Economics 101: If you are not trained for a real world job, you shouldn’t be surprised if you can’t find a job in the real world

A couple of stories about economic reality:

Two Texas Cities Lead the US in Income Growth
by Kristin Tate | 30 April 2014

Fresh government statistics reveal that two west Texas cities, Odessa and Midland, are leading the nation in income growth. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found between 2008 and 2012, while many cities saw significant decreases in personal income–Odessa and Midland led the nation with increases of 10.2 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively.

According to the data, traditional leading markets like Los Angeles see roughly 10 percent of the population often unable to find a job. Odessa and Midland have the opposite problem.

“We have issues filling our jobs,” Sara Higgins, a spokeswoman with the City of Midland, told Breitbart Texas.

Higgins mentioned that although the city saw a huge population growth rate of 4.6 percent between 2011 and 2012, help wanted ads continue to outpace new residents.

Higgins said, “The low unemployment has made it hard to find workers in the service sector. To remain competitive, the starting wages are incredibly high for retail and restaurants here, but we see more people going into oil because it’s more lucrative. Some restaurants have had to reduce hours because they cannot hire enough staff to keep it open full time.”

She laughed, “It’s kind of become an urban legend, but a few years ago Subway, the sandwich shop, was offering a $1,000 bonus for signing on as an employee.”

“It’s ultimately oil and gas that is driving the income growth,” Higgins continued. “In the past, the price of oil has driven whether or not we’re in a boom or a bust. People will tell you this boom will last longer is because this boom is technology driven…What we’re trying to do here in Midland is diversify, but oil and gas has been the backbone of our economy for decades.”

More at the link.1

It’s not all about oil and gas: Midland is diversifying its economic presence, as XCOR Aerospace, a private rocket engine and spaceflight development company, announced that it will build its new headquarters in Midland.2

And the second article comes from Robert Stacey Stacy McCain:

Majoring in Minimum Wage
Posted on | May 1, 2014 |

You may not remember “Hard Times for Gender Studies Major,” a post last August featuring the lament of @Andria_XX, who had an “Honors BA in Social Justice and Peace Studies” and was pursuing a Master’s degree in Gender Studies:

“I have a honors BA and I’m defending my MA thesis in two weeks. I am also apply[ing] for jobs and I can only find stuff in the service industry. I applied for a Hotel Front Desk Clerk job today. My degrees mean NOTHING. I am at the end of my rope.”

That was absolutely one of the most popular posts in the six-year history of the blog. Her advanced degrees in trendy “studies” are worthless? Gosh, maybe she should have asked somebody. That came to mind when I saw this post today at Money Runner:

The Wall Street Journal has an article bemoaning the well educated barista economy. Of course they don’t put it quite that way in their article, the subhead if which is: A new study offers an unsettling explanation of why young adults have been hit so hard.

But in the spirit of those who hailed the benefits of losing your job. Not only can you get a chance to do your own thing, but according to Nancy Pelosi, those unemployment benefits you get create more jobs.  And if you lost your job because of ObamaCare, it’s really not a loss, but an “escape.”

With that view in mind, I want to explain why college educated baristas are a net plus for the American people.

More at the link. But I was reminded of our own story, Reality and the Occupiers.

But this story caught my eye due to El Marco’s pictures of the Occupy Denver rally, three of which caught my attention. (Hat tip to Sister Toldjah.)

Joe Sacco has a degree in film making. I asked him if he would turn down a job with a salary of $74,000, and he said that he would consider it, depending on the benefits package. He made it clear that his sign is totally serious. Note the high quality, expensive astroturf signs stacked in the background.

Many college grads voiced their grievances about the fact that they didn’t immediately get high paying jobs right out of school. Choosing fields of study that are not in high demand, or racking up debt rather than working and saving, were their choices. The consequences of getting a degree in art history or an advanced degree in basket weaving, like Stanley Ann Dunham, can be living on food stamps when one is unwilling to take a job below one’s qualifications. Boo Hoo.

Yadda yadda yadda. To whom is his sign addressed? The job fairy!

Now, when I look at these pictures, what I’m seeing is the complaint that these new grads can’t find the jobs that they want. Mr Sacco, the gentleman in the top picture, got his degree in film making, apparently without considering that there might not be all that many jobs available in his major. He wants $75,000 to work for somebody, and while El Marco might have been being a bit snarky when he asked Mr Sacco if he’d turn down a job offer of $74,000, what I would have asked him is whether he’d turn down a job paying $50,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the mean annual wage for all occupations in the United States is $44,410. Mr Sacco is asking for a wage 68.9% higher than the national mean. Will he work for less, or is he too good for that?

