THE RAPE OF POCAHONTAS: DID WE EVISCERATE THE NATIVE AMERICANS?
Hidden in a New York Times about welfare is a story of success in Maine having to do with a Republican policy, surprise surprise:
As the economy improves, should states continue waivers that were enacted during the recession to allow healthy adults who are not working to get food stamps longer than the law’s time limit? Maine is one of the states that say no.
Last year, the administration of Gov. Paul R. LePage, a Republican, decided to reimpose a three-month limit (out of every three-year period) on food stamps for a group often known as Abawds – able-bodied adults without minor dependents – unless they work 20 hours per week, take state job-training courses or volunteer for about six hours per week. Maine, like other states, makes some exceptions.
“You’ve got to incentivize employment, create goals and create time limits on these welfare programs,” said Mary Mayhew, the commissioner of health and human services in Maine. She said the measure was in line with Mr. LePage’s efforts to reform welfare.
The number of Abawds receiving food stamps in Maine has dropped nearly 80 percent since the rule kicked in, to 2,530 from about 12,000. This time limit is an old one, written into the 1996 federal welfare law. But, during the recession, most states took advantage of a provision that allows them to waive it when unemployment is persistently high, which meant poor adults could stay on the program regardless of their work status.
No doubt some of the “ABAWDs” are facing tougher times without those benefits, but I think most Americans would expect people under those conditions to seek employment if they can. The Democrats keep telling us that Obama has vastly improved the economy (he hasn’t), but if they think that, then shouldn’t we be paying fewer people to be on welfare?
Apple Inc quarterly results smashed Wall Street expectations with record sales of big-screen iPhones in the holiday shopping season and a 70 per cent rise in China sales, powering the company to the largest profit in corporate history.
The company sold 74.5 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter ended December 27, while many analysts had expected fewer than 70 million. Revenue rose to $74.6 billion from $57.6 billion a year earlier.
Profit of $18 billion was the biggest ever reported by a public company, worldwide, according to S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt. Apple’s cash pile is now $178 billion, enough to buy IBM or the equivalent to $556 for every American.
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the Cupertino, California-based company would release its next product, the Apple Watch, in April.
Shares rose about 5 per cent to $114.90 in after-hours trade.
Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Apple-shareholder Synovus Trust Company in Atlanta, Georgia, said that the report was a good sign in a quarter where big tech companies such as IBM and Microsoft Corp have disappointed.
Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters in an interview that the company did not sell more iPhones in China than the United States, despite some earlier predictions by research analysts.
But the big-screen iPhone 6 and 6 plus drove revenues in China were up 70 per cent in the quarter from a year earlier. The company’s success in the competitive Chinese market can be attributed to its partnership with China Mobile Ltd, the largest global mobile carrier, and the appeal of the larger screen size of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Maestri said he does not expect Apple to struggle because of China’s slipping economic growth. “We haven’t seen a slowdown,” he added.
Maestri also said the company doubled iPhone sales in Singapore and Brazil.
Apple will reach 40 company stores in greater China by mid-2016, Maestri told analysts on a conference call.
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, also lauded a 14 per cent rise in unit sales of Apple Macintosh computers and sales of older iPhone models.
Apple was well positioned for the current quarter in China, she added, which will include the Chinese New Year holiday and reflect Apple’s attempts to sell through new channels.
Apple reported net profit of $18.02 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share, compared with $13.07 billion, or $2.07 per share, a year earlier. That topped expectations of $2.60 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Analysts had expected revenue of $67.69 billion.
Maestri said that Apple faced “a clear headwind” from the strong dollar but that it had included the challenge in its forecasts. Apple predicted revenue of $52 billion to $55 billion in its fiscal second quarter, compared with Wall Street’s average target of $53.79 billion.
Cook said that the company’s new mobile payment service, Apple Pay, which lets customer buy products from select merchants with their phones, was in its “first inning” and the company would consider adding new features as it looked at expanding outside the United States.
Looks like Mother Nature isn’t going to let Chicago forget that winter is coming.
The city saw light snow Saturday morning, marking one of the earliest snow sightings on record.
The earliest snow spotting in Chicago is Sept. 25, which occurred in 1928 and again in 1944, according to the National Weather Service.
Saturday’s snowflakes mark the third earliest snow sighting since the city began recording.
The Rockford area also spotted snow Saturday morning, marking their second earliest sighting. The record was set in 1951 when the area saw snow on Oct. 3.
But the snow wasn’t the only weather element the Chicago area made the record books with this weekend.
The city set a temperature record with O’Hare Airport recording a high of 47 degrees, marking the lowest maximum high temperature in 79 years, the NWS reported. The previous record, set on October 4, 1935, was 48 degrees.
The average high temperature in Chicago for the month of October is 62 degrees. The average low temperature is about 43 degrees.
Blame Saturday’s cold snap on winds from the west-north-west brought in by a system that dropped significant rain on the Chicago area early Friday morning.
We’re in the range of calendar days when we could see our first fall freeze.
Winds Saturday morning kept frost away from the area despite the snow, but with temps dipping into the 30s overnight and very little wind forecast, the area could see pieces of patchy frost. Temperatures could dip below 32 degrees in some areas.
A Frost Advisory was issued Saturday night for several Illinois counties and parts of Northwest Indiana.
The earliest a fall freeze ever happened in Chicago was on Sept. 22, 1995. The latest that’s ever happened was the 30 degrees reached on Nov. 24, 1931, according to records provided by the National Weather Service.
Sunday looks to recover slightly with partly sunny skies and a high of 56 degrees.
The city will return to near-normal temperatures at the start of the work week with highs forecast in the low- to mid-60s for much of the week.
While by now everyone should know the answer, for those curious why the US unemployment rate just slid once more to a meager 5.9%, the lowest print since the summer of 2008, the answer is the same one we have shown every month since 2010: the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which in September slid from an already three decade low 62.8% to 62.7% – the lowest in over 36 years, matching the February 1978 lows. And while according to the Household Survey, 232,000 people found jobs, what is more disturbing is that the people not in the labor force, rose to a new record high, increasing by 315,000 to 92.6 million!
And that’s how you get a fresh cycle low in the unemployment rate.
So the next time Obama asks you if you are “better off now than 6 years ago” show him this chart of employment to the overall population: it speaks louder than the president ever could.
Curious why despite the huge miss in payrolls the unemployment rate tumbled from 7.0% to 6.7%? The reason is because in December the civilian labor force did what it usually does in the New Normal: it dropped from 155.3 million to 154.9 million, which means the labor participation rate just dropped to a fresh 35 year low, hitting levels not seen since 1978, at 62.8% down from 63.0%.
And the piece de resistance: Americans not in the labor force exploded higher by 535,000 to a new all time high 91.8 million.
The jobless, laborless recovery continues to steam on.
In 2004, Peyton Manning set the record for the most touchdown passes in a single season, throwing 49 of them that year with the Colts when he was 28 years old. Tom Brady would break that record in 2007, completing 50 touchdown passes.
Now 37 years old and in his second season with the Broncos, Manning has reclaimed the record. His fourth touchdown Sunday in an AFC West-clinching win against the Texans, a 25-yard completion to tight end Julius Thomas with 4:28 left in the game, gave Manning 51 touchdowns for the season.
Manning still has one more game to add to that total at Oakland in Week 17. The Broncos also clinched a first-round bye with the victory.
Never one to call too much attention to himself, Manning said it was a “team record” and expects it to be broken, but he will savor it for now.
“I’m sure it’s just a temporary record, but I will enjoy it,” he said
Manning received a standing ovation at Reliant Stadium after breaking the record and got plenty of love from his teammates and coaches on the sideline.
“It was very special,” Manning said of the reaction, according to the team’s website. “Very rarely during an NFL game do you get to have a moment like that. Having some of my teammates come onto the field, having some defensive players coming out and high-fiving me – and I was telling them thanks back, thanks for all of their help. That is certainly a moment I’ll remember. Lots of Broncos fans in the stands today. That was pretty unique as well. Certainly a moment I’ll remember because of just the team bonding that went on during that time.”
