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American Airlines to Begin Furloughing 19,000 Workers After Pelosi Fails to Agree to Deal with Mnuchin

Democrats must be dancing naked in the forest. This is their dream – misery, sorrow, unemployment, hardship.

Tens of thousands of job cuts were announced over a 24-hour period, from banks to oil giants, to Disney.

American Airlines to Begin Furloughing 19,000 Workers After Pelosi Fails to Agree to Deal with Mnuchin

American Airlines said it will begin furloughing 19,000 workers after lawmakers and the White House can’t agree on a coronavirus relief deal.

The major airlines have held off on layoffs and mass furloughs under the terms of a $25 billion payroll support program Congress passed in March. The deal was aimed at helping the airlines cope with shutdowns, quarantines, and a crash in bookings, but at the time it was passed, lawmakers believed demand for air travel would recover in a few months.

The March legislation’s ban on cutting jobs expires October 1. Demand for air travel has recovered a bit since the depths of March and April, but passenger volume remains 70 percent below pre-pandemic levels.

Airline executives say they simply cannot avoid eliminating jobs and furloughing employees without a new round of relief from Congress.

American Airlines Chief Executive Doug Parker said in a letter to employees that he stood ready to reverse the furloughs if lawmakers reach a deal, according to Reuters.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox News on Thursday that talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had made progress, but no deal has been reached. Democrats have resisted reaching a deal with Republicans, with some Democratic politicians and strategists worried that any deal to boost the economy might help Trump’s re-election efforts. Some liberal activists oppose any deals with the Trump administration under any circumstances.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called a proposed $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package from the Democrats “outlandish.”

President Trump has told Capitol Hill Republicans that he would prefer a bill that spent more than the earlier Republican proposal that was rejected by Democrats to no deal at all.

Airlines spent the last several months furiously lobbying lawmakers for a second round of $25 billion of payroll support that would avoid job cuts until the end of March.

United has said it will eliminate more than 13,000 jobs if there is no deal.

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

TRUMP EFFECT: Incomes Hit Record High and Poverty Reached Record Low in 2019

There is no one on G-d’s green earth better equipped to get us right back than the great man who delivered these momentous gains.

NEW: Incomes hit record high and poverty reached record low in 2019

American households saw their best economic gains in half a century last year under President Trump, according to a report this week from the Census Bureau.And with the President’s pro-growth, pro-worker policies in action, this standard can be achieved again as America safely reopens from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Median household income grew by a stunning $4,400 in 2019, resulting in an all-time record of $68,700. This 6.8 percent one-year increase is the largest gain on record for median income growth.

The poverty rate plunged to an all-time low of 10.5 percent, as well. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, over 4 million Americans were lifted out of poverty, and the child poverty

Minority groups including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans saw the largest gains in income, while poverty rates fell to a record low for every race and ethnic group in 2019.

Black Americans, for example, saw a 7.9 percent median income increase and a poverty rate that fell below 20 percent for the first time in history.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted this historic progress in 2020. Nevertheless, America today is witnessing the fastest recovery from any economic crisis in history. Thanks to the strong fundamentals of the Trump Economy, the monthly jobs report has met or exceeded economist expectations for four months in a row.

The new Census report confirms what we know to be true: With the right agenda for blue-collar and middle-class workers, there’s no limit to America’s economic greatness!


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

A Higher Minimum Wage Will Make Us Meaner by Scott Sumner

In a recent post, I argued that government monopolies often offered worse service to customers than competitive private firms. In this post (which will have something to offend both progressives and conservatives), I’ll look at a different but related problem.

A few days ago there was a big debate about a New York Times expose on working conditions at Amazon.com. (By the way, it would have been useful for the NYT to compare labor practices at the Seattle company to working conditions at firms operating in the Amazon region of Brazil.)

Many liberals were appalled, while conservatives often wondered why, if working conditions were so bad at Amazon, people didn’t simply “get another job.” I have sympathy for both sides, but probably a bit more for the conservative side.

