Data suggest more opportunities are available to some groups that historically struggled to find jobs.
>Andrew Duehren reports: The unemployment rate among young Americans fell to its lowest level in more than 50 years this summer, though the share of young people looking for work remained well below its peak in 1989.
Of Americans between 16 and 24 years old actively looking for work this summer, 9.2% were unemployed in July, the Labor Department said Thursday, a drop from the 9.6% youth unemployment rate in July 2017. It was the lowest midsummer joblessness rate for youth since July 1966.
One of those finding work was Teandre Blincoe, 17, who placed in a job this summer in an information technology division at Humana, a health insurance company based in Louisville, Ky., by KentuckianaWorks, which has partnered with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to place low-income youth in summer jobs.
With his first job under his belt, Mr. Blincoe said he would feel more confident looking for employment in the future. “I have a really solid idea of how I can present myself and actually get a job.”
Low unemployment among young people shows that in a tight labor market more opportunities are opening to groups that historically have struggled to find jobs. Read the rest of this entry »
TYLER, Texas (AP) – A Dallas-area photographer who did senior portraits for some graduates in East Texas must serve 20 years in prison for producing child pornography.
Todd B. Fleming of McKinney was sentenced Tuesday in Tyler.
The 54-year-old Fleming last October pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of children. Investigators say Fleming from 1999 to 2007 coerced juveniles to engage in sexually explicit conduct for producing child porn. Read the rest of this entry »
White House Unveils Plan Offering Cash Prize Incentive to Enroll in Obamacare; Death by Lethal Injection Penalty for NoncompliancePosted: March 19, 2014
“We have collective responsibility for each other’s welfare, individual opportunity for reward, and very real consequences for inaction. As a society we can’t afford to neglect our sacred duty to our fellow citizens.”
In a move that stunned even president Obama’s most ardent supporters, and shocked the president’s most vocal critics, the White House announced a new program: offering cash prizes for young people who sign up for Obamacare, and death by lethal injection for those who don’t.
In what is being viewed as sign of the administration’s frustration, stung by disappointing numbers of healthy young enrollees, and irritated by ongoing Republican opposition, president Obama is said to have acted alone, in this historically-unprecidented move, not even telling his closest aides he was crafting the new mandate. White House senior staff were notified early this morning, and by afternoon, were authorizing new initiatives, and issuing press releases.
“Using extra-constitutional power to kill American citizens with drones is one thing, but this is preposterous, even for Obama.”
— Charles Krauthammer
“Preparations are obviously being made to insure financial arrangements for the guarantee of cash prizes. But more importantly, an effort to enlist medical professionals, medical supplies and prison staff, for the lethal injections. It’s a nightmare to try to line this up on short notice,” said an administration insider who declined to be identified.
“This program is too expensive, and potentially reduces the pool of healthy young enrollees…this is just another ill-conceived, improvised attempt to save his ‘signature legislation’.”
— Senator McCain
Critics didn’t hesitate to voice their disapproval. “This program is too expensive, and potentially reduces the pool of health young enrollees,” said senator McCain, and added “the president is desperate, this is just another ill-conceived, improvised attempt to save his signature legislation.”
“When it comes time to enact the penalty, faced with the grim reality of killing millions of innocent young people, I predict we’ll see a repeat of the familiar pattern. Delay, after delay, after delay. Timed to coincide with election cycles.”
— Congressman Paul Ryan
Congressman Paul Ryan agreed. “Here’s what will happen. The administration will front-load the benefits, authorizing prize money to be distributed. but when it comes time to enact the penalty, faxed with the grim reality of killing millions of innocent young people, we’ll see a repeat of the familiar pattern. Delay, after delay, after delay. Timed to coincide with election cycles.”
“Contrary to what talk talk show personalities and Republican critics are saying, protecting the president’s ego, or insuring his legacy as a successful two-term president is the furthest thing from our minds. And frankly, we find the suggestion offensive.”
— White House Press Secretary Jay Carney
National Review editor Jonah Goldberg was in Washington D.C. when the press release was issued. We asked him to comment. He dismissed the press release. “I’d check your sources if I were you.” Lighting a cigar as he exited the Capitol building, Goldberg smiled and said, “I have no comment.”
