at or above 9% for 29 months.

President Obama wants four more years because — he says, things are getting better, and this is no time to turn back. He offers October’s 171,000 new jobs as proof of progress,  Some progress. On Election Day, the “Obama jobs gap” will be 4,470,000 — the number of people who continue to be unemployed because of the failure of the economy to catch up to where it stood when President Obama took office in January 2009. The overall employment situation isn’t improving significantly at all.

Obama has encouraged a growing dependency culture. The rise in dependency has shown up in government reports finding an explosion in the number of people in poverty, relying on food stamps, and workers signing up for long-term federal disability benefits. Real median weekly earnings have dropped 5% since Obama took office.

No president in modern times has asked voters to grant him four more years based on such a dismal record. But why has he seemed to do all the wrong things?

When Obama recently appeared on “the tonight Show” with Jay Leno, he was speaking about Wall Street and said: “Look, these financial institutions are in to make money and that’s why we need some smart regulations.” He speaks as if there is something bad about profit and it absolutely has to be reigned in, no questions asked.” When bank reform was being debated in January 2010, he talked disgustedly of “soaring profits” made by lending institutions whose business practices didn’t meet his standard. In February 2011, he said “Greater profits have to be shared by American workers.”

Earlier this  year, six House Democrats, Reps. Kucinich, (D-OH), Conyers, (D-MI), Filner (D-CA), Fudge (D-OH), Langevin (D-RI), Woolsey (D-CA) — proposed a “Reasonable Profits Board” that would levy a 50% to 100% tax on oil company earnings that exceeded a “reasonable profit” limit. Harry Reid has said that the “profit motive” of insurers has “almost destroyed our economy.” It appears, as Conservative often claim, that Democrats simply do not understand where money comes from.

Well, we know that Obama had no private sector experience, except for a few months at a very low scale job writing newsletters, which he hated. But how could his knowledge of how a business works get so warped?

President Barack Obama has now broken the federal requirement to assess the impact of regulation on small businesses three times. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) cites the Regulatory Flexibility Act that requires federal agencies to assess the impact of their regulations on small business. Obama has failed to comply with the April and October deadlines, because the regulatory barrage he plans to unleash in a second term will destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs and dramatically raise the cost of energy. The National Economic Research Associates report projects a loss of 887,000 jobs annually through 2034.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last Tuesday that employers issued 1.316 “mass layoff actions” a (each affecting 50 workers or more) in September. These tally more than 122,000 workers representing ObamaCare mandates, federally mandated coal operation closures,  failures to issue permits, medical device taxes. The administration has tried to silence health insurers who dare to inform their customers about how ObamaCare is driving up premiums.

Forthcoming military cuts will take a major toll on defense contractors. By law, the contractors are required to inform workers in advance about the so-called sequestration cuts to the military’s budget, scheduled to kick in January 1.  Obama has ordered the contractors to ignore the legal requirements, and promised to cover (with taxpayer dollars) the fines that will be levied. Just put it all off till after the election.

That’s why there are no jobs. Obama doesn’t understand profit, nor the fact that if there is no profit, there is no business, no jobs, and no taxes to pay for Mr. Obama’s bright ideas. The regulations, put in place to make business more caring, more distributive of resources — I really cannot understand the mindset or the very odd conception of how the world works.

Things are not getting better, and it really doesn’t look as if Obama has any ideas for making things better.

This is Not “The New Normal.” Don’t Let Anyone Tell You It Is. by The Elephant's Child

A new phrase has crept into American vocabulary — “the New Normal,”— a national pessimism. Yes, we are in dismal times. New Yorkers, in particular, are hungry, cold, thirsty, and frightened.

Help is coming for New York and New Jersey, and all those in the path of Hurricane Sandy, but it comes too slowly and seems disorganized and incompetent. FEMA’s vaunted “lean forward” strategy that called for advanced staging of emergency supplies — has already run out of drinking water. They are asking for bids from potential suppliers. Governments (Christie and Bloomberg) have made dire threats against anyone price-gouging, yet it is raised prices that would pay for new gas supplies brought in from unaffected states. All that talk about a new power grid never got beyond the talk phase.