One liberal objection might be that it’s not easy to get another job. (And perhaps that’s because monetary policy since 2008 has been too contractionary. And perhaps that’s because conservatives have complained about the Fed’s QE/low interest rate policies, which has made the Fed reluctant to do more.)

Regardless of how you feel about monetary policy, it’s clear that if employers feel they have a “captive audience” of workers, who are terrified of losing their jobs, it would be easier for the employer to crack the whip and drive the employees to work extremely hard. One advantage of a healthy job market is that workers have more power to negotiate pleasant working conditions.

But progressives also have some major weaknesses in this area. They tend to favor policies such as New York City’s rent controls, and the new $15 minimum wage being gradually phased in in some western cities.

I like to think of these policies as engines of meanness. They are constructed in such a way that they almost guarantee that Americans will become less polite to each other.

In New York City, landlords with rent controlled units know that the rent is being artificially held far below market, and thus that they would have no trouble finding new tenants if the existing tenant is unhappy. So then have no incentive to upgrade the quality of the apartment, or to quickly fix problems. They do have an incentive to discriminate against minorities that, on average, are more likely to become unemployed, and hence unable to pay the rent. Or young people, who might damage the unit with wild parties.

Wage floors present the same sort of problem as rent ceilings, except that now it’s the demanders who become meaner, not the supplier. Firms that demand labor in Los Angeles in the year 2020 will be able to treat their employees very poorly, and still find lots of people willing to work for $15/hour.

Even worse, this regulation will interact with the migrant flow from Latin America, to produce another set of unanticipated side effects. In some developing countries there is a huge army of unemployed who go to the cities, hoping to get one of the few high wage jobs available in the “formal” sector of the economy. With a $15 minimum wage, migrants will come from Mexico until the disutility of waiting for a good job just balances the expected utility of landing one of those good jobs. You’ll have lots more angry, frustrated, young Mexican illegal immigrants with lots of time on their hands. What could go wrong?

One reason that I am what Miles Kimball calls a “supply-side liberal” is that I believe my preferred policy mix (NGDP targeting, plus free markets) is most likely to produce the sort of “nice” society I grew up with (in Madison, Wisconsin).

This post first appeared at Econlog. ©

Scott Sumner
Scott Sumner

Scott B. Sumner is the director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center and a professor at Bentley University. He blogs at the Money Illusion and Econlog.

Leftists Use Black Lives Matter to Exploit Blacks, Again

animals versus human babyRecently, my black brother shared an unfortunate incident. Years ago, police in two unmarked cars blocked his car. They jumped out pointing guns, demanding that he exit his car. My brother immediately raised his hands, but did not exit his car because he was frozen with fear. An officer pulled him out of his car onto the ground. My brother said, “Calm down! I am not resisting!”

After checking him out, the officers realized he was not their suspect. Rather than sending my brother on his way with an apology, the police framed him. My brother had an unopened six pack of beer on the floor. An officer opened one of the beers and said, “You’re under arrest for drunk driving.” The bogus charge did not stick and my brother was released hours later, angry, with a bitter taste in his mouth.

Ironically, my brother’s reason for telling me about the incident was to defend the police in the recent shooting and arrests covered 24/7 on CNN. He said the cops who framed him were a few bad apples which are everywhere in every profession. Amen to that. Jesus had 12 disciples and one was a bad apple. My brother made the point that he was not harmed because he submitted to the police’s authority. He noted that the blacks in the videos shown on TV did not submit to the police.

My brother’s point is correct. In each incident caught on video in which people are second-guessing officer’s behavior, bad outcomes could have been avoided had the persons simply respected authority and complied.

A friend of mine is a veteran Baltimore black cop. He told me upon arriving at a scene, a cop must immediately take control of the situation. If not, the cop could end up dead – stabbed in the back by a weepy girlfriend or mom. The most hazardous part of a police officer’s job is the routine traffic stop; 62 officers killed 2002- 2011.

