American Elephants


Haven’t Heard Much About August Jobs? Bad Report. Hushed Up! by The Elephant's Child

Didn’t we just hear Obama making a speech in which he extolled how well the economy is doing — that was in Minneapolis at the “laborfest,” in which he celebrated his “middle-out economics.” Over the past 53 months, he said, our businesses have created nearly 10 million new jobs, and in the last six months we have created  more than 200,000 jobs each month.

But in August there were only 142,000 jobs, for the first time since January. Participation in the labor market was 62.8 percent, the worst since the 1970s.

Those who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks is high at 2.963,00031.2 percent of all unemployed. Those who are working part-time when they would prefer to be working full time dropped a  little to 7,277,000. If you add the under-employed to the unemployed, the broader unemployment rate is 12 percent.

This is a slow, sluggish recovery because of government action. Recessions are nothing unusual. There is a business cycle. When the signs turn positive businesses start to grow and expand and hire. The more things improve and the more they start making money, some enthusiasm is going to go too far. Over-expansion, a little greed, too much enthusiasm, and first thing you know there are some bankruptcies, and people get laid off, expansion plans are put on hold and a lot of marginal businesses go out of business.

We have a long record of recessions and recoveries and how they happen. Swift, short recessions happened because the administration clamped down hard on spending, cut the budget, cut taxes (especially on business) and eliminated unnecessary regulation.

The Obama administration believed that more money circulating in the economy (Keynesian economics) would somehow boost the economy just by moving around. (magical thinking, doesn’t work).

They believed the extra money circulating from government food stamps would somehow boost the economy, neglecting to notice that money came from the pockets of taxpayers. Obama invested enormous amounts of taxpayer money in solar energy and wind turbines, which observation of Spain’s disastrous history with renewable energy  should have dissuaded him. And of course business had to be controlled more. Americans were getting fat, and Michelle had just the remedies — more regulation. The auto companies couldn’t be allowed to go through a normal bankruptcy, but required a special government effort.

The Keystone pipeline would have created 20,000 jobs right off the bat in pipeline building with thousands of spin-off jobs in servicing the project. The Greens objected, end of project.

But perhaps the most notable example of government stupidity was the Great Gibson Guitar Raid. On the vague possibility that the tiny bits of ebony or rosewood used for guitar frets might have been imported without proper papers, Gibson was raided with an armed Swat Team, business shut down, raw materials and finished guitars confiscated. Huge losses from inability to conduct business. Gibson had the necessary permissions from all the countries involved, but the feds weren’t about to be embarrassed. Do you think that businesses pondering whether to expand a little didn’t notice that?  Or the Sacketts who were irrationally accused by the EPA of attempting to build a house on a “wetland” on an ordinary subdivision overlooking a lake? That’s regulation gone bat-excrement. Business put their plans on hold, waiting for a better business climate.

The left does not understand cutting taxes. They do not understand cutting regulation, because business must be controlled, or who knows what would happen? We have fairly large numbers of members of Congress who have never done anything else but government. Who believe firmly that good people do government and make nice benefits for the people, which will make the members of Congress feel good. Only bad people who are greedy work for private business, and they must be controlled. That’s where we are, and why.

As you have noticed, he’s not doing too well with foreign policy either.



U.S. Has Dropped to 17th in Economic Freedom! by The Elephant's Child

Flag_of_the_United_States_Picture

The Fraser Institute, a British Columbia think tank in Vancouver, studies economic freedom in the world, and regularly ranks countries in order of the economic freedom they grant. Between 1980 and 2000, the United States has ranked third behind the two city states of Hong Kong and Singapore.

In the latest survey, the United States has fallen to 17th out of the 152 countries the Fraser Institute has surveyed. Seventeenth! The survey’s authors suggest the legal system of the U.S., protection of property rights, freedom of international trade and increasing regulations are stifling economic freedom in the United States.  Worse, the US has tied Venezuela (which comes in dead last —152nd — for the largest reduction in economic freedom ratings.

The Fraser Institute study said “Unless policies undermining economic freedom are reversed, the future annual growth of the US economy will be half its historic average of 3%.”

The Top Ten Economically Free Countries Are:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Singapore
  3. New Zealand
  4. Switzerland
  5. United Arab Emirates
  6. Mauritius
  7. Finland
  8. Bahrain
  9. Canada
  10. Australia

Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain have tumbled down the rankings over the past thirty years. Switzerland fell to 4th from 2nd, but the U.S. decline from 3rd to 17th was one of the largest — except for Greece which fell from 33rd to 78th, Italy fell from 49th to 70th, and Luxembourg fell from 6th to 25th.

Denmark, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom (from 17th up to 9th), have all markedly improved.

The Bottom Ten

  1. Algeria
  2. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  3. Burundi
  4. Central African Republic
  5. Angola
  6. Chad
  7. Zimbabwe
  8. Republic of Congo
  9. Myanmar
  10. Venezuela

Countries formerly colonized by the United Kingdom have done better than countries colonized by other European colonial powers, which the authors attributed to the English common law system left behind by colonial administrators.

The English common law system provides for greater stability and protection under the law than French civil law. Under English common law legal changes occur as a result of precedents derived from judicial decisions rendered by judges. This leads to more gradual changes and greater constraint on the ability of political decision-makers to alter the law. No such check is present under civil law. Former English colonies had a higher mean per-capita income of $4,415 compared to others $3,725.

The object of the Left is always more control of the economy. And they just controlled us into the biggest drop, a tie with Venezuela, in the entire study. President Obama frequently remarks that excessive regulation has nothing to do with business. Nothing to see here, just move along. Of course over-regulation puts a damper on business, and on entrepreneurship. Who wants to start a new business when they don’t know what might be regulated next? There is a reason why so many businesses are sitting on hoards of cash. Business keeps telling the administration, and the administration keeps ignoring the problem. That’s what they are talking about when they speak of “the business climate.” High taxes and over-regulation adds up to a bad business climate.




%d bloggers like this: