Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Census

Welfare Recipients 3, Taxpayers 2

Say Goodnite America!

Say Goodnite America! (Photo credit: Templar1307)

 

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 21, 2014:

The Census Bureau, teaming up with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, confirmed what many have long suspected: the United States is a welfare state, and the recipients are gaining on the taxpayers. According to their just-released Current Population Survey, there are nearly 150 million people on the dole compared to fewer than 90 million being squeezed to make the payments. And the longer the game goes on, the worse the score will get.

After Terence Jeffrey, former editor at Human Events and now senior editor at CNSNews, dissected the pages-long survey, he lamented:

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Census Bureau Reports 62 Million more Takers than Payers

 

Attack of the Giant Leeches

The latest Current Population Survey, a joint venture between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau , showed 148 million “benefit takers” compared to the benefit providers – workers in the private sector – who number less than 90 million. According to Terence Jeffrey, the senior editor at CNSNews, that’s a ratio of 3:2 and it’s only going to get worse: “As more Baby Boomers retire and as ObamaCare comes fully online … the number of takers will inevitably expand. Eventually there will be too few carrying too many, and America will

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The Myth of the Disappearing Middle Class in America is Finally Put to Rest

This was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 15th, 2013:

 

Two favorite economists, Donald Boudreaux of George Mason University and Mark Perry of the University of Michigan, have contested and decried the dominant social theme that America’s middle class is disappearing. For instance, back in January their arguments reached the pages of the Wall Street Journal in which they stated flatly that

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Census Bureau Surprises in Its Final Report on the 2012 Presidential Election

The Census Bureau’s final report on the 2012 presidential election which was just published last week contained enough surprising information to draw delight from liberals and dire warnings from conservatives. Although the total voter participation rated declined only slightly between 2008 and 2012, from 63.6% to 61.8%, the voting rate by blacks

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Making Sense of Friday’s Jobs Report

Mitt Romney Steve Pearce event 068

Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued its latest jobs report on October 5 and confounded nearly everyone. The first part of the report, based on their survey of households, showed a surprising — even astonishing — rise of total employment in September approaching a million jobs (873,000, to be exact). But in the same breath the report noted that, based on their survey of businesses, only 114,000 new jobs were added, about in line with most economists’ expectations.

When taken together, the BLS said that the unemployment rate dropped by three-tenths of a percent, from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.

This delighted Obama supporters who were still reeling from the beating their candidate received in the debate October 3 from Mitt Romney, who repeatedly used poor economic data, including continuing high unemployment numbers, to attack their candidate’s credibility.

Rex Nutting, writing for the usually neutral MarketWatch blog, said that the jobs report is the one “Obama has been waiting for” while costing Romney

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More on Friday’s Jobs Report

unemployment

unemployment (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Much more! In fact, Mish’s analysis of that jobs report so far exceeded my own humble and inadequate attempt to do the same that it’s embarrassing. I’m glad he’s here to “bat cleanup.”

On the surface, this [report] is a solid showing, and 100% certain to boost the Obama campaign. I suggest these numbers will overshadow a horrendously weak performance by the president in the debate.

Yup. I agree. In fact some commentators have wondered about the timing, and the content, of the report. Some people continue to believe that the BLS – a government agency after all – is subject to political influence! That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Mish goes on:

That said, a closer look shows the entire drop in the unemployment rate can be attributed to a surprise rise of 582,000 in part-time workers. U-6 unemployment remained at 14.7%. (U-6 includes part-time workers who want a full-time job.)

Still, all things considered, this was the strongest report in four months.

Does it change my recession outlook?

No, it doesn’t. A one-month potential outlier based primarily on a rise in part-time employment, accompanied by other weak data does not change my perception.

After digging into the numbers, Mish notes:

Over the past several years people have dropped out of the labor force at an astounding, almost unbelievable rate, holding the unemployment rate artificially low. Some of this was due to major revisions last month on account of the 2010 census finally factored in. However, most of it is simply economic weakness…

Since the employment low in February 2010, nonfarm payrolls have expanded by about 4.7 million jobs. Of the 8.8 million jobs lost between January 2008 and February 2010, approximately 53% percent have been recovered (not accounting for normal demographics growth)…

In the last year, the civilian population rose by 3,701,000. Yet the labor force only rose by 1,059,000. Those not in the labor force rose by 2,643,000 to yet another record high 88,921,000.

