Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Do unemployment benefits discourage people from working?

I noticed that the latest jobs report showed that the percentage of work-eligible Americans working was at a 38-year-low.

CNS News reports:

A record 93,626,000 Americans 16 or older did not participate in the nation’s labor force in June, as the labor force participation rate dropped to 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In June, according to BLS, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, hit 250,663,000. Of those, 157,037,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

Now, let me ask you this. Does paying people to not work cause more people to not work? It seems to me that whatever you subsidize, you get more of, and whatever you tax, you get less of.

Now look at this article from the radically-leftist New York Times.

It says:

Before this recession, most economists probably thought that some amount of unemployment benefits were just and compassionate, and offered a sense of security even to people who were lucky enough to retain their jobs, despite the fact that the program would raise unemployment rates and reduce both employment and economic output.

In other words, unemployment benefits shrink the economy to some degree, but shrinking the economy a bit may be a price worth paying.

Unemployment benefits were thought to reduce employment and output because, by definition, working people were ineligible for the benefits. In particular, an unemployed person who finds and starts a new job, or returns to working at his previous job, is supposed to give up his unemployment benefits. Economists had found that a large fraction of unemployed people delay going back to work solely because the unemployment insurance program was paying them for not working.

Here’s a new study explaining how the “generosity” of the big government Democrat Party actually encourages people to avoid working, and to remain dependent on the government for their “income”.

A study published by two labor economists, Stepan Jurajda and Frederick J. Tannery, looked at employment histories for unemployment insurance recipients in Pittsburgh in the early 1980s. Unemployment rates got quite high in Pittsburgh in those days, reaching 16 percent at one point, and staying over 10 percent for two and a half years.

The chart below summarizes their findings for Pittsburgh.

The chart displays the fraction of persons (in Pittsburgh) receiving unemployment benefits who began working again, as a function of the number of weeks until their unemployment benefits were scheduled to be exhausted. For example, a “hazard” value of “0.04″ for week “-14″ means that, among unemployed persons with 14 weeks remaining until their benefit exhaustion date, 4 percent of them either began working a new job or returned to their previous job.

The chart:

Unemployment offers a disincentive to find work
Unemployment benefits offer a disincentive for Americans to find work

The most troubling thing about this is what is not said in the chart or the study – think about the children growing up in these households where their parents, especially the fathers, are not working. What are they learning about self-sufficiency and the role of government? They are the ones who we are going to task with paying for our lavish entitlement programs in the future. Are people who think that dependency on government is normal being trained to pay for the exploding costs of Social Security and Medicare?

Wayne Grudem explains what the Bible says about parents and schools

Theology that hits the spot
Theology that hits the spot

This is a must-listen lecture from famous pastor Wayne Grudem.

The MP3 file is here.

The PDF outline is here.

Note: public schools = government-run schools.

Topics:

  • Does God care whether we people marry and have children?
  • Does God care whether Christian parents raise their children to know him?
  • Should government promote bearing children?
  • What are some effects of declining birth rates in other countries?
  • What are the economic effects of declining birth rates?
  • Who has the right to decide how children are trained: government or parents?
  • What does the Bible say about parents having to raise children to know him?
  • Does the government have the responsibility for training children?
  • What do educational bureaucrats think of parents training children?
  • What do school boards think of parents training children?
  • Should school boards be elected by local, state or federal government?
  • Should Christians be opposed to government-run education? (public schools)
  • How should schools be viewed by parents? As a replacement or as a helper?
  • How are schools viewed by those on the left and in communist countries?
  • How can you measure how supporting a government is of parental rights?
  • How is parental authority viewed in left-wing EU countries like Germany?
  • How is parental authority respected in the United States?
  • Should parents have a choice of where their children go to school?
  • What is a voucher program? How is it related to parental autonomy?
  • How does competition (school choice) in education serve parental needs?
  • Why do public school teachers, unions and educrats oppose competitition?
  • How well do public schools do in educating children to achieve?
  • Does the government-run monopoly of public schools produce results?
  • Does paying more and more money to public schools make them perform?
  • How do teacher unions feel about having to compete in a voucher system?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize the poorest students?
  • Does the public school monopoly penalize children of certain races?
  • Does the public school monopoly cause racial prejudice?
  • What else should parents demand on education policy?
  • Is it good for parents when schools refuse to fire underperforming teachers?

