Tag Archives: labor force participation rate

Record number of Americans (92m) not in labor force

Here are three graphs that put the lie to the POS and his slavish mainstream media bleating that the U.S. economy is in “recovery.”

Graph #1

Do you know why the unemployment rate keeps falling, the latest from 7.0% to 6.7%?

That’s not because the jobless are finding jobs. Noooo. The reason is because even more Americans have simply dropped out of the labor force. The U.S. labor force participation rate is now at a 35-year low at 62.8%, hitting levels not seen since 1978, although there are 90 million more Americans today than in 1980.

Graph #2

Look around you. A 62.8% labor participation rate means more than 4 out of every 10 adults you see are not working.

The number of Americans who don’t work is now a never-seen-before 91.8 million. That means we have more people not working than the entire population of these select countries:

  • Vietnam: 90.388 million total population
  • Egypt: 83.661 million
  • Germany: 80.586 million
  • France: 65.860 million
  • United Kingdom: 63.705 million
  • Italy: 59.901 million

Graph #3

Here’s one reason why more and more Americans aren’t working: Despite the Fed spending over $1 trillion in 2013 to “stimulate” the economy, there were fewer jobs created in 2013 than in 2012.

Establishment survey 2012 vs 2013 job change:

Sources: ZeroHedge and ZeroHedge

~Eowyn

Why Americans don’t work: Welfare pays better than minimum-wage

This morning’s devastating news from the U.S. Census Bureau:

Americans on welfare (108,592,000) now outnumber Americans who work full-time (101,716,000).

They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines.

For every 1 person working full-time year round, there’s 1.07 people getting some form of means-tested government benefit. In fact, the labor force participation rate under the POS is the lowest in U.S. history.

And the reason?

Welfare pays better than a minimum-wage job in 33 of America’s 50 states.

That’s what libertarian think tank Cato Institute senior fellow Michael Tanner found in his study.

welfare1welfare2

Below is Tanner’s essay in the New York Post of Aug. 19, 2013:

When Welfare Pays Better Than Work

The federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted towards low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. (The rest fund community-wide programs for low-income neighborhoods, with no direct benefits to individuals.) State and local governments operate more welfare programs.Of course, no individual or family gets benefits from all 72 programs, but many do get aid from a number of them at any point in time.

Today, the Cato institute is releasing a new study looking at the state-by-state value of welfare for a mother with two children. In the Empire State, a family receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, public housing, utility assistance and free commodities (like milk and cheese) would have a package of benefits worth $38,004, the seventh-highest in the nation.

While that might not sound overly generous, remember that welfare benefits aren’t taxed, while wages are. So someone in New York would have to earn more than $21 per hour to be better off than they would be on welfare. That’s more than the average statewide entry-level salary for a teacher.

Plus, going to work means added costs such as paying for child care, transportation and clothing. Not to mention that, even if it’s not a money-loser, a person moving from welfare to work will see some form of loss — namely, less time for leisure as opposed to work.

Is it any wonder, then, that, despite the work requirements included in the 1996 welfare reform, only 27.6 percent of adult welfare recipients in New York are working in unsubsidized jobs? (Another 13 percent are involved in the more broadly defined “work participation,” which includes job search, training and other things.)

Welfare is slightly more generous in Connecticut, where benefits are worth $38,761; a person leaving welfare for work would have to earn $21.33 per hour to be better off. And in New Jersey, a worker would have to make $20.89 to beat welfare.

Nationwide, our study found that the wage-equivalent value of benefits for a mother and two children ranged from a high of $60,590 in Hawaii to a low of $11,150 in Idaho. In 33 states and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more than an $8-an-hour job. In 12 states and DC, the welfare package is more generous than a $15-an-hour job.

Of course, not everyone on welfare gets all seven of the benefits in our study. But, for many recipients — particularly the “long-term” dependents — welfare clearly pays substantially more than an entry-level job.

To be clear: There is no evidence that people on welfare are lazy. Indeed, surveys of them consistently show their desire for a job. But they’re also not stupid. If you pay them more not to work than they can earn by working, many will choose not to work.

While this makes sense for them in the short term, it may actually hurt them over the long term. One of the most important steps toward avoiding or getting out of poverty is a job.Only 2.6 percent of full-time workers are poor, vs. 23.9 percent of adults who don’t work. And, while many anti-poverty activists decry low-wage jobs, even starting at a minimum-wage job can be a springboard out of poverty.

Thus, by providing such generous welfare payments, we may actually not be helping recipients.

There should be a public-policy preference for work over welfare. And while it would be nice to raise the wages of entry-level service workers, government has no ability to do so. (Studies have shown that attempts to mandate wage increases, such as minimum-wage hikes, primarily result in higher unemployment for the lowest-skilled workers.)

If Congress and state legislatures are serious about reducing welfare dependence and rewarding work, they should consider strengthening work requirements in welfare programs, removing exemptions and narrowing the definition of work.

