At Least 1.8 Million People Refused to Return to Work Because of Generous Welfare Benefits, Poll Shows

The real number is probably even larger.

Here are FEE, we predicted from the beginning of the pandemic that Congress’s decision to create an unemployment benefits system paying most individuals more on welfare than they earned by working would backfire. We weren’t the only ones. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office similarly cautioned that this move would cause unemployment and hurt the economy.

The system has offered many unemployed households the equivalent of $25/hour in benefits for staying home. It was always obviously illogical, based on the work disincentive it creates. However, in the year and a half since, there has been an enormous, concentrated, politically motivated effort to deny that the excessively generous welfare benefits are playing any role at all in joblessness.

new poll makes this continued denial impossible.

For context, we currently have 1.2 unemployed people for every unfilled job opening. Small businesses are also reporting massive shortages of willing workers, even as they raise wages.

So, Morning Consult surveyed unemployed Americans and asked them why they turned down job offers. About 13 percent openly admitted their reason for not returning to work was “I receive enough money from unemployment insurance without having to work.” If this representative sample is extrapolated across the entire unemployed population, that equates to 1.8 million Americans who admitted to declining to go back to work because they could earn more on welfare.

Meanwhile, another 12.1 percent said that they were not offered enough money to return to work. This subjective determination is likely also influenced by the generous benefits as a fall-back option.

Click here for a graph from Axios showing the full results.

Here we have solid confirmation that millions of people have remained unemployed because of the federal government’s reckless expansion of the welfare state. This is, on its face, even more vindication for the many conservative-leaning states that canceled the benefits early. And it offers even more compelling weight to the argument that the federal welfare expansion ought to be allowed to lapse in September as scheduled. (There will undoubtedly be a push to extend it; the “temporary” program has already been extended several times.)

But the Morning Consult poll results are also, most likely, a wild underestimate.

Just think about it: Would you admit, if a pollster called you up, that you’re lazily staying on benefits because it pays more than working? Probably not. There’s a very real phenomenon in polling results where people, quite naturally, skew toward offering answers that are more flattering to them than the unadulterated truth. We can’t know the full extent, but I think it’s safe to assume that the real figure is much higher than 1.8 million.

Of course, we never should have needed poll results to tell us that disincentivizing work would lead to fewer people working. That’s what basic economics taught us all along.


Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

BIDEN’S INFLATION NATION: Inflation Rate Jumps, Highest Since 2008, Prices Up 5.4% in June

Ouch! The Biden Administration’s out-of-control tax-and-spend policies are driving up inflation to levels that we have not seen since the Great Recession of 2008. Watch your wallet, America.

Making every dollar you earn and you spend worth measurably less. Never would have happened under Trump.

BIDEN’S INFLATION NATION: Inflation Rate Jumps, Highest Since 2008, Prices Up 5.4% in June

By, July 13, 2021

The inflation rate in the United States jumped to 5.4% in June as prices for consumer goods soared; posting the fastest pace since 2008 while the economy struggles to recover from the COVID-19 shutdown.

“The Labor Department said last month’s consumer-price index increased 5.4% from a year ago, the highest 12-month rate since August 2008. The so-called core price index, which excludes the often-volatile categories of food and energy, rose 4.5% from a year before,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

“The index measures what consumers pay for goods and services, including clothes, groceries, restaurant meals, recreational activities and vehicles. It increased a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in June from May, the largest one-month change since June 2008. Prices for used cars and trucks leapt 10.5% from the previous month, driving one-third of the rise in the overall index, the department said. The indexes for airline fares and apparel also rose sharply in June,” adds the newspaper.

Read the full report here.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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NATIONAL BANKRUPTCY: Federal, State and Local Government Spending Analyzed

Stephen Moore is the senior economic contributor for FreedomWorks. He communicates FreedomWorks’ vision for a pro-growth economic agenda to grassroots activists and media nationwide, as well as conducting original economic analysis. Stephen previously served as president of the Club for Growth, chief economist of the Heritage Foundation, and as a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

©Conservative Commandoes Radio. All rights reserved.

$100,000 Gone with the Wind

Some people have money “to burn.” Others seem to have enough to throw into the ocean or down the toilet. Such was the case the other day with a 24-year-old rapper, Kodak Black, who was videoed throwing hundred-dollar bills off of a boat into the ocean. Many wonder, “Now, where exactly was that boat?”

According to (6/30/21): “It’s unclear how much money Kodak threw altogether, but some people online are claiming it’s somewhere north of $100,000. As if that wasn’t wasteful enough, Kodak proceeded to throw more money away Wednesday morning. In the short clip posted on Twitter, he is seen putting about $1,000 into a toilet bowl before flushing the money.”

Apparently, this publicity stunt had something to do with a feud Kodak Black was having against another rapper. Perhaps this was a form of boasting, along the lines of: “I don’t need you—I’ve got so much money, I can throw some of it away.”

Some interpreted the stunt as an anti-Capitalist statement.

