Bakers Union Costs 300 St. Louisans Their Jobs **UPDATE**

**UPDATE** Union Declares Victory As Hostess Goes Out of Business.  No more Ho Hos. ** Unions destroy themselves like pathetic drunks, dragging down everyone around them.

Out Of Work

In a fine example of anti-strategic thinking and un-game theory, the Bakers Union put 637 of its members out of work yesterday.

Hostess—makers of Twinkies—is bankrupt. Part of the bankruptcy involved rewriting union contracts to allow the company to stay in business.

Instead of taking one for the team and helping their company crawl out of its fiscal hole, the Bakers went on strike. Here’s one of the geniuses in his own words:

We're fighting for our pensions, we're fighting for health care, we're fighting for our wages, we're fighting for our way of life, (Source: Philly.com)

So sayeth Barry Fields, president and business manager of Local 6.

So your “way of life” is unemployment? 

The strike forced Hostess to shut down bakeries in St. Louis, Seattle, and Cincinnati, adding 365 St. Louis bakers to the burgeoning unemployment rosters.

I’ll bet Barry the union business manger isn’t losing his job, is he? He gets to go into work tomorrow and collect his paycheck like every other day—a paycheck funded by the very men and women the union bosses just dumped in the street.

Teamsters accepted Hostess’s renegotiated contract. The Teamsters apparently want their jobs. I guess the Bakers would rather live off the fat of their neighbors.

The corrupt union bosses now are screaming foul, of course. They say it’s not their fault that 637 of their rank and file are unemployed.

Horseshit!

Look at union membership in the the United States in the past 30 years.  It’s fallen in half!  From 23% in 1980 to 12.4% today. The union is disappearing, union wages are falling.  Workers are leaving unions for the same reason that families leave drunks.

You know, these union bosses just re-elected Barack Obama. Maybe they figured Uncle Barry (the President, not the union business manager) will support their cast-offs now. Give them some of that cradle-to-grave government love Obama voters want.

The Hostess layoffs are just one of 14 US layoffs announced today—one week after Obama’s election to a second term. Here’s the whole list, complements of DailJobCuts.com:

That’s 3,901 people (at least) tossed out today alone.

Last week, Energizer of St. Louis announced 1,500 people are losing their jobs. It never ends.

Congratulation, unions. You’ve made America the place where unemployment is better than a good union job.

This Is Why You Are Underemployed

If you can’t find full-time work, blame Obamacare.

obamacare

One reason the Middle Class has shriveled and wages shrunk over the the past four years is underemployment. People want full time work, but settle for anything. And anything is usually part time.

Most of the fantastic new jobs created since the 2009 have been part-time jobs.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14.6% of Americans want a full-time job but settle for part-time. The problem is far worse in states like Illinois, at 16.3%. Meanwhile, Gallup shows underemployment at 16% nationally.

Obamacare Discourages Full-Time Jobs

The Wall Street Journal knows why people can’t find full-time work, and it’s Obamacare:

Some low-wage employers are moving toward hiring part-time workers instead of full-time ones to mitigate the health-care overhaul’s requirements that large companies provide health insurance for full-time workers or pay a fee.

This is typical of government intervention. Government central planning usually hurts the people it tries to help.

(Stick “Central Planning” into your vocabulary. It’s the reason the economy sucks.)

When a government program fails, the government has only one recourse: demand even more power and more control.

Here’s How To Fix Healthcare

If you want to promote health and discourage sickness, turn “the insured” into the “the market.”  Turn patients into healthcare consumers.  Let people make market decisions about their healthcare.

By exposing consumers to the real costs of healthcare, two things will happen:

  1. Healthcare decisions, including lifestyle, will improve.
  2. Healthcare costs will fall under market pressure.
  3. Quality of outcomes will increase, because poor performers and low-percentage treatments will exit the market.

