The Critics Respond, Part Thirty-Six

bogo

Never believe what people tell you they want. Yesterday’s No Fixed Abode was widely reviled as being inside-baseball journalist-drama time-wasting — yet it did more traffic on Day One than any supercar review I’ve done on TTAC has ever seen. In that article, I mention my time as a fast-food worker, leading “VoGo”, one of our more prolific commenters, to write the above.

I don’t require that anybody agree with me, ever — which is why I value VoGo despite his steadfast opposition to the vast majority of what I write. When I read the comment above, however, I realized that Mr. VoGo and I inhabit very different worlds.


The claim that we have “full employment” in this country is a common refrain among those who venerate President Obama and his anointed successor/opponent, Hillary Clinton. I suppose that it is possible that the United States has “full employment” according to some bullshit semantic manipulation, the same way that “lifetime warranties” in the state of Ohio are often limited to seven years, but if you think that this country is fully employed then you are smoking your breakfast. Either that, or you live somewhere within the United States that is, in fact, experiencing a full-employment situation. That’s a willful sort of blindness, equivalent to my believing that there’s no crime in America because there’s no crime in Powell, Ohio, but it’s at least based on honest observation.

Looking for more information on the “full employment” wonderland in which Obama’s America finds itself, I came upon a few articles, the most comprehensive being this one at Bloomberg. I’ll excerpt the relevant part:

The government counts as unemployed people who don’t have a job, have “actively looked” for one in the previous four weeks, and are available for work. A wider measure of people needing work would count other potential job-seekers as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1.8 million people were “marginally attached to the labor force” at the end of 2015 — meaning they wanted a job and had looked for one in the previous 12 months, but not in the past four weeks. This included 663,000 “discouraged workers” who had stopped looking because they thought there were no openings. The number of marginally attached had swelled partly because the recession was so deep and long; it’s likely to shrink as the recovery continues. Other kinds of disguised unemployment may be temporarily high as well.

John Williams provides a different view at ShadowStats, where he estimates that about twenty-five percent of adult workers are unemployed. He describes his methodology in detail on the site. I have no idea whether it’s correct or not, but it’s worth reading just to see how the government’s statistics manage to “forget” people who have been out of work for more than a year.

Long-term readers of this site may recall that I spent a couple of years a while back playing guitar for a rural church outside of Bellefontaine, Ohio. I can say with confidence that the ShadowStats pessimistic view is well-supported by the employment situation in the area — and remember, this is one of the few places in the Midwest with a robust manufacturing presence, courtesy of Honda. Presumably this is balanced out by places like Seattle, which serves as an alimentary tract for Chinese garbage being dumped in the American market and therefore enjoys a robust economy at the expense of all the places where workers are displaced by Chinese products.

Let’s say that the true unemployment figure is somewhere between Mr. Obama’s five percent and Mr. William’s twenty-five percent. Surely nobody is going to claim that the “employment” in question offers anybody outside Palo Alto or Manhattan much upward mobility or even economic stability. On my way to Shenandoah this past weekend, I stopped at Subway and wound up chatting a bit with the woman who was working the store entirely by herself. She was a Black woman in her thirties and she told me how she worked 12 hours a day Mon-Thurs before working four shifts over three days at Subway.

“When do you have time for yourself?” I asked. She thought about it for a minute and said,

“I definitely get to take a breather most Sunday afternoons.” Her overall situation, then, is slightly worse than that of a factory-town economic slave of the early twentieth century, because at least that fellow could look forward to a whole Sunday off in the cause of attending church and perhaps sleeping in the pew. This woman is fully employed, and no doubt she is considered to be an Obama success story — but she works nearly seventy hours a week for under ten dollars an hour.

The American society ignores the silent armies of the unemployed and McJobbed at its peril. The excitement stirred up by Messrs. Trump and Sanders is indicative of this. Both of those men are fundamentally working within the Establishment, whether you like them or not. A genuine demagogue could do much, much worse with this country’s simmering resentment. But hey — as long as the idiots at Twitter cash out big from their Salesforce acquisition, who really cares about the little people. Am I right?

174 Replies to “The Critics Respond, Part Thirty-Six”

  1. BIGTRUCKSERIESREVIEW

    Lo-skilled labor was necessary in the beginning of America when we needed to colonize the country, but once we gave our factory jobs to Asia, low-skill labor became a burden on our bottom line.

    Easy votes for Democrats- nothing more.

    Cheap, exploitable labor.

    Illegal immigration hurts us way more than it helps.

    • jz78817

      feh. the reasons you used to be able to get a decent-paying, unskilled manufacturing job were:

      1) we emerged from WWII pretty much unscathed, while Europe and Japan were clearing rubble
      2) we had a glut of manufacturing capacity which had been taken up making military hardware, which was no longer needed
      3) we had years of pent-up demand for consumer goods, the production of which had been put on hold for 2)
      4) we had thousands of returning servicemen who would need jobs and were starting families
      5) we had to help supply and rebuild Europe and Japan

      our economic might immediately after the war was due to a perfect alignment of circumstances more than anything else. and it didn’t last very long, the auto industry started contracting within a decade. Packard died in the ’50s, Chrysler dropped the DeSoto and Imperial brands, Studebaker only lasted a few more years, and AMC was formed out of Nash and Hudson just in order for them to survive.

      any politician claiming he can “take us back” to such an era is selling you a bill of goods.

      • DirtRoads

        jz, while I agree with the comments you made about the US economy post-WWII, I am wondering how you went form BTSR’s comments to post-WWII and thought it was relevant.

        The post-WWII era is long gone, and the mass shipment of jobs overseas started happening, by my personal recollection, in the 70s and 80s.

        Maybe you can clarify your point, or not. It just doesn’t seem to connect to the previous comment.

      • hank chinaski

        And yet we are stuck with the utterly unsustainable bills for the Great Society programs created during that same brief, never to return, snapshots in both demographics and prosperity.

      • Rock36

        While I agree that the spoils of the post WW2 economy went mostly to the United States, it isn’t like the United States didn’t have the economic capacity to set those conditions and exploit that opportunity prior to WW2, and it isn’t like the United States hadn’t already become the worlds largest economy some 50-70 years prior to WW2 (depending on estimates).

        The post-WW2 era is an unfair gold standard in many cases, but lets not correct the myths of post-WW2 prosperity by cherry-picking certain contextual elements of the phenomena at the expense of others.

        The decline in US manufacturing is far more complex than chalking up past growth solely to the Post-WW2 economic boom. Employment in the US manufacturing sector (more than just automobiles) didn’t even really start to tank horribly until the 2000s.

        FWIW the US manufacturing sector alone is still the worlds 10th largest economy.

        More than you ever probably wanted to know:

        https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/us-manufacturing-past-and-potential-future-baily-bosworth.pdf

        http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Research/Facts-About-Manufacturing/~/media/A9EEE900EAF04B2892177207D9FF23C9.ashx

        • jz78817

          “it isn’t like the United States didn’t have the economic capacity to set those conditions and exploit that opportunity prior to WW2,”

          did you forget about that whole “Great Depression” thing?

    • tresmonos

      You come across as the type that complains about the problem, yet doesn’t buy everything you possibly can made in the states. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      Everyone wants american jobs but nobody wants to pay for it out of pocket. Trump embodies this spirit.

      • CJinSD

        Paying for it out of pocket is doable. Paying for it in terms of putting money in fascists like Obama and Clinton’s pockets through organized crime in the form of labor unions? No thanks.

  2. Disinterested-Observer

    Don’t forget the massive numbers of young men and women in rural areas living off of social security “disability” and stealing their grandparents’ prescriptions.

      • Disinterested-Observer

        “Rural” was supposed to be a code word/dog whistle for “white” as opposed to all the other types of crime committed by blacks and immigrants. So, yes, I think that young white people collecting disability and stealing their grandparents’ prescriptions is unique to rural areas. Especially in South Dakota.

  3. Carl Kolchak

    I have said, if I were ever to run for a political office, I would start it with a video of the intersection of North/Grand/Kostner in Chicago. 40 years ago, you had jobs. There was Schwinn bicycles, Zenith TVs, Helene Curtis Shampoo, and Continental Can all being produced by factories wirhin eyesight. There was also a Pepsi bottling plant and a shopping center with a huge chain grocery store and a department store next to it. Today… Schwinn and Zenith (now LG) are foreign brands, where Continental Can say is Wal Mart. There is an off brand warehouse store where the department store was. So please do not tell me about full employment and the benefits of Free Trade. I got the pictures

    • jz78817

      we brought it upon ourselves. Just today I went to a gun & knife show with someone who regularly bitches about how much stuff is made in China. He was looking for a particular style of knife, and the Chinese made ones were $45-50 while the US made ones were $95-110.

      Which one do you think he bought?

      • everybodyhatesscott

        So true. I was looking for an american made hat, bought the cheaper one without doing my research well and ended up with something made in china (the cheaper shouldve given it away). Taught me two things. Make sure i double my research and never take anything at face value from amazon. I did go back and buy the american made version of the hat after but it was a problem of my own doing.

