Obama and his party of destroyers are steamrolling this country into oblivion. All made possible by the most powerful political organization in America, the media.
Obama and his party of destroyers are steamrolling this country into oblivion. All made possible by the most powerful political organization in America, the media.
It's a different dustbowl, but this time the media is telling everyone how great it all is.
Obama is downsizing America in every way imaginable. Downsizing the motor of the world (while incurring incalculable debt coupled with socialized medicine, Obamacare).
Last week I discussed Obama's dismantling American hegemony on the world stage. Now more bad news on the home front.
I regularly receive letters like the one I was cc'ed on below to Senator Ted Cruz.
Dear Senator Cruz,
I am a new Obama Peasant (one suffering under the weight of government's deleterious economic/liberty crushing policies). Your efforts to Preserve Our Liberty are intellectually and emotionally uplifting because of the possibilities they reveal. I want to Thank You.
For background, I'm a 50 year old man who -up until 2010- never knew poverty, hunger, fear of the future. I have owned my homes since I was 21. I lost my two full time jobs in May-2009 and since then, I have been pulverized by the weak/sick economy. If I can't short-sell, I will be losing my home of 26.11 years . I can't fix my 1987 Ford Escort wagon; I am riding a bike....Unbelievable. I cannot take care of my 74 year old Mother with early Alzhiemers. I have officially been in Poverty-to-Extreme Poverty since 2011.
I have 2 part-time jobs that don't add up to a fraction of one of my previous jobs. I am trying to build a micro-business but it is difficult. I am pushing forward but I am at my weakest point in Life.
I have lost hope of being able to help save our country from the pernicious effects of the the Mystical Statist Wizards on the Potomac. They've been sinisterly successful in their duplicitous plot to wear people down to dependency on Them.
I wish I could go to Washington or join a group but I am to focused on basic survival. The only thing I have to offer to the winning the DEBATE for getting America on track toward its founding goals is an edited (toned) part of an old 1985 college economics paper for Professor Jay Forrester-M.I.T. that described a hypothetical future America that had reached the economic/financial/social/political limits of decades of expansion and debt financing.
Here's a list of over 300 employers who have allegedly cut their employees’ hours because of Obamacare. (thanks to Suzanne)
These 300 employers have allegedly cut their employees’ hours to avoid a tax associated with President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law was published this week by a prominent investors website.
I never thought I would run that headline, so much am I a champion of individual rights and capitalism. But this is socialism on the march.
Congress is exempt from Obamacare, but I have to have that crap?
Anyone who works for the state gets special treatment. The great unwashed? The hoi polloi? The bourgeoisie? Not so much.
The average staffer makes $75K - $150K salary (Rush, yesterday) and they complain that they can't afford healthcare. (thanks to Van)
* Congress, staff, to keep federal health premium payments Reuters, August 7, 2013 , By David Lawder
* Congress, staff, to keep federal health premium payments
* Ruling aimed at avoiding "brain drain" on Capitol Hill (Adds comments from Republicans, Pelosi, edits)
WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Congress has won some partial relief for lawmakers and their staffs from the "Obamacare" health reforms that it passed and subjected itself to three years ago.
In a ruling issued on Wednesday, U.S. lawmakers and their staffs will continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance that they must purchase through soon-to-open exchanges created by President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.
The decision by the Office of Personnel Management, with Obama's blessing, will prevent the largely unintended loss of healthcare benefits for 535 members of the Senate and House of Representatives and thousands of Capitol Hill staff.
When Congress passed the health reform law known as Obamacare in 2010, an amendment required that lawmakers and their staff members purchase health insurance through the online exchanges that the law created. They would lose generous coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
The amendment's author, Republican Senator Charles Grassley, argued that if Obamacare plans were good enough for the American public, they were good enough for Congress. Democrats, eager to pass the reforms, went along with it.
But we already knew that. Check out the decline (photo essay)
"Statism is turning America into Detroit – Ayn Rand's Starnesville come to life"By Daniel Hannan, The Telegraph, July 21, 2013
Look at this description of Detroit from today’s Observer:
What isn’t dumped is stolen. Factories and homes have largely been stripped of anything of value, so thieves now target cars’ catalytic converters. Illiteracy runs at around 47%; half the adults in some areas are unemployed. In many neighbourhoods, the only sign of activity is a slow trudge to the liquor store.
Now have a look at the uncannily prophetic description of Starnesville, a Mid-Western town in Ayn Rand’s dystopian novel, Atlas Shrugged. Starnesville had been home to the great Twentieth Century Motor Company, but declined as a result of socialism:
A few houses still stood within the skeleton of what had once been an industrial town. Everything that could move, had moved away; but some human beings had remained. The empty structures were vertical rubble; they had been eaten, not by time, but by men: boards torn out at random, missing patches of roofs, holes left in gutted cellars. It looked as if blind hands had seized whatever fitted the need of the moment, with no concept of remaining in existence the next morning. The inhabited houses were scattered at random among the ruins; the smoke of their chimneys was the only movement visible in town. A shell of concrete, which had been a schoolhouse, stood on the outskirts; it looked like a skull, with the empty sockets of glassless windows, with a few strands of hair still clinging to it, in the shape of broken wires.
