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The Epidemic of Officially Discouraged Workers


ByRobert McGarveyFollow|09/04/15 – 09:55 AM EDT

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Unemployment numbers out of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are a cause for celebration on both sides of the political aisle and that is, because the current rate reported today for the August Jobs Reportis 5.1%, a huge improvement over the 10% notched in October 2009. Just one problem: that number is so misleading it just about counts as a lie.

You have just quit looking for work because it’s pointless? Officially you do not count as unemployed. Ditto for if you’ve taken a part-time job, however wretched, just to put a few bucks in your pocket. You are not unemployed,

The real numbers may be twice as high. Maybe one in ten of us is unemployed or we have just plain given up on the idea of a fulltime job. The BLS acknowledges this in a different tally that it calls U-6.  By its count, 11.3% of us have given up on the dream of a good full-time job. Those workers, in BLS parlance, are “discouraged.” Some have given up looking for fulltime work. Others work part-time because that’s all they can get.

Some states do especially poorly. In West Virginia 13% count as discouraged. In Arizona, 13.8% of the potential workforce is not even close to where it wants to be. Nevada is a stomach churning 15.2%, the nation’s biggest clump of dissatisfied workers and the discouraged unemployed.

Polling company Gallup, by the way, says the BLS discouraged workers numbers are low. It claims that 14.7% of us – that’s one in seven – is underemployed


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Muslim Mayor: ‘I Cannot Accept that Poverty Leads to Terrorism,’ ‘If You Do Not Like’ Western Values, ‘F*** Off,’ Leave!



Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Muslim mayor of Rotterdam,not everyone is a coward

Muslim Mayor: ‘I Cannot Accept that Poverty Leads to Terrorism,’ ‘If You Do Not Like’ Western Values, ‘F*** Off,’ Leave!

By Barbara Boland | 5 hours ago

“I cannot accept that poverty leads to terrorism,” Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Muslim mayor of Rotterdam, told CNN Wednesday, taking issue with the Obama administration’s claims. “I know how it is to live in poverty. I spent 15 years in Morocco on one meal a day, walking without shoes… I know how it is to be a product of poverty.”

The mayor made headlines in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks when he said on a Dutch television program:

“It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom. But if you do not like freedom, in Heaven’s name pack your bag and leave. There may be a place in the world where you can be yourself. Be honest with yourself and do not go and kill innocent journalists.

And if you do not like it here because humorists you do not like make a newspaper, may I then say you can f*** off.

This is stupid, this so incomprehensible. Vanish from the Netherlands if you cannot find your place here.”

He told Michael Holmes on CNN that what he’s received thousands of emails praising his courageous words.

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Obamacare penalty may come as shock at tax time



Obamacare penalty may come as shock at tax time

By Tom Howell Jr. – The Washington Times – Sunday, January 18, 2015

Those Americans who didn’t get health insurance last year could be in for a rude awakening when the IRS asks them to fork over their Obamacare penalty — and it could be a lot more than the $95 many of them may be expecting.

The Affordable Care Act requires those who didn’t have insurance last year and didn’t qualify for one of the exemptions to pay a tax penalty, which was widely cited as $95 the first year. But the $95 is actually a minimum, and middle- and upper-income families will actually end up paying 1 percent of their household income as their penalty.

Read more:

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A Beginner’s Guide to Austrian Economics


A Beginner’s Guide to Austrian Economics
by Jason Peirce

“Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.” – Ludwig von Mises

December 16, 2014—Of course, Mises above is addressing the need for “everyone” to understand basic, sound economics. This is why it’s heartening to see such renewed interest in the Austrian School since the 2008 financial crisis.

Here is a beginner’s guide in which we’ll briefly examine the basic principles and answer the basic questions about Austrian economics.

The “Austrian School” of economics grew out of the work of the late 19th and 20th century Vienna economists Carl Menger, Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises, and Friedrich Hayek (though of course Austrian School economists need not hail from Austria). Austrians focus strongly on the analysis of individual human action. This is known as praxeology, the study of the logical implications of the fact that individuals act with purpose, from which all economic theory can be deduced. Austrians also note the correlation between greater economic freedom and greater political and moral freedom. This in part explains why Austrian economics is the intellectual foundation for libertarianism. Austrians rightly attribute the repeated implosions of mainstream Keynesian economics to the latter’s focus on empirical observations, mathematical models, and statistical analysis.