Entering Sunday, Manning had already set a career-high for passing yards in a season, and for the first time he eclipsed the 5,000-yard mark. He entered the game with 4,811 and went 32 of 51 for 400 yards, his fourth game of at least 400 yards passing this season. Drew Brees holds the single-season passing record with 5,476 yards set in 2011. With 266 yards against the Raiders, Manning would break the record.
In a video posted on the team’s website, Broncos coach John Fox is shown presenting Manning with the game ball in the locker room and Manning was ready to walk away before his teammates implored him to make a speech.
“Like coach Fox said, the best news I heard all day, we won our division today,” Manning told his teammates. “That’s a heck of an accomplishment. Let’s keep it going next week. I just can’t thank you guys enough. A lot of people contributed to this (record.) I really think this is a team accomplishment – defense getting us the ball back, receivers catching a lot of passes.”
Manning tied the record with 6:57 left in the game on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker.
In the fourteen fiscal years that preceded President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, the tax receipts coming into the federal government’s Disability Insurance Trust Fund exceeded the benefits paid out, and the trust fund ran a surplus.
In each of the five fiscal years Obama has served as president, the trust fund has run a deficit as the number of people receiving disability benefits has surged. The Disability Insurance Trust Fund has never before run five straight years of deficits.
In fiscal 2013, which ended on Sept. 30, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund ran a record deficit of $31.494 billion, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration. That followed deficits of $8.462 billion in fiscal 2009, $20,831 billion in fiscal 2010, $25.264 billion in fiscal 2011, and $29.701 billion in fiscal 2012.
From fiscal 1995 through fiscal 2008, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund ran surpluses, as receipts from the disability insurance taxes paid by people who were working exceeded the value of the benefits paid to those claiming disability.
Congress created the federal disability insurance program by adding an amendment to the Social Security Act in 1956. The government paid the first disability benefits in fiscal 1957.
That year, the Social Security and disability programs were funded by payroll taxes that equaled a combined 5.625 percent of a person’s earnings. If someone was employed by someone else, this included a 2.0 percent tax for Social Security that was withheld from a person’s paycheck, an 0.250 percent tax for disability that was also withheld from the paycheck, a 3.0 percent tax for Social Security that was paid by the employer, and an 0.375 percent tax for disability that was paid by the employer.
A self-employed person paid the full 5.625 percent directly from his or her earnings.
Over the years, the payroll taxes for Social Security and disability have more than doubled to 12.4 percent. Self-employed individuals pay the entire 12.4 percent directly. People employed by someone else see 5.3 percent withheld from their paycheck for Social Security and 0.9 percent withheld for disability. Employers pay the other 6.2 percent on the worker’s behalf.
In 1957, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund took in $709 million and paid out only $59 million in benefits – or 8.3 percent of total revenues. A surplus of approximately $649 million was deposited in to the Trust Fund.
In reality, that means the government took that “surplus” and used it to pay for other government expenses, giving the Trust Fund an IOU to pay the money back later.
In the 57 fiscal years that the federal disability program has operated, it has run deficits in only 11 years – with five of those years coming under Obama. Prior to the last five fiscal years, the longest run of deficits in the Disability Insurance Trust Fund was the four-year span from fiscal 1962 trough fiscal 1965, when John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were president.
The trust fund also ran three straight years of deficits from fiscal 1975 through fiscal 1977, when Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter were president.
When President Obama took office in January 2009 – which was the fourth month of fiscal 2009–there were 7,442,377 workers on disability, according to the Social Security Administration. As of October 2013, there was a record 8,936,932. That means the number of people on disability has increased by 1,494,555 while Obama has been in office – a jump of 20 percent.
In addition to the 8,936,932 workers collecting disability in October, there were also 157,676 spouses of disabled workers who collected additional benefits, and 1,871,127 children of disabled workers who collected benefits.
All told, 10,965,735 people collected federal disability benefits in October.
At the end of fiscal 2008, there was a net balance of $216.239 billion in the Disability Insurance Trust Fund – meaning the Treasury owed $216.239 billion in IOUs to the trust fund for surplus disability insurance tax receipts it had taken in previous years and used for other government expenses.
