You’re Fired (because we care so much about you)

Donald Trump made famous the line “You’re fired” on his TV show, but Joe Biden has outdone Trump removing many more people from the workforce than Trump ever did. Joe Biden promised he would shut down COVID, but not the economy. His only strategy for shutting down COVID is to force the vaccine on everyone, to the exclusion of all else. “Build back better” was the campaign slogan for the economy, but we’re not building back at all, much less better.

The economy nose dived in March 2020 when government mandated lockdowns were imposed. The employment rate was at 61% before the COVID lockdowns and in just two months it fell by 10%. Ben Shapiro says the economy was put into an “artificial coma”. All states didn’t come out of lockdown at the same time, but the graph below shows that we did finally come to our senses before the end of last year. Much of the country returned to work and figured out how to cope, while some states waited a while longer.

US-employment numbers

Once the patient was revived and pent up demand finally released, the economy should have been on a straight path upward. Last October, we heard the news of a record 34% GDP growth for the summer of 2020. The outlook for 2021 was bright, but after an administration change, the economy keeps missing the estimated job growth numbers month after month; the patient is still groggy after coming out of the coma. This October, the GDP number for the last quarter was a disappointing 2%.

The Biden administration talks up the unemployment rate which fell to 4.8% in September. Last February it had fallen to 3.4%, close to historic lows. Those numbers are good, but the problem is the employment level, not unemployment. Currently, we have more jobs than employees to fill them.

We have been told recently, by no less than Biden spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, that you better buy your Christmas presents early because there is a supply chain crisis, a problem of not enough people to transport or offload goods coming into the country:

https://www.breitbart.com/economy/2021/10/13/exclusive-global-logistics-ceo-62-ships-unable-to-unload-at-california-ports-delaying-inventories-for-black-friday/

In addition, trucks are sitting idle as well because companies can’t find enough drivers:

Mississippi Trucking CEO on Truck Driver, Worker Shortages Under Biden: ‘It’s the Worst that I Have Ever Seen’ :: Grabien – The Multimedia Marketplace

Transportation Secretary Buttigeig is putting a positive spin on this. Don’t worry about the supply crisis; demand is high and that is good, per Buttigeig:

“Certainly a lot of the challenges that we’ve been experiencing this year will continue into next year,” Buttigieg responded. “Look, part of what is happening isn’t just the supply side, it’s the demand side. Demand is off the charts. Retail sales are through the roof. And if you think about those images of ships, for example, waiting at anchor on the West Coast – every one of those ships is full of record amounts of goods that Americans are buying because demand is up because income is up because the president has successfully guided this economy out of the teeth of a terrifying recession.”

source: https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/buttigieg-supply-chain-issues-continue-next-year

Demand which cannot be met is good? Demand is also high in Venezuela while the shelves remain empty. Not enough workers to offload the ships or load the trucks is building back better? Here’s the problem the secretary did not acknowledge: we have fewer people working and fewer looking for jobs.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/12/a-record-4point3-million-workers-quit-their-jobs-in-august-led-by-food-and-retail-industries.html

Employment vacancies fell to 10.44 million during the month, a drop of 659,000 from July’s upwardly revised 11.1 million, according to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Federal Reserve officials watch the JOLTS report closely for signs of slack in the labor market.

The total fell well short of market expectations for 10.96 million openings, according to FactSet.

“There is an enormous labor shortage in the country right now and it is not just because people are quitting or have child care problems, or can’t get to work due to the Delta variant,” wrote Chris Rupkey, chief economist at Fwdbonds. “The economy is strong as a bull, that is why there is a tremendous demand for labor.”

The New York Times tells a similar story:

The Fall was meant to mark the beginning of the end of the labor shortage that has held back the nation’s economic recovery. Expanded unemployment benefits were ending. Schools were reopening, freeing up many caregivers. Surely, economists and business owners reasoned, a flood of workers would follow.

Instead, the labor force shrank in September. There are five million fewer people working than before the pandemic began, and three million fewer even looking for work.

The slow return of workers is causing headaches for the Biden administration, which was counting on a strong economic rebound to give momentum to its political agenda. Forecasters were largely blindsided by the problem and don’t know how long it will last.

