Make no mistake, America is getting massively poorer by the day. From David Stockman at lewrockwell.com:
Maybe it is time to don our tinfoil hat. Here’s the flat-out lie the WSJ reported this morning in response to the weekly unemployment claims release. It sure did make you think that the jobs picture is improving by the week:
The number of people receiving benefits through regular state programs, which cover the majority of workers, decreased by 1.1 million to 16.2 million for the week ended July 11. The decline extends the recent trend, with the number receiving benefits the lowest reading since the week ended April 11.
Just to make sure you grasped the good news, the WSJ added this chart for good measure:
Actually, there was no improvement at all this week!
And what remains is the greatest labor market disaster in history. As Wolf Richter observed in his excellent post on the heels of the DOL (Department of Labor) report:
If you read this morning or heard on the radio that 16.2 million people were claiming unemployment insurance – the “continued claims” – and you thought that there were only 16.2 million people who claimed unemployment benefits, you fell victim to lazy misreporting in the media, by reporters or bots that didn’t read the Labor Department’s press release beyond the second paragraph.
There’s no recovery evident in the unemployment numbers, which are in fact getting worse. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:
Torrent of 2.4 million new claims under state & federal programs this week. PUA claims by gig workers now 45% of 32 million in total unemployment. Many people are hired back, but many people are newly laid off. Labor market recovery remains hard to discern.
The torrent of newly laid-off workers keeps flowing into state unemployment offices to claim unemployment at an astounding rate week after week. But many people who were claiming unemployment benefits in prior weeks were called back to work, or found new work. And the total number of people who continued to claim unemployment compensation in the week ended July 11 under all state and federal unemployment insurance programs, including gig workers and contract workers, dipped by 433,000 to 32.0 million (not seasonally adjusted), according to the Department of Labor this morning. It was the second highest level ever, after last week’s gut-wrenching record.
Unemployment insurance under state programs.
It’s not getting better: 1.50 million people who were newly laid off filed their initial unemployment claims with state unemployment offices in the week ended July 11, up from 1.40 million people who’d filed their initial claims in the week before.
Over the past five weeks, these initial state unemployment claims totaled 7.25 million, for an average of 1.45 million per week, which shows how relentlessly companies have shed workers week after week.
One way impoverished minority children can catch a break is by enrolling in charter schools. Sadly, the demand far exceeds the supply. From Walter Williams at theburningplatform.com:
Dr. Thomas Sowell has just published “Charter Schools and Their Enemies.” He presents actual test scores of students in traditional public schools and charter schools on New York State Education Department’s annual English Language Arts test and its Mathematics test. Sowell gives the results of student tests in charter schools such as KIPP, Success Academy, Explore Schools, Uncommon Schools, Achievement First as well as the traditional New York City public schools.
On the English Language Arts test, a majority of charter school students, most of whom were black or Hispanic, tested proficient or above. Their achievement ratio was nearly 5 to 1. On the Mathematics test 68 percent of charter schools’ 161 grade levels had a majority of students testing proficient. In the traditional public schools, 177 grade levels, just 10 percent had a majority of their student testing proficient.
Everyone is working themselves up into a lather about slavery in the past, but nobody seems too concerned about present day slavery. From Giulio Meotti at gatestoneinstitute.org:
- For the intersectional activists, the US is the world’s biggest oppressor — not China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, or Iran.
- “What the media do not tell you is that America is the best place on the planet to be black, female, gay, trans or what have you. We have our problems and we need to address those. But our society and our systems are far from racist”. — Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Twitter, June 9, 2020.
- “The new anti-racism is racism disguised as humanism (…) It implies that every white person is bad… and that every black person is a victim”. — Abnousse Shalmani, born in Tehran, now living in Paris, to Le Figaro, June 12, 2020.
- “America looks different if you grew up, as I did, in Africa and the Middle East”. — Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2020.
- It is high time for the United States to stop funding the United Nations…. The United Nations is now being used to perpetuate injustice, not stop it.
- Real slave traders and racists — those who believe Western societies and values should not exist at all — most likely look at the current Western self-flagellation and cheer their approval.
|According to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who fled her homeland of Somalia and now live in the US: “What the media do not tell you is that America is the best place on the planet to be black, female, gay, trans or what have you. We have our problems and we need to address those. But our society and our systems are far from racist”. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
The United States abolished slavery 150 years ago, and has affirmative action for minorities. It is the country that elected a Black president, Barack Obama — twice! Yet, a new movement is toppling one historic monument after another one, as if the US is still enslaving African-Americans. Activists in Washington DC even targeted an Emancipation Memorial, depicting President Abraham Lincoln, who paid with his life for freeing slaves.