Another tweeted: “$100K in Haiti could build homes for the almost 60,000 people who were left homeless and living in camps since 2010.”

When young people come into a lot of money quickly, they don’t always appreciate the value of a dollar.

The Book of Proverbs says, “An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.”

Since the rest of us spend so much of our time working hard to make money, it’s worthwhile to think through a few key principles about money, from a Judeo-Christian perspective.

  1. Money is a means of exchange. In previous times, shells, tobacco, and other things were used in place of money.
  2. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone had to pay for that lunch. If the government provides some sort of social welfare payment to Citizen A, it does so at the expense of Citizen B.
  3. Capitalism is a system that allows people to reap and retain the fruit of their own hard work, and has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. Socialism and Communism, meanwhile, have plunged hundreds of millions into poverty—while autocratic leaders enjoy a lifestyle beyond the dreams of the sultans.
  4. The greatest among us is the servant of all. Money and prosperity often comes to those who find creative ways to serve those around them (in a system that allows and rewards such things).
  5. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
  6. He who loves money can never get enough money.
  7. Those who chase get-rich schemes rather than earning money through work do badly in the long run (and maybe the short run too). Lottery winners consistently find that it was the worst thing that ever happened to them. They lost friends. They blew the money on frivolous things, and then it was gone.
  8. Slow and steady beats chasing fantasies. People value money much more when they work

hard and smart for it, and it slowly accumulates.

  1. You can’t take it with you. Even if you’re buried with gold (like the pharaohs were), what is that to a corpse? What does it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?
  2. Give a nice portion of what you make to charity (at least 10%).
  3. Save a nice portion of what you make for the future.
  4. Make more money than you spend.
  5. Avoid debt as much as you can.
  6. If you have debts, pay the smallest one off first
  7. Pay each one off until they are all paid off.
  8. Don’t ever worry about “keeping up with the Joneses.” If the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, you should see their water bill.
  9. Read and study Proverbs every day. It will change your life.
  10. Treat others as you would want to be treated, says Jesus.
  11. Personal peace of mind exceeds a fat paycheck.
  12. God owns it all. We are just stewards, who will one day give an account.

When I heard about Kodak Black’s stunt of throwing tens of thousands of dollars into the ocean, I couldn’t help but think of a music video from another singer a few years ago.

I confess I had never heard of Drake until he filmed a music video in Miami, and I personally knew someone who worked on it. The song was called, “God’s Plan,” and videographers captured Drake walking around Miami giving thousands of dollars to real people in need.

Generosity with money indeed fits “God’s plan” much more than just throwing money away to make some point—a point lost on the rest of us who struggle to pay our bills and just make a living.

©Jerry Newcombe. All rights reserved.

Target and Walgreens Are Making Drastic Changes Amid Skyrocketing Shoplifting in San Francisco

San Francisco ranks as the fifth-worst city in the US when it comes to retail theft. Now, the problem is getting so bad that businesses like Target and Walgreens are being forced to make drastic changes in response.

“For more than a month, we’ve been experiencing a significant and alarming rise in theft and security incidents at our San Francisco stores,” a Target spokesperson said. “With the safety of our guests, team members and communities as our top priority, we’ve temporarily reduced our operating hours in six San Francisco stores.”

Target stores normally stay open to 10:00pm, but many in the San Francisco area will now close their doors at 5:00pm or 6:00pm. Meanwhile, Walgreens stores are faring even worse, with some shutting their doors altogether.

“Representatives from Walgreens said that thefts at its stores in San Francisco were four times the chain’s national average, and that it had closed 17 stores, largely because the scale of thefts had made business untenable,” the New York Times reported.

This isn’t just a problem at big-box retailers, either. The California Retailers Association has decried the rampant theft, which is hurting Golden State businesses small and large. Theft has gotten so bad in some parts of San Francisco that it is beyond belief.

“I’m new to San Francisco,” Times journalist Thomas Fuller told a grocery store clerk shortly after moving to the city. “Is it optional to pay for things here?” It sounds like an absurd thing to ask, but Fuller explains that he was genuinely forced to wonder what was going on after he witnessed people walk into Walgreens and Safeway, grab stuff, and walk out.

The dysfunction-driven closures and scale-backs at major retailers will hurt everyday Californians. From the workers whose hours are cut to the customers who can’t get the products they need, this undermining of the market will have many victims beyond just those who are directly robbed.

The sad affair is another reminder of the timeless truth described by economist Thomas Sowell when he said that property rights “belong legally to individuals, but their real function is social, to benefit vast numbers of people who do not themselves exercise these rights.”

Protecting property rights is a necessary precursor for basic economic activity to function. As I previously explained on

“When property rights are insecure or routinely violated—widespread looting and arson are prime examples—the very foundation of a community’s economy is undermined. Investors understandably balk at the uncertainty and forgo investing there, while entrepreneurs cannot launch new enterprises or even continue current ones without the knowledge that they will be secure in their property. As a result, job opportunities and income streams dry up.” 

