Tag Archives: Economy

BLS ‘Secret News’

That the Bureau of Labor Statistics cooks the books in the way that they report unemployment is no surprise to those paying attention. So I’m not touting this news from last Friday’s report. What is newsworthy though, is that the media is not saying a word about it like they (and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich) did religiously, every Friday, while Barack Obama was in The White House.

Instead, they’re talking about Trump’s low poll numbers. (Everyone knows how they make and use poll numbers, and how Hillary was going to win, until she lost.) They’re hyping that, they’re hyping other irrelevant stuff like the ‘first 100 days’ and the Georgia special election for Tom Price’s Dist. 6 seat.

Not a peep about Friday’s report, that says . . .

The national unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point from February to 4.5 percent and was 0.5 point lower than in March 2016.

The U-6, the best government numbers on real unemployment, is down .6% in March 2017 from February 2017. And down a full percentage point in March 2017 to 8.9% compared to 9.9% in March 2016.

So while the media is excited to report about Trump’s so-called unfulfilled campaign promises, isn’t it weird how they miss this one?


The FairTax Will Fix What Ails Us

I’m afraid that the “tax reform” in the works is not going to be the game changer needed, the FairTax. The politicians are not willingly going to give up the Tax Hammer. It gives them too much power and lines their pockets with campaign cash. It is up to we the people to demand it.

Enactment of the FairTax would be the greatest transfer of power from the government back to the people since the Declaration of Independence. Instead of paying 39% of what you earn, you’ll pay 23% of what you spend, and keep all that you earn. Because your gross pay will be your “take-home” pay, the FairTax will be an economic generator and job creator for people, big and small business. All the while still generating the same amount of money to fund the government and its programs.

Just how can the FairTax be revenue neutral compared to the current income tax? Simple really, when you consider that the tax base expands from just those lucky ones who have jobs to everybody within our borders who purchases any new good or service.

With no tax returns to file, aside from eliminating the need for the IRS, the FairTax will end tax fraud like this; Three Indicted in Florida for Using Stolen IDs to File Tax Returns Claiming More Than $6.8 Million in Fraudulent Refunds.

Here’s a great presentation of the FairTax from the guy who wrote the book on it, Neal Boortz

Neal Boortz podcasts, like this one graciously lifted from yesterday, are available on ConnectPal for a paltry $4.99/month.

Effects Of Minimum Wage

There is little question in most academic research that increases in the minimum wage lead to increases in unemployment. The debatable issue is the magnitude of the increase. An issue not often included in minimum wage debates is the substitution effects of minimum wage increases. The substitution effect might explain why Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of business owners and executives, argues for higher minimum wages. Let’s look at substitution effects in general.

When the price of anything rises, people seek substitutes and measures to economize. When gasoline prices rise, people seek to economize on the usage of gas by buying smaller cars. If the price of sugar rises, people seek cheaper sugar substitutes. If prices of goods in one store rise, people search for other stores. This last example helps explain why some businessmen support higher minimum wages. If they could impose higher labor costs on their less efficient competition, it might help drive them out of business. That would enable firms that survive to charge higher prices and earn greater profits.

There’s a more insidious substitution effect of higher minimum wages. You see it by putting yourself in the place of a businessman who has to pay at least the minimum wage to anyone he hires. Say that you are hiring typists. There are some who can type 40 words per minute and others, equal in every other respect, who can type 80 words per minute. Whom would you hire? I’m guessing you’d hire the more highly skilled. Thus, one effect of the minimum wage is discrimination against the employment of lower-skilled workers. In some places, the minimum wage is $15 an hour. But if a lower-skilled worker could offer to work for, say, $8 an hour, you might hire him. In addition to discrimination against lower-skilled workers, the minimum wage denies them the chance of sharpening their skills and ultimately earning higher wages. The most effective form of training for most of us is on-the-job training.

An even more insidious substitution effect of minimum wages can be seen from a few quotations. During South Africa’s apartheid era, racist unions, which would never accept a black member, were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. In 1925, the South African Economic and Wage Commission said, “The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would be likely to be employed.” Gert Beetge, secretary of the racist Building Workers’ Union, complained, “There is no job reservation left in the building industry, and in the circumstances, I support the rate for the job (minimum wage) as the second-best way of protecting our white artisans.” “Equal pay for equal work” became the rallying slogan of the South African white labor movement. These laborers knew that if employers were forced to pay black workers the same wages as white workers, there’d be reduced incentive to hire blacks.

