Sunday, February 22, 2015

It ought to be a scandal

Marine One is the helicopter used to transport the President of the United States (Marine Two does the same for the Vice President).

The US taxpayer foots the bill for all that transportation, not whomever occupies the Oval Office.

So the very least -- the very least -- Barack Obama could do is ensure that the jobs involved in Marine One go to Americans.

Instead . . . The Times of India reported this week, "US President Barack Obama will soon fly in a new helicopter whose cabin has been made in India."

The first week of February saw the latest jobs report release from the Labor Department.  The editorial board of Investors Business Daily observed:

Think about it this way. Obama likes to brag that there have now been 51 months of uninterrupted monthly job gains, which have resulted in 10.3 million new jobs.
Sounds impressive, doesn't it?
But over that same period, the working-age population increased by 11.2 million. By that measure, the country has actually lost ground over the past four-plus years.
That's why the labor force participation rate is just 62.9%, even with jobs "raining" down last month, which is much lower than the 65.7% rate at the start of the Obama recovery, and even down from where it was early last year.

At Gallup, Jim Clifton notes:

Right now, we're hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is "down" to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.
None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job -- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks -- the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed. That's right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news -- currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren't throwing parties to toast "falling" unemployment.
There's another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you're an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 -- maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn -- you're not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
Yet another figure of importance that doesn't get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find -- in other words, you are severely underemployed -- the government doesn't count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

There's no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

And in this environment, Barack's sending jobs to India?

The Congress should be outraged, the American people should be outraged.

Does the White House plan to outsource the Secret Service duties next?

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