This is why millions of our taxpayer dollars are given to police departments and other government agencies tasked with enforcing property and protecting our rights. But in San Francisco, they’ve woefully failed this most basic responsibility.

A 2014 ballot referendum downgraded theft of goods less than $950 in value to just a misdemeanor, a slap on the wrist, and the city’s enforcement against shoplifters has dwindled in the years since.

That’s why Target and Walgreens are being forced to take drastic actions to protect their stores. But if widespread violation of property rights continues unpunished, they won’t be the last businesses in San Francisco to close their doors in response.


Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Ohio GOP Attorney General WINS Lawsuit Against “Biden Relief” Bill UNCONSTITUTIONALLY Bars Tax Cuts

Democrat communist fiat averted.

Obscene legal plunder impeded …. for the moment.

Ohio GOP attorney general prevails in lawsuit alleging Biden relief bill unconstitutionally bars tax cuts

By: Zachary Halaschak | Washington Examiner | July 02, 2021:

A federal judge has ruled that a provision in President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill limiting state tax cuts is unconstitutional, handing a victory to Republicans.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost had filed a federal lawsuit against the Treasury Department and its secretary, Janet Yellen, alleging that a provision in the $1.9 trillion Democratic spending package that prohibits states from using relief funds to offset tax cuts or credits “directly or indirectly” is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Douglas Cole issued the permanent injunction against what Yost dubbed the “tax mandate” on Thursday, ruling that the provision exceeds the federal government’s power over states.

“The federal government has to stay in their lane, and if they don’t, we’re prepared to bump them up against the guardrail and keep them where they belong,” Yost told the Washington Examiner in a Friday morning phone call.

Cole ruled that the tax mandate “falls short of the clarity” that Supreme Court precedent requires for the Constitution’s spending clause as it relates to conditional grants to states. The judge also rejected Yellen’s argument that Treasury Department regulations clear up the ambiguity of the provision.

“Accordingly, the Court finds that the Tax Mandate exceeds Congress’s power under the Constitution,” Cole concluded. “The Court further finds that Ohio has met the conditions for injunctive relief to prevent the ongoing harm that this constitutional violation is causing.”

It is likely that the federal government will appeal the ruling. A spokesperson with the Treasury Department told the Washington Examiner after the decision that the department disagrees with Cole’s opinion and is exploring options regarding the next steps.

“We are confident that the act is constitutional and Treasury is committed to implementing it in a manner consistent with Congress’s direction so we can continue to promote a robust and equitable recovery,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Yost touted the ruling as “a huge win for our federalist system” and pointed out that while Democrats might be disappointed with the decision, they might see it differently in the future. He said he sees the judgment as having broader implications than just this one provision.

“The progressives are going to be howling right now because they don’t like the idea that the federal government can’t tell Ohio what to do with its tax policy, but they’ll be quoting this decision soon enough to a Republican president who might want to tell a blue state how to run their state,” Yost said.

While Ohio was the first to sue the Biden administration over the tax mandate, it is not alone in its litigation on the matter.

Several other states have joined another federal lawsuit contending that the mandate violates the 10th Amendment, the conditional spending doctrine, and the anti-commandeering doctrine. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich also filed a lawsuit attacking the provision.

Yost said that while the ruling in his case won’t directly affect the other lawsuits, he thinks that Cole’s ruling will be closely examined by judges across the country.

“It’s a really well-reasoned opinion by Judge Cole, and I think other federal judges will read it and find it well reasoned,” he said. “So, it doesn’t have any direct power, but it is very persuasive.”

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Biden Says July 4th Just Got Cheaper!

I begin today with two wise old African proverbs from the country of my birth, Rhodesia.

Shona Proverb:- “ The innocent looking people are often the guilty.” In Shona that would read “Imbwa nyoro ndidzo tsengi dzamatovo.”

An old Shangaan proverb: “Don’t replace a puff adder with a black mamba.” Or in their language “Huma Mheri kunghena mamba.”

The Biden WH just tweeted that the cost of a July 4th Bar B Q just got cheaper for his American proletariat! How much cheaper? Great question. Let me tell you here! Hold your breath. Here it is! $0.16!

Apparently they worked out that the average cook out went down that huge amount and it is therefore a sign that prices are coming down and the rumors about hyperinflation or just inflation is just that. Rumors. Sent out by white supremists. Conservatives. You know? The evil Trump supporters. In other words you and me!

Biden is trying to say that his economic plan is working and things are just hunky dory!

Hmmmmm…….I for one am not feeling that.

I understand that Biden probably has not been to a gas station lately, or if by chance he had, he probably forgot! After all, his mental capacity is very diminished! The average price across the country for a gallon of regular gas is now $3.15, the highest price since 2014 and an increase of a massive 42% from just last year under the Trump administration.

Home prices have gone up 24% this year moving more and more average Americans away from the dream of home ownership. That, Sniffer Joe, is $0.16 every 1.3 seconds! Takes care of that $0.16 saving on our cookout!! Yay!!

