the march jobs report: nothing moving—unless you compare it to the march jobs reports of 1999-2000

“The March jobs report—192,000 jobs with the unemployment rate remaining at 6.7 percent—is simply more of the same: an economy growing too slowly to make a major dent in continued mass unemployment . . . there are still fewer jobs now than there were in December 2007 before the Great Recession, even as the population has grown.

The employment-to-population ratio remained unchanged this month at 58.9 percent, far below pre-recession levels. Long-term unemployment, at 3.7 million, changed little, and remains at historically elevated heights. Jobs growth continues to be concentrated in lower-wage jobs—temporary help services, service in restaurants and bars.” 

The above is taken from the Campaign for America’s Future’s Progressive Breakfast email newsletter for April 4, 2014. This blurb is a front page introduction to the actual article, titled “The March Job Reports: Nothing Moving.”

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Following some of the largest tax cuts in history for the elite and the corporations under President George W. Bush, things changed dramatically in this country. After several years of regular, modest monthly job gains, the whole economy plummeted. By the time that Bush left office, the United States was losing close to 800,000 jobs per month! This is the situation that President Obama inherited, and continued job loss was the norm for the first few years of his administration.

Now, six years into the Obama era, we find that the production of a mere 192,000 new jobs per month to be “an economy growing too slowly” in regards to overall unemployment. That is, the difference between the final years of the Bush administration’s monthly job figures and the current Obama administration’s monthly job figures is a plus one million for Obama! This to complain about?!?

So while Bush remained the darling of the media until the day he walked out of the White House despite his abysmal record with jobs and the economy, Obama continues to receive criticism even from his own side, despite his excellent record with jobs and the economy—given the situation that he inherited.

Taxation with unfair representation

Of course, there will be no “major dent” made in continued mass unemployment until pre-Reagan tax rates are reintroduced and those same wealthy and those same corporations that have benefited in historic proportions during the past thirty plus years return the bulk of those profits in increased taxes.

Also of course, as long as our campaign finance laws remain slanted towards those same recipients and as long as lobbyists represent their interests in DC on a round-the-clock basis, nothing notable will happen.

Despite all of the brouhaha that the Damn Librull Media gives us about corporations and their presumed ability to create jobs, the exact opposite has always been the truth: large corporations eliminate jobs over time. Period. Job growth is created by the creation of new small businesses. Hence, it can be argued that the single most powerful economic “weapon” that the United States federal government possesses is the Small Business Administration.

Alas, this department has become a bit of a joke, so warped by well-founded liberal intentions that it now seems that unless you are a woman or a minority, you simply cannot get an SBA loan—regardless of the soundness of your business plan and your experience and even the apparent likelihood of success!

The Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography

Remember the Reagan Administration’s obsession with pornography? The Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography (usually referred to as the Meese Commission) and the results that it published in 1986 (usually referred to as the Meese Report)? A commission consisted of of men and women with conservative social values and even law enforcement backgrounds.

“The Justice Department recently appointed a Commission with the mandate to overturn the 1970 Presidential Commission on Pornography’s finding that there is no evidence of a link between sexually explicit materials and delinquent or criminal behavior.”

This quote is from an article titled “The Obscene, Disgusting, and Vile Meese Commission Report” by Pat Califia from 1986. Needless to say, the Meese Report came up with opposing views and made suggestions with the typical rightwing lack of concern for the existence of the First Amendment.

White Dragon Press and the Small Business Administration

This is a personal anecdote regarding the SBA and me. In 1989, my best friend (referred to as Jaytee) and I started a publishing company expressly to publish record collectors price guides authored by me. We named the company White Dragon Press after Ruth, the white dragon in Anne McCaffrey’s marvelous “Dragonriders of Pern” series of novels. (And if you have not read the first three at the very least, get thee hence to the library and commence at once!)

I was the creative part of the company, Jaytee was the business part. He had been involved in management in several of the country’s top retail department stores since the early 1970s, where he invariably rose to the top of the list of bright young managers at each corporation. It was he who put together WDP’s business model/plan, about which I knew nothing. We applied to the SBA and our big day came for our interview.

We were, of course, turned down. This despite the fact that the gentleman (I really can’t recall his title or position) told us that Jaytee’s business plan was perhaps the best he had ever seen presented to the Administration. In an off-the-record remark, he suggested we find a black or Hispanic partner and reapply with him as the primary figure in White Dragon Press!

In ways and means such as this, the SBA fulfills the otherwise seeming paranoid delusions of the conservative white male . . .

White Dragon Press’ “A Touch Of Gold” as a collectable

Jaytee eventually found a lender to give him a personal loan and White Dragon Press was off and running, Our first publication was A Touch Of Gold – The Elvis Presley Record And Memorabilia Price Guide. Slightly more than 2,000 copies were sold before the whole thing came crashing down on us, and not a bit of it our fault.

The book has become a bit of a collectable itself: as I type this on April 4, there is a single used copy of ATOG available on Amazon with an asking price of $29. Another copy can be found on eBay with an asking price/minimum bid of $65. I have seen it sell for as much as $100!

I get to end this piece with another “needless to say”: an entire article can be written about the launching of ATOG in 1990 and the events that surrounded it, which got curiouser and curiouser with each passing month. But that’s another story . . .

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