Sunday, January 29, 2012

Video | Newt Gingrich Delivers Keynote, Gets Cain's Support

* By: Larry Walker, Jr. *

Last night, GOP Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich delivered an inspirational keynote speech at the Palm Beach County Republican Party's 2012 Lincoln Day Dinner.

Congressman Allen West led off by defining the American value of equality of opportunity. Then Chairman Sid Dinerstein explained that scarcely any of the jobs created under the Obama Administration were full-time jobs, that nearly every single one of them has been part-time.

Next, Palm Beach County Republican Party Trustee Gay Hart Gains clarified the characteristics of the ideal presidential candidate, and declared that Speaker Gingrich is the one. And then, before Gingrich would take the microphone, former Presidential Candidate Herman Cain delivered a surprising, official and enthusiastic, endorsement for Newt Gingrich as President of the United States.

It's interesting to observe how many Conservatives continue to sit on the sidelines, focusing on things that really don't matter, while others have made their stand with the anti-Reagan, Massachusetts moderate. At some point, all must make a choice. Will it be the Conservative, the Moderate, or the Socialist?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Conservative Envy | Romney vs. Gingrich

* Round 15: GOP Debate

* By: Larry Walker, Jr. *

The first three minutes of the January 19th CNN-GOP Debate was such a crock, that I turned it off, and caught up with the highlights later on. In one less notable tirade, Mitt Romney exclaimed, "Mr. Speaker, you talk about all the things you did with Ronald Reagan and the Reagan Revolution and the jobs created during the Reagan years and so forth. I mean, I looked at the Reagan diary. You were mentioned once in Ronald Reagan's diary. And in the diary he says you had an idea in a meeting of young congressman, and it wasn't a very good idea, and he dismissed it. That's the entire mention."

Well first of all, the book is entitled, “The Reagan Diaries”, not the Reagan Diary.

Secondly, the meeting Romney referred to was concerning what at the time was considered to be a “horrendous” budget deficit.

As Reagan relays, on page 123, Newt's idea for addressing the deficit was to "freeze the budget at the 1983 level". Gosh, what a horrible idea!

Reagan penned that the idea was "tempting", not that it was an outright zany notion. He went on to say that Newt’s idea, although tempting, would “cripple” his proposed defense program.

Actually there's a little more to the story than that.

Reagan said he was worried that an across-the-board freeze on spending, with the exception of defense, would cause every special interest group to demand the same.

So in a sense, Reagan was willing to let the deficit spiral out of control, rather than take up that fight. Do you disagree?

We all know what happened subsequently. That’s right, by the 1990's our nation would face a much more serious budget problem. One which would be combated with higher taxes. That is until this notion was finally quashed by the Gingrich Revolution.

So if nothing else, at least Romney inspired those with curious minds to pick up the Reagan Diaries for a badly needed refresher. And in retrospect, perhaps Newt’s idea wasn't so bad after all, especially in light of our current fiscal crisis.

To be fair, George Romney was mentioned twice, on pages 249 and 415. Each mention was a short little blurb about his being the head of some kind of "volunteer initiative”, or something. Seriously, that's the entire mention. Read it for yourself.

So what was Romney’s point? That his father got mentioned twice, for some trifle; while Gingrich was only mentioned once, regarding the most important issue of this era? Man, was that dumb!

Or was Romney trying to say that being mentioned twice in the Reagan Diaries is superior to once? If that’s the case, then what are we to make of the fact that Mitt Romney wasn’t mentioned at all?

If you ask me, this was just another anemic Romney exchange, worthy of the response it received -- none. Perhaps Romney was signaling that he would never go for a spending freeze, under any circumstance. Who can decipher his reasoning? Nevertheless, he came off as one suffering from a classic case of Conservative Envy. Consequently, Romney is going down.

Sources:

The Reagan Diaries, pages 123, 249, and 415.

Quotation from: Real Clear Politics - Romney To Gingrich: "You Were Mentioned Once In Ronald Reagan's Diary".

