What is the Actual Unemployment Rate in America?

There is an old saying that has been attributed to Mark Twain, “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”. There are other versions of this phrase attributed to Mark or someone else. One is, “Figures do not lie but liars do figure”. This phrase has been defined as describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments or cast doubt on an opponent’s arguments. I begin this writing with this information because there is no end to the data available regarding the unemployment rate, under employment rate, and the number of people in the work force in America. There is also no end to how these numbers can be “spun” for political purposes.

One indicator that the unemployment rate is well above 5 percent is the Labor Participation Rate. This data is the per cent of people in the population who are considered to be part of the work force and are actually working. Like most data and terms used by various government departments and special interest groups the exact definition of this term and how it is calculated varies. Regardless of how you calculate the per cent of people in the work force who are working  the results indicate that on December 31, 2015 it was the lowest per cent it has been since the 1960’s. According to this data there are millions of people in America who still want to work but are not counted as being part of the work force now.

Another part of our work force that must be considered when you calculate the unemployment rate is the people who are underemployed. These are people who lost their jobs and had to take work that they are over qualified for or take part time work. I do not see how you can try and calculate the actual unemployment rate without considering these people. I am sure the vast majority of them are looking for full time work that they are qualified to do. Estimates as to how many of these people there are vary. One report I saw recently indicated it was 6.5 million.

Other data that must be considered when attempting to determine the size of the work force in America is the mortality rate. The number of people who die in America each year is a matter of record. But how many of them were still considered to be part of the work force when they died? Obviously this can be another “fuzzy” number.

What age people are considered to be out of the work force will also dramatically affect the calculated unemployment rate. Is it age 62, 65, or “and up”. I prefer the “and up” method because people in America are living longer and are more healthy and active in their later years than they were in the past. Some may change to a job with less stress or physical demands but they are still working much later in life.

Some people like to calculate the number of people in the work force in America to indicate that approximately 92,000,000 people are out of work. They count everyone in the population that is 16 years old “and up” as being part of the work force. They do not take people out of the calculation that are not in the work force by choice. Students, retired people, disabled people, or people who are taking time off work for personal or other reasons are counted as being in the workforce. If you take all these people out to make it a more reasonable calculation the unemployment number is still well above 5 percent.

Immigration also adds to our unemployment numbers. The US government issues over 1,000,000 visas every year but does not make any effort  to see that the people leave when their visa expires or verify that they are doing what they were admitted to the US to do. My recent post “Legal (?) Immigration” covers this topic in detail.

As you can see it is easy to spin these numbers any way you want depending on your political agenda. I became interested in the numbers when I noticed that the Obama Administration appeared to be manipulating them to suit their agenda midway through his first term. The more I looked into it the more questions I had regarding how it was calculated by our Government.

As I have explained above there are just too many variables and estimated numbers for me to calculate an unemployment number that I am confident saying is the actual number. However, after all my research I am absolutely convinced that it is higher than 5 per cent. I am also certain that we cannot trust the Obama Administration to do anything about a problem that it insists it has already solved!

This chart, “Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilizationIs an example of how he numbers are reported differently. It indicates that the unemployment rate in January of this year was 9.9 per cent while the Obama Administration was loudly saying they had lowered the unemployment rate to 4.9 per cent.


We have ONE LAST chance to turn America around in November. Choose wisely!


Its The Economy Stupid

It’s the Economy Stupid

Some of you may remember the phrase “it’s the economy stupid”. It was coined by James Carville as a campaign theme in Bill Clinton’s 1992 Presidential campaign. As I was researching and writing this article it just seemed right to use it as the title since it seems even more appropriate today.

When you ask people in America what is most important to them they will almost always say the economy, security, and immigration are the things they are most concerned about, with the economy being by far the number one concern. I firmly believe that if you do not have a strong economy nothing else matters .It takes money to fund a strong national defense; to enforce a reasonable immigration policy, and to do anything else our Government tries to do. I used the term “tries to do” because Government does almost everything badly and spends more money doing it than any private enterprise would spend to do the same thing. Consequently as Government grows it spends more which adds to the downward pressure on our economy.

Here are some of the economic issues in America today:

The actual unemployment rate is not 5 per cent! I was “annoyed” when the Obama administration took a victory lap earlier this year when the monthly net new jobs report indicated that 151,000 jobs had been created the previous month and the unemployment rate was lowered to 4.9 per cent. I and a number of other people believe that it is probably around 10 per cent and that does not include all the people who are “under employed”. There is a lot of data available on this topic, including a number of US Government websites that indicate the unemployment rate is being manipulated to support the Obama Administration’s agenda. I will post a complete article on this topic in the future.

