Monday, November 18, 2013

President Obama has presided over a terrible jobs market.
Unemployment is more than two-percentage points higher today than the White House claimed it would be if the so-called stimulus was enacted.

Even more worrisome, the employment-population ratio seems to have permanently fallen, which is bad news for economic performance since our output is a function of how much capital and labor is being productively utilized.

So what’s the response from the Obama Administration? Well, they want to further subsidize people for not working.

I’m not joking. Here’s some of what has been reported by the Huffington Post.
The Obama administration on Friday came out strongly in support of extending long-term unemployment insurance past its current expiration date. …”We have always done so when unemployment is this high and would make little sense to fail to do so now when we are still facing the burdens of the worst downturn since the Great Recession,” [Obama economic adviser Gene] Sperling said. “It is high bang for the buck for the economy, reduces poverty and helps workers who lost jobs due to no fault of their own get back on their feet.”
But is it true that providing more unemployment benefits is an approach that “helps workers”? In their academic writings, both Paul Krugman and Larry Summers have pointed out that you get more unemployment when you subsidize joblessness.

And research by Professor Casey Mulligan also has found a very clear linkbetween government benefits and unemployment. If you’re still not convinced, here’s some more empirical evidence showing that you get more joblessness when you subsidize leisure.

And now we have even more evidence showing that it doesn’t make sense to make leisure more attractive than employment. Four economists conducted some new empirical research to look at how unemployment benefits impact economic performance in the labor market. First they explain the theoretical concerns.
Unemployment in the U.S. rose dramatically during the Great Recession… The policy response involved an unprecedented extension of unemployment benefits with benefit duration rising from the usual 26 weeks to as long as 99 weeks. …The effectiveness of this policy response was questioned by Barro (2010) and Mulligan (2012), among others. 
Because unemployment benefit extensions represent an implicit tax on market work, they subsidize unemployment and discourage labor supply. …Everything else equal, extending unemployment benefits exerts an upward pressure on the equilibrium wage. 
This lowers the profits employers receive from filled jobs, leading to a decline in vacancy creation. Lower vacancies imply a lower job finding rate for workers, which leads to an increase in unemployment.
Then they report their findings, including the remarkable result that the bulk of poor employment numbers in recent years are the result of extended unemployment benefits.
Our empirical strategy exploits a policy discontinuity at state borders to identify the effects of unemployment insurance policies on unemployment. …We explicitly control for the effects of other policy changes at the state level (that could be correlated with the expansion of unemployment benefit durations) to ensure that our estimates isolate the effects of unemployment benefit extensions. …We find that unemployment rises dramatically in the border counties belonging to the states that expanded unemployment benefit duration as compared to the counties just across the state border. The quantitative magnitude of this effect is so large that our estimates imply that benefit extensions can quantitatively account for much of the unemployment dynamics following the Great Recession.
Some Keynesians argue that unemployment benefits are nonetheless good for the economy because of the impact on aggregate demand. But even if you believe Keynesian theory, the authors find that unemployment benefits don’t help because of the offsetting foregone income resulting from fewer jobs.
…an increase in unemployment due to benefit extensions is similar in magnitude to the decline of employment. Thus, the total effect on spending is ambiguous as extending benefits increase spending by the unemployed but at the same time decrease spending as fewer people are employed.
So what’s the bottom line? Simply stated, we need some tough love. There needs to be a limit on unemployment benefits so that companies will have more incentive to create jobs and so that unemployed people will have more incentive to get off the couch and find a job.

I’ve made this point during television interviews, but I suspect that many people will find this Michael Ramirez cartoon more compelling and convincing. In any event, it’s more entertaining.

And we definitely can’t overlook this superb Wizard-of-Id parody. It doesn’t focus on unemployment benefits, but it makes a great point about labor supply incentives in a very amusing fashion.

But let’s close on a serious note. Comparing data from the United States and Europealso shows that government policy has a big impact on the labor market. And if you prefer anecdotes, check out this story from Michigan and this example from Ohio.

P.S. At least the President is consistent. He also is pushing another policy that would increase unemployment.

Obama is offering high school seniors $30,000 a year for college tuition, PLUS a job, housing, transportation and a galore of other benefits. Apparently, Obama is having a hard time finding youths willing to spy on their friends, so he’s upping the ante.

