July 5, 2019

Great Employment News Is Bad News for the Race and Sex Hustlers

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:22 pm

Today’s employment news is especially useful because many people who don’t ordinarily pay much attention to the news and have the day off will hear about this:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 224,000 in June, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The news confirmed that the economy is “blowing away” expectations by some that we’re in for an imminent slowdown.

Looking at the bigger picture almost 2-1/2 years into Donald Trump’s presidential term, it’s remarkable how broad-based and sustained the reductions in unemployment have been. Here are seven fun facts:

  1. We have seen the longest sustained string of monthly unemployment rates at or below 4 percent (16, and counting) since the mid-1960s. The vaunted Bill Clinton-era economy (which was really the Gingrich Congress’s economy in any event) had a streak of 10 months, but its unemployment rate never fell below 3.8 percent. The Trump era has seen five readings of either 3.6 percent or 3.7 percent.
  2. The Asian unemployment rate, at 2.1 percent, is at a record low (seasonally adjusted Asian unemployment has only been tracked since 2003).
  3. The black unemployment rate’s pre-Trump low was 7.0 percent. It is now at 6.0 percent (second-lowest ever), and has been at or below 7.0 percent for 17 consecutive months.
  4. Given the long-term trend of reduced teen participation in the workforce, it’s often a good idea to look at 20-and-over stats. Pre-Trump, the unemployment rate for 20-and-over black women never came in below 5.5 percent. During Trump’s presidency, that rate has been at or below 5.5 percent in 12 of the past 15 months, including a record-low reading of 4.7 percent a little over a year ago and the current 5.3 percent.
  5. For 20-and-over black men, today’s reported 5.8 percent ties November 2018′s record low. Pre-Trump, the lowest rate ever recorded was 6.0 percent.
  6. From the bogus “War on Women” department, the 20-and-over unemployment rate for all women has been 3.3 percent or lower during the past four months. The April and May readings of 3.2 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively, were the lowest figures recorded since … 1953.
  7. The unemployment rate for all Hispanics reached a pre-Trump low of 4.8 percent during 2006. That rate has come in at or below that level in 14 of the past 15 months, and currently stands at 4.3 percent — barely above the all-time lows of 4.2 percent seen in April and May.

If, as so many of his opponents believe, the Donald Trump and his administration are a collection of dedicated white supremacists and sexists, they’re doing a terrible job of carrying out their evil plans.

Friday (Moderated) Open Thread (070519)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items which they believe need to be known. Rules are here.

Positivity: What Many of the Declaration’s Signers Endured

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:55 am

This post is a BizzyBlog tradition.

It appeared on July 4 each year until 2016, when it was moved to July 5. Given current circumstances, especially the increased incidence of religious and political persecution here and throughout the world, especially of people who believe in true love and liberty, it seems more appropriate to make this a “day after” post, to remind people of what we owe those who were willing to sacrifice it all in the name of freedom. We may be called upon to do the same — hopefully in smaller ways, but at the rate things are going, who knows? If so, may we have the courage they displayed.

Go here for the story of the controversy over this column, originally written by Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe in July 2000.


Fifty-Six Great Risk-Takers
By Jeff Jacoby

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted 12-0 — New York abstained — in favor of Richard Henry Lee’s resolution “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

On July 4, the Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson — heavily edited by Congress — was adopted without dissent. On July 8, the Declaration was publicly proclaimed in Philadelphia. On July 15, Congress learned that the New York Legislature had decided to endorse the Declaration. On Aug. 2, a parchment copy was presented to the Congress for signature. Most of the 56 men who put their name to the document did so that day.

And then?

We tend to forget that to sign the Declaration of Independence was to commit an act of treason — and the punishment for treason was death. To publicly accuse George III of “repeated injuries and usurpations,” to announce that Americans were therefore “Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown,” was a move fraught with danger — so much so that the names of the signers were kept secret for six months.

They were risking everything, and they knew it. That is the meaning of the Declaration’s soaring last sentence:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Most of the signers survived the war; several went on to illustrious careers.

Two of them became presidents of the United States, and among the others were future vice presidents, senators, and governors. But not all were so fortunate.