Dr. Charles Krauthammer was characteristically blunt. “If true, these so-called executions will affect primarily lower income minorities,” adding “Picking winners and losers, making it up as he goes along, not considering the social impact of large-scale executions, this is unreal, it’s the Hunger Games. Using extra-constitutional power to kill American citizens with drones is one thing, but this is preposterous, even for Obama.”
“My only objection to the lethal injection, is that it’s is too humane. Not complying with Obamacare should automatically come with a penalty that delivers immediate, excruciating pain. Followed by a lingering, agonizing death. Unless he’s in a blue state…”
— Senator Al Franken, Minnesota
The White House defended its decision, citing the importance of the president’s commitment to the promise of access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. “We’re not messing around”, president Obama said, in a brief statement. “The time to enroll is now.”
“The opportunity to enjoy an unexpected bonus, prizes valued up to as much as $250,000, is hard to ignore, for many young Americans,” a White House spokesman said, adding “For many, it will help pay off college loans, or provide additional security. For others, a chance to buy an Xbox, or take a vacation. Or take class in painting, or pottery, or buy a new car. It’s an exciting program, one that we’re proud to offer.”
At a highly-charged press conference today White House press secretary Jay Carney was frequently on the defensive. Reporters were on their feet, challenging the Administration’s “increasingly autocratic behavior, lack of respect for the rule of law, and morbid fixation on propping up a failing policy, even authorizing the federal government to kill young people who refuse to comply” said one reporter.
Note: I like how Jonah cautions about the limits of generational stereotyping, while having some fun with…generational stereotyping. There is fun to be had.
Polling: the scourge of journalism these days. The media’s increasing dependence on polling data contributes to the echo chamber. A poll is taken in America every ten seconds, it seems. Wait, I have an idea. I propose we take a poll on how Americans feel about polls! Look below for our poll, and cast your vote. But first, here’s an intro to Jonah’s article:
Jonah Goldberg writes: In case you hadn’t heard, young people these days — a.k.a “the Millennials” — are the most cynical and distrusting generation ever recorded. Only 19 percent think most people can be trusted. According to a big study from the Pew Research Center, they are less attached to marriage, religion, and political institutions than Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and the other demographic flavors journalists love to use. They like their friends, their digital “social networks,” and their toys, and that’s about it. Not even a majority will call themselves “patriotic.” Probably more dismaying for liberals: Of any living generation, they are the least likely to call themselves environmentalists.
“Honor, glory, and respect are earned individually, not collectively.”
Now, I should say that I often find generational stereotyping pretty annoying. For instance, there was no “greatest generation.” Sure, there were a bunch of great Americans who stormed the beaches of Normandy. But is some guy who was in jail in 1943 for petty larceny deserving of special respect because he was born around the same time as a guy who won the Medal of Honor during WWII?
Jennifer Kabbany writes: A Youth Misery Index that measures young Americans’ woes has skyrocketed under President Barack Obama and hit an all-time high.
The index, released Wednesday, was calculated by adding youth unemployment and average college loan debt figures with each person’s share of the national debt. While it has steadily grown over the decades, under Obama the figure has shot up dramatically, from 83.5 in 2009 to 98.6 in 2013.
The index has increased by 18.1 percent since Obama took office, the highest increase under any president, making Obama the worst president for youth economic opportunity, according to the nonprofit that released the figure.
“Young people are suffering under this economy,” said Ashley Pratte, program officer for Young America’s Foundation, which developed the index and calculates it annually using federal statistics. “They’re still living in their parent’s basements, unable to find full-time jobs that pay them what they need in order to pay back their debt.”
Millennials who enthusiastically voted him in should support his legacy and sign up for Obamacare.
Okay, young’ns, here’s your chance.
In two consecutive elections, you’ve carried Barack Obama to victory. When he said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” he basically meant you. You voted for Obama by a margin of 66 percent to 32 percent in 2008, and, despite a horrendous economy for people your age, by nearly that much again in 2012.
The president announced his candidacy in 2007 by insisting, “This campaign can’t only be about me. It must be about us — it must be about what we can do together. This campaign must be the occasion, the vehicle, of your hopes, and your dreams. . . . This campaign has to be about reclaiming the meaning of citizenship, restoring our sense of common purpose, and realizing that few obstacles can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.”