NSA.Gov currently has a “job” posted for young people who are desperate for a job, thanks to Obama’s lackluster recovery. Under “Careers” and “Opportunities for You,” the NSA has this posting with a bold red alert notice at the top: “Notice: Stokes Scholarship Application Deadline extended until 30 November 2013.”

The objective of this job is ambiguous. The Obama administration should be transparent about why taxpayers are being forced to provide these “jobs” and “entitlements” to high school seniors. In the long run, will these jobs benefit young people, or will they benefit control-hungry bureaucrats? Also, what exactly will these young people be doing? The NSA website says young people will work in “computer science” and “computer or electrical engineering,” but without concrete details on the projects under those categories.

From the NSA’s website:

“Stokes is open to high school seniors planning on majoring in computer science or computer/electrical engineering. As an NSA employee with the Stokes Program, you will attend college full-time, receive up to $30,000 per year for tuition and mandatory fees; and work during the summers at NSA for 12 weeks in areas that are related to your course of study. You'll acquire real-world experience and receive a year-round salary. Please note: must maintain a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale after your freshman year, if selected as a program participant, you are required to work in your area of study for NSA after your college graduation for at least one-and-one-half times the length of study.”

Wait. That’s not all! The government has many other benefits in store for young snoopers:

· Housing and travel entitlements available during summer employment (if the distance between NSA and the school exceeds 75 miles) (You are “entitled” to housing and a taxi driver.)
· Year-round salary (Never worry about beer money again.)
· Guaranteed continued employment with NSA after graduation (Snooper for Life!)
· Receive annual and sick leave and paid federal holidays (Lovely.)
· Health and life insurance (While the rest of us see premium increases and cancelations.)
· Participation in federal retirement plans (Retirement plan? These are high school seniors!)

Seriously? This is what Obama is pushing on our young people? This is a complete joke. Young people should be encouraged to pursue careers in their field of interest that utilize their talents, not to troll Facebook, text messages and who knows what else to keep America “safe”…er, wait, not to keep them safe from underwear bombers and marathon bombers.

The comedians have been having a ball poking fun at the NSA. Last month, Jay Leno cracked that Obama should: “put the NSA in charge of the [ObamaCare] website. That way there's nothing to fill out. They already have all our information!”

High school seniors might take the NSA’s Stokes Scholarship because they want money to go to college. But, they will not be taking this scholarship because it’s their first option. Imagine the kind of harassment a young person will receive if their friends find out they work for the NSA:

High School Senior A: “Hey, do you have a job lined up for the summer?

High School Senior B: “Uh, yeah, actually, it’s kind of embarrassing… but I got a job working for the NSA.”

High School Senior A: What?! You mean you’re working for those people who snoop on our text messages? Get out of here, dude. Stay away from my iPhone, OK?”

In August, Entrepreneur Magazine pointed out that America will have a hard time retaining her spot as the “#1” place to be an entrepreneur unless she lowers her corporate income tax rate, currently the highest in the G20. With a lower corporate income tax rate, American innovators would be more incentivized to launch their start-ups here in America and create jobs for young people at places where they will actually want to work: Companies that will grow into the next Apple or Pixar; and, not places where they are only working to get paid, such as at the IRS, TSA and NSA.

If you think that your taxpayer money could be better spent in the hands of job-creators who will empower young people will real jobs—while also respecting the First Amendment—please contact the NSA to express your concerns about the Stokes Scholarship. Here is the NSA’s contact information:

NSA Recruitment & Staffing: 1-866-672-4473
NSA Public and Media Affairs: 1-301-688-6524

Nanny Knows Best

by   / Personal Liberty Digest

Nanny Knows Best
There is little more damaging than government when it sets out to solve a problem.

The grossly misnamed Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is one example. But just one… and just a very expensive one.

Recall that the Obamacare law was touted as a way to make it possible for the uninsured (and uninsurable) to get health insurance. At the time, the elected class, statist bureaucrats, nannies, progressives, crony capitalists, the mainstream media propaganda machine and President Barack Obama himself claimed that about 30 million Americans could not get health insurance coverage.

But what they didn’t say was that of those 30 million, 10 million were illegal aliens and supposedly not eligible for coverage and another 10 million were either young and healthy and chose to forgo health insurance or were eligible for public programs like Medicaid and S-CHIP and had not enrolled for one reason or another. That left about 10 million people who were truly unable to acquire health insurance.