Democrats, CNN and other liberal bias media have an insidiously evil agenda to convince black America that Republicans, conservatives and police are out to get them. These Leftists would love to feature my brother’s bad boy cops story 24/7; claiming the cops were unequivocally motivated by white racism.

Meanwhile, the Left avoids experiences like mine with police like the plague. In the 80’s, an interracial couple robbed a bank, their description matching my wife, me and our car. Police surrounded our car with guns drawn and ordered us out of our car. We complied. They checked us out, apologized and went on their way. We were stopped on another occasion years later. Again, the officers were respectful and professional.

black lives matter bill boardAs a young adult, my cousins wife called me in a panic to their home in the hood. My black cousin had a nervous breakdown. He held their two toddler sons hostage in the basement, threatening to kill himself and their boys. First on the scene were two white cops – one young and fit, the other much older and morbidly obese. Masterfully, the old obese cop gained my cousin’s trust and talked him out of the basement. “C’mon son, I know life gets tough, but you don’t want to do this.” My cousin was arrested, given the mental health assistance he needed and was later released. My cousin is alive, well and a great dad.

Folks, cops kill whites at almost double the rate of blacks. As a matter of fact, blacks are killed by blacks 93% of the time. The Left does not want you to know the biggest threat to black lives is other blacks. Despite the Left’s Black Lives Matter (blame and hate white America) movement, incidents of blacks killing blacks are on the rise.

The Left is ignoring the stunning numbers of blacks murdered in Chicago by blacks.

In July, Baltimore homicides reached its highest in 43 years, up 60%. 

The mainstream media deliberately creating the false impression that cops are the biggest threat to blacks is reprehensible. Proving they do not give a rat’s derriere about blacks, the Left refuses to address real issues plaguing black America; multi-generational government dependency; increasing numbers of fatherless households; unprecedented high unemployment under Obama; epidemic school dropouts; black on black homicides and Leftist encouraged moral and cultural decline

White guys in white hoods, the Aryan nation nor cops are infiltrating black neighborhoods, victimizing residents and murdering blacks. The Left has been fooling blacks with its blame-everything-on-whitey tactic for decades; keeping blacks voting for their supposed Democrat saviors.

As young as 9 or 10, I realized the blame-everything-on-whitey excuse was a lie. My family lived on the sixth floor of a Baltimore project high-rise building. The elevators were often not working due to vandalism. The stairwells were pitch black due to broken light bulbs and smelled of urine. The crunch sound under foot echoing off the concrete walls was due to broken liquor bottles. I knew whites were not sneaking in at night, peeing in our stairwells.

Not to indict everyone who lived in the projects, some neighbors kept their apartments immaculate. Even as a child, I concluded that poverty (and ghetto) was a mindset rather than simply an absence of money.

The Black Lives Matter movement, “white privilege” and so on are founded on lies. They are despicable tools to exploit blacks’ emotions. These Leftist scams have resulted in what can be described as black terror cells. Police are assassinated, outbreaks of black flash mob attacks and innocent whites assaulted, raped and murdered.

Outrageously, Black Lives Matter thugs threaten to “shut down” the Republican National Convention. Notice the stupid, hateful and racist assumption that white Republicans are a threat to black lives? Imagine if the Tea Party announced a plan to shut down the Democrat National Convention. After recovering from multiple convulsions of pleasure from being given such an opportunity to demonize the Tea Party, Leftist media would bombard the public with 24/7 news coverage; branding the Tea Party racist, sexist and homophobic.

Rest assured, you will not hear any meaningful criticism from the MSM, Democrats or Obama regarding Black Lives Matter thugs arrogantly assaulting free speech. Quite the opposite. Leftists are behind the scene cheering on the Black Lives Matter thugs.

Wake up black America. The Left is playin’ y’all, again.

