Tag Archives: Unemployment

What should we do about the Wuhan coronavirus?

The economic cost of making workers stay home
The economic cost of making workers stay home

I think by now most people have realized that there is an economic cost to shutting Americans of all ages into their homes. If people can’t work, then businesses can’t make money, and they have to furlough or lay off workers. We can’t keep up this policy of making everyone stay home forever – it would lead to another Great Depression. Is there a way to get people back to work?

This article from The Federalist explains, and comes up with a different solution. The author argues that the Wuhan virus is most dangerous to the elderly, and people with pre-existing conditions. And therefore they should shelter in place securely, while the rest of us who are under age 50 keep the economy from sliding into a depression by going back to work as soon as possible.

It says:

Richard Epstein at the Hoover Institution… points out that South Korean data, which is more complete than most other countries’ data, shows huge disparities in risks between old and unhealthy and young and healthy. “Clearly, the impact on elderly and immunocompromised individuals is severe, with nearly 90% of total deaths coming from individuals 60 and over. But these data do not call for shutting down all public and private facilities given the extraordinarily low rates of death in the population under 50,” Epstein writes.

[…]The costs Americans are being forced to bear may be more than is rational to impose. Already one-fifth of working Americans are being laid off and having work hours cut due to not even one week of suspensions.

“[T]he massive curtailments of the U.S. economy can have as many health consequences as the virus itself—if millions lose income and jobs, become depressed in self-isolation, increase smoking, and drug and alcohol use, and postpone out of fear necessary buying and visits to doctors and hospitals for chronic and serious medical conditions unrelated to the virus,” writes Victor Davis Hanson.

What if the real scenario is one of these: 1) We plunge the nation into a depression that kills many businesses and addicts millions to welfare, in a nation that has already pledged more welfare than it can afford for at least the next three generations. Because of this depression, many people die due to poverty, lack of medical care, and despair. Millions more transform from workers to takers, causing a faster implosion of our already mathematically impossible welfare state.

2) The nation quarantines only at-risk populations and those with symptoms, like South Korea has, and ensures targeted and temporary taxpayer support to those groups, goes nuts cranking out ventilators and other crisis equipment such as temporary hospitals using emergency response crews, while the rest of us keep calm, wash our hands, take extreme care with the at-risk groups, and carry on.

Why would the entire nation grind to a halt when the entire nation is not at a severe risk? I would rather have a flu I am 99.8 percent likely to survive than the nation plunged into chaos indefinitely because we pulled the plug on our economy during a stampede.

At the very least, Congress should wait a week or two, while half the nation or more is home, to see how the infection rates look as millions of test kits go out. The worst-case scenario they are predicating their actions on may not be the one we’re facing. Prudence suggests a measured, wait and see approach to policy until we have better information, not chucking trillions of my kids’ dollars out the window “just in case.”

Right now, I think we should expand testing so we understand the problem better, fast-track whatever drugs are known to work, expand hospital capacity, build more N95 masks, build more ventilators, and get people under 50 back to work. This is in addition to proper hand-washing, social distancing and working from home where possible.

The cost of a depression seems to me to be much higher than what is happening to South Korea right now. They have massive testing effort and they are only quarantining people who are at high risk or who show symptoms. That makes more sense to me than shutting the economy down, or pass massive spending bills with bailouts for businesses that should not be shut down more than a month.

Wages of low-income workers have risen faster than middle and high income workers

In Trump's America, low-wage workers see the highest wage increases
In Trump’s America, low-wage workers see the highest wage increases

By now, everyone has heard about how the unemployment rate is at a record low. Not only that, but the unemployment rates for women, blacks and hispanics are also at record lows. But did you know that wages have been increasing at the highest rate for low-income workers? That’s right. It’s low-wage workers who are seeing their incomes go up the most.

Here’s an analysis done by an economist at Indeed.com, one of the largest online job boards:

The US economy added 130,000 jobs in August, and the unemployment rate was flat at 3.7%.

After this report, we can all take a breath, but not a big one. While we are still seeing many of the disconcerting trends of the past few months, the labor market continues to grow at a healthy rate.

Before assuming that the total job growth number in August is skewed because of Census hiring, remember that these are real jobs taken by real workers. Even if you remove government hiring, which accounts for around 34,000 jobs, this is still a number that is high enough to keep up with population growth. This month’s report reflects a slowing labor market but not necessarily one heading straight for a recession.

Wage growth strongest for low-wage industries

At this point in the expansion, we’d expect wage growth to pick up, but it is continuing to stall. In fact, wage growth continues to be strongest for workers in lower-wage industries. Labor force participation grew in the month, signaling a labor market still drawing workers off the sidelines. Job seekers are still benefiting from this job market, but let’s not count on this lasting forever.