Beyond the town, on a distant hill, stood the factory of the Twentieth Century Motor Company. Its walls, roof lines and smokestacks looked trim, impregnable like a fortress. It would have seemed intact but for a silver water tank: the water tank was tipped sidewise.
They saw no trace of a road to the factory in the tangled miles of trees and hillsides. They drove to the door of the first house in sight that showed a feeble signal of rising smoke. The door was open. An old woman came shuffling out at the sound of the motor. She was bent and swollen, barefooted, dressed in a garment of flour sacking. She looked at the car without astonishment, without curiosity; it was the blank stare of a being who had lost the capacity to feel anything but exhaustion.
“Can you tell me the way to the factory?” asked Rearden.
The woman did not answer at once; she looked as if she would be unable to speak English. “What factory?” she asked.
Rearden pointed. “That one.”
Now here’s the really extraordinary thing. When Ayn Rand published those words in 1957, Detroit was, on most measures, the city with the highest per capita GDP in the United States.
Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. Frédéric Bastiat
As most Atlas readers know, the wellspring of all of my ideas and activism is individual rights. That is my battle, and I fight the enemies of individualism. So it was particularly enjoyable to do a whole show discussing this very thing. Andrew Wilcow did a whole show on "Bastiat's Warning Against Big Government." Joining me on the panel were Leo Rota from The Bastiat Society, Harry Binswanger from the Ayn Rand Institute, and Katherine Mangu-Ward from Reason Magazine.
Everyone should be made to read Bastiat. But generally it is the self-taught who have come to know and admire him. Universities embrace the haters of logic and reason (i.e. Kant), and Bastiat is hardly taught in a public school system that champions statism and collectivism. Bastiat asserted that the sole purpose of government is to protect the right of an individual to life, liberty, and property. And this it is dangerous and morally wrong for government to interfere with an individual's other personal matters (clearly NYC Mayor Bloomberg isn't reading him).He concluded that the law cannot defend life, liberty, and property if it promotes "legal [or legalized] plunder," which he defined as using government force and laws to take something from one individual and give it to others. And like Ayn Rand, Bastiat states that "We cannot doubt that self-interest is the mainspring of human nature. It must be clearly understood that this word is used here to designate a universal, incontestable fact, resulting from the nature of man, and not an adverse judgment, as would be the word selfishness."
One of Bastiat's most important contributions to the field of economics was his admonition to the effect that good economic decisions can be made only by taking into account the "full picture." That is, economic truths should be arrived at by observing not only the immediate consequences – that is, benefits or liabilities – of an economic decision, but also by examining the long-term second and third consequences.
It was a marvelous hour -- yes, an hour on philosophy, reason and morality. Utterly fantastic. If I can find the whole hour, I will post.
DEFENDING THE WEST
The end of America: Why Romney lost WND, January 1, 2013
Exclusive: Pamela Geller traces death of the republic to 2 short words
The United States of America was created as an independent nation whose founding ideal was the principle of individual rights. Freedom. Ayn Rand said that “freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion.” America was the first moral government based on individual rights, the nation of the Enlightenment.
In this age of Obama, that ideal has been tossed aside for … “free stuff.”
I have, for some time, struggled with the new reality: America void of her reason, existing without the reason for her existence, her morality. It did not seem possible. And yet what now seems impossible is that America ever was. As we revert back to the age of the primitive, the fact that America happened at all is nothing short of a miracle.
The United States of America was the rational man’s shining hour.
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, N.J., recently wrote an analysis of the 2012 presidential election that is the best thing I have read on Romney’s election loss and the broader question of the loss of America.
“It is a different world,” wrote Pruzansky, “and a different America. Obama is part of that different America, knows it, and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.” What kind of different America? Pruzansky’s explanation is devastating: “Romney lost,” he writes, “because the conservative virtues – the traditional American virtues – of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness – no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate. The notion of the ‘Reagan Democrat’ is one cliché that should be permanently retired. Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America. The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.”
It is impossible to compete against “free stuff.” As Pruzansky explains: “The adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who – courtesy of Obama – receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote; so too those who anticipate ‘free’ health care, who expect the government to pay their mortgages, who look for the government to give them jobs. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.”
And given Obama’s relentless hostility to Israel, Pruzansky says, “this election should be a wake-up call to Jews. There is no permanent empire, nor is there is an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile. The American empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years. This election only hastens that decline. Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations. The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come.” His conclusion for American Jews is stark: “We have about a decade, perhaps 15 years, to leave with dignity and without stress.”