  4. Kevin Jaeger

    I’m never sure if these people actually believe the BS they spout or if they’re just regurgitating talking points they’ve been given as some kind of virtue signaling.

    I guess it’s remotely possible that they’re so isolated in their coastal bubble that they literally have no idea what’s happening in flyover country, having no contact with it whatsoever.

    • CJinSD

      I’ve never lived in flyover country, and I’ve never been as detached from reality as ‘Vogo’ claims to be.

  5. Paul Alexander

    This is probably off topic, but is there anything more hypocritically ‘American’ than Wal-Mart? An entire store made up of cheap, Chinese junk, including the flags it hides behind. Can anyone name a benefit Wal-Mart provides, besides being the cheapest? There is literally no other reason to go there, just that it’s the cheapest. Can you imagine anyone saying, “Yeah, I go to Wal-Mart because of the friendly service and knowledgeable staff!”? Hilarious right? It just waltzed into towns across the country long enough to undercut local, specialized stores and now they’re starting to close their own stores across the country, leaving huge areas as wastelands without even a fucking Wal Mart. Great job local politicians in protecting local industry and commerce!

    The compounding effect of Wal-Mart has been staggering. First it cut out the end seller, so then manufacturers had less alternatives to sell too. Then when it became clear it was either deal with Wal-Mart, or get out altogether, Wal-Mart pressed on them to go cheaper. Which a number of them did by sending production to China. So now we have these towns that only offer box stores and fast food joints, which make money and send it to headquarters out of area, out of state. The only local spending these revenue extraction boxes bring in is from the semi-employed, minimum wage earners who slave away at these places. And where do they shop? At the company store.

    Before we had local businesses owned by local business owners who spent their money locally. They had concern for the area they operated in because they lived there themselves. Now we have national corporations who have no connection to the areas they operate in taking money out of the local economy and pulling up stakes as soon as it seems more profitable to do so. We’re really fucked now because local communities have been softened up over the last 20 years and now no one is really in a position to push back on these vampires. The Chinese, with their wads of US dollars as a result of the aforementioned, are licking their chops (probably pork chops, considering they are now the largest pork producers in the United States).

    • everybodyhatesscott

      Pretty much agree 100% on Walmart. I usually only shop there when I’m out of town and I need something last minute and it’s never a good experience. I actually shop at my slightly overpriced local grocery store because they still hire local teenagers in high school.

      I got my first job at McDonalds 16 years ago. There were some Mexicans that did the cooking but it was maybe 50% mexican, 50% locals with a lot of kids where it was our first job. Now the local McDonalds is almost 100% immigrant. Pretty sure that’s not good for the local community.

      • Paul Alexander

        I always hear the ‘overpriced’ line, but I wonder if the alternatives aren’t just ‘too cheap’. I feel like we’ve been suckered by the dirt floor prices of Wal-Mart and the like that make the local alternatives appear expensive in comparison.

        I worked at McDonalds. There was one in the town I grew up in, not the one I worked at, that was like what you said: the first job mecca for a ton of high school kids. Same with the supermarkets. Now, not so much.

        • James

          If you replace “we” with “I,” then, sure, I’ll buy it. But someone who is working 70 hours a week, at less than $10 an hour, is not feeling suckered by dirt floor prices.

          You apparently live in a comfortable world, and I don’t begrudge you it. But, you know, the reason so many people are sensitive to price is that, to many people, price matters.

          • Paul Alexander

            Yup, I’m saying that people working 70 hours a week making $10 an hour are the ones that should stop shopping Wal-Mart. Exactly. Fuck them! That was the point of what I was saying.

    • tresmonos

      Walmart and Smithfield are two corporations that make me furious. Smithfield (before their Chinese ownership) used unethical loan shark practices to gobble up family farms. Everyone on that director’s board should be drug out into the street and burned alive.

      • Paul Alexander

        Damn, didn’t hear that part of the Smithfield story. Scary to think that our food supply is in such few hands, and now starting to be put into foreign hands. Go read about the pork in China, not cool.

      • CJinSD

        Did you know that Hillary Clinton was on Wal-Mart’s board when they became the US distributor for China Inc and crushed their workers’ efforts to organize under a union? Bill Clinton knocked down the trade barriers in exchange for campaign funding and also changed laws to create the credit default swap market, but for some reason NOBODY is talking about any of it during this election cycle, which is the worst thing anyone can honestly say about Donald Trump.

    • James

      Wal-Mart is a logistics company. For many years, access to manufactured goods in rural areas in America was limited–note “rural”! Then Sam Walton started his company, and there was a brown WAL-MART store near every rural town. I remember visiting my grandmother, who lived on a corn and dairy farm in Wisconsin; and we would head up to Wal-Mart every so often to buy all of our staples.

      I think there probably isn’t anything more ‘American’ than complaining about Wal-Mart. Being able to buy toilet paper is better, for most people, than enjoying friendly service from knowledgeable staff at a local, specialized store who, oh well, doesn’t happen to stock that particular item–and maybe you could try a local business owned by a local business owner who spends his money locally, the next town over? I mean, they might not have what you want, but their semi-employed, minimum wage earners are, at least, working for a local business! My guess is that someone who works 70 hours a week for less than $10 an hour is more concerned with price than uh, friendly service and knowledgeable staff. “Being the cheapest” can be a real benefit when you don’t have much money.

      But all of this is ahistorical, a consequence of the modern ‘American’ narcissism of imagining that history is just a projection back in time of how you feel today. Before WAL-MART, rural towns had Ben Franklin stores. Americans have been buying staples from box stores–not local businesses–for at least a hundred years, “five and dimes,” and so on. All that’s changed is the name on the box, and (for better or worse) the price and quality of its contents. But, apparently no one remembers K-MART, Woolworth’s, Ames, Gold Circle, Bradlees, Hills…

        • James

          Nah, Wal-Mart is completely different, because you don’t like it–Woolworth’s is (was!) fine, because you never thought about it. It’s like those digital simulations, where what exists is only what you notice.

      • CJinSD

        I’ve spent time in Europe, where one quickly realizes that income isn’t a measure of wealth. It’s what you can buy with that income that makes for a standard of living. One wonders what else the Paul Alexanders of the world can be sold on. Tens of millions of deaths is the unfortunate answer.

      • sabotenfighter

        Man, I haven’t thought about Ben Franklin in years. After it shut down, it wasn’t replaced with anything, not even a Wal Mart. Just have to drive to the city to get whatever. Though really with the sprawl, the nearest Fred Mayer is now only 15-20 min drive for my dad.

    • Ryan

      Is Wal-Mart truly “cheaper” these days? I would admit that they sell lower-cost goods in some instances, but the quality is severely lacking. Even so, I don’t notice much of a price difference between Wal-Mart and Meijer, both of which have been located within .5 miles of each other in the last two towns I’ve lived in. Perhaps the private label goods are a bit less at WallMart, but I notice little difference between pricing on national brand items. Even so I’m more than willing to pay a few cents more to support someone other than Wal-Mart. Even though I am currently “unemployed,” having left the corporate world to pursue my Master’s, I still willing pay what I find to be a negligible difference in order to support a “local” company.

      The local farm market I used to find down state certainly carried about a 10% premium on pricing, truncated hours, and less selection. The food quality was obviously much better than any big box retailer locally. I’m fortunate that at least now, living in the middle of nowhere, I can pick up produce and meats directly from the farms themselves. The unmanned roadside vegetable stand is a glorious concept.

  6. -Nate-Nate

    I now live on the West Coast, ground zero for immigrants of all types and there’s no where near full employment .

    The causes for this can be argued endlessly but anyone who claims there’s full employment is flat lying .

    I have _NEVER_ heard such a claim anywhere until this article .

    I will live and die a Blue Collar man, proudly so, in my youth I struggled to raise my Family on minimum wage when I was lucky, often below that , my own damn fault for not being even a High School graduate but I needed to eat so off I went into the bottom rung of the economic ladder ~ a place I’ll never forget and always have sympathy for those who are stuck on it .

    -Nate

    • DirtRoads

      Nate, you are a proud, responsible and fair-minded man. And my hat is off to you. I don’t give a damn if you finished high school or not. You went out and took care of shit. That’s being a man.

      • -Nate-Nate

        Thank you D.R. .

        I didn’t mean to toot my own horn, I just had to say something there .

        FWIW, I raised up a Son who’s better than I in every way, alone in The Ghetto .

        No tattoos, drugs, bastards, never had to bail him out of jail etc.

        Conservatism (NOT craziness) works ! .

        I’ll never be rich nor famous but I found some bootstraps and made my way just fine .

        I too doubt the unemployment rate ever gets below 14 % .

        -Nate

        • VolandoBajo

          Another facet of unemployment that often gets overlooked is that Son of Hillarycare Obamacare can be thanked for is the massive disappearance of forty hour a week fulltime jobs, for which every three such were replaced by for thirty hour a week “employees” in order to exempt the employer from having to ensure them.

          And it is not only that wages are shrinking. The purchasing power of the dollar has decreased dramatically in the last fifty years. Something on the order of being worth about ten or fifteen cents of a 1970 dollar. As Casey Stengel said, you could look it up.

          Another facet of Obamacare that the poor battered citizen is being directed not to look at, is the massive increase in deductibles, as well as premiums. Not to mention copay hikes on top of that. And the Hillary/Barack/Gruber solution: increase the penalties until the middle class learns to be subservient enough for our scheme to work for everyone.

          But in fairness, and also as a warning, the main reason we have been able to live so well for so long in post-WW II America is the deal Kissinger and Nixon made with the Saudis: only take US dollars for oil payments, and reinvest them into the US Treasury. Putin pointed out that the Russian economy has improved, but that it does not have the luxury of simply being able to print more money. Meanwhile, he, China, Iran and Syria are working furiously to try to find a replacement for both their oil supplies and the petrodollar.

          As for me, I hope we get a shrewd, if somewhat crass or vulgar President who can deal with this, rather than a for-sale-to-the-highest-bidder President who will only care as to whether or not she goes down in history as a prominent world leader who changed the face of the world. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

          And Nate, you have earned my respect many times over, from the views you have expressed and from the stories you have told about how you raised your son in difficult circumstances. You have given me much hope that my son, about a decade younger, who is unsure of what direction his life will take, will be no reason for me to worry, as he too has developed and shown fine character.

          We even had an honest heart to heart talk yesterday about the relative pros and cons of striking back against every wrong vs. hanging back and assessing whether or not a specific slight warrants retaliation. He is just as willing as I am to right any wrong, but unlike me, he thinks first, weighs his options, and then decides his response, whereas I am the type to immediately fight back at any slight.

          I have a beautiful coffee table photo book of Sicily, in which there is a photo of an elderly Sicilian fisherman. He had some sort of tattoo which indicated that he might belong to a certain underground association. When he was asked if he was Mafia and what was the organization like in Sicily, he replied that Mafia there was not an organization, not a noun, it was a description of an attitude, one to not suffer so much as a fly to land on your nose without responding.

          When I read that, I felt like he was a soul brother from across the world. But my son has taught me that there are times when it is better to let certain things go by. God knows that thought never crossed my mind for the first couple of decades of my more or less adult life.

          But my point is that any man who has a decent heart and who can say that they raised a son who is an even better man than he is, is a complete success in my book, Nate. One of the reasons that I especially enjoy associating with you and with Jack online, is that you both have a perspective on being a father and a human being that is sadly lacking in too many people these days, but which is one that I value greatly.

    • viper32cm

      This isn’t the first time I’ve heard the claim of full employment since our supposed recovery from 2008. In fact, I think it’s now been decided to be the “truth” by the political-media industrial complex.

      However, the Truth is that in 2009-2010 timeframe there were contemparenous print articles and discussions on NPR and other a/v media sources regarding the fact that our unemployment numbers were going to go down despite the lack of jobs becuase people were “long-term unemployed” and “leaving the workforce” per the definitions given by the statisticians. It’s truly distrubing, but in no way surprising, that now, 4, 5, and 6 years later, we’ve forgotten that (barely) nuanced discussion in favor of a quick soundbite–“hey, look at this number, it’s low”–without any consideration of how the number was calculated or derived. But, as they say, lies, damned lies, etc.

      As for the real unemployment rate, my best guess is that it’s somwhere between 10% and 25% and certainly at least 25% if you try to define and count the “underemployed.”

  7. DirtRoads

    The rest of VoGo’s comment (it may have been edited after you clipped it):

    “– it were proven they were less law abiding (they are not)
    – numbers of undocumented were rising (they actually fell by a million last year)
    – lawmakers proposed a rational policy to addressing the issue that did not involve deporting millions of people.

    Finally, keep in mind that half the undocumented migrants here didn’t cross the border in the middle of the night, evading border patrol. They flew here on visas, which they then overstayed. That’s not a border issue.”

    Let’s see, undocumenteds fell by a million? Is that because the current administration is handing out citizenships by the bucketload? Or wait, people suddenly stopped coming here because there’s a new McDonald’s that opened up in Mexico City?

    Deporting millions is a bigger problem than keeping them, but they still must pay for breaking our laws. Amnesty isn’t the answer, lest we all get amnesty for breaking a federal law next time around. Of course, they could all change their name to HRC.

    And wow, half the illegals flew over here on legal visas? That’s entirely new news to me. They can afford to fly here, yet can’t fly home?

    After searching through VoGo’s comments from that thread, I get the sense of a person who is intellectually arrogant without the intellect to go along with it. Another keyboard warrior. At least we know Jack. [I know, that just set me up for a joke, but just go with it]

    • Will

      He watched that show on college humor where the asshat with the stupid hairdo tries to explain things, only to get everything wrong. Yeah, Mexicans lining up to fly jet blue.

      • everybodyhatesscott

        ‘Adam ruins everything’ I hate that show. Not like I’ve ever watched a full episode but I’ve had snippets pop up in my facebook feed and they’re always insufferable

    • mopar4wd

      Oddly enough I have known a few illegal immigrants they all were on expired visitor Visas. But I live in the North East so that may effect things.

  8. hank chinaski

    Inevitable virtue signaling at Canadian based website was inevitable.

    The guv-ment is notorious for doctoring stats for its own ends. The rate of inflation conveniently avoids certain dramatically increasing costs of living like healthcare and college tuition. The Fed thus justifies a decade of zero interest rates, screwing savers but lavishing free money for banks and other big businesses to leverage and gamble with.

    Manufacturing is gone in the US. The name of the game is usury, with side dishes of bombs, bread and circuses.

    • everybodyhatesscott

      I have a feeling Canadians would get their own version of Donald Trump very quickly if we offered illegals here a chance to go back to Mexico or a free bus ticket to Canada.

    • Yamahog

      I’ll toss my hat in (degree in Economics from a good school) –

      Even by official measures, about 50%-70% of all inflation (post 1990) comes from healthcare, prescription drugs, higher education, and housing.

      • hank chinaski

        And all are subsidized by the fed and their printing press in one form or another. Easy money in, prices go up. In the case of education, non-dischargable indentured servitude.

        • Cdotson

          Ronnie,

          I agree. The fact that VoGo and pch101, both characters with whom I can assume I will disagree vehemently, get into arguments with one another to me says VoGo is a very careful troll. Which means he’s not just willfully ignorant, but willfully stupid and knowingly trolling.

          • Pch101

            VoGo is a Tesla fanboy, and I am not. He sees a breakthrough tech company on the cutting edge, I see a manufacturing company in a mature industry plays fast and loose with the truth about its products and that has no particular R&D advantage, while losing money in the process. He isn’t trolling, he’s a true believer.

  9. Yamahog

    I just wonder if there’s enough working poor to make it a viable platform. A lot of people face the choice of busting their hump for minimum wage in unpleasant jobs or getting social security.

    The system wants people on federal benefits because the feds can print money and states can’t.

    And it’s a racket. Doctors are the gatekeepers and drug makers make a princely sum off the massive xanax prescriptions. And a lot of this happens outside the areas of economic relevancy. If you have a paved driveway, you have to beg and plead for schedule II / III drugs and get the blessings of specalists. If you show up to a community clinic in rural west virginia or a rough part of Chicago, you’ll get 90 xanax bars / mo if you can tell them you don’t abuse drugs.

    But it’s also important and it keeps riots at bay.

    “How much does it cost to prevent LA (or the city of your choice) from catching fire? Answer: $600/month/person, plus Medicaid.”
    http://trilema.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/tlp.html

  10. MrGreenMan

    “lawmakers proposed a rational policy to addressing the issue that did not involve deporting millions of people.”

    You have a solution; he doesn’t like the solution; therefore, he pretends he doesn’t see it as a solution. OR, is he one of those special people who gets to decide what is and what is not within the bounds of discourse, and, surprisingly, all the things he agrees with are within bounds and those he doesn’t like are out of bounds?

    This is like the lunacy of Ted Cruz screaming, “Donald doesn’t have a plan! He would just get the feds out of it!” (A paraphrase of one of his remarks in the Rubio + Cruz on Trump debate from March, repudiating Reaganomics and Reagan’s approach to government in one soundbite.)

    How can we be simultaneously at full employment and have the statistic that all new jobs created since the Greater Depression started have been outpaced by the number of working-age immigrants, or, in short handed, all jobs created since 2009 have gone to immigrants? Because he lies to himself to prop up his political messiah.

    What was it that Jeopardy guy said? He has to “brainkill” himself every day to purge the thoughts that don’t match his politics? What a horrible way to live life.

  11. Jeff Zekas

    Thank you, Jack. Perfectly stated.

    I had this same conversation with one of the “kids” at work (he is in his 20’s and I am sixty-two, so he is the same age as my kids). He was grateful to have a part-time minimum wage job, and was looking for another part-time job, just to get by. Here in Oregon, many folks work two or three jobs to support themselves. As I told my buddy, “Here in Eugene, if you don’t work for the University or at the hospital, you are dirt poor.”

    I was on unemployment for three months, before getting my current, 20 hour a week job. According to the Oregon Dept of Labor, if you work ANY TIME at all, even two hours, you are “employed” and taken off the rolls. So, officially, Oregon has 5% unemployed, but it is more like 30% in the real world.

    • Disinterested-Observer

      I lived in Eugene/Springfield for a couple of years a while back and it was like a third world country. I was behind the Springfield police station one year and would find needles in the parking lot.

    • DirtRoads

      I lived in Oregon four years. So not only is employment difficult in certain areas, but the state taxes the crap out of you afterwards. One of the highest, if not THE highest, state tax rates in the country. And that’s without a sales tax. I was glad to move back to WA state after my four year stint there.

  12. MrGreenMan

    I’m always tickled by the part where Mr. Obama ridiculed “burger flipper” jobs in the campaign against Pres. Bush in ’07-’08, then he begged corporations to just hire people – hire anybody – and the “progressive” burger joint, McDonald’s stood up, answered the call of the President of the United States, launched its national open interview day, and hired 50,000 people, singlehandedly moving the needle from negative to positive for Mr. Obama’s job report.

    Then, Organizing for America showed up, found these extra 50,000 people idle, told them they were being underpaid, and organized them into an unskilled labor force demanding a doubling of their pay.

    No good deed goes unpunished.

  13. MrGreenMan

    I include this here because it’s good to look at how this played out a century ago:

    https://www.mtholyoke.edu/~molna22a/classweb/politics/Italianhistory.html

    “An interesting feature of Italian immigrants to the United States between 1901 and 1920 was the high percentage that returned to Italy after they had earned money in the United States. About 50% of Italians repatriated, which meant that often times the immigrants did not care about learning English or assimilating into American society because they new that they would not remain in America permanently. The work system into which Italians entered demonstrates this fact clearly. For, the newly arrived immigrants found a padrone, a boss and middleman between the immigrants and American employers. The padrone was an immigrant from Italy who had been living in America for a while. He was useful for immigrants because he provided lodging, handled savings, and found work for the immigrants. All in all, he helped American employers by organizing a supply of labor.”

    Of course, in 1910, America didn’t seek to give these people all sorts of free bennies to buy them off for votes and to justify the expansion of the various bureaucracies of official benevolence.

  14. Don Curton

    “– it were proven they were less law abiding (they are not)”

    Everyone in my immediate family, plus a great number of friends and acquaintances, have direct experience with visitors from south of the border causing a car wreck. The visitors typically have no driver’s license, no insurance, no valid car registration or inspection, and generally no proof of ownership for the car. In many cases, the visitor decides the police would only be a nuisance and drive away from the scene. In my case, I was laying in the ditch next to my motorcycle when said visitor cursed me in Spanish and drove off. Very law-abiding.

    Most visitors from south of the border specialize in CASH money transactions for any work performed. I would assume they meticulously record every transaction and then file detailed 10-40 forms at the end of the year, with a check attached for all taxes owed. Otherwise they’d be like the Trump and pay no income taxes, ever.

    Most of these visiting workers still want a taste of home, which is why they pay good American dollars for a chance to rape underage girls who were smuggled across the border and set up in illegal whorehouses through out the southwest. There’s a very large female slave trade going on, but dontcha know we only care about slavery as it relates to pre-1864.

    Twice a week several different trucks roam my neighborhood, scouting trash. Yup, trash. If anything looks interesting, they’ll dump the can out and root through looking for anything salvageable. While I guess it’s marginally legal, they neglect to pick up the stuff they don’t want and put it back in the can. That’s called littering, I believe. Also, get the hell off my lawn.

    People who support unlimited unfettered immigration tend not to deal with the same consequences I deal with daily.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      When she lived in New Mexico, my current wife was T-boned in her Silverado by an uninsured illegal Mexican who fled the scene immediately. He left her in a crushed truck waiting for help. She was seven months pregnant.

      This bullshit from Californians and SJW Beings Of Light about the moral superiority of “undocumented” immigrants is laughable.

      • Jeff Zekas

        Yeah, my son was hit in his car by an illegal. He chased the guy down, dragged him to his bank, and told the guy, “Pay me cash. NOW!”

        I left California after a lifetime of dealing with years of left wing, pro-illegal, MECHA and La Raza propaganda. The new history, written by them, is that they always owned the Southwest and English speakers are the “invaders”, so they are taking back what is “rightfully” theirs… uh, yeah, whatever.

        Thank you, George Orwell, for telling us about doublespeak, years ahead of the mind controllers who now roam the internet and news media.

        • Don Curton

          “invaders”

          My family has some land in Goliad county, Texas. Every now and then you’ll see some story in the news about Hispanics claiming they still have original Spanish land grants for various acreage in that area (and, I assume, elsewhere in Texas). Contrary to the “No blood for oil” crowd, winning a war generally brings with it some concessions, like, who really owns the land over which the war was fought.

          Unfortunately, I guess demographics is the next phase of warfare. Seeing as how I’m clipped, my role in that war is mostly over. It’s up to my kids now. One grandchild already, guess the other child needs to get busy.

      • carrya1911

        Word. Don’t even get me started on the fun and wonder that MS-13 has brought to my area. Including brothels staffed by 11-15 year old girls forced into sex slavery to “pay” for being smuggled into the country. The johns, of course, were all “undocumented” persons, too.

      • CJinSD

        Great discussion, but never refer to a woman as your current wife unless you’re already in divorce proceedings.

        A coworker of mine has his car totaled by an illegal in SoCal. The officers at the scene made him let the guy go, in spite of the illegal giving Hillary-quality false contact information. “That’s why you have insurance,” is what the police union members told him, although I don’t think most of us buy insurance to make the world a less culpable place for illegal voters.

    • Disinterested-Observer

      I have a theory that the reason that traffic fatalities are up this year is due entirely to DREAMers who don’t use their seatbelts or cross 6-8 lane thoroughfares outside the crosswalk.

  15. Rock36

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps all their statistics available for public consumption.

    They have U-1 through U-6 metrics that account for various states aspects of unemployment. The U-3 statistic is what is bandied about in sound bites and talking points. The U-6 includes discouraged workers and and marginally attached people to the labor force.

    One statistic that also isn’t mentioned (available on the BLS website) is Civilian Labor Force Participation, which is still hovering near a 20 year low at 62.8% in 2016. In 1996 it was at 67%.

    http://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-situation/civilian-labor-force-participation-rate.htm

    Yet another is the employment to population ratio. Also still near a 20 year low following the 2008 recession.

    http://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-situation/employment-population-ratio.htm

    • mopar4wd

      Correct it’s still at a high about where it was in the Reagan 80’s. If you adjust for people staying in college longer and Boomers retiring we still are very high (about 1987 levels) . Oddly enough it was higher in the 60’s and 70’s. All in all it would seem to put us closer to 7-8% unemployment.

  16. Ronnie Schreiber

    It’s hard to say how many jobs have been lost due to offshoring and how many have been lost due to automation and increased productivity. In the 1970s it took 10,000 workers to staff an automobile assembly plant. Today it takes 2,500. A lot of jobs didn’t go to China or Mexico, they just went away.

    Even with those job losses U.S. is consistently in the top 3 countries in terms of manufacturing and exports, though some would point to the fact that a lot of that is high ticket items like Boeing jetliners and tankers full of refined petroleum products.

    The reason why American entrepreneurs don’t start businesses is not because of foreign competition, it’s because of the hassles of starting a business here, not the least of which is dealing with an aristocratic bureaucracy that puts itself and its cronies above the law while making the rest of us cross every T and dot every i.

    The Chinese don’t play fair, but then neither do the Japanese or Europeans – remember, the “Chicken tax” on small trucks started as part of a trade war with France.

    Chinese wages are going up and automation will affect them. You think they’ll have a cost advantage in another generation? To be honest, I’m not even sure why so much electronic stuff has to be made in China since the assembly processes are already so automated. Circuit boards are stuffed and soldered by robots.

    It concerns me when inventors or entrepreneurs have to turn to China for manufacturing simply because you can’t get the stuff made here, but the truth is that if you really want good stuff, you’re going to end up buying from a small number of countries that don’t include China.

    • viper32cm

      With specific regard to China, we’ve also suffered the effects of its intentional devaluation of its currency. Since a devalued yuan makes China’s products look relatively cheap from our perspective, it certainly has at least a marginal effect. How much exactly, can’t say, but it’d probably translate into a few thousand extra manufacturing jobs over here.

      • Ronnie Schreiber

        I’m developing an electric harmonica and even at manufacturer’s pricing I’m looking at spending ~$100 for two American made pickups and some German harmonica guts. Fender can sell a complete made-in-China Strat that retails at Guitar Center for $100 or so. There has to be some currency manipulation because if you look at what the individual guitar components cost in China they can’t really make the complete guitars that cheaply.

    • Kevin Jaeger

      Good post, Ronnie. I’m open to the argument that allowing China into the WTO accelerated a process that put pressure on western manufacturing more quickly than they were able to adapt to the new competition, but that argument is rarely made.

      A people obsess over the cost way too much. No one is worried about competition from Haiti, Honduras, or Africa even though wages there could be a fraction of China’s. China is succeeding because they are doing things that are no longer possible in western countries.

      Realistically, if Apple had insisted on making their iPhones and iPads at home they’d still be waiting for permits to break ground in California to launch their first products. Environmentalists would be claiming the factories would pollute the water and the construction endangers rare, endangered beetle habitats. Apple builds in China because they can ramp up enormous volumes quickly, not because they save 30 cents/device in labor costs.

  17. carrya1911

    We have more people on public assistance than Germany has people full stop. The idea that we have “full employment” is bullshit.

    • Sean Goldstein

      Just a thought here – if you are going to attack my ideas, why not man up and ask me to respond? I’d welcome a free exchange, or at least the opportunity to be further enlightened.
      -VoGo

  18. Pch101

    There are six official unemployment rates, U1-U6. The “real” unemployment rate that is reported in the average news story is the U3 rate.

    The marginally attached workers are included in U5 and U6. U6 also includes the underemployed.

    The U6 rate is currently 9.7%, the U5 rate is 5.9%, the U3 rate is 4.9%. All of these figures are accurate, they just measure different things.

    I realize that is more boring to look at BLS data on the BLS website than it is to rant about the president, but reality isn’t always that fascinating.

    In any case, you should understand the real problem. In this country, we tend to abandon things instead of fixing them. This philosophy applies to places, not just to stuff.

    Many Americans have found that they have no future in the Rust Belt and many rural areas of the country, so they have left them to rot. For example, between 1960 and 2010, Ohio’s population grew at one-quarter of the rate of the country as a whole. There are many small towns throughout the country that have lost population over the same period. Many people who lived in those places have seen the writing on the wall and have gone elsewhere, and most of them don’t look back.

    The people who have stayed behind in the Ohios and remote corners of the country need to either work together to make their places better or else get the hell out. Many of have opted to do the latter, and I can’t blame them; the challenge and cost of trying to turn things around in those places are enormous and the odds of failure are high.

    No politician is going to fix the overall problem because there isn’t nearly enough money or upside to bother, and in any case, conservatives would howl about the waste. There are occasional victories, but too much of the country has been abandoned permanently in order for that to happen.

    Sorry, but those Rust Belt workers are just not competitive, and most Americans — particularly conservatives — are not going to want to pay double or triple the price for their consumer goods just to subsidize those people. It feels good to talk about it, but just wait until you have to pay for it.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      “The people who have stayed behind in the Ohios and remote corners of the country need to either work together to make their places better or else get the hell out”

      Alternately, they could just all take their AR-15s out of the closet, come to your prosperous town, and make winter coats out of your skin.

      Historically, that’s been what happens in these situations.

      • Pch101

        I realize that the orange-haired gnome who is seeking the presidency is feeding some 2A revenge fantasies. But one of the byproducts of having the world’s best funded military is the ability to turn it on enemies of the domestic variety. That AR-15 isn’t going to do squat against a battalion of guys with tanks, fully automatic weapons and body armor.

        • everybodyhatesscott

          Dude, where do you think the military gets its soldiers? The military is more likely to take up arms with the rural brothers than against them. The transexuals and the women probably won’t but in a war between Transexuals and women vs good old boys who have been shooting since they were 5, I know which side I’m going to pick to win.

        • hank chinaski

          I’ve always considered ‘the army has all the flamethrowers’ a somewhat valid 2A argument, but consider that the majority of servicemen are probably in that basket of Hillary’s.

        • viper32cm

          Right, because in the history world, no insurgency has ever achieved significant tactical or strategic victories or inflicted significant casualties against a professional army even assuming, as you do, that no member of that professional army would have even the slightest amount of sympathy for an insurgency lead by his own countrymen.

          And, for the record, I don’t have a clue how any sort of insurgency movement or Second Civil War in this country would play out, and, frankly, I don’t want to see it. But the self-assurance on the part of liberals that our armed forces could simply swat away the “2A people” (regardless of any likely defections and refusals of orders in the military) like so much refuse is laughable.

          • Cdotson

            I never read Jack’s comment to be remotely on the “civil war” scale. Historically, the period of time in which firearms have been a thing is just a blip on the radar. Historically, a village of strong but poor raiders would sack a softer, wealthier village to obtain resources. The availability of projectile weapons (bows, crossbows, and later firearms) largely eliminated this type of violence by democratizing the use of force and evening the odds between raiders and defenders.

          • Pch101

            The wannabe revolutionaries need to figure out that they are a minority.

            If it got to the point of a full-blown conflict, then at least some of us liberals would be siding with the government and the country that we care about by shooting back, too. The militia types will be outnumbered and outgunned, and their overconfidence will be the end of them.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Listen, I’m not in any way advocating civil war or violence of any kind.

            But the fact is that if any City Mouse vs. Country Mouse shooting war in this country is going to result in the burning and sacking of both coasts almost immediately.

            If you think that non-commissioned officers in the Army or Marine Corps are going to order their soldiers to fire on members of any informal American citizen militia, you’re nuts. Half of the guys would go across the line almost immediately. The other half would be a worse position than we faced in Vietnam or Afghanistan because the enemy wouldn’t be color-coded.

            You wouldn’t even need to militia to directly attack the city. New York and San Francisco depend on networks of roads and trains for food delivery. There’s about five days’ worth of food in either city. A thousand men could make it impossible for enough food to get through. Blow bridges and train tracks. Attack trucks — the Army can’t protect hundreds of miles’ worth of road. The government would have to do a Berlin Airlift… but how do you get the food to the airport?

            Oh, but how could the militia know how to do that? Oh wait, I know the answer to that: for twenty years we’ve been brutalizing young American men overseas, showing them the most effective ways possible to destroy an occupying army, then we sent them home to work as Wal-Mart greeters or stare at the wall screaming at the noises in their heads.

            Fifteen days of serious irregular resistance in this country and you’d have hundreds of thousands’ worth of deaths on the coasts.

            Let me give you a list of what people in this country will fight and die for:

            * Freedom from government tyranny
            * The freedom to practice Christianity
            * The ability to raise their children as they see fit
            * Their REAL homes in rural areas and the families/communities there
            * The idea of American greatness

            Let me give you a list of what nobody worth a shit in this world will pick up a gun for:

            * The right of the one percent to enjoy increased corporate profits
            * Thirty-six genders
            * Welfare for other people
            * Circuit parties
            * Foam parties
            * EDM, ketamine, ecstasy
            * Chelsea Clinton and her 2 billion dollars

            You get the idea?

          • Pch101

            If the self-appointed militia types decide to go postal, then it should not be assumed that the military will be the only ones who will be shooting back at them.

            Some of us care about the country and have no desire for sanctimonious wingnuts to take over.

          • viper32cm

            Neither did I, but it’s a concept that is sometimes referenced (or at least implied) when things go down this rabbit hole.

            You’re absolutely right, the invention of projectile weapons, up to and including the firearm, has lead to a democratization of force whereby the physically strong no longer have the upper hand simply because of their strength. Moreover, totalitarian regimes generally haven’t survived the establishment of a (large enough) middle class. When you combine those two things, in the most gross over simplification possible, it can lead to good things in terms of political freedoms.

          • VolandoBajo

            Insurgencies may have always failed, but military coups have often succeeded.

            While I am not predicting it, I am noting that there is at least a remote possibility that if the deep state feels betrayed enough by the Clinton Cash Machine (e.g, Benghazi, US uranium sellout, the fact that it is rumored that Hillary engineered SAM sales to Libya and that one of them turned up in Afghanistan as the missile that killed close to three dozen Seal Team Six members), it is entirely possible that if that is added to documented evidence of massive election fraud, it is at least possible, even if not highly probable, that the US military might launch a coup, with the stated purpose of cleaning up the election process, eliminating the electoral college in favor of popular voting, etc., and then holding a truly free election.

            I read a comment recently, as an entirely side note, that people in blue states were fed up with their states’ policies and were moving to red states. The net effect was to add yet more states to the automatically blue side of the electoral college, ironically because of people seeking to get away from the effects of blue state politics but too blind to see that it was the Dem politicians that were causing those effects.

            I urge everyone to see Dinesh D’Souza’s Hillary’s America film, and then tell me which fact in his movie is wrong, if any. It outlines the decades long corruption and misleading of the US public by the Dems, in an attempt to blame the Repubs for things that were actually true about the Dems, not the Republicans.

            And if you’ve seen it, please tell us what you think about it, and about why it disappeared from the theaters well before the election.

        • everybodyhatesscott

          Dude, where do you think the military gets its soldiers? The military is more likely to take up arms with the rural brothers than against them. The gays, transgendered and the women probably won’t but in a war between them vs good old boys who have been shooting since they were 5, I know which side I’m going to pick to win.

          • Pch101

            One-third of enlisted military isn’t white.

            And don’t assume that all white people are on the side of the wingnuts, either.

          • everybodyhatesscott

            Most of the combat units are white. Almost all of the special forces are white.

            The military is 69.7% white which is higher than the 63.7% whiteness of the USA as a whole. So the military is whiter than the rest of the country.

            And they don’t all have to be, just enough have to be where the military couldn’t stop the wingnuts. I’m not entirely convinced the military could stop the wingnuts if the military was 100% against them and they almost certainly won’t be. Some will cross the line, some will refuse to shoot at their fellow country men.

          • Pch101

            Wingnuts who are committing treason are not my countrymen.

            The Tea Party types need to wake up and smell the coffee. They are a minority of the population, and they do not speak for most for most of us, no matter how delusional they may be.

          • Pch101

            You are free to overthrow the government by voting, but that’s about it.

            The Constitution specifically bans treason. Some folks are eager to skip over the inconvenient passages.

          • everybodyhatesscott

            The entire point of the 2nd amendment is to fight back against a tyrannical government.

            What if they don’t count the votes?

          • Pch101

            The point of the Second Amendment was to ensure that the militia (read: National Guard) would do the bidding of the states even though the Constitution had federalized their oversight.

            One of the reasons that we have a constitution is because federalists such as Washington and Hamilton were opposed to uprisings such as Shay’s rebellion. Shifting control of the militias to the federal government would make it easier to quash rebellions.

            Your knowledge of history is as lacking as is your understanding of current events.

          • hank chinaski

            I don’t think that there is any threat of coastal liberal elites taking up arms. Tweets, late night TV snark, and finger wagging are more their speed.
            Guns are scary! Literally shaking!

            The loyalty of their jackboots is of more concern.

          • rwb

            Who the fuck are you people even talking about? Are “The Coasts” just a pair of ivory towers full of hedge fund managers and super-villains? Who’s actually coming after who? Are the millions of hard-working middle-class people who live in evil places like New England and the New York metro area and LA and Seattle also “coastal elites,” wholly responsible for a world in which a rudimentary skillset or an inability to deal with a dense, heterogeneous population precludes a person from a living wage?

            If you want to storm a specific townhouse because its owners outsourced some jobs to China and plunged your whole county into poverty, I won’t be taking a defensive position on its front stoop, but if anyone is expecting some shock-and-awe campaign by unemployed mid-westerners against the defenseless, limp-wristed professorial types which surely must be the only inhabitants of blue states, I don’t think you’ll be fulfilled.

            “I don’t think that there is any threat of coastal liberal elites taking up arms. Tweets, late night TV snark, and finger wagging are more their speed.
            Guns are scary! Literally shaking!

            The loyalty of their jackboots is of more concern.”

            What fantasy land do you live in where these people exist in any majority anywhere? Most of the people I know are trying to pay their bills, and put food on their family’s table. I don’t have a solution for towns full of people who can’t find a way to make a living because both employment options disappeard, but I also had no say in it, and I don’t know what would be accomplished by tearing down “The Coasts.”

            Ironic that the same people who’ve built this image of the evil, insidious “Coastal Liberal” out of shit they’ve read on the internet are often the same people who talk about how people’s feelings have perverted their politics.

            Feelings indeed.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            The average house sale in San Francisco is what, $1.6M now? You think any regular people live there? What about Manhattan?

          • rwb

            “The average house sale in San Francisco is what, $1.6M now? You think any regular people live there? What about Manhattan?”

            Well they’ve been getting forced out pretty quickly but yes, and they’re not buying houses. They’re stuffed into crappy overpriced apartments trying to split costs and hustle to eat, have electricity, and stay where they consider home. It’s as difficult to pick up and leave in that situation as it is to “go where the jobs are” in a rural area.

            There are obviously parts of those cities (and almost every other) where virtually everyone seems rich, but even then they’re often likely to have made their wealth in something that has no correlation to why people’s lives are ruined elsewhere.

            Anyway though, the point was that the coasts aren’t just San Francisco and Manhattan. Even states with coastline have people living average lives and hard lives. Those fantasizing about bringing the war to the “coastal elites” would probably find that those “elites” make up a smaller percentage of the people actually living in these parts of the country than they think.

          • viper32cm

            I know this is a waste of time, but what the hell:


            The prefatory clause reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State … .”

            a. “Well-Regulated Militia.” In United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, 179 (1939) , we explained that “the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.” That definition comports with founding-era sources. See, e.g., Webster (“The militia of a country are the able bodied men organized into companies, regiments and brigades … and required by law to attend military exercises on certain days only, but at other times left to pursue their usual occupations”); The Federalist No. 46, pp. 329, 334 (B. Wright ed. 1961) (J. Madison) (“near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands”); Letter to Destutt de Tracy (Jan. 26, 1811), in The Portable Thomas Jefferson 520, 524 (M. Peterson ed. 1975) (“[T]he militia of the State, that is to say, of every man in it able to bear arms”).

            Petitioners take a seemingly narrower view of the militia, stating that “[m]ilitias are the state- and congressionally-regulated military forces described in the Militia Clauses (art. I, §8, cls. 15–16).” Brief for Petitioners 12. Although we agree with petitioners’ interpretive assumption that “militia” means the same thing in Article I and the Second Amendment , we believe that petitioners identify the wrong thing, namely, the organized militia. Unlike armies and navies, which Congress is given the power to create (“to raise … Armies”; “to provide … a Navy,” Art. I, §8, cls. 12–13), the militia is assumed by Article I already to be in existence. Congress is given the power to “provide for calling forth the militia,” §8, cl. 15; and the power not to create, but to “organiz[e]” it—and not to organize “a” militia, which is what one would expect if the militia were to be a federal creation, but to organize “the” militia, connoting a body already in existence, ibid., cl. 16. This is fully consistent with the ordinary definition of the militia as all able-bodied men. From that pool, Congress has plenary power to organize the units that will make up an effective fighting force. That is what Congress did in the first militia Act, which specified that “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia.” Act of May 8, 1792, 1 Stat. 271. To be sure, Congress need not conscript every able-bodied man into the militia, because nothing in Article I suggests that in exercising its power to organize, discipline, and arm the militia, Congress must focus upon the entire body. Although the militia consists of all able-bodied men, the federally organized militia may consist of a subset of them.

            Source: Heller

          • Pch101

            I would not recommend getting your history lessons from Antonin Scalia.

            One can simply read the House debate in the First Congress over the Second Amendment to know what it was about. Clearly, it was an amendment about the militia, and the debate was dominated by the conscientious objector opt-out language that was initially proposed by Madison and was ultimately removed.

            I’m sure that you’ve never read those debates. I’m just as certain that you had no idea that there was a debate at all.

          • mopar4wd

            RWB summed it up. The coasts won’t get cut off because water and air. We have large Navy and merchant marine to supply the coasts nothing would get cut off but the center of the country.

            Military personal come from all walks of life and locations/ Those leading tend to come from the coasts (like most things look where the academies are) The military is also set up for rule and order, mass desertion would be tough.

            There are plenty of people on the coasts that own guns even some pretty left wing people. The bigger concern would be the moderate and New England conservatives that own guns but really care very little about religious values, But they do believe in the US. I think Jacks view of the coasts are tainted by spending too much time in only the big cities and not the areas the surrounding them.

          • jz78817

            PCH, the National Guard didn’t exist when the Bill of Rights was written, so it’s a stretch to say the 2nd Amendment considers “militia” to be the “National Guard.” Especially since the National Guard is under the purview of the Department of Defense and is composed of reserve members of the Army and Air Force.

          • Pch101

            The National Guard is the militia.

            If you don’t believe me, you can ask the National Guard:

            We recognize December 13th as the birthday of the National Guard. On this date in 1636, the first militia regiments in North America were organized in Massachusetts. Based upon an order of the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s General Court, the colony’s militia was organized into three permanent regiments to better defend the colony. Today, the descendants of these first regiments – the 181st Infantry, the 182nd Infantry, the 101st Field Artillery, and the 101st Engineer Battalion of the Massachusetts Army National Guard – share the distinction of being the oldest units in the U.S. military. December 13, 1636, thus marks the beginning of the organized militia, and the birth of the National Guard’s oldest organized units is symbolic of the founding of all the state, territory, and District of Columbia militias that collectively make up today’s National Guard.

            http://www.nationalguard.mil/About-the-Guard/How-We-Began/

      • -Nate-Nate

        “Alternately, they could just all take their AR-15s out of the closet, come to your prosperous town, and make winter coats out of your skin. ”

        Hopefully you’ll install a disconnector link before trying this….

        -Nate

  19. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Pch101 sez;
    “Some of us care about the country and have no desire for sanctimonious wingnuts to take over.”

    Too late. The current administration has that covered.

    • jz78817

      the guy has two months left in office. Let it go already. worry more about the two wingnuts vying to replace him.

    • VolandoBajo

      The irony is that pch101 talks as if he is speaking from the viewpoint of a US citizen, when in fact he is a lifelong Canadian who has in the past talked down about this country from his allegedly superior vantage point in Canada.

      • everybodyhatesscott

        ‘The irony is that pch101 talks as if he is speaking from the viewpoint of a US citizen, when in fact he is a lifelong Canadian ‘

        Lol, really? No wonder he doesnt get the 2nd amendment.

  20. Chad

    Insufferable? Those two infantile and arrogant freaks are left-wing parasites that think they are entitled to other people’s lives and incomes. Left-wingers are sub-human monkeys.

