Friday, January 31, 2014

Fact Checking Obama's Statement on Women and Income Inequality

While there were dozens of half-truth's and outright lies that I could have written about following the President's State of the Union address, none are more outrageous than these two minutes:

First of all, the fact that women only make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns would be an accurate statement if we were all listening to his speech in 2004.  If the President took the time to read the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report on this exact topic, he would have read the following on the very first page:
 "In 1979, women working full time earned 62 percent of what men did; in 2011, women’s earnings were 82 percent of men’s."
And, that 82 percent is up from 81 percent in the previous year.

More importantly, the 82 percent number doesn't even come close to justifying Obama's statement that women should get equal pay for equal work.  That's because it is an average of all kinds of jobs that are held by the two sexes.  For example, more men work in higher paying heavy equipment and construction jobs than women; while woman dominate in lower paying positions such as cashiers, waitresses, and housekeepers.  Often, women choose these lower paying jobs because they give them more flexibility to care for their families.  In terms of college degrees, the highest paying jobs are in engineering.  Yet, less than 20% of those holding those degrees are women.

Now in terms of income inequality, the President seems to have conveniently forgotten that "he" signed  the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law in 2009.  Along with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act in 1963, the Ledbetter law insures that woman have the right to sue whenever there is "true" income equality.  "True" meaning that the income disparity isn't as a result of differences in skill, responsibility, merit raises, or seniority.

Then there was the statement that a woman deserves to be able to have a baby without losing her job.  Well, again, Obama has forgotten that we already have a law that protects women from that, or even as a result of having to take care of a sick family member.  It's called the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.  The overview of that law is as follows:

  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
    • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
    • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
    • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
    • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
    • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” 
The concept of equal pay for equal work is the basis of socialism and unionization and not capitalism.  So, yes, a woman might be paid less than a male coworker because of a lack of things like education/experience, responsibility, seniority, or merit raises.  At the same time, two men, working the same job, might also be paid differently for the very same reasons.  That's why, to my knowledge, there hasn't been a slew of lawsuits being filed since the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was passed.

Once again, this President is distorting the facts in order to garner women's votes; and, he knows quite well that many woman (and, of course men, too) won't fact check all his lies.


BLS Reports: Women in the Workplace: February 2013:

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009:

Equal Pay Act of 1963: 

U.S. Department of Labor: Family and Medical Leave Act:

Engineering by the Numbers:

Which College Degrees Earn the Highest Wages?:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Two Different State of the Union Addresses...Two Different Minimum Wages

In the 2013 State of the Union address, Obama called for a $9/hour minimum wage:

In this year's address, he's calling for a $10.10 minimum wage; a 12% increase over last year:

It's hard to believe that a 12% increase in the President's targeted minimum wage is warranted when inflation in the last year was only 1.5%.  Also, is $10.10 realistic when he couldn't get $9 passed through Congress?  One smells another political, wedge issue being served up by Obama for this year's election!

Now, while the President cited Costco as an employer that currently pays above minimum, that might not be the case in the future.  Let's not forget that, in 2007, Circuit City had an entry level pay of $8.75 when, at the time, the minimum wage was just $6.55.  They, too, thought paying a higher wage would reduce turnover and attract a higher level of employee.  A year later, they went bankrupt; citing wage management issues in the lead up to that bankruptcy.

By the way, $10.10 is another 41% increase since 2009, and the 2009 increase was 41% over the 2007 wages at the beginning of that year.  Has any other hourly wage group seen their salary almost double in just 7 years? Have you?

Reference: Circuit City:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ObamaCare's Free Contraception Mandate

What if I told you that you could buy any new car, from any lot,  and I'll pay for it.  Do you think you'd pick the cheapest thing you could find?  Of course not.  Well, the same is true with ObamaCare's free contraception mandate.

Currently, women using contraceptives pay between $40 a year for the generic "pill" to as much as $1000 for other more convenient and newer forms of contraception.  The decision as to what form of contraception a woman uses is typically based on a doctor's recommendation, medicinal tolerance, efficacy, convenience, and, most importantly, affordability. 

The problem with ObamaCare is that, like the new car example, it puts no limits on costs.  As a result, women will gravitate to many of the more expensive products that had once been out of their financial reach.  The result will be ever rising costs for contraception; and, the insurers will be forced, by mandate, to cover it.  But, ultimately, those higher costs will be passed on to you and I in the form of higher insurance premiums.

There is also a more sinister possibility behind any increased expense associated with free contraception. The manufacturers of contraceptives, knowing full well that the insurers can't balk on  any increases, are now free to raise prices without impunity.
So, by the time the bureaucrats in Washington realize what a mess they've made with contraceptive costs spiraling out of control, it will be too late.  Many of the cheaper or generic birth control manufacturers will have stopped producing their products for lack of sales. Then, too, the politicians, especially those on the left, won't want to rein in prices and cut back on higher priced contraception because it might cost them votes.

