Can’t Find a Job?… Join the Club

The True Unemployment Rate: 36%

By: John Hayward

How would you define “Unemployment?” Statistics on unemployment are bandied around in the media all the time. Changes in these statistics are hailed as good or bad news for the President, with varying degrees of emphasis from the news networks, depending on which party the President belongs to. But what do these statistics truly measure?

Would you define “unemployment” as measuring “people who want a job, but can’t get one?” This is, broadly speaking, the definition embraced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The trick to making those numbers dance lies in measuring “people who want a job.”

The widely reported U-3 unemployment metric, currently standing at 8.3 percent, is very aggressive in shaving off people who have not made recent efforts to find work. It is further distorted by massive “seasonal adjustments,” which made over a million people vanish into thin air last month.

This is why the official unemployment rate gets lower when the American workforce contracts. Workforce contraction is a very bad thing. People who simply cannot find work, and languish on unemployment insurance for years, are the last thing a prosperous country needs… but those people don’t count in the official unemployment rate.

For example, if everyone under the age of 25 abruptly stopped looking for work, it would be an economic disaster, but the official unemployment rate would go down, because the pool of people looking for work would get smaller.

(That’s not quite as far-fetched an example as it might sound, incidentally. Even the heavily-massaged U-3 unemployment rate currently sits at 23.2 percent for ages 16-19, and 13.3 percent for ages 20-24… and it’s about two percent higher for young men. Policies that increase the cost of labor, such as minimum-wage increases and mandated benefits, have a particularly punishing effect on young entry-level workers, since their labor has less intrinsic value than experienced older employees.)

This is precisely what has been happening under Barack Obama. The workforce is contracting with horrible speed, but it has the beneficial side effect of making the official unemployment rate go down a little, although 8.3 percent is still pathetic.

The Administration bounces happily before the cameras and announces its policies are “working,” and job creation is now “on the right track,” even as their best months post job creation only slightly in excess of population growth – and they’ve only had a few such months.

Pundits begin wondering if the old political rules that say re-election is impossible with unemployment over 6 or 7 percent might not apply to this President, if he can campaign on a slowly declining unemployment rate.

Another side effect of the way our unemployment statistics are prepared, and reported, comes when America’s employment picture is compared to the figures from other nations. Are the unemployment statistics reported from, say, Greece or Italy calculated in precisely the same manner as the American U-3 rate? If not, then how can we make valid comparisons between them?

Since the concept of people who aren’t looking for work is so fluid, and some of those people have clearly been persuaded not to look for work because of job-destroying government policies, it might be more logical to measure unemployment using the standard incorrectly offered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the U-3 rate: “total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force.” That’s what the U-3 rate claims to measure, but it doesn’t, not by a long shot.

What is the current percentage of working-age Americans, eligible to participate in the civilian labor force, but not currently working? Answer: 36.3 percent.

That’s the worst labor participation rate in three decades, and it’s part of the worst employment picture we’ve seen since the Great Depression. Labor force participation is the number we should really be looking at, even more than the unemployment figures cooked up on the monthly basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those figures have their uses as well, but it seems reasonable to measure the overall health of the economy by the number of people who simply are not participating in the labor force.

This would always be a much higher number than the BLS unemployment statistic, even when the economy was humming along at maximum power.

There are always going to be working-age people who drop out of the labor force, for reasons that have nothing to do with the nation’s overall economic health.

The labor force participation rate hasn’t exceeded 67 percent in the past decade, so we would be looking at a true “unemployment” number that bounces between roughly thirty and forty percent.

The difference between good and bad percentages is relatively small, which makes the true “unemployment” figure less sexy for news coverage, and therefore less useful to politicians… but it’s more logical to measure small changes in a large, accurate number than big changes in a small, largely fantastic number.