  21. Widgetsltd

    So, if I understand this correctly, the implication is that the Obama administration has somehow doctored the parameters of the definition of “unemployment” so as to make the reported number artificially low. Hasn’t the BLS been calculating the unemployment numbers using the same methodology for many years; perhaps decades? I recall hearing about “discouraged workers” in Econ class when I was in college 25+ years ago.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      The implication is that BLS methods don’t account for people who have given up looking for work permanently because until recently there weren’t enough of them to be statistically significant.

      • Pch101

        As was already explained to you, the U5 and U6 unemployment rates include discouraged workers.

        And no, those aren’t “Obama rates.” The same basic methodology has been used for years.

          • Pch101

            Discouraged workers are those who are not looking because they do not believe that there are no jobs available to them.

            The BLS surveys asks why those who are not in the work force are not.

            Your sense of reality doesn’t match the data that you aren’t bothering to read. All of this stuff is available at no cost.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            If we are to believe that BLS chart, just 1.2 percent…

            ONE OUT OF EVERY HUNDRED MEN…

            …is out of the workforce for reasons that are not their personal choice.

            You’re kidding, right? You think that’s real? Where do you live? What do you see every day?

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            The difference between a human and a computer is that a human has the ability to step out of a loop and recognize dissonance in the data. I think you’ve read enough Penrose to know that. Be a human yourself. Ask yourself if the real world reflects the one-in-one-hundred fairytale.

          • Pch101

            The BLS conducts surveys, and you don’t. They specifically ask those who are not working why they aren’t working, and those are the answers that they are given.

            You are basing your arguments based upon “facts” that aren’t true and that are easily debunked with credible data that can be found in less time than it takes you to write comments about it. I’m sorry, but that isn’t doing you any favors.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            If you really think that we have 99% employment, then we have nothing further to discuss

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Actually, that *is* what Pch is saying. He is saying that his numbers cite that only 1.2% of American workers are out of work for reasons other than retirement, medical, or family-related reasons. In other words, if you have 100 workers, only 1.2 of them is truly “discouraged”. And he goes further, by lecturing me about my inability to rely on that data as if the mere fact of putting something down on a page or website is an absolute, canonical statement of fact.

            But here’s the funny thing. I went without a W-2 for five years in the past decade. And never do I recall the BLS asking me why I wasn’t working. Nor have I ever heard of the BLS traveling through the trailer parks of Ohio asking people why they aren’t at work. So Pch’s “data” is actually Pch’s “estimates” which a Level 30 Aspie like him should immediately dismiss as elaborate fantasizing that is based neither on facts nor on measurements. He’s built his castle of impermeable reality on the sand of some low-level bureaucrat’s guess about what fake-ass reporting will get him a promotion.

            In other words — GiGo, motherfucka!

          • Pch101

            You need to understand what the “labor force” and “unemployment” are.

            People who want jobs but don’t have them are “unemployed” and are in the “labor force.”

            There is even an alternative measure of unemployment (U6) that counts the underemployed as unemployed, even though they have jobs.

            Everyone who is 16 and over is included in the denominator of the labor force participation rate. So the retiree and the student without a job (including the high school kids who are 16+) and the disabled person who can’t work and the guy with Alzheimer’s who doesn’t recognize his kids and can’t remember how to tie his shoes are all included in the labor force participation rate calculation even though they are choosing not to work or are unable to work.

            As the population ages, the labor force participation rate declines. Retirees don’t participate in the labor force by definition.

            As younger people spend more time in school, the labor force participation rate declines.

            As more women stay home to raise kids — something that you right-wingers supposedly want — the labor force participation rate declines.

            The BLS knows why these people stay home because they conduct surveys and ask them. You may not want to believe it, but a country that is getting older and is doing a better job of keeping frail people alive is naturally going to see its labor force participation decline.

            I can only presume that if more old folks were forced to go back to work, more women opted to swap childrearing for a job, etc., that you’d be complaining about that, too.

            Unemployed people are those who want to work, or in the case of the U6 rate, want to work more By that definition, many people who don’t have jobs are not unemployed.

        • rwb

          OK, I misread the chart as using a specific U-whatever rate rather than the sum totals. I can’t pretend to know more about this than what I can see in front of me, so I’m just trying to square what data exists, however realistic it may be, with our obviously disparate realities.

          When I applied for unemployment assistance after being laid off around 5 years ago, they sure asked me what was up until I didn’t need their check anymore.

          From what I can piece together using BLS FAQs and my own personal experience, If you get canned and don’t tell anyone, then the numbers rely on your employer being selected for the Occupational Employment Statistics survey (assuming you weren’t working some cash gig under the table,) and you for the Current Population Survey.

          I’m assuming that if neither of those things happen, any change in your situation doesn’t exist. If only one or the other happens, it may or may not exist depending on extrapolations from collected data. I’d love to be corrected if I’m wrong.

          Basically, even after accepting that these numbers come with a significant fudge factor by nature, they aren’t really moving my bullshit meter. 1-in-100 being “discouraged” in the job market sounds an order of magnitude too high for where I’m sitting right now, because there’s no shortage of jobs right here, but is probably way low for some towns in central or western MA, not far away. Taken as a whole, a group of 100k+ out of work in rural Ohio might look overwhelming when you’re in the middle of an angry mob, but if a few million people have gained employ elsewhere (and I’m willing to believe that they have,) the trend is still positive, even though some people are fucked.

          • Pch101

            Samples are used to extrapolate the totals. Nobody is assuming that you have a job unless proven otherwise.

  22. SinoGT

    Why are you arguing with the parasitic sociopath?
    You would think pch101 would have better things to do that comment on TTAC. It is just weird how pch101 hangs around TTAC all this time.
    Insufferable is too mild a term.

    • jz78817

      You barge in here and act like anyone who disagrees with you should just be ignored, then have the nerve to call someone else a sociopath?

      Enjoy life in your echo chamber.

    • Eric Blair

      pch101 and VoGo are on every f–king thread all the time at TTAC. What the hell do they do for a living?
      I seriously am beginning to think those two are regularly employed as full-time Correct the Record trolls, and they drop in to TTAC for amusement every so often.

  23. -Nate-Nate

    “think that we have 99% employment” .

    I can’t imagine anyone thinks that ~ never in my lifetime has American had it that good .

    -Nate

    • Pch101

      Nobody is claiming that the unemployment rate is 1%. Mr. Baruth needs to slow down and understand what he is reading, instead of grossly misinterpreting it and overreacting accordingly.

      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        To the contrary.

        You need to stop making arguments that you don’t fully understand because you don’t know where statistics come from and your mental illness doesn’t permit you to admit that you’ve been wrong.

        • Pch101

          You seriously don’t get it. At all.

          There are three kinds of people for the purposes of this discussion:

          -People who have jobs (the employed)
          -People who don’t have jobs (or in the case of U6, enough of a job), but want a job or more of a job (the unemployed)
          -People who don’t work and intend to keep it that way

          The link above is for the third group of people. They don’t have jobs, but are not counted as unemployed.

          As noted, 99% of that group is not working for a reason.

          There people who want to work but aren’t are included in that 1% figure. The people who want to work are included in the U1-U6 rates, not in that 1% figure.

          You asked about those people who don’t have jobs yet are also not counted as “unemployed.” That link with the 1% figure explains their status. Sorry if the world isn’t ending as you believed that it was.

          You seriously need to learn about this prior to commenting about it. Take a breathe, slow down, and calmly learn what it means.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            “You seriously need to learn about this prior to commenting about it. Take a breathe, slow down, and calmly learn what it means.”

            The greatest part about your arrogant, psuedo-superior posts, besides the fact that you’re basically a fucking normie compared to me IQ-wise and I can literally model your responses in my head almost letter-for-letter immediately after every comment I make, is that I can see you making the same sort of strident, whining points regarding Soviet figures for wheat production in 1972 or whenever.

            Allow me to lecture you for a moment. The role of intellect in this world is not to be a cock-sucking spittle-licker for the people who have seized power through means both unpleasant and unethical. The role of intellect in this world is not to align yourself with the strong in the hope that you’ll be permitted a subservient safe space when the tall poppies above you have their heads removed. The role of intellect in this world is not to defend the status quo with the prissy indignation of a sixty-ish schoolmarm whose students have dared to question her wisdom regarding the timing of recess.

            The role of intellect in this world is to be conscious. Consciousness implies that we step outside the loop of what we are observing and ask ourselves if it is real and if it is true. You can claim that your precious statistics are being misinterpreted all you want but if you could stop counting the number of mailboxes you touch on the way home for just five minutes you might be able to step back and make a conscious observation for once in your crippled, worm-worn-passages-of-your-nearly-neurotypical life.

            You would have made a perfect parish priest a thousand years ago; you can parrot the pablum fed to you by your betters and you feel genuinely superior for having used the threadbare rhetoric of third-rate undergraduate superciliousness to do so.

            Now fuck off.

            Or wake up.

            Either way.

          • Pch101

            My IQ has been formally tested and it is well into the 99th percentile. But thanks for playing.

            The fact that you could so badly misinterpret that link doesn’t help your credibility at all. The fact that you did so even after it was explained to you and the U3, U5 and U6 unemployment rates had been specified just makes it that much worse.