This podcast is just amazing! This is what we need to be teaching in church. Church should be the place where you go to learn and reflect about how to tailor your life plan based on what the Bible says. And I think that this whole notion of free market – of choice and competition benefiting the consumer (parents) – applies to everything that government does, especially education and health care. The genius of America is that our Founding Fathers engineered a system that reflected all of this knowledge of economics, which then made it much easier for individuals and families to enjoy liberty and a higher quality of life. If we want to keep the benefits, we have to remember why these decisions were made at the founding of our nation.

Islamic State burns a woman alive for refusing to engage in extreme sex act

Jay Richards tweeted this appalling story from the leftist Washington Post.

It says:

Zainab Bangura, the U.N.’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, recently conducted a tour of refugee camps in the shadow of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, war-ravaged countries where the Islamic State commands swaths of territory. She heard a host of horror stories from victims and their families and recounted them in an interview earlier this week withthe Middle East Eye, an independent regional news site.

“They are institutionalizing sexual violence,” Bangura said of the Islamic State. “The brutalization of women and girls is central to their ideology.”

Bangura detailed the processes by which “pretty virgins” captured by the jihadists were bought and sold at auctions. Here’s a chilling excerpt:

After attacking a village, [the Islamic State] splits women from men and executes boys and men aged 14 and over. The women and mothers are separated; girls are stripped naked, tested for virginity and examined for breast size and prettiness. The youngest, and those considered the prettiest virgins fetch higher prices and are sent to Raqqa, the IS stronghold.

There is a hierarchy: sheikhs get first choice, then emirs, then fighters. They often take three or four girls each and keep them for a month or so, until they grow tired of a girl, when she goes back to market. At slave auctions, buyers haggle fiercely, driving down prices by disparaging girls as flat-chested or unattractive.

We heard about one girl who was traded 22 times, and another, who had escaped, told us that the sheikh who had captured her wrote his name on the back of her hand to show that she was his “property.”

Estimates vary, but there are believed to be somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 women enslaved by the Islamic State. Many are Yazidis, a persecuted minority sect that the extremist Islamic State considers to be apostate “devil-worshippers,” in part because of the Yazidis’ ancient connection to the region’s pre-Islamic past. The jihadists’ treatment of Yazidi women, in particular, has been marked out by its contempt and savagery.

Here’s Bangura again:

They commit rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution and other acts of extreme brutality. We heard one case of a 20-year-old girl who was burned alive because she refused to perform an extreme sex act. We learned of many other sadistic sexual acts. We struggled to understand the mentality of people who commit such crimes.

Hundreds of Yazidi women and girls have escaped their captors, either by running away, or being ransomed and rescued by their families. Bangura has urged international assistance in providing proper medical and “psychosocial” support to the escaped women, who have experienced terrible trauma.

“It was painful for me. The countries I have worked on include Bosnia, Congo, South Sudan, Somalia and Central African Republic,” says Bangura, a former former minister of Sierra Leone who is no stranger to conflicts. “I never saw anything like this. I cannot understand such inhumanity. I was sick, I couldn’t understand.”

Two points about this.

First, we have a Democrat administration now that apologizes for everything that Muslim terrorists do, and tries to remind Christians that they should not judge such crimes as we just heard about because of the Crusades. That literally came out of our pro-Muslim atheist President’s own mouth. He simply isn’t capable of moral reasoning – he wants to deny the reality of evil.

Second, the preceding administration was Republican, and it won the war in Iraq using a surge of forces. Then the Democrats came along and turned a war that had already been won into a lost war where crimes like this are happening. When Bush turned over Iraq to the Democrats, Al Qaeda in Iraq was annihilated, and there was no Islamic State terrorist group. Now, we hear stories like this all the time.