What was once unthinkable is now not just thinkable, but entirely possible. When I was a child, I remember sitting in the backseat of the family car listening in on my parents’ conversation. I am not sure what led to the following exchange, but I never forgot it. My father said, “Nothing is forever.” And my mother said, “Nothing?” He repeated: “Nothing.” And my mother thought for a moment and asked, “Not even America?” He said, “Not even America.”
At that time the idea that America could fall was inconceivable to her (and to me). America – freedom – was forever.
But that is not so. And scarier still is the tenuous status of Jews in America. It’s hard not to draw parallels to persecuted Jews in once-friendly nations and their subsequent persecution, expulsion and slaughter. To think that Poland was once the Israel of Europe. Millions of Jews made Poland their home and had a long history there of over a thousand years. And in three short years … complete annihilation.
German Jews, meanwhile, were so very vested in the motherland they considered themselves Germans before Jews. They were war heroes for Germany in World War I.
How long do Jews have in Obama’s America? How long before we can’t walk down the street with a kippah or a Star of David? This is already reality for Belgium Jews, Swedish Jews and French Jews. Large portions of Norway are already Judenrein.
Proud Jews at Berkeley or the University of California Irvine can give you a glimpse of how things can turn, quickly, in America as well. Now that America itself has turned, everything is up for grabs.
“To be a socialist,” said Josef Goebbels, “is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.”
So this is what we are supposed to tell our kids. Not work hard, stay late, get ahead. No, tell them to get on the welfare and food stamp line. Embrace the suck.
Four more years!
They’re young, they’re broke, and they pay for organic salmon with government subsidies. Got a problem with that?
In the John Waters-esque sector of northwest Baltimore — equal parts kitschy, sketchy, artsy and weird — Gerry Mak and Sarah Magida sauntered through a small ethnic market stocked with Japanese eggplant, mint chutney and fresh turmeric. After gathering ingredients for that evening’s dinner, they walked to the cash register and awaited their moments of truth.
“I have $80 bucks left!” Magida said. “I’m so happy!”
“I have $12,” Mak said with a frown.
The two friends weren’t tabulating the cash in their wallets but what remained of the monthly allotment on their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program debit cards, the official new term for what are still known colloquially as food stamps.
Magida, a 30-year-old art school graduate, had been installing museum exhibits for a living until the recession caused arts funding — and her usual gigs — to dry up. She applied for food stamps last summer, and since then she’s used her $150 in monthly benefits for things like fresh produce, raw honey and fresh-squeezed juices from markets near her house in the neighborhood of Hampden, and soy meat alternatives and gourmet ice cream from a Whole Foods a few miles away.
“I’m eating better than I ever have before,” she told me. “Even with food stamps, it’s not like I’m living large, but it helps.”
Mak, 31, grew up in Westchester, graduated from the University of Chicago and toiled in publishing in New York during his 20s before moving to Baltimore last year with a meager part-time blogging job and prospects for little else. About half of his friends in Baltimore have been getting food stamps since the economy toppled, so he decided to give it a try; to his delight, he qualified for $200 a month.
“I’m sort of a foodie, and I’m not going to do the ‘living off ramen’ thing,” he said, fondly remembering a recent meal he’d prepared of roasted rabbit with butter, tarragon and sweet potatoes. “I used to think that you could only get processed food and government cheese on food stamps, but it’s great that you can get anything.”
And who does the media blame? Bush, of course! How 'bout Reagan and Ike, too?
Bush reduced unemployment to still record-levels, running as low as 4.4% (averaging 5.27%). And the enmedia screamed bloody murder. Could you imagine if net worth dropped 40% under a Republican president? The left would be bringing back the guillotine.
Obama has routed the US economy. If the polls are correct and the American people are buying the ridiculous media meme that "it's Bush's fault," then the nation deserves the ass kicking it is going to get.
Brutal Recession Destroyed Americans' Wealth, Net Worth Down 40% In 3 Years Forbesust how bad have the last three years been for some Americans? A Fed survey has some brutal data today showing that both median family income and net worth dropped dramatically over the last three years
The median family net worth dropped a staggering 40% to $77,300 in 2010 from $126,400 in 2007, the Fed said in its Survey of Consumer Finances which is released every three years. The median family income dropped as well from $49,600 in 2007 to $45,800, or a 7.7% drop.
Middle-class families faced the brunt of the declines with those in the 60th to 80th percentile of income seeing a 40.4% drop in net worth from $215,700 to $128,600. Families with a net income in the the 20th to 39.9th percentile of income saw a 35.4% drop in net worth from $39,600 to $25,600.
The Fed’s survey, which was conducted in 2010, shows just how badly some Americans were hit by the recession. The daunting figures are the result of one of the worst economic periods the U.S. has seen since the Great Depression. Of course, the net worths of Americans are directly tied to the value of their homes which have sunk dramatically in the period.