The dirty little secret no one wants to admit about Baltimore

The population of Baltimore is 622,000 and 63 percent of its population is black. The mayor, state’s attorney, police chief and city council president are black, as is 48 percent of the police force. But as 36-year-old Robert Stokes says, “You look around and see unemployment. Filling out job applications and being turned down because of where you live and your demographic. It’s so much bigger than the police department.”

Everyone wants to have an honest conversation about race, so let’s us endeavor to do just that. Now, of course, when you speak the hard truth about race issues in America – and not just the liberal progressive talking points – and you’re white, you’ll be branded a racist. And if you’re black, well, y’all just watch the comments below and see the denigrating drivel.

As posted on Breitbart.com by John Nolte, “Contrary to the emotional blackmail some leftists are attempting to peddle, Baltimore is not America’s problem or shame. That failed city is solely and completely a Democrat problem.”

“Like many failed cities, Detroit comes to mind, and every city besieged recently by rioting, Democrats and their union pals have had carte blanche to inflict their ideas and policies on Baltimore since 1967, the last time there was a Republican Mayor. In 2012, after four years of his own failed policies, President Obama won a whopping 87.4% of the Baltimore city vote. Democrats run the city of Baltimore, the unions, the schools, and, yes, the police force. Since 1969, there have only been only been two Republican governors of the State of Maryland. Elijah Cummings has represented Baltimore in the U.S. Congress for more than thirty years.”

“As I write this, despite his objectively disastrous reign, the Democrat-infested mainstream media is treating the Democrat like a local folk hero, not the obvious and glaring failure he really is. Every single member of the Baltimore city council is a Democrat. Liberalism and all the toxic government dependence and cronyism and union corruption and failed schools that comes along with it, has run amok in Baltimore for a half-century, and that is Baltimore’s problem. It is the free people of Baltimore who elect and then re-elect those who institute policies that have so spectacularly failed that once-great city. It is the free people of Baltimore who elected Mayor “Space-to-Destroy”.

Mr. Nolte is white and we all know the invectives which will be hurled his way — but he is absolutely correct.

I was watching the news reports from Baltimore and hearing all the condemnations from some about being kept down and the lack of jobs, opportunity, good schools — then why do these blacks keep voting for the same people? And this isn’t a phenomenon isolated to Baltimore.

Every single major urban center in America is run by Democrats — more specifically, liberal progressives, black or white. The morass that became Detroit. The killing fields of Chicago. The depravity of Washington DC. The shame of South Dallas. And yes, even the place that was once my home, Atlanta — even with all the successful black entertainers.

Now, I remember the first black mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Jackson. That guy was a leader and even spoke at my high school Baccalaureate. But today, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has done such a bang-up job that the Atlanta Braves are moving to Cobb County!

Just do the assessment yourselves, who are the elected officials heading up the urban centers? And where does one find the most dire socio-economic statistics?

Yet we hear these rioters blame whites — well, they need to make sure they’re specifically blaming the correct whites — those on the left. Blacks have been herded into these inner city clusters, a new economic plantation and in this 50th year of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society — well, the unintended, or maybe intended, consequences are deplorable.

But Mr. Nolte does bring up an interesting comparative analysis. He writes:

“Poverty has nothing to do with it. This madness and chaos and anarchy is a Democrat-driven culture that starts at the top with a racially-divisive White House heartbreakingly effective at ginning up hate and violence. Where I currently reside here in Watauga County, North Carolina, the poverty level is 31.3%. Median income is only $34,293. In both of those areas we are much worse off than Baltimore, that has a poverty rate of only 23.8% and a median income of $41,385. Despite all that, we don’t riot here in Watauga County. Thankfully, we have not been poisoned by the same left-wing culture that is rotting Baltimore, and so many other cities like it, from the inside out. We get along remarkably well. We are neighbors. We are people who help out one another. We take pride in our community, and are grateful for what we do have. We are far from perfect, but we work out our many differences in civilized ways. Solutions are our goal, not cronyism, narcissistic victimhood, and the blaming of others.”