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Newt Gingrich | Americans Want Paychecks, Not Foodstamps

I know that's right! My very first job was working as a janitor for the United Way, at the age of 16. It was a great learning experience. Some 25 years later, I would start my own company. Dead on! Go Newt!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Manipulation 101: The Real Unemployment Rate

* Fake it until you make it. *

* By: Larry Walker, Jr. *

The following passage is from my last post, “Labor Force Contraction with Obama - And other hidden truths” :

“Most of the electorate understands that as the size of the labor force shrinks the unemployment rate declines. But is anyone really paying attention? Since this massive decline in the civilian labor force is a verifiable fact, it's not surprising that the Obama Administration and much of the propagandist media have chosen to ignore it.”

Okay, I confess that I was begging the question. I am fully aware that most of the population doesn’t have a clue as to how the unemployment rate is calculated, and that a healthy subset could probably care less. So in this post I will explain in more detail how, as the size of the labor force contracts, the official unemployment rate declines.

First, here are a few key definitions, which are shown in more detail at the bottom of this post.

  1. The term “non-institutional civilian population” includes persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.

  2. The term “labor force” includes all persons, in the non-institutional civilian population, classified as employed or unemployed.

  3. And the term “not in labor force” includes persons aged 16 years and older, in the civilian non-institutional population, who are neither employed nor unemployed.

The table above shows the number of Americans counted as part of the labor force, from 2001 through 2011. It does not include those considered, “not in labor force”. You can see that during Bush’s first three years in office, although the economy was in recession, the labor force grew by 2,929,000 (on a seasonally adjusted basis). In contrast, the labor force has contracted by 739,000 during Obama’s first three years.

The dilemma posed by a declining labor force is that the non-institutional civilian population has continued to grow by approximately 1.1% each year. So in reality, the labor force didn't only decline by 739,000 workers over the last three years (on a seasonally adjusted basis), but rather a total of 6.5 million workers dropped out (on a non-adjusted basis). What this means is that a smaller proportion of the populace is working to support a much larger cluster of retirees, unemployed, and those who have dropped out of the labor force.

As you can see, the labor force grew from 143,800,000 at the end of January 2001, to 154,626,000 by December of 2008, for an increase of 10,826,000 workers over the eight-year period immediately preceding Obama. The labor force was expanding by an annual average of 1,353,250 new entrants prior to 2009. But since January of 2009, the labor force has declined by an average of -246,333 workers per year. However, in the macro sense, the real employment situation is dramatically worse.

When the declining labor force is compared with growth of the civilian non-institutional population, as shown in the table below, it is clear that a total of 6.5 million Americans have dropped out of the labor force during Obama’s three years in office. This is the sum of the amounts highlighted in yellow (below). It is the difference between annual changes in the civilian non-institutional population, minus annual changes in the labor force. It represents the annual increase in the working age population, who are not being counted as part of the labor force.

For example, in 2009, the civilian non-institutional population grew by 2,013,000, yet the labor force declined by 145,000, resulting in 2,158,000 persons who should have, but did not enter the labor force. In effect, they dropped out. In 2010, the civilian non-institutional population grew by 2,029,000, yet the labor force declined by 253,000, resulting in 2,282,000 more persons who should have, but did not enter the labor force. Then in 2011, the civilian non-institutional population grew by 1,788,000, yet the labor force declined by another 272,000, resulting in 2,060,000 more persons who should have, but did not enter the labor force.

In effect, there have been no new entrants to the labor force in the past three years, as 670,000 existing workers dropped out (on an unadjusted basis), and all 5,830,000 potential new entrants fell by the wayside. Overall, 6.5 million working age persons have dropped out of the labor force under Obama. Is this change you can believe in?

The massive decline of new entrants to the labor force, which is shown in the table above, and graphically in the chart at the top, directly impacts the unemployment rate, making the employment situation appear better than it actually is. How so?