For that, the elected class conspired with the medical-industrial establishment and the health insurance industry to blow up health insurance and create a massive redistributive system that guaranteed more customers for the medical establishment with guaranteed payments from the Federal Treasury.

The result is a predictable — and predicted — failure of historic proportions. It created a bureaucratic deathcare trap of death panels, rising premiums, rising deductibles and disappearing options. If Obamacare is every fully implemented –  a big if considering the failure of the $600 million-plus and the sticker shock being felt by the few people able to successfully log in — at least 31 million will remain uninsured.

Obamacare is currently wreaking havoc in myriad ways. Its regulations are causing insurance companies to send cancellation notices to millions of customers who were perfectly content with the coverage they had. It’s forcing those customers, more times than not, to buy insurance policies with higher premiums and higher deductibles and that cover things they don’t need.

Insurance companies are learning they’ve made a pact with the devil. More and more stories are making the news of patients in the middle of long-term treatment for diseases or debilitating injuries getting policy cancellation notices. And with failing, they are unable to determine whether they will have access to a new health insurance policy without gaps in coverage.

It’s creating a part-time workforce as companies seek to avoid the fines and mandates required to comply with the law. It’s stifling economic growth, as small businesses delay hiring and expansion until they fully understand the law’s costs.

It’s creating a Constitutional crisis, as Obama seeks to change the rules on his whim — something the Constitution does not permit him to do. Of course, the undocumented White House usurper has never held the Constitution in high regard.

Government and the elected class love to remind the common folk of just how compassionate they are. Every decision they make, they’ll say, is driven by an innate desire to protect people from themselves or to provide their welfare.

Of course, history has shown that the elected class is populated by a psychopathic mix of destroyers and seekers of wealth and power. The consequences of their actions are irrelevant to them. What is relevant is their glorification, gratification and security at the seat of power.

If that were not so, we would not have seen legislation like the Agricultural Adjustment Act, a New Deal-era law that restricted agricultural production by paying farmers to kill their livestock and not plant on part of their land.

It was signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933, during the midst of the Great Depression. At the time, unemployment was at 25 percent and people across the country were starving. Yet farmers were forced by the government to burn their crops and slaughter livestock in order to prop up farm prices to a rate that collectivist nanny-staters thought were appropriate.

Ever since the New Deal, the government has manipulated prices and production of farm products.

This has created artificially inflated food prices and cost consumers trillions of dollars by forcing them to pay higher-than-market prices for food and surrender ever increasing sums of their wealth to taxes and inflation.

Similarly, the push for green energy through government mandates is driving up the cost of food and destroying America’s heartland and America’s wildlife.

Oil companies are required to blend billions of gallons of corn ethanol into their gasolines. Ethanol is inefficient in that it requires more energy to produce than it returns. It has created malinvestment in corn and other crop production (just as money printing and easy credit create malinvestment economically). Farmers are now producing more corn for fuel than for food, which has driven up the cost of all corn food products. But it has also driven farmers to neglect other crops in favor of corn which has, in turn, created shortages and driven up the price of other foods.

It has also led to the destruction of more than 1.2 million acres of grassland. According to an Associated Press report, plots that were grassland and pasture seven years ago are now corn and soybean fields. This is natural grassland that in all likelihood would have remained natural if not for ethanol subsidies.

The government push — as opposed to a free market demand — for green energy has resulted in wind turbines that are killing birds and bats in alarming numbers. According to a study by the Wildlife Society Bulletin, wind turbines slaughter 888,000 bats and 573,000 birds (including 83,000 raptors) every year. But wind turbines account for only 3 percent of U.S. electrical output.

California’s solar farms — many of which are located along four major north-to-south  trajectories for birds called the Pacific flyway — are killing birds in a couple of ways. Some mistake the panels for water and dive into them. Others are being burned by the solar radiation reflecting off the panels. Many of these birds are species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

In Philadelphia, new water regulations imposed by the unConstitutional Environmental Protection Agency are putting homes and homeowners at risk by preventing the city from installing new and replacing old fire hydrants. The hydrants, which sit in a warehouse awaiting installation, have run afoul of new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on lead in drinking water.

