Thursday, February 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Mr. President...
we so miss you

Looking at labor markets, my biggest concern is the drop in labor force participation.

The data from the Labor Department on the employment-population ratio, for instance, suggest a permanent reduction in the share of the population that is working.

And since economic output and living standards ultimately depend on thequality and quantity of labor and capital that is being productively utilized, it obviously is not good news that millions of people are no longer employed.

But if I had to identify a second-biggest concern, it would be the “Europeanization” of long-run unemployment in the United States. Specifically, we have a growing problem of too many people being unemployed for long periods.

I pontificate about this issue in a column for CNN.
…there are almost 4 million Americans who have been out of work for more than six months. That’s a big number. What’s disconcerting is that the current long-term unemployment is more serious than in previous economic downturns. Data from previous business cycles show people suffering from long-run joblessness at worst accounted for about 20% to 25% of the unemployed. In recent months, that percentage has jumped to nearly 40% — an all-time record! Indeed, America is beginning to look like Europe. It used to be that long-term unemployment in the U.S. was only a fraction of Europe’s, but the latest data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show that the United States has caught up to many of Europe’s welfare states. That’s not a race we want to be part of, much less win.
Here are some charts that illustrate the severity of the problem.

Long-Run Unemployment as Share of Unemployed Let’s start with a look at what’s happened over time in the United States.

As you can see, the problem of long-run unemployment rises and falls with the business cycle. But during previous recessions, the share of the unemployed who were out of work for more than six months rarely climbed above 20 percent. And then the problem quickly got better once the economy began to recover.

That’s no longer the case. Long-term unemployment peaked at more than 40 percent of overall joblessness between 2010 and 2012. And even though we’ve supposedly been in a recovery since the summer of 2009, that number has fallen to only about 37 percent.

Now let’s compare the data from the United States to the numbers from other developed nations. As you can see, the United States used to have a huge advantage over other industrialized countries, but that gap has almost completely disappeared.

Long-Run Unemployment - US v OECD
We don’t know, to be sure, whether this represents a permanent change. But my concern is that we’re more and more likely to see bad European-type numbers now that we’re enduring European-type economic policies of bigger government and more intervention.

There is an alternative, which I explained in my CNN column, that could improve American labor markets.
…what’s the solution? There’s no silver bullet, but economic growth is the single most important key. …Unfortunately, …we’re still suffering through a sluggish economic cycle. Recent improvements in the overall employment rate are in large part the result of people dropping out of the labor force, and the problem of long-run unemployment has barely budged. To boost employment, we need the kind of strong growth America enjoyed during the Reagan and Clinton years, when millions of new jobs were created and the unemployment rate fell dramatically. To get there, we need a return to the types of free-market policies we got under Reagan and Clinton: a lower burden of government spending and less intervention from Washington.
Seems simple, right? We got good growth and job numbers during the Reagan and Clinton years

so we should replicate those policies.

But that hasn’t been the case. And the problem didn’t start with Obama, though he’s certainly made it worse.
…we’ve been moving in the exact opposite direction. Under both Presidents Bush and Obama, the size and scope of government has expanded, and the United States — which had the world’s third-most free-market economy when Bill Clinton left office — has now dropped to 17th in the Economic Freedom of the World rankings. We also need to make sure the unemployed don’t get lured into long-term dependency. One glaring example of misguided big-government policy is the argument to endlessly extend unemployment benefits. …Moreover, Obama’s proposed hike in the minimum wage…is the equivalent of sawing off the bottom rungs on the economic ladder. Simply stated, businesses create jobs when they think a new employee will help the bottom line. Artificially raising the cost of workers — particularly those with marginal skills — is a recipe for creating more unemployment.
I hate repeating myself, but it bears saying over and over again that the key to prosperity is small government and free markets.

But to the extent we become more like France and less like Hong Kong, we are doomed to get anemic economic performance and fall in the competitiveness rankings.

P.S. On another topic, it pains me to report that one of the worst examples of DC sleaze is about the become law.

The so-called farm bill has cleared Congress after corrupt Democrats seekingmore food stamp spendingjoined forces with corrupt Republicans seeking more agri-business welfare.

Welcome to the "year of action." In last week's State of the Union address, the president vowed to do whatever he must to help the economy, even if that means working around Congress: "What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require congressional action, and I'm eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do."

The White House has touted the fact the president has a "phone and a pen" and he's not afraid to use them.

The president also vowed to cut red tape, and not for the first time. In 2013's State of the Union, he insisted that "my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits." And in 2012: "In the next few weeks, I will sign an executive order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects."

All of this was in the wake of Obama's 2011 executive order requiring the elimination of "redundant, inconsistent or overlapping" regulations. The administration had hailed the order as an "unprecedented" move to boost growth. In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal touting the order, the president wrote: "We're also getting rid of absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money."