From the Fed survey:
Families’ finances are affected by both their own decisions and the state of the broader economy. Over the 2007–10 period, the U.S. economy experienced its most substantial downturn since the Great Depression. Real gross domestic product (GDP) fell nearly 5.1 percent between the third quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2009, the official period of recession as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research. During the same period, the unemployment rate rose from 5.0 percent to 9.5 percent, the highest level since 1983. Recovery from the so-called Great Recession has also been particularly slow; real GDP did not return to pre-recession levels until the third quarter of 2011. The unemployment rate continued to rise through the third quarter of 2009 and remained over 9.4 percent during 2010. The rate of inflation, as measured by the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U-RS), decreased somewhat over the period from an annual average of 2.8 percent in 2007 to 1.6 percent in 2010.
The survey shows that Americans have been spending the last three years paying down debt. The Fed report notes, “The share of families with any type of debt decreased 2.1 percentage points to 74.9 percent over the 2007–10 period (first half of tables 13.A and 13.B, last column), reversing an increase that had taken place since 2001.” In particular, the share of a family’s outstanding credit card balances decreased 0.6% over the three-year period.
See how net worth has changed over the last three years:
Enter stage left, another fictitious character in Obama's world of make-believe and marxist campaign rhetoric. Warren Buffett’s secretary, the poe misbegotten tax slave, has purchased another home, this one in Arizona, with pool and putting green.
And Buffet? He ought to be ashamed of himself. He fully enjoyed the benefits the capitalist system afforded. Sitting up there with his secretary ... two patsies for marxism. Why doesnt he turn over his wealth to the government?
And it gets better. His fortune goes to charity upon his death. Why not to the government?
Warren Buffett’s Downtrodden, Over-Taxed Secretary Just Bought Second Home in AZ, With a Pool All American Blogger
It must be nice to be so oppressed:
Despite a heavy tax burden, Warren Buffett’s secretary last year was able to purchase a second home in Arizona, a residence complete with a swimming pool and a “professional PGA putting green,” according to real estate records.
Debra Bosanek, 55, and her husband Gerald bought the 2100-square-foot home in Surprise, a city outside Phoenix. The Bosaneks paid $144,000 for the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath property (the purchase was financed, in part, by a $115,200 mortgage).
Imagine what she could have afforded if she wasn’t paying so much in taxes.
One last thing, turns out this woman makes between $200,000 to $500,000 a year. That’s about the same amount as the Chief of Nuclear Operations at a nuclear power plant I’m familiar with.
By the way, good for her. I’m not begrudging her success at all. I congratulate it, in fact. I wish I could make that much money a year.
I do resent the idea that she’s an every person, someone right out of the steno pool who goes home to a messy house and a stack of bills she can’t handle. That’s just not the story and it’s dishonest.
Hat Tip: Fox Nation
This is straight out of Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged -- what next? The "Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule," and "The Equalization of Opportunity Bill"?
Rand characterizes the actions of government employees ... describing how the language of altruism is used to pass legislation that is only marginally in the public interest (e.g., the "Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule", and "The Equalization of Opportunity Bill") but which in reality serves special interests and government agencies at the expense of the public and the producers of value.
In the world of Atlas Shrugged, society stagnates when independent productive achievers are socially demonized and even punished for their accomplishments. (more here)
Is this not what we are experiencing now?
The Democrats stoke the fear of gas price increases to impose statist price/profit controls, but refuse to drill our own resources, refuse fracking, shale, refuse the Keystone Pipeline. America, wake up! The destruction of the profit motive leads to the collapse of society.
By Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill (hat tip Van)
Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a "Reasonable Profits Board" to control gas profits.
The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a "windfall profit tax" as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation. The bill provides no specific guidance for how the board would determine what constitutes a reasonable profit.
The Gas Price Spike Act, H.R. 3784, would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent on all surplus earnings exceeding "a reasonable profit." It would set up a Reasonable Profits Board made up of three presidential nominees that will serve three-year terms. Unlike other bills setting up advisory boards, the Reasonable Profits Board would not be made up of any nominees from Congress.The bill would also seem to exclude industry representatives from the board, as it says members "shall have no financial interests in any of the businesses for which reasonable profits are determined by the Board."
According to the bill, a windfall tax of 50 percent would be applied when the sale of oil or gas leads to a profit of between 100 percent and 102 percent of a reasonable profit. The windfall tax would jump to 75 percent when the profit is between 102 and 105 percent of a reasonable profit, and above that, the windfall tax would be 100 percent. The bill also specifies that the oil-and-gas companies, as the seller, would have to pay this tax.
Kucinich said these tax revenues would be used to fund alternative transportation programs when oil-and-gas prices spike.
"Gas prices continue to rise, creating a hardship for the American people," he said. "At the same time, oil companies are making record profits gouging their customers. This bill would tax only the excess profits and create forward-thinking transportation alternatives."
Specifically, he said the money would be used to fund a tax credit on the purchase of fuel-efficient cars and set up a grant program for mass transit programs when oil-and-gas prices are high.