But it’s not just happening on the Federal level. In New Mexico, it seems the Attorney General’s Animal Cruelty Task Force is aptly named, though not in a way intended. Gary King’s task force, in a purported effort to stamp out cockfighting, has slaughtered thousands of chickens and even more eggs. The former director of cruelty campaigns for Animal Protection of New Mexico, King is being sued by ranchers for needlessly killing their birds.

Although the psychopathic elected class and their bureaucratic enablers love to hold themselves up as paragons who serve the public interest, history has shown that when governments act “to protect the people,” as often as not death, destruction and economic turmoil results.

D.C. Insurance Commissioner Fired Day After Rejecting Obamacare Fix

By Greg Richter

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The District of Columbia's insurance commissioner was given his walking papers on Friday, one day after he challenged President Barack Obama's fix of the troubled rollout of his signature healthcare law, The Washington Post reports.

Obama held a Thursday press conference, saying he would allow insurance companies to continue offering people policies they wanted to keep, though they had previously been dubbed substandard because they didn't offer all the benefits required under the new law."

"The action today undercuts the purpose of the exchanges, including the District’s DC Health Link, by creating exceptions that make it more difficult for them to operate," D.C. insurance commissioner William P. White said in a statement on the department's website afterward.

The next day, White was called into a meeting with the top deputies of Democratic D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and was told the mayor "wants to go in a different direction."

White told The Post that he was never told his statement was the reason for his firing, but he suspected the timing was not coincidental.

While Obama's order did not require insurance companies to re-offer policies they have cancelled, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners noted that it "threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond."

White wrote that he concurred with that opinion.

Insurance officials have argued that changing the rules could cause rate hikes in 2015 because it would create separate pools of healthy and sick people – the very thing the Affordable Care Act was supposed to avoid.

White told The Post his comments were not intended to say he was either for or against Obama's ruling.

"I didn’t know enough to fully support it," he said. "I want to be clear, and I think it is, I was not speaking for Mayor Gray."
August 6, 2011...American heroes betrayed
By: Diane Sori

This past Saturday I had the honor of attending a luncheon event put on by the Tea Party of Fort Lauderdale, the nation's oldest continuously running Tea Party.  The featured speakers were Karen and Billy Vaughn whose Navy SEAL son Aaron was killed in the take down of what has now been referred to as call sign Extortion 17.  Extortion 17...the events surrounding the almost 50 year old CH-47D Chinook cargo helicopter that was NEVER intended for troop transport or for Special Operations missions...the helicopter shot down in Afghanistan's Wardak province killing all 38 people on board (30 Americans and 8 Afghan Nationals) including 17 members of Navy SEAL Team 6, five SEAL team support members including one service dog, three Air Force members, and five US Army and National Guard flight crew members.

17 members of SEAL Team 6...the most elite fighting force the world has ever known...the same unit that took out Osama bin-Laden...lost that day in what was the single most deadly day for the US Navy since the war began.

Shot down by the Taliban...something Barack HUSSEIN Obama still has trouble admitting...shot down with seven of the eight Afghans on board (one was an Afghan translator scheduled to be on the flight) substituted at the last minute for the original group that was on the flight manifest.  Perhaps shot down to silence SEAL 6 Team...perhaps shot down as revenge for the killing of Osama bin-Laden (in fact on May 6, 2011 just three short months before the helicopter was downed the Taliban did publicly vow revenge for bin-Laden's killing)...or NOT shot down but actually the victim of a suicide bombing committed by one of the seven who was NOT supposed to be on board.

Rumors abound...supposition and innuendos spoken of by people NOT in the people who did NOT lose their loved ones in that crash like the Vaughn's did...'truths' that must be told to those like Aaron's parents who have unwaveringly searched for answers as to the whys...who have searched for and demanded the truth from this deceitful administration ever since they found out that their beloved son was on that helicopter...and the picture they are unraveling is NOT a pretty one.

The why is that the Afghan theater has now become a fiasco...a fiasco that turned a war we were once winning into a killing field with our troops the victims...the war that went sour when Barack HUSSEIN Obama allowed politicians to run the war instead of listening to the generals on the ground.  Four times between 2009 and 2011 Obama rejected the generals recommended advice concerning the Afghan theater...including announcing the dates for our troop's withdrawal...and in 2011 things started to seriously sour.