By the way according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service there is not one product or price category that has gone down in 2021 over 2020!

This is the tweet sent out by the lunatics in the WH press office supposedly from Biden! “Planning a cookout this year? Ketchup on the news. According to the Farm Bureau, the cost of a 4th of July BBQ is down from last year. It’s a fact you must-hear(d). Hot dog, the Biden economic plan is working. And that’s something we can all relish.”

What comic! They should all be on stage! I suggest the first one outa town!

©Fred Brownbill. All rights reserved.

Democrat Mandated COVID-19 Lockdowns Caused More Deaths Instead Of Reducing Them, RAND study finds

The Democrat media complex was an accomplice to this mass murder.

COVID-19 lockdowns caused more deaths instead of reducing them, RAND study finds

By: Michael McKenna,  June 30, 2021 Washington Times,:

COVID-19 lockdowns caused more deaths instead of reducing them, study finds

Those who pushed ‘shelter in place’ policies share the blame, but everyone feels the consequences


As we begin to pick through the rubble of the early days of the coronavirus that started in Wuhan in an effort to determine with some specificity the origins of COVID-19, and whether it was accidentally or purposefully released from a Chinese lab, it is important, too, that we assess the wisdom of our public health approaches to the disease.

Chief among those approaches was the institution of lockdowns across a broad range of populations.

The pathologies of the lockdowns are clear and have been both predicted and recorded. They include increased risk of preventable deaths from cancer, heart disease, etc., as well as psychological trauma, resulting in increased homicides, accidents and suicidal ideations, caused by long periods of isolation.

What is less clear is whether the lockdowns served any useful medical purpose.

Fortunately, two researchers at the RAND Corporation and two researchers from the University of Southern California have done an analysis of the medical value of the lockdowns (which they refer to as “sheltering in place,” or SIP, policies). They looked at 43 countries and all of the states in the union, and published their assessment in June as a working paper of the National Bureau for Economic Research.
Shelter-in-place orders didn’t save lives during the pandemic, research paper concludes

You may have missed the report. It has not received much coverage from the media, who must be busy with some incredibly important and hard-hitting story about Dr. Anthony Fauci or the first lady.

Let’s remedy that oversight.

The RAND/USC team is unsparingly direct: “[W]e fail to find that SIP policies saved lives. To the contrary, we find a positive association between SIP policies and excess deaths. We find that following the implementation of SIP policies, excess mortality increases.”

So, the lockdowns didn’t reduce the number of deaths, failed to prevent any excess deaths, and in fact resulted in increased deaths.

Additionally, countries that locked their citizens in their homes were experiencing declining — not increasing — excess mortality prior to lockdowns. In other words, lockdowns probably made the situation worse.

The researchers were again direct. “If SIP were implemented when excess deaths were rising then the results … would be biased towards finding that SIP policies lead to excess deaths. However, we find the opposite: countries that implemented SIP policies experienced a decline in excess mortality prior to implementation compared to countries that did not implement SIP policies.”

Moreover, unless you lived on an island, it did not seem to make any difference when the lockdowns were implemented. They were ineffectual at best and led to increased mortality at worst.

From the study: “It is also possible that the average effects in our event studies might hide heterogeneity (differences) in the impact of policies across countries and U.S. states. For example, SIP policies might be more effective when implemented early in the pandemic or SIP policies might work better when community transmission is high. … Overall, we find little evidence of heterogenous effects except that SIP policies seem to be more effective in island nations or … Hawaii.”

Finally, there was no advantage to locking down early or staying locked down longer. The researchers noted: “We failed to find that countries or U.S. states that implemented SIP policies earlier, and in which SIP policies had longer to operate, had lower excess deaths than countries/U.S. states that were slower to implement SIP policies.”

So, the duration of the lockdowns made no difference.

The simple fact is that COVID-19 was and is a highly infectious respiratory disease to which everyone is eventually going be exposed either naturally or through vaccines. The disease tends to kill older people and those with preexisting respiratory challenges or who are obese.

The RAND/USC study makes it clear that all the lockdowns accomplished was to add personal, psychological and economic devastation to the terrible personal and societal toll of illness and death.

Everyone involved — from President Trump and his public health advisers who initiated the first lockdown (remember “15 days to slow the spread”), right on through to those who continue to insist that isolation for everyone, even those not at risk, is the correct course of action — share the blame.

But all of us share the consequences.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Covid Ensured Massive Wealth Transfer

For a period of well over a year, our government, Republican and Democrat, used Covid as a way to create the largest ever wealth transfer from average Americans to those that were already extremely wealthy. The destruction of the Middle Class.

I am not sure Americans actually even will come to terms with what I just wrote. I mean I am incensed but I do not hear too many of my fellow Americans saying a thing. They are not in the streets. They don’t even appear to be too upset???? I am sure some people recognize this fact but just seem accepting of it. When I immigrated to the USA in October, 1994, if you had asked me if Americans would have just folded over, bent over and taken a rough insertion by these enemies of the people, I would have said NO. HECK NO. NOT AMERICA!!