Laymen might have the impression the president wants to cut red tape and take action on job-creating infrastructure, particularly oil and gas projects.

The fools.

On Friday, the State Department issued a much-awaited study on the Keystone XL pipeline. It found that there would be negligible effect on climate change -- the president's only expressed reservation about the project, which would create thousands of construction jobs and generate billions in tax revenue.

In fact, the study concluded that if the pipeline from Canada is not built, it could result in a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions. That's because the alternative means (trucks, rail, etc.) of transporting the fuel -- which Canada says will be pumped no matter what -- are more carbon intensive than a pipeline.

So we're a go, right? Au contraire, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough explained Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." The State Department study is but "one of many important inputs into the process." Other departments get to weigh in. Which ones? Well, almost all of them, it seems: Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy and Homeland Security, plus the Environmental Protection Agency. Those poor saps at Housing and Urban Development must feel like chopped liver.

But it gets funnier. "What the president's role is now is to protect this process from politics," McDonough said, "let the experts, the expert agencies and the Cabinet secretaries make their assessments both of the study ... as well as its impact on the national interest."

It all sounds so reasonable. The only problem is that the Keystone XL pipeline has been under constant study since the U.S. extension was proposed in 2008. Friday's State Department report -- weighing in at 11 volumes! -- was initiated for political purposes. In 2011, after extensive study, State called the pipeline the "preferred alternative."

The hitch is that environmental groups stupidly made the pipeline a litmus-test issue for climate seriousness. And so Obama's EPA ordered a do-over that conveniently punted the decision until after the presidential election.

According to the Pew Research Center, the overwhelming policy priority for Americans in 2014 is "strengthening the economy" (80 percent of respondents) and "improving the job situation" (74 percent). Dealing with global warming ranks second to last (29 percent).

But by all means, let's hear more talk about this being the year of action with heroic penmanship and red tape cutting. Because it appears talk is all we ever get.

Muslim Brotherhood Leader Meets Obama in White House

/ Jihad Watch

AltikritiWhat’s the big deal? A couple of allies, a couple of people of like mind meet — it happens all the time. “Muslim Brotherhood Leader Meets Obama in White House,” by Adam Kredo for the Washington Free Beacon, February 5 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
A senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood was recently hosted at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama, prompting an outcry from critics of the global Islamist organization.
Anas Altikriti, a top British lobbyist for the Muslim Brotherhood whose father heads Iraq’s Muslim Brotherhood party, recently met with the president and Vice President Joe Biden as part of a delegation discussing problems in Iraq.
Altikriti, whose work has also been tied to Hamas, can be seen smiling in photos published by the White House as he stands next to Iraqi Parliament Speaker Usama al-Nujaifi, who is pictured shaking hands with President Obama in the White House’s Roosevelt Room. The meeting was first highlighted by the blog Harry’s Place.
The Obama administration has been criticized its outreach to the Muslim Brotherhood, the international Islamist organization whose members’ brief reign in Egypt was supported by the White House.
Nujaifi, Altikriti, and other members of the Iraqi delegation were in town late January to discuss al Qaeda’s growing presence in Iraq. Nujaifi himself was reported to have met twice with President Obama, though it remains unclear if Altikriti accompanied him on both occasions.
“President Barack Obama greets Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, Iraqi Council of Representatives, after he drops by Vice President Joe Biden’s meeting with the Speaker in the Roosevelt Room of the White House,” read the White House’s photo caption, which clearly shows Altikriti standing to al-Nujaifi’s right side.
A White House spokesman confirmed that Altikriti was brought to the meeting to serve as a translator for al-Nujaifi.
Others present in the meeting included “Puneet Talwar, senior director for Iraq, Iran, and the Gulf at the [National Security Council], Philip Gordon, special assistant to the president and White House director for the Middle East, Brett McGurk, deputy assistant secretary for Iraq and Iran, and Andrew Kim, director for Iraq,” according to the White House pool report filed on that day.
The meeting focused on ways the United States can help local Iraqi leaders combat al Qaeda.
“This afternoon, President Obama joined Vice President Joe Biden’s meeting with Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi and a delegation of Iraqi parliamentarians,” read a Jan. 22 statement issued by the White House about the meeting. “Both sides reaffirmed the importance of the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq.”
Altikriti’s presence in the White House was surprising to many who said the U.K. organization he heads, the Cordoba Foundation, has been singled out by British Prime Minister David Cameron as the “political front for the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Paul Stott, an U.K. academic and expert in British jihadism at the University of East Anglia, said Altikriti’s presence in the meetings represents “part of the long term U.S.-U.K. engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, a strategy which hit choppy waters when it became clear people in Egypt were far from ready to let the [Muslim Brotherhood] run the country the way they wanted.”
“The coup could have put paid to this glad handing, but it is clearly continuing,” Stott said.
Altikriti has been called the “key political lobbyist for the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain.”
His Cordoba Foundation has been criticized for working “closely with other British extremist groups which seek the creation of an Islamic dictatorship, or caliphate, in Europe,” according to the British Telegraph newspaper.
Altikriti formerly served as a spokesman for the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), a group that has been singled out for close links to Hamas. BMI’s founder and president Mohammed Sawalha has served as a senior military operative for Hamas.
Altikriti himself has stirred controversy for publicly backing Hamas and advocating that Iraqis use “any means and methods” to free themselves from occupation.
Altikriti also defended the Muslim Council of Britain’s 2007 decision to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day. He referred to the group’s position as a “principled stand.”
The Cordoba Foundation did not respond to a request for comment.
Climate hubs courtesy of Executive Order 