Now add in the 'altering' of the Uniformed Military Code of Justice...a code that comes right out of the Articles of War...a serious move on Obama's part to 'redo,' if you will, our military...including having women fight alongside men on a daily basis...done to appease the enemy...done to be 'politically win, as Obama likes to say, 'the hearts and minds of the enemy.'  But truth be told this president has our troops actually fighting under the banner of  'politically correctness' instead of fighting a war to win as our troops were trained to do.  This president does NOT want 'collateral damage'...does NOT want his brethren killed...forgetting or just ignoring the fact that it's the very 'collateral damage' he does NOT want that forces the enemy...any lay down its weapons and surrender.

And the simple fact that standard tactics, techniques, and procedures were NOT followed that fateful day (such as NO pre-assault fire was allowed as the chopper came in to land)...just like they were NOT followed in Benghazi one year later...makes these deaths...this "reckless loss of life" as Billy Vaughn so rightfully puts it...ever the more so tragic for accountability for their deaths is being held hostage by those in power who hold the threat of prosecution over any and all who question their watered down accounting of that day's horrific events...who question the now 'politically correct' Rules of Engagement...rules that make the successful carrying out of a command mission almost impossible.

And then there's the added heartache inflicted upon the families of those lost that's almost too unbearable to write yet alone believe...for the bodies...the remains...of those heroes lost were damned to hell by a muslim imam when they were being readied for their last journey home...a last journey home where eight of the coffins were draped in the enemy's act of vileness like NO other...for it was this administration who allowed that imam to spew his evil was this administration who allowed the eight coffins to be draped in the enemy's was this administration who could have simply said NO...but did NOT.

Is the Obama administration so hateful of our military as to deliberately and with malice be willing to spit in the face of plain common decency just for their own fame...just for their own egos...just for their own selfish political gain.  It's NOT just a strong possibility but is the harsh reality of a group of men...especially of Barack HUSSEIN Obama...who can sink so low as to use the return home of the remains of those lost as a photo-op for themselves when the families specifically asked that photos NOT be taken so they could they could private as the bodies of their loved ones were returned to the country they gave their lives for. 

And could misspeaks...whether deliberate or those in this administration been the precursor to these is a strong possibility for to be the success that they are the Navy SEALS work in stay under the radar so to speak so they can do what we dare NOT speak about.  And now in the months leading up to August 6, 2011, they were outed...NOT only to the American public but to the enemy as well.  Could the fact that on more than one occasion Vice-President Joe Biden named SEAL Team 6 as the ones who took out bin-Laden...could that have set the wheels in motion for SEAL Team 6's is a strong possibility.  Could former CIA Director Leon Penneta' s revealing the name of the SEAL Team unit and its leader to screen writer Mark Boal at a 2011 awards ceremony have led to the events of August's a strong possibility.  Could the access to documents and supposedly classified information Obama gave to director Kathryn Bigelow for her movie about Bin-Laden's take down have contributed to the's a strong possibility. 

And worse...could our military hierarchy (NOT the rank and file) actually be complicit NOT in the killings of course but in the cover-up of truths so grievous as to compromise our national security... more questions that remain unanswered.

And so the Vaughn's quest for those answers began but their questions were and still are many...too many for me to expound upon in a mere op-ed...too many for me to risk a misspeak that could cause this family any more pain than they're already feeling. Billy Vaughn's book 'BETRAYED: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL's Father' can explain his and his family's journey for the truth so much better than I ever could...I recommend you get a copy and learn the sad truth of the pain this administration has inflicted upon one American family...times thousands.

And so tears fall NOT just for the Vaughns and for Aaron, but for all those lost that fateful day...for all those lost under Barack HUSSEIN Obama's watch due to his ineptitude and reckless unconcern for those who put their lives on the line daily...for those who fight to defend America as they keep us safe and free at home.  Mistakes, cover-ups, and LIES...the hallmark of an administration run amok is especially disturbing...especially shameful when it comes to our military for this president...this miserable excuse of a Commander-in-Chief...forces our military to fight with weapons NOT poised and ready for battle but with weapons put aside so as NOT to hurt the very ones out to kill us all. 

So as the elusive answers to the questions asked of what really happened on August 6, 2011 still remain's now up to us to demand those answers and Billy Vaughn says..."defend the defenders" of our freedoms...for if we patriots do NOT do it who will.