In New York, lawmakers should consider ways to shrink the gap between the value of welfare and work by reducing current benefit levels and tightening eligibility requirements.

Click here to watch Fox Business’ interview with Tanner.

~Eowyn

Why do they not see?

3 monkeys

A recent essay by a blogger who calls himself Monty Pelerin struck a chord in me. Monty Pelerin is the pseudonym of a former CFO in the corporate finance field, with a Ph.D. in economics.

Pelerin’s essay “Why Don’t People See?” asks a question I and many of us also have asked: Why is it that so many seem blind to the problems that we see so clearly?

Here’s Pelerin’s essay of Feb. 18, 2013:

I meet people that still believe that the world is fine. They believe things like:

  • The US government has plenty of money.
  • Government cares for its citizens.
  • The economy cannot crash.
  • We are not in a recession (Depression).
  • The lives of their children will be better than their own.
  • The government can continue to print money to fund promises they cannot afford.

Despite these untenable beliefs, these are not stupid people. Many are professionals who do quite well — doctors, lawyers, dentists, college professors, etc. They are not  zombies, our walking dead, who have no idea about what is happening around them no less  the way things work in an economy, society or the world. It is our educated who should care yet seem to be oblivious to what lies ahead.

The ignorance and/or lack of concern of this group is perplexing and maddening. They are certainly capable of understanding. It is also in their interests to comprehend, as they are the ones who will lose the most. How doe one open their eyes? What can they be shown to arouse them from their ignorance?

Sadly, I don’t have answers to these frustrating questions. It is not that others have not presented the information as much as these people refuse to acknowledge the implications. Are they all too busy? Are they idiot savants who are geniuses in their fields but not very smart away from it? Warnings come from many sources and from many different perspectives, yet they do not seem to penetrate the minds of those most capable of effecting change.

From a self-interest standpoint, this productive group should be the most concerned. After all, they are ground zero for the Socialist schemes that are destroying society. They are the ones that will be crushed in the redistribution dreams of our political class. Will they awaken too late? Or, will many of them just withdraw their productivity by retiring early, emigrating, etc.?

I don’t have answers to these questions, but I do know that this professional class is about to become prey for our predatory State. And, when that happens, they will hurt be but not nearly as much as the rest of us.

Indeed, why are so many oblivious to and in denial about America’s stark economic realities? — those of:

The only difference between Pelerin and me is his question is narrower in scope than mine. Pelerin’s concerns are mainly about America’s economic problems, whereas in my view, our country’s problems transcend the economic to include the political and especially the cultural.

Politically, the federal government under Obama has become one where, instead of a division of powers among three branches, the Executive is dominant, with Obama ruling by executive orders, like kings and emperors once ruled through edicts.

Congress, the legislative branch, seems unable to address our economic problems but only exacerbates them with the passage of Obamacare (that leads to higher insurance premiums, fewer doctors, death panels, and a greater burden for small businesses) and the reprehensible National Defense Authorization Act (that authorizes the arrest without charge and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens).

The Supreme Court is also adrift, too timid to even hear cases that concern Obama’s eligibility and his strange Connecticut-issued Social Security number. That is, assuming the Supreme Court justices even saw the documents concerning those cases to begin with.

Did you know that clerks of the Supreme Court never forwarded to the justices the pleadings and documents submitted by plaintiffs and attorneys? The faceless clerks also removed cases from the electronic docket, as well as reported conferences of justices which never took place.

French philosopher and statesman Count Joseph Marie Maistre (1763-1821) once said, “Every nation has the government it deserves.” Subtending the economy and government is America’s culture, now thoroughly corrupted from decades of moral relativism do-as-you-will narcissistic amorality. Patriotism has become a dirty word: As many as 33% in a 2010 poll said they wanted the American flag banned.

John Adams wrote that “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.” By that yardstick, the American family is in trouble.

Although every evidence we have points to marriage being good for not just the married, but for children and society as well, the percentage of married Americans is at a lowest recorded level. Between 2000 and 2009, the share of young adults ages 25 to 34 who are married dropped 10 percentage points, from 55% to 45%.

There is an epidemic of fatherless children — 30% of U.S. children live apart from their fathers. That 30% will account for 63% of teen suicides, 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions, 71% of high-school dropouts, 75% of children in chemical-abuse centers, 80% of rapists, 85% of youths in prison, 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders, and 90% of homeless and runaway children.

So, how do we account for the blindness of so many? Why do they not see what you and I so clearly see?

Is it willful ignorance? Have they been brainwashed by the Establishment Media? (but how do we account for the media’s blindness?) Is it stupidity? Is it a narrow and short-sighted selfishness? Or is it the terrible darkness of spiritual blindness?

“…you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.” -Ezekiel 12:2

“…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” -2 Thessalonians 2:10b-11

~Eowyn