Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Can unemployment go lower?

The facts:

"The US unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in May 2018 from 3.9 percent in the previous month, and below market expectations of 3.9 percent. It was the lowest rate since April 2000, as the number of unemployed decreased by 281 thousand to 6.07 million and employment rose by 293 thousand to 155.47 million. Unemployment Rate in the United States averaged 5.78 percent from 1948 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 10.80 percent in November of 1982 and a record low of 2.50 percent in May of 1953"

So, in a sense you see the answer to my question before you. Just 4 months after escaping decades of "Progressive" administrations, with the election of Ike, the American economy went wild in 1953. Though progress had also been made under the preceding moderate Truman administration.  Clearly there was a big catchup with business projects that would have been risky under the Democrats being suddenly seen as safe for investment.  Much the same has happened under Trump.  Conservative administrations are good for business confidence and confident businessmen expand their activities -- creating jobs.

The good figure for 2000 was under Bill Clinton, a passing era in which budgets were not only proposed and adopted but were actually  in surplus for three years, partly by way of cutting back the military. Clinton was a moderate in many ways and in relation to the economy ran very conservative policies.

So back to normality.  As the summary of facts above shows, the average rate of employment over the years is over 5% and economists have long proclaimed that 5% is a "frictional" or natural level of unemployment -- a level which you can't go below for long

So is that right?  There is no sign of it. People thought the 3.9% figure recorded in April was as low as you could go but now we see a further fall to 3.8% in May.  And, despite Democrat denials, it is an effect of the present administration.  In May 2010, the second year of the Obama administation, the figure was 9.6% -- a large gap indeed.  So Trump has got an amazingly successful recipe for American prosperity.  Whatever he has been doing must be given great credit for creating jobs

Yet what Trump has been doing runs completely against conventional economic wisdom.  Economists preach free trade as the highroad to prosperity -- but Trump has been a champion of tariffs and import restrictions.  But Trump has recently said that he learned the free trade story while he was at Wharton and still regards it as the ideal.

So it is clear that free trade alone is not enough for prosperity in the real world we have at the present.  You actually have to sponsor jobs -- by protections if necessary -- in order to get good job growth.  There was striking evidence of that in the 19th century -- when American industry prospered mightily behind high tariff walls.  But there is no such thing as a free lunch and the penalty in that case was a civil war, when Northern manufacturers faced the threat of losing half of their markets in the South. They could not and did not allow that

But although the opposition to Trump is as furious as anything seen in the old South, the powers of a modern president are too great for Trump opponents to challenge.  The fact that the military is strongly pro-Trump is also a barrier to armed rebellion.

But economists are not very good at factoring war into their equations so how do they explain the 19th century boom?  It is to them a classic case of the "infant industry" exception.  American technology and industry were still very new and well behind the mature industries of the old world. So it had to be given time to catch up. And that does seem to be what happened.  So the 19th century experience is no guide to the 21st century.  It gives us no assurance that Trump's policies will continue to succeed. As initial optimism wears off and the costs become evident, one could argue that America will rebound to the old 5% level of "frictional" employment.  You cannot square the circle for long.

So is there any other precedent which would lead us to believe that the Trump good news will continue?  There is: Australia of the 1950's and '60s.  The Prime Minister of Australia from 1949 to 1966 was the avuncular Robert Menzies, a very conservative man. Many people who remember those years recall that era as a golden age.  And what were his economic policies?  They were very protectionist and focused on creating and preserving Australian jobs. So that sounds a lot like Trump, does it not?  So what was unemployment like in his era?  It was almost always UNDER 2%.  It was regarded as a political crisis if it looked like it would go over 2%.  Frictional unemployment barely existed.

So the lesson is clear:  Maximum jobs requires some protection of industry.  Both Trump and Menzies have demonstrated that.  It could be called the "Trump Rule".  And the Australian precedent says that we can even hope for 2% under Trump.  How good is that? 

So WHY is an actively protectionist administration needed for businessmen to be maximally enterprising?  It's dead simple.  It gives businessmen throughout the country the feeling that government has got their back.  It gives them the feeling that government will at least be on their side if there is a push for change of any sort.  Democrat administrations are, by contrast, enemies of business -- and blind Frederick can see that. Hence 9.6% unemployment under Obama compared with 3.8% under Trump. Businessmen are people too.  They respond to incentives and recoil from attack -- JR.


