Released on Tuesday, the Census Bureau’s annual report flashed a dismal economic outlook, showing that U.S. poverty has exceeded 46 million people — nearly 1 in 6 Americans — and the number without health insurance spiking from 49 million to almost 50 million. As unemployment continues to hover around 9 percent, many Americans are financially exhausted, as the overall poverty rate reached 15.1 percent, up from the 14.3 percent recorded the previous year. The number of Americans now below the poverty line is the highest number recorded since 1959, when the Census first started analyzing such data.
Bruce Meyer, a public policy professor at the University of Chicago, warns that poverty levels may further escalate, as the demand for food stamps rises and a "staggeringly high" number of Americans are becoming unemployed for more than 26 weeks. Professor Meyer notes that more than 6 million people are categorized as "long-term unemployed," and are more susceptible to falling into poverty.
Last year’s median household income was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decrease from 2009.
Growing dissatisfaction with the nation's economic woes appeared to trump fears of cuts to Social Security and Medicaid in special elections for U.S. House seats in New York and Nevada, as Republicans held on to a seat in a solidly Republican district in Nevada and trounced the Democrats in an overwhelmingly Democratic district in the Empire State.
Republican Bob Turner 70, a retired cable television executive, defeated better-known and better-funded New York Assemblyman David Weprin to become the first Republican elected to represent New York's 9th congressional district since 1920.
While Weprin, 55, had not conceded by early Wednesday morning, the Associated Press showed the unofficial count had Turner leading 54 to 46 percent with 84 percent of the precincts counted. The two men squared off in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Anthony Weiner, who resigned in June ....
Help protect free enterprise by supporting these measures to eliminate the powerful chokehold unions have over employers and employees via the NLRB that costs our nation jobs, hurts small businesses, and discounts and undermines right-to-work states.
Analysts are warning that serious chaos could ensue as a coalition of radical activists, leftist organizations, self-described “revolutionaries” and anti-capitalist agitators — some of whom are reportedly linked to the Obama administration — plots to “occupy" Wall Street starting on September 17. Under the banner of a “Day of Rage,” critics and supporters say the protests could be just the start of something much bigger — and the list of targeted cities in the U.S. and around the world is still growing.
The real goals of the effort remain murky. But despite the apparent socialist and collectivist bent of many participants, even some constitutionalists have expressed tepid sympathy after organizers released a statement blasting the American “kleptocracy” run by “banksters.”
“We must stop their influence, their motives, and their tricks, from continuing to destroy our democratic republic,” concluded a “tactical plan” released last week by one of the organizations affiliated with the movement. The group, known as US Day of Rage, also called for an end to the influence of money in politics.
As promised in his address to a joint session of Congress last week, President Barack Obama on Monday sent his proposed economic plan, the American Jobs Act, to Capitol Hill and urged legislators to “pass it immediately.” He maintained that the bill “could add a significant amount to our Gross Domestic Product, and could put people back to work all across the country” and that it would not “add a dime to the deficit.”
By erasing burdensome regulations, the oil industry could create one million jobs by 2018 and more than 1.4 million by 2030, according to an analysis released by the American Petroleum Institute (API). The report, prepared by Wood Mackenzie Research and Consulting and funded by API, also projects that oil production could grow by 10.4 million barrels a day and increase government revenue by $803 billion by 2030.
Lifting regulatory burdens and uncorking key regions of the United States to oil exploration and development would curb gas prices, ease U.S. dependence on hostile nations, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs every year, API noted. Abrogating terrain and coastal restrictions would mean granting access to regions that are currently "off-limits" to drilling, including oil-rich areas in Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, and the Atlanta and Pacific coasts.
With the United States’ official poverty rate now at a seventeen year high of 15.1 percent — and an actual poverty level that may be substantially higher — the absurdity of President Obama’s advocacy of so-called ‘green jobs’ is increasingly clear.
The continuing decline of the economies of the West, in general, and of the United States, in particular, is often measured in cold statistics; according to press reports, the skyrocketing poverty rate means that approximately 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty in 2011 — a jump of 2.6 million over the 2009 statistic. As the Washington Post reports:
The total number of people living in poverty — defined in 2010 as at or below an income of $22,314 for a family of four — is now at the highest level in the 52 years the statistic has been collected.
The continued rise in poverty was just the latest manifestation of a troubled economy that has left 14 million Americans out of work and caused unemployment to hover above 9 percent for 25 of the past 27 months.
While record numbers of Americans live in poverty and millions more are unemployed and underemployed, the utopian schemes of Obama and others to inaugurate a new, “green” economy is laid bare for as one more empty promise.
Too much of anything is just as much a misallocation of resources as it is too little, and that applies to higher education just as it applies to everything else.
A recent study from The Center for College Affordability and Productivity titled "From Wall Street to Wal-Mart," by Richard Vedder, Christopher Denhart, Matthew Denhart, Christopher Matgouranis and Jonathan Robe, explains that college education for many is a waste of time and money. More than one-third of currently working college graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree. An essay by Vedder that complements the CCAP study reports that there are "one-third of a million waiters and waitresses with college degrees." The study says Vedder — distinguished professor of economics at Ohio University, an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and director of CCAP — "was startled a year ago when the person he hired to cut down a tree had a master's degree in history, the fellow who fixed his furnace was a mathematics graduate, and, more recently, a TSA airport inspector (whose job it was to ensure that we took our shoes off while going through security) was a recent college graduate."
Some people are hoping that President Obama's plan will get the economy out of the doldrums and start providing jobs for the unemployed. Others are hoping that the Republicans' plan will do the trick.
Those who are truly optimistic hope that Democrats and Republicans will both put aside their partisanship and do what is best for the country.
Almost nobody seems to be hoping that the government will leave the economy alone to recover on its own. Indeed, almost nobody seems at all interested in looking at the hard facts about what happens when the government leaves the economy alone, compared to what happens when politicians intervene.
The grand myth that has been taught to whole generations is that the government is "forced" to intervene in the economy when there is a downturn that leaves millions of people suffering. The classic example is the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Those who are impressed by words seem to think that President Barack Obama made a great speech to Congress last week. But, when you look beyond the rhetoric, what did he say that was fundamentally different from what he has been saying and doing all along?
Are we to continue doing the same kinds of things that have failed again and again, just because Obama delivers clever words with style and energy?
Once we get past the glowing rhetoric, what is the president proposing? More spending! Only the words have changed — from "stimulus" to "jobs" and from "shovel-ready projects" to "jobs for construction workers."
If government spending were the answer, we would by now have a booming economy with plenty of jobs, after all the record trillions of dollars that have been poured down a bottomless pit. Are we to keep on doing the same things, just because those things have been repackaged in different words?