I read an English blogger the other day called Algora. She wrote the following after a massive London protest against the tyrannical Covid regulations and the One World Order. Reading the below sadly appears true about America today.

She wrote: 

“And where are similar protests in the USA? Oh, that’s right. You have to go to a public school board meeting to see parents up in arms about COVID measures because they want to keep using the Nanny State’s school system to babysit their children so they don’t have to. And if we do see protests, they will probably be much smaller than this one in London today, with BLMers on one side and Trump supporters on the other, and they won’t be protesting against the Globalists, but fighting each other instead. If the masses do rise up together to overthrow tyranny, I’d bet on the UK over the US any day. It looks like they are fairly unified in taking down Boris Johnson and the rest of the hoodlums in Parliament.”

How sad that the above is how America and Americans are seen in the world today. No pride in that. Just shame. All gone since the fraudulent elections of 2020 which bought a mentally challenged traitor, crook and pervert into the White House.

The reduction in our rights, freedoms and liberties already lost will never return without bloodshed and sacrifice. Even then maybe some will be lost for ever.

For years the government has been interfering at the expense of small businesses but ensured the rewarding of large corporations and companies. Everything it touches from healthcare to education, home ownership to food has cost us billions in tax money and overruns that has badly affected the middle class. We have the Federal Reserve, which should not exist, printing money 24/7 like there is no tomorrow and suppressing interest rates at speeds not seen before. Why? To continue the wealth transfer.

Coronavirus arrived and boy, the government took advantage. They and they alone decided which businesses were ‘essential’ and which were not. Which businesses had to close their doors and which could stay open. Which group of workers lost their jobs and which kept theirs.

Trust me – this wasn’t based on science but on political clout. Small companies were forcibly closed with shockingly little to no rebellion by the owners and large companies stood prepared and ready to take their sales, customers and money!

The Fed has continuously since Covid started and before taken actions to support the stock market and biggest companies allowing them unlimited access to capital with next to zero interest rates. This way the Fed kept pumping money into our economy while destroying small businesses.

Trust me here America, if the government had attempted to close down those huge corporations and companies, the yelling and noise that would have come from them would have had the government reversing themselves real fast. The tyrannical lockdowns would have been over in days or maybe weeks. The huge profits earned by these ‘protected’ big businesses is in the trillions of dollars. The profits became absolutely insane.

Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, Sams etc. reaped the benefits they were offered and helped destroy lives.

The Government mustn’t ever be allowed again to pick and choose their cronies over ordinary Americans. Everyone should be treated equally under the law. Our very freedom and survival as a group is at risk by the governments full frontal assault on small businesses and their staff and families.

In the mean time the elderly retirees and savers have been kicked in the proverbial groin area as we have been unable to earn any interest on savings without taking too much risk. Pensions like Social Security and state pensions have not kept up with inflation and as we hurtle into hyper inflation we will fall further behind again affecting the Middle class and lower class folk.

How did we ever allow such a disconnect between government and the citizenry? I will tell you how. We were asleep at the wheel. We trusted them too much despite the obvious signs of their corruption and their lies. Despite the fact that we saw politicians getting richer and richer while serving. People like AOC who a few years ago didn’t have a penny to her name, but a few years as a congresswoman has a new Tesla, huge apartment in a luxury area and wears $2000 outfits! All while claiming she is a girl of the people!! How about Sniffer Joe with his multiple million dollar homes? The list of corrupt, treasonous and evil anti America globalist and socialist politicians living the high life on our dime goes on for ever. Both parties. This is not just a Democrat thing.

We have become lazy, uncaring, unpatriotic, demanding, expecting everything for nothing. We should be in the streets with pitchforks demanding a total reversal of all the wrongs government had done in our name. They are not to be trusted. They have proved that endlessly. They enter politics occasionally meaning to actually serve but then get corrupted by the swamp members whose sole intention is to destroy our beloved country while gaining power and enriching themselves.

America. We are not all in this together. There is a them and us. Everyday they get richer while our dreams are shattered. Billions are spent in promoting and getting the right people elected to ensure these huge company and their stockholders keep getting richer.

©Fred Brownbill. All rights reserved.

Here Are the 10 Best [And Worst] Cities Ranked By Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery

When the COVID-19 outbreak began and governments started imposing economic lockdowns, most parts of the country experienced huge upticks in unemployment. But how have different cities fared in the year since? A new report from WalletHub offers some insight.

The financial analytics firm looked at cities’ most recent unemployment rates, from May 2021, and compared them to their pre- and mid-pandemic unemployment rates from May 2019, May 2020, and January 2020. Using the national unemployment rate of 5.9 percent as a standard, this gives us a useful comparison showing how different cities have recovered from the pandemic and ensuing economic damage.

