Friday’s Jobs Report

…which came on a Thursday last week…. Some tidbits from the BLS, behind the headline number, the unemployment rate of (now) 6.1%.

The number of unemployed persons decreased by 325,000 to 9.5 million.

That’s a couple million and four or five years late, but still: cool. Who is it, though, who’s newly employed now?

  • The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), while declining by 293,000 in June, is still 3.1 million
  • The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 275,000 in June to 7.5 million.


Wasting taxpayer money edition. This one is from

Take careful steps.

When possible, stay in your seat and, by all means, grab hold of that railing.

Simple advice, apparently from much simpler times.

Today, Hawaii seems compelled to pay someone—rather handsomely—to offer such ubiquitous and common-sense advice.

Of course, common sense and government oftentimes are mutually exclusive.

Hawaii taxpayers will spend $81,000 in 2015 on a new government position—fall prevention coordinator, who will teach Hawaii’s senior citizens, well, how not to fall.

Contradictions of the Export-Import Bank

The Export-Import Bank is a hoary, old financial institution with the purpose of facilitating American exports by providing financing or guaranteeing loans for cross-border transactions in which the private sector declines to participate.

There’s a hint there.

It may be that such government involvement might have done some good in the bad, old days before widespread free trade agreements. It may be, too, that tariffs were a good idea a long time ago. Or maybe not.

Free trade agreements signed since those days have facilitated lower prices, more freely moving “factors”—economist-speak for the goods that companies take in and process into goods that they then sell—and more freely moving labor.

Wasted Money and the VA

Only this time, it’s not the VA’s fault.

Veterans Administration hospitals have spent at least $420 million on solar panels and windmills while vets wait months—or even lay dying—to see a doctor.

In total, VA hospitals reported 23 deaths due to 76 instances of delayed care, an April 2014 VA fact sheet said. Then on June 5, Acting Veteran Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson revealed that at least 18 Phoenix patients died while waiting for treatment on a secret list kept off the books. It is not clear if that number is in addition to the 23 deaths reported earlier.

The Obama Recovery

Here are some graphs of how well President Barack Obama’s regulations and economic policies have been working since he exploded our national debt with his “Stimulus” package in 2009. The graphs come from Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business’ Maguire Energy Institute.

First, the sad classic graph of how the Obama Recovery compares with past recession recoveries. It speaks for itself.RecoveryComparison_Cox

This graph shows the total number of Americans still unemployed—the flip side of the number of Americans who actually have jobs.TotalUnemployed_Cox

Some Empirically Determined Pipeline Benefits

A study prepared by the SMU/Cox’ Maguire Energy Institute for the Consumer Energy Alliance has some interesting data from the Keystone XL leg that connects Cushing, OK, with Nederland, TX (built because it’s a purely domestic leg and so did not require President Barack Obama’s personal approval). The figure below presents a map of the pipeline and some proposed adjuncts to it. The Gulf Coast Project is the section of the Keystone XL pipeline project that connects the two towns, and it was open for business last January, so the empirical data are current.Keystone-System-Map

The Obama Recovery is in Full Swing

We’re booming now, in our post-Panic of 2008 recovery, so much so that the Fed lowered its expectation for the US’ 2014 GDP growth to 2.2%—a sharp reduction of their 2014 estimate of just three months ago of 3%.

Oh, wait—did I say “booming?” Hmm….

As a beer ad once said, with a different slant, it doesn’t get any better than this. Not with Democratic policies.

Seattle’s Minimum Wage

Here‘s a part (certainly not all) of the Left’s rationale for the $15/hour minimum wage just passed in Seattle. It’s from FoxNews‘ cite of David Goldstein, of whom they refer as a “Seattle blogger.”

If some jobs are lost, but we lift tens of thousands of low-wage workers out of poverty, that’s a net plus in the long run[.]


The Canadian government has approved a proposed pipeline to the Pacific Coast that would allow Canada’s oil to be shipped to Asia.

This is oil that would be flowing to American refineries through a pipeline that would be up and running today, if the Obama administration hadn’t stonewalled the Keystone XL pipeline proposal all these years.

Remember this in the fall and in 2016.

In Which Russia Creates an Opportunity

Russia on Monday cut gas supplies to Ukraine as a payment deadline passed and negotiators failed to reach a deal on gas prices and unpaid bills amid continued fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Naftogaz company head Andriy Kobolev said Russia had cut the supply of gas to Ukraine, but that Ukraine can manage without Russian gas until December.

There’s no reason at all we can’t fill this newly created market with American natural gas, even if it will take longer than next December to get the delivery chain up and running.