Job Numbers keep missing

Below, I quote the headlines on jobs numbers during the last five months; I chose several different media outlets, none of them conservative, so you can see there is broad disappointment in the numbers; it is not just my spin on things.

May Jobs: From the LA Times (Rueters), the first week of June: https://www.latimes.com/business/la-xpm-2011-jun-01-la-fi-0602-adp-jobs-20110601-story.html

U.S. companies hired far fewer workers than expected in May and output in the manufacturing sector slowed to its lowest level since 2009, raising concerns that the U.S. recovery is running out of steam.

Economists slashed their forecasts for Friday’s closely watched U.S. payrolls report after private-sector job growth tumbled to just 38,000, its lowest level in eight months.

June Jobs: From CBS News, the first week of July: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/june-jobs-disappoint-unemployment-at-seven-year-low/

The labor market proved to be a mixed bag in June, with the economy continuing to add jobs amid dormant wages and a reduced work force.

The creation of 223,000 jobs in June follows a 254,000 increase in May that was beneath the prior estimate. The jobless rate dipped to 5.3 percent, a seven-year low, as more Americans departed the labor pool, the Labor Department said Thursday in a report released a day earlier than usual due to the July 4 holiday.

The report “just missed expectations,” said JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago, of expectations that the number would come in at 233,000. “The part that troubles me the most about this jobs report is the revisions to April and May, it moves the total down by 60,000.”

July Jobs: From YahooNews in August: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/july-6-monthly-job-numbers-134249473.html

The U.S. labor market remains front and center today following another disappointing monthly jobs report this morning. Thursday’s report from Automatic Data Processing (ADP) had raised hopes that we would break the negative cycle of back-to-back disappointing jobs numbers of the last three months. But it was not to be, as this seems to be the new norm on the labor market front.

There is no doubt now that the brief spurt of labor market momentum during the winter months is now firmly behind us. Economists will debate the causes of the economic slowdown this Spring, but the trend is quite clear. Monthly job gains averaged 75K in the second quarter, down sharply from first quarter’s monthly pace of 226K.

August Jobs: From CNBC in September: Jobs report disappoints — only 235,000 positions added vs. expectations of 720,000 https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/03/jobs-report-august-2021.html

Job creation for August was a huge disappointment, with the economy adding just 235,000 positions, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 720,000 new hires.

The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% from 5.4%, in line with estimates.

September Jobs: From MSN in October: Jobs Numbers Disappoint to +194K, Unemployment 4.8% https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careers/jobs-numbers-disappoint-to-194k-unemployment-48/ar-AAPhHnk

The much-awaited September nonfarm payrolls number from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) came out with another disappointing headline: 194K, less than half the 500K analysts had been expecting. On the other hand, the Unemployment Rate dropped to 4.8% — the first 4-handle since the pandemic started and clearly a post-Covid low. So while the former number is a big disappointment, the latter brings us closer to full employment, nevertheless.

Unforced Errors

News outlets, left and right, at least agree on the problem itself, not a common occurrence in today’s hyper-partisan environment. The cause and the solution, however, are not something we can get agreement on.

Our recent economic problems certainly began with COVID, but many of the errors are unforced. I watched in horror throughout 2020 while people lost their minds and governors extended COVID lockdowns month after month. The impact to jobs and the economy was predictable. Unfortunately, too many businesses have not bounced back from last year:

source: Jobs lost due to lockdowns

It should come as no surprise then that many restaurants were forced to shutter in 2020, but the numbers are still shocking. More than 110,000 eating and drinking establishments in the United States closed for business—temporarily or permanently—last year, with nearly 2.5 million jobs erased from pre-pandemic levels, according to the National Restaurant Association. And restaurant and foodservice industry sales fell by $240 billion in 2020 from an expected level of $899 billion.

The restaurant and foodservice industry had been projected to provide 15.6 million jobs in 2020, representing 10% of all payroll jobs in the economy. Since the pandemic started, 62% of fine dining operators and 54% of both family dining and casual dining operators said staffing levels are more than 20% below normal.