At the end of fiscal 2013, the net balance in the Disability Insurance Trust Fund had dropped to $100.486 – a decline of $115.753 billion.
That $115.753 billion, the cumulative five year deficit of the disability insurance program, equals the amount of money the Treasury had to borrow from other sources to pay disability benefits during that time.
From the last day of January 2009 through the last day of September 2013, the total debt of the federal government climbed from $10,632,005,246,736.97 to $16,738,183,526,697.32—an increase of $6,106,178,279,960.35.
That equaled approximately $53,091 in additional debt for each of the 115,013,000 households that the Census Bureau now estimates there are in the United States.
Since the last day of September, the federal government’s total debt has continued to increase, hitting $17,200,725,370,597.56 as of Tuesday—or approximately $149,555 per household.
The number of Americans who are 16 years or older and who have decided not to participate in the nation’s labor force has climbed to a record 90,609,000 in September, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The BLS counts a person as participating in the labor force if they are 16 years or older and either have a job or have actively sought a job in the last four weeks. A person is not participating in the labor force if they are 16 or older and have not sought a job in the last four weeks.
In from July to August, according to BLS, Americans not participating in the labor force climbed from 89,957,000 to 90,473,000, pushing past 90,000,000 for the first time, with a one month increase of 516,000.
In September, it climbed again to 90,609,000, an increase of 136,000 during the month.
In January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, there were 80,507,000 Americans not in the labor force. Thus, the number of Americans not in the labor force has increased by 10,102,000 during Obama’s presidency.
The labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of the non-institutionalized population 16 years or older who either have a job or actively sought one in the last four weeks, was 63.2 percent in September. That was unchanged from August.
When President Obama took office in January 2009, the labor force participation rate was 65.7 percent.
The percentage of the civilian non-institutionalized population over 16 that was employed also remained constant from August to September at 58.6 percent. When President Obama took office in January 2009, the employment-population ratio was 60.6 percent.
The overall national unemployment rate–which is the percentage of people participating in the labor force who actively sought a job and did not find one in September–was 7.2 percent. That was a slight drop from the 7.3 percent unemployment rate in August. When President Obama took office in 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent.
The number of people actually employed increased by 133,000 last month, climbing from 144,170,000 in August to 144,303,000 in September. When Obama took office in January 2009, there were 142,153,000 Americans employed–meaning the number has increased by 2,150,000 over the past 57 months.
One reason for the increasing number of people not in the labor force is the aging of the Baby Boom generation, whose members have begun retiring–and are not being replaced by an equal number of young people entering the labor force.
Another reason is that female participation in the labor force has been declining. In January 2009, the female labor force participation rate was 59.4 percent. In September 2013, it was 57.1 percent.
U.S. debt jumped a record $328 billion on Thursday, the first day the federal government was able to borrow money under the deal President Obama and Congress sealed this week.
The debt now equals $17.075 trillion, according to figures the Treasury Department posted online on Friday.
The $328 billion increase shattered the previous high of $238 billion set two years ago.
The giant jump comes because the government was replenishing its stock of “extraordinary measures” – the federal funds it borrowed from over the last five months as it tried to avoid bumping into the debt ceiling.
Under the law, that replenishing happens as soon as there is new debt space.
Usually Congress sets a borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, that caps the total amount the government can be in the red.
But under the terms of this week’s deal, Congress set a deadline instead of a dollar cap. That means debt can rise as much as Mr. Obama and Congress want it to, until the Feb. 7 deadline.
Judging by the rate of increase over the last five months, that could end up meaning Congress just granted Mr. Obama a debt increase of $700 billion or more.
Republicans initially sought to attach strings to the debt increase, but surrendered this week, instead settling on a bill that reopened the government and included some special earmark projects, but didn’t include any spending cuts.
Democrats insisted that the debt increase be “clean,” meaning without any strings attached. They say the debt increase only allows Mr. Obama to pay for the bills he and Congress already racked up, and that it doesn’t encourage new spending.
A record 90,473,000 Americans no longer work.
