Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Daze 2015

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Happy Millenial Wake-Up Day!
And from the vault...

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If Lucy had been reading Hope n' Change over the past few years, she would have noticed how little has actually changed in terms of either hope or change in the job market. Because despite the statistical shell games which the government uses to claim that unemployment is back down to pre-recession levels, the sad reality is that far too many people remain out of work.

The workforce participation rate (measuring those of working age who either have a job or are actively looking for one) remains stalled at around 62.6% - the worst numbers in 38 years. That means that over 94 million Americans of eligible age are not in the labor force, compared to about 157 million who are. And in case you don't think that puts us in "tipping point" territory, consider that just last month, another quarter million Americans gave up trying to find work.

Despite the claims that Obama has been a huge job creator (hey, burgers don't flip themselves), there are over 13 million more people out of work now than the day he took office. Yet oddly, this president continues to insist that our borders remain wide open in order to supply (ahem) illegal workers desperately needed by our economy. But why?

The most frequent answer is that the illegals will do the jobs "Americans won't do." Which suggests that at least some Americans should be hungrier and more uncomfortable than they're currently feeling while on the entitlement system.

And of course, illegals are also "necessary" because the very unions which we celebrate on Labor Day (who give so very generously to Democrat candidates), have made it unaffordable for many businesses to employ Americans legally.

Make no mistake, Hope n' Change enjoys the Labor Day holiday as much as anyone. But this year, like in the other years of this administration, no one should be laboring under the illusion that America's employment picture is anything other than dismal.


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Mother's Day and birthdays probably suck for Planned Parenthood, too.

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Joseph ET said...

In the mid-1990s I applied for jobs where there were thousands of applicants at the same time. I interviewed for a county job, told I did good because I was #15. Different county same job, came in 4th twice. The second time they delayed the interviews several days because one guy couldn’t make his previously assigned date. Never heard of such a thing. I figured that was the guy they wanted! They hired two each time. Very frustrating!

And I get really upset when the talking heads say unemployment is down therefore fewer people are looking for work.
Just because one is out of unemployment benefits doesn’t mean one has stopped looking for work! So tired of hearing that BS!

Some causes of few jobs. Obamacare, unions, minimum wage, high taxes, and over regulation. Then add all the people coming to our land including tens of thousands from the middle east and with the Ted Kennedy’s 1964 immigration law they will then bring in most of their family members and those will bring in their family members, etc..
Then you have this: "DOJ Accuses U.S. Biz of Discrimination for Requiring Proof of Work Eligibility"
We are screwed big time!

Emmentaler "Rip Van Winkle" Limburger said...

Happy labor day - I'm at work, being productive.

Stilton, I've missed you! The evil IT department for company I work for implemented a new web security protocol that effectively rendered the web useless - every page came up blocked. They did also enact an "appeals" process to allow us to submit URLs to be reinstated. I submitted yours. Several months ago. Finally, today, I success! is no longer dead to me! Yay!

bocopro said...

In the first half of the 20th century, unions brought about significant changes and crucial benefits to many American workers. They stimulated a steady rise in the standard of living by bringing reason and sanity to counter corporate greed and abuse of workers. In general, they made life better for everyone.

In the second half of the 20th century, unions created an unproductive adversarial relationship between management and labor which created huge numbers of administrative positions which union members had to pay for through their dues and consumers had to pay for through increased prices. In general, they priced US industry out of the world market and triggered a slow but steady decline in product quality.

By the beginning of the 3rd millennium, unions had become parasites which victimize the society at large and force manufacturers to relocate to countries with lower tax and labor rates just to remain viable. Today's unions have degenerated into little more than corrupt special-interest groups interested in nothing more than self-preservation through extortion, intimidation, and political terrorism.

Their primary goal is exorbitant wages and benefits for members so that they can fund political machines geared toward promoting their own interests and longevity, especially for their bloated and top-heavy managerial structure. Worker loyalty is guaranteed by the ridiculous wages, golden retirement packages, and other compensations they extract from employers through shakedown tactics.