South Africans were not alone in their minimum wage conspiracy against blacks. After a bitter 1909 strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen in the U.S., an arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages. Union members expressed their delight, saying, “If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain.”
Our nation’s first minimum wage law, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, had racist motivation. During its legislative debate, its congressional supporters made such statements as, “That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.” During hearings, American Federation of Labor President William Green complained, “Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”

Today’s stated intentions behind the support of minimum wages are nothing like yesteryear’s. However, intentions are irrelevant. In the name of decency, we must examine the effects.

The above, Minimum Wage and Discrimination, was graciously lifted from Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University.


Cost Of Socialism

So the revised cost of the border wall, before Trump works on getting it lower, is now $21.6 Billion. Up from $15 Billion. At this “cost,” that comes to $173 per household. Up from $120. OK fine. Where do I send my check?
That is far less than the $113 Billion a year we are paying now to sustain illegal aliens already here. And that translates to $904, per year per household.
The financial burden on education, health care, infrastructure, prisons, jobs and unemployment is not the only cost. That $113 Billion does not count the people illegals have killed, raped, robbed, and assaulted. That is the social cost you can’t put a price on.
Kudos to President Trump for doing what he said he would do. Enforce the law. Like he’s been doing since he was inaugurated.

You can’t blame Mexicans to want to escape their country, where the average wage is $4 per day. Venezuelans and Chinese are also flocking to enter the United States, legally.

Why is that?  Corruption isn’t the only reason Mexico is in sorry shape. It’s their quasi-socialist economic system. It doesn’t sustain, it doesn’t work. Mexico, like Venezuela, is rich in natural resources, like oil. Nothing a little capitalism can’t fix. What else can explain why the disparity on one side of the border is so great?

Mexicans are not happy with their government and the corruption in it. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s approval rating is 12%. But it’s their problem to fix.

Cost Per Household?

Who knew that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was a numbers guy? He figured out that the U.S.-Mexico border barrier that President Trump ordered this week could cost a projected $15 billion, once. That translates to $120 per household, based on the latest Census date of U.S. households.

Here is another number that Majority Leader McConnell should be concerned with. How much are illegal aliens already here costing U.S. households? That is $113 Billion. And that translates to  $904, per year per household.

But the pressure on education, health care, infrastructure, prisons, jobs and unemployment are not the only cost. That $113 Billion does not count the people illegals have killed, raped, robbed, and assaulted. All preventable crimes if the border were secure. Can Sen. McConnell put a price on that? Is Sen. McConnell suggesting that Mexico reimburse the U.S. $113 Billion per year?

Let’s see, a one-time charge of $120 or an annual charge of $904. Where do I send my check?

Granted, even after the border is as secure as possible, and the welcome mat for illegals has been pulled, that $904 number won’t go away in the short term. Once illegal immigration is no longer an issue, it will in the long term.

I know President Trump ran on Mexico paying for it. His bravado. That would be nice. But not necessary. Mexico pays for the wall that they have on their southern border. For as little as it would cost to build, just do it already.

Mexico will “pay” for it in other ways. Like by having to deal with their own unhappy people instead of shooing them here, across the border, and transporting them from their southern border to our southern border, only to send remittances back.

Remittances used to be Mexico’s second highest source of income. Second only to oil. With crude oil prices dropping, remittances are now their highest source of income.  And that amounts to $2 Billion per month leaving the U.S. economy. That’s how illegals “contribute” to our economy. Kind of like how multi-national corporations “contribute” to the economy by sheltering their assets from the onerous tax code.

The bold truth is, the U.S. is not Mexico’s welfare department. And the U.S. isn’t here to be their auxiliary country because of the corruption in their government and the drug cartels. A secure border would not only help keep Americans safer, but it might be the wake-up call Mexico needs to clean up their act.

And on that “big beautiful wall, with a great big door,” post a sign on the south side of the door.  “Para ingresar a los Estados Unidos, diríjase al consulado más cercano. Ellos están ahí para ayudarte. – For entry into the United States, please go to the nearest consulate. They are there to help you.”