The decision to go with free birth control was solely based on garnering the woman's vote with no regard as to what would happen down the road, and, if the Republicans balked, the Democrats would just use that as proof that the GOP are conducting a war on women.  But, the true war on women will be exposed when single mothers or women in traditional family settings have to pay more and more for the health care needed to protect their families.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Failing Education: The True Cause Of Income Inequality

This year -- an election year -- Obama and the Democrats think they have a winning issue in proposing spending measures and legislation that would fight income inequality.  For any Democrat, the rallying cry to getting those measures passed and, subsequently, getting themselves elected (or reelected), will be that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; and, that they are the ones watching out for the poor while the Republicans only want to protect the rich.  Thus, we will be going back to the 2008 campaign when Obama told "Joe the Plumber" that we need to "spread the wealth around."

However, the real reason that we have income inequality in this country has to do with something that the Democrats are completely complicit in: Sustaining a failing and highly unionized educational system for the sole purpose of garnering union votes.  It is actually the level of someone's education that determines whether or not a person will be able to share in the wealth of this country and not a bunch of Democrat-sponsored "band aids" such as raising the minimum wage, or extending unemployment benefits, or whatever.  There is no better proof of that than this chart:

Statistics are for workers 25 or older (click to zoom)

Now, it doesn't take a PhD to see the direct correlation between education and income levels and education and unemployment rates.  So, the real solution to income inequality is a better educated population. 

In a world where Americans must compete for the best jobs and, where those jobs are heavily dependent on math and science, we continue to fall behind.  In recent tests conducted by the  Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), our high school teens ranked 27th in math against the 34 other most economically developed counties in the world.  We also dropped to 21st place in science after having been in 17th place in 2009; and, slipped from 14th place to 17th place in reading.  All, under Obama's watch.

Also, as a country, we are experiencing horrible college graduation rates.  Once again, according to studies done by the OECD, only 34% of Americans enrolled in college actually graduate after 4 years.  While some might fail to graduate for economic reasons, the vast majority fail to complete college because they came unprepared.  Proof of this comes from the results of the 2012 ACT college readiness tests.  Only 67% of those tested had enough English comprehension skills to compete in college.  Other scores were even more frightening with reading proficiency at 52%; math at 46%; and, science at a mere 31%. But, the most disturbing fact of all was that only 25% were proficient in all 4 categories.  Realize, too, that the students taking the ACT are those with aspirations of moving onto college.  God only knows how poorly those who didn't take the test would have done.

In December, there were 4 million job openings in this country. Yet, only 74,000 -- of 10.8 million looking for work -- actually found a job.  This is an awful statistic but it proves my point; and, the problem is only intensified when you add in the nearly 9 million workers who have completely given up looking for work.

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to match worker education levels to the kind of high paying jobs that are being created; or, could be created.  As a consequence, those jobs are either eventually filled with imported labor -- people here on work visas -- or just wind up being shipped overseas where they can be filled with a better educated workforce. Thus, every year, America's workforce is increasingly made up of "dumbed-down" workers.  That's also why -- since the employment recovery began in 2010 -- half of all the jobs that were so-called created were low income positions.

The recession clearly exposed the education problem when so many poorly educated Americans lost their higher paying jobs.  Jobs that paid well because those workers had achieved some level of seniority.  Today, those same workers are being forced to literally start over at the bottom rungs of the uneducated workforce ladder.  This is why we have record numbers -- 46.5 million -- in poverty. Numbers that haven't declined in over three years of a supposed employment recovery.

Over the last few decades, there have been dozens of proposals on how to improve education in America.  But, all have been rejected, completely out of hand, by Democrat politicians on behalf of "their" teachers' unions.  That's because those proposals would either jeopardize the size of existing union membership; or, would have changed how teachers are paid; or, would have disciplined or fired poor performing teachers; and, would have eliminated the stupid concept of tenure.  Never once was the best interest of the student taken into any consideration.


Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: US teens lag in global education rankings as Asian countries rise to the top:

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: College Graduation Rates:

U.S. News And World Report: High School Student Not Prepared for College, Careers:

2012 ACT results (see chart on page 7):

BLS: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey:

BLS: December 2013 Employment Situation Report:

Half Of All Jobs Created In The Past 3 Years Were Low-Paying: Study:

Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Will ObamaCare Push Us Into Another Recession In 2014?

No one can actually predict when a recession will occur or how long it will last.  But, in more than 150 years of tracking our economy, recessions have occurred, on average, every 5 years.  In more modern times, they have tended to occur every 6 to 7 years; and, we are already 6 years and almost 2 months past the start of the last one in December of 2007.

Most recessions occur when inflation outpaces the rate at which the average consumer's disposable incomes increase; forcing most to pull back on buying any or all non-essential goods and services. Thus, the economy contracts.  Other times, however, recessions are spawned by some major, economic-impacting event such as the Crash of '29, the OPEC Oil embargo, 9/11, or, most recently, the burst of the housing bubble.

Thanks to PolitiFact, we have a nice scorecard on Obama for things like the growth in disposable income and inflation.  According to that report, disposable incomes, after falling in 2009, rose 1.5% from 2009 to May 2012; a yearly average of  only six-tenths of one percent (.6%).  At the same time, overall inflation averaged 2.7%; or, 4-1/2 times faster than disposable incomes. More importantly, essential items like food and gasoline have risen much faster than overall inflation. 