The gentleman in the second picture, the one who looks like he stole Yassir Arafat’s hijab scarf to hide part of his face, stated with his sign that he’s 50 grand in student loan debt, and has zero prospects of getting a job. If his prospects truly are near zero, one ought to ask: in what did he major? If he had majored in electrical engineering or nursing or pharmacy, he’d probably be employed today. If he majored in English literature, yeah, I can see where it might be more difficult to find a job.

But the third picture ties it all together. The semi-masked sign holder wants to see Better Jobs 4 College Grads. While El Marco snarked about the “job fairy” providing such, I’d ask the question more seriously: just what better jobs does he believe ought to exist?

And the answer is: apparently, whatever they are, there aren’t many of them! The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the monthly unemployment numbers today, and, of course, the Big News is that the official unemployment rate dropped to 6.3%. But the reason is because so many people quit looking for work; perhaps some of them would be the people like the Occupiers, who are finding that their degrees in film making are not helping them get the jobs they wanted. Could it be possible that, in an economy which is producing too few new jobs, the idea that a college student could major in something which doesn’t have much relationship to jobs in the real world yet not have that negatively impact his job search seems foolish.

Unemployment4 Your Editor, in an effort to provide full service, ran the numbers, comparing them to January 2009, when Barack Obama took office. Since then, we have 3.5 million more jobs! Trouble is, our work-eligible population grew by 12.7 million. If the participation rate had remained the same as it was in that horrible recession month, our official unemployment rate would be 10.4%.

Look at the numbers: with population growth of 12.7 million people since Mr Obama took office, we should have had roughly 8.343 million of them join the labor force; instead only 1.211 million did. There are 7.132 million people who ought to be in the work force who aren’t. Consider that fact along with the multitude of stories noting that recent college graduates are moving back into their parents’ home, and one has to suspect that it’s the recent graduates who are having the greater problems finding jobs.

And in considering that, I’d note the story about former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice withdrawing as the commencement speaker at Rutgers University. Mr McCain noted The Left’s Mob Rule on Campushow the left routinely shout down anything which in an way challenges leftist orthodoxy. Would I be the only person who suspects that a university system full of majors which have no relation to future careers3 is directly related to the fact that so much of it is dominated by the left?

They don’t realize it yet, and probably never will realize it, but the left are eating their own. They persist in “educating” college students for things in which the students are prepared to become well-educated fast-food workers, thus saddling their own students with crushing debts for which they have little hope of finding the career which will enable them to pay off those debts, and then turn campuses into places in which contrary opinions are not allowed. Yet, when you get to the non-politicized majors — the sciences, engineering, computers, mathematics and health care — there are real career opportunities, because these are the students who are being prepared to go out into the real world and actually produce something.
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  1. Suggestions that the Editor selected this photograph just to tweak the supporters of President Barack Hussein Obama, whose economic policies have led to a whopping 0.1% GDP growth last quarter, and a five-year-long economic malaise are completely unfounded. :)
  2. XCOR’s “Company Overview” page notes that:

    XCOR Aerospace is a small, privately-held California C Corporation founded in 1999. The company has evolved from its original four founders, working out of our chief engineer’s tiny hangar, to a team of 50 plus highly-skilled, experienced and talented employees housed in a 10,375 square foot hangar on the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California.

    Looks like yet another California company is expanding its operations away from the Pyrite State!

  3. For what careers does a major in Gender Studies or French Literature prepare a student other than university professorships in those areas? If that is the case, then the universities are doing students a disservice by teaching more than the number of students required to replace the current professors when they retire, but if the current professors do not have many more students in those disciplines than their own replacement rate, they won’t have enough students to justify keeping the professors.

Rule 5 Blogging: Where the action is

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Lea Michele in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

This week: American women, where the action is!

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN – JUNE 26: U.S. Army Captain Robin Fine from Charlie Co. Sixth Battalion, 101st Airborne Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Shadow runs towards her MEDEVAC helicopter for an emergency call on June 26, 2010 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. As combat operations begin to escalate near Kandahar, the 101st Airborne MEDEVAC unit transports casualties of war as well as sick and injured local residents. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Where the action is’ »

It hardly seems fair . . .