First, we must understand how the unemployment rate is calculated. The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed persons by the size of the labor force:

[ (A) Total Unemployed / (B) Labor Force = (C) Unemployment Rate ]

Thus, the official unemployment rate of 8.5%, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the January 6, 2012, Employment Situation Report, is calculated as follows:

[ 13,097,000 / 153,887,000 = 8.5% ]

What this means is that, at the end of the year 2011, 13,097,000 persons were officially unemployed, out of a labor force totaling 153,887,000. And so 13,097,000 divided by 153,887,000 equals the unemployment rate of 8.5%. So how could this result have been manipulated? Why, that’s easy.

Manipulation 101

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics." ~ Mark Twain

First of all, it is a fact that not everyone who is actually unemployed is officially counted as such. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, millions of Americans of working age, who are not working, are excluded from the official calculation.

Mathematically, what this means is that they have been removed from both the numerator and denominator of the equation (i.e. from both the number of unemployed and size of the labor force). Those eliminated from the official unemployment equation are classified as, “Not in the Labor Force.

A subset of those not included in the labor force is referred to as “marginally attached”. The marginally attached are persons not in the labor force who want and are available for work, and who have looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Discouraged workers are a subset of the marginally attached.

When it comes to manipulating the unemployment rate, the main question is: What happens when an equal number of persons are subtracted from both the number of unemployed and the labor force? To answer this, let’s look at an example in the table below.

Starting in the middle of the chart, let’s assume that there are 14,000,000 unemployed persons out of a labor force totaling 140,000,000. That would make the unemployment rate 10.0%. Are you with me so far?

Now, let’s remove 3,000,000, from the labor force, and see what happens. Moving one column to the left, you will note that the unemployment rate falls to 8.0%, or by 2.0 percentage points, as 3,000,000 people are removed. That’s a decline of 20%. Wow! That was easy.

If we were to remove 10,000,000 from the labor force, we would get an even more dramatic result. Moving two columns left of center; you will notice that the unemployment rate falls even farther, to 3.1%, or by 6.9 percentage points, as 10,000,000 people are removed. That’s a decline of 69.0%.

Just to add some perspective, it works both ways. Moving one column to the right, you can see that the addition of 3,000,000 to the labor force causes the unemployment rate to rise to 11.9%, or by 1.9 percentage points (an increase of 19.0%). And finally, the addition of 10,000,000 to the labor force causes the unemployment rate to rise by 6.0 percentage points, or to 16.0% (an increase of 60.0%).

So it may be stated that, the act of removing workers from the labor force causes the unemployment rate to decline. It is also evident that an expanding labor force, in which new workers are unable to find work, should cause the unemployment rate to rise. Another fact is that classifying more workers as "not in the labor force" causes a greater percentage decline in the unemployment rate, than the percentage increase realized by allowing a natural expansion of the labor force. Got it?

Therefore, when the unemployment rate is higher than desired, all one has to do is remove a few million workers from the labor force, and voilà, “We are moving in the right direction.”

Now I’m not necessarily saying that the Obama Administration purposefully manipulated the unemployment rate, but since the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a governmental agency, run by a presidential appointee, it's highly probable. I’m just saying that I no longer have faith in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' ability to remain impartial. Perhaps going forward the functions of this agency, as well as others, should be factored out to private non-partisan concerns.

What’s the real unemployment rate?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) itself admits that among those it has subtracted from a labor force, several million actually want to work. So I ask you this, If an individual is not working, but desires to have a job, is he (or she) not essentially unemployed? I say, “Yes”, but the BLS says, “No”. So is this a material issue, or is it diminimus? In other words, how many people are we really talking about?

Well, let’s turn to Bureau of Labor Statistics – Table A-38, Persons not in the labor force by desire and availability for work, age, and sex (below). To be precise, as far as BLS methodology goes, as of December 31, 2011, a staggering 87,212,000 working age Americans were not counted as part of the labor force. Among these, it is reported that 81,077,000 do not want a job, and that another 6,135,000 actually want to work.

To reiterate, in my book, if someone wants a job and doesn’t have one, that person is unemployed and should be counted as such. What’s the point of calculating an unemployment rate, which doesn’t include all persons who are unemployed?