Click on image to zoom
So, it is apparent that a primary cause of any recession -- inflation faster than wage growth -- has been firmly in place since 2009.

But, another significant economic-impacting event -- the continued roll-out of ObamaCare -- is hovering like a black cloud over this already weak economy; and, it is a "cloud" that is already causing a slowdown in hiring and wages to lag even further.  According to the recent December jobs report, only 74,000 jobs were created; the lowest in three years.  But, more importantly, during the 3-months that ObamaCare was being rolled out, the average hourly wage only increased by about a quarter of one percent; from $24.11 in October to $24.17 in December.  That was half as fast as the rate at which wages rose in the first 9 months of the year.  Is this because of ObamaCare or just a coincidence?

I guess we'll have to wait until January 30 when the GDP report for the fourth quarter comes out to see if the October roll out of ObamaCare hurt economic growth.  If it is substantially less than the projected 2.5% growth, we could be seeing the start of another recession. Further, the U.S. stock markets are tumbling on a assumed slow-down in world economic activity.


Politifact's Obama Economic Scorecard:

December Employment Report, Table 3-B, Average Hourly Earnings:

 Econbrowser: Recession in 2006-07?:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mr. Obama, Lying Has Consequences

Many people have shed their rose colored glasses when it comes to trusting Barack Obama.  It has definitely showed up in the polls with his approval numbers now hovering around 40%, and, it all stems from his lying.  Lying about his writing the book "Dreams of my Father" when, in fact, Bill Ayers "ghost wrote" that book.  Then, lying about his casual acquaintance with Ayers.  You know, the guy that wrote his book and launched his senatorial campaign from his home.  Then, there were all those ObamaCare lies regarding keeping your insurance and your doctor; and, how it won't add one penny to the deficit or, how it would lower your costs for health insurance.

Of course, there was also the lie about Benghazi being caused by a video.  Then, there was the extent of the IRS scandal; saying that it was just a few rogue people in the Cleveland office.  Or, lying about the extent of the NSA spying and how, supposedly, American's aren't in the NSA's spying net.  So, it's no wonder that, people couldn't care less when he gave his speech on changes to the NSA's manual on spying.  According to a recent Pew poll, only 8% were interested enough in what Obama had to say by listening to his whole speech.  Of those, 73% thought that the President's changes would make little difference in keeping American's privacy safe and, 79% thought the changes wouldn't have any measurable impact on out fight against terrorism.  That same poll said that more than half of those polled didn't hear anything about the President's speech.

If these numbers don't show Obama as being a lame-duck President; then, nothing will.

Reference: Pew Research: Obama’s NSA Speech Has Little Impact on Skeptical Public:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

NASA: 2013 the 7th Hottest Year

According to NASA,  2013 is tied with 2009 and 2006 for the 7th warmest temperatures since 1880.  Further, the report categorized 2013 as proof that there is a "Sustained Long-Term Climate Warming Trend."

Well, call me crazy but "tying" past records is not a "warming trend."  For there to be a true warming trend, any logical person would think that records would continue to be broken.  "Tying" past temperatures only implies that the so-called "warming trend" is gone.  It also reaffirms the fact that the earth stopped warming back in 1997.

Apparently, even NASA can't put the politics of climate change aside and honestly and scientifically report on global warming trends.

Reference: NASA Finds 2013 Sustained Long-Term Climate Warming Trend:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Obama and Robert Gates Memoir: "Duty"

I didn't have to read former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' memoir "Duty" to know that Obama has been playing politics with the military from the very day he became the "supposed" Commander-In-Chief.  Almost every major policy change with regard to the military has been done to satisfy one or more factions of his political base.  From openly serving gays; to women in the battlefield; to tighter rules of engagement that may threaten the very lives of our soldiers; to cutting half the amount of surge forces in Afghanistan; to cuts in nuclear weapons and budgets; Obama has done nothing but weaken the best military on the planet.

But the biggest weakening of our military is the loss of the very "brains" that have made it a major force to be reckoned with.  In just 5 years, Obama has managed to "purge" a record 200 of the highest ranking officers and insure that another 167 never get promoted to higher levels.  All because those dedicated and concerned officers dared to question or comment about any of this President's changes in policy.  Of course, this purging comes from a President who hasn't fired a single, top-level person in his Administration despite the many scandals that have come to light under his watch.

Sadly, it may take years, if not a decade or more, to replace the experience and military acumen that has been lost due to Obama's failed understanding of military life and the decades of procedures that have been adopted to insure that lives are protected and morale is maintained.


'Purge surge': Obama fires another commander:

Laughably, At Davos, The World's Richest Want To Solve The World's Income Inequality

Every year,  in Davos, Switzerland the world's most powerful meet to kick around issues confronting society in what is known as the World Economic Forum (WEF).  Last year, the Wall Street Journal noted that, of the 2500 attendees, 70 were billionaires, and the rest were mere millionaires and other extremely powerful people.

