Tim Pawlenty’s struggling campaign put out one of the better ads I’ve seen, although I’m not sure where he is running it since he recently pulled all his ads in Iowa ahead of the Ames Straw Poll. It’s called “Experience Matters” it hits Obama on his lack of leadership, the economy and the S&P downgrade; among other things.
Seriously, this election needs to be won on the economy. If the eventual GOP nominee focused solely on jobs and the economy with unemployment still over 9% instead of wedge issues, they really could win next year.
With yesterday’s bad day on Wall Street, where the Dow dropped 512 points (or 4% of its value) in one day; the largest single day loss since 2008 and the most consecutive sessions of losses since the Carter Administration. The losses were attributed to concerns over the debt crisis in Europe and issues with our own economy.
Hiring picked up slightly in July and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent. The modest improvement may quiet fears of another recession a day after Wall Street posted its worst losses in nearly three years.
Employers added 117,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s better than the past two months, which were also revised higher.
The report “should lessen fears that the recovery is truly faltering,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief economist at MF Global.
Still, the economy needs twice as many net jobs per month to rapidly reduce unemployment. The rate has topped 9 percent in every month except two since the recession officially ended in June 2009.
“These numbers are not great,” said Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics, in a note to clients. “But they are a long way from recession territory.”
There was little news on the budget and debt ceiling front over the weekend. In fact, Republicans didn’t pay much attention to President Barack Obama’s demand for a solution to the stalemate by this past Saturday. Of course, the only solution the White House wants is one that involves tax hikes, which Republican have rejected; as Dan Mitchell says, Obama is only “flexible” is he gets what he wants.
The questionable McConnell plan, which has upset conservatives, still may be part of the deal that is worked out between the White House and Republicans. However, that deal isn’t going to prevent agencies from downgrading the nation’s credit rating.
The call for tax hikes has become all too frequent of a rallying point for the Left during this public debate. And while Obama would have us believe that 80% of Americans support such a move to solve the debt problem, such a claim is blatantly false:
On Friday, President Barack Obama gave a speech to address the latest monthly jobs report. If the consequences of his policies were not so disastrous, the speech would have been comedy gold. The history of Obama’s promises on the economy is a case study in cognitive dissonance, with promise after promise, then failure, then excuses and accusations. The only thing consistent when it comes to Obama and the economy is that when his predictions prove elusive, it comes as an “unexpected” shock to him and his diehard supporters in the media.
At issue is the jobs report issued by the Department of Labor for June, which reveals that a cadaverous 18,000 jobs were created for the month, 83 percent less than the 105,000 jobs predicted. The “unexpectedly” low jobs growth contributed to the rise in the unemployment rate, which rose to 9.2%. To put this in perspective, economists say that we need to create 125,000-150,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth, and we need to be creating roughly 300,000 jobs per month to begin seeing strong economic growth. The news was made even worse by the revelation that far fewer jobs had been created in May than originally reported, which was also “unexpected”.
Shortly after taking office Obama used the fiscal crisis to ram through the “stimulus” package, which we were told would keep unemployment below 8% if passed, and warned that unemployment would go as high as 9% if it did not pass. We passed it, and in the nearly two and a half years since, unemployment rose from 7.8% in January 2009 when Obama took office, to 10.1% in October 2009 (a full eight months after the bill was signed into law), hovered just below 10% for a while before dipping to 8.8% in April 2011. Unemployment has ticked up every month since, and Obama’s own Treasury Secretary warns that it could be more than five years before we see a drop to Bush-era unemployment levels.
We often hear that an increase in the minimum wage is needed to help workers; however, increases in the minimum wage are largely responsible for so many teens and less experienced workers being unemployed:
Perhaps you’ve already noticed around the neighborhood, but this is a rotten summer for young Americans to find a job. The Department of Labor reported last week that a smaller share of 16-19 year-olds are working than at anytime since records began to be kept in 1948.
Only 24% of teens, one in four, have jobs, compared to 42% as recently as the summer of 2001. The nearby chart chronicles the teen employment percentage over time, including the notable plunge in the last decade. So instead of learning valuable job skills—getting out of bed before noon, showing up on time, being courteous to customers, operating a cash register or fork lift—millions of kids will spend the summer playing computer games or hanging out.
The lousy economic recovery explains much of this decline in teens working, and some is due to increases in teen summer school enrollment. Some is also cultural: Many parents don’t put the same demands on teens as they once did to get out and work.