Regarding those included or excluded from the labor force, here are a couple of important items to note:

  1. First of all, the BLS only surveys around 60,000 households per month in order to come up with these figures. So as far as we know, the number of unemployed persons who want to work, but are not counted as part of the labor force, could be much greater than what’s being reported.

  2. Secondly, according to Footnote No. 1, in Table A-38 (above), not everyone reported as wanting or not wanting to work is asked. Wait, so not everyone is asked? You know the old saying, “Never assume.”

So, in light of the fine print, the entire sampling outcome is at best grossly inaccurate, and at worst subject to outright manipulation.

From Table A-38, we can see that 6,135,000 workers, not counted as part of the labor force, actually want to work. So what would happen if we added them back into the labor force? Well, let’s run it and see.

In the table below, when the 6,135,000 workers are added back to the labor force, and rightfully counted as unemployed, the unemployment rate jumps from 8.5% to 12.0% (an increase of 41.2%). Is a deviation of 41.2% of material importance? I would think so.

I would contend, that based on BLS data, the true unemployment rate is closer to 12.0%. But at the same time, since only a small sample is surveyed, who’s to say that a large portion of the other 81,077,000 working age individuals, not counted as part of the labor force, don’t want jobs? Did anyone bother to ask them? No. So the actual unemployment rate could easily be much greater than 12.0%. Are you still with me?

In the table below, I have calculated the maximum unemployment rate. That is to say, what it would be if all 87,212,000 working age individuals, not presently included as part of the labor force, were included. When we count them all, the maximum unemployment rate jumps to 41.6%.

You laugh? Well, I’m not laughing. So, based on information published by the federal government, the actual unemployment rate is somewhere between 12.0% and 41.6%. That leaves a lot of room for play, as the lowest the rate can possibly go is 0.0%, and the highest 41.6%. [By the way, the maximum rate doesn’t include those considered to be employed who, for all practical purposes, really aren’t (see the definition of "Employed", below).]

Disregarding the Bureau of Labor Statistics sampling assumptions, the methodology of which you may find at http://www.bls.gov/, for all we know, a larger segment of the population is becoming homeless, generationally dependent, or permanently unemployable. I believe that there are several million more unemployed Americans, who want to work, than we are being told.

In my entire life-time, neither the Bureau of Labor Statistics nor the Census Bureau has ever called upon me to participate in one of these monthly, 60,000 household employment surveys. So who are they calling? How can they call someone who doesn’t have a phone? Where do these numbers really come from? From what I can tell, that’s classified information. Have they ever called you?

So while Obama tells us on the one hand, “We’re making progress,” in reality, all that’s happened is that a larger segment of society has given up any hope of ever having a job. Based upon the job killing policies of his Administration, I would say this is more likely to be the case today, than at any time in U.S. history. So this is progress? And now Obama wants another term to, “finish the job.” I think we’re already finished; the baby boom implosion will take care of the rest.

The Bottom Line: The official unemployment rate is misleading, and can be easily manipulated. By simply removing two or three million persons from the labor force (a little here, a little there), one can easily trim a couple of percentage points off of the official unemployment rate, and then declare that the economy is improving.

Since the beginning of 2009, the net result of Obama’s anti-success rhetoric, coupled with the most reckless deficit-spending record in U.S. history, has been an increase of 6.5 million workers who are no longer counted as part of the labor force. And on top of this, the economy has lost 1.7 million jobs, since February of 2009. The real unemployment rate isn’t 8.5%, it’s somewhere between 12.0% and 41.6%, perhaps even higher, depending upon one’s perspective.

In light of this reality, I find Obama’s statement, “We are moving in the right direction,” to be most absurd. Come on man! But on the brighter side, there is a tremendous opportunity for a new Administration to step in, in 2013, and show the Socialists, Progressives, and Communists who have taken over the Democratic Party, and the delusional fakers and wannabe’s in the White House, who are on their way out of power, what the “right” direction genuinely looks like. Godspeed!

Definitions:

  • Labor force (Current Population Survey) - The labor force includes all persons classified as employed or unemployed in accordance with the definitions contained in this glossary.