DACA kids approved by Obama despite murder, rape and sex crimes arrests

Ten people who’d been arrested on murder charges were nonetheless granted permission to remain and work in the U.S. under the Obama-era DACA amnesty, according to new government data released Monday.

Thirty-one “Dreamers” had rape charges on their records, nearly 500 had been accused of sex crimes, and more than 2,000 had been arrested for drunken driving — yet were approved for DACA status.

All told, 53,000 people who have been approved for DACA — 7 percent of the total — had a criminal record when the government granted them status. Nearly 8,000 racked up criminal charges after they’d been approved, according to the data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

DACA turned six years old on Friday and is back in the news as the House of Representatives begins to debate whether to grant a broad amnesty to Dreamers, and as courts across the country grapple with the legality of the 2012 program.

The new data will likely affect both the legislative and court action, since it gives some indications of the levels of screening, and waivers, the government is willing to offer for Dreamers who apply.

All told more than 888,000 people have applied for DACA status over the years. Of those, more than 770,000 were approved. Nearly 67,000 were rejected — and of those, about 31 percent had criminal records, the data show.



Dems Exploit Children of Illegals for Political Fodder

Appealing to emotions with false assertions, Democrats and their propaganda mouthpieces in the mainstream media have manufactured a campaign issue they seek to ride all the way to the November elections. As President Donald Trump has cracked down on illegal immigration, Democrats are shouting about his zero-tolerance law-enforcement policy that sometimes separates children from parents who illegally cross the U.S. border. As Democrats have increasingly run to the fainting couches, some have even ridiculously compared Trump's law enforcement to that of Nazi Germany. It's a classic case of uninformed emotions leading to calls for changing a policy few even care to understand.

First and foremost, the Trump administration has not changed any rules that govern the nation's immigration and border enforcement. As Rich Lowry of National Review explains, "Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child's parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings."

The Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy is simply a change from Barack Obama's policy of limited enforcement in which his administration deliberately avoided enforcing the nation's immigration laws consistently.

What has caused all the commotion over separating children from their illegal alien parents is something called the Flores Consent Decree, which mandates that children can be held by the government for no longer than 20 days. This law has been effectively exploited by illegal aliens, who, after crossing illegally, request asylum, a process often exceeding the short window of 20 days. Paul Mirengoff of Power Line notes, "Since asylum petitions take more than 20 days to process, the government must either release the adults and children together into the country pending the adjudication of the asylum claim or hold the adults and release the children, thereby separating them. If the adult illegal immigrant is released while the claim is pending, it's extremely unlikely that the government will find him or her again. Thus, releasing the adult is tantamount to allowing the illegal immigrant to live in the U.S. regardless of the merits of the case." That explains why Democrats want to keep the racket going. Worse, their "sanctuary cities" serve as beacons attracting even more illegals.

A clear first step to end the issue of separating families would be the elimination of the Flores Consent Decree. But aside from all the absurd over-the-top emotional criticism of the practice of separating children from adults who have illegally crossed the border, the fact of the matter is that separating children from their parents is not at all unusual law-enforcement policy even for U.S. citizens. In 2016, more than 21,000 children were separated from their parents and placed into foster care after their parents had been incarcerated. Where are all the emotional calls to end the practice of separating children from their criminal parents? Should the children live with their parents in prison? Obviously the question is absurd on its face, so why isn't the reaction the same with regard to those who break our nation's laws by entering the country illegally? There are legal means by which families can seek asylum within the U.S., and parents who do so are not separated from their children.

By the way, Trump has repeatedly called on Congress to come up with solutions to the illegal immigration problem, including funding for the construction of a border wall. But Democrats now oppose what they once supported.

This issue boils down to Democrats and the Leftmedia claiming to take the moral high ground while at the same time attacking the very laws that enable a nation to secure its borders. Noncitizens do not have a right to enter the U.S. Trump's enforcement of the law is what every American should desire, and if a majority want the law changed, then they can lobby Congress to make that change. Don't fault Trump for doing his job. Unfortunately, Democrats seeing nothing but an opportunity to exploit emotions for votes.



Backdoor to illegal immigration closing: U.S. clears more asylum cases than it receives in May

The government is making headway on the asylum backlog for the first time in years, clearing more cases in May than it received, as officials finally think they have hit on ways to tamp down on people abusing the system as a backdoor method of illegal immigration.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services took in 7,757 cases last month, but completed 7,959 cases.

The success came on both sides of the ledger. New cases have been cut nearly in half when compared to the peak years during the Obama administration, while the number of cases closed more than doubled compared to the Obama years.