Our national debt is now more than $19,000,000,000,000 (yes, that is the correct number of “0”s). It will be more than $20,000,000,000,000 before the end of this year! At one point while we were getting to this unimaginable level of debt the Obama administration was taking a victory lap and saying, “we are reducing the deficit at the fastest rate since the end of WWII”, and I did not see anyone in the media call the administration out on that? I will post about this in more detail in a future article.

NO actual wage growth for years. In fact some reports indicate that median household annual income has fallen by $5,000 since 2007.

Here are some real life examples of what has been, and continues to happen around me (note, I live in an urban middle class area):

There are still a lot of abandoned homes and business locations sitting vacant.

People of all ages and races are walking on the side of the road and it is obvious that they are walking because they do not have any other means of getting where they need to go.

Panhandlers of all ages and races in places I have never seen panhandlers before.

Shelters, soup kitchens and food banks still have a high demand for their services.

Some restaurants and fast food locations tell me that they have people come in every day, say they are hungry and ask for free food.

Companies are outsourcing and cutting jobs at an accelerating rate. One recent example is a national company that outsourced, dramatically cut jobs and liquidated facilities in August 2015.

Cars left sitting along the highways and freeways because they are out of gas, have flat tires or they have mechanical failures. This is still happening in spite of the huge drop in gas prices, which means the money they are saving on gas has not raised their standard of living.

Increases in monthly housing rental cost. There are so many people who cannot qualify for or afford home ownership now that rental property owners are able to continually raise their rental rates.

Increased food prices while the size of the containers is decreasing (what was a half a gallon in the past is now 59 ounces).

What can we do to make things better? First, stop and take a good look at what is happening around you and listen to what people around you are saying. I do not believe you can do this and really believe the “Left’s” insistence that life has gotten better under the Obama administration. Not only have they not made life better, they are not telling you the truth about what is really happening.

Second, try to engage people in rational, fact based conversations about what you think needs to be done to make things better. People who have an ideological mindset are not usually open to discussion so do not waste your time trying to have a conversation with them. There are other people that can be positively influenced so do your homework on issues and share your knowledge with them.

We have one last chance to turn America around in November. Electing a Socialist or Progressive Democrat as the President will not solve our problems!


















Ideology and Extremism in American Politics Today

Thanks to mass media and the 24 hour news cycle we can now be virtually consumed by “information”. So much that many people simply turn it off or selectively filter it. If you step back and consider all this “information” from a somewhat analytical point of view, you will see that it will appear to be one of the following categories:

1. Actual news

2. What is in the best interest of the people of America

3. Ideological.

In recent years it has become increasingly obvious to me that too often the “information” does not fit into the category in which it was presented. More often than not it will actually be what is in the best interest of the presenter. It has also become obvious to me that many of the “ideologues” in America have morphed into “extremist”, causing tremendous anger and turmoil in America.

If you look at American history you will see that our political system has never been as heavily influenced by ideology as it is today and certainly not by extreme ideology! However this is something that has happened throughout history on a regular basis in other parts of the world. Some of the common names used were Collectives, Cooperatives, Socialism, Democratic Socialism, and Communism. In reality it makes very little difference what you call it. The core ideology is the same under each, NO private ownership of property is allowed. The only exception to this core ideology was when some Cooperatives allowed very limited and highly regulated group ownership of some property.

When I was in high school some teachers lectured that history has proven Communism always moves toward Capitalism and that Capitalism always moves toward Communism. It was an even more popular theory with some of my college professors. And now research for this writing has confirmed that history has proven this to be factual. History also shows that every time a society moved from one form of Government to another the process varied dramatically as to how long it took and how violent it was. The motivations for the people leading the change also varied but they were always extreme ideologues and produced the same results over time.

In recent months it has become clear to me that America is on the verge of being pushed into the final stages of the Capitalism to Communism category. Some of the “politically elite” in America, with the support of media, have been working  a long time to accomplish this and they are prepared to use the elections in November to take us there. Unfortunately it looks like the odds are in their favor, especially if people do not stop and really look at what is happening and what they can do about it!