. . . they interview the Governor, they interview the owner, they interview the trainer and they interview the jockey, but no one ever interviews the horse!

Second-largest Kentucky Derby crowd ever watches favored California Chrome cruise to victory
Herald-Leader Staff Report | May 3, 2014

California Chrome in the lead as they round the turn coming into the home stretch.

LOUISVILLE — California Chrome ran away in the stretch Saturday to win the 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

The 5-2 favorite sat right off the pace and made his move at the top of the stretch, leaving behind the rest of the field.

It was the same style that California Chrome used to take the Santa Anita Derby last month and cement himself as the clear favorite going into the Derby.

The son of Lucky Pulpit is now undefeated in four starts this year and has won seven times in 11 career starts. Until Saturday, the California-bred colt had never run a race outside of his home state. He arrived in Louisville on Monday.

Art Sherman became the oldest trainer in history to win the Derby. The 77-year-old was the exercise rider for Swaps when that horse won in 1955. California Chrome was his first Derby starter as a trainer.

More at the link.

NBC also had the words to My Old Kentucky Home on the bottom of the screen as it was being sung. Naturally, I already knew the words.

And he wonders why he’s called #Baghdad Bob

I could only watch so much of Press Secretary Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf Jay Carney’s blatantly obvious lies concerning the e-mails showing that the White House had Susan Rice deliberately lie about the Benghazi attacks:

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

It’s plain as day: they were trying to limit the political damage a month before the President’s re-election, and everybody knows it. Well, unfortunately for our country, the President won, and since he cannot run again, why not just tell the truth?

Economics 101: We told you so! Raising the minimum wage has already cost jobs

We pointed out, last February, that President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would cost jobs, and noted a Congressional Budget Office study which concluded just that. The White House, as expected, disputed that assessment:

White House Disputes CBO, Says Minimum Wage Hike Won’t Cost Any Jobs
By Sahil Kapur – February 18, 2014, 4:53 PM EST4644

The White House’s top economist moved to dispute a Congressional Budget Office finding on Tuesday that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour could cost up to 500,000 jobs once implemented in the second half of 2016.

“[The CBO finding] does not reflect the consensus view of economists who have said the minimum wage would have little to no impact on employment,” Jason Furman, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), told reporters on a conference call. “It goes outside the consensus view of economists when it comes to the impact of the minimum wage on employment.”

Furman voiced “respectful disagreement” with CBO, pointing to other studies, which he listed in a blog post on the White House’s web site, that say a minimum wage increase wouldn’t cost jobs. They include a poll of economists conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a study by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“Our view is that ‘zero’ is a perfectly reasonable estimate of the impact of the minimum wage on employment, based on research that began with David Card and Alan Krueger comparing minimum wage effects on employment,” he said, calling that a “completely reasonable” estimate based on the “highest-quality studies” on the issue.

More at the link. The Congress has not passed the President’s minimum wage request, but the Commander-in-Chief used his executive authority to impose the minimum wage increases on federal installations, so we have a real-world test of the White House’s claims.

Obama minimum wage edict leads to job losses at military bases
Posted by: Phineas on April 29, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Democrats and their Leftist allies are desperate to find any issue to run on in the coming elections, other than Obamacare. One of their tactics has been to try to gin up class warfare based on raising the minimum wage. They argue that it will help the poor, raise living standards, and, of course, be more “fair.” Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians, on the other hand, contend that increasing the cost of labor will only mean higher prices to the consumer, fewer jobs for the marginally skilled, and be particularly harmful to minorities. This video is a good example of how minimum wage laws kill jobs.

Needless to say, I come down on the side of those opposed to the Democrats’ demands for a minimum wage increase. But honest, intelligent people can reasonably disagree.  To help solve this disagreement, a real-world, real-time example would be nice. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be), we have one. As Byron York reports in The Washington Examiner, President Obama’s edict raising the minimum wage for federal contract employees on military bases is leading to the closure of fast-food restaurants on those bases, thus costing jobs:

Obama’s order does not take effect until January 1, 2015. But there are signs it is already having an effect — and it is not what the president and his party said it would be.

In late March, the publication Military Times reported that three McDonald’s fast-food restaurants, plus one other lesser-known food outlet, will soon close at Navy bases, while other national-name chains have “asked to be released from their Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracts to operate fast-food restaurants at two other installations.”