Here’s former deputy director of the CIA to explain how Islamic State came to be:

Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama, Michael Morell said the rise of ISIS in Iraq was not an intelligence failure.

Morell argued in 2011 when U.S. forces completely pulled out “al Qaeda in Iraq was essentially defeated” and Morell continuing to defend the intelligence added “the intelligence community monitored the growth of al Qaeda post 2001 in great detail with intelligence reporting, with analysis, we made it very clear that this group was becoming more and more dangerous.”

The United States cannot pull out of wars leaving a vacuum for bad actors to step into. We won World War 2, and we stayed in Germany from the end of that war to the present day, in order to deter aggression into Germany by the Soviets. Similarly with North and South Korea. If you want to stop a war from happening, you remain in theater, in force, for decades after the war, until the country has recovered.

House Republicans pass ban on abortions after 20 weeks, Hillary tweets against it

Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood
Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood

Life News reports on some great news, and the timing was interesting.

Excerpt:

The House of Representatives today approved a pro-life bill that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth.

The vote for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it. The House approved the bill on a 242-184 vote with four Democrats (Reps. Cuellar, Langevin, Lipinski, and Peterson) voting for the bill and five Republicans voting against it (Reps. Dent, Dold, Hanna, Frelinghuysen) or voting present (Hice).

During the debate today on a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, Congressman Sean Duffy gave what may be one of the most passionate defenses of the pro-life position ever seen on the floor of Congress. Duffy took on the claim often made by Democrats who support abortion saying they stand for the defenseless and voiceless.

“I’ve listened to the floor debate day after day .. about how they fight for the forgotten, they fight for the defenseless, they fight for the voiceless. And they pound their chest and stomp their feet. You don’t have anyone in our society that’s more defenseless than these little babies,” he said. “And we are not taking — I believe in conception. I know my colleagues can’t agree with me on that. Can’t we come together and say we are going to stand with little babies that feel pain, that survive outside the womb? Ones that don’t have lobbyists and money? Don’t we stand with those little babies?”

“If you stand with the defenseless, with the voiceless, you have to stand with little babies. Don’t talk to me about cruelty in our bill — when you look at little babies being dismembered, feeling excruciating pain, if we can’t stand to defend these children, what do we stand for in this institution?” he added.

[…]This is the second time the House has voted for the legislation — having approved it in May 2013. The bill was then blocked by pro-abortion Democrats who controlled the U.S. Senate.

The bill also includes protections for babies who are born alive during the abortion. It empowers women who have abortions to sue their abortion providers if they don’t comply with the law. Right now, there are no restrictions on abortions through all nine months of pregnancy at the federal level, and Democrats have even introduced a bill to reverse restrictions on abortion at the state level.

Hillary Clinton is not happy with the bill, because she stands for abortion through all nine months of pregnancy:

No sooner did the House of Representatives pass a bill to protect babies from late-term abortions and ban them after 20 weeks than Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton fired off a statement slamming them for doing so.

The House of Representatives today approved a that bans abortions from after 20-weeks of pregnancy up to the day of birth. The vote for the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act broke down on mostly partisan lines with Republicans supporting the ban on late-term abortions and Democrats opposing it.

Should the Senate approve the bill, President Barack Obama has issued a veto threat and now Hillary Clinton has joined him in opposing the bill.

“Politicians should not interfere with personal medical decisions, which should be left to a woman, her family and her faith, in consultation with her doctor or health care provider,” Clinton’s senior policy adviser Maya Harris said in a statement on her behalf.

“This bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which has protected a woman’s constitutional right to privacy for over forty years,” the Clinton campaign said. “The bill puts women’s health and rights at risk, undermines the role doctors play in health care decisions, burdens survivors of sexual assault, and is not based on sound science.”

