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Archive for the ‘Jobs’ Category

Obama versus Romney’s Business Track Record

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 31, 2012

There is an old saying in marketing that goes like this: “if a product has a weakness, feature it.”  President Barack Obama embraces this axiom.

One of the President’s negative attacks against opponent Mitt Romney is the supposed issue relating to outsourcing act Bain Capital during Romney’s tenure there.  This is a red herring on two fronts.  First, Obama has been the outsourcer-in-chief.  Significant amounts of taxpayer dollars from his Stimulus Package went to overseas companies.  One example is Fisker Automotive, the Finnish electric cars producer.  In addition, the President’s chief adviser on jobs is Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, a company that has outsourced tens of thousands of American jobs.

In addition to his massive outsourcing, President Obama has blown billions of taxpayer funds on failed green energy company in a gross display of crony-capitalism.  The chart below forwarded by Lee is telling on this issue.

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Posted in Jobs, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

November’s Job’s Number is Worse than Expected

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 3, 2010

The U.S. Labor Department has just released November’s jobs report and it isn’t pretty.  The economy added just 39,000 jobs, not enough to keep up with the growth in those looking for jobs.  This has pushed the unemployment rate up from 9.6 to 9.8 percent.

The latest unemployment number is further proof that bailouts and the trillions spent by the goventment intervening in the economy is not working.  This recession was created over many years by the excessive use of debt, both in the public and private sectors of the economy.  The debt created artificial wealth that made the economy act larger than it should have been.  This debt spending ultimately robbed from the future, which is now.

There is no better example of the artificial wealth creation than the housing bubble spurred on by artificially low interest rates promoted by the Federal Reserve in the early part of this decade.  This, in conjunction with governmental legislation promoting home ownership, led to the unnatural run up in housing values that incentivized Americans to take out home equity loans.  The funds from these loans were used to purchase all sorts of goods making the economy grow far more than economic realities should have allowed.

When the housing bubble popped, the first result was that additional home equity money was removed from the economy causing contraction.  That led to increased unemployment, a drop in housing values and ultimately increased foreclosures.  These actions all led to decreasing demands for goods and services; i.e. the recession.  That has led to dropping tax revenues that has increased governmental debt.

While there were other contributors to the ongoing economic challenges, housing is a good example of the excessive debt problem.  The government has been attempting to resolve this debt problem by adding still more and huge debt to the governments’ balance sheet.  While it is inconceivable that problems created by excessive debt could be resolved by additional debt, fear of economic Armageddon promoted by the government led to this illogic conclusion.

With over two years of the recession in the rearview mirror, it is clear that the government’s massive efforts to fix the economy have failed.  It is unreasonable to expect that more of the same will work any better going forward.  A problem created by excessive debt requires that the debt be worked off in some fashion.  Early on in the recession economists referred to this as “deleveraging”.  Just as adding debt offers a partying on the way in, deleveraging is a painful process that governmental intervention cannot stop; it can only temporarily put it off.

During the late 1960’s Baby Boomers used popular music to express protestations against the Viet Nam War.  Like the current economic challenges, this war was fought by politicians using a strategy that was a proven failure.  As Edwin Starr sang in 1969 about that war we could also say about the failed strategy used to fight our current economic challenges:  But Lord, there’s just got to be a better way.  Starr’s video below offers nostalgia for those Baby Boomers who used to see a better way.

Posted in Debt, Jobs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OSHA New Dust Regulations to Kill More American Jobs

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 19, 2010

Once started, government agencies become self-perpetuating.  Such is the case with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA was created in 1970 during the Nixon Administration with the best of intent; to protect American workers’ health.  But like allgovernment agencies, OSHA is also motivated to grow and increase its power base.

One of OSHA’s new endeavors is to” protect workers from the potential hazards of combustible dust.  Posted below is the recap of this issue included on OSHA’s website that states; “Any combustible material (and some materials normally considered noncombustible) can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form.” Translation; this law covers nearly all manufactures and businesses.  Now that conveniently increases OSHA’s power!

