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Unemployment Tag

One of the ways that the right explains their ideological differences from the left is that the right is realistic about human nature while the left is, on the one hand, too idealistic in its push for perfect citizens in their utopian fantasy and, on the other, ruthless in its "reeducation" interment and even the mass murder of those who don't meet their utopian ideals.

Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the new face of the progressive base that generates all the excitement in the Democratic Party. Her primary defeat of establishment Democrat Joe Crowley has catapulted Ocasio-Cortez into non-stop adulation from the mainstream media. Ocasio-Cortez is moving Democrats even further left. Her call to Abolish ICE quickly was picked up by several Democrat presidential contenders.

The Labor Department has reported that the U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in February. This stat has lowered the unemployment rate to 4.7% while wages went up "2.8 percent from February 2016." From Bloomberg:
“We’re getting closer and closer to full employment,” said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “Wages had been the one sore spot in the labor market data, and I think that’s coming through here. With inflation accelerating I think we’re going to start to see even stronger wage growth down the road.” The prospect of a Fed rate increase at its meeting next week is “pretty much a slam dunk,” he said.

How many times have we written about this? Too many to capture them all. The Obama economy has created a perverse distortion of the "Unemployment Rate" because that widely-reported rate represents the percentage of the total workforce actively seeking employment but not able to find employment. The more people who give up hope, and stop seeking employment, has the effect of lowering the "unemployment rate." Here are some of our prior posts: And again today, with a seemingly strong jobs report, the "unemployment rate" dropped, but the number of those dropping out of the workforce also dropped. The Federalist, which produced the Featured Image, reports:
The Department of Labor announced today that the official unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent last month, the lowest it’s been since Spring of 2008. Good news, right? Well, kind of. The official unemployment rate masks a problem that’s been plaguing the economy since shortly before the 2009 recession: a continuing decline in the labor force participation rate, which basically measures the percentage of the able-bodied population that’s either working or looking for work. After holding steady at roughly 66 percent from 2004 through late 2008, the labor force participation has been falling, and falling, and falling some more, with no end in sight....

Wow. While campaigning for Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, Hillary Clinton took a jab at trickle down economics and in the process of doing so, claimed that corporations and businesses don't create jobs. The Washington Free Beacon has the story:
Hillary Clinton: Corporations and Businesses Don’t Create Jobs At a Democratic rally in Massachusetts, Hillary Clinton’s attempt to attack “trickle-down economics,” resulted in a spectacularly odd statement. Clinton defended raising the minimum wage saying “Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs, they always say that.” She went on to state that businesses and corporations are not the job creators of America. “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” the former Secretary of State said.
Here's the video: On a related note, do you know who's a big fan of trickle down economics?

It's long been a rallying cry of the right: if you want to be on the public dole, you should be able to pass a drug test. You've seen the memes and the bumper stickers. Sounds good, right? Governor Walker of Wisconsin has proposed his plan that would require drug testing for those seeking food stamps and unemployment benefits. According to The Daily Signal:

But the most controversial points are the governor’s proposals to require drug testing for individuals filing for unemployment and for “able-bodied, working-age adults requesting food stamps” through the state’s FoodShare public assistance program.

The bottom line, Walker says, is the bottom line: Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for public assistance programs for individuals who can’t pass a drug test.
Taxpayers should have a great say in where their tax dollars are spent, that's not a point I disagree with and is a principle I will always advocate. When it comes to mandatory drug testing as a contingency for public assistance though, I'm not convinced it's a good idea for two simple reasons: 1) requiring drug testing is an expansion of government 2) it doesn't address the problem of why people are seeking public assistance to begin with.

Every monthly jobs report announcement since 2009 seems to be a perfect symbol for Barack Obama's entire presidency. When the jobs numbers are first released at 8:30AM each month -- the expressions of 'hope' and hype dominate the morning news cycle. But by mid-way through the day, hope has 'changed' into reality: there's no substance to the sizzle.

Yesterday we covered the CBO Report on loss of labor provided by workers as a result of Obamacare subsidies,  CBO confirms Obamacare subsidies create disincentive to work harder. It's all about how the implicit marginal tax rate -- taxes plus loss of benefits -- creates a disincentive to work hard because for each dollar you earn, you lose a huge percentage, sometimes more than 100%, of that earned dollar through higher taxes and loss of government benefits. It is economically rational, in this circumstance, not to work harder.  It has nothing to do with laziness, but with government creating an incentive not to work. Here's the testimony today from Doug Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office, via National Review:
“By providing heavily subsidized health insurance to people with very low income, and then withdrawing those subsidies as income rises, the act creates a disincentive for people to work relative to what would have been the case in the absence of that act,” Douglas Elmendorf told the House Budget Committee on Wednesday. “By providing a subsidy, these people are better off, but they do have less of an incentive to work.”
None of this is new. Here's Elmendorf's testimony from February 2011 regarding the same effect, although at that time the projection was only 800,000 jobs:
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