The truth is that it is a culture of dependency as promulgated by the race baiters and new plantation overseers of the inner city that has created what we’re seeing play out in Baltimore. There is where the blame lies, but there are very few who are willing to admit just that.

Remember what ESPN sports commentator Stephen A. Smith said? He wished that for one voting cycle, the black community would vote Republican. Heck, they could do no worse — and look, even the people of the state of Maryland decided to try something different and elected a Republican governor. Who, when finally asked, immediately activated the National Guard to quell the violence and chaos which the Democrat Mayor of Baltimore failed to comprehend, and control. Perhaps what we’re witnessing in Baltimore is the pure definition of insanity — continuing to do the same thing and expect different results.

Yes, the dirty little secret that no one wants to admit is that Baltimore, and so many other urban areas and inner city communities in America are a reflection of the abject failure of liberal progressive socialist policies as advanced by the Democrat party.

The preeminent question is whether or not those in Baltimore and other places will recognize who is truly responsible for their plight. Or will they continue to be manipulated and propagandized by the liberal progressive media and the poverty pimps like the one supposedly heading down from New York City.

John Nolte’s piece was spot on and this is not about an American failure, it is about a Democrat failure. And ask yourself, who were the ones who developed the concept of urban economic empowerment zones — as opposed to the ones who have produced urban depraved enslavement zones?

Hiding the Unemployed: Disability and the Politics of Stats by WENDY MCELROY

Some statistics cannot be understood without setting them within a political framework because they reflect politics as much as or more than they do reality.

The unemployment rate is an example and a cautionary tale.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the official unemployment rate for last February fell to a four-year national low of 7.7 percent. While the White House cautiously congratulated itself, Republicans quickly pointed to what is often called the real unemployment rate; it stood at 14.3 percent.

The BLS looks at six categories of different data, from U-1 to U-6, to analyze employment every month. U-3 includes people who have been unemployed but who have actively looked for work during the past month; this is the official unemployment rate used by the media. U-6 contains data excluded from U-3, including part-time workers and the unemployed who have unsuccessfully looked for a job in the last year; this is the real unemployment rate.

Those politicians who want to take credit for lower unemployment thrust U-3 figures forward. Those who wish to deny them credit prefer U-6.

But matters may even be worse.

Now there is fresh reason to believe that even the 14.3 percent rate may be a considerable understatement.

The Disabled and the Unemployment Rate

National Public Radio (NPR) recently published the results of a six-month investigation by reporter Chana Joffe-Walt: “Unfit for Work: The Startling Rise in Disability in America.” Joffe-Walt uncovered what she called a “disability-industrial complex,” which spends more on disability payouts than on welfare and food stamps combined.

About a year ago, the New York Post reported that “more than 10.5 million individuals” received disability each month, and the reserves would be exhausted in 2018. Now Joffe-Walt claims the federal government sends out approximately 14 million payments; Social Security’s disability fund is expected to run out of reserves by 2016.

On March 22, during an interview with “This American Life,” Joffe-Walt explained that “since the economy began its slow, slow recovery in late 2009, we’ve been averaging about 150,000 jobs created per month. In that same period every month, almost 250,000 people have been applying for disability.”

Why do disability figures skew the unemployment rate? In the NPR article, Joffe-Walt explains that “the vast majority of people on federal disability do not work. Yet because they are not technically part of the labor force, they are not counted among the unemployed.” They become the invisible unemployed.

What Explains the Rise in Disability Payouts?  

The precipitous rise in disability claims comes from the unintended consequences of political maneuvering.

“The End of Welfare As We Know It” was announced in 1996 when President Clinton signed a reform act intended to move people off welfare rolls and into jobs. Clinton “encouraged” the individual states to push for the transition by making them fund a much larger share of their welfare programs. To encourage the individual recipients, the reforms also capped the length of time a person was eligible for welfare.

The incentive worked on the states, but not in the manner intended.

