August 20, 2011

Betrayed By Their Elders — And Their Party

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:59 pm

Michael Nutter needs to look at who really “damaged their own race.”

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Note: This column appeared at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Thursday.

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A week ago, in the midst of this, the summer of the flash mob — groups of mostly black teens who have attacked non-blacks at random in public places — Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter angrily lectured his city’s young black thugs:

“If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you ‘cause you look like you’re crazy,” the mayor said. “You have damaged your own race.”

Of course, Nutter’s admonishment was necessary and overdue. But let’s face it. While in no way exonerating the criminals involved in this summer’s mayhem, you have to be blind in one eye and not be able to see out of the other not to recognize and admit that policies which black civil rights “leaders,” most big-city mayors of all races, and liberals in general have favored for decades have contributed mightily to today’s devolved black youth culture. In a supreme and bitter irony, America’s first African-American president (well, not really, but work with me here) and his party in Washington have sharply accelerated the damage during the past three years.

In difficult economic times, entry-level, less-skilled and less-senior workers suffer the most. Sadly, blacks are overrepresented in these groups. Getting these workers into or back to productively contributing to society is why turning around an economy as quickly as possible after a serious downturn is so critical. It has been over three years since the beginning of the recession as normal people define it, roughly coinciding with the inception of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy, also known as the fear-based economy. It’s been over two years since the recession officially ended. The degree of turnaround needed to employ these workers is not happening. Indeed, the situation is getting worse.

The latest available census information, bumped up by a bit, tells us that there are about 2.8 million African-Americans in the 16-19 age group. As of July, according to not seasonally adjusted data at the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • 433,000, or 15%, had jobs. By contrast, in July 2006, over 700,000 African-American teens were working. In July 1998, among a smaller population, over 900,000 were.
  • 306,000, or 11%, were unemployed.
  • 740,000, or 26%, were working or looking for work. In July 2006, that number was over 1.1 million. In July 1998, it was over 1.3 million.
  • The remaining 2.06 million, an astonishing 74%, during the peak month of teen summer employment, were not in the workforce.

The equivalent July 2011 percentages for whites, over which there is no cause to jump for joy, were 35% employed, 11% unemployed, and 54% not in the workforce. While there is a clearly a teen workplace disengagement epidemic among whites, in the black community it’s a full-blown plague.

This returns us to Mr. Nutter, a large percentage of his mayoral colleagues around the country, the leftists who control most urban areas, and Washington’s Democratic Party establishment. It is all too telling that one of the pet excuses for high black teen unemployment this summer, as seen in a Cleveland Plain dealer item back in June, is that the stimulus programs which funded some teen summer jobs in 2009 and 2010 with money that we as a country didn’t have weren’t available this year.

That copout doesn’t cut it, not after decades of liberal government policies and negative cultural influences which have betrayed the hopes and dreams of millions of young blacks, and which are largely responsible for creating the dangerous conditions underlying this summer’s flash mob outbreak. Here are just a few of the financial and economic factors, besides the aforementioned Democrat-driven recession and “Rebound? What Rebound?” recovery:

  • Minimum wage laws. Total employment in all age groups dropped almost 10% from July 2006 to July 2011. Meanwhile, the minimum wage went from $5.15 in 2006 to its current $7.25, and black teen employment dropped by 38%. That’s not a coincidence.
  • Taxes and regulation. Urban property, income and other taxes are generally higher than in surrounding communities. Additionally, the larger the city, the more likely it is that there will be dedicated groups of environmental zealots and other corporate harassers, some with city government and others in “advocacy groups,” whose mission is to make life miserable for job providers, and who seem to consider it a victory when businesses leave or fail. Because of these unnecessary burdens, companies have been voting with their feet and taking their jobs to lower-tax in-state and out-of-state suburbs and exurbs for decades. Surprise, surprise (not): As a result, fewer low-skilled and summer-job opportunities are available for urban teens.
  • Entitlement dependency. Sadly, blacks make up a disproportionate percentage of the food stamp, Section 8 housing, and traditional welfare rolls. Teens who get jobs can cause their families to lose partial or full eligibility for these programs. Gainful employment can also reduce the amount of available federal college aid. It’s a lot easier to just stay at home, hang out, and potentially get in trouble.