So, it is interesting that one of the reports coming out of the WEF reveals the fact that just 85 billionaires hold as much wealth as does the bottom half of all humans who live on this planet; arguing that income inequality is a growing and damaging problem.  I'd just love to be a fly on the wall and listen to what the world's richest think the solution to that problem is.


85 richest people own as much as bottom half of population, report say:,0,7080817.story#axzz2qxEXoTZW

Wall Street Journal: The 70 Billionaires at Davos:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Obama Compares Al Qaeda of Today to a Junior Varsity Team

We once had a Democrat President, Bill Clinton, who ignored the rise of Al Qaeda and it cost us thousands of lives in the World Trade Center attack.  He even had a chance to kill Bin Laden but, instead, he allowed "advice of counsel" from a White House attorney, Jamie Gorelick, to supersede any national security concerns.

Once again, we have another Democrat President, Barack Obama, who is, like Clinton, ignoring the rise of Al Qaeda so he can simply maintain a political posturing that "he" has them on the run. Nothing could be more proof of that when, in a recent interview with New Yorker Magazine, he declared that the Al Qaeda of today is a junior varsity team when compared to the Al Qaeda under Bin Laden. Well, as reported by Peter Bergen at CNN, that supposed junior varsity team controls more of the Middle East than ever.

The problem with the President is that he is either lying or covering up whenever it comes to Al Qaeda. The Fort Hood massacre and Benghazi are the two best examples.

In the case of the Fort Hood massacre, Obama has avoided calling it the first terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11,  by categorizing and trying it in court as,  just another case of workplace violence with no connection to Al Qaeda.  This ignores the fact that, in the months prior, the shooter, Maj. Hassan, had back and forth email communications with Al Qaeda mastermind, Anwar al-Awlaki. 

The same is true with Benghazi.  The trumped-up "story" that the killing of 4 Americans was just about a video, was merely another attempt to hide Al Qaeda's involvement in this obvious terrorist attack.  In doing so, Obama, just prior to the election, could continue the well worn lie that Al Qaeda is on the run.  It also was done to hide incompetence on the part of  the President and his Administration by failing to recognize a potential threat on the anniversary of the original 9/11.

We should all be afraid of Obama's obvious failure to recognize Al Qaeda as a growing threat.  If he is being politically delusional in doing so, we could very well witness another major attack on the this country.


Al Qaeda "JayVee":

CNN: Bergen: Al Qaeda controls more territory than ever in Middle East:

Ashcroft Faults Clinton Era at 9/11 Panel:

CNN: Nadal Hassan Trial:

Senate report: Benghazi attackers tied to Al Qaeda groups:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Snowden Is The Very Proof That The NSA Can't Be Trusted

Some say Snowden, the NSA whistle blower, is a hero for exposing such widespread spying activities by the United States.  Others say he is an out-and-out traitor. But, those viewpoints are less material than the fact that a young, outside contractor was able to access the entire catalog of U.S. spying activities.  More importantly, how many other "Snowden's" are there who have such powerful access to the data being collected, and, unlike Snowden, might be "quietly" providing that data to other outside interests; either domestic or foreign.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Medicaid Fraud and You

From its inception, Medicaid is a program that was intended to provide medical care to those who are either at or below the national poverty thresholds.  So, one would think that, if there are 46.5 million people in poverty in America in 2012, there would be about 46.5 million in the Medicaid program in that same year.  Instead, Medicaid enrollment hit a record 72.6 million in that same year; or, a whopping 59% more people on Medicaid than in poverty.

While it's true that some states have expanded their Medicaid programs beyond the Federal guidelines for poverty, those states certainly haven't done so by a factor of 59%.  The reason being that Medicaid is the second highest expense behind education. Therefore, the states can't just wildly expand the program without completely blowing their budgets.

The true fact is that Medicaid is ripe with fraud.  Not only do some enrollees use fraudulent income data to enter the system; it is also a system that is weak in verifying when persons are no longer eligible for this benefit.  So, the rolls just keep on growing.  Even if the number of those in poverty starts to decline.

Obviously, any state or federal taxpayer is a big loser because this fraud is being primarily funded by state taxes with dollar-for-dollar, matching federal funds.  Beyond that, there is a vicious circle that is being created that, not only hurts any person with private insurance (whether purchased alone or through an employer) but, actually, hurts those who are legitimately in need of Medicaid.

Because Medicaid is such a big and fast growing expense, states have opted to control costs by reducing the amounts they reimburse the health care providers.  At the same time, the federal government has, too, reduced its reimbursements for care under Medicare.  This, in turn, has resulted in those same  health care providers charging private insurers higher and higher rates in order to offset the losses incurred in caring for Medicaid/Medicare patients.  This fact is well borne out by the following chart:

So, not only does the average American pay higher taxes because of Medicaid fraud; their cost of health insurance is also going up.  But, sadly, the "true" Medicaid patients are also being hurt in the process.  That's because whenever reimbursements are reduced, fewer doctors and hospitals, especially the good ones, will accept these patients.  The result is simple: Less quality of care for people on Medicaid.