In the last year, the civilian population rose by 3,701,000. Yet the labor force only rose by 1,059,000. Those not in the labor force rose by 2,643,000 to yet another record high 88,921,000.

That is an amazing “achievement” to say the least, and as noted above most of this is due to economic weakness not census changes.

Decline in Labor Force Factors:

  1. Discouraged workers stop looking for jobs
  2. People retire because they cannot find jobs
  3. People go back to school hoping it will improve their chances of getting a job
  4. People stay in school longer because they cannot find a job

Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 10%. (My emphasis)

His conclusion:

Given the complete distortions of reality with respect to not counting people who allegedly dropped out of the work force, it is easy to misrepresent the headline numbers.

Digging under the surface, the drop in the unemployment rate over the past two years is nothing but a statistical mirage. Things are much worse than the reported numbers indicate.

Census Bureau Ignores Slowing Energy and Transportation Sectors

fedex 3-holer

fedex 3-holer (Photo credit: pdx.rollingthunder)

The Associated Press got a sneak preview of the soon-to-be-released Census Bureau’s take on the economy, and were muted in their enthusiasm. On the surface, the numbers looked pretty good: Americans are moving again, more young people are moving away from home, and the precipitous decline in the birth rate is slowing.

Andrew Cherlin, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, was tentative: “We may be seeing the beginning of the American family’s recovery from the Great Recession,” while Richard Freeman, an economist at Harvard, said the data show only a “fragile recovery” from the longest recession since FDR.

The numbers supporting such strained enthusiasm were unimpressive. Just 12 percent of the nation’s population moved to a new home, up from 11.6 percent last year. Even among the most mobile cohort, young adults between 25 and 29, 24.6 percent of them moved to a new residence compared to 24.1 percent a year ago. Such improvements are scarcely statistically significant, but the commentators were trying to see the positives.

Mark Mather, an associate VP at the Population Reference Bureau, was hard-pressed to put a smiley face on 

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How Armed Citizens Thwart Thugs

Larry Elder: Yes, Guns Kill, But How Often Are They Used in Self-Defense?

Professor Emeritus James Q. Wilson, the UCLA public policy expert, says: “We know from Census Bureau surveys that something beyond 100,000 uses of guns for self-defense occur every year. We know from smaller surveys of a commercial nature that the number may be as high as 2 1/2 or 3 million. We don’t know what the right number is, but whatever the right number is, it’s not a trivial number.”

English: Larry Elder

Larry Elder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statistics don’t work for me unless they’re personalized. As Joseph Stalin once said: “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of a million is a statistic.”

So Elder, in his column, personalizes the statistics of armed citizens:

In Pearl, Miss., a gunman who killed two students and wounded seven at a high school was stopped by an assistant principal, who rushed to his car and got his gun. The assistant principal, running back with his .45, spotted the rifle-carrying shooter in the parking lot. Ordering the teen to stop, the vice principal held his gun to the shooter’s neck until police arrived.

And:

In Salt Lake City, a man purchased a knife in a grocery store, walked outside and stabbed and critically injured two men. He was threatening others, when a store patron with a concealed weapons permit drew his gun, forced the attacker to the ground and held him until police arrived.

And:

In Grundy, Va., a disgruntled student on the verge of his second suspension at Appalachian School of Law shot and killed the dean, a professor and a fellow student. Two students, both off-duty peace officers, ran to their cars, retrieved their guns and used them to halt the attack.

There, that personalizes it. That should offset some of the moaning and weeping emanating from the disaster in Aurora. Something should have happened to keep this monster from carrying out his mission. Just one, with a gun, could have ended the situation quietly, and the rest of the folks could just go back to watching the movie!

Privacy-Eliminating CISPA Awaits Fate in the Senate

Stop CISPA

Despite an increasingly noisy chorus of resistance to many of its provisions, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed the House, 248-168, on April 26. Passage in the House was assured with more than 70 percent of those supported by the Tea Party voting for it. It moved to an uncertain future in the Senate.

That opposition noted that the bill’s many flaws included precious little “protection” for rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, especially those guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

In the zeal to “protect” the country against “cybersecurity threats,” Internet providers and other communications companies would be allowed to share their customers’ private information with agencies of the federal government, and vice versa. As Techdirt’s Leigh Breadon explained,

[The] government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime.”

Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all.

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said virtually the same thing in his opposition to CISPA:

CISPA permits both the federal government and private companies to view your private online communications without judicial oversight [as required by the Fourth Amendment] provided that they do so of course in the name of cybersecurity.

The bill is another heavy-handed effort to expand government’s surveillance of private citizens’ communications without restraint. By using words such as “may” instead of “must” and “cybersecurity” without defining the term, the bill creates just the sort of opening through the Fourth Amendment that has, until now, largely

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Unemployment Up in February, Obama Reelection Chances Down

Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, left, and General ...

The U.S. unemployment rate jumped in February from 8.3 percent to 9.0 percent, according to Gallup. Gallup’s numbers are highly correlated to the same reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The differences between the two are very slight: Gallup calls people age 18 and up; the BLS calls people age 16 and up. Gallup polls 30,000 people every month; the BLS polls 60,000. Gallup makes those calls continuously throughout the month; the BLS calls during one week in the middle of the month. Gallup’s numbers aren’t seasonally adjusted; the BLS numbers are.

Gallup also reported that those “underemployed”—working part-time but wanting full-time work—also increased, to 19 percent compared to January’s mid-month report of 18.1 percent. Said Gallup:

Regardless of what the government reports [on Friday, March 2nd], Gallup’s unemployment and underemployment measures show a sharp deterioration in job market conditions since mid-January…[these numbers are] consistent with an economy that continues to struggle with modest growth, particularly as gas prices surge. Further, it suggests that it is premature to assume the condition of the economy will not remain a major issue for Americans both financially and politically in 2012.

With total employment hovering around 130 million since 1999, it is clear that as soon as someone is hired, someone else is laid off. But stepping back, America’s total population has grown from 272 million 12 years ago to over 313 million today, a gain of 41 million people. So employment as a percentage of population has been decreasing, dropping from 67 percent to just over

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Friday’s Unemployment Numbers: Correcting the Corrections

English: President Barack Obama discusses his ...

The news released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday appeared to be all good: The unemployment rate was down by 0.2 percent to 8.3 percent, the lowest since the month after President Obama was inaugurated. November and December estimates were revised upward. Most private industries showed growth, including 70,000 new business services jobs, 50,000 new manufacturing jobs, and a remarkable 21,000 new jobs in the construction industry. The labor force expanded by 500,000 which appeared to indicate that more people are coming back into the market looking for work. But the skeptics were legion: the Wall Street Journal, while accepting the numbers at face value, said, “Even with the recent gains, this is by far the worst jobs recovery since the Great Depression, and the U.S. still has about 5.5 million fewer jobs that it did before the recession began in December 2007.” Across town, the Washington Times said the numbers looked better than they should because of the number of young people dropping out and the paper even found an economist at the Federal Reserve to agree with it. Brian Holter, who works at the Minneapolis Fed, said: “However these factors stack up, the improvement in unemployment is largely the work of declining participation rates and, unfortunately, not job growth.” John Ransom, writing at Townhall.com, was blunt in his assessment of the BLS report: 

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Housing: Prices and Ownership Still Correcting

CoreLogic

Just when CoreLogic, the California-based mortgage data provider, began to wax optimistic about the housing market, the Census Bureau and the S&P/Case-Shiller index doused their enthusiasm with some cold facts and daunting data.

CoreLogic noted in its January report that single-family permits and starts rose at a 15-percent annual rate over the six months ending November 2011. In addition, existing home sales appeared to be trending higher as well, increasing by about 12 percent from January to November. The tone in their note to clients was guardedly optimistic:

While we cannot say with a high degree of certainty what 2012 has in store for us, indications based on the latter part of 2011 are that both the broad economy and the housing market are moving toward positive growth in 2012.

And then, on January 31, the Census Bureau released its fourth-quarter report on home ownership: the rate was 66 percent, extending the decline from the 69 percent reached in 2005, just before the housing bubble burst, and rivaling the rate last seen in 1997, 14 years ago. Economist Mark Perry developed a visually stunning graph for his blog and concluded: 

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The Story Behind the Best- and Worst-Run States

Seal of Wyoming

In its second annual survey of the best- and worst-run states, 24/7 Wall St. noted some significant changes but the same message: “States can do a great deal to control their fate.”