Here are the top 10 cities with the best post-pandemic unemployment rates as of May 2021:

  1. Manchester, New Hampshire: 1.6 percent
  2. Nashua, New Hampshire: 1.7 percent
  3. Burlington, Vermont: 1.3 percent
  4. South Burlington, Vermont: 1.2 percent
  5. Lincoln, Nebraska: 2.2 percent
  6. Huntsville, Alabama: 2.4 percent
  7. Omaha, Nebraska: 2.8 percent
  8. Salt Lake City, Utah: 2.7 percent
  9. Sioux Falls, South Dakota: 2.7 percent
  10. Billings, Montana: 3 percent

And, in stark contrast, here are the 10 cities with the worst post-pandemic unemployment rates as of May 2021:

  1. Hialeah, Florida: 8 percent
  2. New Orleans, Louisiana: 11 percent
  3. Long Beach, California: 10.6 percent
  4. Glendale, California: 10.4 percent
  5. Newark, New Jersey: 11.6 percent
  6. New York City, New York: 9.8 percent
  7. Los Angeles, California: 10.1 percent
  8. San Bernardino, California: 9.6 percent
  9. Chicago, Illinois: 9.3 percent
  10. North Las Vegas, Nevada: 9.9 percent

What explains the wide discrepancy between the cities who have essentially entirely recovered and those that remain deep in the red? Well, there are undoubtedly many factors influencing these cities’ unemployment rates, but two glaring ones stand out.

First, not all parts of the country locked down their economies with equal vigor or duration. From New Hampshire to Vermont to South Dakota, many of the states with cities represented in the top 10 strong recovery spots had relatively lighter government restrictions and rolled them back sooner. On the other hand, cities from intense lockdown states like California, New York, and New Jersey are heavily represented on the list—and that’s surely no coincidence.

Economies are complex systems, and cannot simply be switched on and off like a light switch. Those cities whose governments strangled economic activity over an extended period of time and hoped it would all come back when they decided to “open up” are clearly still experiencing the economic pain.

Secondly, the availability of ultra-generous unemployment benefits that pay many unemployed people more to stay home on welfare surely has had some influence on these rankings. States like New Hampshire with cities ranking highly have announced that they would end these benefits early, whereas states like California, Illinois, and New York have left them in place. The clear work disincentive presented by an unemployment system where households can earn the equivalent of $25/hour in many states has surely led to prolonged and heightened unemployment in the states which continue to embrace it.

Of course, there are many complex causes of city-level variations in unemployment rates and the economic recovery. But time and time again across these statistics and, frankly, the entire global economy, we see that areas with freer markets and less interference prosper more than those stifled by government control.

Data of the Day:

The jobs report for June was released today, and it shows an economy on the rebound. The economy added 850,000 new jobs in June, while the unemployment rate actually ticked up from 5.8 percent to 5.9 percent. This latter change likely indicates more people seeking work—only active job hunters count as “unemployed”—rather than more layoffs/job losses.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: What You Need to Know About China’s Technology Theft Campaigns

One of the greatest threats to our freedom and democracy is the undermining of our economic vitality. The Chinese Communist Party and its business partners continue to steal technology and information from the U.S. at a staggering rate. They then use this technology to undermine our economy and achieve global economic dominance.

Investigative journalist Lara Logan explains the issue and provides viewers with an overview of this large and growing threat to our freedom.


©Clarion Project. All rights reserved.

Federal Government Imposes Up to $14,000 in ‘Hidden Taxes’ on Households Every Year, New Report Reveals

Most Americans pay close attention to how much of their money is taken in taxes each year. But there’s another, less obvious way the federal government imposes financial costs on citizens—and according to a new report, it amounts to trillions annually.

The fiscally-conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) just released its annual “Ten Thousand Commandments” report, which documents the “size, scope, and cost of federal regulations, and how they affect American consumers, businesses, and the U.S. economy at large.” Report author Clyde Wayne Crews explains how we face a “hidden tax” from the economic burden of our massive regulatory state. After all, tens of thousands of new regulations are imposed every year.

The report estimates the economic costs of federal regulation at an astounding $1.9 trillion annually.

To put that abstract sum in context, it’s nearly as much as the federal government collects in income and corporate taxes in a year. And a country that produced $1.9 trillion in output would be the 8th largest economy in the world (excluding the US). $1.9 trillion is more in economic output than Brazil or Italy produce in an entire calendar year.

Much of this $1.9 trillion in “hidden taxes” is ultimately borne by everyday Americans. To understand why, simply remember that regulations increase the costs associated with production. An unnecessary environmental regulation, for example, may force companies to take more cost-intensive steps during the production process. Ultimately, this leads to higher prices at the check-out line.

The CEI report explains that if we assume the costs all ultimately fall on consumers, then it equates to up to $14,368 in annual costs per US household.

This is a huge hit to the wallet. $14,368 in annual regulatory costs amounts to roughly 23 percent of the average household’s spending budget. It’s more than the typical household spends on food, transportation, healthcare, or anything except housing.

Oh, and don’t forget the $88 billion in taxpayer money spent by federal agencies each year just to administer, implement, and police these regulations.

