Sunday, November 29, 2009

Boom. Bust. Underemployment.

By: Karen De Coster

Yahoo published a piece on the “real” unemployment rate last week, putting that number at 17.5%. That’s still a government statistic, so you can bet it’s understated. The looming problem for many families is underemployment. The guy who came to fix my cable TV issue (Wide Open West) was an experienced and skilled carpenter who worked on luxury houses during the boom years, when McMansions became the norm. He told me he took his current job — because he needed a job, any job — for one-third the salary of his carpenter job. These stories abound, especially in my neck of the woods. Keeping up with current bills plus rising costs, while taking a reduction in wages, is a stressful and nightmarish situation to endure.
Yet when the government uses interventionist measures to “create jobs,” they measure those numbers and claim success merely because a job — any job — was created. The qualitative aspect that is missing, however, is what kind of job is created — unskilled labor? temporary work? low-wage job? The government never takes into account the people that lose higher-paid, skilled jobs and have to accept a lower-level job that keeps them underemployed.
The effect of the boom period is to lure people into living a more prosperous lifestyle based on their new wages (including overtime payment), even when they aren’t living beyond their means. Many times, they are appropriately raising their lifestyle to accommodate what they believe to be their new level of prosperity. The fallout and bust can no longer accommodate all of the home builders, electricians, carpenters, machinists, and other skilled workers whose labor was in high demand during the false prosperity years. And what about the marginal jobs that were in demand because of too many people with too much credit, such as home media consultant, home interior consultant/designer, etc.?
Then there are all of those specialty stores that were opened by entrepreneurs looking to cash in on hobbies and luxury buys that were fueled by the Fed’s boom — stores specializing in birding, scrapbooking, spas and game rooms, fireplaces and grills, perfume, expensive trinkets, party supplies, smokers’ supplies, kitchen gadgetry, feng shui, and overpriced gym equipment. And remember all of the shops that opened up to sell flooring, carpeting, tile, and blinds? Everyone had magical equity in their homes and used them as ATMs to fund their home renovations, hence all of the businesses popping up to accommodate the demand.
The number of businesses that opened up to meet the needs of eclectic discretionary purchases was unsustainable from the beginning. In my neighborhood, most of these businesses that sprang up during the boom have already closed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not War?

Friday 13 Nov 2009 By David Horowitz

Rudy Giuliani [has] underscored the obvious. We tried prosecuting terrorists as criminals after the first World Trade Center attack in 1993. It got us the second attack. What is it that the Obama doesn’t understand about the word “war?” How can he wish to inflict this nightmare on the families of 9/11 and the City of New York? Senator Sestack on Fox this morning was absolutely pathetic, meandering on about how we need to defend our “ideals” and therefore try terrorists as though they were American citizens gone wild. No we don’t. Foreigners who hate us so much they are willing to kill tens of thousands of indiscriminately at a clip need to be tried as enemies of our country not as ordinary perps. This decision coming on the heels of the collective blindness of Democrats and so-called liberals to the obvious fact that Major Hasan’s atrocity was an act of war sends a message to the rest of us that is both ugly and alarming: 0ur commander in chief and his lieutenants at Justice and Homeland Security present a danger to all of us unlike any we have ever faced from domestic sources. The days ahead are uncharted and will not be pretty.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Enemy

In the wake of the Fort Hood jihadi massacre. our military and security authorities would do well to at least TRY to identify hostile or unreliable individuals amongst their personnel. This is obviously made more difficult considering the position of our elected Traitor-in-Chief, but these people have human lives in their hands, and need to think about protecting loyal Americans from jihadi "colleagues." And damn the careerist consequences.

A good place to start is just one little question: How many uauthorized e-mails is acceptable for a US Army major to exchange with an al-Qaeda-affiliated imam in Yemen?

Consider these photos of two different snakes, which share a common territory and habitat. They look similar, but are 2 species-is it important to identify which is which?

Well, one of them is utterly harmless, even beneficial as a predator of rodents. The other one is very dangerous, with an exceedingly deadly venom.

Is it important to identify which is which?

If we are going to kill any snake we come upon, identification is not important. But if we hope to live and let live, we had better be able to identify them accurately.