Who Killed the American Job Machine

Maureen Dowd’s having trouble slathering make-up on her favorite pigs these days. Her President—the man for whom she surrendered all pretense of intelligence, wisdom, and self-control—is flailing. maureen_dowd_x200And Maureen Dowd is going all wobbly.  Wobbly on Obama. Wobbly on America.  Wobbly on life.  Here’s an exceprt:

On the razor’s edge of another recession; blocked at every turn by Republicans determined to slice him up at any cost; starting an unexpectedly daunting re-election bid; and puzzling over how to make a prime-time speech about infrastructure and payroll taxes soar, maybe President Obama is wishing that he had thrown the game.

Maureen Dowd makes a big mistake in blaming Obama alone for America’s jobless carnival of mayhem.  It’s not all his fault.

Let’s not make the same mistake made by Dowd and her friends.  Barack Obama did not wreck the American Job Machine.

His Democrat Party did.

Face it.  When the Democrats took overwhelming control of Congress in 2007, unemployment was 5.5 percent.  When John Boehner pried the Speaker’s gavel from Nancy Pelosi’s dry, cold claw, unemployment stood at 9.9 percent.  (Source)

That’s a 44.4% increase in the unemployment number.

For two years, Democrats controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House.  What did they do with that power?

They created a new entitlement.  Even after admitting that the existing spending programs were unsustainable, Democrats invented yet another new entitlement.

Sure, George W. Bush and the Tom Delay Republicans had their problems.  But they’re not around THIS TIME.

We are living under a 100 percent Democrat economy now. The GOP’s grasp on 1/2 of  1/3 of the government can’t undo 4 years of Democrat damage.

We have a Democrat in the White House and Democrats running the Senate.  It’s not the Republicans in the House preventing Obama from moving the economy forward; it’s the Democrats in the Senate and White House frightening natural risk-takers into keeping their job-creating money in their pockets.

I can see only one solution to the continuing unemployment nightmare facing people in America. That’s to finish the work started in 2010 by turning over the Senate and the White House.

Obama Makes It Worse

"It" could refer to anything. Anything at all. 
In this case, though, I'm referring to unemployment.  Well, maybe I'm referring to the economy overall.
Unemployment rate rises to 9.1%, 54K jobs added « Hot Air
Obama has increased regulation, seized entire industries (auto, student loans, commercial banking, medicine), and borrowed more money faster than all previous presidents combined. 
Obama is a one-dictator disaster.  And an incompetent one at that.
If you don't have a job, Obama made it worse.
If you have a job, Obama made it worse.
If you live in America, Obama made it worse.
Unless you're a communist college professor or union boss, Obama made it worse.

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Ideas Have Consequences—Even Stupid Ones

When Barack Obama became president in January 2009, he began a campaign to weaken America. I’m not talking about military cuts; I’m speaking of America’s stature.  Barack Obama famously refused to acknowledge American Exceptionalism in 2009. He bowed to kings and princes, then denied doing so, then bowed again and again. His White House has driven down the dollar. Timothy Geithner, Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury, warns that the world economy must “rebalance” with less reliance on America.

Barack Obama is short-selling America.

The results of a US President talking down his own country are stark.  America is losing prestige, and the office of our president loses prestige right along with the rest of us. 

Asian Embarrassment

In the last week, Barack Obama got a taste of the new, devalued USA.  In South Korea and Japan, Obama was no longer treated as first among equals, but us the kid at the far end of the table.  Having trashed America’s swagger and replaced it with a lilting prance, Obama learned that it’s not so fun to be a relatively young leader of relatively young nation whose prestige has taken a major blow.

From a Wall Street Journal editorial, we see just how far the USA has fallen under Obama’s presidency:

Has there ever been a major economic summit where a U.S. President and his Treasury Secretary were as thoroughly rebuffed as they were at this week's G-20 meeting in Seoul? We can't think of one. President Obama failed to achieve any of his main goals while getting pounded by other world leaders for failing U.S. policies and lagging growth.

For Obama, now, there is nowhere to turn.  American voters have rejected his domestic policy. His base has turned against his handling of Afghanistan. The world leaders, seeing him as weak, are planning world economic policy more or less over Obama’s head.