The takeaway here is broader than just the financial impact of federal regulation, as significant as that may be. It’s yet another reminder that, as economist Frédéric Bastiat famously identified, the costs of government go beyond the obvious, what is “seen,” and extend to the “unseen.”

Of course, when it comes to the ever-expanding federal government, the most obvious cost is what the politicians in Washington, DC take from us in taxes every year. But this new report further proves that the unseen, hidden costs of the federal government’s growing involvement in economic life are even more drastic than what comes directly out of our paychecks.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

States Ending Ultra-Generous Welfare Are Doing Better in One Big Way, New Data Show

We’ve got a new contender in the competition for the least-surprising news development of all time. As it turns out, if you pay people more to stay on unemployment welfare than they can earn working, and then scale back the benefits, more people will go back to work. Shocking!

Some have denied and pushed back against this basic economic reality, largely for political and partisan reasons. But new data on the unemployment trends across states taking different approaches to unemployment welfare make this truth truly impossible to deny.

Recent history offers us something of a natural experiment. The $300/week federal supplement on top of existing state-level unemployment benefits is set to expire at the end of September. Yet the dysfunctional expansion of the welfare system has meant that 42 percent of the unemployed can earn the same or more by not working. In 21 states, unemployed households can earn the equivalent of $25/hour while not working.

The work disincentives here are obvious. It’s hardly shocking that a record-breaking number of small businesses report being unable to fill their job openings.

So, dozens of conservative-leaning states have discontinued the benefits early, while dozens of liberal-leaning states have left it in place.

Thanks to recently released Labor Department data on unemployment claims, we can now, quite predictably, see the welfare rolls expanding in the states where the unemployment bonus remains in place. Yet the number of people on welfare is rapidly shrinking in the states where the supplement is set to expire or already has expired.

“The 26 states that have announced their plan to end participation in the $300 weekly unemployment bonus have seen a 12.7 percent decline on average in initial claims over the past week,” the fiscally-conservative Foundation for Government Accountability reports. “Meanwhile, states that have indicated they will continue participating in the unemployment bonus programs have seen an increase in initial claims by an average of 1.6 percent during this same period. The 12 states that have officially opted out of the $300 weekly bonus thus far have seen consistent declines each week since ending participation in the bonus.”

In other words, people are leaving the welfare rolls and returning to work in the states where the government is getting out of the way. They are not doing so as much in the states where expanded welfare continues to create dysfunctional incentives.

“State leaders are proving that ending enhanced unemployment bonuses can reignite the economic recovery for workers and businesses alike,” FGA Senior Research Analyst Hayden Dublois said. “This recent report highlights how ending the bonus will help get unemployed individuals back into the workforce quickly, help fill the record number of open jobs, and ensure small businesses can thrive.”

Of course, a strong correlation alone does not prove causation. But when combined with the fact that this result is exactly what basic economic theory—or even an elementary understanding of how humans respond to incentives—would predict, it’s strong evidence nonetheless.

When politicians muck up the labor market and discourage work with excessive welfare, dysfunction is sure to ensue. Getting the government out of the way does more good than any “stimulus” scheme ever will.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

DemonRats Ensure Cruel & Unusual Punishment

Inflation, the cruelest tax of all, is here. Under the insane monetary agenda of this socialist administration, America and Americans are all going to feel the terrible affects of inflation. There is no other option as they, the Democrats, resort to previously failed policies and discard any attempt at being fiscally conservative or responsible. Hyper inflation is coming shortly to every store and household in America. Thanks Joe! NOT!

Manufacturers are all facing major dilemmas now. Raise prices or suffer the losses and increased overheads. Unfortunately most will have no other option than to raise prices, and once that route is selected, it will become continuous as inflation rises. I spoke recently to an Israeli who has a tea import/export business. He used to pay only 6 months ago, $1800 per container shipped from China to the US. He now pays $8300 for the same container load and his company is losing money daily. He has large contracts with fixed pricing with companies like CVS and May have to break contracts as the losses mount. That, America, is inflation.

A little later in this blog I am going to give some more examples of companies that produce everyday products we all buy and consume which have already increased in pricing and they intend to continue that process as inflation increases.

The surging cost increases that are a direct result of the Democrats policies have increased fuel costs, raw materials, energy and transportation. These increases in many cases are in double figures. Sometimes triple figures.

18 of 26 S&P500 companies have already acknowledged increases in their products. The other 8 will follow shortly. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Wednesday the WH will raise its inflation forecast for the year in its forthcoming midyear economic projections amid growing concerns about surging consumer prices. That shows they understand their policies will hurt all Americans but they do not care. They use a figure excluding food and energy data to try say inflation in May alone was 3.8% as opposed to well over 5% which I think is also understated and low.

They lie.

The following companies have, as I said already, committed themselves to continuous price increases.

Clorox has committed to increases from July. In the words of the Company CEO Linda Rendle:- “Given the volatility and the increases we’re seeing in the resin market, we’re looking at taking additional pricing in Glad based on what we’ve seen.”