The media screamed at governors who re-opened too soon, but those states who were less restrictive have bounced back quicker. At least, they figured out we need to build back. Some states went to extremes fighting COVID, creating problems worse than the problem they were trying to avoid. In general, red states who were more inclined to open sooner have far lower unemployment rates today than blue states (and COVID outcomes are not any worse because they opened up sooner). Of the ten states with the lowest unemployment, only Vermont is a reliably blue state (with a Republican governor).

StateSeptember 2021(P)
rate
Rank
Nebraska2.01
Utah2.42
Idaho2.93
New Hampshire2.93
South Dakota2.93
Vermont2.93
Oklahoma3.07
Alabama3.18
Georgia3.29
Montana3.310
Ten Lowest unemployment rates, October 2021

Of the ten states with the highest unemployment, all but one, Alaska, is a reliably blue state, including the Democrat’s worker’s paradises, New York and California.

Pennsylvania6.241
Alaska6.342
District of Columbia6.543
Hawaii6.644
Connecticut6.845
Illinois6.845
New Mexico6.947
New Jersey7.148
New York7.148
California7.550
Nevada7.550
Ten Highest Unemployment Rates, October 2021

Detect a difference in outcome between the two philosophies? In the name of saving lives from COVID, livelihoods were lost; the policies have cost far more in lives destroyed than in lives saved. As a side note, today we are seeing more people than ever admitted to emergency rooms, not from COVID, but from other ailments that were left untreated in 2020. Locking down and forcing folks to delay colonoscopies, CAT scans, mammograms, and other diagnostics in 2020 has resulted in more hospitalizations and deaths due to a lack of early intervention (while driving up unemployment to boot) https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/10/26/1046432435/ers-are-now-swamped-with-seriously-ill-patients-but-most-dont-even-have-covid.

Lockdowns were mainly state policies, but the federal government has also gotten into the job-killing act in 2021. On day 1, the Biden administration shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, costing tens of thousands of jobs. The fossil fuel industry had a break for four years during the Trump administration after the Obama administration waged war on them for eight years. In the four years in between Democratic administrations, the U.S. became the number one producer of oil, reaching the holy grail of energy independence that eluded presidents since Nixon declared it our goal in the 1970’s. U.S. was energy independent

Shutting down pipelines and waging war on fossil fuels cost some jobs, but at least the cost of fuel is much higher than ever before.

Pipelines are the cheapest, safest, and most efficient way to transport oil, and fracking has been the scientific revolution that finally made us energy independent. There is more shale oil available from fracking in West Texas than in all of Saudi Arabia (environmentalist will say its not safe, but they have no idea what they are talking about). Lower fuel prices gave our economy a great boost the last four years, but in less than a year, the Biden administration is undoing the gains of the last four. Biden is now negotiating with OPEC for more oil when we should be telling them to buzz off because we don’t need them.

To add insult to injury, Biden says it doesn’t matter because we will all be driving electric cars in a few years. Have you seen the price of a Tesla or a Chevy Volt? They are nice cars, but how many can afford them.? How many more good paying pipeline and oil industry jobs can America afford to lose? The cost of higher fuel will ripple throughout other industries as well.

It is All By Design

But the problem goes beyond bad management decisions because all this job loss is by design. It’s a feature, not a bug.

Yes, it is a feature. I’m not crazy; the people in charge are. The folks in charge now just don’t value work, certainly not in the way we always have or how you thought we still do. They have been telling you what they think for a while; however, most people just aren’t listening. If you want to know where the Democratic Party is headed, just listen to the inimitable Representative Ocasio-Cortez:

source: AOC tells people dont go back to work when lockdown is lifted

“When we talk about this idea of ‘reopening society,’” starred Ocasio-Cortez. For some reason, AOC did finger quotes for “reopening society.”

“You know, only in America- does the President, when the President tweets about liberation, does he mean go back to work,” Ocasio-Cortez continued.

AOC hit “liberation” with the finger quotes too. I’m not sure she understands what that gesture means.

“When we have this discussion about going back or reopening, I think a lot people should just say ‘no, we’re not going back to that.’ We’re not going back to working 70 hour weeks just so that we can put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives,” Ocasio-Cortez finished.