[T]he minimum wage increase has coincided with the plunge in the percentage of working teens. Before the most recent wage hikes, roughly seven million teens were working. Now there are closer to five million with a job and paycheck.
At the same time they are taking unprecedented action to prevent Boeing from expanding to a “right to work” state, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is pushing to rules that would bring quicker union elections:
The labor board wants to tighten the process by ensuring that employers, employees and unions receive needed information sooner and by delaying litigation over many voter-eligibility issues until after workers vote on whether to unionize.
The labor board’s news release and fact sheet did not explain how much the election process might be shortened as a result of the proposed regulations. But according to the board, the median amount of time from the filing of a petition for an election to the actual balloting was 38 days in 2008. The average time was 57 days.
Unions have long complained that it takes too many weeks after the petition is filed for a secret-ballot election to be held. They say the process gives management too much time to mount an antiunion campaign with videos and one-on-one sessions with workers.
American companies have repeatedly opposed any effort to shorten the period from petition to vote, saying it would become harder for managers to tell workers about the disadvantages of unionizing and to ensure that workers got both sides of the story.
Stimulus works, right? At least, that’s what the rhetoric from DC has said since the housing meltdown began. We needed to take money from hardworking Americans and give it to someone to create jobs. President Obama has often touted “jobs created or saved”, despite sharing how he knows those jobs were actually “saved”.
Green lightbulb company saves or creates or funds 3 jobs at $1.7 million in stimulus money per job.
More than 2.7 million mortgage deadbeats are still living in homes they have not made a payment on in more than a year. Average time from first missed payment to foreclosure is now 565 days.
Number of Americans renouncing citizenship is growing.
Actual good news: More homeowners are moving into 15-year fixed mortgages to build up equity. Bill McBride digs up great mortgage-burning ad for Miller High Life.
Lost half-decade: Start date of economic slump earlier than previously thought.
First indication that UK made right call in eschewing further stimulus: Unemployment across the pond is dropping at fastest rate in 10 years.
From the folks at American Crossroads:
Do Americans have shovels at the ready to bury big government?
Now, I have heard it all. Of course, I say that every time a politician of some strip says something so idiotic that it boggles the mind, and yet it keeps happening all over again. Today’s winner is none other than President Obama. The president, apparently trying to find someone to blame for the crappy economy that isn’t George Bush, today took aim at something else.
President Obama explained to NBC News that the reason companies aren’t hiring is not because of his policies, it’s because the economy is so automated. … “There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”
Convenience is the enemy, huh?
First, this is a man who believes that forking out $260,000 to create one job is a good deal, so I should exactly be surprised by his claim. However, in this case, he’s wrong.
You see, jobs were lost because the economy took a nose dive. Between his and his predecessor’s policies, there’s a great deal of uncertainty and fear in many businesses. They’re not going to hire until they are confident they actually can. What President Obama is arguing is that these jobs weren’t lost due to a bad economy, but some leap in technology that pushed people out of their jobs. That would be the only reason why automation would keep unemployment up. Unfortunately for him, that’s not the case.
For many libertarians and conservatives, the mainstream media isn’t the most friendly ground for news. A perceived bias – real or not – turns many of us off. However, CBS News has a report that seems to confirm my post yesterday that there is no recovery, despite what Washington is trying to tell us.
From CBS News (emphasis added):
Tinong Nwachan, for example, has far too much time on his hands. When CBS News met the former truck driver he had been out of work for two years.
“I don’t really tell too many people this but I’m not ashamed or nothing, I’m homeless,” Nwachan said.
His day job is looking for work at a jobs center in Hollywood. He has plenty of company, including Fabian Lambrecht, who wonders when the economy’s improvement will affect them.”They’re saying there are more jobs. I’m just wondering where those jobs are,” Lambrecht said.
About 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months – a higher percentage than during the Great Depression.
And this is supposed to be a recovery? I don’t think so.
The truth is that what little recovery-like behavior we’ve seen hasn’t particularly been sustained. There’s been a lot of talk about a jobless recovery, at least earlier on in the process, but frankly people don’t give a damn about recovery unless there are jobs. Let’s be honest for a moment here, is there anyone who really thinks it’s not a big deal when we can find a statistic dealing with this economy where we are actually worse off than during the Great Depression?