Link: Trump’s wall could cost an estimated $120 per US household  |  The Bank of Mexico says money sent home by Mexicans overtaking oil revenues as a source of foreign income for the first time  |  HOW MEXICO FACILITATES ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

How Is The FairTax Fair?

Glad you asked. Actually, a FB buddy, John Ingraham Berry said, and asked:

Burdensome on those families and individuals who have very little… have a little trouble grasping and seeing the fairness of this concept.

It’s really very easy, especially on the poor. Once you understand what’s in the bill, it’s like a ‘slap yourself in the head’ brilliant concept. For lack of any media excitement or mediocre coverage of the FairTax, getting people to learn what’s in the bill, as opposed to what the establishment says about it, which is pure demagoguery, is the biggest challenge.

Under every circumstance EXCEPT the FairTax, a consumption tax is regressive. By percentage of income, it hurts the poor the worst. The FairTax doesn’t do that. It is progressive in a way that benefits the poor the most, as you will see below.

Here’s the short version.

1.) Everything everyone (poor included) buys today is paying all the income and corporate tax, capital gains, gift, estate, alternative minimum, SS and Unemployment tax, and self-employment tax of everyone involved in bringing that item to market, from raw materials, to manufacturing, to transportation, and all the costs of a wholesaler and retailer to bring the item to you, the final consumer. Call that the “embedded” tax. Everyone pays it, it’s in the cost of the item. It just isn’t itemized on your receipt. It’s hidden in that way, but it is there. Under the FairTax, the amount of federal tax you pay will be printed on your receipt. Totally transparent.

Now imagine what the same item would cost if there were no embedded taxes, if that product could be made with none of the above taxes. After over $22 million of research, the percentage amounts to about 22 % less.

The research included, of course, finding out what people buy at all income levels. No small task. That done, for the FairTax to be ‘revenue neutral,’ the FairTax percentage comes in at 23%.

That doesn’t mean an item automatically costs 23% more under the FairTax than it does today. When you remove the 22% embedded tax, and replace it with a 23% sales tax, you see a 1% increase in price on a widget. This is an average, not an absolute. One method is swapped with the other, having a negligible effect on cost to consumer.

2.) Here’s what the critics don’t tell you, or don’t know about. There is NO TAX on used items, including a car, motorcycle, boat, or house sold that was not bought by the ORIGINAL owner. The sales tax is ONLY for NEW items purchased for the FIRST TIME. Fair thing is, this applies the same to everyone, at all income levels. Including tourists, diplomats and other non-citizens.

3.) Because it is a consumption tax, assessed to new items sold, everyone pays it. The tax base instantly expands to 320,000,000 people instead of only legal citizens who have a job. What we have now is an income tax. No income = no tax revenue. And a tax base less than half of that. And because of that dynamic, the FairTax is a more stable revenue source. Fair thing is, this applies the same to everyone, at all income levels. Including foreign tourists, diplomats and other non-citizens, legal or illegal. And that tax never exceeds 23%.

4.) This is the part that makes this consumption tax progressive, instead of regressive. The Prebate. Designed to be the same, aka fair. Everyone gets this prebate based on the number of people in the household. And the prebate is for legal U.S. citizens only.

Now a new term to learn, effective tax rate. Based on the consumer spending research mentioned above, the amount of the prebate is figured to offset the sales taxes that would be paid for the basic necessities that everyone buys up to the poverty level as determined by HHS. It is paid to the household every month. Taking the prebate into account, lower income people pay less than 23%. In fact, the prebate at the lowest income levels make the effective tax rate a negative number. An income stream.

5.) Absent all the embedded taxes, at the federal level, the term ‘take home pay’ becomes obsolete. Your gross pay is also your net pay. THAT makes a big difference for all people, especially the poor. Currently, for every job, and many people do have 2 or more jobs, they pay those embedded taxes. Can’t get more regressive than that. Imagine the effect when they are not taxed every time they get another job. Purchasing power goes up for everyone, only greater for the poor. The rich pay the maximum 23%. But since “the rich” also buy more, they pay more taxes in dollars, obviously, than the poor, when they buy their yachts, cars, planes and other high-end toys. That’s how it affects families of all income levels, on the personal level.