I beg to differ. Work is a good thing. We need purpose in our lives and work often provides that. 70 hour work weeks are not good, but they are not the norm. Once again, the Congresswoman has no idea what she is talking about or is lying because she knows she can get away with saying anything.

Most of us know that getting our country back to work is necessary for our shared economic well being; hard work is one of the things that has made America great and enabled us to live in such prosperous times. But AOC and her acolytes would have you believe that her party can lead us into to some new promised land, some place brighter and shinier than ever before, so we can all spend our days doing that which fulfills us the most, whether it be work or something else. Ayn Rand’s vision of fewer and fewer people working to support those who simply live off the fat of the land, is being manifested by today’s Democratic Party.

Representative Cori Bush talks about the economic injustice of the fossil fuel industry. Like everything else, you see, oil production is racist, and anything racist must go. Fossil fuels were great while they lasted; they, along with electrification, lifted billions out of poverty in the 20th century and still today they provide hope to millions of third-world citizens trying to modernize, not to mention lots of jobs for Americans. However, per the enlightened members of the House of Representatives squad, they need to go. The rest of the century may be rather and cold dark without fossil fuels, but we will be saving the planet, so it seems an even trade.

https://bush.house.gov/media/press-releases/cori-bush-progressives-urge-president-biden-end-fossil-fuel-expansion

Progressive periodical Vox says less is actually better. Just ignore the supply chain crisis and rising fuel costs; we should be spending less in any case (https://www.vox.com/the-goods/22725031/buying-less-supply-chain-holiday-shopping):

“In an exploitative consumer market, the answer is not buying more. It’s buying less,” argues fashion journalist and activist Aja Barber. “We can’t buy our way to an ethical world.”

George Bush said days after 9-11 that everyone should return to normal and buy things again. The economy needed a boost, but now Vox is telling us that shortages are good because we should learn how to make do with less.

Paul Krugman, economist and journalist, supposed Nobel Prize winner, and progressive extraordinaire also says the current situation is good. Employees don’t want their old jobs back on their old terms. No, we can’t just go back to work. That would be too easy. We need to demand more. We can’t let this crisis go to waste, so we must demand structural changes while we have the opportunity.

https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2021/08/26/paul-krugman-how-not/

Krugman – revolt of the American worker

Businesses can’t find enough workers and are forced to pay higher wages. The cost of all this may eventually force folks out of business, but Krugman and AOC cheer it on. They do have to acknowledge we have fewer goods on the shelf while the price of gas and food and just about everything has risen in 2021, but “experts” like Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin tell us to ignore the inflation behind the curtain; it is only temporary (or maybe not). Inflation is the highest it has been in two decades, so those higher wages aren’t really helping out workers in any case. Prices will likely go higher as the government has once again struck on the bright idea of spending more money we don’t have.

Joe Biden came into office with a vaccine that was already developed and being rolled out, an economy with strong fundamentals, pent up demand that could hardly be contained, newly discovered energy independence, and more rosy scenarios than you could shake a stick at. If he had done nothing and locked himself in the White House basement, the economy would have roared back and he could have taken credit. But he had to tinker where he shouldn’t have. He wants to be remembered as someone who made his mark.

He certainly isn’t done yet. Now the Biden wrecking machine is headed off to the climate conference this week. How much more of our money will he give away to foreign countries and how many more economy suffocating and job-killing measures will he commit to in the name of saving the planet?

The Newest Solution

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is the concept that will ultimately destroy the American work ethic much in the way that welfare has destroyed the American family (I talked about the welfare problem a few months back: https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/07/17/discussion-systemic-racism-and-education/. The government has tried to take the place of a father–by providing a welfare check, but this keeps people stuck in poverty and poverty correlates with lower quality education, higher dropout rates, and higher incarceration rates). UBI is basically a government program guaranteeing everyone a certain level of income; it’s social security for those of working age. It hasn’t worked in Europe where it was tried first, but free money sounds too good to pass up.