Military Times quoted sources saying the closures are related to the coming mandatory wage increases, with one source saying they are “the tip of the iceberg.”

And increasing the minimum wage isn’t the only way Washington is increasing the cost of labor:

The administration is making it very expensive to do business on military bases, and not just because of the minimum wage. Under federal contracting law, some businesses operating on military installations must also pay their workers something called a health and welfare payment, which last year was $2.56 an hour but which the administration has now raised to $3.81 an hour.

In the past, fast-food employers did not have to pay the health and welfare payment, but last fall the Obama Labor Department ruled that they must. So add $3.81 per hour, per employee to the employers’ cost. And then add Obama’s $2.85 an hour increase in the minimum wage. Together, employers are looking at paying $6.66 more per hour, per employee. That’s a back-breaking burden. (Just for good measure, the administration also demanded such employers provide paid holidays and vacation time.)

As I wrote above, the natural business response to this is to either raise prices for the consumer, or cut back on employee hours — or cut jobs altogether. Well, guess what? York reports that military contracts do not allow the businesses to raise their prices above what’s common in the outside community. So, even though Obama is raising wages well above the prevailing standard, employers are forbidden to recoup their costs. What does that leave?

Closing the business altogether.

I quoted more than is my wont of Phineas Fahrquar’s article, but there is a bit more at the link.  I highlighted one very important sentence of Mr Fahrquar’s, because it points out how the normal response of business to increased costs has been restricted by the military contracts: when costs increase, businesses have to increase prices to cover those increased costs, and hope that heir customers can, and will, pay them.

But the military contracts do not allow such price increases; the McDonald’s on a military base has to pay significantly higher labor costs, but cannot charge more than a similar restaurant off base, which doesn’t have those costs.  If the on-base restaurants could raise prices to cover costs, soldiers would have the choice to pay he higher prices on base, or drive off-base to the less expensive ones.  At least some would choose to pay the higher prices on base, rather than to burn gasoline and time to drive off, but it would still be their choice.1 Now, at least for some, there will be no choice: the option to buy on based will be closed. That will mean higher prices that servicemen will have to pay for food on base, but, as we have previously documented, the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t care about soldiers and their families.
Related Article:


  1. And they’d get a real-world lesson in economics, too, but the President doesn’t want that! People who actually know something about economics are not liberals.

The naïvete of the left

That silliness can occur on the Delaware Liberal website is pretty much a given, and is something I usually ignore,1 but sometimes they outdo themselves:

Vladimir, Stop It. Just Friggin’ Stop It !
Filed in International by ProgressivePopulist on April 26, 2014 • 3 Comments

Ok, Vladimir. Enough of the belligerence. Crimea was an outrage and eastern Ukraine doubly so. So was Georgia. Speaking for myself and possibly millions of my fellow Americans, we don’t want a renewal of one of our worst mutual eras, the Cold War.

I’m sorry, but don’t you think that President Putin knows that? Don’t you think that he is, in fact, <>counting on that, to make sure that the United States and democratic Europe won’t do anything really serious to cause him problems?

Many of us admire and envy your history and culture. In particular, your nation’s demonstrated willingness to change and try to improve. Take your 20th century revolution, for example. You set aside many centuries of brutal oppression by your Tsars, turned them out and tried a grand experiment.

His “nation’s demonstrated willingness to change and try to improve?” Perhaps the Progressive Populist hasn’t read much on Russian history, and how the Bolsheviks staged a coup d’etat, and then had to establish control by bloodshed. The “nation’s demonstrated willingness to change and try to improve” was a “willingness” pushed by terror.

Ok, so communism didn’t serve its intended purpose and became oppressive in its own right. But one of my hero’s, Mikhail Gorbachev, had the courage to admit it wasn’t working and instituted in the same century a second major reform, Glasnost and Perestroika. We’re still waiting here for needed reforms to the failures of our economic system, capitalism. The world and many American’s hailed his guts and balls. And many members of your Union appreciated the autonomy Mikhail and his team gave them, though it has been a rough transition for many. You can be admired like that too. Through fear? Not so much.

The “failures of our economic system, capitalism?” Somehow I don’t see it as a failure to provide the world’s most successful economic system, the only one in human history which has lifted more than a small percentage of the people above the subsistence level.

