Obama Is Manufacturing His Manufacturing Numbers

Most presidents surround themselves with cabinet and staff members who have the skill sets required to handle the daunting tasks that they face each day. President Obama has taken a different approach. He hires fiction writers. If you spend any time looking at the unemployment numbers, for example, the Obama administration puts the national unemployment rate at just under 7 percent. That sounds very manageable, unless you take into account the 11 million Americans who have dropped out of the labor force and are no longer actively seeking a job. Conveniently, they aren’t accounted for in the unemployment numbers. If you counted them, the unemployment rate would be near 16 percent. So the Obama fiction writers understand that if you can’t actually improve the economy, you... Read More

American Trade Policy Stuck in Neutral

For a president who vowed to double exports in five years, you have to wonder why President Obama has been unable to make any progress in expanding U.S. trade. This week, Obama met with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reaffirm their support for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) estimates has grown the U.S. economy from roughly $290 billion in 1993 to more than $1.1 trillion in 2012. Today, according to the CFR, the United States trades more in goods and services with Mexico and Canada than it does with Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. So it would make all kinds of economic sense for the United States to support NAFTA. Except if you are in the Obama... Read More

Cronyism Steals Taxpayer Money and International Prestige

The Constitution gives Congress the power to raise funds (tax) and appropriate (spend) those funds to check the power of the executive branch by controlling the resources of the president. The thinking was that it would prevent the president from abusing the means to serve his own ends. Somewhere along the line this process has gone terribly wrong, especially under the Obama administration, which gives its “friends” enormous amounts of money and privileges without any semblance of oversight. The administration treats taxpayer money as if it was a credit card for the Democratic Party — with no spending limit. Cronyism, or “pork barrel” politics, was not invented under President Obama, but he has taken it to new heights. The term pork barrel politics traces... Read More

UAW Killed the Golden Goose

The general consensus is that America’s auto manufacturers gave unions an open-ended check and when they cashed it, they cashed out the futures of thousands of workers when their plants began massive layoffs. The result is the UAW got a black eye from its members and from thousands of downstream workers who were impacted by the union’s role in the demise of the nation’s auto manufacturers. In Chattanooga, Tenn., this week, the nation will get a glimpse of the UAW’s clout when workers at the three-year-old Volkswagen plant with 1,500 workers vote on whether they want union representation. The situation is getting ugly, but if the perception of one VW worker as quoted by The Wall Street Journal is any indication, the UAW is taking a bad PR hit. “For a time,... Read More

Detroit Continues a Legacy of Inclusion

Some people count Detroit down and out. I’m not one of them. To do so would ignore the contributions that the American car manufacturing industry made to the world’s industrial and economic development. And its center was Detroit. Henry Ford is known as a visionary inventor, but he also saw the wisdom in creating a diverse workforce. According to a Ford Motor historical perspective, since its founding in 1903, “Ford has established itself as a premier American employer by supporting equitable and inclusive employment practices years before the law required it.” In 1913, when Henry Ford was paying the unheard of salary of $5 a day, Ford attracted thousands of immigrants and black Americans drawn to the prospect of earning twice the typical daily wage. The $5... Read More

Obama Administration Defines Cause and Effect

If you want to see the principle of cause and effect in action, look no further than Obamacare. We have a situation where Obamacare is causing employers to reduce their number of full-time employees to part-time to avoid having to provide government-approved health plans or be penalized. We are now seeing companies that have already converted full-time employees to part-time cutting healthcare benefits altogether and forcing them to buy health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. It’s hard to escape the irony of this. The administration forces employers to buy government-approved health insurance policies, which causes them to reduce their workforce or work hours, which then creates more part-time workers who no longer are being given health benefits and must purchase... Read More

College Degree No Longer the Solution to Good Jobs

More than 40 percent of recent U.S. college graduates are unemployed, underemployed or need more training to get on a career track, according to a poll released last year by global management consulting firm Accenture. The online survey of 1,050 workers who finished school in the previous two years and 1,010 who received their degree in 2013 also found that many graduates, some heavily in debt because of the cost of their education, say they are in jobs that do not require a college degree. In fact, just 53 percent of the graduates found full-time jobs in their field of study. Based on this data, it’s hard to understand why President Obama keeps promoting the benefits of a college education. He recently unveiled a plan to rate colleges by the tuition they charge, and favor those... Read More

U.S. Oil Production Will Help Regain Prestige

President Obama has made it clear that he is no advocate of fossil fuels. He has gone to war against coal and refuses to allow drilling on most federal lands for oil. Despite this lack of support, the United States actually has a surplus of crude oil and natural gas. Domestic production is way up to the point where gas prices at the pump have started to come down. There’s even talk of exporting gas and oil, something that has been restricted since the 1973 OPEC embargo. The United States has a new energy story to tell that lets us operate on the world stage from a position of strength instead of dependence on the shifting prices of foreign oil. A Wall Street Journal story noted that last week, “A delegate to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Saudi Arabia... Read More

A Culture of Dependency

In most wars a victor is declared. Yet, there is one war that has raged for more than half a century and there is no winner: the war on poverty. It started under the Lyndon Johnson administration with the best intentions. Now 50 years and $20 trillion later, poverty in this nation has actually grown worse. How can the richest nation on earth have 50 million people living in poverty? The answer is that we have substituted a path to employment for a path to dependency. Entitlements that were originally meant as a brief stopover to a better life are now considered career destinations. We have created a culture of dependency. The American Dream itself is under attack. It is being undermined and redefined. For millions of people, it is no longer about hard work and sacrifice, but access... Read More

Taking Free Trade for Granted

Here in the United States we take free trade for granted. We have access to markets throughout the world, but most of us think nothing of it. We have grown accustomed to the goods and services that make our life easier. Yet, in the Ukraine, access to free markets has been stomped on by Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, who has decided that forming a union with Russia is preferred over a relationship with the European Union. The result is that Ukrainians have taken to the streets in protest and imperiled their lives for the right to have access to free markets. They recognize that the Western world not only brings with it superior goods and services, they also see democracy in action, which terrifies the governments of Ukraine and Russia. We should not be surprised that news reports... Read More