Category: Employment

Obamacare: Welcome to Neo-Feudalism

obamacareIt is axiomatic in history that the new worlds of the revolutionaries tend to resemble the social systems of the past. Tsar Alexander II freed 60 million serfs with the stroke of a pen, and seventy years later Joseph Stalin would re-impose serfdom under the guise of collective farms. He used bullets instead of ink. Similar stories can be told of the French Revolution, the Chinese Civil War, Oliver Cromwell, and probably all revolutions in some respect.

Alexander Hamilton wanted America to copy the British system, complete with political elites, state-supported monopoly corporations like the British East India Company, and all-powerful central government. It took two hundred years to overcome Jeffersonian resistance, but Hamilton finally won when TARP was implemented.

Perhaps it is no surprise …


Steve Goes to a Career Fair, Asks Obnoxious Questions

job fairsHaving nothing better to do, I decided to spend Monday morning on the DMACC campus for a spring career fair. I wanted to wander around and ask questions to people to try and gauge their perception of the job market, but I had no intention of simply administering a poll. No, I was going to make people defend their statements by asking why they held that belief, like Socrates but without the profoundness.

I asked jobseekers if they were feeling optimistic or pessimistic. I asked recruiters about what kind of people they are looking for, both in terms of skills and personality.

Optimistic, They Think

Personally, I believe that optimism is stupid and should be hated, but I appear to be alone in this sentiment. …


Policy Study Reveals Problems with Teen Unemployment in Iowa

The following is an interesting study released recently, and the reaction by the GOP (written up by Jill J.).

In a policy study released by the Public Interest Institute at Iowa Wesleyan College, author Amy Frantz analyzed Iowa’s teen unemployment situation. The report notes Iowa’s unemployment rate for teens has remained consistently high over recent history. Two subgroups are analyzed within the data: teens ages 16-19 and high school graduates 18-20 years old.

The report notes that the unemployment rate for the 16-19 year old group was at a very high 12.3 % in 2002 and over the course of the last decade has remained at the high level, with the most recent report for 2011 showing that the unemployment rate for 16-19 year olds …


Saving Jobs By Saving LIFO Accounting

In his recent visit to our state, President Obama toured Alcoa, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aluminum, located in Davenport, IA. As a part of his visit, President Obama praised the manufacturing sector of the economy and touted the strong growth of private sector jobs over the last 15-months of his administration. President Obama also mentioned in his speech that not only had Alcoa rehired laid-off workers, but that it was anticipating the need to add new employees to its workforce.

I am delighted that the President recognizes the positive impact private sector manufacturers are having on the economy, but what he failed to mention as a part of his visit was that he is advocating for repeal of the Last-In, First-Out accounting …


A New Year, A New Congress

Out with the old, in with the new, goes the standard cliche every year about this time.  No, this is not a reference to Nancy Pelosi’s age, although incoming House Speaker John Boehner is 9 years younger.  Speaker Boehner does represent a new attitude and the resulting optimism is being reflected in the markets and the broader economy.

Consider:

  • Retail sales, Christmas sales, were up significantly over 2009
  • Consumer and business confidence for November and December have inched higher
  • Jobless numbers are moving downward, evidenced by today’s ADP employment report that suggested 297,000 new private sector jobs were created in December (this is a big number!)

This is not a coincidence.  This is, however a direct result of increased optimism in the country due to …


Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

The Labor Department reported this morning that nonfarm payrolls fell by 131,000 in the month of July.  Even more discouraging was that June’s revised payroll number was revised downward to a negative 221,000.  This is huge.  Initial jobless claims estimates released Thursday was 479,000, and was an increase from the previous week’s 460,000.  The two statistics, nonfarm payrolls and initial jobless claims, are suggesting the same thing–employers are not hiring, and are, in fact, laying off workers, and we may very well be headed into a “double dip” recession.

That’s the report.  Here’s the analysis.  As suggested some months ago, the past predicts the future.  As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun.  There will be no new net growth in …


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