Oh, it’s certainly true that not everybody is wealthy or middle-class under capitalism; capitalism allows people to fail as well as to succeed. But under every other system, almost everybody fails. The Soviet Union fell because it had a lousy economic system, one which produced just enough to build a massive military and a few heavy industries, but one which left the workers in the workers’ state living in cramped apartments queuing up in long lines whenever the grocery store had meat or milk, because those were rare occasions.

Yes, a few mistakes were made along that path, including bringing over American’s best and brightest consultants from such institutions as Wharton and Harvard to result in privatization moves that created a Russian oligarchy of insiders that has become the envy of our own oligarchs.

But now, your mimicry of our own history of imperialistic overreach stuns the imagination. For that matter, the mimicry of your own overreach in the closing days of our grand partnership in WWII in eastern Europe causes one to wonder about why we both fail to learn the lessons of history which have so much to teach us both. That imperialism doesn’t work for anybody.

It doesn’t? It worked reasonably well for the Soviet Union, for a couple of generations, creating a buffer zone between the democratic West and Soviet borders. Before that, imperialism served the United Kingdom pretty well, lifting a resource-poor island nation of 40 million souls to being the number one economic power in the world for 300 years. Colonization and conquest, started by English settlers in the early 17th century, led to our own “Manifest Destiny,” sweeping across the continent, and becoming the wealthiest nation on earth.  All of the denizens of the Delaware Liberal are beneficiaries of our own imperialist growth.  And before that, imperialism brought the wealth of the ancient world to a small town on the Tiber, in an empire that lasted almost five centuries.

Let’s not do this. We shouldn’t make your feel hemmed in and caught in a vise with our NATO alliance. You shouldn’t begin recreating your Union in response to that vise. Let’s get together and loosen the vise and work out mutually autonomous partnerships in that region and grow the economic pie for everyone’s benefit.

Yeah, it was just so horrible that the nations which were once subject to Soviet control went and became functioning democracies! And it was such a terrible thing that the people of Ukraine took control of their own country; we should have prevented that, because, why, it made Vladimir Vladimirovich upset! dripping with sarcasm

Look, there’s alot of admiration over here for your huge contributions to humanity and culture. Your ballet and classical music has made the world a better place. As have your brilliant contributions to science, architecture and art. And your willingness to end our nuclear campaigns of mutual terror.

We should have learned from your admission that Afghanistan was unfixable. And many of us here are grateful for your strategic brokerage in Syria to retire their chemical stockpile without blasting an already ruined populace off the face of the earth.

Vladimir, cut Pussy Riot and the gay community there some slack. There’s much creative energy for building your democracy pent up with these folks, just waiting to be unleashed for good. Just as I, as an atheist admire your country’s willingness to allow the Orthodox Church to surface from the underground and serve some of your people who seem to need them, Russia will not be harmed by political dissidents and those with lifestyles which you might not understand. You’re better than that. Hopefully, we are too.

Uhhh, PP, don’t you realize that President Putin isn’t interested in democracy? When, following his first two terms, he was unable to run for President again due to term limits, he got a colleague and crony, Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, to run for President, while Mr Putin did a term as Prime Minister, before becoming President again. Democracy means, among other things, being willing to leave office and surrender power; the former lieutenant colonel in the KGB hasn’t a democratic bone in his body.

Finally, I have an idea. Let’s put all this crap aside and form a partnership to address the imminent catastrophe of climate change. Let’s together lead a new Union of enlightened countries possessing passionate survival instincts and use our scientific resources to redirect our huge energy interests toward limiting carbon dependence and assure our planet of clean air and water.

Uhhh, in case PP hasn’t heard, Russia’s primary exports are hydrocarbons: oil and natural gas revenues accounted for 52% of federal budget revenues and over 70% of total exports in 2012.2 The last thing that President Putin wants, or that the Russian economy can stand, is limiting the industrialized world’s dependence upon hydrocarbon fuels.

The naïvete displayed by PP’s article is astounding .  .  . and incredibly ethnocentric.  PP wrote a very personal half-paean, half-lament to President Putin, based entirely on PP’s view of how things ought to be, informed by a liberal American worldview, that shows exactly zero understanding of the fact that Russians in general, and Mr Putin specifically, are not Westerners.  They have no real democratic tradition, and the freedoms we take for granted are only vaguely familiar to them.  To most Russians, the prosecution of Pussy Riot was almost inevitable, and the laws targeting homosexual proselytization of minors  are both consistent with Russian culture and widely supported inside Russia; arguments to President Putin on these subjects would be laughable to him .  .  . if he ever read them.