It’s important to note that Austrians sound a minority voice in economics and are widely marginalized by mainstream Keynesian economists in academia and media. Consider why this may be. It’s certainly not due to unsound theory. Perhaps because of academic group-think, since tenure is largely denied for Austrians? Or maybe because there is a lack of financial incentive to be Austrian, because Austrians cannot be “Jonathan Gruber-ized” and bought and sold by government, bankers, and the moneyed lobbyists and powers-that-be? What do you think?

The Austrian contributions to economic thought are best-evidenced when comparing Austrian economics to mainstream Keynesian economics. Here are 3 examples of how Austrians differ from Keynesians:

Example 1: The Role of Savings, Capital, and Prices

Keynesians assert that consumer and government spending drive economic growth and that GDP determines the strength of the economy. Seeing savings as the enemy of growth, Keynesians advocate government deficit spending, monetary inflation, and artificially low interest rates to boost “aggregate demand.” Of course, inflation, spending, and debt destroy savings, capital, and prices.

“Keynes did not teach us how to perform the ‘miracle of turning a stone into bread’ but the not-at-all miraculous procedure of eating the seed corn.” – Mises

On the other hand, Austrians rightly see that savings and production drive economic growth and determine the strength of an economy. Also, Austrians recognize that prices act as signals in the economy, and that natural interest rates and prices determine the amount of savings and production in the economy.

“The essence of Keynesianism is its complete failure to conceive the role that saving and capital accumulation play in the improvement of economic conditions.” – Mises

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Landslide! Republicans capture Senate and prized governorships


Landslide! Republicans capture Senate and prized governorships

GOP holds House, poised for gains in governorships

Republicans held all of their seats and were projected to net the six necessary to take control of the Senate Tuesdaynight, with several more pickup opportunities still to come in undecided races in an election that proved to be a scorching rebuke of President Obama’s tenure.

Pickups in South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina earned Republicans the majority with a seat to spare, and they were already the favorite to win a runoff in Louisiana in December, which would give them 53 seats. Races in Virginia and Alaska were also still too tight to call, and each of those represented a potential GOP pickup.

Democrats including Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Udall of Colorado fell like dominoes as Republicans capitalized on a particularly strong set of candidates, including Arkansas’ Tom Cotton and Colorado’s Cory Gardner, who successfully convinced voters they would be better off with leaders not loyal to an unpopular president.

Voters, seething at an economy still struggling to recover six years after they hired Mr. Obama for that job, directed their anger at his allies in Congress and in the statehouses, though the election was not an affirmative mandate for Republicans either, according to exit polls.

Republicans also cleaned up in key governors’ races, earning re-election in Florida, Wisconsin and Kansas and stunning Democrats by winning governorships in Democratic strongholds Maryland and Massachusetts.

Conservative Joni Ernst won her battle in Iowa, becoming the state’s first female senator.

Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker won a hard fought election over Democratic challenger Mary Burke Tuesday, overcoming fierce opposition from unions and other liberal groups for his third victory in four years and cementing his position as a possible contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

But of the 36 governors’ races, probably the most painful for Obama was Illinois, where Republican Bruce Rauner ousted Democrat Pat Quinn in the president’s home state.

Compounding Democratic woes, projections showed the GOP could gain as many as 18 House seats, giving Republicans their largest majority since 1946.

Sources: Washington Times, AFP, Drudge Report

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Crisis of Confidence Poll: 63% Don’t Have Confidence in Obama to Make Right Decisions

President Obama Makes Statement On The Sequestration

Crisis of Confidence Poll: 63% Don’t Have Confidence in Obama to Make Right Decisions

A majority of Americans. 51 percent, also believe Obama is not a strong leader.

n the eve of President Obama’s State of the Union Address, a new poll from Washington Post-ABC News shows that fully 63 percent of Americans have either little no confidence Obama will make the right decisions. The public is evenly split on whether Obama is honest and trustworthy, with 49 percent of Americans answering in the affirmative, and 48 percent answering negatively.

A bare majority of Americans, 52 percent, feel Obama does not understand the problems of people like them – a shocking downward turn for Obama on an important likeability issue on which he dominated in 2012. A majority of Americans. 51 percent, also believe Obama is not a strong leader. His disapproval rating stands currently at 50 percent, with 41 percent disapproving strongly – only 23 percent support him strongly. 50 percent of Americans have an unfavorable impression of the president.