The bean counters are at odds on unemployment numbers. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:
Labor Department today: People on state & federal unemployment insurance jumped to 31.5 million, worst ever.
Bureau of Labor Statistics today: 4.8 million jobs created, unemployment dropped by 3.2 million.
BLS under-reported unemployment by 13.7 million, based on data from the Labor Department. What’s happening is infuriating. Read and cringe.
Normally, the jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is released on the first Friday of the month. And the unemployment claims report is released Thursday every week. But this month, the monthly jobs report was also released today because of the 4th of July weekend. And now we have this delicious situation of both reports on the same day, with the Labor Department’s unemployment insurance data – people who are actually receiving unemployment benefits under state and federal programs – calling the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ survey-based report a liar. And we’ll go through them.
What the Labor Department reported today:
The total number of people who continued to receive unemployment compensation in the week ended June 27 under all state and federal unemployment insurance programs, including gig workers, surged by 937,810 people in the week, to 31.49 million (not seasonally adjusted), the highest and worst and most gut-wrenching ever:
Public sector unions have a lot of municipal governments by the balls. That may change as their pensions go bust. From Paul Rosenberg at theburningplatform.com:
I try to avoid all things political, but the recent mayhem required me to give it some attention. And I couldn’t help noticing that almost no one is addressing a fundamental factor in most of it: The unions.
Whether we like or dislike unions (I have mixed experiences, as I suppose most people do), they are a major factor in our recent events, and bear some attention. And so I’ll get the ball rolling.
The Police Unions
A few people have mentioned police unions following the sadistic murder of George Floyd, but let’s be clear on this: All the cops who kill people then get their jobs back are so privileged because of their unions. (And this, by the way, is actual privilege.)
It’s difficult to remove rogue cops. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:
So it turns out that Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was filmed murdering George Floyd last week, had 17 different complaints of serious misconduct during his career.
That puts him among the 10% worst offenders in the Minneapolis police department.
The complaints vary from being named in a brutality lawsuit, to using demeaning, unprofessional language in public, to aiming his weapon at children.
But Chauvin never got into any serious trouble.
On Monday I wrote that civilians have filed 2,600 misconduct complaints against Minneapolis police officers over the past several years. Only 12 of them (0.46%) resulted in any discipline against the officer, with the most severe punishment being a 1-week suspension.
It’s not just Minneapolis. Around the country, the percentage of civilian complaints that result in disciplinary action is astonishingly low.
The unemployment numbers released last Friday are even worse than they look, and they look terrible. From David Stockman at lewrockwell.com:
Yes, they are…..gone.
We are referring, of course, to all of the jobs created not only since the Great Recession bottom, but during the entire 21st century to date!
That’s right. The 20.5 million jobs plunge reported for April essentially wiped out the “strong labor market” brouhaha of the 244 “Jobs Friday” reports since January 2000.
In fact, the 131.072 million nonfarm payroll jobs reported for April 2020 were actually below the 131.124 million jobs reported way back in February 2000 when Bill Clinton was still scurrying around the White House looking for some place to hide the blue dress.
Total Nonfarm Payrolls, 2000-2020
Needless to say, embedded in the above disastrous chart is the boot heel of Lockdown Nation at its most vicious. That is, it has brutally monkey-hammered those channels of daily economic life that are based on social congregation – bars, restaurants, hotels, malls, salons, gyms, movies, concerts etc.
California is one of the epicenters of coronavirus craziness (New York is the other). Both states are destroying their blue-collar work forces. From Joel Kotkin at realclearenergy.org:
Like the rest of the country, although far less than New York, California is suffering through the Covid-19 crisis. But in California, the pandemic seems likely to give the state’s political and corporate elites a new license to increase their dominion while continuing to keep the middle and working classes down.
Perhaps nothing spells the triumph of California’s progressive oligarchy more than Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to off-load the state’s recovery strategy to a task force co-chaired by hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer. A recently failed presidential candidate, Steyer stands as a progressive funder. He is as zealous as he is rich. Steyer sometimes even found the policies adopted by climate-obsessed former governor Jerry Brown not extreme enough for his tastes.
Some conservatives wistfully hope that the pandemic will push the climate crusaders to the side. In California, at least, the corporate aristocrats, the governmental apparat, and the progressive nonprofits have the momentum to impose their ultra-green vision on the state’s residents. Steyer may have made much of his fortune on fossil fuels, including coal, but now, approvingly described as “a reverent Christian,” the Bay Area mogul seems to be eager to repent, both through his political largesse and as operator of a fulsomely organic ranch down the coast from his San Francisco manse.