Which, of course, he won’t.  The chances that President Putin will ever read anything on the Delaware Liberal  — or The First Street Journal, for that matter — are not zero, but they are so close to zero as to be practically indistinguishable, and I’m guessing that the Progressive Populist understands at least that much, which means that his article was written for the Delaware Liberal’s American readers, and though the article has attracted only three comments in the three days since it was published, none of the commenters demonstrated nearly the naïvete that PP did.  Bamboozer noted that these moves have been great for Mr Putin’s popularity in Russia, while xyz got it exactly right:

“and tried a grand experiment….”

Yes, quite an experiment. 20 million people paid with their lives to see the result of this “grand experiment”.

One would have thought that the Progressive Populist would have known at least that much about Soviet history, enough not to have so blithely written, “Ok, so communism didn’t serve its intended purpose and became oppressive in its own right,” as though it was somehow no worse, and perhaps a bit better than the tsarist autocracy it replaced,3 even though the Tsar’s Okhrana never approached the body count of the Soviet’s secret police organizations.

The real problem isn’t that the Progressive Populist is a naïf; the problem is that there are enough naïfs to enable the more cold-hearted left, those who use leftism as a means of gaining political power to have the chance to do so.

  1. Jason330, the site owner, banned me from commenting on my work computer, but not my computer at home. :)
  2. Russia also has large coal reserves, but is currently producing only a relatively modest amount.
  3. I have deliberately ignored the short-lived provisional governments of Prince Georgii Lvov and Aleksandr Karenskii, neither of which lasted long enough to have developed any individual character.

John Kerry was right

Read that headline again, because it’s not something you will often see in The First Street Journal!

Kerry Backtracks on Israel ‘Apartheid’ Comment
The U.S. Secretary of State wishes he could “rewind the tape” featuring him saying that Israel risks becoming an “apartheid” state. The comment, leaked on Sunday, drew condemnation from across the American political spectrum
By Per Liljas | April 29, 2014 | 12:42 AM ET

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is seeking to control the fallout from his heavily criticized remark that Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state.”

“I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes,” he said in a forceful statement released by the State Department on Monday.

“If I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two state solution.”

The tape being referred to is of Kerry speaking at a Friday closed-door meeting of the Trilateral Commission — a discussion group of U.S., Japanese and European officials. On the tape, he says that “a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.”

Acquired and published by The Daily Beast, the recording prompted condemnations from across the U.S. political spectrum. Republican Senator Ted Cruz even called on the Secretary of State to resign.

The direct quote from Mr Kerry:

A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state. Once you put that frame in your mind, that reality, which is the bottom line, you understand how imperative it is to get to the two-state solution, which both leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.

The Secretary of State was wrong to use the loaded word “apartheid,” but if you leave aside the political baggage of the word, what he said was exactly correct: the notion that Israel and the occupied territories could form a single nation, and that nation remain both a Jewish state and a democracy is unworkable. In such a nation, Israel would have to either completely subjugate the Arabs, denying them democratic rights and leaving than as second-class residents, or the Jews in Israel would eventually be demographically overwhelmed, and the essential character of Israel as an ethnically and religiously Jewish nation would be drowned out in successive elections by the growing Arab majority.

Your Editor has said before that Israel, if it wished to keep the territories seized in the Six Day War of 1967, should have expelled all of the Arabs living in those areas, and annexed the territories. It would have been brutal and it would have been harsh, but it would also have been over and done with, leaving a larger Israel with shortened and more defensible borders.

But the window of opportunity to do that was very small: Israel could have done that in 1967, and maybe into 1968, but chose not to do so. The Palestinians living in those areas, whom the Israelis hoped would voluntarily emigrate, stayed put, and multiplied, growing from a shade under a million people in 1967 to over 4 million today. The population of Israel today includes 6,102,000 Jews and 1,685,000 Arabs; the population of the West Bank is 2,385,000 Arabs, while the Gaza Strip has 1,376,000 Arabs. Were these areas to all be incorporated in a unified Israel, there would be 6,102,000 Jews and 5,946,000 Arabs. With that kind of population split, there’s simply no way a unitary state could remain a Jewish state.