The new figures, released from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, show a dramatic rise in the number of Americans who exited the labor force, climbing from 89,957,000 in July to 90,473,000 in August.
The labor force participation rate is now at a 34-year low.
To be included in the Labor Department’s calculations a person must be 16 years or older, a civilian, not in an institution (such as prison), and someone who has not looked for a job in the last four weeks.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. population is an estimated 313.9 million.
The number of workers employed by the government went up 324,000 between July and August while the number of workers in the private sector declined 278,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In the employment numbers released today, the BLS shows there were 20,041,000 government workers in July 2013. In August, that number had climbed to 20,365,000 – an increase of 324,000 people on the government payroll.
That’s government employment level, seasonally adjusted, for male and female workers ages 16 and over.
At the same time, July to August 2013, the workforce in the private sector fell from 113,164,000 to 112,886,000 – a decline of 278,000.
Those are seasonally adjusted, private industry workers, ages 16 and over.
The federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, which takes in money via a federal payroll tax and pays it out in disability benefits, ran a record $31.2 billion deficit in calendar year 2012, according to the Social Security Administration.
That means the trust fund has run a deficit in each of the first four years of the Obama presidency.
For fifteen straight years before Obama took office – from 1994 through 2008 – the Disability Insurance Trust Fund ran a surplus. In 2007, for example, it ran an $11 billion surplus and in 2008 it ran an $889-million surplus.
In 2009, however, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund dipped into the red and has not returned to the black since then. In fact, each year since then the annual deficit has increased.
In 2009, the disability trust fund ran a $12.2 billion deficit; in 2010, it ran a $23.6 billion deficit; in 2011, it ran a $26.1 billion deficit; and in 2012, it ran a $31.2 billion deficit.
These deficits in the Disability Insurance Trust Fund have coincided with a massive run-up in the number of American workers taking federal disability payments.
In January 2009, when President Barack Obama was inaugurated, 7,442,377 workers took disability payments, according to data published by the Social Security Administration. In March 2013, 8,853,614 took disability payments. The 1,411,337 additional workers taking federal disability payments since Obama took office represents an increase of about 19 percent in the number of Americans claiming a disability.
Employed workers pay a 0.9 percent payroll tax for federal disability insurance and their employers pay an additional 0.9 percent. Self-employed workers pay the entire 1.8 percent themselves.
The aggregated revenue from the disability payroll tax is counted by the government as the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. When the value of the disability benefits paid by the government exceeds the value of the disability tax revenue received by the government, the trust fund runs a deficit.
The U.S. Treasury needs to borrow money–and increase the federal debt – to fund disability payments that exceed disability payroll taxes. As of the close of business on Tuesday, the federal debt equaled $16,804,876,955,116.78 – or about $146,090 for each of the 115,031,000 households the Census Bureau now estimates there are in the United States.
The number of Americans designated as “not in the labor force” in February was 89,304,000, a record high, up from 89,008,000 in January, according to the Department of Labor. This means that the number of Americans not in the labor force increased 296,000 between January and February.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) labels people who are unemployed and no longer looking for work as “not in the labor force,” including people who have retired on schedule, taken early retirement, or simply given up looking for work.
The increase marks the second month in a row, after rising in January from 88.8 million in December. Those not in the labor force had declined in December from 88.9 million in November.
The nation’s unemployment rate decreased to 7.7 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in January. Overall unemployment “has shown little movement, on net, since September 2012,” the Labor Department said.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in February, according to the report.
Ronald Reagan can count 40 states that still remember the Gipper fondly.
On his 102nd birthday Wednesday, 40 states – a record – have proclaimed February 6 “Ronald Reagan Day.” Eight Democratic governors have refused to recognize Reagan Day and two others are on the fence.
The Reagan honor is also a tribute to Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform. He also heads the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project which asks the nation’s governors to set the day aside for Reagan.
“Ronald Reagan led America forward to defeat the threats to our prosperity of high taxes, inflation, and recession at home and a surging Soviet Empire abroad. He left America stronger, freer, and safer than the day he became President,” said Norquist, whose project also encourages the naming of roads, buildings and landmarks after Reagan.