Stagflation

But there’s more. Obama’s economic policies promise to do two things: 1) perpetuate high unemployment and 2) increase inflation.  In fact, the Fed’s stated policy, which Obama defended twice in Asia last week, is to use Demand-Pull inflation to grow the US economy. 

We’ve seen this before.  In 1978 to 1982, America suffered a malaise brought about by bone-headed economic policies from a president who believed America had gotten too big for its breeches.  Jimmy Carter’s policies produced high unemployment, flat growth, and runaway inflation.  The term for this economic condition is “stagflation.”

True, Bernanke is a Bush appointee and the Fed is independent from the White House.  But Treasury Secretary Geithner and President Obama are full participants in an economic policy that threatens to revisit the disastrous years of 1978 through 1982.  Being unemployed, underemployed, or underpaid is bad enough. When the cost of necessary goods and services rise quickly, things get worse fast for the economically challenged.  And signs of stagflation are everywhere.

Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute wrote in a WSJ op-ed that several inflationary signals surfaced in October:

Producer prices rose at an annual rate of 5.5% in September and 4.8% in August. The broad price index for GDP rose at an annual rate of 2.3% in the third quarter, up from 1.9% in the second quarter and 1% in the first.

For ordinary folks trying to make ends meet, the prospect of inflation is frightening.  Already the weak dollar has driven up the price of gasoline and food—the two things we all need to survive.  The two things the government omits from its consumer price index.  In the past week, gasoline prices in the St. Louis area jumped $0.25 overnight. 

The Next Congress

There is little the 112th Congress can do to repair the economic damage, but it can lay the foundation for the next president and the 113th Congress. I encourage all members of the next Congress to follow Arthur Laffer’s prescription of extending the Bush tax cuts, repealing Obamacare, eliminating incentives for idleness, and push free trade. 

3 Signs of Economic Disaster

Each day, more economists jump onto the Double-Dip bandwagon. Signs abound that the natural economic recovery that would normally follow a deep recession won’t happen. Instead, the economy is now saddled with so much debt, so many regulations, and such onerous new taxes that the Obama Administration tells us to be happy with 9.5 percent unemployment.

great-depression

Barack Obama is an economic disaster of the first order.

So why all the pessimism? 

Well, every week it seems we’re hit with wave after wave of bad news. At the same time, Biden and Obama tour the country telling the unemployed they never had it so good.  Here’s today’s top stories on Drudge:

 drudge25AUG10

Here’s a link to one of the stories—on CNBC—that says we have left recession and entered . . . economic DEPRESSION.

And that brings us to this week’s triple-play of disastrous economic news.

First, existing home sales fell by 27 percent in July to the lowest levels in 15 years. At the same time, inventories climbed and interest rates fell.  That means prices will have drop dramatically before the housing market can recover.

Second, durable goods orders, excluding transportation, fell by 3.8 percent in July. Economists and analysts expected a 12 percent rise.  That means businesses have abandoned hope of recovery.

Third, existing home sales plummeted 12 percent in July to the lowest level on record. 

Why can’t the economy find solid footing?  Because America can no longer afford the government in Washington.  With government workers earning twice as much as people who actually produce value in the economy, wage earners can afford only two things:  subsistence and taxes. Truly, the government has erected a multitude of New Offices and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

Either we cut the cost of government or die.  That’s a stark choice.  But it’s the one we’ve been given.

Fed: Other Shoe About to Drop

The only two people in the world who believe the economy is healthy and vibrant are Barack Obama and Joe Biden. 

Train%20fire[1]

Now, the Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) is getting ready to announce that the economy is sicker than we thought.

Although Fed policymakers still believe the basic trajectory of the economy remains one of moderate expansion, there may be more attention given to heightened dangers of a sharp slowdown. “The FOMC will have to tone down its assessment of the economy in view of recent weak indicators on real growth, real consumption spending and employment,” said Brian Bethune and Nigel Gault, economists at Global Insight.

Last Friday, we got more bad news about the economy, particularly job growth.  The economy still is not adding enough new jobs to keep up with population growth. The 9.5 percent unemployment rate remains that low only because so many people have simply given up finding a job. 