By: Diane Sori
“The question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late...and how we answer will have a profound impact on the world we leave behind, not just to you, but to your children and your grandchildren. As a president, as a father and as an American, I’m here to say, ‘We need to act.’”
- Barack HUSSEIN Obama's announcement about his climate plan 6/25/13

And so it has come to pass as the threat to go it alone if Congress did NOT bow to his will has begun.

With this week's Senate passage of the 'Farm Bill' and now via Executive Order, Barack HUSSEIN Obama has created seven regional 'so-called' climate hubs claiming they will help farmers and rural communities respond more successfully to the risks and effects of climate change...including drought, invasive pests, climate related wildfires, and floods.

However, climate change...with the left's bloviations about 'so-called' global warming being caused by carbon emissions and greenhouses gasses that Obama and his cronies keep hawking as our possible pure nonsense...pure unscientific nonsense...period. 

Ever since the Earth was formed...4.54+ billion years has gone through natural cycles of warming and cooling...the key word being 'natural...with visual evidence of this being seen in the stratigraphic record of the Earth's rocks. These warming and cooling cycles...climate variations ('weather' as some like to call it)...have happened from Earth's day one and will continue until the Earth is NO more...with or without man's hand in it. Cut all carbon emissions...ban whatever... control population centers...these cycles will still happen as these naturally occurring climate variations occur NOT because of 'so-called' greenhouse gasses or carbon emissions, but because of variations in the amount of solar energy (as in solar flares) reaching the Earth, and NOTHING man does or does NOT do will stop this. And all those crying wolf right in Al Gore and his groupies...are dealing in pure unadulterated scare tactics as the Earth is in fact heading into the next 'Little Ice Age' NOT into a period of global warming.

Major solar in the recent intensity in cyclic solar flare activity...are caused by an increase in the energy radiating from within the sun itself...and that radiating energy that reaches the Earth is what is responsible for what some say is global warming caused by man. But the truth is that the solar activity itself is the main factor responsible for causing climate variations here on Earth NOT carbon emissions and NOT greenhouse gasses. And as solar flares are now in a waning cycle (a naturally occurring waning cycle), Earth has started on a temperature drop even though developing countries are still spewing out and even increasing carbon emissions. And this temperature drop will continue until the next naturally occurring cycle of radiating solar energy in a few hundred years from now according to true science-based climatologists.

And so a 'Little Ice Age' is what we should be preparing for as that is much more dangerous than any period of so-called global warming could ever be, and Obama and his buddies better realize that before it hits home...and before it's too late.

So as Obama tries to scare everyone with fears of drought, invasive pests, climate related wildfires, and floods caused by 'supposed' global warming, what he really needs to worry about is the effects of the burgeoning 'Little Ice Age' in shortened growing seasons, more energy needed to stay warm, and food shortages which could lead to breakouts of regional conflicts and possible wars.

And as Barack HUSSEIN Obama has now, in his self-anointed role as king of us all, issued a ruling on climate change...on global warming that is NOT happening... he is doing so without scientific fact to back him up and without action from Congress.

So why is he doing this and why is he doing this now...

This creating of seven climate hubs is a major part of Obama's goal to dictate climate policy through Executive Orders alone. And this most dangerous of Executive Orders was done solely to build political support for his more devious in his plan to control the Environmental Protection Agency’s (E.P.A.) regulations on coal-fired power plants. The E.P.A. is now in the process of drafting regulations that will limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants...regulations which will eventually cause the shutdown of hundreds of plants around the country...putting thousands if NOT hundreds of thousands of people out of work.

And while Obama knows he will rightfully get major flack from the coal industry over this, he simply just does NOT care as his objective is to make us even more beholden to his muslim brethren for oil, with the added bonus for him being that this action will then force those now without a job onto the government welfare rolls for their very survival...thus creating even more people beholden to the government... creating more people who dare NOT bite the hand that feeds them...and creating more people who especially dare NOT do so come the mid-term elections or they stand a good chance of being completely cut off.

Clever man...vile, evil, clever man that is.