The bill does not estimate the size of these grants or the amount of money that might be collected through the tax.
Co-sponsoring the bill are five other Democrats: Reps. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), Bob Filner (Calif.), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), Jim Langevin (R.I.), and Lynn Woolsey (Calif.).
I have written previously that it is depraved and degenerate that federal workers' median salary is almost double that of a private sector employee. It is public "service"; where's the "service"? It is even more depraved that Obama is proposing a pay raise for civilian federal workers in his new budget. People can't find work and these parasites are getting a raise. Moochers and looters are making the laws. They must be stopped.
Further, under the socialized medical program of Obamacare, the rest of us won’t have “the same health care” as Congress. Nice. Their medical plans are "significantly more generous than most Americans are getting," according to Mark McClellan, a doctor and economist at the Brookings Institution.
How is all of this happening without the masses rising up in horror? The enemedia keeps folks in the dark.
Remember when the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore wrote that we have “become a nation of takers” as opposed to a “nation of makers”?
What did he mean by that?
“More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined,” Moore wrote back April. “Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees.”
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills, Moore concluded.
Eight months later, it appears that his analysis may have been spot-on correct.
“Federal pay rose an average of 1.3 percent for the budget year that ended Sept. 30, according to newly released federal data,” USA Today reports.
By comparison, the wages of private workers rose 1.2 percent during the period, the same rate as state and local government pay growth, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
Translation: now is a great time to be a Federal worker.
“Federal workers made an average $75,296 in pay last year, plus $28,323 in medical, pension and other benefits,” a USA Today analysis found.
“That’s about 60 percent more than the average private wage, a difference explained largely by higher education levels and more professional jobs in the federal workforce,” the report adds.
More on that here. Doug Ross has this:
500,000 Military Layoffs Planned As Obama Argues for Federal Pay Hikes and Need for $103K/year "Invitations Coordinators"
"The then-press secretary Robert Gibbs was apparently often dispatched to placate Mrs Obama when limits were put on the amount she could spend on clothes or White House redecoration, as well as to explain why she could not take private holiday while on state visits." --Raf Sanchez
The Washington Post reported yesterday that President Obama has proposed pay increases for federal employees.
The White House effort comes despite reports in USA Today and other media outlets that the federal workforce -- which has grown substantially under the Obama administration -- is already grossly overpaid compared to the private sector. Please consider the following snippets of articles from USA Today:
• Federal workers earning double their private counterparts: "At a time when workers' pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees' average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn... Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis... The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year."
• Federal workers starting at much higher pay than in past: "Newly hired federal workers are starting at much higher salaries than those who did the same jobs in the past, a lift that has elevated the salaries of scientists and custodians alike... A 20- to 24-year-old auto mechanic started at an average of $46,427 this year, up from $36,750 five years ago... A 30- to 34-year-old lawyer started at an average of $101,045 this year, up from $79,177 five years ago... And a mechanical engineer, age 25 to 29, started at $63,675, up from $51,746 in 2006..."
This sort of waste, fraud and abuse is exemplified by jobs like a $103,000-a-year Invitations Coordinator for the so-called "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau". The compensation package includes 10 paid holidays, 13 days of sick leave, and [up to] 26 days of vacation time each year (i.e., more than five weeks).
Furthermore, the Obama administration plans to lay off 500,000 military personnel.
Aint gonna work on Barack's farm no moe.
Am I the only one who has noticed the latest trend at some retail shops? Because of the o-conomy being the worst ever since dhimmi Carter, retailers (including some nail shops, beauty salons, restaurants) have a cash-only policy. Temporarily. They use various excuses (i.e., the phone lines to the credit card companies are down), but the result is still the same. Cash only. Not all the time, but but busy times like weekends.
It's an intermittent band-aid.
Clearly, they can't afford the taxes or the mandate to insure part-timers under Obamacare.
Thomas Sowell: The vast uncertainties created by ObamaCare create a special problem. If employers knew that ObamaCare would add $1,000 to their costs of hiring an employee, then they could simply reduce the salaries they offer by $1,000 and start hiring.
But, since it will take years to create all the regulations required to carry out ObamaCare, employers today don't know whether the ObamaCare costs that will hit them down the road will be $500 per employee or $5,000 per employee. Even businesses that have record amounts of cash on hand are reluctant to gamble it by expanding their hiring under these conditions.
Many businesses work their existing employees overtime or hire temporary workers, rather than get stuck with unknown and unknowable costs for expanding their permanent work force.
As unusual as 9 percent unemployment rates may seem to the current generation of Americans, unemployment rates stayed in double digits for months and years on end during the 1930s. Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration followed policies very similar to those of the Obama administration today. He also got away with it politically by blaming his predecessor.
More Sowell in 2008:
We deserve something better than repeating the 1930s disasters.