The report noted:

Well-run states have a great deal in common with well-run corporations. Books are kept balanced. Investment is prudent. Debt is sustainable. Innovation is prized. Workers are well-chosen and well-trained. Executives, including elected and appointed officials, are retained based on merit and not politics.

Based on data collected from numerous sources such as Standard & Poor’s, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Tax Foundation24/7 Wall St. then ranked each state on its performance in 10 categories. The study concluded that the best-run state was

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Unemployment 25% and Rising

A closer look at the Department of Labor’s employment report earlier this month reveals that the real unemployment number is different from the “headline” number. Restated, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) should have concluded that unemployment is at least 9.1 percent, and most certainly much higher.

If the BLS adds the 9.3 million who are “involuntarily” employed part time because their hours were cut back or because they couldn’t find a full-time job, that brings the total to

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New Study: Economy Stuck in Neutral

Stick

Image by simpologist via Flickr

On Monday morning Sentier Research announced the results of its new study showing changes in household income since the year 2000 and how those incomes have fared both during the recent recession and since the recovery that began in June, 2009. Not only did household income (which counts all incomes of all members of the household, including wages, Social Security payments, interest, dividends, welfare checks, retirement income, unemployment benefits, and veterans’ benefits, all adjusted for inflation) decline during the recession by 3.2 percent, it fell another 6.7 percent during the recovery.

The household income index (HHI)—created by two former Census Bureau analysts, Gordon Green and John Coder—has declined by almost 10 percent since the start of the recession, marking “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.” And the decline has been steady, month after month since January 2000, with only nine months out of the 138 months since then showing any improvement.

As noted by Robert Pear in the New York Times, this explains

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Still Waiting for the Recovery

The emblem of Recovery.gov, the official site ...

Image via Wikipedia

The economy has gained either 2.5 million jobs or 3.6 million jobs since the Recovery Act was signed into law in January, 2009, depending upon which statistical “model” is used, according to Christina Romer, Chair of the White House‘s Council of Economic Advisers. When compared to the report issued earlier this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, neither number is even close.

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Is the Census Bureau Double Counting Jobs? [VIDEO]

Seal of the United States Census Bureau. The b...

When John Crudele quoted numerous Census Bureau workers about being hired, fired, and then rehired repeatedly, he called them “horror stories.” James O’Keefe, notorious and fearless investigative reporter, calls it part of a trend: “These days, Americans know that people in backrooms are taking advantage of their power. And they’re fed up with it.”

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Jobs? What Jobs?

Henry Hazlitt

Image via Wikipedia

When CNBC announced that the number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week while private employers added new jobs in May, this was “further evidence [that] the labor market was improving.” In more muted fashion, the Associated Press called it a “slow-motion recovery,” but a recovery nevertheless.

This was in line with Vice President Joe Biden’s prediction back in April that the economy would be adding between 250,000 and 500,000 jobs “in the next couple of months.” Similar sentiments were echoed by President Obama on Wednesday in a speech at Carnegie Mellon University:

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Biden Predicts Job Growth—but Where’s the Evidence?

Vice President Joe Biden takes the oath of off...

Image via Wikipedia

Vice President Joe Biden predicted job growth of 250,000 to 500,000 jobs a month in the next two months, according to CNBC on Monday. Biden was speaking at a political fundraiser in Pittsburgh, where he said, “We caught a lot of bad breaks on the way down. We’re going to catch a few good breaks because of good planning on the way up…All in all, we’re going to be creating somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs next month.”  Even though some have cautioned Biden about his excessive and premature enthusiasm, Biden continued:  “I’m here to tell you some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”

However, the evidence and logic backing up Biden’s prediction are clearly lacking.

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Reports of ACORN’s Death Greatly Exaggerated

ACORN

Image by Truthout.org via Flickr

Following the announcement on Sunday that the ACORN Association Board had “approved a set of steps to responsibly manage the process of bringing its operations to a close over the coming months,” spokesman Kevin Whelan tried to explain it away by saying, “It’s really declining revenue in the face of a series of attacks by partisan operatives and right-wing activists that have taken away our ability to raise the resources we need.”

Bertha Lewis, ACORN CEO, expanded on why ACORN was closing its doors: “ACORN has faced a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded right wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era. The videos were a manufactured, sensational story that led to rush to judgment and an unconstitutional act by Congress.”

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.

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