6.) No more income taxes to file. And because of that, there is no compliance cost incurred to pay them. No tax preparers, accountants, or tax lawyers to pay. In total, a saving of over $400 billion. And, the IRS is effectively gone.

7.) On the national, macro level, absent the income tax, the $10-15 trillion that U.S. companies have sheltered overseas will come back to be invested here, since there will not be a tax obligation to shelter it from. Then, with the absence of an income tax, foreign business will come here and open up shop. The U.S. will become a global magnet for businesses. The U.S. will become the “offshore tax haven.” There will be a job for anyone who wants to work. Maybe more jobs than people. And competition between employers to get employees will do what? Increase wages. We will experience real economic growth on a personal and national level. And none of it  government subsidized, adding to the national debt.


How the politicians spend that is another matter. The FairTax is only to be the replacement source for funding the government. It has nothing to do with how that money is spent or where it is allocated.

You can read the text of the bill HERE. It’s not 75,000 pages like the current IRS code. H.R. 25 is a whopping 132 pages long. And more information is available at the link at the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

Link: H.R. 25: FairTax Act of 2017

Net Job Losses Continue

The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor, Sec Reich’s old job, has released their data for the month of November 2016, along with some other data.

The big “news” out of it is the fake news about the record low unemployment rate.  Down to what it was when Bush left office at 4.6%. That, and 178,000 (non-farm) jobs were created in November.

The reason the unemployment rate dropped is not because more people found jobs. It is because 591,000 people, unemployed for so long, were not counted. They are considered (by the Labor Department) not part of the labor force. As if they died or something, so they are not factored in determining the unemployment rate. They’re still alive though, and when  you count them, the unemployment rate (the U-6) is 9.3%, not the 4.6% that the president and his media tout.

“The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.9 million and accounted for 24.8 percent of the unemployed.” Let that sink in. Does this look like economic recovery to you?

The deception gets even more robust when the administration discusses job creation. When the narcissist-in-chief brags on his record sounding something like this; under my administration, we’ve had 78 months of consecutive job growth, or some such, he is not telling you the whole story.

It is hard to reconcile record job growth when there are 94 million Americans not working. And have been for years.

Here’s how it works for him. Imagine jobs in an economy being an interstate highway and Obama is at the on-ramp counting jobs being created. No one is counting the jobs being lost in the very same economy. That would be the off-ramp. He is also not telling you that people who have a job, and get a second or third job to support their family, that those extra jobs that one person has are counted as a new job created. On that subject, there are 511,000 more multiple job holders for Nov 2016 than there was in Nov 2015.

Not mentioned either is the fact that when you factor deaths, retirements, and population growth, a break-even for jobs being “created” per month is 250,000. Anything less than that is a net job loss. Here’s what this looks like for the last two  years. Out of 24 months, only 9 represented job growth.


So when you see the administration, or the nightly news people reporting that 178,000 jobs were created last month (in their cheery and upbeat tone), what they’re not saying is that the economy lost 72,000 more jobs last month. Obama’s legacy.

Employment Situation Nov 2016 by Ross Calloway on Scribd

Dep. of Interior Goes Rouge On Dakota Pipeline

This is a prime example how the unelected bureaucracy, with its regulatory agencies, drive up cost of everything, including the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota.

After a decade of planning, research, and obtaining approvals for same, Obama’s Dept. of Interior throws a wrench into the project by using the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny an easement for the completion of the project.

The pipeline is largely complete except for the now-blocked segment underneath Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir.

But that’s not all it did. The Department also inserted a pack of Indians, protesters, with zero interest in the project into the negotiating and planning process.

According to a news release, Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said her decision was based on the need to “explore alternate routes” for the pipeline’s crossing. What? Now that it is already built is no time to explore alternate routes.

And anyone should even wonder why the Obama administration is the most unfriendly to business and industry?  Especially the energy industry. And why they move overseas wherever possible to avoid this kind of interference?

Links: The Dakota Access Pipeline Project  |  Army Corps blocks route of Dakota Access oil pipeline

Jobs Situation, October 2016

The last jobs report before the presidential election  from the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics is out today. Here is the “progress” President Obama is talking about today in Fayetteville, NC while he campaigns for Hillary Clinton.