Under ObamaCare, the already-broken Medicaid is being expanded by another 33%.  That will only result in more fraud, higher taxes and/or reduced reimbursements, higher private insurance rates, and lower quality of care for the true needy of this country.  This is just another reason why ObamaCare is so wrong for America.


46.5 Million In Poverty:

Record 72.6 million on Medicaid:

California Cuts Medicaid Reimbursements by 10%:

Census Bureau: Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in 2012:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Will The Benghazi Report Sink Hillary's Chances In 2016?

With the release of the bipartisan Senate report covering the 9/11/2012 Benghazi attack, some are speculating as to whether or not Hillary Clinton's chances for the Presidency are sunk.  This is because the report clearly shows that the attack was Al Qaeda related and preplanned; and, not a spontaneous assault over some offensive video as Clinton and her people asserted. 

Certainly, the report is damaging in that it proves the video theory was not just a lie but, also, it implies incompetence in not taking enough security precautions in the run up to the 9/11 anniversary.  But, I believe the thing that will do the most harm to Hillary's ambitions to run this country is this photo of her during the House Benghazi hearings:

This, to me, is her Howard Dean moment.   It clearly shows a Hillary that may not have the "calm under fire" poise that is needed from someone who would be running the most powerful and complex country on the planet. 

Reference: Washington Post: Senate report: Attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi could have been prevented:

Friday, January 17, 2014

ObamaCare, The Minimum Wage, and Automation

In 2011, Obama blamed people-replacing machines like ATMs and airport check-in kiosks for causing the slow economic recovery.  What he fails to realize is that increased automation is a direct result of  his own policies.  Higher costs for labor -- such as increasing the minimum wage by 41% from 2007 to 2009 or mandated employee benefits such as health insurance coverage under ObamaCare -- only forces businesses to find alternatives to increasingly costly humans.  That is one of the primary reasons why, today, many companies have off-shore call and customer service centers or, why so many retailers have incorporated self-checkout lanes in their stores.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, three-fifths of all minimum wage earners are in the fast food industry; an industry that employs 4 million.  But, another round of raising the minimum wage by a proposed 25% just might be the tipping point at which fast food companies like McDonald's start automating their stores.  After all, they are already facing hefty penalties or insurance costs under ObamaCare in 2015, and its not much of a stretch to think these people could easily be replaced with the current technology.

That drive-up order taker/cashier could simply be replaced by a touch-screen and an integrated credit card reader.  This would be especially true if customers are given a discount for paying by credit card and, thus, avoiding costly human interaction in accepting cash payments.  The same is true for cashiers inside the store. In fact, that is exactly what McDonald's did in France by installing 7000 touch-screen order and credit card acceptance machines.  Those machines also had the additional benefit of instantly displaying calorie information; another requirement of ObamaCare in this country.

Further,  there is no reason why any of the rest of the jobs at a fast food restaurant couldn't be replaced.  In fact, a company by the name of Momentum Machines has already built a hands-free unit that can crank out and dispense 360 gourmet burgers per hour.  The company already claims that, by replacing humans, their machine will pay for itself in a year.   Of course, the payback would be slashed to 9 months if the minimum wage is raised by another 25%.

Lastly and more importantly, if one fast food company, like McDonald's, starts rolling out automation, eventually, they will all follow suit.  When that happens, a source of 60% of all minimum wage jobs will disappear, and, the damage may well be higher than 60% if businesses outside the fast food industry also find ways to replace the costly humans.


Obama, ATMs And Rage Against The Rise Of Machines:

Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2012:

C/Net:  McDonald's hires 7,000 touch-screen cashiers:

Robot Serves Up 360 Hamburgers Per Hour:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Obama's Abysmal Record On Poverty

In celebrating 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared his war on poverty, Obama has now declared his own war on poverty; and well he should.  That's because, right now, the poverty rate in America is higher than it has been in 49 years; when, in 1965, it stood at just 15.1%.

If you listen to the President, poverty could be lessened if we force companies to pay a higher minimum wage, extend unemployment benefits, and pass another stimulus package which he now calls a Jobs Act.  But, we already did all these things before and the poverty rate has only gone up and is showing no signs of dropping.

What Obama doesn't seem to understand is the fact that half the jobs that he keeps taking credit for are low paying, entry-level, and minimum wage work.  The kind of jobs that put, and keep, people in poverty. 


Half Of All Jobs Created In The Past 3 Years Were Low-Paying: Study:

Despite massive increase in welfare spending, no change in poverty level:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Is ObamaCare Already Suffering From Old Age?

By March 2014, ObamaCare will reach a tender age of 4, but, due to its own ineptness, this near 4 year old already seems to be suffering from old age.  That's because, in order for it to be cost effective, 40% of the people enrolled in the program's exchanges had to be between the ages of 28 and 34.  However, recently released data shows that only 24% of the enrollees are in that much-needed young adult category.  This, then, means that 76% of those enrolled in the program are of the older and surely sicker types; and, because of this, the exchanges are sure to run at heavy losses this year.  Losses that will, also as part of the law, be fully covered by the federal government.  Essentially, ObamaCare has an old age problem.

