American Elephants

The Obama Administration Continues To Destroy Jobs. by The Elephant's Child

The preliminary April jobs number has come in at +165,000, on expectations of +140,000. March numbers were revised upward from 88,000 to 138,000. This brought the unemployment rate down from 7.6% to 7.5%.

The number of unemployed — 11.7 million — didn’t change over the month, and the labor participation rate remains flat, only 63.3% — the lowest since 1979. This is the sour spot in the jobs picture.

The rate at which entrepreneurs create new jobs is down significantly. The U.S,lost 8.8 million jobs during the ‘great recession’, we have gained back about 6.8 million leaving a gap of about 2 million. Even if job gains average 180,000 a month to reach a high in about a year, private sector jobs will still be way below the 1990-2007 trend line. That shortfall is nearly 12 million missing jobs.

The numbers of those involuntarily employed part-time increased by 278,000 to 7.9 million. That’s a direct result of ObamaCare. President Obama’s health care reform law is hurting full-time, high-wage employment.

National Journal expresses concern about the “missing workers”:

So, who are these “missing workers?” Frustratingly, no one knows exactly who they are, why they left, and if they’ll ever return. The size of the pool there and the gap between the potential labor force and the actual working force represents a huge loss of potential productivity.

The answers also have deep political and policy implications over the next decade for the economic and budget outlook: Do we want to pay for the missing workers through programs that help to spur job growth, or through an increased cost in federal benefits?…

Political leaders and policymakers must weigh the economic implications versus the budgetary ones. If no one attacks the jobs crisis with gusto and addresses the issue of the long-term unemployed and the missing workers now, the United States essentially consigns people to rely on government benefits. That will only hurt the budget.

And, if lawmakers decide to attack the problem of the missing workers now, they’ll need to spend more money on job-training programs or infrastructure projects—anything that puts people back into a job, even a temporary one.

Regulatory costs skyrocketed during the first term of the Obama Administration, which added nearly $70 billion to the already excessive annual burden of government do’s and don’ts. Every aspect of American’s lives is controlled to a varying extent by regulation, including how we light our homes, wash our clothes, fuel our cars, feed our families, and obtain our health care.

That’s 131 new major regulations. $1,800 has been added to the average cost of buying a new car. In 2012 alone, we added $23.5 billion to the burden on business with 25 new major rulemakings. Only two rules last year decreased the burden, in spite of initiatives to weed out unnecessary regulations. There are hundreds of rules in the pipeline from Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform and from ObamaCare.

The small business organizations have told us over and over that uncertainty is the villain. Nobody knows what the government is going to do next, or how they are going to cope with the added costs, and the added regulations. The federal government does not understand the effects of their grasp for power. The EPA  is  the source of most of the regulation and most of the cost, yet they have said specifically that they have no need to consider the cost or effect of their rulemaking. When uncertainty is this high, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are more reluctant to take on the risk of a new business, or a major expansion.

The National Journal reporter above quite accurately portrays the leftist response. What new program should government  issue? What new job-training programs should we try— if I remember correctly there are some 45 job-training programs duplicating each other and managing to be totally ineffective. What the government needs to do is get out of the way. Stop raising fees, issuing rules and regulations and drastically raising the cost of doing business.

Central planning does not work now, nor has it ever worked. Those “experts” doing the central planning are not expert but just the same old political hacks. They don’t know what they are doing, and they are making a mess of things. Just stop!


You Incompetent People Cannot Manage Your Lives Without Government Regulation.. by The Elephant's Child

Last week, 1,571 new pages of regulations were published in the 2012 Federal Register. That brings the total for this year to more than 55,300 pages. In those pages, 76 new final rules were approved.

That figure is equivalent to a new regulation every 2 hours and 13 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  That is absurd.

So far, 2708 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year. At its current pace the 2012 Federal Register will run to 79,463 pages.

President Obama is out on the campaign trail, telling his listeners that Republicans’ only answer to anything — is to cut taxes, and to cut regulation — on Wall Street so they can do it all over again. He expects applause and a big laugh. Stupid Republicans!

Republicans have been attempting to tell the President and Congress for the last 4 years (well, longer than that) that one of the big reasons that businesses are not hiring, is the burden of regulation. The National Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations have tried to lobby the government, to make them understand that excessive regulation is a big problem. They will not listen, because they know better. There are just so many things that annoy the perpetually discontented, and now that they are in charge, they must fix things. The people must conform to their ideas, however dumb.

There are rules and there are economically significant regulations. If they have costs of $100 million or more a year. Most businesses or kinds of businesses would consider that to be significant. The 36 economically significant rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $17.4 billion. So far, 521 final rules affect small business. 72 of them are significant rules. Why would anyone think this might be a problem? Only small businessmen who must consider the risk of investment and the chances of earning a profit. (For Democrats, if there’s no profit, they go out of business entirely).

— Last week’s economically significant rule comes from— the EPA. It has set new performance standards for oil refineries under five years old. Estimated compliance costs are $79 million, but EPA estimates range from $200 million to $1.9 billion. Translation: they have no clue.

— The EPA also published a rule on paper mill emissions. They estimate $5.9 million in capital costs and $2.1 million in annually recurring costs. They declined to quantify benefits because they “were unable to quantify the emissions reductions associated with the new requirements in the final rule.”  Translation: they don’t know if there are any benefits, but they love making rules — the Clean Air Act is a great catch-all. They are truly zealous, constantly grasping for more power and issuing more useless rules. The agency should be abolished.

— Alpha Natural Resources announced today it would be laying off 1,200 workers and closing eight coal mines to face two new challenges: cheap natural gas and “a regulatory environment that’s aggressively aimed at constraining the use of coal.” Coal supplies nearly half of the energy that supplies our economy, and cheap energy has propelled private enterprise to success. President Obama, at the urging of his Big Green supporters, doesn’t like coal. He likes windmills and solar cells (which he buys from China with Stimulus dollars). In July 175 goal-fired generators, or 8.5 % of total coal-fired capacity was expected to be closed in 2012.

— PBS Coals and RoxCoal Inc. laid off 225 workers, citing aggressive regulations. Ohio American Energy announced layoffs in Ohio and 50 employees would be affected. Patriot Coal filed for bankruptcy in July, which will impact 250 jobs in Southern West Virginia. Just subtract these out-of-work citizens from the approximately 300,000 jobs that Obama can possibly claim the economy created.

The 4.5 million jobs he claims to have created were always fantasy.

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