Universal Basic income. https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF10865

UBI programs have been proposed to address a wide range of social issues. Some frame a UBI as an efficiency improving replacement for the current body of social insurance and welfare programs in the United States. Such a UBI, it is argued, could potentially reduce administrative costs and application burden for recipients, give more freedom to households over how they allocate funds, and encourage households to establish stronger community ties or otherwise establish nongovernmental support systems.

Some UBI proposals respond to growing unease about labor market conditions, particularly the availability of jobs that are sufficiently rewarding in terms of wages and quality. In this context, a UBI is viewed as one lever to raise living standards among workers in low-wage jobs or jobs with low wage growth, and to provide security for workers whose jobs are susceptible to automation. According to these proponents, the UBI benefit may also serve to improve job prospects by offering the financial cushion needed to seek out work in new labor markets (e.g., by financing a move across county or state lines, or to take a career break to invest in new skills training). In addition to facilitating better quality job matches, increased labor mobility may further improve labor market conditions by encouraging employers to improve wages and working conditions to attract and retain workers.

The benefit could also provide a steady income to those engaged in productive nonmarket activities such as caregiving, education, and training. They posit that it may also promote greater savings, allowing individuals to invest or take constructive risks (e.g., starting a new business, testing an idea) or engage in more leisure activities (e.g., vacation).

UBI was recently endorsed by Pope Francis and has been advanced by many prominent American progressives starting with Timothy Leary and Eugene McCarthy and including many prominent names of today, including 2020 presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_advocates_of_basic_income

Advocates of UBI, Bernie Sanders on UBI, Pope Francis on UBI

It is a fad which has never been proven, but is considered inevitable by its advocates. The COVID pandemic provided the perfect laboratory for a UBI experiment. Last year, American families received several stimulus checks. Even as people began going back to work last summer, the U.S. Congress extended unemployment benefits through September 2021. In addition, this year, American families began receiving monthly child tax credits. There is lots of free money to be had.

For many, the stimulus checks were definitely needed. The government forced their employers to lay them off and they deserved to be compensated for that loss of income, but the checks went to more than the 10% that were thrown out of work by lockdowns. My family received three stimulus checks we didn’t need and now are receiving monthly ACTC checks we also don’t need. However, for many blue collar workers, it has now become more profitable to not work:

RCP-paying-people-not-to-work

 5 out of 6 unemployed workers are getting paid more NOT to work than to return to the job, according to the Congressional Budget Office. We estimate that most workers who earn $30 or less are financially better off staying off the job — even as the economy improves. Many workers can get twice as much for staying unemployed. Workers are supposed to lose unemployment benefits if they are offered a job and don’t take it. But workers know how to game the system. They can pretend to be sick, and employers are loath to bring a contagious worker back in the office or factory.

How is this idea of paying people to not work doing? How is it working out to pay folks so they can spend their days pursuing their dreams of being the next Michael Jackson or Tiger Woods? I think we are already seeing the results in the jobs numbers. Employers can’t find enough people to work, wages (and the price of everything else) are going up as employers try to lure workers back, our ports are backed up while ships wait for weeks to be unloaded, and the government says Christmas may be delayed. In other words, things are going great. After all, demand is still high and too much stuff is bad for you in any case.

I remember an Oprah episode from many years back. She gave a homeless man $100,000 to get back on his feet. He did well for a while, but eventually blew all the money and was no better off a year later. Even the ever-so-generous Oprah became jaded after this experience. Others have tried as well: https://www.ladbible.com/mental-health-historical/viral-homeless-man-was-given-100000-as-a-social-experiment-20210827. My kids think it is great to be lazy and to get everything you want without doing anything to earn it, but the insufferable kids in their classes always turn out to be the ones that get everything they want. The old adage still holds: better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish.

Nevertheless, progressives in America still think cradle to grave security provided by the government will make all things better. Franklin Roosevelt started this trend in the 1930’s by creating Social Security. The government promises to take care you after you retire, but Social Security is bankrupt and a Ponzi scheme: for every dollar put into the system, the average retiree takes out several dollars; this setup just can’t last, especially as more are taking out and fewer are putting in. Bernie Madoff went to jail for life for doing the same thing. It used to be 40 current workers supported one retiree, but now the ratio is 3 to 1. I would rather have put aside all the money taken from my paycheck than trust the government to hold on to it for me.

