Tuesday, October 02, 2012

2 stunning charts

Via Ace of Spades, the labor force participation rate (a much more relevant indicator of the job market than the unemployment rate, which doesn't count workers who have given up searching for a job) over the past 10 years:

I checked BLS data (source of the above) for the past 20 years to see if this was anomalous, and it doesn't appear so:

The only caveat I've got is that this could simply be showing the increased retirement of baby boomers who would have been leaving the labor force anyway; my own calculation from census data shows that the proportion of potential retirees in the working age population* increased by 2 percentage points over the past 10 years.

This explanation is belied by the increased tendency of people to continue working past 65, however, and by decreased labor force participation among younger workers - see this NY Times article and graphic from May for data.

Put in plainer terms - somewhere around 6 million fewer people are working now than in 2009, after all the frantic government efforts to counteract that.

*Calculated as potential retirees (62 and older as of 2002 / 2012) divided by working age population (16 and older as of 2002 / 2012). Data are from 2000 and 2010 censuses, respectively.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Yes, he really did say this. 2 weeks before demonizing corporate jets, no less.

http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/270867/obama-i-have-better-plane-so-it-s-fair-trade http://amplify.com/u/a16cty

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour - I'm Glad I Missed It

I guess I unknowingly left my lights on for "Earth Hour". Not that I'd have shut them off if I'd known the time in advance.

It's so unbelievably stupid to think that silly little gestures like this make a difference to the environment - they might make a slight dent in your electric bill, which is a good enough reason to do them ALL the time rather than just for an hour, like it's a silly religious ritual.

Which it is, for its practitioners.

Anyway, I'll share a quick story and a link.

The story - this week I had a big smile on my face, upon discovering the office where I work does NOT recycle anything but paper.

The link - this great piece (PDF), by a Canadian professor of economics, on the wonderful benefits of cheap electricity.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Left-wing "civility" in Australia and the U.S.

The always insightful Tim Andrews, who hails from Australia, has a great post on the lack of civility among leftists there.

And by lack of civility, I mean death threats and a xenophobic, inaccurate Facebook group with personal attacks against Tim, because he committed the crime of organizing opposition to an updated, certainly Australianized version of the Johnstown Flood Tax.

I can't do any better than Tim's analysis here of what instills such fear in the Aussie Left. Substitute "America" for "Australia" and everything stays just as accurate:
the only explanation I can find for the hate-filled smears of the left, is that they are terrified of the people. There is a real, palatable of Australians getting engaged in the political process, and this scares the hard-left witless.

Why? The reason is simple. Because the multi-billion dollar left-wing industry relies on a quiet populace. The billions they receive are dependent upon the Australian people being docile. And I think it’s time for us to be frank about this fact. There really is a multi-billion dollar far-left industry out there, reliant upon our taxpayers, and I am sick of tip-toeing around the issue for fear of alienating a special interest group.

Let us be frank.

Whether it be fat cat public ‘servant” bureaucrats, safe and secure in their tenure, knowing they will never be able to get a non-taxpayer funded job in the real world. Or so-called “climate scientists”, who, without millions in funds for scaremongering would face the unemployment queue. Those reliant on sustaining a culture of welfare, so they can keep on leeching off the public purse, “helping” the less fortunate, despite all the evidence that their big-government plans never have worked. The artsy types, who live off taxpayer dollars to propagate their hate – sorry, “art”. “Multicultural organisations”, the ABC, Unions – the list goes on - I am only just scratching the surface. Australia has entire left wing industry entrenched through all levels of government, that up until now has never been challenged. And ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Read all the rest here or here (long version).

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

One of my two endorsements for "first black president", commenting on the other

Thomas Sowell reviews Walter Williams's newly released autobiography, "Up From The Projects". I'll hold back my own comments until I've read the book myself, but I'm instinctively inclined to agree with Sowell's thoughts on blunt criticism, supportive families, and housing projects which were relatively safe, clean, and free of "moral squalor".

Monday, December 06, 2010

Timothy Snyder (the New Republic) with a really original stupid idea

Hitler and Stalin killed millions of people for economic development? Sorry, no, they were totalitarian dictators who both wanted to conquer the world and enslave their own people. The lands they conquered were irrelevant to them other than as conquests.

Stalin didn't cause the Ukrainian famine to control the land, he did it to control the farmers there. Different in degree, but not in essence, from what today's leftists are trying to do.

I hope Mr. Snyder someday gains the ability to distinguish National Socialist and Communist propaganda about their economic "gains" from the reality - both ideologies held their countries back, and nothing illustrates this better than the destroyed West Germany's postwar economic growth under a relatively free market system.