Here is the Reagan Legacy Project’s list of those backing–and rejecting–Reagan Day:
Alabama – Robert Bentley (R)
Alaska – Sean Parnell (R)
Arizona – Janice Brewer (R)
California – Jerry Brown (D)
Colorado – John Hickenlooper (D)
Florida – Rick Scott (R)
Georgia – Nathan Deal (R)
Idaho – Butch Otter (R)
Illinois – Pat Quinn (D)
Indiana – Mike Pence (R)
Iowa – Terry Branstad (R)
Kansas – Sam Brownback (R)
Louisiana – Bobby Jindal (R)
Maine – Paul LePage (R)
Maryland – Martin O’Malley (D)
Michigan – Rick Snyder (R)
Mississippi – Phil Bryant (R)
Missouri – Jay Nixon (D)
Montana – Steve Bullock (D)
Nebraska – Dave Heineman (R)
Nevada – Brian Sandoval (R)
New Hampshire – Maggie Hassan (D)
New Jersey – Chris Christie (R)
New Mexico – Susana Martinez (R)
New York – Andrew Cuomo (D)
North Carolina – Pat McCrory (R)
North Dakota – Jack Dalrymple (R)
Ohio – John Kasich (R)
Oklahoma – Mary Fallin (R)
Pennsylvania – Tom Corbett (R)
Rhode Island – Lincoln Chafee (I)
South Carolina – Nikki Haley (R)
South Dakota – Dennis Daugaard (R)
Tennessee – Bill Haslam (R)
Texas – Rick Perry (R)
Utah – Gary Herbert (R)
Virginia – Bob McDonnell (R)
West Virginia – Earl Ray Tomblin (D)
Wisconsin – Scott Walker (R)
Wyoming – Matt Mead (R)
The eight governors who have refused to issue a proclamation declaring Ronald Reagan Day in their states:
Arkansas – Mike Beebe (D)
Delaware – Jack Markell (D)
Hawaii – Neil Abercrombie (D)
Kentucky – Steve Beshear (D)
Massachusetts – Deval Patrick (D)
Minnesota – Mark Dayton (D)
Oregon – John Kitzhaber (D)
Vermont – Peter Shumlin (D)
The two governors who have not yet decided whether or not to issue a proclamation declaring Ronald Reagan Day in their states:
Connecticut – Dannel Malloy (D)
Washington – Jay Inslee (D)
I feel badly, very badly for this woman’s problems. But, the fact is that she was used as a photo-op by the president, and once she was no longer needed? Well, under the Obama Magic Bus she went
Donna Vanzant struggled through flooded streets and downed power lines two days after superstorm Sandy to reach the ravaged marina she owns in Brigantine.
Secret Service agents were combing the area when she finally arrived, and by the time the afternoon was over, she had met President Obama and shared an emotional hug with him.
The following morning, the image of that embrace, top right, appeared on the front page of The Record and was published and broadcast by news outlets around the world.
I was fortunate enough to be in the pool of news photographers who accompanied the president on his tour of the devastation along the Jersey Shore, and among those who got to photograph Vanzant’s presidential encounter.
I returned to Brigantine last week to see how she was doing.
All but one of the boats in her North Point Marina that were pushed as far as three blocks away by the storm surge have now been recovered, but there is much left to do. Vanzant estimates that her business losses will amount to at least $500,000, including the cost of repairing the marina.
She said she was honored to meet Obama, but she is also frustrated that she has yet to receive help from either her insurance companies or the government. “The president told me I would get immediate help,” she said.
“Looking back on it, it wasted a lot of people’s time,” she said of the visit.
Democrats are like the person who uses whatever they can to get you in bed, and then bolts once they get what they wanted! Wake up America!
The number of Americans whom the U.S. Department of Labor counted as “not in the civilian labor force” in August hit a record high of 88,921,000.
The Labor Department counts a person as not in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16 years old, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and have not actively looked for a job in the last four weeks. The department counts a person as in “the civilian labor force” if they are at least 16, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and either do have a job or have actively looked for one in the last four weeks.
