State of the Union Prequel

President Obama's State of the Union speech is tonight. He's expected to lay out a strategy for getting around Congress to implement some of his goals.

Obama will make clear in his 9 p.m. (0200 GMT Wednesday) address that he is willing to bypass U.S. lawmakers and go it alone in some areas by announcing a series of executive actions that do not require congressional approval.

..."What you'll hear in the speech tonight is very concrete, realistic proposals as it relates to wages, as it relates to education, as it relates to training, high-tech manufacturing, retirement security, those are the things that he's focused on," White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said on NBC's "Today Show."

He will mostly focus on economic issues and once again ask Congress to act on immigration reform, and of course, he'll plug ObamaCare. [More...]

According to a Wall St. Journal poll,

.... 68 percent of Americans say[] the country is either stagnant or worse off since Obama took office.

It doesn't sound like he intends to focus on any criminal justice issues.

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    The State of the Union is ... (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Peter G on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 12:08:31 PM EST
    in mourning for the loss of Pete Seeger.

    Turn, turn, turn (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 12:24:46 PM EST
    'Just watched the master singing with huge smile in his 90s. Tears for him come easily; and, as he knew, love and laughter then follow in its season.

    A fruitful happenstance, it seems, that the President will use his executive powers to raise minimum wage for federally employed workers to $10, and announce it in the State of the Union.  And, as we work to extend that human step for workers throughout this land that is ours, we should recall from what indefatigable Pete sang so often: "I'm sticking with the Union."


    Minimum wage (2.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 01:44:08 PM EST
    Only 1.7% of our workforce earns the Federal Minimum wage.

    Raising the minimum wage will do nothing to help inequality or improve the economy.   IMHO it will cause eventually fewer people to be employed because some low wage jobs will disappear in the long run and increase unemployment for the people we are supposed to be helping.   Mix in our propose ranch of handouts and we will see the bar continue to be lowered on what we expect in terms of an acceptable unemployment rate no matter how you measure it.

    Befor the invention of the minimum wage black unemployment was actually lower then white unemployment.   Thanks to FDR and LBJ that is no longer the case.   Great job guys.

    So will Obama make this pitch tonight?

    Of course he will because  Obama is not about solving actual problems he's about symbolism and talking points.


    Oh, brother. (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 02:10:34 PM EST
    What percentage of people are making more than $7.25/hour but less than $10/hour?  Because if the MW is raised to $10/hour, everyone below that is going to get a raise - and I'm pretty sure it's more than 1.7% of workers.

    The additional dollars that people earn with a pay raise get returned to the economy in the form of spending.  That creates demand, and demand creates jobs.

    Upward cycle, not downward.

    Here, take a look at this map, color coded to show what the states' minimum wage levels are compared to the federal rate - the same, higher than, lower than - and which have no minimum wage.


    Whatever the percentage (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 02:59:58 PM EST
    it is well-established that millions of people make only the minimum wage.  And, as for the coverage of this expected Presidential EO, the amount of real people to be covered will number in the hundreds of thousands.

     What confounds me, even after all these years, are characters like Slado purports to be ... an individual who almost flippantly disregards the real lives that will be positively effected by the astute maneuver of this upcoming Executive Order.  For the life of me, I cannot fathom how anyone can then ignore that this extra money each week will provide that much more food for family, that much more near-necessities for the many children involved, that much more $$$ into the economy to purchase the little things that so many of us take for granted.  People can learn such basic economic realities through different paths.  One of the harshest paths is the real path of having been there as a child (trans:  Anytime you want to talk about the reality of minimum wage in the household, I can accommodate that discussion, Slado ...even tho my Dad & sister & I only faced and lived it for a few years early on, that experience of the reality of anticipating "now we can make the rent easier" is an experience that is strongly imprinted and opens up empathy.)

    Thanks for your statement, Anne.  Well-said.  

    And, as for you, Slado, try to see the lives in front of you.  Leave the ideology for awhile; and, look around.


    He Must Be Part of That Group... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:32:53 PM EST
    ...who 'helps' McDonald workers with their budgets, you know, how much to tip the nanny and pool man, along with $20/mth for heating and insurance...

    But well put, who cares about the percentage, 1% is a lot of fricken food on the table where none exists today.

    For anyone understanding that this amount is most certainly going to keep some people from getting government aid should be enough for them, but then again, I think they just like have people they can talk S about all day long; the moocher class to kick around and the problem with America(not my words).


    I suppose the recent barrage of (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:34:14 PM EST
    conservative thought/ideology here has the effect of helping us hone our counter-arguments, but I have to say that it is getting quite aggravating to have to deal with people who believe the kinds of things we're reading from them.