Controlling the potential for dust explosions in a worksite is not a trivial task.  It requires expensive dust collection and containing systems be installed, a very clean environment, electronic spark controls and with OSHA, reams of red tape and paperwork.  This will cost American businesses billions.  Given the current economic challenges that companies face, many businesses cannot afford the additional costs and this will lead to increased unemployment.  But that is of little concern for OSHA.  Some other governmental agency will take care of the unemployed, creating yet more work for government employees.

Most manufacturers create safe working environments.  However, it is not possible to eliminate all risks and still produce products that consumers can afford.

Can dust explosions be dangerous?  Of course, however, in OSHA’s own words: “Such incidents have killed scores of employees and injured hundreds over the past few decades.” It sure doesn’t sound like the problem is worthy of OSHA’s broad actions.  …..  There they go again, sending more jobs to China.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration Website Statement:

“Any combustible material (and some materials normally considered noncombustible) can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form.  If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, it can become explosive.  The force from such an explosion can cause employee deaths, injuries, and destruction of entire buildings.  Such incidents have killed scores of employees and injured hundreds over the past few decades.

Materials that may form combustible dust include metals (such as aluminum and magnesium), wood, coal, plastics, biosolids, sugar, paper, soap, dried blood, and certain textiles.  In many accidents, employers and employees were unaware that a hazard even existed.

A combustible dust explosion hazard may exist in a variety of industries, including: food (e.g., candy, sugar, spice, starch, flour, feed), grain, tobacco, plastics, wood, paper, pulp, rubber, furniture, textiles, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, dyes, coal, metals (e.g., aluminum, chromium, iron, magnesium, and zinc), and fossil fuel power generation.”

Posted in Government Ineptness, Governmental Intervention, Jobs, OSHA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Obama Wishes for More Jobs

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 6, 2009

This past week President Obama made a plea to businesses to assist the Administration in creating jobs by hiring people.  The President stated:

While I believe that government has a critical role in creating the conditions for economic growth, ultimately true economic recovery is only going to come from the private sector. Well, this deserves a big duh ……  OK, why did the Stimulus Package that was rammed through the Congress so heavily focus on government spending at the expense of the private sector?

We don’t have enough public dollars to fill the hole of private dollars that was created as a consequence of the crisis. No, in fact most of the money the Government spent since President Obama took office was barrowed from the next generation.  How do we expect to pay them back?

“I’m not interested in taking a wait and see approach when it comes to creating jobs,” ……..  “I want to take any reasonable step to accelerate job creation. Hmmmmm …..  I thought the Stimulus Package would create jobs?  The President initially took a “ready, fire, aim” approach.  Now, the government has less ammunition left to attack the jobs issue.

The President’s words show a nativity in understanding the complex and dynamic economy.  Jobs are not created in the private sector at the whim of executives or the government.  Companies hire people when demand for their goods and services increase and they need to increase production.  The President’s team knows this.  However, now that their efforts failed in creating jobs, they look to the private sector for a bailout.  This search would have been more productive had it been used early in the Obama Presidency.

In addition to the Stimulus failing to create jobs, other Administration policies have worked against job creation.

  • Giving bailout money to failed companies like General Motors was done at the expense of solid businesses that could have hired more people had the funds been used to cut taxes.
  • Much of the Stimulus money went to fund politicized programs that will not create jobs in the near term.
  • Cap and Trade will cause more jobs to move from United States to countries that do not have the restrictive energy policies.
  • Health-care reform will not create jobs and in fact could lower total employment in the healthcare sector, 20% of the current economy.
  • The union “Card Check” law the Administration backs would further dampen hiring in the private sector.
  • Huge government deficits will further drain private-sector job creation.

It will take more than “wishing” for the private sector to begin hiring.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in economy, Jobs, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »