Half Empty or Half Full?

image courtesy of Google Images, Ramirez of Investors Business Daily

image courtesy of Google Images, Ramirez of Investors Business Daily

“Goldilocks”, “job market on fire”, “Unprecedented job Growth” – a small sample of the media reaction to last Friday’s job numbers. Seems safe to say that the White House cheering squad is on the “half full” side.

“job rot lingers”, “ugly, again”, “troubling”, “disappointing”, “broken” – no mystery here. The descriptions cited about the jobs report puts them on the “half empty” side of the ledger.

Why the discrepancy? Glad you asked! The fawning media that cling to the half full perspective, has the depth of tin foil, taking their cue from the headlines and digging no deeper. Ignorance after all is bliss!

However, if we disturb the earth a bit, go below the surface where the details reside, we not only learn why many don’t agree with the White House (media) view, we also learn why Trump won 3084 of the 3141 counties in the US.

The White House is crowing about the latest jobless rate of just 4.6% but neglect to mention that the U-6 gauge of unemployment is 9.3%, and that’s nothing to brag about since it’s actually a half point HIGHER than it was in Dec. 2007, when the Great Recession hit. They should not call it “great” since it was devastating. How about “YUGE”?

But I digress… how did we get to that 4.6 rate in just a month? Because a YUGE number of jobs were added? No, the answer is that another 446,000 left the work force, which is a new record for this administration. During the Obama years we have reached an all time high in the number of Americans not in the work force, 95.1 million!   Don’t buy into the nonsense that the press peddles. We’re to believe that retiring baby boomers explains the decline in labor force participation. HOOEY! The stats say otherwise. Retirees account for only 73,000 a month since 2010. Do the math!

According to BLS, and published by Zero Hedge, since 2014 the US has added 571,000 waiters and bartender jobs, while losing 34,000 manufacturing jobs. The media loves to say the evil corporations are leaving because they are greedy and can exploit laborers in other countries, etc. The cost of labor is always a consideration but who is to blame for the rising cost of labor in the US? OBAMA-care has increased US labor costs to the point where companies either go broke or leave. Add to that the unprecedented increase in regulations with Dodd-Frank, the EPA, IRS, etc. and unless you survive on lucrative government contracts, it’s next to impossible to compete in the US. In 2016 the US lost 60,000 manufacturing jobs.

If we take the “Half Full” side for a moment, you would have to conclude that a 4.6% jobless rate indicates a tight labor market. Under those conditions, we should see wages on the rise as companies compete for skilled workers by offering more money. OPPSSS!!! Wages declined again in November!   And BTW, when the media starts crowing about how wages are up in the last year, and the middle class had the largest increase in decades, (5.2%), what they fail to mention is that most of the increase was due to lower gas prices. The irony is that lower gas prices were possible because of that thing they hate – FRACKING!

Is it any wonder that people distrust the media?

One last observation: Trump is getting criticism and snide comments about what he did to keep Carrier from going to Mexico. The complaint is the tax incentives. The allegation is that it’s unfair to other states or competitors. What? Are tax incentives new? Hardly! Wake up folks! Taxes have been a weapon used by states, cities, and everything in-between ever since the tax code was foisted on the public.

I seem to recall that Obama used subsidies, taxes and other incentives to try and get his green economy going! That went well! Sarcasm aside, the country is better off investing in companies and American workers so they keep their jobs, companies profit and we grow again. Whether you like Trump or not, he’s at least trying to get this country going in the right direction. Obama could have reached out to any of the companies that left but didn’t lift a finger. After 8 years of half empty, we should give Trump the opportunity to get the country back on track.

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