Two things you should know about what you will hear from the mainstream media. One is that they will report an unemployment rate below 5%, 4.9%  (Table A-1) The number is only that low because they don’t count millions of people who’s unemployment benefits have run out. It’s like they don’t exist any more. The real unemployment, the U-6, is 9.5%, not 4.9%. (Table A-15)

There were 161,000 jobs created in October 2016. (Table B-1) And this number includes people who have lost their FT job and taken on a PT job. It also includes those who have a job and got a 2nd or 3rd job. Taking into account births, deaths, immigration, and retirements, a minimum of 250,000 jobs is considered break-even. So 161,000 jobs created represents an 89,000 net job loss.

At the start of the Obama administration in 2009, there were 80,380,000 people not in labor force. As of Oct ’16, this has increased to 94,609,000. Obama’s economy since taking office represents a net negative job growth. And minorities are hit worst.

Black labor participation rate (Table A-2), the number of people who can work that are working, is Oct 2015, 62%. Oct 2016, 61.8%. Fewer Blacks working this year than last year.

Black unemployment Oct 2015, 8.3%. Oct 2016 8.6%. (Table A-2) Unemployment rate for Blacks is double that for Whites at 4.3%.

The jobs being created are not the better paying jobs. Comparing Oct ’16 to LY, employed persons by occupation, the largest sector growth is in the low-paying services sector at 1.12 million. (Table A-13)

Oct ’16 compared to Oct ’15, there is a 430,000 increase in people having multiple jobs. Because they have to just to get by. (Table A-9)

October ’16 compared to LY, there were 163,000 more people NOT in the labor force. Compared to the previous month, Sept 2016, the increase  is 425,000. (Table A-1)

Employment Situation October 2016 by Ross Calloway on Scribd

This dismal economic situation should open your eyes to what you can expect if Hillary Clinton should become the next president, because she is campaigning on continuing, if not exacerbating, Obama’s path.

Link: Employment Situation October 2016  |  94,609,000 Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Drops to 62.8%


September Jobs Picture, Sad

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the September Employment Situation looks like this.

All you will hear about it from Secretary Clinton and President Obama, and their spokespeople in the media, is three blurbs . . .

  • Unemployment rate 5.0,
  • 156,000 jobs created,
  • and nn of consecutive months of job growth.

Not sure how many number of consecutive months it has been, but it doesn’t matter, because it amounts to a net job loss.

To put the numbers you hear and see from the administration into perspective, realize that a monthly job creation of 250,000 is considered to be a break-even number when retirements, deaths, and population growth (births, immigration) are factored.

For September 2016, 156,000 jobs were created. Far short of break-even. Aside from that, and even worse, 284,000 jobs were lost in September. Of the 156,000 jobs created, 30,000 of them were in the foodservice industry.

Compared to last year, 1.8 million people were not counted. Of that group, 553,000 of those were in September 2016. Any thinking person might wonder how the employment rate can be 5% (Table A) when there are more people not working? Fair question. But the media never worries about that. The way the BLS arrives at that low percent is because they don’t count the millions of people who haven’t been working so long that their unemployment benefits have run out. They didn’t die. They’re still unemployed. If they were included, the REAL unemployment rate is 9.7 %. It’s called the U-6, (Table A-15).

When you dig deeper into the statistics, you come across a “MULTIPLE JOBHOLDERS” category, (Table A-16). These are people who have a second (or more) jobs because they have to and are able to, just to support themselves and their family. That number increased by 549,000 for Sept 2016 over LY. The dirty little secret about the multiple jobholders stat is, the second or third job that they get is counted as a “job created.” It’s still one person. Keep that in mind when you hear Barack or Hillary tout the number of jobs created. Makes me wince at their dishonesty when I hear them.

The Labor Participation Rate remains at 62.9%. That is the level it was under the Great Malaise administration of Jimmy Carter.

This is Obamanomics. We are living the consequences of Obamanomics. It’s more like, Trickle Up Poverty.

If you think it’s time for a different approach to job creation, one that will actually create more high-paying jobs, your choice in November can only be Donald Trump.

Link: Employment Situation Summary