    No amount of showing them that their ideas just don't work the way they always claim they will doesn't seem to budge them.

    It makes me think they've never tried to actually live on minimum wage, never had the experience of working hard, sometimes at multiple jobs, and have the additional stress of knowing they still weren't bringing in enough to pay the bills.  

    If they have, then I truly don't understand, unless it's a case of having to keep others down in order to feel bigger.

    They can call me a bleeding-heart all they want, but I refuse to be the kind of person who yammers on about the preciousness of life while taking food out of the mouths of children, and calling hard-working people "lazy" because the only way they can survive is to seek assistance from the government to supplement their minimum wages.


    What Is Odd To Me... (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:54:06 PM EST
    ...is there is a conservative microcosm right here in the US, it's called the deep south, where anyone of their policies have been enacted and can be witnessed in real time.

    That color map clearly states your point, states that have lower than Federal minimum wages are perfect examples of what happens when points that people like Slado make, actually happen.  

    They never match the ideological belief/charade.


    The boo hoo argument? (none / 0) (#31)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 09:38:39 PM EST
    Spare me.

    What about the people who can't get a job because there are none out there?

    What about the teenagers who don't earn valuable work skills because the government requires store owners or small employers to pay them more then they're worth?

    I care very much for my fellow human being and don't see charity through government mandate as the only way to show it.   This rich vs poor argument by the left is tired and by my observation failing the poor.

    Sometimes I wonder if the complete and utter destruction of the poor is the goal of the left because nothing has done as good a job of making their lives miserable as the policies they've been enacting for the last 50 years.

    I simply reject your high horse argument because it flies in the face of reality.   Poor people need opportunities, not more handouts and policies that hurt the majority, like the minimum wage.

    Agree to disagree but save the moral outrage.   I could be equally as outraged at the havoc the left has brought onto the poor with their misguided policies.


    Yes, that's what they were saying (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 10:42:39 PM EST
    in 1938, when the Fair Labor Standards Act set a minimum wage of 25 cents an hour.

    It's really very simple: if you don't want the government giving "handouts," then you should be in favor of raising the minimum wage.

    You can't have it both ways. You can't complain about handouts AND defend employers who use the minimum wage as an excuse for not paying their employees enough so they don't need the assistance.  Because that's why we have these laws in the first place - to protect the worker from employers' unfair labor practices.

    We can't all be CEOs, or middle managers, or doctors or lawyers; some of us have to be janitors and salespeople, and dishwashers and day care workers and fast food workers.  We expect everyone who has a job to do it well: we want the mall bathroom to be clean, we want the salesperson to be helpful, we want clean dishes in restaurants and the lines to move quickly at lunchtime.  We don't want to do these jobs ourselves, but we want the people who have them to do them as if they were making the same kind of money we are.

    It isn't "charity" for the government to provide the full-time minimum wage worker with help to feed her family or buy heating oil - it's humane.

    Which is the reason the right hasn't been able to sell its policies, try as they might.  You don't get it.  You say you do, but you really don't.  


    The hands off approach (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by MKS on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 11:54:32 PM EST
    let the Robber Barons run the show was rejected long ago.  And the Great Depression cemented the role of government in the economy.  The great strides the Middle Class in this country occurred with significant governmental assistance.  

    Bill Clinton's speech at the 2012 Democratic Convention really gave a good synopsis of the argument.  


    Ever hear of Costco? (none / 0) (#33)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 09:52:04 PM EST
    Crocodile tears (none / 0) (#34)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 10:10:36 PM EST
    I like the way Reason Magazine makes my argument.

    If we really cared about the poor we'd be trying to figure out how to make more jobs available for them.   Not on how to make sure there are fewer in the future.


    Yes, well, why don't you do that? Why (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 10:51:57 PM EST
    don't you show us all the plans and initiatives and proposals the right has to create jobs.  Come on, don't be shy - what does the Republican leadership propose that's ever been shown to, you know, work the way you keep saying it will?  

    Near as I can tell, the plan is - as it always seems to be - to find more ways for employers to keep more of the money the labor of their workers helps make - with the constant refrain that the more wealth they have, the more jobs they can create.  Except they don't, do they?  Because as much as they have, it's never enough for some of them.  Why hire more people when you can get the ones you have to work harder?

    I hate to tell you, but this crap you keep trying to peddle here is never going to sell.  Mainly because it's crap.


    I'm a results oriented guy Anne (none / 0) (#38)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 11:38:09 PM EST
    And the policies of LBJ and FDR before him have done nothing but hurt the poor in the long run.

    War on the Poor

    You can call it "crap" I call it reality.   When I was a Clinton voting college student my dad told me that in his mind LBJ single handily ruined black and white poor society I thought he was crazy.   20 years later I now realize that that "crap" he was saying was just simple common sense.

    The good intentions of LBJ ran up against the realities of social science and economics.   You simply can't make poverty go away through regulations and mandates.   In fact you just make it worse.

    All that being said on the specific issue of minimum wage we should just set the rate and pin it to inflation so at least it's a constant the market can work around.    We'll just have to accept that young black unemployment will be 40% or higher for now on because bleeding hearts like yours need to know that a few people will get a few more bucks in their pocket.   No matter what the cost is to everybody else in hype long run.   Better to have a few better paying jobs I guess then more lousy paying ones.

    As for your having it both ways statement I'm not sure what you mean.   I believe we should have a social safety net that is just enough to help families while they are between jobs or are completely disabled (like my brother) but with that we need economic growth and opportunity for the poor and right now the policies of the left in my view are keeping that from happening.   Regulations, work rules, and government interference mKe entry into the labor market too hard for the poor and they are forced into the growing welfare state.

    Does it not reflect on how poorly our government is helping the poor that so many are forced to choose assistance over work?  I don't believe for one minute that most would rather work but our incentives are so out of which that for far too many it's the only sensible option.

    I could go on but you need to do some more reading on this before you start throwing around the "crap" word with me.


    Typo (none / 0) (#39)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 11:40:40 PM EST
    I don't believe most "wouldn't" want to work.

    What is so compelling (none / 0) (#53)
    by christinep on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:25:15 AM EST
    is the observation made so recently by one very concerned with the travails and indignities suffered by the poorest among us.  Pope Francis has publicly challenged the stale trope used by those who resist change, employed by those who keep chanting that there must be a "trickle down" from accumulating $$$$ at the top and among society's moneyed elite.  This compassionate and learned man, Pope Francis, has bluntly asserted his broad-based experiential observation that--unfortunately--the accumulation of $$$$ at the top or water in the glass only gets fuller for those same moneyed individuals.  The Pope goes on to address the need for systemic change--in addition to the occasional charitable giving that occurs--in order to progress as people of good will.

    Slado: Economists can be found to support just about any position.  We all know that.  FWIW, I'll take the observations of Pope Francis about compassionate behavior any day.


    In a society such as ours, there is a place (none / 0) (#36)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 10:49:53 PM EST
    for morality and moral arguments ... whether you like it or not, Slado.

    Your background must indeed be fascinating.  Living while disdaining "moral outrage" is truly even more fascinating.


    And ya know . . . (none / 0) (#9)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:03:58 PM EST
    it might actually reduce the number of 'lazy workers' on food stamps and other government aid (WIC comes to mind).

    A certain percentage of America seems to be getting dumber by the hour. Sadly, it's not a small percentage.


    Aye, indeed (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:49:53 PM EST
    Pete Seeger was the soundtrack of my youth.  He will be missed.

    You don't have to be pro-Republican... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by unitron on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 08:16:31 PM EST
    ...or think that we'd have been better off electing McCain in '08, to be somewhat in agreement with that 68%.

    What ? (none / 0) (#3)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 12:47:38 PM EST
    "68 percent of Americans say the country is either stagnant or worse off since Obama took office"

    I am not fan of Obama, but come on, do they not have 401k's or any money invested in the stock market, do they not own homes, WTF ?

    After some serious digging, here is the question/answers:

    Compared to when Barack Obama became President--do you think that the country is (ROTATE) - better
    off, worse off - or in about the same place?
    Better off  31
    Worse off   39
    Same place  29
    Not sure     1

    That is simply insane to me, I guess the GWB disaster is all but forgotten and homes/investments being a faction of what they are today is simply not something a lot of people think about.  Never mind Iraq and Afghanistan either, maybe people really are fed up with the NSA BS.  I don't know, but those numbers are just hard to swallow.

    Upon further review, the answers to the same question on 08/10:
    Better off  31
    Worse off   40
    Same place  28
    Not sure     1

    And right before the election, 9/12:
    Better off  38
    Worse off   41
    Same place  21
    Not sure     0

    No comment other than the numbers are nearly identical to 2010.

    The stagnation int he numbers is really (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:14:59 PM EST

    I can see why people don't look at their 401k stock holdings as a reliable gauge of their well being. 401k investments can disappear in a heartbeat the next time the financial industry takes our holdings to the casino.


    More explanations for why (none / 0) (#22)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:23:54 PM EST
    Well... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:01:07 AM EST
    ...it's pretty hard to argue with people who think financial advisers are hokum, which covers at least 8 of the points made.  I will never understand why people think they don't need them, especially as they age.

    What is the answer, force people to contribute, not allow borrow or cash out their life savings, I mean seriously.

    I know you were not defending it, but that list is pretty weak tea.  401k's are very good so long as you have the most basic understanding of compounding interest and investing, and for the love of god, realize it's you future, not your present, and view it as untouchable.  That is until you are of the age where there are no penalties for withdrawals, aka retirement.

    Paying 10% penalty to cash it out to make car/house/credit card payments to me is silly.  Take the credit hit and know that no matter what life throws at you, no matter how low your credit score is, you will at the very least never be living social security check to SS check at 70.

    I don't feel any one of those points are valid, but that does make sense as to why people aren't happy with them.


    All your points are excellent Scott (none / 0) (#46)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:11:10 AM EST
    It is an easy out (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 02:24:36 PM EST
    Many people would like to just hand their money to someone and have it grow magically.  My grandfather always said that was the biggest sore 401k's possessed, this notion that you just hand someone your money and walk on and everything will be good.

    Well...he took office just as the (none / 0) (#6)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 01:46:03 PM EST
    economy imploded.  While there has been a "recovery," you have to look at who has actually recovered.  The people who lost their jobs?  Those who lost homes?  Older people whose retirement took a dive?  

    Maybe not so much.  Meanwhile, what do people read and hear about?  That those who were instrumental in bringing about economic collapse weren't punished.  That the new order if you're a bank or a Wall Street firm is just to budget for the fines.  

    They look at who things are being taken from, and don't understand why food and nutrition and heating assistance programs are being cut, but under Obama, the wealthy are paying less in taxes.  Less.

    They don't understand why, in the absence of anything resembling job creation for the millions who want to work, who need to work, Congress ended the extension to unemployment benefits - and isn't renewing it.  Because...the lazy unemployed need incentive to work, and maybe this will force them to get out there and put on that blue vest and happily greet people at the door of Wal-Mart.  As if you could pay the rent, or put food on the table and gas in the car - if you still have one - with the minimum wage and part-time hours you're competing with all the other jobless people for.

    They hear about Jamie Dimon getting a 74% pay raise - from $11 million to $20 million, no less - while their own wages have stagnated.  They're working harder, pedaling faster, and if they're not falling behind, they're getting so, so tired of not really moving ahead.  They want more - they have kids they want more for, and fear it won't be possible for them to even get to where their parents are now.

    They want to retire, but worry they can't afford to.  What will become of Social Security?  Will Medicare still exist?  

    That's why people think things are worse.


    Yeah, But Nearly 7 in 10... (none / 0) (#12)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:47:23 PM EST
    ...it's not that I don't understand everything listed Anne, it's just the numbers that stupefy me.

    Obama pulled us out of Iraq and got people back to where they were pre-GWB, and I know a lot of folks are hurting, but 68%, that is just a hard pill for me to swallow.

    It frightens me in that people want a change and if not a D, then an R, and that scares the hell out of me.  I don't feel like living Ground Hog Day, the 8 years version.

    Speaking of, Super Bowl Sunday is also Ground Hog Day.  I can't imagine the little bugger calling off winter early this year.


    Good ol' Punxsutawney Phil is (none / 0) (#15)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:54:29 PM EST
    probably frozen solid, is my guess.

    I can't imagine anyone thinking the Republicans have anything to offer, not when there's been a daily display of crazy - that shows no signs of stopping.

    Then I have to remember that - sorry to pick on Texas - people like Louie Gohmert won elections - people actually voted for them, and then I think, yeah, it could get worse.  A lot worse.  But it's getting to the level of "pick your poison," which is no way to run a country.

    I think people are just fed up, frustrated and have less hope now than they did 5 years ago.


    I Have Only Defended... (none / 0) (#20)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:20:04 PM EST
    ...one republican here, and that was Perry at first, because... never mind, it's not something I do anymore.  But he wasn't bad at that time, aka pre-presidential aspirations.

    I chose to live here and I will eat all the crow out there for Texas, so long as someone doesn't repeatedly suggest succession, cough, cough, Donald.  I was actually surprised to see Teas wasn't below the Fed on min wage.

    Above, that makes more sense to me, just fed up, I was reading it through partisan glasses I suppose.  I definitely fit into that slot, sick and tired of elected leaders, both kinds.


    Those numbers might indicate... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:31:44 PM EST
    ...that for a gigantic portion of the population, unpleasant reality has kept rolling along -- that is, they are people whose wages have been flat or falling for half a century or more, no matter who is in power, if they have any wages at all. (And while the current conversation about raising the minimum wage is nice, the increase proposed is, as we all know, pathetic.) For the average American worker, there is less work, lower wages, and a depressing future, no matter who's in power. FEven skilled laborers get screwed in this kleptocracy. Though I have to say, I'm pleased the Obama DOJ is on top of this anti-trust lawlessness, though I am dubious that the plaintiffs will see any real relief.



    Well, my wife and I... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:53:23 PM EST
    ...are priced out of the housing market for the rest of our lives. We sold high, waited for prices to genuinely become sane again, and for regular folks like us they NEVER did become sane again. Both of us are around 50, we'll never have a house as that good ol' American investment. And we are NOT remotely poor people. And we DON'T want to live in Hillsborough or Atherton or Palo Alto.

    So...we're screwed in that market, fo-evah, unless we hit the lottery or something.

    And for those less fortunate than us, that great mass of normal struggling Americans, that 40% of the population who have no assets at all, and no chance of acquiring any, giant, faceless financial funds are buying up homes by the thousands, securitizing future rent like sh*t mortgages were securitized in the last crash, and, on top of that exploitation, for a huge swath of the population, an increasing swath with each month, these faceless corps will become the new feudal landlords of the next generation.

    Phuck the roof, raise the floor!


    Not True... (none / 0) (#16)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:03:59 PM EST
    ...and I get the point you were making, but how many American would be priced of of the housing market if they lived in you zip code or even your state ?

    You could have a rather large house here in Houston for less than you pay for rent in California.  My last boiss did exactly that, granted his home was in San Fran, but he went big and was able to buy it outright because housing is dirt cheap here.

    You say that about corporations and property, but like you in your area, I am not seeing it here, corporations aren't buying up housing here, it's not profitable enough.

    And to be clear, I am not defending Obama in anyway, but it just makes me really sad that so many people feel like they are stagnant when a lot of people are doing OK.  Not great, not wealthy, or anything in that stratosphere, just schmos like us trying to make a living and from time to time using funds for things we enjoy, but for the most part paying bills and working.  But who were seriously knee capped by GWB and the economy.  That has to be more than 32% of people, doesn't it ?


    The answer is no (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:16:53 PM EST
    do they not have 401k's or any money invested in the stock market, do they not own homes, WTF ?

    We have fewer people working now than when Carter was President.


    Another dumb and foolish statement (none / 0) (#25)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:48:36 PM EST
    by someone with no grasp of simple math.

    So you deny the above?? (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:38:22 PM EST
    Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 06:24:39 AM EST
    Post a link to whatever wingnut website you got it from and I'll be more than happy to show you.

    Oh, ... what the heck.  It's only gonna take a few seconds to put this lie to bed:

    In 1980 and 1981, the size of the civilian labor force was a bit over 100 million. Today, even after a drop due to the most recent recession, it's more than 150 million -- a 50 percent increase.

    Amything else?


    Something he heard on al Rushira.. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:35:21 AM EST
    no doubt..

    Try this (none / 0) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:19:10 AM EST
    or this (none / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:35:52 AM EST
    Two broken links (none / 0) (#63)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:39:54 AM EST
    Your request was invalid for this Data Access Service. Please attempt other data requests. Thank you for using LABSTAT.

    Classic Jim.

    Not that it matters.  I guarantee you your links don't support your ridiculous claim:

    We have fewer people working now than when Carter was President.

    Here ya go, Jim (none / 0) (#64)
    by Yman on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 09:59:32 AM EST
    I like your attempt to cite BLS (a legitimate source, as opposed to Fox News or a wingnut blog), but BLS doesn't support your claim.

    Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National) - Total private in thousands - put a check in the box aside of "Total Private Employment - CES0500000001" and enter whatever time period you'd like

    Dec., 1979 - 74489
    Dec., 2013 - 112817 @ 50% increase

    You can choose any time period from Carter's term and any period from Obama's term.  There were never "fewer people working now than when Carter was President."


    Here try this (none / 0) (#65)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 01:36:38 PM EST

    And it will let you see any time frame you want.

    The end of 1977 - 62.7%. The end of 2013 62.8%


    And this (none / 0) (#66)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 01:45:28 PM EST
    CNSNews.com) - Although the number of people who had jobs in the United States increased by 143,000 from November to December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that still left 1,687,000 fewer Americans holding jobs than held jobs six years ago in December 2007--the month the last recession began.