Each person on welfare became a continuing cost for a state, but each person who moved onto disability saved the states money, because Social Security Disability Insurance is fully funded by the federal government.

In her NPR report, Joffe-Walt indicates how aggressively the states shifted welfare recipients onto disability. She writes, “PCG [Public Consulting Group] is a private company that states pay to comb their welfare rolls and move as many people as possible onto disability. The company has an office in eastern Washington State that’s basically a call center, full of headsetted women in cubicles who make calls all day long to potentially disabled Americans, trying to help them discover and document their disabilities.” A recent contract between PCG and the state of Missouri offered PCG $2,300 per person it shifts from welfare to disability.

The incentive for individuals to leave welfare also worked, but, again, not in the manner intended.

Disability is easier to qualify for than welfare, and it has no time limit. Moreover, those on disability qualify for Medicare and other benefits, and receive payments roughly equal to a minimum-wage job. According to Joffe-Walt, only 1 percent of those who go onto disability leave to rejoin the workforce.

Conclusion: What Is the Actual Unemployment Rate?

If neither the official (U-3) nor the real (U-6) unemployment rates can be trusted, then how can we ascertain a more reliable rate?

A huge step would be to acknowledge the invisible unemployed who are not part of the current BLS calculations. They include not merely the so-called “disabled,” but also those who have left the workforce for other reasons.

CNS News noted of the February 7.6 percent unemployment rate, “the number of Americans designated as ‘not in the labor force’ in February was 89,304,000, a record high . . . according to the Department of Labor.” The economic trend-monitoring site Investment Watchblog concluded that the actual American unemployment rate—one that includes all unemployed—is around 30 percent. The site reasoned, “89 million not in the labor force = 29%, give or take, assuming the US population is 310,000,000 + official unemployment 7.7%.”

It is not possible to render an entirely accurate unemployment picture. For example, the population figure of 310,000,000 used by Investment Watchblog almost certainly includes people under 16 who cannot legally work. Thus the unemployment rate may be higher. On the other hand, many “not in the labor force” could be retired or otherwise voluntarily unemployed. Not enough data are available.

It is possible, however, to reject the official unemployment rate. And it is necessary to cultivate a healthy skepticism of statistics produced by politics, as so many are.

ABOUT WENDY MCELROY

Contributing editor Wendy McElroy (wendy@wendymcelroy.com) is an author, editor of ifeminists.com, and Research Fellow at The Independent Institute (independent.org).

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

American Airlines Lays Off Over 1,000 in Florida

Gov. Rick Scott issued the following statement after American Airlines’ announcement that it expects to reduce their Florida workforce by more than 1,000 workers before the end of the year:

“American Airlines’ announcement today is certainly bad news for their company and a setback for hundreds of Florida families. We are focused on growing our economy so every Floridian has access to a great job because we know that having the opportunity to work hard and provide for your children is the heart of the American dream.

“I asked the Department of Economic Opportunity Director Hunting Deutsch to work with the Southwest Florida Workforce Investment Board, the Beacon Council, the Miami Chamber of Commerce and the associated labor unions to immediately develop a plan to transition these highly skilled aviation workers into other jobs. We know that Florida workers want to work, and assisting them in identifying other opportunities in our state is a top priority.”

The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS)* from the US Department of Labor report that during the period February to July 2012 there have been 470 “Layoff Events” in Florida. 

According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Florida has seen a decline in the labor force. In February 2012 there were 9,297,200 in the labor force. In July that number dropped to 9,269,500. Since February 27,700 left the workforce in Florida. During the same period 26,700 jobs were added and the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4 to 8.8 percent. The decline in the workforce may be reflected in the decline in unemployment and skew the number.

On January 1, 2013 Florida is expected to lose over 79,400 defense and defense related jobs due to mandated cut backs in defense spending, known as sequestration. Other jobs are expected to be lost as mandated cuts of $1.2 trillion are implemented. Defense contractors are required by law to send out layoff notifications beginning this month.

*The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments—where private sector nonfarm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.