Writing at Red State, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending, offers an eye-popping chart measuring the effect of President Obama’s “stimulus” policies on workforce participation:

Jordan writes in support of the Jobs Through Growth Act, a package of dramatic reforms that includes a flat tax with two low rates, reduced corporate taxes, regulatory relief, and increased domestic energy production.  Those are the sort of changes America needs to make, if we want to do more than fiddle with imaginary unemployment numbers, whose very definition is subject to “adjustment” on a massive scale.  Those who define “unemployment” as “the number of working-age Americans who aren’t working” should waste no time on small reforms.

There’s a Fly in My….

A woman’s husband went to the men’s room in the Schiphol Airport located in Amsterdam.

He saw a fly and did his best to ‘wash’ it down the drain… but failed. He figured the fly had super glue foot pads!!!

Now he knows why it was there!

They’ve also been sighted in Moscow & Singapore bathrooms as well as JFK Airport in New York.

Attribution: Mina

Joke of the Day

Three travelers, an American, a Russian, and an Egyptian, were circumnavigating the globe a la Jules Verne. The Russian man put his hand out and reached down into the clouds.

“Aaah!” he said. “We’re right over my homeland.”

“How can you tell?” asked the American.

“I can feel the cold air.” he replied.

A few days later the Egyptian man put his hand through the clouds.

“Aah we’re right over my homeland.” he said.


“How do you know that?” asked the Russian.

“I can feel the heat of the desert.”

Several more days later the American put his hand through the clouds.

“Aah, we’re right over New York.” The Russian and the African were amazed.

“How do you know all of that?!” they exclaimed.

The American pulled his hand in and held it up for them to see. “My watch is missing.”

I’m Sorry, I Forgot the Anniversary

Happy Anniversary! (A day or so belated)

On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 granting the War Department broad powers to create military exclusion areas (internment camps, or prison camps; whichever you prefer). Although the order did not identify any particular group, in practice it was used mostly to imprison Americans of Japanese descent. However, to a lesser extent, both Germans & Italians were detained. By 1943, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans had been forced at gun point from their homes and moved to camps in inland areas of the United States.

The FDR sicofant historians say that due to the shock of Pearl Harbor and of Japanese atrocities in the Philippines fueling already tense race relations on America’s West Coast and in the face of political, military, and public pressure, Roosevelt accepted the relocation proposal.

Was there pressure? You bet there was.

This letter from Sen. Harley Kilgore, a Democrat (you know, the party of the people & of immigrants) member of the powerful Senate Committee on Military Affairs, is an example of the political pressure to deal with the issue of Japanese-Americans on the West Coast that Roosevelt was receiving. It was sent to the President the same day he signed the order of internment.

The following is the text of the order signed by Roosevelt:

Executive Order No. 9066

The President

Executive Order

Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas

Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104);

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designations of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamations in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.

I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area hereinabove authorized to be designated, including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.

This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12, 1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with respect to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas hereunder.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House,

February 19, 1942.

So the President, by virtue of no authority I can find in the Constitution, duly authorized the Secretary of War & military commanders to pretty much do whatever they want, whenever they want & however they want.

Rather than stand up for what was right and Constitutional, FDR bowed to political pressure,  just As all great Presidents have done.

I always leaders were supposed to lead.

So, Happy Anniversary everyone. By the way; don’t think this could never happen again.

 With the recently minted National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the President has now the authority to arrest & detain any person, citizen or not, for virtually any reason.

The Act allows for the indefinite military detention of any person alleged to be a member of Al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.”

The provisions also apply to any person who supports or aids “belligerent” acts against the United States, whether the person is apprehended beyond our borders or on domestic soil.

Of course it doesn’t define a “belligerant” act.

Soon we may have to change that whole “Land of the Free” thing.

Attribution: Roosevelt Archives

Don’t Tell My Kids

Playing video games could improve the vision of people born with cataracts, according to new research.

Surgery and contact lenses do not always work – and people experience visual difficulties into adulthood.

However, some of these effects can be reversed if the individual follows a short course of ‘game therapy’.

Doctor Maurer, of McMaster University in Canada, said: “After playing an action video game for just 40 hours over four weeks, the patients were better at seeing small print, the direction of moving dots, and the identity of faces.”

