Here's what President Barack Obama said about our high rate of unemployment in an interview with NBC's Ann Curry: "The other thing that happened, though — and this goes to the point you were just making — is there are some structural issues with our economy, where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers," adding that "you see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don't go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate." The president's statements suggest that he sees labor-saving technological innovation as a contributor to today's high rate of unemployment. That's unmitigated nonsense. Let's see whether technological innovation causes unemployment.
In 1790, farmers were 90 percent, out of a population of nearly 3 million, of the U.S. labor force. By 1900, only about 41 percent of our labor force was employed in agriculture. By 2008, fewer than 3 percent of Americans were employed in agriculture. Through labor-saving technological advances and machinery, our farmers are the world's most productive. As a result, Americans are better off.
In her essay "For the New Intellectual," Ayn Rand warned that the United States would go bankrupt — financially and morally — if we allowed intellectuals and political leaders to define commercial pursuits as inferior to noncommercial pursuits, if we permitted the productive and the creators of wealth to be defined as looters, and if we refused to see the unrestricted growth of government power as a threat to freedom. To avoid national bankruptcy, Rand called for an intellectual defense of business and capitalism, a defense of productivity, success, individualism and wealth. She said we are fed instead a steady diet of "the whining injunctions that we must love everything, except virtue, and forgive everything, except greatness."
Said Austrian economist and social philosopher Ludwig von Mises, "Under capitalism, the common man enjoys amenities which in ages gone by were unknown and therefore inaccessible even to the richest people."
The latest poll by the Washington Post-ABC News, published last week, provided one more indication of President Obama’s increasing difficulties in generating support for his reelection campaign. When 1,001 people were asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?” almost half responded negatively, with one-third strongly disapproving, up from 24 percent just two months earlier.
And when they were asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy?” nearly six in 10 disapproved, with more than four in 10 strongly disapproving. When asked how he was handling the federal budget deficit, 60 percent disapproved, an increase of eight percentage points since January.
One of many creepy features of the Obama administration is the dearth of people in its ranks who have real-world commercial business experience. This might help account for the rise of real-estate mogul Donald Trump to become, briefly, the front-runner (according to polls of Republican voters in April) in the effort to unseat Obama. After using his high-profile presidential bid to secure a new two-year contract from NBC for his Celebrity Apprentice show (for which he will personally pocket, reportedly, $65 million per year), Trump announced that he was dropping the White House run to pursue his real passion: business. However, he has continued his regular appearances on Fox news, criticizing President Obama and threatening to run as an independent candidate, if the Republicans nominate a “loser.”
Many conservative-leaning Republicans, it appears, continue to be held in thrall to “The Donald.” Trump, after all, is a businessman, they reason, and surely we need someone like that in the White House, especially given the gross ignorance of business that is replete in the Obama administration.
The National Governors Association Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, July 15-17, was a smashing success — at least from the viewpoint of China's Communist Party officials and its state-controlled mega-corporations.
Claiming that presidential candidate Ron Paul leads the “economic suicide wing” of the Republican Party, Brent Budowsky, writing for The Hill, says that Paul is the “worst possible role model” for Republicans because he suggested that a default by the government “would be OK.” Budowsky calls Paul a “Banana Republican,” claiming that Paul is taking an extremist position, adding that keeping the debt ceiling in place and putting the government on a diet would “literally crash American and global markets … that would do grave damage to our nation.”
The extreme hard-line attitude of many Republicans [including Paul] has significantly raised the prospects for a national default and rating agency downgrades that would sweep across the nation and many states, causing an economic cataclysm and public outrage unlike anything ever seen in the history of the republic.
SEA ISLE, N.J. — I should be worrying about how the politicians are killing the nation financially, but that's on the back burner today because the 25th annual Red, White and Blueberry Festival is right up the road and they're estimating that 10,000 of us will show up and eat a million blueberries.
That works out to just 100 blueberries each -- a piece of cake. Or a nice stack of blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup and a side of blueberry sausages.
The party is in Hammonton, N.J., the "Blueberry Capital of the World." What lobsters are to Maine, what wings are to Buffalo, that's what blueberries are to Hammonton, home to sandy soil and dozens of blueberry farms.
The one unmistakable conclusion that can be drawn from Monday's dueling press statements on the debt limit battle is that President Barack Obama is losing the argument for endless deficit spending. But a second conclusion is equally important. House Speaker John Boehner, whom Obama accused of trying to sell out the fiscally responsible Tea Party faction of his Republican party, is losing as well.
President Obama bemoaned in his July 25 address to the nation that "a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a different approach — a cuts-only approach." That was a clear reference to the Tea Party movement. And because the U.S. Constitution allows the House to stop any legislation, Obama's only remaining strategy is to appeal to the American people. "So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message."
The big news, as far as the media are concerned, is the political game of debt-ceiling chicken that is being played by Democrats and Republicans in Washington. But, however much the media are focused on what is happening inside the Beltway, there is a whole country outside the Beltway — and the time is long overdue to start thinking about what is best for the rest of the country, not just for right now but for the long haul.
However the current debt-ceiling crisis turns out, the current economic turmoil in financial markets around the world should cause some serious thoughts about the long run, and about the whole idea of a national debt-ceiling.
Some people may have been shocked when the credit-rating firm Moody's recently suggested that the debt-ceiling law be repealed, in order to avoid fiscal crises which can throw world financial markets into turmoil that can injure countries around the world.
According to President Barack Obama, Franklin D. Roosevelt, long regarded as a free-spending President, was actually “fiscally conservative.” What’s more, said Obama, Roosevelt’s “austerity” hampered the economic recovery being wrought by the New Deal, leading to a downturn in 1937 — a warning to leaders who think now is the time to begin slashing federal spending.
Obama offered this analysis of FDR’s alleged fiscal conservatism during the course of a July 22 town hall meeting at the University of Maryland, reports CNSNews.com. Said the President: “FDR comes in, he tries all these things with the New Deal; but FDR, contrary to myth, was pretty fiscally conservative.”