“It also follows a dangerous trend we are witnessing across the country. In just the first three months of 2015, more than 300 bills have been introduced in state legislatures — on top of the nearly 30 measures introduced in Congress — that restrict access to abortion,” the Clinton spokeswoman added.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton sent out a tweet opposing the late-term abortion ban and supporting Roe v. Wade, which allowed for virtually unlimited abortions up to the day of birth in the United States.

And Barack Obama, has vowed to veto the bill if the Senate approves it.

[T]he White House says Obama would veto the bill.

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 36, which would unacceptably restrict women’s health and reproductive rights and is an assault on a woman’s right to choose. Women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care, and Government should not inject itself into decisions best made between a woman and her doctor.

If the President were presented with this legislation, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill.

A veto of the bill, which is already state law in 11 states, would put Obama at odds with public opinion on abortion once again.

Look here, if you’re in favor of dismembering a 20-week-old unborn child who can feel you tearing her apart limb from limb, then something is really wrong with you. And yet there he is, our President. How did it happen?

What are Hillary Clinton’s views on amnesty and illegal immigration?

Here’s a story from the Weekly Standard.

It says:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is now saying she supports driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. “Hillary supports state policies to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants,” a spokesperson told the Huffington Post.

The issue gave Clinton fits last time she ran for president. She was for it before being against it.

[…]But now Clinton has completely flipped again, taking up the position now most in line with the Democratic base. It would appear the front-running Democratic candidate is doing her best to adopt the positions of her chief rival, Martin O’Malley, whose long supported this liberal policy.

So she supports Obama’s executive order amnesty. How many driver’s licenses are we talking about?

The Washington Times has the number.

Excerpt:

The administration has granted about 541,000 Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants under President Obama’s original 2012 deportation amnesty for Dreamers, officials told Congress in a letter made public Wednesday.

That means almost all of the illegal immigrants approved for the amnesty are being granted work permits and Social Security numbers, opening the door to government benefits ranging from tax credits to driver’s licenses.

[…]Social Security numbers are considered one of the gatekeepers for being able to live and work in the U.S., and some experts have said granting them to illegal immigrants makes it easier for them to access rights reserved only for citizens, such as voting.

But the Obama administration has ruled that the illegal immigrants it has approved for its temporary deportation amnesty, known as “deferred action,” are here legally for as long as the program exists, and so they are entitled to work permits and Social Security numbers.

The IRS has acknowledged that getting a Social Security number entitles illegal immigrants to go back and claim refunds under the Earned Income Tax Credit for time they worked illegally — even if they didn’t file returns or pay taxes for those years.

Republican critics of the president’s immigration policy say he’s helping illegal immigrants at the expense of American workers, whose taxes pay for Social Security and other government benefits.

“This grant transfers jobs, wealth and benefits from marginalized U.S. workers directly to illegal workers,” said Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Mr. Sessions. “One of the most dramatic costs of amnesty — whether legislative or imposed through executive diktat — is the opening of our federal Trust Funds to large numbers of lower-income illegal immigrants.”

Mr. Obama’s latest amnesty, announced in November 2014, has been halted by a federal court, so no Social Security numbers have been granted under that policy.

But the first amnesty, announced in June 2012 and covering young adult illegal immigrants known as Dreamers, remains in effect, and had approved nearly 639,000 persons as of the end of 2014.

I think this quotation hits on the problem that conservatives have with illegal immigration – whether the illegal immigrants will pay more in taxes than they use in social services. It is good to be generous to others, but I would rather use my own money to help people who will respect my values and let me into their decision-making, instead of having the government swoop in and hand out money in exchange for votes – my money. My plans require the money I earn. When that money is taken by government for someone else who doesn’t know me at all, that makes it harder for me to carry out my plan and help the people who know me.

To give someone financial aid is to present your values to them in a positive light. Who is respected when government takes my money and hands it out? I don’t get to pass my values to the people I am helping. Government gets to pass their values to the people they are using my money to help. I have the ability to speak into the decision-making of people who ask me for my help – I get to advise them. But government has nothing to say to people when they hand out money, except maybe to encourage them to make more bad decisions so they can get more of other people’s money. That’s not a hand up, that’s a hand-out.