Psychologist Daphne Maurer has researched how vision develops in individuals born with cataracts in both eyes.

Previous research found that a 40-hour ‘course’ of video gaming could be used to treat ‘lazy eye’ or amblyopia, a brain disorder in which the vision in one eye fails to develop properly.

‘Those improvements tell us that the adult brain is still plastic enough to be trained to overcome sensory deficiencies,’ says Maurer.

Dr Maurer is internationally known for her work on “synaesthetes” – a condition that makes people’s brains link different senses.

Dr Maurer is due to present her findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, in a session called The Effects of Early Experience on Lifelong Functioning: Commitment and Resilience.

Attribution: Daily Mail

Joke of the Day

A man suffered a serious heart attack and had bypass surgery. He awakened to find himself in the care of nuns at a Catholic hospital.

As he was recovering, a nun asked how he was going to pay the bill. He replied, in a raspy voice, “No health insurance.”

The nun asked if he had money in the bank. He replied, “No money in the bank.”

The nun asked, “Do you have a relative who could help you?”

He said, “Just a spinster sister, who is a nun.”

The nun, slightly perturbed, said, “Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God.”

The patient replied, “Then send the bill to my brother-in-law.”

Big Sis Strikes Again

Napolitano releases deceptive terrorism report, says legal watchdog

by  of the Examiner:

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s latest contribution this week to the protection of Americans appears to ignore the most deadly and destructive groups on the planet — Islamic terrorists — say security and law enforcement experts.

A Department of Homeland Security report released on February 2 compares terrorism to “ordinary crime” in metropolitan U.S. cities and omits the radical Islamic factor, instead finding “significant variability in the ideologies motivating terrorist attacks across decades.”

This appears to be part of the Obama Administration’s Muslim outreach effort, which includes hiring a special Homeland Security adviser Mohamed Elibiary who supports a radical Islamist theologian and renowned jihadist ideologue.

The Obama Justice Department also created a special Muslim Engagement Advisory Group to foster greater communication, collaboration and a new level of respect between law enforcement and Muslim and Arab-American communities, according to officials at the non-partisan watchdog group, Judicial Watch.

In addition, on January 17 Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan met with senior state, local and tribal law enforcement officials to discuss the President Barack Obama’s Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.

What surprised many of the attendees was the fact that not once did Napolitano mention Islamic extremismor Muslim terrorists. Many of the police commanders attending found the presentation to be a “vague and politically correct exercise.

Those invited were sheriffs and chiefs of police from states, cities and counties throughout the U.S., including representatives from the organizations such as International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Native American Law Enforcement Association, Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council, Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council, International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, and others.

And, in 2010, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano held secret meetings with radical Arab, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian “community leaders.” Judicial Watch uncovered documents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that includes a list of the individuals who participated, including radical leaders such as Hezbollah supporter Imad Hamad and extremist Salam Al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Considering this cozy relationship, the new DHS terrorism report should come as no surprise. It compares terrorist attacks to “ordinary crime” in large, metropolitan areas which is why the nation’s terrorism “hot spots” are Manhattan, Los Angeles County, Miami-Dade County Florida, San Francisco County and Washington, D.C.

As if to downplay the distinct difference between crashing a plane into a high-rise and a mugging, the DHS says “terrorism and ordinary crime occur in many of the same areas.”

It stresses that the “Ideological motivation” for terrorist attacks varies greatly. For instance, the brilliant DHS minds found that certain counties are prone to a particular type of terrorist attack, including extreme right-wing, ethno-nationalist/separatist and “religiously motivated,” though no specific religion is mentioned. The report does point out however, that “religiously motivated attacks occurred predominately in the 1980s.”

Terrorism is also linked to social economic status, poverty, residential instability and “ethnic heterogeneity,” a dramatic change in the urban landscape caused by massive numbers of immigrants. Because neighborhoods were “rapidly transformed into centers of diversity,” the result was not immediately positive and some turned to terrorism, the DHS report seems to indicate.

