It’s Not the Jobs Silly, It’s the Number


We’re back. It’s done and they got the headline: “Unemployment, 8.6%!”

He did it. As promised, Obama is pulling us back from the brink. His policies are finally taking hold.

Well, as usual, nothing is as it seems.

The Labor Department says that employers added about 120,000 jobs this past month compared to the 80,000 added the previous month when we saw only a 0.1% drop in the unemployment rate. So an additional 40k equals 0.3%? I’m no mathematician, but…

I’m confused. In June of this year (a mere 5 months ago) the New York Times reported it would take 150,000 jobs added per month just to keep up with population growth & to keep the unemployment number from rising. Yet it went down. Huh?

There must be a reasonable explanation. I don’t know about reasonable, but here it is.

What was underreported was the number of people who have quit looking for work in the last month. It is 315,000, dwarfing the amount of hires.

So, just like magic, they’re no longer counted. Therefore, the universe of jobs available in the country is down by 315,000. That is the labor force participation rate. The labor force (workforce) participation rate is a meager 64%. It fell to 64% from 64.2%. So the 0.2% drop equals 315,000 people leaving the workforce.

I’ve written of the Workforce Participation Rate. It’s a measure of the active portion of an economy’s labor force. The participation rate refers to the number of people who are either employed or are actively looking for work. The number of people who are no longer actively searching for work are not included in the participation rate. In a poor economy, such as this, many people get discouraged and stop looking for employment and as a result, the participation rate decreases.

That small number of jobs created can lower unemployment rate 0.4%, almost one half of a percent? Creating 120,000 new jobs can do that? Yep. Isn’t fuzzy math fun?

That alone tells us how small the labor force participation rate is.

It also tells us how small the universe of available jobs in the country is, when creating 120,000 can have that seemingly large effect, and we still had over 400,000 applications for unemployment compensation reported yesterday. So just 120,000 new jobs can lower the unemployment rate almost a half a point.

Also, as always happens, that 120,000 number will be quietly revised down at a later date. Don’t look for it to be reported.

I’d bet, if one were to look at that 120k, they would find most of those jobs are seasonal hires. That means they won’t exist in January.

It will be interesting to see, after the Holidays, what kind of wacky accounting tricks the Administration uses to keep that already bogus number under 9%.

Maybe they can hope that many more people just give up?
That would work.

Attribution: Calculated Risk, Godfather Politics, Drudge

Rules of Enragement

The other night, I was watching a television show called Bomb Patrol Afghanistan EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal). It was about our military EOD personnel that patrol areas of Afghanistan for IED’s & other explosive devices used to kill & injure our troops.

It was quite interesting to see the technology at their disposal & the bravery it takes just to be out there on patrol.

Sadly, this is not the purpose of this article. Throughout the program I was dumbstruck regarding what seemed to be the Rules of Engagement for our guys.

What put me over the edge was a portion of the show highlighting soldiers that had obtained a tip of an explosive vest being dropped off on a bridge to be picked up by another party. The soldiers waited for hours. No drop occurred. They then received a tip that the drop would happen that evening in a different area.

Next, we see the guys in their Humvees. It’s pitch black & they are using their nightvision equipment.

Afghanistan-Kunar Night Patrol

They are watching one individual beside a car in the desert with the trunk open. He picks up the explosive vest, places it in his trunk & begins driving. The soldiers explain the vehicle is now effectively a car bomb, which could be driven directly at them.

They follow him, where he stops, drops the vest off on the side of the road & drives away. The soldiers begin to prep explosives inside their vehicle. One soldier steps out with the explosives in hand, walks up to vest in the dark, places the explosives on or near the vest & heads back to the vehicle. They detonate the vest & continue on.

I’m thinking to myself, what the crap is going on here? What are the Rules of Engagement over there?

It seems to me, the second the guy picked up the vest, he is the enemy. Open fire & take him out, detonating the vest at the same time. Letting him drive away should not be an option.

In 2009, the ROEs (Rules of Engagement) were as follows: The actual ROEs are said to be classified U.S. and NATO secrets,

Official Rules of Engagement

but based on individual soldier accounts, those restrictions included the following:
No night or surprise searches

Villagers are to be warned prior to searches

Afghan National Army or Afghan National Police must accompany U.S. units on searches

U.S. soldiers may not fire at insurgents unless they are preparing to fire first

U.S. forces cannot engage insurgents if civilians are present

Only women can search women

Troops can fire on insurgents if they catch them placing an improvised explosive device but not if insurgents walk away from where the explosives are.

Troops cannot fire on insurgents that lower or drop their weapons and walk or run away (leaving them, of course, to return later to continue to try to kill our troops).