            The conspiracy theories that you offer in lieu of basic factchecking are just icing on the cake. This stuff can be Googled in two minutes, yet I’m sure that you haven’t even read the BLS data or tried to understand what it says.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            99th percentile

            Ooh I bet you were the smartest kid in your fourth grade class.

            Soviet wheat numbers brah

          • Kevin Jaeger

            If pch actually wanted to contribute something constructive he could apply his colossal IQ to reviewing the ShadowStats methodology and enlightening us (and them) on how they could correct their errors.

            Googling up some links to government statistics as if they were holy tablets containing unquestionable truth is hardly a sign of an above average IQ, even if it is leavened with insults and condescension.

          • Pch101

            Er, it’s your job to prove that John Williams is right, not mine to prove that he’s wrong.

            In any case, here’s a pretty laughable comment that he made about his method for (mis)calculating the CPI: “I’m not going back and recalculating the CPI. All I’m doing is going back to the government’s estimates of what the effect would be and using that as an ad factor to the reported statistics.”

            http://econbrowser.com/archives/2008/10/shadowstats_res

            So he starts with the government figures, and then just adds some arbitrary numbers to them for shits and giggles. Then he sells that nonsense (literally) to a bunch of paranoids. I would suggest that you save your money.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            That’s a nice inversion of the idea that a man is innocent until proven guilty. In your mind, it’s the *system* that is innocent and the individual free man who is guilty.

          • Pch101

            If it’s your argument, then it’s your job to back it up.

            In any case, you’re being played by a huckster who wants to charge you for bogus information. You think that you’re being a clever cynic when this guy is just scamming you.

            It takes a lot of effort and resources to collect and calculate economic data. The BLS has real economists who not only put in an effort into gathering and collecting data, but they also show their work. They also produce a myriad of data, such as six — not just one, but six — national unemployment rates and several CPI calculations, as well as local and regional breakdowns. And they give it to you at no charge.

            In contrast, your guy essentially admitted to a real economist that he makes the shit up, then charges a fee for his “insights.” You may as well argue that a guy in his garage can build a car from scratch that is more reliable and better assembled than a Toyota. You’re being played.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            “And they give it to you at no charge.”

            What’s the saying again? If you’re not paying, you’re the product.

          • Pch101

            John Williams profits directly from your gullibility.

            And what you’re missing is that with US data and methodology out and in the open for everyone to see, every economist is in a position to study it and tear it apart.

            You may notice that credible economists aren’t doing that with US data, whereas many are openly skeptical of the numbers that come out of less reputable markets such as China. One reason that the US continues to attract capital is because the numbers here are generally trustworthy; our data is transparent, errors are corrected and misdeeds are eventually uncovered.

            You’re being bamboozled by a swindler who makes shit up. There is no reason to defend such a guy, let alone rely upon him.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            “You may notice that credible economists aren’t doing that with US data,”

            Pch101’s definition of a “credible economist”: Someone who believes the BLS data.

          • Pch101

            If US numbers are completely bogus, then why aren’t there dozens of economists lined up to expose this horrific fraud? This is the sort of expose that would make careers in what is generally a pretty boring field

            The one guy who is supposedly doing this (a) not an economist who (b) makes shit up who (c) sells it to the general public. Why you are so eager to let such a guy swindle you, I don’t know.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            “If US numbers are completely bogus, then why aren’t there dozens of economists lined up to expose this horrific fraud?”

            Not bad. Start with the No True Scotsman regarding the economists’ credential, then move straight to the reductio.

            Some time I’ll have to let you debate my 7-year-old for a bit, just so he has a chance to recognize every cheap trick in a row.

          • Pch101

            John Williams isn’t an economist at all.

            And he has admitted that he doesn’t really crunch any numbers. So he impeached his own credibility without anyone else doing it.

            The fact that you can’t list even a few guys who have econ PhDs from credible schools to agree with you should tell you something.

            Meanwhile, you’re critical of data that you obviously haven’t read. You didn’t even know that the data that you want is already being calculated by the BLS because you never bothered to look at it. Yet you dare to host a lecture about how something that you don’t understand can’t believed because some huckster told you so.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Ooh, there’s that word… dare.

            How dare I disagree with you and your ability to read statistics! How dare I disagree with your top-of-the-fourth-grade-class IQ and your middling self-reported barely-above-normie intellectual credentials! How dare I have the nerve to call out all your half-baked logic and incompetent debate skills!

            And meanwhile you’re too fuckin’ stupid — I said STUPID, wannabe Mensa member who probably has a 131 IQ on the most generous assessment possible — to understand how the sausage is made. Too much of a coward and a servant of the people who feed you the pablum. What good are you? Too weak to carry furniture and too slow-witted to make an actual contribution.

            The worst part of is that you’re so autistic that you can’t even read my original post to indicate that I said, from the beginning,

            “I have no idea whether it’s correct or not, but it’s worth reading”

            regarding the ShadowStats. You’re so fucked-up in the head, such a little authoritarian bootlicker, that your micro-cock shrivels at the thought of SOMEBODY actually READING a DISSENTING OPINION. Christ forbid that anybody DEVIATE from the DOUBLEPLUSGOODTHINK.

            I see only two potential truths regarding you:

            * You’re barely a ninety-nine percenter in an elementary school, and too stupid to be making any decisions for anybody besides whether they should have fries with that.

            * You are a genuinely intelligent human being who is so emotionally stunted that you actually identify with the United States Government, perhaps as a surrogate father. In that case, you should seek qualified help.

          • everybodyhatesscott

            1. This is extremely entertaining
            2.

            who probably has a 131 IQ on the most generous assessment possible

            C’mon Us 131 guys have to eat too
            3.

            The worst part of is that you’re so autistic

            The best part is he’s so autistic you know he has to get the last word in and I’ll get at least another few minutes of laughs out of this.

          • Pch101

            I can see where this conspiracy mindset comes from on the right. Who needs facts when feelings will suffice?

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            And who cares about where the figures come from as long as they are government approved?

          • Kevin Jaeger

            Canada’s demographics are a little different from the US, but historically Canada’s Employment/Population ratio has tracked fairly close to the US – sometimes matching, but usually being 1 or 2 percent lower when they diverge.
            http://www.tradingeconomics.com/canada/employment-rate

            Up until 2006/2007 they were both pretty close at about 63%, but since that time the situation has reversed and Canada now has an employment rate 1 or 2 percent HIGHER than the US, which almost never occurred in the past.

            I’d say somewhere in those BLS statistics about 3% of the population are not really properly explained. Canada’s demographics haven’t diverged that suddenly.

            In spite of Obama’s heroic efforts to lift up the deplorables in the heartland, they are somehow trailing Canada in employment. And it should be noted many of the issues you talk about have certainly affected Canada as well.

          • Kevin Jaeger

            Not surprisingly we see a similar divergence in the full labor force participation rate:
            http://www.tradingeconomics.com/canada/labor-force-participation-rate

            If I were more motivated I’d take the data and graph the US and Canada on the same graph, but clearly since 2008 about 2 or 3% more of the American labor force is no longer participating in it.

            Clearly something more than the aging workforce is at play here, as that obviously affects Canada, too.

  24. RFinch

    Most commenters at TTAC are insufferable twits-And kinda mentally retarded-parent’s basement dwellers as Hillary refers to them.

  25. ZZbottom

    100M Americans are living off the taxpayers. America is now a left-wing parasite monkey farm like the rest of the third world.

  26. mopar4wd

    Well that was entertaining. I’m not sure either side actually proved their point in the least, but you did provide some laughs.

  27. John Carter

    Ever been to other car websites? ALL of them are infested with stupid insufferable parasitic runts. TTAC is a bit better than the rest, with the laughably pandering term “B&B”.

      • John Carter

        Back then TTAC had intelligent adults commenting.
        Today almost all are left-wing-parasite brats.

        What Happened?

        • A09

          The intelligent commenters left when the articles of substance disappeared…around the time the direction shifted to become “manufacturer friendly”. I left when moderators suppressed people’s contributions with. “.”

        • Alco231

          The retarded parasitic brats chased off the intelligent adults over time…Similar to what the Democrats did to Detroit and Muslims did to Paris. TTAC is now basically a Ghetto.

    • danio

      It’s really tough to bother anymore, even though I have more great things to share than ever. I used to think the readers there valued insight and information, but it turns out they only care about stuff that validates them personally.

      • mopar4wd

        Sorry to hear that Danio. Are you still at Allpar, pretty immature over there at times too. Honestly TTAC and Curbside are still some of the better comments on blogs (go read a main stream news blog or pickuptrucks.com for examples of truly moronic comments)

  28. Karmen

    Sad when parasitic jackasses like PCH101 are the brighter posters….
    I stopped visiting TTAC years ago because most are just idiotic brats.

  29. Jeff Zekas

    I work at Whole Foods. The boss said, “We don’t want to make you full time, cos then we would have to pay for health care.” Before WFM, I had a union job that paid a living wage. But all those jobs have moved to Mexico and China. Who benefited from NAFTA and the trade deals with China? Not the workers.

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