  • Civilian non-institutional population (Current Population Survey) - Included are persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities, homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.

  • Employed persons (Current Population Survey) - Persons 16 years and over in the civilian non-institutional population who, during the reference week, (a) did any work at all (at least 1 hour) as paid employees; worked in their own business, profession, or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family; and (b) all those who were not working but who had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent because of vacation, illness, bad weather, childcare problems, maternity or paternity leave, labor-management dispute, job training, or other family or personal reasons, whether or not they were paid for the time off or were seeking other jobs. Each employed person is counted only once, even if he or she holds more than one job. Excluded are persons whose only activity consisted of work around their own house (painting, repairing, or own home housework) or volunteer work for religious, charitable, and other organizations.

  • Unemployed persons (Current Population Survey) - Persons aged 16 years and older who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, except for temporary illness, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week. Persons who were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been laid off need not have been looking for work to be classified as unemployed.

  • Not in the labor force (Current Population Survey) - Includes persons aged 16 years and older in the civilian non-institutional population who are neither employed nor unemployed in accordance with the definitions contained in this glossary. Information is collected on their desire for and availability for work, job search activity in the prior year, and reasons for not currently searching. (See Marginally Attached Workers.)

  • Marginally Attached Workers (Current Population Survey) - Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for work, and who have looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Discouraged workers are a subset of the marginally attached. (See Discouraged Workers.)

  • Discouraged Workers (Current Population Survey) - Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for a job and who have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but who are not currently looking because they believe there are no jobs available or there are none for which they would qualify.

Link to Chart Data: Google Docs

Related:

- Manipulation 201: Playing With Unemployment

- Labor Force Contraction with Obama

Reference: Bureau of Labor Statistics - Historical Data

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Charts: Unemployment Rate vs. Size of Labor Force

- Courtesy of Liberty Works

* The following charts track the unemployment rate and the size of the labor force. *

The chart above shows that over the first 25 months of the current recovery the unemployment rate has declined from 10.1% to 8.5% while the size of the labor force is virtually unchanged even though the working age population has grown.

Since the beginning of 2008 the working age population has grown by 7.2 million people.  Yet the labor force which is normally about two-thirds of the working age population has shrunk over the same period by 49,000.

Thus, 4.8 million men and women who should be included in the unemployment rate calculation as both in the labor force and unemployed are not counted at all because they have become too discouraged to look for jobs.

If those men and women were included in the unemployment rate calculation the December rate would have been 11.3%, higher than any time since 1940.

The second chart above tracks the first 25 months of the Reagan recovery of the 1980s. President Reagan inherited a sick economy and a deep recession that by most measures was worse than what President Obama inherited.  As the chart shows, the unemployment rate soared even higher but then there was a steep drop even as the labor force grew by 4.3 million!  People did not give up looking for jobs during the Reagan boom because there was robust growth in the economy and employers were creating hundreds of thousands of jobs every month.

[...]

There is a potential downside that could blow up Obama’s propaganda campaign. If the “good news” about the unemployment rate encourages several million people to come back into the labor force and seek jobs, the number officially classified as “unemployed” will increase and the unemployment rate will tick back up as the November election approaches.

Read the full story at - Liberty Works

Related: Labor Force Contraction with Obama

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thomas Sowell endorses Newt Gingrich

"Why not vote for the candidate who has shown the best track record of accomplishments, both in office and in the debates? That is Newt Gingrich. With all his shortcomings, his record shows that he knows how to get the job done in Washington." ~ Thomas Sowell

Read the full scoop at Jewish World Review: Republican Voters' Choices

Labor Force Contraction with Obama

- And other hidden truths

- By: Larry Walker, Jr. -

On January 7, 2012, Barack Obama boasted, “We’re moving in the right direction. We have made real progress.” Then he went on to exaggerate that, “Altogether more private sector jobs were created in 2011 than any year since 2005.” Naturally, such jovial assertions propelled many left-wing moonbats back to work today, if you can call blogging false claims such as that ‘Obama created more jobs in one year than Bush did in eight’, and other malarkey, work. It’s funny that these same cherry-pickers never attempt to match wits when it comes to the national debt. We all know that Obama has borrowed $1.0 trillion more in 3 years, than Bush did in eight, but I digress. So let’s examine Obama’s latest victory on the jobs front, for what it really represents.