After General Petraeus replaced Gen. McChrystal, the ROEs were supposed to have been modified to make it easier for our troops but little has changed.

What the Rules Should Be


According to soldiers’ accounts, the enemy knows these rules & they use them to their advantage all the time. Soldiers describe it as going into battle with one arm tied behind your back.

In one case, villagers had tipped off U.S. forces of the presence of a Taliban commander who was threatening village elders.

To get permission to go after him, U.S. troops had to get 11 separate Afghan, U.S. and international forces’ approval to the plan. The approval, however, did not come until well into the next day. By then, the Taliban commander had moved on, to the consternation of the villagers who had provided the tip. Observers have claimed that it can take some 96 hours to acquire all the permissions to act.

In another case, insurgents planting an IED had detected the presence of U.S. forces and immediately began leaving the area, tossing evidence of their preparations along the way. U.S. forces could not fire on them.

In still another case, 4 Taliban fighters were firing at a group of Marines from a mud hut in an Afghan town. When they were finished shooting (maybe they ran out of ammo), they simply laid down their weapons, walked out of the building & blended into the population. The Marines could not fire on them.

Let me just go out on a limb here and say, we will never win a war again. Bring all the troops home. When we put more emphasis on the safety of everyone but ourselves, we might as well give up and come home.

If our politicians insist on sending our military all over the globe to fight, let them fight. Let them bring overwhelming force to the enemy, claim victory & then come home.

We have the greatest fighting force in history. Just imagine what they could do if they were ever truly unleashed.

No Cops on Campus!

Most of us have seen the Occupy UC Berkeley protest, where the Police just walked up to the seated innocent students & showered them, unprovoked, with pepper spray. That’s the one the drive by media showed us. Below is the raw video showing the run up to the event. Clearly, these dolts were being led & clearly the police had little choice. I think they showed a lot more patience than I would have.

The video is a bit long, but stick with it. The pictures tell a much different story than the media has or ever will.

One Question: Why is there no effort to find & interview the leader of these chanting buffoons? Is he a student or, as I suspect, some outside agitator sent in to stir the dimwited student body to a frenzy in order to achieve the desired end, which was of course, the claim of police abuse.

We Need Some Rural Council(ing)

While we out mowing the lawn or working on our tans the President quietly & with no fanfare signed Executive order 13575.

President Obama signed his 86th executive order (13575) on June 9, which established the White House Rural Council (WHRC). According to The Blaze, the Executive Order seems to be in line with the United Nations radical
Agenda 21, as it is designed “to begin taking control over almost all aspects of the lives of 16 percent of the American people.”

In case you are unaware, the U.N.’s Agenda 21 proposes a global regime that will monitor, oversee, and strictly regulate our planet’s oceans, lakes, streams, rivers, aquifers, seabeds, coastlands, wetlands, forests, jungles, grasslands, farmland, deserts, tundra, and mountains.
It even has a whole section on regulating and “protecting” the atmosphere. It proposes plans for cities, towns, suburbs, villages, and rural areas. It envisions a global scheme for healthcare, education, nutrition, agriculture, labor, production, and consumption — in short, everything; there is nothing on, in, over, or under the Earth that doesn’t fall within the purview of some part of Agenda 21. Sounds great, right?

The mission and function of the WHRC (White House Rural Council), according to the Executive Order, is as follows: “The Council shall work across executive departments, agencies, and offices to coordinate development of policy recommendations to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in rural America, and shall coordinate my Administration’s engagement with rural communities.”

Why would they need to further engage with rural communities? I don’t hear a clamoring for that.

Executive Order 13575 asserts that the WHRC will “coordinate Federal efforts
directed toward the growth and development of geographic regions that encompass both urban and rural areas, and identify and facilitate rural economic opportunities associated with energy development, outdoor recreation, and other conservation-related activities.”

A full 25 governmental departments are involved with the “Rural Council”.

The Blaze reported, “It appears that not a single department in the federal government has been excluded from the White House Rural Council, and the wild card option in number 25 gives the president and the agricultural secretary the option to designate anyone to serve on this powerful council.”

Among the more notable members of the council are, Timothy Geithner (Treasury), Robert Gates (Defense), Eric Holder (Justice) (In case someone needs extra guns, I guess), Janet Napolitano (Homeland Security), Melody Barnes (Domestic Policy) & Valerie Jarrett (Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs).

Interestingly, Valerie Jarrett served as a member on the board of the Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC), which uses the language of Agenda 21 and ICLEI
[International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives] as their webpage descriptively explains the organization’s work to build “sustainable communities”.