This is no surprise to those who know how ineptly ObamaCare was slammed together.

First of all, ObamaCare, itself, undermined the 18 to 34 year old targets by saying that children, up to age 26, can stay on their parents health plans; theoretically slicing this pool of valued young adults in half. And, it doesn't matter if these  "under-26 children" are living with their parents or living on the moon; or, whether or not they are single or married. 

Further, ObamaCare set the penalty for not buying insurance so low that it actually becomes a disincentive to buying insurance in the exchanges.  Especially since most healthy young adults already know that, if they do get sick, they can simply go to the emergency room of any hospital that takes Medicare patients and they will be treated; regardless of their ability to pay or not.  This is guaranteed by another law that was passed in the 1980's: The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (aka. EMTALA).  And, if they do get seriously sick, the "pre-existing conditions" mandate under the law makes sure that no insurance company can deny them coverage; and, at a very reasonable rate, mind you.

My guess is that the only 18-34's that are signing up for health insurance in the exchanges are those getting hefty subsidies from Uncle Sam. Otherwise...fuggeddaboutit.


Too Few Young Adults Enrolled In ObamaCare:

New York Times: Rules Let Youths Stay On Parents Plans:

Monday, January 13, 2014

More Tampering With The Unemployment Report?

In September 2012, just before the election, there were obvious inconsistencies in the monthly Employment Situation Report and the surprising drop in the unemployment rate that caused people to suspect someone of cooking-the-books. In fact, there were a number of chefs in the old Census Bureau's kitchen who were busy cooking and serving up a very nice pre-election cake for the President (see below).

Now, based on Friday's jobs report, it appears that the chefs were at it again.

The only way to lower the number of unemployed is for an unemployed worker to either find a job or just give up looking for work.  Friday's report said that 74,000 found work and 347,000 left the workforce because they were no longer counted as looking for work; a combined total of 341,000 that are no longer unemployed.  Yet, the report reflected a drop of 490,000:

Obviously, there is a 69,000 unaccounted for error in the number of those now being unemployed; and, I think, for political reasons.  My guess is that the "unaccounted" are being used to hide the fact that even more workers left the workforce than the 347,000 that were stated in the report.  While the 347,000 is bad enough, another 69,000, or a total 416,000, would look even more horrible; at least politically.

God only knows how much of the rest of the report is using "fuzzy" math.


Census 'faked' 2012 Election Jobs Report:

December 2013 Employment Report, Table A:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Big Lie: Workforce Contractions Are Due To Baby Boomers Retiring.

It seems like, every time there's another one of these head-scratching and really questionable employment reports -- where the only reason for the unemployment rate falling is a shrinking workforce -- a bunch of talking-heads crawl out of the woodwork to justify the declines on the basis of a well-worn lie that 10,000 "Baby Boomers" are retiring every day.

This time around, the "Baby Boomer" spin is in defense of the December report where only 74,000 jobs were created; yet, the unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percent to 6.7%.  A feat that could only have happened because, in addition to the 74,000 new jobs, 347,000 previously unemployed workers left the workforce; resulting in a net benefit of 421,000 jobs.  Which, by the way, is close to, but still well short of the 462,000, truly needed to lower the unemployment rate by three-tenths of a percent.

The 10,000 a day number is simply based on the fact that, during the Baby Boom years (1946-1964), a near average of 10,000 babies were born each day; starting with 7,700 babies being born per day in 1946 and rising to a high of 11,800 babies in 1961.  But, this number wrongly assumes that every "Baby Boomer" will live to retirement; or, that no "Boomer" will work beyond retirement; or, that, somehow, no one is standing in line to replace these retiring workers.

According to Life Expectancy Tables and Actuarial Life Tables, a person born in the Baby Boom years  had 29.5% probability of dying by age 65. Therefore, in reality, only about 7,000 workers a day are actually retiring; not 10,000. At the same time,  almost 11,000 youths per day, age 16 and older and born in the 1990's, should be entering the workforce.  This based on the fact that, since 1989, an average of more than 4 million babies per year were being born. What this means is that the workforce should be growing by a minimum 120,000 a month; not declining by 347,000 as in the December employment report.  On top of that, because this recovery has been the worst in history and because personal wealth (value of homes) has declined, many seniors are being forced to work well past retirement age.


December Employment Report:

Births Per Year:

United States Life Tables And Actuarial Life Tables: 1939-1941, 1946:

Actuarial Life Tables 2009:

Life Expectancy By Year:

January 2009 Employment Report:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Obama's Hypocrisy On Trickle Down Economics

If you try to talk to any Democrat about "trickle down economics", their immediate reaction is that you're talking about tax cuts for the rich.  That is how they have demonized it over the years, and Obama is no different. In fact, when he was running against Romney, he made this statement:

"In this country, broad based prosperity has never trickled down from the success of a wealthy few. It has always come from the success of a strong and growing middle class."
The stupidity of that statement is that trickle down economics occurs everyday in our economy; and, at all levels of this nation's income ladder.   As a whole, Americans only save about 6% of what they earn.  So, conversely, if any American, rich or poor, gets their hands on any extra cash, they're likely to spend 94% of it.  That increased spending results in increased economic activity; which, in turn, results in new jobs.  This is why the economic recoveries under Bush, following 9/11, and under Reagan, following the disastrous Carter years, were so successful. They both put money in American's pockets by cutting taxes on all taxpayers. On the other hand, Obama's tactic of big government spending has only resulted in one of the worst economic recoveries in the history of the United States.