Are we heading in the right direction?

To find out, we took a closer look at the official data published yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). According to Table B-1, Establishment Data, the American economy has lost a total of -569,000 non-farm jobs since January of 2001. So in terms of jobs growth, what is factual is that not one new net job has been realized over the last 11 years (see table below). So are we headed in the right direction? I am reminded of a quote from the movie “2012” - “When they tell you not to panic, that’s when you run.”

Zooming in a little closer, we can see that -1,663,000 jobs have been lost since February of 2009, the month after Obama’s inauguration (see table below). So although 1,640,000 jobs were gained in the year 2011, and 940,000 in 2010, long forgotten by Obama are the -4,243,000 jobs that were lost during his first year in office. Granted, the fact that the economy is no longer losing jobs is a good thing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we are heading in the right direction. One would have to examine a number of other factors in order to make that affirmation, such as the recent downgrade to the U.S.A.’s credit rating, and the 333% growth in government debt over Obama’s first three years.

By comparison, George W. Bush, who also inherited a recession from his predecessor, suffered total job losses of -2,199,000 by the end of his third year in office (see table below), while Obama lost -1,663,000 during his first three years (see table above).

So for starters, it is incorrect to state that any jobs have been created since Obama became president, because net jobs have been lost (not gained). Therefore, a more fair and balanced statement would be that, ‘during their first three years in office, Obama lost -536,000 fewer jobs than Bush’. Now as far as I’m concerned, that’s hardly worth breaking out the caviar and champagne. What it really means is that in comparing both presidents up to this point in their terms, Obama is less of a loser than Bush. But two losers don’t make a winner.

Were more jobs created in 2011 than in any year since 2005?

Next, since Obama remarked that ‘more jobs were created in the year 2011 than in any year since 2005’, we must verify his claim. Actually this is not true, as you can see in the table below. The facts show that in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 the economy produced total jobs growth of 2,047,000, 2,496,000, 2,078,000, and 1,092,000 jobs, respectively. So although it may have been correct to state that more net jobs were realized in 2011 than in any year since 2006, because 2,078,000 were realized in 2006, while 1,092,000 were attained in 2007, versus 1,640,000 in 2011, pulling the year 2005 out of a hat was a stretch.

“It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place”.  ~ Henry Louis Mencken

Aside from twisting the truth, all that this really means is that fewer net jobs were realized in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 than in 2011. So what? The recession officially ended in June of 2009, and now finally, two and a half years later, Obama beat what are essentially recessionary benchmarks. Congratulations! But what about the -3,600,000 jobs that were lost in 2008? And the -5,063,000 that were lost in 2009? It’s as if a tiny accomplishment, cherry-picked from an arbitrary year, isolated from the rest of recent history, has the power of changing that very history. Sure thing chief!

In the end, over Bush’s eight-year term, from February of 2001 through January of 2009, a total of 1,094,000 net jobs were realized; while during Obama’s first three years in office, from February of 2009 through December of 2011, a total of -1,663,000 net jobs have been lost. So that means Obama must gain another 2,757,000 jobs before his left-wing moonbats can boast of even equaling what they consider to be the miniscule accomplishment of George W. Bush. Good luck with that, since you’ve got less than 12 months to get there.

Omitting Marginally Attached and Discouraged Workers

Now we will turn attention to the unemployed, and the uncounted, marginally attached and discouraged workers. You will note in the data from BLS Table A-15, Alternative Measures of Labor Utilization, (below) that during Bush’s first three recessionary years, the percentage of unemployed, plus marginally attached and discouraged workers averaged between 5.6% and 7.0%. You can also see that during Obama’s first three years, the rate has jumped to an average of between 10.5% and 11.0%. In fact, as of December 31, 2011, a larger percentage of Americans are unemployed, discouraged, or marginally attached to the labor force than at anytime since 1994 (when the statistic was first measured). So does this hidden fact somehow back up the words, “we are moving in the right direction”? Only if the direction Obama is espousing entails enslaving millions more to lives of perpetual government dependency. We’ve seen brighter mornings.

