Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment

Here's something that many Americans -- including some of the smartest and most educated among us -- don't know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.
Right now, we're hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is "down" to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.
None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job -- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks -- the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed. That's right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news -- currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren't throwing parties to toast "falling" unemployment.
There's another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you're an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 -- maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn -- you're not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
Yet another figure of importance that doesn't get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find -- in other words, you are severely underemployed -- the government doesn't count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
There's no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.
And it's a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual's primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity -- it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen's talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.
Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America's middle class.
I hear all the time that "unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren't feeling it." When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth -- the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real --then we will quit wondering why Americans aren't "feeling" something that doesn't remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.
Jim Clifton is Chairman and CEO at Gallup.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015



The highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, says the Obama administration sounds as if it’s getting talking points from Iran about its negotiations with the so-called Islamic republic.
“I have to be honest with you, the more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran,” Menendez charged at a Wednesday hearing.
“And it feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization when they are the ones with original sin,” he continued. “An illicit nuclear weapons program going back of the course of 20 years that they are unwilling to come clean on,”
Menendez directed his comments to Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken.
“They get to cheat in a series of ways and we get to worry about their perceptions” about sanctions, Menendez said going on to read a quote from Blinkin indicating that is an administration concern.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, Obama said he would veto any new sanctions on Iran.

Welcome to 2015

Hello All

Much has happened in many months passed. Its nice to see many of you still using the site to chat about both national and local events.

I'll work to add some content when able occasionally - and look forward to speaking with all of you here.

Just saw the State of the Union last night - and boy - are we in trouble!



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What is going on with the Haverhill Property Tax Rate?

I'm reviewing my property tax bills and wondering what is going on.

It seems to me we have somehow eclipsed the 2.5% rate most recently and I can't figure how.

Haverhill is becoming more and more expensive to live in - while I still see lousy service from city hall - it's disturbing.

Pretty bad when I don't even feel safe sending my children to Haverhill schools and pay for private schooling as well - is anyone else seeing this with the tax rates? I know Duncan usually has some good information on this some maybe he and some other can weigh in as well.

What is the state of our city?  I'm thinking it's currently pretty bad.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Who are the real 'welfare' queens?

So I'm reviewing the majority leaders calendar today.....112 'working' days total in 2014. How much is that per day they make plus perks?

Regardless of party.....(only a fool strictly focuses on that now)......this is TRUE welfare...paid for by you and I while some of us struggle to get a day off only once in awhile.

Your tax dollars at rest.....(sorry if the formatting is off)


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year and some laughs from 2013!

Happy New Year to all here - I sincerely hope you all stay healthy, happy, and safe!

To end the year - I thought I would post just a few laughs here (we all need them).

I look forward to conversing with you all in 2014!!!! - COB


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All - and Happy New Year as well

Good evening everyone - 

I just wanted to wish all of you here a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I hope you are all as blessed as I feel I am - although this year has had its difficulties, I was always brought up to understand that there are many who would love to take our place any day of the week on our worst day.

I am also a Christian - and the faith I was taught by my Grandparents stays with me to this day.

May God bless you all and hold you in his heart - and may all of you also feel some kindness in your heart toward your fellow man this time of year - and always.

Merry Christmas my friends - we'll be all talking again soon.

 - COB