Yet Barack Obama keeps telling audiences that we’re better off than we think we are.

The fact remains that the economy is getting weaker, not stronger.  Consumer confidence is falling, heading toward 12-month lows.  A swarm of bureaucrats and an avalanche of tax hikes are about to hit the country on January 1.  The Obama agenda includes measures intended to hurt businesses and the American consumer.

Obama is right to say that the economy is on track. What he’s not tell you is that the track he’s put it on is one that ends in tears for most Americans.

On November 2, most Americans will elect to switch trains.  A ticket to anywhere is better than Obama’s express to economic hell.

White House Unveils Unemployment Strategy

WASHINGTON, DC:  The White House unveiled a new strategy to lower the nation’s unemployment rate, currently standing at 10 percent. 

In his weekly radio address Saturday, the President announced that he will use remaining funds from the failed Stimulus bill to take advantage of little known variable in the unemployment rate factor:  “discouraged workers.”

Pointing out that “discouraged” workers are excluded from the unemployment calculation, the President explained that the government will encourage the unemployed to simply give up hopes for finding work. 

“Discouraged workers are those who’ve essentially given up trying to find a job,” the President explained from the Oval Office.  “These people are able-bodied and working age, but they have lost hope of finding a job.” 

“Discourage workers can do more to help our economic statistics than Green Jobs,” Obama explained.  “For every 100,000 unemployed workers who simply give up,” he said, “the unemployment rate drops about one-tenth of one percent.”

“In December, for example, over six hundred thousands patriotic Americans lost hope of ever finding a job. Without their sacrifice, our unemployment rate would stand at 10.4—the highest rate since the Great Depression.”

In the next two weeks, the Labor Department will send millions of brochures entitled “Yes You Can Give Up” to homeless shelters and those receiving unemployment benefits.

 

[satire]

I Am Skeptical

You should be, too.

The tally of continuing claims, or benefits drawn by workers for more than one week, fell 148,000 to 6,687,000, the first weekly decline since the week ended Jan. 3 and largest since Nov. 24, 2001. (wsj.com)

That would be good news, but only if a) it's true, and b) 148,000 more people found jobs than lost them last month.

Frankly, I think the government's lying to us.

Obama had been claiming he would add 600,000 new jobs by the end of the summer.  Conveniently, these numbers come out one week later.  Hmmm.

I'll wait to see if there's an adjustment down the road.  Obama is a statist, like Stalin and Mussolini.  I simply don't believe a word coming out of the White House.

Fed Report Hints At Depression--Markets Tank

The Federal Reserve Board's Open Market Committee released the minutes of its October 28-29 meeting, today, in which some members raise the specter of economic depression extending more than 4 consecutive quarters.  The report calls the present financial mess the worst in more than half a century, carefully avoiding direct references to the Great Depression.

Stocks Tank

Wall Street responded with 427 point (5.16 percent) collapse, with Citigroup leading financial stocks to a 10 percent crash.  Citigroup lost 25 percent of its value today.

Most economists consider a depression more than 1 year of negative GDP growth.  The last depression in the United States was the Great Depression of 1930 through 1942.  Only increased wartime production ended that economic chaos.

Fed Has Been Overly Optimistic

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) notes that in recent meetings, the Fed has underestimated the economy's weaknesses, which could mean unemployment, bankruptcies, and negative growth could get far worse than today's report suggests:

  • The Fed downgraded its previous expectations for GDP growth for 2008  after significantly over-estimating 2008 growth in its August meeting
  • The Fed downgraded its 2009 growth estimate from greater than 2 percent to -0.2 to 1 percent
  • The Fed raised it unemployment forecast to 6.5 percent, even though unemployment is already above 6.5.  In August, they predicted 5.5 to 5.7 percent unemployment

Blog Reactions

Allahpundit has a poll asking where the market will stand on 1/1/2009.  I picked 6,000-6,999.  I expect the DJIA to reach and hold 6,900 by Demember through mid-2010, trading in a range of +400 to -200 points. 

Gateway Pundit notes that this is the largest post-election sell-off in history.