The entire problem with the Secretary’s statement was the use of the word “apartheid;” Erika Johnson of Hot Air documented some of the reaction. And your Editor is perfectly willing to criticize the Secretary on his choice of words; for being our top diplomat, he wasn’t exactly very diplomatic. If he is forced to resign over this, I won’t shed a tear, though it seems unlikely that he would be replaced by anyone better.

But that he used a politically loaded word doesn’t make him wrong. John Hinderaker of Powerline disagrees, saying:

But that consensus has been challenged forcibly by Caroline Glick in her new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, in which she argues that Israel can incorporate Judea and Samaria–the heart of Biblical Israel–into Israel proper, accord full civil rights to the Palestinians, and still retain a substantial Jewish majority. The key to her argument is demographic: the Palestinian population of the West Bank has been grossly exaggerated for political reasons. At the same time, the birth rate among Palestinians has collapsed.

So, she says, if one looks at the population numbers properly, annexing the West Bank and giving the Palestinians full civil equality, including voting rights, is a viable path forward for Israel. In other words, Israel need not be held hostage forever by a corrupt Palestinian leadership that pretends to engage in a transparently futile “peace process” while plotting Israel’s destruction.

I’d note here that Miss Glick referred solely to the incorporation of the West Bank, leaving out Gaza, which would reduce the Arab population of a new, unitary state by 1.6 million. But it still means that Israeli Jews would have to vote virtually in unison — something that they certainly haven’t done recently — to outnumber Arab votes in such a state. Miss Glick is an Israeli journalist, though she was born and educated in the United States, having lived her first 22 years of life here.

Even if you take Miss Glick’s arguments seriously, that the Palestinian birthrate is exaggerated,1 her solution would still leave an Israel in which the official Jewish character of the state would be untrue for about 40% of the population. It is difficult to see that as something sustainable.

Mr Hinderaker is rightly concerned about what he characterized as:

Israel (being) held hostage forever by a corrupt Palestinian leadership that pretends to engage in a transparently futile “peace process” while plotting Israel’s destruction.

The late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon tried to point a way out of that, when he had Israel simply pull up stakes and abandon the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians, telling them to make a go of it there themselves. Had the Palestinians actually been a civilized people, they’d have taken Gaza and improved it, making it a show place for what they could do. Gaza is resource-poor, but it does have potentially spectacular beaches, and could have brought in a lot of euros from tourists, had the Palestinians decided to go that route.

Unfortunately, the Palestinians really did make Gaza a show place for what they could do, and what they could do was to turn it into a squalid armed camp, and I have no doubt that’s what would become of the Palestinian areas of Judea and Samaria if those were turned over to the Palestinians as well, but, eventually that is exactly what will have to be done. Israel will have to pull out the settlers in the areas of the West Bank that are indefensible, and consolidate their borders around those which can be maintained, but they’ll need to give the rest to the people they cannot govern and do not want. The city of Jerusalem will be a problem as well, and they’ll have to expel some Arabs in neighborhoods that they wish to keep, and allow those neighborhoods they can dispense with to revert to Palestinian control. Mr Hinderaker’s concern about the Palestinians not being serious negotiating partners — a concern with which I agree — will be answered by unilateral action by Israel to solve the problem. In the end, nothing else will work.

Had the Israelis been cold-hearted enough in 1967 to have done what needed to be done then, none of these problems would exist today.

  1. An argument which assumes that Palestinians wouldn’t reverse that if they saw a chance to outnumber Jews in Israel.

Economics 101: Yet another California-headquartered company leaves for Texas

We have mentioned previously that business unfriendliness in government will have impacts on business, costing states jobs. From Forbes:

It Makes Sense For Toyota To Leave California For Texas
4/27/2014 @ 9:28PM

For Japanese auto brands, the logic of keeping their U.S. sales and administrative arms in California is breaking down under the outrageous penalties of conducting business in the Golden State and the changing dynamics of the North American automotive industry. So Toyota is leaving, according to Automotive News.

And where is Japan’s biggest automaker relocating its sales and marketing operations in America? Why, North Texas, of course. The move to Plano, Texas, will involve most of the 5,000 managers and employees at Toyota’s current Torrance, Calif., headquarters, the magazine said.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry apparently didn’t even have to make a recruiting trip to southern California to get Toyota to do this, although he has helped lure plenty of companies with that gambit over the last several years.