That analysis was done in August of this year, and as you may have heard, the numbers since then have been even better.

CNBC explained:

The jobs market turned in a stellar performance in November, with nonfarm payrolls surging by 266,000 and the unemployment rate falling to 3.5%, according to Labor Department numbers released Friday.

Those totals easily beat the Wall Street consensus. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for solid job growth of 187,000 and saw the unemployment rate holding steady from October’s 3.6%.

[…]In addition to the robust November gains, revisions brought up totals from the two previous months. September’s estimate went up 13,000 to 193,000 and the initial October count increased by 28,000 to 156,000. Those changes added 41,000 to the previous tallies and brought the 2019 monthly average to 180,000, compared with 223,000 in 2018.

So my point here is simple. Democrats are mad because they lost the election, and they really aren’t interested in whether president Trump is doing a good job or a bad job. The thing is, president Trump is doing a terrific job if all you care about is numbers. I understand that Democrats love their New York infanticide, their Seattle mayor pedophilia, their Democrat FBI agent adultery, their black face Virginia governor, their Clinton-funded Steele dossier, etc. But for the rest of us who just want to have a job, keep what we earn, and spend it how we want, this has been a great presidency.

It’s not just low unemployment and increased wages. Conservatives are happy about a never-ending stream of conservative judges filling up vacancies on federal courts.

Far-left Politico is not too happy about this:

The Senate confirmation of Lawrence VanDyke and Patrick Bumatay to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this month brought to nine the number of appointments President Donald Trump has made to the 29-member bench that serves as the last stop for nearly all legal complaints lodged in nine Western states. Democratic-appointed judges now hold a three-seat majority, compared with 11 at the start of Trump’s presidency.

If the trend continues, it represents a major shift in the liberal wing of the judiciary, meaning lawsuits for progressive causes won’t find a friendly ear as easily as they have. The circuit has been the go-to venue for activist state attorneys eager to freeze Trump policies on health care, immigration and other social issues. It ruled against Trump’s weakening of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, as well as multiple versions of his travel ban.

It’s now weighing the administration’s overhaul of the federal family planning program, the “public charge” rule that denies green cards for individuals who participate in programs like Medicaid — and it could take up the “conscience rule” allowing health providers to opt out of providing care on religious or moral grounds.

[…]The 9th Circuit isn’t the only court whose makeup has changed through Trump’s conservative nominees and McConnell’s singular focus on confirming judges. The 1st Circuit in Boston and 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia now have Republican-appointed majorities.

[…]A 9th Circuit panel of four Democratic appointees and seven Republican appointees in July allowed the administration’s overhaul of the Title X federal family planning program to take effect. The policy bars clinics that provide or refer patients for abortions from receiving program funds for reproductive health services like STD screenings and contraception and prompted Planned Parenthood to quit over the change. Another 9th Circuit panel this year ruled in favor of letting Trump’s Justice Department distribute grants to cities that use the money to crack down on illegal immigration.

[…]The Trump administration will likely seek a reversal of two separate lower court injunctions against the health provider conscience rule and has been asked by DOJ to freeze a recent nationwide hold on Trump’s order to deny legal immigrants entry to the U.S. if they can’t cover their health care costs.

If you have some time, and you want to really understand why the Democrats are so angry, I really recommend this recent show featuring Andrew Klavan:

And I also wanted to reflect on what the booming Trump economy has meant to me personally. I made more money from my mutual funds this year than I earned as a senior software engineer! I understand that “orange man bad” and “impeach the m*th*rf#$%&r. But I cannot deny that I am doing well financially, and it’s very clear from economists that this is directly the result of massive tax cuts, deregulation, and smart trade policies.

Politics isn’t about how you feel, and how you look to your friends. It’s more important than that. We need to have policies that solve problems for people who are struggling to get their American dream. Donald Trump has delivered those policies, and the results are not subject to debate. We have the numbers, and the numbers are very, very good.

Trump takes action on unemployment, healthcare, environment, refugees, adoption

I have a Canadian friend named McKenzie who sometimes reviews my blog post drafts. She usually says the same two things: 1) this post should be one third as long as it is, and 2) don’t tell me any more about why Democrats are bad, tell me why Republicans are good. So, in this post, I will tell you 5 reasons why Republicans are good, all from news stories about events from the last week alone.

Let’s start with healthcare. I’ve been bashing Elizabeth Warren on healthcare for a couple of posts. What are the Republicans going to do about healthcare?

Here’s Daily Signal:

The White House is making a strong push against Democrats’ “Medicare for All” proposal, laying out a “Health Care for You” agenda to boost competition and transparency, lower prescription prices, and produce greater affordability in health-related costs.

[…]The White House also has touted $6 billion spent over two years to target opioid addiction. This has contributed to a decrease in opioid deaths for the first time in almost two decades, officials say.

[…]Prescription prices are declining to levels not seen since the 1960s, according to the White House.

The Trump administration reduced approval times for medicines regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Trump signed into law Right-to-Try legislation to allow critically ill patients to access potentially lifesaving medicines that haven’t yet been fully approved by the FDA.

Trump also signed a $1 billion increase in funding for researching Alzheimer’s disease and launched the End HIV/AIDS in America Initiative to stop transmission of the AIDS virus in the nation by 2030.

The president last year signed the VA MISSION Act, which reforms existing programs in the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide more care for veterans in the communities where they live, with the aim of minimizing travel. The measure includes paying for veterans to get medical care outside VA facilities and also established walk-in community clinics for veterans.

Are Republicans doing anything to earn the votes of black Americans in 2020?

Breitbart reports:

The unemployment rate for African Americans fell to 5.4 percent in October, the lowest level on record.
This is the third consecutive month of record-low unemployment. September’s 5.5 percent matched the record set in August.

The unemployment rate for black men hit a record low of 5.1 percent, down three-tenths from the month prior. That was lower than the previous record low of 5.2 set in December 1973.

OK, I have white Democrat co-workers who think that this is proof of Trump’s racism. Not kidding. But I think it’s good.

But what about restrictions on energy production? We don’t want to end up with blackouts like those Democrats in California, do we?

The Daily Signal reports:

The Environmental Protection Agency will propose easing rules on disposal of coal ash, the residue from burning coal, to make it less likely the federal government would shutter a coal-fired utility plant, in an announcement set for Monday.

The move is part of what has been a larger deregulation push by the Trump administration to roll back strict Obama-era regulations that the industry viewed as the previous administration’s “war on coal,” that pushed to shut down many coal-fired power plants.

[…]Coal ash is frequently recycled, and used as material for wallboard and concrete. Thus, according to the EPA, the rule could provide more resources for building the nation’s highways and for agricultural purposes. Coal ash reuse also conserves natural resources and provides viable alternatives to disposal, the agency contends.

“This demonstrates our support for reuse of coal ash,” Wright said.

More than 500 units at approximately 260 coal-fired facilities may be impacted by Monday’s proposed rule, according to the EPA.

More coal means lower energy costs, and recycling coal by-products to build and repair highways sounds good.

But what about life issues? What is Trump doing about abortion?

The Daily Signal reports:

Under a proposed new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday, the federal government no longer will withhold federal grant money from faith-based adoption providers that won’t compromise their views on same-sex marriage.

[…]The proposed HHS rule clarifies that the federal government won’t discriminate against charitable organizations that don’t handle adoptions for same-sex couples when it comes to allocating federal grants. The proposed rule clarifies all federal nondiscrimination laws enacted by Congress will be enforced in awarding grants. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not currently covered under nondiscrimination laws enacted by Congress.

OK, it’s hard to deny that more adoption means less abortions. It certainly won’t hurt to make it easier for adoption agencies to place unwanted children in loving homes.

OK, fine, but what about the refugees? There is a crime epidemic going on in Europe, because they keep welcoming in low-skilled non-English-speakers into their country, without checking them properly for risk factors.

Daily Wire reports:

President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the administration was restricting the intake of refugees into the United States to the lowest-level on record under the current refugee system.

In a memo to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump announced that he was setting the refugee cap at 18,000 refugees for Fiscal Year 2020 — 12,000 lower than Trump’s cap for Fiscal Year 2019, and “the lowest number since the modern refugee system was created nearly 40 years ago,” The Washington Times reported.

The Trump administration reportedly considered going even lower when they first entertained the idea over the summer, cutting the number all the way down to nearly zero.

I remember when Obama wanted the cap set to 110,000 refugees. But he didn’t want them to live in his mansion or pay with him with his own money. He wanted them to live next to your children’s school, and pay for them with your money. So compassionate! Refugees are a problem for private voluntary charities, not for government, paid for by taxpayers who can barely make ends meet already.

Well, so I guess we do have reasons for wanting to elect Republicans in 2020! If you agree, then share the post! We can’t ALWAYS be relying on attacking Democrats to reach the people in the middle who decide elections. We have to tell them what Republicans will do that is different from what Democrats will do.