However, what is really interesting to me is that, recently, in arguing for two separate spending programs, the President has either unknowingly or unwittingly endorsed trickle down economics. 

In the first case, he argued that extending unemployment benefits helps the economy by actually creating jobs.  Then he went on to use an example of "Kathy" that certainly sounds a lot like trickle down economics to me (click at 7 minutes and 17 seconds to hear that specific part of his speech):

The other instance came as he announced his "Promise Zones Initiative"; whereby, corporations and businesses, who hire employees from certain economically depressed parts of the country, would receive federal tax breaks.  Wow! How Republican of him in admitting that tax breaks for (rich, greedy, and fat-cat) corporations might actually create jobs!


CNN: Obama Trashes Trickle Down Economics:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Democrats Craziness On Extended Unemployment Benefits And the Minimum Wage

According to Barack Obama, the current minimum wage of $7.25/hr or $290/week is absolutely not enough to survive on for any of the 1.7 million Americans that earn that wage.  So, he's pushing for a fair, liveable, $9 an hour; or, a weekly income of $360.  But, what Obama isn't telling you is that 2 million people, or 300,000 more than those making minimum wage, work for less than that, and, raising it won't help those people one iota.

Then, there's the issue of Obama's call to renew the extended unemployment benefits for the 1.3 million Americans who saw their benefits expire just after Christmas.  Their average income was $300/week or just $10 more than a minimum wage worker.  Are they, too, like the current minimum wage earners, getting too little money to survive?  Of course, extending the unemployment benefits isn't going to help the 8 million of  the 11 million workers who are officially unemployed and receiving zero benefits.  Nor will it help another 9 million workers who have left the workforce because they are frustrated and cannot find a job.

But, the real irony in all these discussions about wages is that you're probably better off being on welfare than either collecting unemployment or even working for minimum wage.  That's because, in a majority of states, 35 states to be exact, welfare recipients collect the equivalent of $400 a week or higher.  How's that for income inequality, Mr. Obama!


Seeking Alpha: Extended Unemployment Benefits Statistics:

Forbes Magazine: Welfare pays more than the minimum wage:

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Minimum Wage and Lower Income Wage Earner Stats:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

On Climate Change, Would You Trust People Who Have Been 95% Wrong?

According to climate change/global warming alarmists, climate science is settled science.  End of discussion.

Of course, if you are a denier of that fact, well, you're as stupid as those who once thought the earth was flat. But, in my opinion, settled science means that given any set of pertinent data, the results would always be predictable; assuming some reasonable and acceptable margin of error.

 The problem here, lies in the fact that climate change "science" has been wildly wrong in its dire predictions over the years. Wrong when it comes to how fast sea levels are rising; or, how quickly the world's ice was receding; and, especially wrong when it comes to predicting the rise in the world's temperatures.  In fact, when it comes to predicting the world's temperatures, there have been 76 predictions, from 38 separate super-computers and 95% of those predictions (36 of 38) were wildly wrong.   

This begs a simple question.  Would you seek financial advice from someone that was wrong 95% of the time? Or, a doctor whose diagnoses were 95% incorrect?  I hardly think so.  Yet, somehow we're supposed to believe in the crap being spewed out by the United Nation's Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change and from the likes of Al Gore and Barack Obama!
For further reading and source of the above chart:

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Minimum Wage and the Big Mac Index

Every year, the Bureau of  Labor Statistics (BLS) generates a report titled: "Characteristics Of Minimum Wage Workers."  According to the latest report, 1.7 million workers, or roughly 1% of the workforce, are paid the prevailing minimum wage.  The report also notes that three-fifths, or 1 million of those workers,  are employed in the fast food industry; an industry made up of a total of 4 million workers.  So, obviously, as a minimum wage job seeker, you would hope for a healthy and growing fast food industry.  That was the case until the last round of minimum wage increases that started in 2007 and ended in 2009.  In those three years the minimum wage was raised from $5.15/hour to $7.25/hour in 2009; a near 41% increase in hourly wages.

Prior to raising the minimum wage, the fast food industry was growing at a near consistent stair-step pace; adding an average of 154,000 new jobs per year (this according to data derived from an interactive chart at -- see below).  Then, in the 2007, the minimum wage was raised and the fast food industry only added 33,000 jobs; an 80% drop in the amount of new jobs being added in the previous years.  In essence, the raising of the minimum wage killed the golden goose for the very people it was supposed to help.  Of course, liberals would argue that it was the recession that hurt the fast food industry.  But that's not true.  The recession didn't hit until November of 2007; and it wasn't until April of the following year that unemployment started to rise.

