American Elephants

Jobs for the Middle Class, Revisited Again, and Again. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama went to Chattanooga, Tennessee last Wednesday for a big speech on jobs at the Amazon fulfillment center.  Let’s just say it was not one of Mr. Obama’s better efforts. He wants a “better bargain” for the middle class. He has this weird idea that the economy grows “from the middle out,” which nobody understands, but he’s trying to make the middle class feel important.

He said that “over the past four and a half years, we’ve been fighting our way back from the worst recession since the Great Depression.” He’s used this line over and over, but that does not make it true. It was a sharp recession, others have been worse, but we usually recover more quickly from a sharp recession. The recession ended in June 2009. It is the recovery that has been the problem.

From Zero Hedge: “Of 953,000 jobs created in 2013, 77 percent or 731,000 are part time. The U.S. is slowly being converted to a part-time economy.” According to Obama, it is because of the “long-term erosion” that it’s so hard to get the economy growing again. (Not His fault). “Together we’ve righted the ship. We took on a broken health care system.” The health care system was not broken, but the best in the world. There were something like 35 percent who had no health insurance. And we have learned that when Obama Care fully takes effect, there will still be about the same number who have no health insurance.

As Thomas Sowell said “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”That’s what  they did not understand. And what has happened is that businesses who have large numbers of low wage people cannot afford what ObamaCare demands that they pay, so they are switching to part time employees, and they will have to hire twice as many part-time workers. There are always consequences.

Obama is going to fix the middle class with lots of construction jobs. You probably remember that he said that “those shovel-ready jobs really weren’t shovel-ready.” Construction jobs are complicated. First you have to get the agreement of the concerned governmental unit. Plans must be drawn up. Long approval process. Environmental impact statement. Long approval process. Legal battles with those who don’t like the project, and there are always those who don’t like the project. Repeat approval process. Construction jobs are not permanent jobs. They attach to a project.

The president added that “we invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil.”Sigh. We were never “addicted” to foreign oil. We had a government that wanted to buy foreign oil instead of allowing drilling for our own resources, and a government that extended the ban on offshore drilling in the case of Deepwater-Horizon to an absurd extent that sent ten big rigs off to other countries that were more cooperative, with their crews, and shut down the economy in the Gulf for months for no particular reason except that the President was ideologically opposed to fossil fuels, and subsequently forbade any drilling anywhere else, like offshore Alaska, onshore Alaska, West Coast, East Coast, Florida coast.

You don’t make the economy grow from the middle class out. A reviving economy will provide opportunity for all. ObamaCare is the biggest drag on the economy, but the”green jobs” in new 21st Century technology are nonsense. Spain and Portugal are dying from excessive investment in green technology. In Germany, Siemens burned through 21 Billion Euros and is out of the solar business. Wind and Solar are old, old technologies, and sexy new turbines or solar shingles seem like wonderful new technology, but the inherent problems of wind and solar remain the same. Wind is too intermittent, Solar is too diffuse.

How about doing some of the things that actually help businesses to create jobs? Obama has in mind a new “Grand Bargain.” He will reform the corporate tax code. His willingness to cut back the U.S. corporate tax, which is the highest in the developed world which taxes businesses on the income they earn in other countries. It destroys jobs and lowers wages for American workers and is way overdue for reform.

The central purpose of tax reform is to invigorate economic growth. Broadening the tax base (closing loopholes) and subsequently lowering tax rates is a good thing. But Mr. Obama wants to use some of that revenue to increase spending, which turns the whole thing into just another tax hike. He can’t give up the spending, and he needs more revenue to do it.

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I have to disagree with the statement that Obama is against fossil fuels. He is against anything that he cannot control and against anything that would allow America to keep its preeminent place in the world economy.

Now I realize that this is a gross oversimplification, but drilling a hole in the ground to get at the oil below is sort of hard for him to control unless it’s being done on Federal land. Wind turbines, on the other hand, will need more permissions to be granted in the future, and more than likely on a turbine by turbine basis. Why? Because once oil and coal are destroyed, the Feds will suddenly become aware of the terrible toll that these turbines are taking on endangered species of birds, so they have to be shut down. The EPA will start finding reasons to deny permits to large scale solar arrays as well, or long distance electric cabling, so even if these solar arrays can actually generate electricity, only a small portion will reach users.

Everything Progressives have done for that past century is aimed at a single goal — utter and complete control and domination of every aspect of the country. But the process they’ve chosen is sinking the ship, so their efforts make me think of people on the Titanic working to become the civilian equivalent to an utterly dictatorial Captain Queeg as the ship sinks lower and lower into the sea.


Comment by Jim Yardley

I think hatred for fossil fuels ranks higher than dead birds for the Left. Here’s an article that might interest you. Herb London is President of the Hudson Institute, and a former professor at NYU. This is probably accurate.
You’re mixing your ships a little — Captain Queeg was played wonderfully by Humphrey Bogart, but he wasn’t the captain of the Titanic. I have never known who was.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

The Captain of the Titanic was Edward J. Smith, the most senior captain of the White Star Line.

What I enjoy about listening to Obama (one of the very few things!) is hearing talk about “expanding the middle class”. One of the things he fails to understand (out of the many) is that it is referred to as the “middle class” for a reason… it is the economic sector – wait for it – in the middle!