And yet Texas has scored one of the biggest prizes so far in its very focused, state-on-state battle with the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown to get plum companies now headquartered in California to abandon the bluest state for the reddest one.

The Forbes article continues to note that there are solid business reasons which have nothing to do with the business-unfriendly climate in the Pyrite State, but when you pile on those additional government burdens, the incentives for companies which can move to move increase.

In the annual Chief Executive magazine “Best States / Worst States” ranking that surveys CEOs for their opinions, Texas has been holding on to the No. 1 spot for a while; California seems permanently relegated to No. 50.

As Automotive News put it, “Despite the deep, creative talent pool in greater Los Angeles, doing business in California has become more expensive for companies and their workers.” said that the cost of living for employees is 39 percent higher in Torrance than in Plano, and housing costs are 63 percent lower in Plano.

What does that mean? Well, it means that, for Toyota executives who have to move from southern California to the Lone Star State, they will see what is, in real terms, a 39% raise. When they sell their houses in California, they’ll wind up being able to by a house 2/3 larger for what they have been spending, or, looked at another way, be able to simply buy, with cash, just as good a home in Plano as the one on which they were making mortgage payments in California.

Of course, some won’t be able to make the move, due to family commitments or spouses’ careers, and that’s tough on them. Some will wind up losing their jobs due to this.

Would it be uncivil of us to point out that we told you so?

We have said before that if liberals really understood economics, they wouldn’t be liberals. Businesses exist to make money for their owners and shareholders, and states and cities which view businesses as milch cows for taxes rather than creators of jobs for their citizens are going to, eventually, cause businesses which can leave for friendlier areas to leave, and inhibit the creation of new businesses. Eventually this will have a negative effect on the number of jobs available for the public.

And you can see the effects in hard numbers: the March unemployment rate for Texas was 5.5%, well below the national average, while California’s was 8.1% and Illinois’ was 8.4%.1 It doesn’t take a PhD in economics, like Paul Krugman has, to understand this, yet the left keep ignoring it. It’s almost as though they kind of, sort of, understand that capitalism provides jobs, but want socialism anyway.


From The Conservative Tribune:

Michelle Obama Says Campaigning is as Hard as Being a Military Wife

It’s unreal how many times Michelle Obama has embarrassed herself and shown just how classless she is.

She’s been whining about not getting a salary as First Lady, telling people while on a foreign visit that it’s “very rare” for her to get to travel overseas, and she even literally told an interviewer that she’d rather sleep than go to church on Sundays.

This latest example of her classlessness reaches a new low even for her.  She just suggested that her glamorous life on the campaign trail being adored by thousands at rallies and being treated like celebrities by all of the media is a lot like military life, and because of these experiences, she feels like she understands military families.  Absolutely unreal.

The Washington Examiner reports:

“I first was exposed to the military community on the campaign trail. I remember that we would do these gatherings with moms, women — mostly working women — because I wanted to hear through — for my husband what were some of the challenges of working women out there. And everywhere we went, I heard the voice of a woman that I hadn’t heard before, and it was your voice. And I was just awed and blown away by what I heard through those voices, the challenges you all face,” she said.

But, she added, life on the campaign trail felt like military life. “Dealing with everything that I was dealing with — a spouse traveling, a job, kids — we didn’t deal with multiple moves, but I learned about the challenges that happen when you move from base to base to base; the way your kids have to adjust on a dime. And doing it knowing that the person you love is in harm’s way. And those stories moved me in a way that I didn’t expect.”


At some point you have to wonder about he utter cluelessness of the First Lady, who was graduated from both Princeton and Harvard Law School. Did Mrs Obama have to deal with a husband on the road a bit? Yup, sure did! But I’m guessing that being a millionaire, and having all sorts of support staff, along with Secret Service protection, makes that a bit different from what Cassy Fiano Chesser faced when her husband was deployed to Afghanistan.

When President Obama is away from the White House, Mrs Obama and her daughters still have a fully staffed mansion in which to live, complete with cooks, butlers, housekeepers, secretaries, and you name it, to insure that the Obamas need not worry for a single second about who’s taking care of the children or what to cook for dinner or whether they’ve missed anything in gathering the laundry or if there are dirty dishes piled up in the sink. And while it’s possible that Mr Obama could be shot at while he’s out, the odds that he would actually be injured or killed seem rather low compare to our soldiers and Marines on the ground in Afghanistan.