Social Security worked so well that Lyndon Johnson figured we should expand on it by creating the Great Society. Franklin Roosevelt didn’t think really big like Johnson did. The Great Society promised to end poverty as we know it. Johnson knew then and AOC knows today that we are always just one government program away from solving all of humanity’s nagging problems. Only, poverty hasn’t been solved in the last sixty years. Maybe they should have listened to Jesus who told us the poor will always be with us. Welfare was supposed to be a temporary hand up, but instead it has trapped generation after generation, making them dependent on a government check. Has it been worth the cost?

In January 1964, Johnson declared “unconditional war on poverty in America.” Since then, the taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s war. Adjusted for inflation, that’s three times the cost of all military wars since the American Revolution. https://findanyanswer.com/how-much-has-been-spent-on-the-war-on-poverty-since-1964#:~:text=How%20much%20money%20has%20been%20spent%20on%20the,current%20dollars%2C%20as%20reckoned%20by%20the%20Heritage%20Foundation.

UBI is the next step up from the Great Society, and, of course, it will be even more expensive. The infrastructure bill pending Congress now seeks to make the temporary payouts started under COVID permanent. We will not only take care of you when are old or when you are poor or when you are down on your luck, we will take care of all your basic needs: universal pre-K, free dental, free college, and free anything else you think you need. The incentives to work keep being removed.

We also learned just this week, that Joe Biden may pay $450K in punitive damages to some immigrant families.

450K-per-person-to-immigrant-families-separated-at-border.

It takes most people a lifetime of hard work to save that much for retirement, but Biden wants to give mass quantities of money to those who have done nothing to earn it (and broke the law to boot). Most people immigrate to the U.S. to find better paying jobs and Biden wants to make them lottery winners instead. That’s how he teaches people the value of the American work ethic.

All this is on top of more spending being proposed for the new “infrastructure” bill, which isn’t actually infrastructure, but more handouts: cost of UBI, make unemployment benefits permanent

As Ayn Rand predicted, the productive workers in our society will be forced pay for everyone else because nothing actually is free. Eventually, the productive workers will realize they’re no longer working for themselves and revolt. The whole system will collapse.

Jen Psaki, Biden spokesperson, said the president wants to fundamentally change the way the economy works. It is frightening that a dementia ridden octogenarian is following the economic model of a former bartender:

  1. Lockdown the economy. Attempt to close retail businesses not named Amazon, Lowes, Costco, or Wal-Mart.
  2. Send out stimulus checks, extend unemployment benefits for more a year and increase the amount paid, making it more difficult for employers to find workers.
  3. Bring back all the regulations that Trump got rid of, reverse the Trump tax cuts, and destroy our energy independence, the three things that helped the economy reach record levels before COVID.
  4. Attack those who are trying to bring people back to work as experimenting in human sacrifice (as was actually said of Georgia Governor Kemp last year) and vilify businesses because they don’t pay everyone as much as AOC thinks they should.
  5. Throw in more generous and more frequent child tax credits, and keep trudging down the path of cradle to grave government protection with free pre-K, free medical, free college, and UBI so that people don’t have to work as much or work at all.

Now Let’s make it worse

What could make all this worse? Vaccine mandates, of course.

Let’s threaten to fire people in key industries, like medical staff, airline employees, law enforcement, truck drivers, and everyone else who works in a business employing more than 100 people. Can we afford to lose 5 or 10% of our highly skilled people in positions like these? A year ago, hospital workers and grocery store clerks were heroes. How times have changed for these previously essential workers.

A staggering percentage of our military is still unvaccinated. Are we going to let physically fit and highly skilled Seals, Rangers, and Special Forces walk out the door because of this policy? Is our national security to be risked for a few more jabs for people who probably need it the least?

https://www.stripes.com/covid/2021-10-10/us-military-covid-vaccine-mandate-unvaccinated-3191964.html

Combined, the Army Guard and Reserve comprise approximately 522,000 soldiers, roughly a quarter of the entire U.S. military, and they account for nearly 40% of the 62 service-member deaths due to COVID-19, according to the data assessed by The Post. Barely 40% are fully vaccinated. The active-duty Army, facing a Dec. 15 deadline, stands at 81 percent.