    Aren't you proud??

    And this:

    In September, the labor force participation rate was 63.2 percent, but in October it dropped to 62.8 percent--the lowest it has been since February 1978, when Jimmy Carter was president.NSNews.com)  The percentage of American civilians 16 or older who have a job or are actively seeking one dropped to a 35-year low in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


    So you got me. I said people when I should have said per cent.

    But you couldn't correct me, you went into your usual rant whenever your Dear Leader is called out.



    "Dear Leader" - heh (none / 0) (#67)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 01:58:50 PM EST
    Hardly.  In case you've missed it, I've been plenty critical of Obama since he's taken office.

    That being said, that doesn't mean anyone should tolerate your false claims/lies.

    BTW - A (barely) lower labor force participation rate (particularly when stated as a percentage) is not remotely the same thing as what you claimed:

    We have fewer people working now than when Carter was President.

    Glad you were finally able to actually figure that out, rather than relying on an email or wingnut blog/commercial.


    BTW - Regarding your CNS link (none / 0) (#68)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 02:14:22 PM EST
    Speaking of winger websites, you gotta love you and CNS complaining that there were less people employed in December 2013 than in December 2013.  You (and they) conveniently omit the fact it was your "Dear Leader" who had just driven the economy off a cliff with the most massive recession and drop in employment since the Great Depression.

    When you salt the farmer's field as you sign over the deed, you're not really in a position to point the finger when there are fewer crops.  In this case, though, you can't even get the lie right.  You include the last 13 months of the Bush administration, blaming Obama for the 13 months before he even took office.  Gee, I wonder why someone would try to twist statistics that way.  Oh, wait, ... the reason is obvious - if you're at least semi-honest about it and start the numbers at the beginning of Obama's first term in January, 2009, you see literally see the cliff off which your "Dear Leader" drove us.

    Heck'uva job, Bushie!

    (If the link doesn't work, Google "Total Private Employment - CES0500000001" and plug in your fake timeframe - Dec. 2007 through Dec. 2013 - check the graph for your cliff.)



    Yman, the figures come from the (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:28:02 AM EST

    So your comments are nonsense.


    The figures DO ... (none / 0) (#72)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:57:29 PM EST
    ... come from the government.

    The misleading and lying comes from you (We have fewer people working now than when Carter was President.") and CNS (including the last 13 months of the Bush administration in Obama's figures).



    And in case you were around and (none / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:39:52 AM EST
    wrote this because you believe it:

    It was your "Dear Leader" who had just driven the economy off a cliff with the most massive recession and drop in employment since the Great Depression.

    Let's return to the days of Clinton and the expansion...

    Published: September 30, 1999

    In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

    And it isn't like people didn't know how bad this could be.

    In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

    ''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''


    A few years later Bush tried to take action.

    Published: September 11, 2003

    The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

    Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

    But the Democrats opposed it, claiming, of course, that the Repubs hated the poor and were racists.

    ''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

    Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.


    Way to go, Barney!


    The all powerful (none / 0) (#71)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:55:35 PM EST
    evil genius Barney Frank, who was able to single-handedly bend all those Senators, Congressman, and the office of the President to his will..

    On the face of it your lurid - or is it right wing talk radio and Fox's? - creative reinterpreting of how policy is enacted, flies in the face of how things actually work in the real world.

    Nice going, Hans Christian Anderson.


    So now ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 06:01:42 PM EST
    ... you're not only including Bush's unemployment numbers in Obama's term, but you're blaming the Bush recession of 2008 on Clinton?!?


    I'll give you one thing, ... you wingers may have trouble reading basic statistics and offering any evidence, but you sure do have active imaginations!


    Why not? (none / 0) (#74)
    by jondee on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:49:58 AM EST
    he's basically been blaming Clinton for 9/11..

    It's these types of silly lies ... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 06:47:18 PM EST
    ... that make people disregard virtually anything you say.

    Falling wages and increasing housing prices... (none / 0) (#30)
    by redwolf on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 09:36:00 PM EST
    Doesn't help someone like me.  It only helps the existing well off or those with very secure jobs.  It screws the rest of the country.

    You talking to me? (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 01:25:51 PM EST
    do they not have 401k's or any money invested in the stock market, do they not own homes, WTF ?

    All kidding aside...I hear ya, no Obama fan either but c'mon...our stagnance and worse-offedness is 30-40 years in the making, much bigger than one president and certainly not a trend that started in 20-f*ckin'-10.  