Melody Barnes is the former Vice President of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress. Soros is a prime advocate of Agenda 21 and in fact, his Open Society provided $2,147,415 to ICLEI.

As with everything else the regime does, I’m sure this is all just coincidental.

Once again; move along, nothing to see here!

Attribution: The Blaze, Cowboy Byte

Occupy a Brain

From IBD:

Student Loans: It’s no wonder the public increasingly dislikes the Occupy crowd. Among their brilliant ideas is a campaign to encourage pampered students to default on college loans. Yeah, that’ll win over Middle America.

The left-wing Huffington Post quoted New York University professor Andrew Ross as telling the Occupy crowd in New York recently about the “harrowing personal testimony” and the “suffering and humiliation of people who believe their debts will be unpayable in their lifetime.”

The horror!

So Ross and a variety of other Occupy miscreants have started up something called the Occupy Student Debt campaign, which hopes to get 1 million students to default on their college loans. “Student loan debt,” they say, “is poisoning the pursuit of higher education.”

Oh, and they also want all public colleges to be free, all existing debt forgiven, and interest-free education loans. Apparently, colleges have given up trying to impart wisdom, prudence or maturity on their students. These kids, and the brain-dead professors backing them, don’t know the first thing about student debt.

First, about a third of students don’t borrow any money for college. And the average debt per borrower is just $22,000 for those attending public four-year colleges and $28,000 for those going to private colleges, according to the College Board.

What’s more, these figures are up only 11%, after inflation, over the past decade. None of this suggests a student debt crisis.

And given that graduates can expect to earn $22,000 more each year than those with only a high school diploma, the average borrower will still come out well ahead after a few years.

It’s true that some graduates wind up with a mountain of debt — mostly kids who went to elite private schools. But are we really supposed to believe that these kids were smart enough to graduate from such colleges but too dumb to understand how much it would cost? In any case, no one put a gun to their heads and forced them to sign the loan documents.

The Occupiers also whine about the “unjust system” of “predatory loans,” overlooking the fact that just 5% of the loans last year were made by private companies. Almost all the rest came through federal loan programs.

They also complain about rising college costs, but blame the wrong villain. It’s not predatory lenders who are driving up college costs, it’s the massive effort on the part of government to shield students from the true cost of a college education — through the ever-increasing number of grants, tax breaks, subsidized loans and direct spending.

In just the past decade, college financial aid has climbed an astonishing 139%, and now accounts for more than half of all college costs, according to the College Board. As any Economics 101 student knows, government subsidies only serve to fuel inflation by increasing demand while giving suppliers the freedom to jack up prices.

So the solution to college costs isn’t to attack bankers, but call for cutbacks on the scale of all this financial aid.

And, finally, the Occupy crowd complains that too many students can’t find jobs to pay off their debt. With unemployment still topping 9% and more than 25 million Americans unable to find full-time jobs, they may have a point there.

But as we’ve long argued in this space, the solution to this particular problem is to fire President Obama, whose policies have produced the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression.

In the end, what these students want is simply to foist still more college costs onto everyone else, while keeping all the benefits of a college degree to themselves. These people aren’t progressives. They’re just spoiled brats.

10 Tenets of Conservatism

by: the Common Constitutionalist

There is a list of ten statements beginning with “You cannot …” that are popularly attributed to Honest Abe Lincoln.

The 10 “Cannots” are simple in their brilliance.

They sound like statements Lincoln would have penned and are frequently quoted and attributed to him.

However, Lincoln didn’t write them. They were authored in 1916 by the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian clergyman and pamphlet writer.

In 1942 the Committee for Constitutional Government, a lobby backed by the newspaper publisher Frank Gannett, distributed hundreds of thousands of copies of a leaflet with an authentic Lincoln quote on one side entitled, “Lincoln on Limitations.” On the reverse was a list of Boetcker’s maxims, properly attributed in a footnote.

Somehow, Boetker’s words came to be ascribed to Lincoln. In 1949 an Ohio congresswoman, Frances P. Bolton, read them as Lincoln’s into the Congressional Record. Look magazine reprinted them with the suggestion that “Its about time for the country to remember.”

Attempting to correct the record, Rep. Stephen M. Young inserted into the Congressional Record, in 1950, an article from Harper’s magazine, written by a Lincoln scholar, Albert A. Wolman, listing most of the ”Ten Cannots” and other material falsely attributed to Lincoln.

The 10 Cannots:

1)You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

2)You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

3)You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

4)You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

5)You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.

6)You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

7)You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

8)You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

9)You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.

10)You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

Maybe this should be the new “Contract with America”?