With both Barack Obama’s supporters and the media looking forward to the new administration’s policies being similar to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s policies during the 1930s depression, it may be useful to look at just what those policies were and — more important — what their consequences were.
The prevailing view in many quarters is that the stock market crash of 1929 was a failure of the free market that led to massive unemployment in the 1930s — and that it was intervention of Roosevelt’s New Deal policies that rescued the economy.It is such a good story that it seems a pity to spoil it with facts. Yet there is something to be said for not repeating the catastrophes of the past.
Let’s start at square one, with the stock market crash in October 1929. Was this what led to massive unemployment?
Official government statistics suggest otherwise. So do new statistics on unemployment by two current scholars, Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway, in their book Out of Work.
The Vedder and Gallaway statistics allow us to follow unemployment month by month. They put the unemployment rate at 5 percent in November 1929, a month after the stock market crash. It hit 9 percent in December — but then began a generally downward trend, subsiding to 6.3 percent in June 1930.
That was when the Smoot-Hawley tariffs were passed, against the advice of economists across the country, who warned of dire consequences.
Five months after the Smoot-Hawley tariffs, the unemployment rate hit double digits for the first time in the 1930s.
This was more than a year after the stock market crash. Moreover, the unemployment rate rose to even higher levels under both Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt, both of whom intervened in the economy on an unprecedented scale. (more here)
Folks are in trouble. Big trouble. And Obama wants another spending bill (being packaged and sold in Orwellian speak as -- get this -- a jobs bill). Another spending bill would be the final death blow to Obama's rout of the American economy, the global motor of the world. The century's old failed policy of building roads that will put people back to work is just more socialism. Building roads. Sheesh, how stupid does he think we are?
Business creates jobs. The private sector creates jobs. The government depletes vast resources from the private sector to enslave the producer class. Folks ain't gonna work on Hussein's farm no moe.
Obama's war on business is now manifest in the occupy Wall Street movement.
Blaming business for the lack of business is the quintessential big lie.
“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”. Adolf Hitler quotes (German Chancellor, leader of the Nazi party, National Socilaist Workers party)
Jewish bankers, etc., is a death chant we have all heard before.
Wall Street Occupier tackles a police officer during a march towards Wall Street in NY, on Friday. (here)
The pathetic and dangerous attempt at revolution by the occupy Wall Street welfare statists "assume all the advantages of capitalism are here to stay and then undermine everything that makes capitalism possible in order to redistribute the wealth. Welfare statist want the power to hold a gun over everyone head, and they want to retain those milk cows -- the capitalist producers." (Ayn Rand, Answers, page 76)
Louis Brandeis said that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Indeed. The occupation of Wall Street by moochers, looters and destroyers is a stunning indictment of the failure of public schools, universities and colleges. What a grotesque display of stupidity and indoctrination. New York University aided and abetted the anarchy encouraging students to attend the NYU Student Walk Out in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. Here is one account from a rational student on scene.
And the bodies keep piling up under the Obama adminstration. And just like the guards at the concentration camps, the media protects the machine, greasing the wheels, no matter how devastating the toll on people, culture, and countries (both here and abroad).
by Hans Bader
People are going hungry, pulling their children out of school due to poverty, and joining criminal gangs to make ends meet in the poorest region of the Congo, the world’s second-poorest country. Residents of this African nation attribute this economic devastation to what they call “the Obama Law” — provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial “reform” law backed by Obama that have created a virtual embargo on minerals produced in the Congo’s desperately-poor mining towns. As David Aronson notes in The New York Times,
The “Loi Obama” or Obama Law — as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform act of 2010 has become known in the region — includes an obscure provision that requires public companies to indicate what measures they are taking to ensure that minerals in their supply chain don’t benefit warlords in conflict-ravaged Congo. . . the Dodd-Frank law has had unintended and devastating consequences, as I saw firsthand on a trip to eastern Congo this summer. The law has brought about a de facto embargo on the minerals mined in the region, including tin, tungsten and the tantalum that is essential for making cellphones.
The smelting companies that used to buy from eastern Congo have stopped. No one wants to be tarred with financing African warlords — especially the glamorous high-tech firms like Apple and Intel that are often the ultimate buyers of these minerals. It’s easier to sidestep Congo than to sort out the complexities of Congolese politics — especially when minerals are readily available from other, safer countries.
For locals, however, the law has been a catastrophe. In South Kivu Province, I heard from scores of artisanal miners and small-scale purchasers, who used to make a few dollars a day digging ore out of mountainsides with hand tools. Paltry as it may seem, this income was a lifeline for people in a region that was devastated by 32 years of misrule under the kleptocracy of Mobutu Sese Seko . . . and that is now just beginning to emerge from over a decade of brutal war and internal strife.
The pastor at one church told me that women were giving birth at home because they couldn’t afford the $20 or so for the maternity clinic. Children are dropping out of school because parents can’t pay the fees. Remote mining towns are virtually cut off from the outside world because the planes that once provisioned them no longer land. Most worrying, a crop disease periodically decimates the region’s staple, cassava. Villagers who relied on their mining income to buy food when harvests failed are beginning to go hungry.
