More on (Un)Employment

The Weekly Standard‘s Jay Cost has some thoughts on the recently reported headline jobs data.  The perspective into which these headline data fit can be neatly summarized in a table and a graph.

One aspect of this perspective is the overall economic situation in which the present data sit.  This table shows that situation for the last several Presidential election years. It’s true enough that the President Obama’s Employment growth number isn’t too different from those of past presidents in election years.  Keep in mind, though, that Obama’s number is for employment growing from an historically low employment condition: in December 2009, after a year of Obama Stimulus, unemployment was over 10%, with 15 million Americans unemployed.  Obama’s policies in 2011 have produced 0.52% annual growth against that start.  In short, we’re maintaining/growing employment very slightly at our present high unemployment rate, just as during the Clinton and Bush the Younger years, we maintained/grew employment very slightly in a time of already full employment.

America’s Future—Defense Policy Principles, Part II

I wrote earlier about American defense policy here.  We saw there, and in my series of foreign policy posts, what war looks like from foreign and defense policy perspectives.  At this point, it’s useful to ask what defense policy principles we need to guide our defense behaviors and our force structure.  Defense policy itself drives, ultimately, defense strategy, and this drives, ultimately, force structure.  (I’ll not get into tactics in this series of posts; although strategy certainly does drive tactics as well as force structure.)  In this post, then, I’d like to get into some specific defense principles that I consider critical to our safety and future as they drive our defense policies.  In a later post, I’ll suggest some defense policies that both implement these principles and that give sound, concrete guidance to our defense strategies, and after that I’ll suggest some necessary force structures.

Merry Christmas

Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion.
-Ralph W. Sockman

A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
-Benjamin Franklin

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
-Hamilton Wright Mabie

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.  If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.
-Calvin Coolidge


For some time, President Obama has been demanding that the payroll tax cut, due to expire at the end of this year, be extended for another year—the whole year, together with a blanket extension of the unemployment subsidy.  Leaving aside the wisdom of defunding Social Security as a means of providing a tax cut, or of paying the unemployed for not working, let’s explore what’s happened with Obama’s demand.

More on Too Much Law

A quick note on how our government’s regulatory overreach is affecting even the EU’s banking system, courtesy of Spiegel On Line International.

It’s been noticed that American money is rapidly departing European banks, and one reason for this is fear for the safety of those banks and, from that, fear for our money in those banks.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I thought I’d share some thoughts on the matter offered by other folks who are a bit more articulate than I.  In the meantime, be thankful for who we are and where we are: whatever straits we in which we find ourselves, we’re orders of magnitude better off than most everyone else in the world.

And now…

…just because I feel like something light, today.


Two blonde guys were working for the city. One would dig a hole, the other would follow behind him and fill the hole in.

They worked furiously all day without rest, one guy digging a hole, the other guy filling it in again.

An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn’t understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, “I appreciate the effort you are putting into your work, but what’s the story? You dig a hole and your partner follows behind and fills it up again.”

What is the President’s Jobs Agenda?

What, exactly, is the President’s jobs agenda, now that he’s begun campaigning on one, a year ahead of the next election and three years into his administration—three years in which unemployment has been as high as 10% and has stagnated at 9% for the last two years?  Three years in which he has pushed through his Obamacare health care legislation and his Dodd-Frank Wall Street legislation.  Three years in which he has shaken his finger very firmly at America’s enemies as he has presided over our retreat from the world stage.

Some Miscellany

Telling the truth at inconvenient times: The EU is considering banning rating agencies from publishing ratings on a member country’s sovereign debt whenever that country is in negotiation for a bailout.  After all, worries European Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier, who has made the proposal, a rating might be released at an “inopportune moment” and have “negative consequences for the financial stability of a country and a possible destabilizing effect on the global economy.”  M Barnier says that the ratings agencies don’t always publish accurate data.  Of course, the fact that the EU already has negligence (and fraud) laws that can be applied to this situation is unimportant.  It’s better simply to keep investors in the dark than to let them have a few unpleasant truths about European sovereign debt—especially when that debt is at its riskiest: the nation has only just recognized its debt to be worthless or approaching worthlessness, which is why it’s begging for bailouts in the first place.

The Campaign and Rick Perry, II

With this post, I continue a short series consisting of my analyses of the Republican candidates for the nomination for President.  To recap, I’m limiting my discussions to three candidates: Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry.  The structure of this series consists of a collection of posts concerning what I don’t like about the candidates and then a series of what I do like about them.  I’ll conclude with my endorsement of a single candidate.  At this point I’m in the series of what I like, and here I’ll talk about what I like about Governor Rick Perry.