In July, there were 155,013,000 in the U.S. civilian labor force. In August that dropped to 154,645,000 – meaning that on net 368,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force last month and did not even look for a job.
There were also 119,000 fewer Americans employed in August than there were in July. In July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 142,220,000 Americans working. But, in August, there were only 142,101,000 Americans working.
Despite the fact that fewer Americans were employed in August than July, the unemployment rate ticked down from 8.3 in July to 8.1. That is because so many people dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work.
EDITOR’S NOTE: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total population of the United States is right around 315,000,000.
There are roughly 40,000,000 Americans age 65 or older, 66,500,000 children under the age of 16 and 25,000,000 non-institutionalized, disabled people between the ages of 16 and 64 who are considered incapable of working.
There are also around 2,600,000 people in the non-civilian (state and federal law enforcement officers, paid fire fighters and active duty military personnel) workforce, and another 2,320,000 adults who are institutionalized in medical or correctional facilities.
Oh, and let’s not forget the estimated 12,000,000 illegal aliens in the U.S.
Added together, the number of people in these six groups totals 148,420,000. Subtract that figure from the total population of the U.S. and you’re left with 166,580,000. This is reasonably close to the true number of American civilians between the ages of 16 and 64 who are capable of holding down a job.
Okay, so subtract from that figure the number of American civilians currently working [142,100,000-rounded slightly] and you are left with 24,480,000.
Now, if you want to know what percentage of the total civilian workforce that last number equates to, simply divide it by 166,580,000, and you get 0.1469564173370. Then multiply that number by 100 and the result is 14.7 percent (rounded slightly). This is the approximate percentage of Americans between the ages of 16 and 64 who are capable of working but do not have a job.
Remarkably, it is 6.6 percentage points greater than the official unemployment figure [8.1 percent] released by the Obama Labor Department this week.
Ain’t math fun?
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Say hello to the Navy’s little friend.
Navy scientists set a world record Friday during a test of an electromagnetic railgun, a tractor-trailer sized weapon that sends a 20-pound projectile rocketing through the air at seven times the speed of sound.
The futuristic gun was tested twice at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va., and the first shot generated 33 megajoules of force out of the barrel, a world record for muzzle energy, the scientists said.
One megajoule is a unit of energy roughly equal to the energy generated by a 1-ton vehicle moving at 100 MPH. The same rail gun generated about 10 megajoules during a test two years ago.
Roger Ellis, the railgun program manager, told The Washington Post that people “see these things in the video games, but this is real. This is what is very historical.”
What is novel about the gun – aside from its astonishing power – is the way it works.
Instead of relying on explosive propellants like gunpowder to fire, the gun uses a giant surge of electricity to propel the slug out of the barrel at speeds that can approach Mach 8 and can strike targets more than 100 miles away.
Charles Garnett, a project manager on the railgun experiment, told the Post that the gun gets its power the same way a pocket camera builds up energy to operate its flash, but on a much larger scale.
Also, the projectile does not carry a warhead and therefore does not explode on impact, which will allow Navy ships to carry far less explosive material on board and cut down on the possibility of accidental blow ups.
Instead, the slug obliterates whatever it hits by sheer force of impact, hence the Navy’s Latin motto for the project, “velocitas eradico.” Translation: Speed destroys.
The Navy also said that the railgun will allow warships to attack enemies from safe distances and could be used as a defense against enemy cruise missiles.
On Friday, the schoolbus-sized gun took about 5 minutes to power up before an explosion inside the barrel flung the slug about 5,500 feet through the wooded test range.
A bright column of fire trailed the bullet as it left the gun, and it caused a small sonic boom during flight before tumbling into the woods.
“It’s exhilarating,” Elizabeth D’Andrea, the railgun project’s strategic director, told the Post.
Navy officials said the gun isn’t going to be ready for battle any time soon.
Rear Adm. Nevin P. Carr Jr., chief of Naval Research, told the Post he would like to see the railgun demonstrated at sea by 2018 and deployed on ships in the early 2020s.
By 2025, the Navy wants to be able to fire the gun at 64 megajoules, making it capable of sending a bullet 200 miles in six minutes, scientists said.
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