Constellation Brands, the beer and wine producer, have increased prices 2% and further increases will follow, possibly monthly, as their raw product and material prices soar.

General Mills financial officers stated that increases will continue as global, broad based inflation increases. You all eat cereal? Maybe have to cut back on that!

Coca Cola is having to increase prices, and those increases appear to be large and the company is expecting headwinds from consumers as the financial year 2021 and 2022 proceeds. They expect to keep their increases coming monthly in line with inflation.

Kimberley-Clark stated in April they had no option but to increase prices on all their products, the best known being Scott toilet paper and Huggies diapers. They raised them all from high single digits to double figure increases. These will continue as inflation grows.

Kraft Heinz has stated that they haven’t increased prices yet but are examining everything. Remember America, these corporations, regardless of size, will only absorb a certain amount of losses before shareholders object. Up to now they have mitigated those extra costs by reducing their own costs with efficiencies in staffing levels etc.

Kellogg’s, the other major cereal producer of fame, state they have examined many levers to deal with inflation with price increases and what they call “price park architecture.” This is putting smaller amounts of product into the same size or similar box to make you feel it’s not too expensive. A con job. To me that is wrong. It shows immorality in that company but they are not alone in that fraudulent application.

Tyson, the US second largest producer of chicken, pork and beef product, have already increased their prices as animal feed and other basic materials have increased exponentially. They have seen substantial increases from their entire supply chain and have had no option other than to raise pricing.

When you add the ever increasing cost of fuel, wages, energy costs and staff shortages into this bleak picture, we are in for a rocky road. Wages will not keep up with inflation and our standard of living will go down dramatically. Jobs will be lost as companies try to stop losses or slow them down. Luxuries will not be bought. Unhealthy foods will be bought as they are far cheaper when feeding a family. Vacations will be cancelled. There will be Trades Union actions against companies that will not be able to afford increases in salaries and benefits as their bottom line contracts.

I have seen this play out in countries I have lived in or visited. It is not a pretty picture. It is very destructive to any society and a great leveler of financial groups from middle class down.

A recent Axios/Momentive survey showed that the majority of young people (18 to 35) are willing to get rid of capitalism and move to socialism. These younger folk are led mainly by African Americans and women. In pre Covid days the same group were asked about socialism and capitalism and just 39% held a positive view on socialism. Now that figure has gone up over 50%.

I wonder if they still will as socialism plays out and they begin to suffer!

©Fred Brownbill. All rights reserved.

New Poll Details Voters’ Distrust of Big Tech, Big Government

Never, in the history of mankind, has such immense, incalculable power been in the hands of so few.

New poll details voters’ distrust of Big Tech, big government

By Samuel Chamberlain, NY Post, June 26, 2021 |

Most American voters believe that five tech giants, including Facebook and Google, have too much power — but even more think the federal government has a surplus of sway, according to a new poll.

Fox News survey of 1,001 registered voters found that 63 percent believe Facebook has too much power. By comparison, 68 percent of respondents said they believe the federal government has too much power and 65 percent said they think the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has too much power.

Voters aren’t much more fond of other Big Tech mainstays, with 55 percent believing Google has too much power, 53 percent saying Twitter has too much power and 52 percent saying the same about Apple. Fifty-one percent of respondents said that Amazon has too much power, the same percentage who said the FBI is too powerful.

Paradoxically, the vast majority of respondents say that they have either a Facebook account (70 percent), an Amazon account (76 percent), or a Google account (81 percent), though the percentage of Facebook users is down four percentage points from 2018.

Despite the widespread use of social media companies, a whopping 69 percent of respondents said they don’t trust those firms to make “fair decisions” about what information is posted on their platforms, compared to just 26 percent who said they do.

Possibly due to mistrust of the federal government, most voters don’t want the tech giants to be broken up, with one exception: 53 percent of respondents said Facebook should be dismantled, while just 46 percent said the same of Amazon, Apple and Google.

Lawmakers from both parties have long had Facebook and Twitter in their crosshairs, with Democrats accusing them of doing nothing to stop the spread of misinformation that they believe contributed to Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans have accused both platforms of anti-conservative bias and of restricting the reach of accounts that they deem to be “misinformation” (a process known as “shadow-banning”), even while allowing representatives of totalitarian regimes like Iran and China to spread lies indiscriminately.

Last fall, Twitter prevented its users from sharing The Post’s bombshell reporting on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which exposed the now-first son’s business dealings in Ukraine and China. Twitter even went so far as to lock The Post out of its own account, citing a policy against sharing hacked materials despite there being no evidence that the materials were hacked.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee narrowly approved the last piece of a legislation package meant to prevent big tech companies from using their reach to throttle competitors.

The legislation requires tech giants to sell lines of business they run on their platforms if they also compete against them; show that potential mergers are legal rather than require antitrust enforcers prove they are not, and allow users to transfer their data elsewhere.

The legislation’s future in a closely divided House and Senate is unclear, but House Republicans have said they intend to introduce their own legislation to combat alleged anti-conservative bias by social media companies.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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