The reason why raising the minimum wage hurt the fast food industry, and many other small businesses, is simply price inflation.  If price inflation is too high, many people, especially those on fixed incomes and low incomes, can't afford to buy what businesses are selling.

To that point, I need to introduce you to something called the Big Mac Index. Since 1986, the Economist newspaper has been keeping track of the average price of a Big Mac burger because it is such a pervasive international product. On February 1, 2007, just before the minimum wage increase went into effect, the Big Mac Index reflected an average U.S. price of $3.22 for America's favorite burger; up a meager 2.2% from 2006's $3.15.  Then, by July of 2008 and after two hikes in the minimum wage in 2007 and 2008, the "Mac's" price jumped to $3.57;  a near 11% rise in its price.  In 2010, after the last hike of the minimum wage took place in 2009, the burger's average price was $3.73; an 18% increase in just three years.

Now, to put this into perspective, if it cost $20 for a family of four to eat at McDonald's in 2007. By 2010 that same meal would cost almost $24 ($23.60).  For many families, that made eating at Mickey-D's and other fast food restaurants a luxury that they couldn't afford; either at all or, as often.  Tens of millions of people in this country are either in poverty; or, they live off fixed incomes; or, they are unemployed; or, their incomes are below minimum wage. For them, price inflation only means that their wallets are shrinking while a relative few of us gets a big fat raise.  Keep in mind, too, at a time when the Big Mac's price was rising by 18%, the median household income fell by almost 9%.

That's why the fast food industry is now in decline and probably why, in conjunction with other regulations being imposed by the Obama Administration, job growth and recovery has been so slow.  Raising the minimum wage again by such high percentages isn't going to help anyone in this economy.  Obama and the Democrats would better serve Americans and the minimum wage worker by forgetting the politics of raising it by big chunks ever few years to garner votes and, once and for all, index the minimum wage so it is automatically increased each year.


Bureau of Labor Statistics: Characteristics of a Minimum Wage Worker 2012: Number of employees in the U.S. fast food restaurant industry from 2002 to 2016:

The Economist: Big Mac Index, Feb 1, 2007:

The Economist: Big Mac Index, Jul 24, 2008:

The Economist: Big Mac Index, Jul 22, 2010:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Politics About 1.3 Million Losing Unemployment Benefits

According to Barack Obama, those heartless Republicans in Congress decided to go home for the holidays and let 1.3 million Americans lose their much-needed and extended unemployment benefits --- just four days after Christmas.  Certainly, this makes the GOP the Grinches. Of course, they could have been even more heartless by allowing benefits to expire just before Christmas.  But, mercifully, and unlike Ebenezer Scrooge, they waited until the Saturday after.

In reality, the loss of these benefits was part of the bipartisan budget deal that was approved by both Democrats and Republicans alike; in both Houses of Congress; and, was signed into law by the President.  Everyone (Obama, the Republicans, and the Democrats) knew that the budget deal would drop extended benefits for the unemployed.   Never once was there a threat by Obama to veto the deal if the benefits weren't extended, nor was there any movement on the part of the Democrats to extend them before the bill was passed into law. Of course, once signed, the President, unlike the Republicans, who only went home for the holidays, flitted off to Hawaii for perfect weather, beautiful sand and beaches, and, of course, some of the best golf courses in the world.  No way was he going to stick around frigid Washington and attempt to get an eleventh hour deal to save those unfortunate workers from heir fate

Now, after the benefits are gone, Obama and the Democrats think that they should be renewed. Not by 13 weeks, or 26 weeks, but instead, by 47 weeks.  This odd number conveniently extends the benefits until after the November elections.  As usual, the President could care less about people losing their benefits.  Instead, like the delay of oh so many ObamaCare mandates, it's all about winning elections.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Back Story To The Antarctic Rescue

Over the holidays, one of the biggest news stories hitting the airways, and the Internet, was the rescue of a research vessel that got stuck in the ice in Antarctica (the South Pole).  Of course, the joke here, was the fact that this ship was conducting research on climate change and global warming when it, ultimately, got stuck in 19 miles of new ice.

However, the real story, or the back story, is what is now happening to the Antarctic ice mass and how it's shooting holes in the theory that global warming is causing the unrecoverable melting of the world's ice masses.

35 years ago, the expanse of the Southern ice cap had reached a record level.  Then the ice began to recede and the global warming alarmists were elated with the fact that they could use that receding ice as proof that man-made CO2 emissions were destroying the planet's ice masses.  But, the story not being told is that, in just the last two years, all of the ice pack that had been lost in the prior 33 years had been restored back to the record levels of 35 years ago (see the related story that appeared in the Washington Post on September 23, 2013:  Yet, no news agency, throughout the reporting of the rescue of this ship, even mentioned this fact.  That ship was overtaken by new ice in just a matter of hours.  That's how fast the Antarctic ice sheet is growing.  Yet, if you Google the word "Antarctica", you will still see stories reporting saying the ice is melting faster than expected.

I just don't know when the lying about Climate Change and Global Warming will ever stop.