|What Liberals Should Have Known||Noboby But Us 400,000 Chickens|
by Christopher Chantrill
September 08, 2010 at 1:30 pm
SOME OF you may know and love the British Blackadder TV series. It featured Rowan Atkinson as an upper-class twit and Tony Robinson as Baldrick, his crafty lower-class servant/sidekick. A recurring theme was Baldricks cunning plan that usually failed to get them out of a jam.
We will return to Baracks cunning plan in a moment. But first this message.
Last Friday the Labor Department issued its monthly employment data. And the news was unexpected. The unemployment rate was up, jobs were down, but private sector jobs were up.
Next thing you know, Bill Clinton will be running for president reprising his refrain from 1992. Remember? Everything that should be down is up and everything that should be up is down! What a talent.
The Labor Departments numbers come from two different surveys. Theres the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Establishment Survey thats based on information from businesses, and theres the BLS Household Survey that is based on an opinion poll conducted by the Labor Department.
I put my money on the Household Survey, and it reports an increase in jobs from 138.96 million 139.25 million. Thats an increase of 290,000 jobs. Here is how it looks. Ive charted two items from Household Survey: the the Civilian Labor Force, people with jobs and people looking for jobs, and the Total Civilian Employment.
Its a pretty dismal picture. You could call it the crime of the century. President Obama was inaugurated right where you see the 2009 marker on the chart. He came into office when jobs were falling off a cliff. And what did he do? He had his pals in Congress put together a $800 billion program of waste, fraud, and abuse, and called it a stimulus. Then he went ahead with the biggest job-killer in the modern history, ObamaCare. No wonder the job total has barely budged off its low.
But, hey, President Bush had a pretty big recession on his watch. What did it look like? Here it is:
There are a couple of things that jump out of the chart. First of all, the job loss was way less. But the other thing is even more significant. The labor force kept growing, right through 2001 and 2002. People were out looking for work. Not true in the Obama recession. You can see that, since President Obama has become president the labor force has flat-lined. People just arent jumping into the labor force.
OK, youll say. The Bush recession was really pretty mild. What about a real recession like the Reagan recession of 1981-1982? OK, here it is.
Heres the shocking fact. In the 1981 recession the number of jobs barely went down. And all through the recession the labor force was increasing. People were out looking for work.
All in all, it looks like the Great Recession is a bigger problem than the Bush recession and the Reagan recession. At least back then the labor force was growing. Not any more.
Its taken about 18 months, but at last the president is really starting to take seriously the notion that there really is a problem with the economy. He and his advisors have decided that they really must do something to show the voters in November that they care about jobs.
So they have come up with $100 billion in job stimulus. Part of the stimulus is a program of targeted tax cuts for small business.
The plan, floated as a trial balloon at the New York Times, is this. The administration proposes to take the $35 billion extra revenue from the rich, by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire on taxpayers earning more than $250,000 a year. Then they will give the $35 billion to small businesses through targeted tax breaks.
Now we can see the true brilliance of the Obama administration. Now we can see why we voted for a man like President Obama, a man with a mind, unlike the last president.
Who are the folks earning more than $250,000 per year? They are, predominantly, small business owners, people who pay tax on business income through their personal income tax returns.
So Baracks cunning plan to jump-start the economy is to steal money out of the back pockets of the nations most successful small business owners and then give it right back to them.
Not even Baldrick would call that a cunning plan.
If I were President Obamas chief economic advisor, Id be pushing my way into his office this morning. Id tell him to forget the cunning plans and do the right thing. Extend the Bush tax cutsall of themand on top of that, reduce the corporate income tax rate. Right now.
Either do that, Mr. President, Id say, or its lights out.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
When we received Christ, Phil added, all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh
I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all.
In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.
E. G. West, Education and the State