Governments are composed of ordinary human beings, just like us. We put them in charge, with little idea of their capabilities, and are surprised when confronted with disaster, they perform like politicians instead of the experts we mistook them for.

Mitt Romney made a commercial about the new normal, explaining that “the private sector is not just fine,” the current unemployment situation can be remedied, and the economy can grow again. This is not just campaign talk. There are causes and there are effects. An ideology that believes in bigger government, more regulation, more control, higher taxes, more rules and more criminalization — when put into practice — has results that are known to history.

The private sector in the form of business organizations like Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Associations, and independent businessmen just speaking out have explained why they can’t hire, why they are laying off people. Organizations of doctors have explained why ObamaCare won’t work. But those caught up in ideology are sure that it didn’t work before because they just didn’t do it right. This time will be different.

I actually heard someone on the radio patiently explain that there just will not be any employment in the offing, ever, for those over 50. No hope. The new normal.

We are all human, and one of the characteristics of being human is that we have no idea whatsoever what tomorrow will bring. Any correct prediction is pure luck, or obvious, but we are simply not endowed with insight into the future.

That said, I concurrently ran into this post from Zero Hedge:

The traditional excuse apologists for America’s collapsing labor force participation rate use every month is that due to “demographics” and retiring baby boomers, increasingly more old workers are no longer counted by the BLS and as a result, are skewing the labor force. That’s where they leave it because digging into details is not really anyone’s forte anymore. This would be great if it was true. It isn’t.

A month ago in “55 And Under? No Job For You” we presented visually and quite simply that of the 3.3 million jobs “created” (updated for October’s data), a gasp-inducing 3.8 million has gone to workers aged 55 and over, or the one cohort that according to conventional wisdom is retiring, and actively leaving the workforce.

President Obama seems to be convinced that the reason people are unemployed is that they do not have the skills needed for a Twenty First Century economy. He wants more people to go to college, although the evidence shows that college graduates learn less and less. He wants more job-training at community colleges. And of course he has a “vision” of a new clean-energy economy where high-tech workers work with rare earths to — do something special. The photos of him at new government-funded, clean energy manufacturing plants always show him with safety-glasses being amazed at some new thing. Apparently what is really needed are more math and financial skills to avoid bankruptcy,

Meanwhile, businessmen, when the facts are dragged out of them, admit that they have a hard time finding people who can correctly answer a telephone, have a work ethic, and some ordinary common-sense skills. And when asked what they need to return to growth, businessmen need certainty from government. They need less needless regulation, fewer regulations and less interference from the EPA. They never know what to expect.

ObamaCare is placing restrictions and regulations on doing business that business can’t meet. They are making more people part-time employees because they can’t afford to pay for their health insurance. Each new regulation is a cost to business — they have to hire someone, or many, to do the paperwork, buy new equipment, revise their way of doing business.

Mitt Romney does understand the burden of needless regulation — that’s one reason why he made a commercial about the new normal. He’s spent 25 years combing over balance sheets and understanding how the acts of government can affect the bottom line of a growing business.  I think when he says he expects to create 12 million new private sector jobs in four years, it is a serious calculation based on our new ranking as the nation with the world’s most plentiful supplies of energy, the opportunity offered to a manufacturing economy by cheap, plentiful energy, and the hope of removing some of the most onerous regulation. A “normal” that just keeps growing better.

Harry Reid has announced that he has no intention of working cooperatively with Mitt Romney under any circumstances. So it is important to elect enough Republican senators to make Mr. Reid Minority Leader. You would think that any government official of either party would be determined to put people back to work, to get the economy growing again, to restore the American dream, but not, I guess, if it interferes with one’s ideology. Ideology trumps all.

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