    Credit where due, he's done some work to at least slow it and lessen the sting of this trend....but not nearly enough, and for which Congress shares much if not most of the blame....and of course, we the people being our own worst enemies in a lot of ways.

    Assuming the pending farm bill makes (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 06:49:04 AM EST
    it the Pres. Obana's desk, will he sign it?  Shuffles subsidies to "farmers", slashes food stamps.

    Of course he'll sign it. (none / 0) (#54)
    by sj on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:43:55 AM EST
    Banana Republic here we come (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:13:38 PM EST
    Obama will make clear in his 9 p.m. (0200 GMT Wednesday) address that he is willing to bypass U.S. lawmakers and go it alone in some areas by announcing a series of executive actions that do not require congressional approval.

    And exactly what will they be??

    I Bet My Entire Life Savings... (none / 0) (#21)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:22:43 PM EST
    ...it won't be about invading a cvountry that never attached the US, you know, in the spirit of banana republics and all.

    Libya and Syria anyone? (none / 0) (#32)
    by redwolf on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 09:39:22 PM EST
    Still waiting on congressional approval for the Libyan war and the funding of the rebel forces in Syria.  Training, funding, and supporting a rebel army is an act of war and does require congressional approval.  

    And Yes, Yes, Reagan did it.  We all know that.


    Exact Same Thing... (none / 0) (#45)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:08:19 AM EST
    ...how could have I missed the false equivalency.  

    At least you could have said GWB had Congressional approval, to which I would say the approval was based on manufactured evidence.

    You know, real banana republic stuff, not right wing 'change the meaning of words' to make the false equivalency banana republic stuff.


    GOP Responses... (none / 0) (#23)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:31:14 PM EST
    4 of them....

    Will they be as awkward as Rubio, as career-limiting as Jindal, or just the usual lie-a-thon?

    I may start drinking early.

    Whenever I hear Right Wingers, (none / 0) (#27)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 06:24:07 PM EST
    like Slado, saying the dumbest things, while congratulating themselves on being, oh, so very wise, I'm reminded of a story one of my great, rags-to-riches bosses once told me AKA The Republican Economic Plan:

    An Indian Chief, fearing starvation for his tribe due to the White Man's indiscriminate killing of wildlife, sends his best warrior out to try and find a source of food. Upon the warrior's return the chief anxiously asks him....

    Chief:   "So, how did you make out?"

    Warrior:  "Well, I have some good news, and some bad news."

    Chief:  "Give me the bad news first."

    Warrior:  "There's nothing to eat out there but Buffalo dung."

    Chief:  "And, the good news?"

    Warrior:  "There's lots and lots of Buffalo dung."

    I'm not a right winger. (none / 0) (#40)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 11:46:30 PM EST
    And what I'm saying is not dumb.

    It is a well thought out policy disagreement.

    Personal attacks and snarky jokes just make you uninteresting to debate against.

    I've posted lots of links to back up my argument.   You've chosen to tell a funny joke.

    Interesting.   I enjoy the back and forth even when it's just name calling from people who choose not to open their minds to other ideas.


    I Can't Stop Laughing... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:15:41 AM EST
    ... "I'm not a right winger" is right up there with "I am not a crook".

    You have your days, and I don't think you are dumb, but please don't tell me you aren't a right winger when every single argument you make is right-wing rhetoric.

    I have asked before, name 3 things that you disagree with republicans about.  I can 20 about the D's without even thinking about it, and they are more or less my party.  Surely you can do it with a group you aren't apart of.


    FWIW, (none / 0) (#55)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    I specifically refrained from calling Slado, or, anyone else for that matter, "dumb."

    The dumb things he says, well, that's another matter.

    As far as "debating", been there, done that. At least I tried. However, I don't listen to A.M. radio, and, I don't need it repeated back to me, verbatim, in what Slado refers to as "debating."


    Minimum wage facts (none / 0) (#43)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:20:36 AM EST

    It'd be nice if we all understood the realities of the minimum wage before we start squabbling about it.

    This is really a completely political fight divorced from economic reality.   Yeah a few people obviously would like a few extra bucks but on the whole it's just bad policy for the majority.

    Sounds kind of like Obamacare.

    Yes, it would be nice (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:26:53 AM EST
    If everyone understood the realities of a minimum wage and how it would affect the economy, instead of just spouting right wing talking points from The Federalist.