While Mayor Nutter deserves some credit for calling out the teen hoodlums in his midst, it’s hard to take him seriously as someone who really wants to go after the black teen unemployment problem. You see, he has a lot in common with this country’s chief executive. While Barack Obama was on a three-state bus tour this week in “Greyhound One,” shattering all previous presidential records for whining and excuse-making, Nutter, a deputy mayor, and the city’s water commissioner were on a junket in Rio de Janiero accompanying Lisa Jackson, who heads Obama’s job-killing Environmental Protection Agency. Their objective: “to listen, learn, and lend their expertise on green development.” Nutter’s ultimate goal: “to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the country.” Any manufacturer who hasn’t yet left the City of Brotherly Love will likely be giving it serious consideration shortly. What will that do for the job prospects of the city’s black teens, or for that matter its other unskilled or unemployed residents?

AP’s Rugaber Discloses Specifics in States’ Largest July Job Gains/Losses — Except for Texas

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:32 am

Establishment press reporters will insist from now until the cows come home that they play it straight. Their actions all too often belie their claims.

One such face-hitting example came yesterday in Associated Press reporter Chris Rugaber’s coverage of the government’s Regional and State Employment and Unemployment report. If it weren’t already given away in this post’s title, veteran media bias sleuths would have had no trouble detecting the “clever” technique employed in the following two paragraphs on seasonally adjusted state job gains and losses from Rugaber’s risible rendition (key sentences bolded):

New York enjoyed the biggest job gain in July: 29,400. The state added jobs in education and health care and professional and business services – a category that includes accounting, engineering, and temporary workers, among other professions.

Texas reported the second-most number of new jobs. It added positions in retail, transportation, education and health, and hotels, restaurants, and other leisure industries.

Texas has accounted for nearly half the U.S. jobs created since the recession officially ended two years ago, according to calculations by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Its job-creation figures are coming under scrutiny now that Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, has launched a presidential campaign.

Illinois reported the biggest loss of jobs last month: 24,900. It was followed by Florida, with a loss of 22,100 and Minnesota, with 19,800. Many of Minnesota’s job losses stemmed from the state government’s shutdown last month. State agencies temporarily laid off 22,000.

It was so nice of Chris to tell readers that Texas’s “job-creation figures are coming under scrutiny.” Too bad he chose not to give them any figures to scrutinize, even though he did give specifics for the other four states identified in the excerpt.

Texas’s seasonally adjusted job additions in July were 29,300. That’s within a whisker of the Empire State’s 29,400. Especially given the vagaries involved in seasonal adjustment, Texas’s monthly figure should not only have been specifically reported, it should have been identified as a virtual tie.

Rugaber’s choice to refer to the Dallas Fed as the source of job growth data since the recession ended is odd, almost giving one the impression that it’s a bunch of home team cheerleading. The same Bureau of Labor Statistics which issued yesterday’s report is where the Dallas Fed would almost definitely have obtained its post-recession information, which after yesterday looks like this:

USAandTexasPost-RecessionJobGrowthTo0711

In the 25 months since the recession ended, Texas has added 328,000, or 47%, of the nation’s 697,000 seasonally adjusted jobs.

Those specifics would have been nice too, Chris.

There may not be an AP embargo on the numerics of good news about Texas now that Governor Rick Perry has declared his presidential candidacy, but Rugaber’s report yesterday sure makes it look as if there is.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: Pope offers encouragement to young religious sisters and professors

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:20 am

From Madrid:

Aug 19, 2011 / 02:38 pm

Pope Benedict XVI met with young religious sisters and later with young university professors on Aug. 19 at the royal site of El Estorial. He emphasized the importance of the sisters’ radical consecration and urged the professors to be a source of encouragement for students.

“The Pope spoke about a personal encounter with Christ, and that (encounter) is what fulfills us,” said Sr. Ruth Martin, a 38-year-old sister of the recently founded religious community, Ieuso Communio.

“It was a huge privilege, a great joy!” she told CNA, amid the cheering and singing of sisters from various communities.

The sisters of Ieuso Communio, as young as 18 years old, caught the attention of those present, because of their denim habits, which symbolize the current day and age.

Pope Benedict told the group of more than 1,000 sisters gathered that the Church needs their “youthful fidelity, rooted and built up in Christ.

“Thank you for your generous, total and perpetual ‘yes’ to the call of the loved one,” he continued.

“Your lives must testify to the personal encounter with Christ which has nourished your consecration, and to all the transforming power of that encounter.”

Go here for the rest of the story.