Meanwhile, the law is benefiting some of the very people it was meant to single out. The chief beneficiary is Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, who is nicknamed The Terminator and is sought by the International Criminal Court. Ostensibly a member of the Congolese Army, he is in fact a freelance killer with his own ethnic Tutsi militia, which provides “security” to traders smuggling minerals across the border to neighboring Rwanda. . .
Most of the militias that wreaked havoc between 2003 and 2008 have since been incorporated into the Congolese Army. The two or three of any significance that remain get their money from kidnapping and extortion, not from controlling mining sites or transport routes. The law has not stopped their depredations. . .
Rarely do local miners, high-level traders, mining companies and civil society leaders agree on an issue. But in eastern Congo, they were unanimous in condemning Dodd-Frank.
Dodd-Frank’s conflict-minerals provisions will also damage U.S. industry to the tune of billions of dollars. It will impose massive compliance costs on automakers and others, as Washington Legal Foundation, Carter Wood, and the National Association of Manufacturers have noted. NAM notes that it will harm the automakers and their suppliers, and estimates that it “will cost U.S. industry between $9-16 billion to implement.”
Its economic harm to the Congo’s poor people was entirely predictable. It was predicted by observers like Laura Seay, a professor of political science at Morehouse College, who recently noted that “because it is almost impossible to verify whether minerals sourced from the [Congo] or its neighbors are truly conflict-free, electronics companies now have a strong incentive to source minerals elsewhere, leaving Congolese miners unemployed.” She pointed out “the near-impossibility of creating a reliable tracing scheme in a place where almost every public official can be bribed” and its inevitable consequence, “a de facto boycott on minerals from” countries like the Congo.
This is just one of countless economically-destructive provisions contained in the Dodd-Frank law, which is a 2315-page laundry-list of special interest giveways that contains little real reform, and instead contains a vast array of payoffs and favors for special interest groups like trial lawyers. Civil rights commissioners and economists criticized it for containing racially discriminatory provisions. Dodd-Frank did nothing to reform the biggest bailout recipients, the government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even though Administration officials like Treasury Secretary Geithner later admitted they were at the “core” of “what went wrong” in the financial crisis. Major provisions of Dodd-Frank have been criticized for violating the constitutional separation of powers, equal protection, and property rights.
Read the rest here.
It sounds like Obama has had a complete psychological break from reality. His hatred of America consumes him.
Dow Closes Down More Than 600 Points ABCNews.com:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 600 points Monday after a one-two punch: the first-ever Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. debt, then the downgrading of govenment-backed mortgage debt. The Dow's one-day drop of more than 600 points was its biggest point loss in a single day since December, 1 2008.
In Prelimnary closing figures the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 632 points at 10813, ending at the day's low, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index tumbled 78 points, or 6.5%, to 1123, with financial and energy stocks falling hardest.
President Obama spoke this afternoon, saying the United States knew well before the S&P downgrade that it had a debt problem. "The U.S. will always be a triple-A country despite what rating agencies say," he said.
Did he really say that?? And did ABC report it with a straight face?
UPDATE: In the comments:
We've had a AAA credit rating since 1917, all the way through World War I. The Great Depression, we had a AAA credit rating.
World War II, we had a AAA credit rating, and we lose it now, and for what? For what great purpose did we lose it? Except an ideological hatred of American capitalism and a love of class warfare, what did we lose our AAA rating for? A naked effort to get still more and more money to buy votes. A never-ending quest for power, that's why we lost our AAA credit rating.
UPDATE: Tonight Obama is ...fundraising. 15K a plate.
President Putt was unavailable for comment ........fore!
S&P Downgrades Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac [10:28 a.m. ET] ABC News
AP: "A pledge from the European Central Bank to support the shaky bonds of Italy and Spain helped calm investor nerves in Europe Monday despite big losses in Asia following the downgrade of U.S. debt by Standard & Poor's. ... Europe's main markets in London, Paris, and Frankfurt were trading lower, albeit modestly." WSJ: "Markets in Japan, China and Hong Kong ended lower."
UPDATE: Thanks to Daryl
by Robert P. Murphy on August 8, 2011
Investors the world over are still reeling from last Thursday's massive plunge in the US equity markets, in which the major indices all gave up more than 4 percent. It was the worst day for the US stock market since December 2008.
None of this should surprise those conversant with Austrian economics. The "fundamentals" of the economy have been and remain awful because the government and Federal Reserve are consistently doing the wrong things. The apparent recovery, fueled by Bernanke's sheer money creation, has been bogus all along.
Just how powerful is the media's influence? Incalculable. When George Bush was president and the economy was chug chug, chuggin' along, the unemployment rate was 4.6% and the media was in full destruct mode. The horror of the unemployment rate. The outrage at the war in Iraq ....well, you know the rest.