They began by acquiring and ensuring more rights and privileges for American workers and society in general than any governmental, societal, or religious authority ever created by men. But as with all good things, the wealth and power attracted devious, greedy, corrupt, and unethical tyrants who preyed upon their own members and tyrannized anyone who resisted their insidious machinations, turning a benign benefactor organization into a bloodsucking malignant tumor.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Joseph ET- To the extent that there's any good news about employment these days, it's entirely reflective of an economy which wants to return to a natural and robust state so desperately that all of the suppressing factors you mention can't entirely keep it down - though not for lack of trying.

@Emmentaler "Rip Van Winkle" Limburger- Hey, great to have you back! Now that IT has sanctified the site as wholesome and work-related, you can hit the archives and get caught up. Then again, unless you just want the laughs, here's the summary: everything in politics still pretty much stinks for the same reasons as always.

@bocopro- Interesting assessment of unions. And on a tech note, I don't know what was going on with your original comment - there was a space between every letter and no extra spaces between words, making it unreadable except to a codebreaker or someone with a mild case of OCD (that's me!). I transcribed your comment to make it more legible. Although it would have been more delightfully ironic if I'd hired an "undocument worker" to transcribe it...

Geoff King said...

All Labor Day means to me is that the thousands upon thousands of people from Phoenix, otherwise known as "Flatlanders", will finally go back down to their hellhole after spending the long weekend snarling our traffic and trashing our forest here in Northern Arizona.

bocopro said...

Hmmm . . . donno what happened. Called up an old article I wrote coupla years ago and heavily plagiarized it in Word (Arial, I think), then just dragged and pasted it. Looked o.k. in the box, so I posted it. Said I hadda wait a while for it to be posted, so I went off to bother other people.

Musta been some formatting glitch in my cutting and dragging and editing and pasting and all that. At least it didn't slip into a black hole as comments often do on some sites. Merci, mon frere.

Dave from the Cheesehead Nation said...

In Wisconsin, Gov. Walker and the Republican controlled Senate and Assembly took some steam out of the state unions representing state employees and public school teachers. Now they have curtailed some of the privileges given to unions when working on state contracts. Both groups can bargain on basic wages but most benefit packages are now the prerogative of employers. Of the more than 420 school districts in WI, about half had contractual clauses "requiring" the districts to purchase health insurance from the state teachers union. After Act 10 employers were free to shop around and health insurance costs were significantly reduced. A recall petition was launched and the "spoiled children" from the unions camped inside of our Capitol building, playing loud music, banging on garbage can lids, etc. Some Drs. wrote bogus sick leave excuses so some university teachers could be absent from the classroom to attend the anti-Walker demonstrations in Madison. Gov. Walker faced a recall election and won by the same margin by which he was originally elected. At least Scott Walker had the courage to stand up and say "enough is enough." The problem is that the many good employees in the unions also got hurt. For additional reading, check out the story of the unions and Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac. For Geoff King: I lived in Prescott as a child. Still love the city and The Palace.

American Cowboy said...

End of "summer" always brings many, many chores to do, as the cooling nights and less hours of daylight remind me that the northern high plains winter is just around the corner, so I've not stopped by as often as I would like.

A couple things from today's posting: "some Americans should be hungrier". Isn't that the truth! All one has to do is sit for several minutes and watch the typical Wal-Mart patrons as they waddle into the store. I mean no offense to any who are genuinely disabled, however the majority are simply obese due to lack of self-control or desire to push away from the table and work the weight off.

Many decades ago I thought I could do better with my life than performing hard ranch work from can see to can't. I applied myself and became a D.O.T. certified pipeline welder. Now I could go make the big bucks. One condition though was I had to become a union member to get employment. And not just one union, but two. The catch was I didn't have the cash to pay the initiation fees and first year dues in advance as they required at the time. That was over $1,000.00. I requested work, and take the fees and dues out of my paychecks. No good! Pay up front or get out of here! So I couldn't get work without joining the unions, and I couldn't join the unions without work. That is why I am proud to be a self-employed, hard working, "poor" American Cowboy.

Bruce Bleu said...