The only mention of Islam is buried deep in the 36-page document as an example of “those who seek to politicize religion” along with “Christian Reconstructionists” and those who seek to bring about Armageddon, such as Jewish Direct Action and Mormon extremists

Joke du Jour

Nursery school teacher says to her class, “Who can use the word ‘Definitely’ in a sentence?”

First a little Sally says “The sky is definitely blue”

Teacher says, “Sorry, Sally, but the sky can be gray, or orange…”

Second little Bobby…”Trees are definitely green”

“Sorry Bobby, but in the autumn, the trees are brown.”

Little Johnny from the back of the class stands up and asks:

“Does farts have lumps?”

The teacher looks horrified and says “Johnny! Of course not!!!”

“OK…then I DEFINITELY crapped my pants…”

What the Frack

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Below is a short demonstration pulled from the movie Gasland. Gasland, you may or may not be aware, is a short film highlighting the evils of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Fracking is a method of drilling to extract oil and gas from the earth.

There is a slight problem with above clip. No, there was no movie magic occurring. Mike Markham’s tap water really did ignite. The problem lies, as it always does, with the honesty of the report. It is not suggested nor implied. We are told outright, the water ignited due to fracking. The evil drillers did this. So where is the problem? The problem is that it is not true. None of it. In the tradition of movies made by Al Gore & Michael Moore, the lies are rampant & claims they make are baseless.

Below are excerpts of a State of Colorado government report refuting the claims of Gasland. It was not sponsored by the Oil & Gas industry. It is a Government report.

Report from the State of Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission:

The documentary Gasland has attracted wide attention. Among other things, it alleges that the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells has contaminated nearby water wells with methane in a number of states including Colorado. Because an informed public debate on hydraulic fracturing depends on accurate information, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) would like to correct several errors in the film’s portrayal of the Colorado incidents.

Methane is a natural hydrocarbon gas that is flammable and explosive in certain concentrations. It is produced either by bacteria or by geologic processes involving heat and pressure. Biogenic methane is created by the decomposition of organic material through fermentation, as is commonly seen in wetlands, or by the chemical reduction of carbon dioxide. It is found in some shallow, water-bearing geologic formations, into which water wells are sometimes completed. Thermogenic methane is created by the thermal decomposition of buried organic material. It is found in rocks buried deeper within the earth and is produced by drilling an oil and gas well and hydraulically fracturing the rocks that contain the gas. In Colorado, thermogenic methane is generally associated with oil and gas development, while biogenic methane is not.

Based upon our review of hundreds of Colorado gas samples over many years, the COGCC is able to differentiate between biogenic and thermogenic methane using both stable isotope analysis of the methane and compositional analysis of the gas.

In the Denver-Julesburg and Piceance Basins, the COGCC has consistently found that biogenic gas contains only methane and a very small amount of ethane, while thermogenic gas contains not just methane and ethane but also heavier hydrocarbons such as propane, butane, pentane, and hexanes.

Gasland incorrectly attributes several cases of water well contamination in Colorado to oil and gas development when our investigations determined that the wells in question contained biogenic methane that is not attributable to such development.

We (COGCC) concluded that Mike Markham’s and Renee McClure’s wells contained biogenic gas that was not related to oil and gas activity. Unfortunately, Gasland does not mention our McClure finding and dismisses our Markham finding out of hand.

Laboratory analysis confirmed that the Markham and McClure wells contained biogenic methane typical of gas that is naturally found in the coals of the Laramie–Fox Hills Aquifer, from where both households draw their water.

Water samples from the wells were analyzed for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX), which are constituents of the hydrocarbons produced by oil and gas wells in the area and all associated with thermogenic gas. The absence of any BTEX compounds in these water samples provided additional evidence that oil and gas activity did not contaminate the Markham and McClure wells.

You may read the entire COGCC report here

There is a new film being released called “Fracknation”, that extol the benefits & give the viewer the real story of fracking, not the lies and over-hyped fear mongering of “Gasland”.

The following is an interview with Fracknation filmmaker Ann McElhinney: