Posted tagged ‘unemployment’

Airport Security: Better Ideas

November 30, 2010

After all the outrage over TSA “security theater” these past few weeks and the success of National Opt-Out Day, we need to remember to promote possible solutions rather than just complaining.

With that in mind, here is an excerpt from a great article in Canada Free Press…

The path to safer air travel

It might surprise some people to learn that it takes travelers at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel less than 30 minutes on average to get from the parking lot, through screening and to the boarding area, all without the use of full body scanners or needless groping.  Their system of security is arguably the most effective in the world. They have not had a security breach since 2002 when a passenger mistakenly boarded a flight with a stowed handgun. Even then, that situation ended without incident.

I’ve heard and read all of the arguments that the Israeli security model could not be effectively implemented in the U.S. and Canada due to a wide range of factors, including area and demographics. Baloney. These contentions are merely excuses by people with little or no security experience who are afraid of being accused of bigotry and intolerance, or who stand to make fortunes through the sale and deployment of high tech x-ray devices.

Full article link.

I also say “baloney” to anyone who claims we can’t use the Israeli model here because we have so many more airports, so many more travelers. What? We can’t hire enough people to make up for the larger scale? In case it has escaped anyone, we have MILLIONS of UNEMPLOYED people right now who could use a job! A great many of those unemployed are over 35 and would probably be more than capable of doing the work.

In addition to hiring and training people in the Israeli model, many have asked why we aren’t using bomb-sniffing dogs. Indeed, why not? Apparently, the dogs have proven to be far more accurate and reliable than the billions of dollars spent on machines to do the same thing in Iraq as shown in this video:

Ideally, the whole thing would be left to private enterprise and the free market but let’s be honest. That isn’t going to happen anytime soon. So given the constraint that airport security will remain in FedGov hands for the foreseeable future, it should make one wonder – doesn’t the government want to create jobs? They keep saying they do but when a ripe opportunity to do so appears they look the other way.

It’s almost as if lining someone‘s pockets is more important than finding and using proven and effective security measures.

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White House Says 1 Million Jobs Saved or Created By Stimulus

September 10, 2009

o-lolAccording to the Associated Press,  the Ministry of Truth White House said today that the Obama administration’s recovery efforts have saved or created more than one million jobs so far. That should be great comfort to the more than 14 million people still unemployed.

The article also states (emphasis added):

The report is certain to draw criticism because the U.S. economy has actually lost about 2.5 million jobs since the stimulus was signed in February. Because the White House number is based on economic models, it’s impossible to say for certain what that number would have been without the stimulus.

Well, I guess so. It’s also impossible to say for certain what the number is WITH the stimulus, as the whole guesstimate is based on computer models rather than reality.

Updated Unemployment Rate

September 5, 2009

The latest report on the unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was released yesterday. If you’re into the “less bad” thing, then this report has some good news for you. Only 216,000 jobs were lost in August. The bad news all around, though, is that the official unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent – the highest rate in 26 years.

Calculated Risk puts it in perspective saying, “The economy has lost almost 5.83 million jobs over the last year, and 6.93 million jobs during the 20 consecutive months of job losses.”

 But worse than that, the Associated Press reported last week that more than 1.3 million people will exhaust their unemployment benefits by the end of the year. The same report puts the number of unemployed at 14.5 million.

And all of the above is based on the official BLS numbers which we all know are only a fraction of the true unemployment numbers. In the real world, where most of us live, the actual rate of unemployment is now around 21 percent.

Visit ShadowStats.com

Courtesy of ShadowStats.com

Not surprisingly, then, government tax collection isn’t going so well.

withholding

And government spending? Like there’s no tomorrow…

spending

None of it bodes well for the immediate future.

“By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes.”
William Shakespeare, Macbeth Act 4, scene1

Delinquencies Hit Record High

August 20, 2009

AP reports record high mortgage delinquencies:

With the recession throwing thousands of people out of work daily, more than 13 percent of American homeowners with a mortgage have fallen behind on their payments or are in foreclosure.

The record-high numbers published Thursday by the Mortgage Bankers Association are being driven by borrowers with traditional fixed-rate mortgages, rather than the shady subprime loans with adjustable rates that kicked off the mortgage crisis. As of June, more than 4 percent of all borrowers were in foreclosure while about 9 percent had missed at least one payment.

And the layoffs keep coming. Lockheed Martin Corp. said this week it’s handing out about 800 pink slips in its space systems division, and audio conferencing company Polycom Inc. said it will cut about 80 positions.

New jobless claims rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 576,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. While the recession, measured by the nation’s total economic output, is likely over, most economists expect layoffs and foreclosure to keep rising for many months as companies remain in cost-cutting mode.

“Their confidence has been shattered,” said Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist at IHS Global Insight. “They are going to be very conservative. They don’t want to be blind sided by a false dawn economy.”

Continue reading…

But the visual at ZeroHedge makes it all so painfully clear:

delinquent

But recovery is just around the corner. Can’t you see the green shoots and glimmers?

Reuters: U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly rise

August 20, 2009

Unexpectedly? I guess it might be unexpected if you aren’t completely connected to reality. Anyeay, here’s what Reuters reported:

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 576,000 in the week ended August 15 from 561,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast new claims slipping to 550,000 last week from a previously reported 558,000.

The number of people collecting long-term unemployment benefits edged up 2,000 to 6.24 million in the week ended August 8, the latest week for which the data is available. However, the four-week moving average declined 2,500 to 6.27 million.