    For example (this took into account a raise in the federal minimum wage for ALL worker, not just federal contractors):

    Nationally, over a quarter (27.9 percent) of those who would be affected by increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 are parents, while over a third (35.8 percent) are married (according to an analysis of Current Population Survey Outgoing Rotation Group microdata). Moreover, of the 75 million children in the United States, more than one-fifth (20.9 percent) have a parent who would benefit from the proposed federal minimum-wage increase.


    The immediate benefits of a minimum-wage increase are in the boosted earnings of the lowest-paid workers, but its positive effects would far exceed this extra income. Recent research reveals that, despite skeptics' claims, raising the minimum wage does not cause job loss.6 In fact, throughout the nation, a minimum-wage increase under current labor market conditions would create jobs. Like unemployment insurance benefits or tax breaks for low- and middle-income workers, raising the minimum wage puts more money in the pockets of working families when they need it most, thereby augmenting their spending power. Economists generally recognize that low-wage workers are more likely than any other income group to spend any extra earnings immediately on previously unaffordable basic needs or services.


    Using these same standard fiscal multipliers to analyze the jobs impact of an increase in compensation of low-wage workers and decrease in corporate profits that result from a minimum-wage increase, we find that increasing the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by July 1, 2015, would result in a net increase in economic activity of approximately $32.6 billion over the phase-in period, and over that period would generate approximately 140,000 new jobs (see Appendix for methodological details).10 In fact, the hike in the federal minimum wage would create jobs in every state, as seen in Appendix Table 1. (Detailed state-level breakdowns of the demographics of workers who would be affected by the increase--and the degree to which the wages of various types of workers would rise--are available here.) Though the resulting employment impact is modest in the context of the millions of workers currently unemployed nationwide, creating tens of thousands of jobs would be a step in the right direction and would boost the economy.

    And then this:

    Even conservative economists suggest higher wages might help speed the recovery. American Enterprise Institute scholar Desmond Lachman, a former managing director at Salomon Smith Barney, told The New York Times, "Corporations are taking huge advantage of the slack in the labor market--they are in a very strong position and workers are in a very weak position. They are using that bargaining power to cut benefits and wages, and to shorten hours." According to Lachman, that strategy "very much jeopardizes our chances of experiencing a real recovery" (Powell 2011).

    Yep - it sure would be nice if people educated themselves with facts before going off and making comparisons to Obamacare.


    As to your "facts" about the (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:38:22 AM EST
    minimum wage, my reaction is, "so what?"  So what if x number of MW workers are under 25, or in food sales, or "only" working part time (and by the way, how do you account for those working more than one part-time job in order to cobble together full-time hours?), and so on - does this mean it's okay to pay them less than a living wage?  "Well, you just work at Burger King, so you don't deserve to make enough money to have a decent place to live and pay your basic bills."

    Don't you think a teenager who wants to go to college could save more for it if he or she was making more than the current minimum wage?  

    Apparently not.

    I guess, if you had your way, there would be no minimum wage, but hey - think of all those workhouses that would need to be built, the company stores where people could "spend" their meager checks and be in debt to their employer.  Yeah, that sounds just great.  And with no regulations standing in the way, just think about how quickly we could reduce the population!  The injuries, the deaths, the terminal illnesses from exposure to toxins and what not - what a plan!  Get rid of Obamacare and you can just shuttle all the sick to some sort of Final Destination colony.

    Maybe your slogan could be, "Hey, the Dark Ages Weren't That Bad!"


    Guaranteed (none / 0) (#52)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:22:37 AM EST
    they have a "Fact" list all prepared explaining why environmental and workplace safety regulations never work, how child labor helps families, how labor unions have destroyed the economy, and why fraud and inside-trading on Wall St is nothing to be concerned about.

    Slado, I'm sure, will be happy to give you some links if you ask him.  


    The Federalist ? (none / 0) (#48)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:20:25 AM EST
    How could anyone think you are right wing, it's a complete mystery isn't it.

    State of the Union NY Congressman Threatens... (none / 0) (#50)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:37:37 AM EST
    ...to Throw Reporter Off Balcony.

    Keeping it classy, Rep. Michael Grimm (R--N.Y.):

    "Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this f---g balcony."
    "No, no, you're not man enough, you're not man enough. I'll break you in half. Like a boy."

    The exchange between the Republican Congressman from Staten Island and New York 1 reporter Michael Scotto took place on the Capitol balcony following the President's State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Scotto attempted to ask the lawmaker about an ongoing investigation into his campaign finances when Grimm stopped him: "I'm not talking about anything that's off-topic, this is only about the president," he said, before walking away from the camera.


    He's reppin' the right district... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 03:46:14 PM EST
    that's for sure...very Staten Island-esque response to a legitimate question.