Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Moving Day

Citizen Pamphleteer is bidding a fond farewell to Blogger and is moving to Wordpress in order to better screen out spam and open up unmoderated posting.

I would be very pleased if you came along for the house warming.

The Rule of Law

In an era where political leaders and bureaucracies increasingly decide by decree what laws do and do no apply to the rest of us, here is a long overdue primer on the rule of law made in time for the Bill of Rights day on December 15:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Obama's Incredible Shrinking Workforce

The unemployment rate reported by the press is calculated by comparing the number of unemployed with the total number of workers actively looking for work over the past four weeks. Those discouraged workers who want a job, but are not looking for work, and those who are able to work, but have removed themselves from the labor pool by going on government assistance or going to school, are not counted in this labor pool, artificially reducing the unemployment rate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers charts tracking discouraged workers: well participation in the labor force as the percentage of the overall and civilian populations:

As you can see, the number of discouraged workers not actively looking for employment has soared, while the percentage of the population actually working has plunged under Obama compared with the previous 16 years of the Clinton and Bush Administrations. Our unemployment rate is actually far worse than advertised as the government simply stopped counting millions of suffering Americans.

 Hat tip to North Shore Journal for the charts.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Rediscovering The Reagan Playbook

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich appears to be employing nearly every page of the Reagan election playbook.

The most neglected page of the playbook was Reagan's 11th Commandment - "Thou shall not speak ill of another Republican." Given his history as an attack dog, one would think that Gingrich would be the last person to follow this commandment. However, after taking the lead in the GOP primary polling and then receiving the inevitable attacks, Newt told his staff not to respond in kind and went on the Hannity program to compliment his competitors.

Now Gingrich has released his first television ad:

Compare it with the famous Reagan "Morning in America" ad:

Gingrich is offering Morning in America with music from the underdog sports movie "Rudy."

It will be interesting to see if the Gipper's politics retains its potency against the politics of personal destruction on steroids.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Don't Pull Out The Party Hats

Last month, the unemployment rate plunged from 9.0% to 8.6%. Great news, right? Wrong.

 The United States only added 120,000 jobs last month, which did not even keep up with the 172,000 in population growth. All other things remaining the same, the unemployment rate should have risen.

All other things did not remain the same, however.  Even though the total population rose by 172,000, the civilian labor force declined by 315,000 from the prior month. Civilian labor participation dropped from 64.2% to 64.0%. This means, 487,000 Americans stopped seeking work altogether and either went on government disability­, to school or into poverty.

 The unemployment rate went down only because our available work force is shrinking out of despair.