And while concentrating on the “middle class” (a distinction that has no real meaning beyond the political) as an attempt to not help “the rich”, it also has the side effect of not really helping the poor.

I think it’s nice that our LFBiC keeps talking about jobs and the economy. But that’s all he’s doing… talk. It’s well beyond time for talk. There is a need for action that is beyond this president.


Comment by Lon Mead

The thing that is becoming clear is his absolute lack of concern for the poor blacks who are his base. Give them free phones, but don’t do anything that might offer opportunity. Their unemployment rate is a disgrace.Small entrepreneurs, micro loans? What were the enterprise zones that Jack Kemp was advocating? Just keep telling them how they are held down by racism, and the Republicans are the racists. My great grandfather’s church in Ohio was a way station on the Underground Railroad. He would be a little surprised at that.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

George Orwell

Politics and the English Language (1946)

Obama is taking this idea to its extreme.


Comment by Lon Mead

“The central purpose of tax reform is to invigorate economic growth”

And you believe that everyone is going to give up their little tax credit or deduction easily? And, once we get the tax reform no one will ever rent seek again for an economic advantage?

How do we achieve tax reform in an environment of distrust driven by all the monetizing of anger in our media? Or as someone said falling for the “common sales technique that your failures aren’t your fault but “their” fault, with different groups taking the role of “them” depending on who is trying to exploit the anger.”

Like everything talk is cheap. It is easier to blame things on one person. If not Bush it is Obama. Obama has provided an opening for tax reform as well as getting rid of Fannie and Freddie. It is not perfect but only fools would say no, which there seems to be many these days.

As for Thomas Sowell, economist are a dime a dozen. You can find one to spoon feed you all of your ideological needs.

Does Thomas Sowell have an economic model that will prove his theory?

I only ask because you want a climate change model that works as your criteria for proving the science behind climate change theory. I could provide a simple scientific theory regarding climate change as Thomas Sowell does with economics.

Let me try. Let’s start with economics. The extra money from tax cuts for the rich will generate growth. (I will not get into the details as you can read Trickle Down Theory and Tax Cuts for the Rich by Thomas Sowell as I have.)

Now to the simple statements regarding global warming.

CO2 lets in short wave energy, light from the sun, and absorbs long wave energy, reflected heat. Simple provable science. Oil is sequestered carbon. Carbon is neither created or destroyed but cycled. Again simple provable science. Releasing sequestered carbon (burning oil which combines carbon with oxygen) at high rates releases CO2 at a greater rate then plants can adapt to. This is measurable.

Now is the science yet proven as to what global warming will do? Not totally because there are many factors just like our economics which also has a little bit of human behavior thrown in (behavioral economics).

How many economist have come to the same conclusion as Thomas Sowell? Is it as many as climate scientist? If there is the least little doubt as countered by other economist or scientist then I suppose we have to discount the “theories” of economics and climate science.

At what point and what criteria do we use to judge economist and scientist. Do we demand a model that we can plug variables into and get results? Where is Thomas Sowell’s computer model?

Maybe we should start small and grab the opportunities when we can regardless of the size.


Comment by Mark Baird

Mark, why don’t you start your own blog instead of coming here to write lengthy essays that are so confused. When we are in a jobless recession the primary need is to make doing business easier for business, so they have more opportunity to hire and invest. Jobs are created by the private sector, not the government. Jobs created by the government are simply another drag on the taxpayer. I don’t believe that I said anything about everyone giving up “their little tax credit or deduction.” “Monetizing our anger?” What on earth does that mean? We do need major tax reform, the tax laws are too complicated and have way too many credits and regulations that nobody understands. I personally favor a flat tax. Some favor what they call a “fair tax” but depending on everyone who does business to collect taxes, declare their income honestly opens the door to vast tax fraud.

Obama has not provided an opening for tax reform. He has not the slightest interest in reforming taxes unless it gives him more taxpayer money to spend. Liberals always want another program to solve someones wish which they will call “a right.” and when that doesn’t work they will want another program to fix that and so on ad infinitum. Economists are hardly “a dime a dozen” overused phrase — and Dr. Sowell is rather special. He has written around 12 books, all of them models of clarity and wisdom. I did not mention anything about wanting a “climate change model” but criticized those who depend on flawed computer models to try to prove their ideological point. The climate is always changing, but there has been no cause for alarm over the past century. It warmed a little, cooled a tiny bit more, and there has been no warming whatsoever for 15 years or none at all in the 21st century.

Carbon dioxide is greening the planet. CO2 is a natural fertilizer and makes plants grow. If we had no carbon in the atmosphere we would have no life.

“Now is the science yet proven as to what global warming will do? Not totally because there are many factors just like our economics which also has a little bit of human behavior thrown in (behavioral economics).

How many economist have come to the same conclusion as Thomas Sowell? Is it as many as climate scientist? If there is the least little doubt as countered by other economist or scientist then I suppose we have to discount the “theories” of economics and climate science.”

You make no sense. The sun has gone quiet for 15 years, but we have no idea what comes next. Another ice age? Or is this just a pause as environmentalists dearly hope. We cannot predict the future nor can the computer models of the IPCC. We can try to learn from the past, but the future remains unknown. Try reading some of Dr. Sowell’s work — I’d recommend his Basic Economics he explains stuff in simple clear language, no graphs, no charts, no tables and not even any pictures.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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