March 6, 2011

At the WSJ: ‘Forward Recovery’ At Last

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:09 am

I hope the WSJ’s editorialists are right.

There are reasons to be concerned, not the least of which are the $3.50 a gallon prices at gas stations around here (higher elsewhere).

But if the Journal is right, it reminds us that it’s happening way, way, way later than it should have:

The pace of job growth from a recession that vaporized some eight million jobs has been the most anemic of all post-World War II recoveries. Keynesians will have a hard time explaining why the jobs recovery started long after the bulk of the stimulus dollars were spent.

We still have 13.7 million officially unemployed Americans, with 2.7 million more who stopped looking for jobs. Nearly half (43.9%) of those without jobs have been out of work at least six months. The main reason the unemployment rate has fallen the last several months is that the number of working-age Americans not in the labor force dropped by two million over the past year. The U.S. economy needs to maintain a pace of 190,000 net new jobs for at least the next 12 months merely to get the jobless rate back to a still awful 8%.

The Keynesians don’t have an explanation, but I do: The “Rebound? What Rebound?” Economy of the past 20 months, the second stage of the POR (Pelosi-Obama Reid) Economy — the first was the Pelosi-Obama-Reid Recession/”Repression” as normal people define it — really is beginning to recover, it’s because the change in the balance of power in Washington and in many state capitals not only has ensured that the stimulus is mostly over, but is also showing signs of reining in our lawless, runaway government. It’s because there is a real likelihood that the crushing burden of Obamacare may really be excised. It’s because adults cleaning up after the children (figuratively and literally) may finally be getting a grip on out-of-control costs at the state and local level.

Look at what they’ve done (and are still doing) to ruin things, and to extend the pain: stimulus, uncalled-for drilling bans, Cash for Clunkers, Cash for Appliances, HAMP. All of these distorted markets, created perverse incentives, crowded out or beat down the private sector, and held back the economy. Some programs, particularly HAMP and others in housing, are still working against economic progress. The administration’s over-the-top regulatory hostility and contempt for the law (latest example here) remain as formidable barriers to a true recovery.

As a result of what they did and didn’t do while fully in charge, millions remain unemployed and, as the Journal noted, the post-recession employment market has been the “most anemic” ever. The suffering they have caused, which will linger for years until unemployment gets back to a tolerable level, has been incalculable, and with the exception of the Great Depression itself — which FDR extended for almost a decade by embarking on similar policies — unprecedented.

Party of compassion my a**.

Positivity: Pope praises St. Francis de Sales’ secret to holiness

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:51 am

From Vatican City:

Mar 2, 2011 / 05:53 pm

At the Wednesday general audience on March 2, Pope Benedict XVI discussed the life of St. Francis de Sales, a 17th century bishop and Doctor of the Church whose secret to holiness was his unreserved trust in God.

“He was an apostle, preacher, writer, man of action and of prayer,” the Pope recalled, describing how the saint became “committed to realizing the ideals of the Council of Trent, and involved in controversies and dialogue with Protestants.”

“Yet, over and above the necessary theological debate, he also experienced the effectiveness of personal relations and of charity.”

St. Francis de Sales was born in 1567 to a noble family in the Duchy of Savoy. At a young age, he experienced profound anxiety while reflecting on the topic of predestination. In the course of this “profound crisis,” the Pope observed, the young man “ found peace in the radical and liberating truth of God’s love: loving Him without asking anything in return and trusting in divine love.”

This unreserved trust in God, Pope Benedict observed, “would be the secret of his life.”

Although he acquired a law degree and could have married, Francis de Sales chose to become a priest and take on the difficult task of bringing Swiss Calvinists back to the Catholic Church. He was ordained in 1593, and later consecrated as the Bishop of Geneva in 1602.

His ministry in Geneva frequently subjected him to dangerous travels and rejection by Swiss Protestants. However, by the end of his life he had succeeded in bringing between 40,000 and 70,000 of them back to the Catholic fold.

He also collaborated with St. Jane Frances de Chantal in founding the Order of the Visitation, whose sisters live a life of “complete consecration to God” in “simplicity and humility.” St. Francis de Sales died in 1622 while visiting one of the convents he had helped to found.

Alongside these accomplishments, the saint also composed significant spiritual and theological works. Pope Benedict called attention to his book “An Introduction to the Devout Life,” a book that was unusual in its time for calling laypersons “to belong completely to God while being fully present in the world.”

The Pope also highlighted the importance of St. Francis de Sales’ most important theological work, the “Treatise on the Love of God.”

“Following the model of Holy Scripture,” he observed, “St. Francis of Sales speaks of the union between God and man, creating a whole series of images of interpersonal relationships. His God is Father and Lord, Bridegroom and Friend.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.