Here we are painfully laboring under Obama's "leadership" (but not yet suffering the full effect of Obama's war on America; the worst is yet to come) and the Eva Braunish media continues to activate, propagandize and cover for the dastardly actions of the most dangerous man to ever occupy the White House.
Needless to say, if a Republican had Obama's record, he would have been exiled to Elba. We have our work cut out for us.
Friday came the news that unemployment climbed again (despite omitting those who have stopped looking for work, etc.).
WASHINGTON -- The US economy added jobs at a slower pace in June than in May, the Labor Department reported Friday, suggesting that the sudden slowdown in the economy might be longer-lasting and more severe than feared.
Nonfarm payrolls rose by only 18,000 in June, well below the 125,000 gain expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch.
Job gains in May were revised down to 25,000 from the initial estimate of 54,000.
Employment growth almost ground to a halt in the last two months after several months of strong gains. Employment rose by an average of 215,000 per month from February through April -- but only averaged 22,000 over the past two months.
The unemployment rate ticked higher to 9.2 percent in June from 9.1 percent in the previous month, reaching the highest level since December 2010. Economists expected the unemployment rate to remain steady. (NY Post)
The same day that the unemployment figures were released, I received notice from my health insurer that they have submitted a request for a rate increase to the New York State Insurance Department (there's a government department for everything).
They seek a 22% increase. Mind you, my premiums went up 36% after Obamacare was passed. And I don't even use my healthcare. I have a deductible that would choke a horse just to keep my monthly premiums manageable. And if there had to be universal healthcare (which I do no believe in), it should have covered only catastrophic health costs.
How can people afford these insane increases while saddled with growing inflation? Go to the grocery store -- what does your dollar buy you? Where is the national outcry? What's it going to take, America?
Are there more moochers and looters than there are producers? Is that why Obama still enjoys a double digit approval rating? He should be in the low single digits.
His foreign policy is delivering the free world into the hands of global jihadists, our soldiers are getting slaughtered under an incoherent foreign policy, we are engaged in four wars without a strategy or a national interest. He traded science for the stone age when he cancelled the shuttle program, and instead instructed NASA to redirect their efforts to outreach with the Muslim world.
America, what's it going to take?
By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAYAt a time when workers' pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees' average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.
Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.
The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year.
Public employee unions say the compensation gap reflects the increasingly high level of skill and education required for most federal jobs and the government contracting out lower-paid jobs to the private sector in recent years.
"The data are not useful for a direct public-private pay comparison," says Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.
Chris Edwards, a budget analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, thinks otherwise. "Can't we now all agree that federal workers are overpaid and do something about it?" he asks.
Last week, President Obama ordered a freeze on bonuses for 2,900 political appointees. For the rest of the 2-million-person federal workforce, Obama asked for a 1.4% across-the-board pay hike in 2011, the smallest in more than a decade. Federal workers also would qualify for seniority pay hikes.
Congressional Republicans want to cancel the across-the-board increase in 2011, which would save $2.2 billion.
"Americans are fed up with public employee pay scales far exceeding that in the private sector," says Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the second-ranking Republican in the House.
Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., says a pay freeze would unfairly scapegoat federal workers without addressing real budget problems.
What the data show:
•Benefits. Federal workers received average benefits worth $41,791 in 2009. Most of this was the government's contribution to pensions. Employees contributed an additional $10,569.
•Pay. The average federal salary has grown 33% faster than inflation since 2000. USA TODAY reported in March that the federal government pays an average of 20% more than private firms for comparable occupations. The analysis did not consider differences in experience and education.
•Total compensation. Federal compensation has grown 36.9% since 2000 after adjusting for inflation, compared with 8.8% for private workers.
UPDATE: Look at this. USA at the bottom of the bottom of the barrel.
Obama's economic policies are as disastrous as his treasonous foreign policy.
The campaign slogan for 2012 is simple: anyone but Obama. Seriously. The Dow tumbles 200 points... we need a capitalist in the White House. Is that too much to ask?
Wall Street is having a hard time figuring out what to do now that the U.S. economy appears to be sputtering and yields are so low, Peter Yastrow, market strategist for Yastrow Origer, told CNBC.
Wall Street Baffled by Slowing Economy, Low Yields: Trader CNBC hat tip Van
"What we’ve got right now is almost near panic going on with money managers and people who are responsible for money," he said. "They can not find a yield and you just don’t want to be putting your money into commodities or things that are punts that might work out or they might not depending on what happens with the economy.
"We need to find real yield and real returns on these assets. You see bad data, you see Treasurys rally, you see all bonds and all fixed-income rally and then the people who are betting against the U.S. economy start getting bearish on stocks. That’s a huge mistake."
"Interest rates are amazingly low and that, thanks to Ben Bernanke, is driving everything," Yastrow said. "We’re on the verge of a great, great depression. The [Federal Reserve] knows it.