The Shrinking Labor Force

Finally, the data from BLS Table A-1, Employment Status of the Civilian Population by Sex and Age, (below) shows the number of Americans counted as part of the civilian labor force, from 2001 through 2011. We can see that during Bush’s first three years, the civilian labor force grew by 2,929,000. In contrast, the labor force has contracted by -739,000 during Obama’s first three years. So is this good, or bad? Well, since the population is growing by 1.2% each year, a contracting labor force means that a smaller proportion of the populace is working to support a larger group of retirees, unemployed, and those who have dropped out of the labor force. So I would say this isn't exactly "morning in America".

As you can see, the labor force grew from 143,800,000 at the end of January 2001, to 154,236,000 by January of 2009, for an increase of 10,436,000 workers over the eight-year period immediately preceding Obama. So while the labor force was expanding by an annual average of 1,304,500 new entrants before Obama, it has suddenly declined by an average of -246,333 workers per year since January of 2009. So as Obama has been out golfing, vacationing and as he now celebrates his grand achievement, better than 1,000,000 Americans have fallen through the cracks during each of his three years in office. These are either not working, not currently looking for work, or have permanently given up looking. They are not counted in the official December unemployment rate.

Most of the electorate understands that as the size of the labor force shrinks, the unemployment rate declines. But is anyone really paying attention? Since this massive decline in the civilian labor force is a verifiable fact, it's not surprising that the Obama Administration, and much of the propagandist media have chosen to ignore it.

The Bottom Line: Obama has lost a total of -1,633,000 net jobs since he entered office. Not one new net job has been gained since the year 2007. The percentage of unemployed, plus marginally attached and discouraged workers stands at 10.5% as of December 2011, versus an average of 5.5% to 7.0% during the prior eight years. The civilian labor force has contracted by -739,000 workers since January of 2009, for an average loss of -246,333 per year, versus average growth of 1,304,500 per year in the eight years prior to Obama. So perhaps, Obama’s latest fabrication isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Related:

Obama’s lost labor force - NetRight Daily

Civilian Employment to Population Ratio Lowest Since Carter / Early Reagan … And Flat-lined! Employment Misery Index Increasing! - Confounded Interest

So Now, It's 'Recovery Winter'!! - Joshua Pundit

Obama’s Fraudulent Unemployment Rate - Liberty Works

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Voting Without Passion | 2012 Election

Thoughts from an Independent Fiscal Conservative -

- By: Larry Walker, Jr. -

"What kind of man did you go into the wilderness to see? Was he a weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind?” ~ Mathew 11:7 [New Living Translation]

You either live in a red state, or a blue state. You are either black, or you are white. You are either a millionaire, or you’re in the middle-class. You are either a Republican, or you’re a Democrat. You will either cast your vote for the Republican nominee, or for the Democratic nominee. There is no in-between; there are no other alternatives. So make your choice today. And if you have to hold your nose while voting, then hold your nose and choose between Red and Blue, because that is your patriotic duty. That’s pretty much the way things are, or at least the way some candidates, and propagandist media outlets would have us believe.

Now, back to earth – The truth is you can vote for anyone you want. You are not confined to choosing between the classic Red and Blue. There are literally dozens of people running for president, from Libertarians to Communists. Also, many have forgotten that having a legal right to vote, doesn’t mean one must vote. You have a legal right to drive a car, if you are of age, and secure the appropriate license and insurance, yet not everyone chooses to drive. Some people rely on taxis, limousines or public transportation. No one is forced to drive a car, but everyone has the right to drive. You also have God-given rights to get married, to have children, to buy a home or other property, but not everyone exercises these rights. Thus no person may compel another to vote. Neither are we limited to crawling into those little boxes that politicians and media propagandists have so allotted.