And those achievements came even before the Justice Department’s decision this week to tighten standards for asylum. That move should speed USCIS’s ability to reduce a backlog that’s reached nearly 320,000 cases, as would-be illegal immigrants figured ways to use the asylum system as a loophole to gain a foothold in the U.S.

“Asylum and ‘credible fear’ claims have skyrocketed across the board in recent years largely because individuals know they can exploit a broken system to enter the U.S., avoid removal, and remain in the country,” said Michael Bars, a spokesman for the agency.

Asylum is the protection given to people already on U.S. soil who say they fear being sent back home. Refugees are people who make that request from outside the U.S.

In recent years the number of asylum-seekers has soared, with illegal immigrants from Central America in particular turning to the asylum system. They say they’re fleeing poor conditions back home. Security experts say they’re exploiting a loophole-filled U.S. system to avoid being deported.

In 2011, before the surge of Central Americans took hold, USCIS ended the year with fewer than 10,000 cases pending. By the end of 2015 the backlog was more than 125,000 cases, it leapt to 233,000 at the end of 2016, and topped 300,000 late last year.

Someone who lodges an asylum claim at the border must clear an initial “credible fear” screening by saying he would be in danger if sent home. It’s a low bar that most meet.

Take the recent migrant caravan, most of whose members said they were claiming asylum. As of June 1 USCIS had reviewed 357 of their cases, and had granted positive credible fear decisions in 337 of them — a 94 percent success rate. Among the broader population, credible fear approval rates hover above 75 percent.

From there, the applicants are supposed to pursue their asylum claims with USCIS or with the Executive Office of Immigration Review. But officials say as many as half of them won’t pursue those claims — particularly if they’ve already been released into the U.S. and can disappear into the shadows.

Of those who do pursue cases, most won’t be approved.

The Washington Times reached out to several immigrant-rights groups to run the backlog numbers by them, but didn’t receive comments.

More generally, though, administration critics say they believe the government has become too hawkish in doling out asylum denials, preventing people with potentially valid claims from having a chance to make their case.

“We don’t know for sure, because none of the agencies have responded. But we hear that parents are going to court in mass trials and having their asylum claims denied – not heard, but denied — and then the parents are deported,” Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat, said in a speech on the floor of the U.S. House this week.

The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, released an analysis this week arguing the administration is making it tougher to claim asylum on the front end, and pressing for faster decisions on the back end, which the analysts said lead to errors and an increased risk of deporting people who should have received asylum.

Administration critics were further enraged this week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a ruling that domestic violence or fear of gangs is not, on its own, enough of a reason to be granted asylum.

Mr. Sessions said the U.S. asylum system isn’t a solution to rough conditions across the globe, but rather a special protection for people facing persecution by a government, or people whose governments are essentially endorsing the persecution by looking the other way.

Immigrant-rights advocates and congressional Democrats said that will mean a “death sentence” for some women living in abusive relationships or children in dangerous neighborhoods in Central America.

USCIS, though, says the changes will bring clarity to a system in need of firm guidance about how far asylum protections can be stretched. “The attorney general’s decision will be implemented as soon as possible,” said Mr. Bars, the agency spokesman.

USCIS officials credited several changes for this year’s successes in controlling the backlog.

In January the agency reversed an Obama-era policy that focused on the oldest cases, and instead went to a last-in-first-out, or LIFO, approach that makes quick decisions on people showing up at the borders or lodging claims in the interior right now. LIFO helped cut a backlog in the 1990s, and it’s already making a dent now, officials said, by changing the incentives.

Under the Obama approach, someone who showed up demanding asylum might have waited two years for a first interview. During that time they could apply for a work permit, giving them a foothold in the U.S.

With the new LIFO policy applicants are getting their first interview in three weeks. And since most people interviewed are ineligible, and can be put into deportation proceedings once their claims are rejected, it’s discouraging those who had been taking advantage of the system, the agency says.

The agency has also more than doubled its team of asylum officers over the last five years, to nearly 700, and has borrowed another 100 people from the refugee caseload — similar work — to help on the asylum backlog.

USCIS says about a quarter of the backlog are people who know they don’t qualify for asylum, and want to get rejected. They feel they have claims they want to make before an immigration judge, but the only way to get a day in court is to lose their asylum claim and be put into deportation proceedings, where they can argue their other case.

USCIS has come up with a method for trying to identify and clear those people through faster.



Two scumbags: Harvey Weinstein and friend


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