The current two party political system in America and the Constitutionally mandated Electoral College process for ultimately electing the President and Vice President are certainly not perfect, BUT LOOK AT THE ALTERNATIVE!


“Heaven on Earth, The rise and Fall of Socialism” by Joshua Muravchik

From the internet:

Ideology – a collection of doctrines of beliefs shared by members of a group or visionary theorizing

Extreme –very great in degree

Extremism –advocacy of extreme measures or views

The difference between Socialism and Communism from a lifelong, blue collar Democrat:

He said, “I really wanted to vote Democrat in this election but I cannot vote for Hillary under any circumstance and I certainly cannot vote for a Socialist. I have been trying to explain to people that the only difference between Socialism and Communism is the spelling”. Pretty simple but based on my research it seems just about right.






Turmoil – Updated (5/4)


The Democratic National Committee clearly chose to “anoint” Hillary as their nominee and believed she would cruise to an easy victory in November. It is now obvious that they were completely unaware of the ”anger” in America today (the Republican party leadership made the same mistake). See my post, “The Quiet Revolution”

When you take a closer look at what is happening in the primaries for both parties it is clear that neither one can expect to have a “:happy” convention or a candidate who has  an “open road” to the general election. Even with Trump appearing to be the Republican nominee on the first ballot (as of 5/03), I still think it is not going to be a “happy” convention.  There are just too many “never Trump” people.

Bernie Sanders will stay in the race until the convention and may actually keep Hillary from earning the nomination before the convention. He won all three of the recent primaries (by almost 80 percent in one).  On Tuesday, April 5 he also won Wisconsin. He is raising substantially more money than Hillary without doing any fundraisers or taking Super Pac money and has a much lower “burn rate” (he is spending less money than she is). This means that he will have more to spend on advertising as we get closer to the convention and she will have to spend more time fund raising.

Update – Sanders has now won the last six Democrat primaries or caucuses and has raised more money than Hilary three months in a row.

Update April 11 – Sanders wins Wyoming making it seven in a row.

Update May , 5 – Saunders wins Indiana by a comfortable margin.

The FBI investigations into Hillary’s use of an unapproved private server to conduct State Department business and the Clinton Foundation’s operations during her term as Secretary of State are both moving forward rapidly. Regardless of what happens with these investigations they could create a situation where someone else steps up to run for President on the Democratic ticket or as a third or fourth party candidate.

Many Bernie Sanders supporters say they will not vote for anyone else, including Hillary.

Some Bernie Sanders supporters say they will vote for Trump if Bernie is not the nominee.

Update 5/03 – Cruz unexpectedly drops out of the race virtually assuring that Trump will be the Republican nominee.

Many Trump supporters say they will not vote for anyone else.

Some Trump supporters say they will vote for Hillary if Trump is not the nominee.

Many anti-Trump Republicans say they will not vote for any presidential candidate if Trump is the party nominee or will vote for a write in candidate.

Many people say they have never voted before but are registering and voting in the primaries for this Presidential election. They are voting solely as anti-establishment voters. Most of them will only vote for their choice for President which means that they will not vote for anyone else running for any national or state office, especially incumbents.

Some groups and individuals have made public threats of violence if Trump is a formal Presidential candidate while others are threatening violence if he is not!

With all this turmoil we could have a huge voter turnout or a really low voter turnout in the general election in November with the votes split among more than two Presidential candidates. If Trump is the Republican nominee and there is not a viable third party candidate in the race immediately after the conventions a group of anti-Trump Republicans is planning to run a candidate in key states. With a viable third party candidate running in the general election it is probable that no Presidential candidate will win a majority of the votes. If a candidate does not win a majority of the votes the US House of Representatives will elect the President and the US Senate will elect the Vice President based on the Twelfth Amendment (ratified June 15, 1804).

The US House of Representatives would choose the President with each state having only one vote (the representatives do not get an individual vote). The House will consider only the three candidates who got the most votes in the general election.

The US Senate would choose the Vice President with each Senator casting a single vote for one of the two candidates who got the most votes.

The information posted above regarding the House and Senate electing the President and Vice President was summarized using information from a much more detailed writing. You can use the link below to see the original writing.


Another interesting side effect of the “turmoil” surrounding the Presidential candidates and the general election in November is how it could affect the other people running for office on national, state, and local levels and, ultimately the Supreme Court. This election has the potential to completely change the political structure of our country for generations.

Get informed, get involved, and choose WISELY in November.