Passion – Each and every vote for a presidential candidate, for which there is no passion, is a waste of one’s legal right. If you are not passionate about a candidate, or a political party, and merely follow the dictates of a third-person, you have not really exercised your right. You might as well have stayed home. Last time I checked, refusing to vote isn’t a sin, but rather a vote against the establishment. I haven’t voted in every single presidential race, or in every single primary. For example, I didn’t vote in the 2008 presidential primary, because I felt no passion toward any of the candidates. I certainly felt nothing for John McCain (and still don’t), and although I felt a little something for Mike Huckabee, the bond wasn’t strong enough to compel me to the local precinct to show my support (although I nearly did).

I did vote in the 2008 presidential race, but my vote was cast more against one candidate than for the other. In other words, I wanted to send a message that I was against the blue party, but I wasn’t really for the red party. Then as today, I feel as though my 2008 presidential vote was merely thrown away. In retrospect, I wish I would have turned my back on the status quo, and supported a third-party candidate. But that was then, and this is now.

"Pathos (Greek for 'suffering' or 'experience') is often associated with emotional appeal. But a better equivalent might be 'appeal to the audience's sympathies and imagination.' An appeal to pathos causes an audience not just to respond emotionally but to identify with the [candidate's] point of view--to feel what the [candidate] feels. In this sense, pathos evokes a meaning implicit in the verb 'to suffer'--to feel pain imaginatively....

Perhaps the most common way of conveying a pathetic appeal is through narrative or story, which can turn the abstractions of logic into something palpable and present. The values, beliefs, and understandings of the [candidate] are implicit in the story and conveyed imaginatively to the [voter]. Pathos thus refers to both the emotional and the imaginative impact of the message on an audience, the power with which the [candidate's] message moves the audience to decision or action." ~ Derived from: Ramage, John D. and John C. Bean. Writing Arguments. 4th Edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1998, 81-82.

Independent – Since I come from a family of left-leaning independents, having been reared as a free-thinker meant I had to find my own way in the political arena. My parents never attempted to influence my political views. At the age of 20, my very first vote in a presidential race was for Ronald Reagan. I didn’t vote for Reagan because he represented a particular political party (I could have cared less about all that at the time), but rather because I heard the man speak, and I was touched by the emotional and the imaginative impact of his message. In fact, I was inspired enough to change my college major to political science (although it would later change), which led to my interviewing local politicians and working as a volunteer at a local voting precinct.

So how in the world was Ronald Wilson Reagan ever able to reach out and touch a 20-year old black male, from North-Central California, who was dropping in and out of Junior College, and on his way to a life of despair? For me, pathos is the critical element, and it trumps the old red or blue, black or white, rich or poor, Republican or Democratic rhetoric in any era. If your message isn't transcending political ideology, or if you're still trying to convince the public as to why you're qualified to hold office, you really don't have a message, so perhaps you should do us all a favor and just drop out.

Since I officially quit the Republican Party in 2007, I have been a free-agent when it comes to politics. I can vote for whomever I please. I am not bound by the strings of media propagandists. I can vote for anyone who is on the ballot, or any qualified write-in candidate. Nobody will tell me who to vote for, and no one will constrain me from casting my vote for the candidate or party of my choosing. I am free, I am independent, and I will vote, or not vote, according to my conscience. I hope you will do the same.

Clueless? – For the political class, passion is achieved through persuasion, by appealing to voter's emotions. It’s not just about ethos, and logos. So you are credible. So you can make a logical argument. Big deal! Yet you have not persuaded independents, such as me, because you have failed to connect with my sympathies and imagination. What we have today is a president who lacks logic and credibility, but who can win on passion, versus a group of candidates, strong in the former, but woefully lacking in the latter. Thus I may vote in the 2012 presidential race, or I may sit this one out, or perhaps I will send a message this time, by throwing my support to a third-party candidate. I’m not sure about that yet, but one thing that I am sure of is that until I hear a message which fires on all three cylinders, I will not enter into the wilderness, but will rather work to expose every weak reed, swayed by every breath of wind.