Wonder how many of the 2,500 decline are people who have exhausted their benefits but are still unemployed. Considering that we’ve wiped out all the jobs created in the 21st century, you can’t help but wonder.

allJobs

HotAir’s Ed Morrissey sums it up nicely:

Obama has a big problem.  The stimulus package has utterly failed to prevent unemployment from getting above the target line of 8%.  After some initial optimism about the economy, employers are once again shedding jobs and reducing costs, particularly as they see Obama’s expansive — and expensive — legislative agenda work through Congress.  At the time when Obama says, “Trust me to run health care,” voters are realizing that he couldn’t get the economy right while mortgaging the Treasury.  Maybe Obama should focus on fixing what he’s already broken before breaking something else.

Read the rest…

The Stimulus Has Done It’s Job?

July 13, 2009

More detail after the end would have been nice, but the first 45 seconds tells the story.

Economic Report Card: Fail, Fail, Fail, Fail

June 5, 2009

Fail, Fail, Fail, Fail
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

How about a bit of reality? Not the ridiculous promises from Washington, the absurd talk of “green shoots” while unemployment soars and investment falls, the silly guarantees that GM has a bright future even as its stock price falls to less than the price of a Snickers bar, the nonsense about how if we spend more and inflate more, recovery will come tomorrow morning.

The war on recession is a flop. Fail, fail, fail.

The full-scale war on recession began in January 2008. Unemployment was climbing and house prices were falling, and George Bush, whose entire persona was the war mode since 2001, decided he wouldn’t tolerate declining economic conditions.

That’s when the Fed started pushing down interest rates to ridiculous lows and started gunning the money supply as much as possible. Bush put on his solemn/determined face and started talking to the American people about how he was going to destroy this recession monster in its crib.

Now, there are things politicians can do in the face of trends they don’t like. If kids aren’t learning to read, bureaucrats can cobble together carrots and sticks and gin up the scores a bit for a while. They can have their hirelings shoot consumers of illegal substances and bomb foreigners who don’t love America. They can pass out goodies to friends and take them away from enemies. From time to time, they can experience moderate success in these actions.

But the economy? Now, here is a force too big even for the biggest government in the history of the world, which is the U.S. government. That’s because economic trends are embedded in the structure of the material world and operate according to laws akin to gravity. They are social laws, if you will, features of the world that operate in all times and all places, and they are generated by the implacable fact of scarcity and the need for a system of production and allocation.

In other words, economic trends are finally beyond the control of the political class. This is the great lesson that economics has been teaching for some 700 years, generation after generation.

As Bastiat wrote, economic laws “act on the same principle whether we take the case of a numerous agglomeration of men or of only two individuals, or even of a single individual condemned by circumstances to live in a state of isolation.”

They are unavoidable features of the world, ones which the political class is forever attempting to override. The economy had been on a false foundation for some years, and the housing sector in particular had become wildly overbuilt and rested on bad debt. What can politicians do about this? Absolutely nothing. Economic foundations are built by private investment. Government has no resources of its own to build a foundation. It can only rob people of their property and thereby divert resources from where they belong to where they ought not to be.

When prices of houses started falling, we began to see only the most conspicuous sign of the rot underneath it all. But the political class blamed the symptom instead of the disease, and started trying to prop up prices, which is probably the stupidest thing these birds could ever attempt. It is utterly futile to attempt to change the direction of prices. It is about as successful as attempting to replace the water in one ocean with another or rearranging the order of the planets. It is beyond their capacity.

Bastiat said of the attempts of his time: “Modern reformers! when I see you desiring to replace this admirable natural order by an arrangement of your own invention, there are two things (although they are in reality one and the same) that confound me – namely, your want of faith in Providence, and your faith in yourselves – your ignorance, and your presumption.”

It’s not just that the attempt to undo economic law doesn’t work. It ends up mucking up the system even more, and prolonging the suffering. That is precisely what has happened. There can be no question that we would have been out of this recession by now had the politicians not intervened. But an election was coming and Bush tried to rig the system. Not only that, but after seven years of ridiculous marauding around like King of the Universe, he was flush with power and arrogance.

Bush attempted to reverse the economic river by waging a war on recession, about which I was writing back in March 2008: “All this nonsense about digging ourselves out of recession through government intervention began with the New Deal. But here is the amazing fact: not once has this strategy worked.”

By the fall and winter, it became clear that the War on Recession was not working and the economy was sinking further. Rather than give up, Bush pushed so hard that he managed to throw us all in the arms of a socialist who knows nothing about economics and has surrounded himself with big shots who affirm him in his ignorance – people like Paul Krugman, who are wedded to antique mythologies about the glories of government power.

And so we live through it again. We see the fools trying this and that with our lives and liberty, promising glorious results around the corner. Well, by now, we’ve been around the corner, the next one and the next one, and it gets worse with each turn. These people are driving us right into the abyss, and let’s be clear that this is not the fault of private investors or savers or foreigners or stock jobbers. It is the fault of the managers of this recession: the government, whoever is or has been in charge, and the Fed that operates on government authority.

They are strangling free enterprise just as surely as a mugger chokes his victim, and with it the capacity for the American worker and producer to do the hard work of restoring prosperity.

We are a generation that proudly shows off its accomplishments in all areas of science, and we preen about our love of facts and our detachment from mythology. Yet our culture is imbued with the most ridiculous faith in government to turn stones into bread, to accomplish miracles with a printing press before our very eyes. This is the age of folly.

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