Some Context For The Latest Headline Unemployment Rate

Here are some graphs, via The Wall Street Journal, that show why that headline rate of 4.6% isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.outdidelaborforce

The WSJ emphasized two points here, aside from the fact that this age group being outside the labor force has nothing to do with retirement or being in school:

First, a small but ever growing minority of 25-54-year-old men are no longer in the labor force. In the 1960s, just 2.7% of men that age were outside the labor force. As of November, it’s 11.5%.

Federal Green Expenditures

Watts Up With That has some ideas for budget cutting in the next administration.  Or, actually, these ideas come from Salon (!) via WUWT (never mind that cutting isn’t what Salon meant).

  • Energy Department

2017 climate-related budget: $8.5 billion

  • Interior Department

2017 climate-related budget: $1.1 billion

  • State Department

2017 climate-related budget: $984 million

  • NASA

2017 climate-related budget: $1.9 billion

  • Environmental Protection Agency

2017 climate-related budget: $1.1 billion

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

2017 climate-related research and development: $190 million

That works out to $13.8 billion of “useless waste.”  Yes, indeedy.

A Minimum Wage Mandate Demonstration

McDonald’s, which already has ordering stations—kiosks at its restaurant tables from which diners can order their meals and have them delivered to them—at some 500 of its restaurants in Florida, New York, and California.  The Daily Caller, citing CNN Money, says more of these kiosks are scheduled to be added, next year, in McDonald’s restaurants in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and DC.

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law a new $15 minimum wage for New York State in 2016, and the University of California has proposed to pay its low-wage employees $15. Florida’s minimum wage will rise I January 2017. Seattle raised its minimum wage to $15 in 2014, followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Education and Unions

What do teachers unions have against quality schools?

Georgians will be voting on a State Constitution amendment that would create a statewide school district into which failing public schools from any individual school district could be transferred.  This statewide district would have the authority to make any changes to a failing school it deemed necessary—including ridding the school of its union representatives and including further converting the failing school to a charter school or closing it altogether.

A Teachers Union Disingenuosity

This example is provided by the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties; they’re holding the education of 100,000 state college/university students hostage against satisfaction of the union’s demands.

APSCUF President Kenneth Mash:

We are headed to the picket lines, but even on the picket lines, our phones will be on, should the State System decide it doesn’t want to abandon its students[.]

And

The union said late Tuesday night that the state had handed it its last, best offer and was done negotiating.

Disparate Impact

Some folks sued RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co over its hiring policy that

allegedly gave preference to applicants with two to three years of job experience out of college and disfavored those with closer to a decade in the workforce. The company’s guidelines provided to its hiring contractor, according to the ruling, said the greener group of workers “adjusts easily to changes.”

The suit centered on the premise that this policy had a disparate impact on older workers.  In the words of Lee Parks, an employment and civil rights lawyer with Parks, Chesin & Walbert, the policy means that

Some Data on the Obama Economic Recovery

And on Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s policy impact on that recovery from the Panic of 2008, since Clinton has promised, proudly, to continue and extend President Barack Obama’s (D) economic policies.  These data are via Robert Barro’s (Harvard University economics professor and American Enterprise Institute visiting scholar) piece in The Wall Street Journal.  He and a colleague, Tao Jin, looked at

macroeconomic disasters in 42 countries, featuring 185 contractions in GDP per capita of 10% or more. These contractions are dominated by wartime devastation such as World War I (1914-18) and World War II (1939-45) and financial crises such as the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Pay to Play

This spreadsheet, via Grim’s Hall, speaks for itself (right click and Open in New Tab to get access to a larger image).paytoplay

Union Greed

It isn’t enough that unions demand the “right” to raid honest citizens’ pocketbooks for union dues—demanding that non-union members pay up as a condition of being allowed to work.  Unions also are demanding the “right” to raid honest citizens’ pocketbooks for tax money with which to plus up union “pensions.”

See, for instance, the United Mine Workers of America and their pet Democratic Party Senator, Joe Manchin (whom we had thought was more honest than this).

The Miners Protection Act of 2015—sponsored by Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) and co-sponsored by eight Republicans—would bail out the underfunded pension plan of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).

Employment and Interest Rates

The US economy added 151,000 net new jobs in August, below consensus expectations for 180,000. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate remained stable at 62.8%, as did the jobless rate at 4.9%, though it was expected to tick slightly lower to 4.8% for the month. The closely-watched U6 rate, or “underemployment” rate, which measures unemployed workers and those working part time for economic reasons, remained stuck at 9.7%.