Obama made his usual vague hopey changiness promises about the economy and offered nothing specific about poverty and unemployment. Nor will he. “Washington has taken its eye off the ball,” he said. Indeed they have. Inquiring minds want to know when DC politicians including Obama might start doing their jobs again.
Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.
“There is the real possibility that white alienation will increase if steps are not taken to highlight and address inequality on a broad front,” Wilson said.
This raises the distinct possibility of serious social unrest.
“Doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct,” as in there is more unemployment even though the unemployment rate is dropping.
Far fewer entered the workforce in March than expected while many more jobless officially became non-persons as they were dropped from being counted. The magic results of this is the unemployment rate actually dropped slightly. The 90 million Americans who are no longer looking for work and thus not included in jobless statistics will certainly be cheered by this. My wife and I call call these creative methods of counting the MSU Method, as in Making Sh*t Up.
Even worse, the labor force participation rate plunged from an already abysmal 63.5% to 63.3% – the lowest since 1979! But at least it helped with the now painfully grotesque propaganda that the US unemployment rate is “improving.”
The 0.4% perfectly unmanipulated and totally coincidental swing in the unemployment rate in an Obama favorable direction one month before the election came at a prime time moment for the market.
What’s more, the government revised unemployment numbers for previous months downwards too, apparently after stumbling across some key pieces of data they’d somehow overlooked before. Only conspiracy theory nutcases on the right and cranky lefties could find fault with the government’s diligence in insuring that unemployment numbers are squeaky clean, even if the downwards trend bizarrely occurred right before the election.
And of course, liberals who would have attacked GWBush releasing for such suspicious unemployment numbers are now resolutely mute since it is Obama who is doing it.
Eric Platt/Business Insider, Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics
This definitely contradicts the accepted wisdom the cities are where the jobs are, doesn’t it? Most of the jobs in the rural heartland are due to the oil and gas drilling boom. North Dakota has unemployment of just 3.1% and some towns have no available housing so bring a camper.
The primary cause of unemployment, says a survey a business owners, is poor sales. Concerns about regulations are a distant third.
It’s not surprising that regulatory uncertainty seems to have such marginal economic effects. Regulations do impose burdens on businesses, but the numbers are relatively small compared to everything else that affects a business, from wages to sales trends. You wouldn’t expect uncertainty about a secondary factory like regulation to have significant economic impact. The Obama Administration’s regulatory efforts may be good or bad, and the same can be said about Republican efforts to roll them back. But either way, the impact of the resulting uncertainty on the economy is simply not a big deal.
Rapper J-Hustle videoed a six block line of people in Chicago standing in minus 8 wind chill weather waiting to get an application to work at Ford. And then Ford closed the doors early. The unemployment rate there and in too many other areas is off the charts. Make no mistake, these are people who want to work. But the jobs aren’t there
“Where the hell is the help you bastard [politicians] promised the people for voting you into office,” he asks. Agreed.
The Economist explores how automation and technology is replacing jobs. Unlike previous eras when such disruptions did indeed create many new jobs, this time the robots and bots may be self-perpetuating. And the jobs they are replacing are ones previously thought immune from such technological shifts.
First thing we do, we replace all the lawyers.
Lawyers are in a similar boat now that smart algorithms can search case law, evaluate the issues at hand and summarise the results. Machines have already shown they can perform legal discovery for a fraction of the cost of human professionals—and do so with far greater thoroughness than lawyers and paralegals usually manage.
The original Luddites just wanted a level playing field. Sound familiar?
But the Luddites themselves “were totally fine with machines,” says Kevin Binfield, editor of the 2004 collection Writings of the Luddites. They confined their attacks to manufacturers who used machines in what they called “a fraudulent and deceitful manner” to get around standard labor practices. “They just wanted machines that made high-quality goods,” says Binfield, “and they wanted these machines to be run by workers who had gone through an apprenticeship and got paid decent wages. Those were their only concerns.”
The Oklahoman is not impressed with Obama’s jobs plan. Welfare for the rich, it seems to me.
Washington is paying $2,571 per resident of three Oklahoma hamlets for broadband connections. These citizens (fewer than 600 altogether) won’t get the money themselves. It goes to large telecom firms. But please don’t call that corporate welfare. Surely you know that only Republican fat cats cook up that kind of sauce.
It’s difficult to see how this kind of pork and patronage creates any serious amounts of jobs.Obama has a way of talking populist while sending more money to the politically connected and already wealthy.
As for his jobs speech today, it was indeed mildly populist. But let’s see what he actually does (if anything) to fight for it. And he made no mention of the cause of the recession or of prosecuting the financial industry criminals responsible.