For instance, 90% of the active-duty Navy is fully vaccinated, whereas just 72% of the Marine Corps is, the data show, even though both services share a Nov. 28 deadline. In the Air Force, more than 60,000 personnel have just three weeks to meet the Defense Department’s most ambitious deadline.

The federal agency I work for appears resigned to losing thousands of employees who refuse to comply with vaccine mandates. They told us this week to plan for the losses and to ask folks to provide knowledge articles and job aids before they are forced out (but, of course, as they constantly tell us, we care so much about our employees, although not enough to stand up for them in this instance). Multiply my agency’s problem by hundreds of government agencies and the impact and decline of government services is far worse than any of the government shutdowns we’ve experienced.

In a town hall with CNN’s Anderson Cooper last week, Biden said we should fire all these unpatriotic, uncaring people:

https://www.bizpacreview.com/2021/10/22/biden-calls-for-cops-and-first-responders-to-be-fired-for-not-getting-vax-says-unvaxxed-want-freedom-to-kill-1152341/

I thought Biden was an empathetic, caring person, unlike Trump. It sounds pretty harsh to me, but then I guess nobody was watching; another tree falls in the forest. He also said your freedom to make your own choices is not what matters here. He seems to believe freedom itself is a bit overrated. Your freedom infringes upon his right to force you to follow his mandates:

“Two things that concern me, one are those who just try to make this a political issue. Freedom. I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID. No, come on, freedom? Number one. Number two, the second one is that, you know, the gross misinformation that’s out there,” Biden said.

Biden’s logic sounds a bit like John C. Calhoun, circa 1850.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is another one who would trample your freedom, so she can impose her will. She appears willing to let half the city’s police be placed on administrative leave while record numbers die from homicides in her city–and this after the Chicago force (and others across the country) were devastated in the wake of last summer’s riots. Police officers quit in droves last year (remember “defund the police”?) because of the lack of political support from mayors like Lightfoot and now she doesn’t care if she drives even more away:

This nightmare is being played out in cities all over the country. Again, is this really worth the cost of vaccinating a few more people?

Let’s Just Return to Work

Not only has our current government encouraged people to work less or not at all, but now they are going after those productive people still willing to work. The vaccine mandate is supposed to apply to all businesses with more than 100 employees. If businesses don’t cooperate, there will be punishing fines that would probably force many out of business, impacting the jobs of not only the unvaccinated, but the vaccinated as well. How is all this helping us to “build back better”? The one fortunate thing is that this mandate on private businesses has not yet been implemented.

Still, so much damage has been done in the first ten months of the Biden administration. How are we going to make it through the next three years? I remember the Carter administration: stagflation, high unemployment, 18% mortgage rates, and economic malaise. I remember also the remarkable turn around with the Reagan economy. Now, we’ve returned to the Democrats and their failed ideas yet again, and amazingly after the remarkable growth the economy saw under Trump. So we don’t have the mean tweets and the bragging about crowd sizes, but at least more of us had jobs a couple years ago. And at least during the Carter years, folks didn’t deny that rampant inflation and high unemployment and 18% interest rates were bad. Today’s Democrats tell you it’s all good while things continue to unravel. Today’s Democrats want to destroy every vestige of what was once universally considered good, so they can replace it with something better, something they say will solve all your problems–and when you complain that it doesn’t solve all your problems, they’ll call you a racist or worse and they’ll label your message as misinformation so they can cancel you and explain to a captive audience how their way really is better. The beatings will continue until morale improves. I don’t want to align closely with the Republicans either, but at least they aren’t trying to normalize delusion.

Instead, let’s just align ourselves again with the good old American hard work ethic. It wasn’t always easy, but it was a whole lot better than this nonsense they are trying to feed us today. A strong work ethic is one of the principles we focus on with our kids. Like I tell them all the time: hard is good. The only things worthwhile in this world are difficult to obtain. This new fangled way of mainlining government subsidies for all of our lives may allow us to avoid some pain and seem like a good thing for a time, but it’s not really a life worth living.

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