Sunday, May 6, 2012

Four Years of Obama overcomes Eight Years of Reagan

What’s new Today

Story #1 is a continuation of what is going on with Elizabeth Warren’s story.  #2  looks at George Orwell and the left’s position.  Are they trying to uplift the poor or simply use them?  #3 looks at the unemployment rate…the real unemployment rate. 

Today’s thoughts

From the graph you can see how 4 years of Obama cancels out 8 years of Reagan.  Of course I think that’s what the left has had in mind all along.

The half-filled room at Ohio State is a big mistake for a campaign especially in its first official campaign event.  But the signs are all there for Obama’s coming defeat: difficulty raising money, unfilled seats at rallies, and mistakes galore such as Julia, Hilary Rosen’s attack on Ann Romney, etc.

President Obama told supporters this weekend that his re-election bid is still about "hope" and "change."  The problem is that the hoped for change is a new President.

1.  Harvard and the Female Indian

….Ms. Warren parlayed a not overtly distinguished college and law school career into a tenured position at Harvard Law School. On leave from there, she went to work for the Administration as chair of the Troubled Relief Asset Program and Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

From that spot, the ever ambitious Ms Warren decided to run against Senator Scott Brown for the Senate. Like Martha Coakley before her, she obviously viewed the former Kennedy seat as a given for whichever Democrat garnered the nomination.

Now, however, obviously for the first time in her career, she is being closely vetted, and in the process she turns out to be an autobiography fabulist, as well as an embodiment for what's wrong with using "diversity" to fill academic slots.

It seems that Ms Warren, who had an 1/32 or  maybe even 1/64 American Indian Heritage and who had never suffered any disadvantage on account of her assumed but unverifiable heritage, had held herself out as a member of a minority group in the Association of American Law Schools Directory, and she maintained that listing, and Harvard bragged of it in hiring her, until sometime after the hire when she and the school dropped the issue.

Ms. Warren at first claimed, as did some academic supporters, that that minority listing had nothing to do with her hiring….

Oh what tangled webs we weave….

2.  Truth and the Left

What, if any, is the connection between illiteracy and ideology?

George Orwell, our greatest political sociologist, has some ideas.  He is the master explainer of governance, power, totalitarianism, education, and the dynamics of class warfare.  It's an ugly picture.

In his seminal essay, “Ignorance is Strength”   Orwell lays down the iron rule of history: "Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world[:] High, Middle, and Low."

Orwell cynically notes that the Middle always campaign for power by promising the Low that they will be moved toward the top.  In fact, if the Middle are able to seize power, they establish themselves as the High, the Low are crushed, and that's the end of the story until the next Middle become powerful enough to start another cycle.

Orwell concludes: "As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old position of servitude, and themselves become the High."

Many observers would say, especially with Obama in the White House, that we are witnessing an attempted coup by the current Middle -- intellectuals, academics, ideologues, journalists, thinkers, and talkers (i.e., people who feel entitled to run the world because they are so smart).  This hungry Middle wants to take power from the bankers, tycoons, entrepreneurs, and industrialists -- the movers and organizers who have run the world for several centuries.

But let's focus on the Low -- can they improve their lives by siding with the Middle in this ongoing coup attempt?  Will the Middle, this time, actually try to lift up the Low?

Orwell's essay is depressing because he sees no hope that the Low can ever improve their condition.  In his view, the Middle are always liars, manipulators, and exploiters, despite their honeyed promises….

This does sound familiar and the left certainly seems to be using this strategy.  Broken promises litter the progressive’s agenda. 

3.   What’s the Real Unemployment Rate?

…So what is the true state of the labor market?

1. If the size of the U.S. labor force as a share of the total population was the same as it was when Barack Obama took office—65.7% then vs. 63.6% today—the U-3 unemployment rate would be 11.1%.

Now, this doesn’t take into account the aging of the Baby Boomers, which should lower the participation due to rising retirements. But is that still a valid assumption given the drop in wealth since 2006?

2. If you take into account the aging of the Baby Boomers, the participation rate should be trending lower. Indeed, it has been doing just that since 2000. Before the Great Recession, the Congressional Budget Office predicted what the participation rate would be in 2012, assuming such demographic changes. Using that number, the real unemployment rate would be 10.7%.

3. Of course, the participation rate usually falls during recessions. Yet even if you discount for that and the aging issue, the real unemployment rate would be 9.3%.

4. If the participation rate just stayed where it was last month, the unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%.

5. Then there’s the broader, U-6 measure of unemployment which includes the discouraged plus part-timers who wish they had full time work. That unemployment rate, perhaps the truest measure of the labor market’s health, is still a sky-high 14.5%.

6. The employment-population ratio dipped to 58.4% vs. 61% in December 2008. A historically and alarmingly low level of the U.S. population is actually working.

7. And given that real disposable income has been flat the past two years, it stands to reason that many of the jobs being created are in low-wage sectors. Indeed, hiring in sectors such as retail and leisure has accounted for a whopping 40 percent of the jobs added over the past two years.

The labor market remains in sad shape—despite Obama White House claims that it’s “continuing to heal”—and it is unlikely to improve much if the economy continues to grow around 2% or so…

This is akin to a doctor claiming he has cured a particular disease.  Of course his definition of curing the disease includes deaths.   

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