I would like to "AXE" Al Notsosharpton about English syntax... "Hey Al... every consider speaking something OTHER than "Jive" or "Ebonics""? Put down your bullhorn and KFC and pick up A DAMNED DICTIONARY, you "iggerunt" bonehead, and tell "yo people" to do the same thing! Think about THIS, Al... when blacks were SLAVES they wrote spiritual songs and had family values. They would lament when one of their "chillin'" got sold to the plantation in another county. NOW they "KILL THEY OWN CHILLIN'", and "THANK THEY GUBMINT fo duh privlidge"! Get yo "nappy head" outa yo ass and THINK!

DougW said...


DougW said...


Shelly said...

Notwithstanding its origins, Labor Day always meant to me a day to celebrate the American worker, the backbone of the country. This was our recognition for toiling in the trenches and contributing to American greatness. That being said, I have nothing but disdain for unions. Their original purpose has been long gone and now they simply exist to launder money for their own power structure and the Democrat party. And above all, all public sector unions should be abolished immediately. They make absolutely no sense. Civil "servants" already have unbelievable job security, pay and benefits and their unions are bargaining with politicians whose only skin in the game is their own job security and power. And the taxpayer is left holding the bag. Okay, rant over.

PRY said...

Hallelujah! I be glad dat da race-baitin', lyin', left-leanin', igorant host of de Al Sharpton mess be gittin' cancelled fo' sho! Just axe MSNBC, they tell you! (ya gotta just imagine 'Rev' Al saying this stuff!)

Popular Front said...

@Bruce Bleu

"Ah don't hear any singin! When you was slaves, you sang like birds! Come on now, how about a good ole niggah work song!"

"I get no kick from champagne..........."

John the Econ said...

To hear the media and other Obamatons tell it, last week's jobs report was a vindication of Obamanomics, when in reality it was as @Stilton put it above. The reality is that the luckiest are those who've managed to keep their jobs and anything near their pay & benefits from 7 years ago; the somewhat lucky are those who still have jobs. The rest either have to make due with lower pay & benefits, work multiple jobs, or have given up altogether, as the U-6 "participation rate" statistic indicates.

Meanwhile, the border remains open and wages on the low end remain depressed. The "minimum" and "livable wage" debates are a well orchestrated distraction by the left of what the real problem is: Why are grownups trying to support themselves or families on minimum-wage jobs that a few generations ago were only considered suitable for unskilled teenagers? That is a question you will not see asked by the establishment.

Up until the 1970s, it was still possible to raise a family on what we today consider "blue collar" or "low skilled" jobs. What changed? Could it be the change to immigration law that happened in the mid-'60s that favored low-skilled labor over the higher-skilled?

Interestingly, the organized labor movement, the one constituency of the left that largely favored Reagan over Carter today remains silent on this. Why? Could it be that the "organizers" of "organized labor" like things the way they are with cushy jobs that pretty much pay the same whether their charges work or not? As was pointed out above, after most of the reforms pushed for by the unions were codified into law back in the '40s and '50s, there was little else for the organizers to do other than to push for higher wages and inefficient work rules that sent practically every unionized industry out of the country by the '80s.

John the Econ said...

My favorite labor story:

When we were teenagers, my sister got a seasonal job at a local drugstore chain. The chain was unionized, but the contract accommodated the hiring of short-term workers during the holiday season.

After the holidays passed, my sister's bosses were impressed with her performance and work ethic, and wished to hire her on permanently. But to continue, she'd have to join the union.

So one afternoon the union representative came by our home to meet my sister and with the paperwork to join the union. She "educated" my sister as to the purpose and benefits of being in the union. She'd have to pay an "initiation" fee (cash, up front) plus would have a percentage of her wages deducted with each paycheck.

As the union rep explained this, I sat nearby with a calculator. I quickly figured out that after the deduction of union fees and the amortization of the "initiation fee" over the period of time my sister would likely be working at this store, she would actually be making less than minimum wage!

When I pointed this out to the union rep, she responded that this would not be "forever", but would guarantee her far better wages far in the future, if she were to stay at this particular job at this particular store. But since this was a part-time job and my sister would eventually be leaving for school and did not plan on working at this store as a career, she'd never be able to reap the benefits of her union. The rep didn't seem to care. My sister soon quit the job having learned a very good lesson about unions.