And on the night of his reelection in 2012, he proclaimed, “The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.”
Between those two elections, the president pandered to you like no president in American history. As I wrote last fall, he visited college campuses more often than a Red Bull delivery truck. He’s carried water for you on college loans like an aqueduct. He made sure you can stay on your parents’ health-care plans until you’re 26, which is a really nice consolation prize when you can’t find a job.
And not to put too fine a point on it, but you kids ate that stuff up. It reminded me of H. L. Mencken’s line about Harry Truman: “If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country he would have promised to provide them with free missionaries, fattened at the taxpayers’ expense.”
Whenever curmudgeons like yours truly suggested that young people were getting caught up in a fad or that Obama was simply buying votes at the expense of taxpayers, you’d have a fit. You’d insist that millennials are not only informed, but eager to make sacrifices for the greater good.
Well, here’s your chance to prove it: Fork over whatever it costs to buy the best health insurance you can under Obamacare. Just in case you forgot, under Obamacare healthy young people such as yourself not only need to buy health insurance in order for the whole thing to work, but have to be overcharged for it. If you don’t pay more — probably a lot more — than what you could get today on the market in most states, Obamacare will come apart like wet toilet paper.
Pity the baby boomers, blamed in their youth for every ill and excess of American society and now, in their dotage, for threatening to sink the economy and perhaps Western civilization itself.
The revival of The Great Gatsby serves as a reminder that continuing to blame boomers even in their old age was not a foregone conclusion. The young people of the 1920s were as controversial to their older contemporaries as their counterparts in the 1960s and 1970s. They were called flappers (less commonly “sheiks,” in the case of men), or Bright Young Things in England. The cartoons of John Held, Jr. have memorialized their hair styles, bobbed for women, slicked back for men — the Beatles cuts and Afros of their own time. But the gilded youth of that earlier age, having enjoyed bootleg liquor and cigarettes rather than stronger substances, were allowed to make a discreet transition to middle age and then little old lady and gentleman status without the medical clucking or cultural sneers of journalists. They vanished back into the multitude while the so-called Boomers seem destined to be hounded to death. Why?
One obvious contrast is that high-flying former young people suffered with their elders and their children in the Depression, and some of them were still young enough to serve alongside teenagers in the Second World War. But the turbulent 1970s were succeeded not by a new depression but by the Reagan-era boom of the 1980s, in which the Boomers metamorphosed into new folk heroes/villains, the Yuppies. Only the prosperous ones were noted as constituting a generation; the poor melted back into their communities.
There was a second difference. Age consciousness had been growing since the late nineteenth century but was still relatively rudimentary in the 1920s; “middle age,” for example, had just been invented and was not fully part of the culture until Walter B. Pitkin’s Life Begins at Forty (1933). But it was the postwar media world that created a distinctive youth mass market and thus began the definition of a generation by its popular music and amusements. In the nineteenth century, generations referred to cohorts who shared momentous political and military events that their younger siblings didn’t: the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the First World War. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a classic description of his own cohort in its historic framework:
We were born to power and intense nationalism. We did not have to stand up in a movie house and recite a child’s pledge to the flag to be aware of it. We were told, individually and as a unit, that we were a race that could potentially lick ten others of any genus. This is not a nostalgic article for it has a point to make — but we began life in post-Fauntleroy suits (often a sailor’s uniform as a taunt to Spain). Jingo was the lingo. …
That America passed away somewhere between 1910 and 1920; and the fact gives my generation its uniqueness — we are at once prewar and postwar. We were well-grown in the tense Spring of 1917, but for the most part not married and settled. The peace found us almost intact–less than five percent of my college class were killed in the war, and the colleges had a high average compared to the country as a whole. Men of our age in Europe simply do not exist. I have looked for them often, but they are twenty-five years dead.
So we inherited two worlds — the one of hope to which we had been bred; the one of disillusion which we had discovered early for ourselves. And that first world was growing as remote as another country, however close in time.
Third, there was a vast difference in the experience of world history. Fitzgerald’s generation — at least the white upper middle class to which he belonged — shared a unifying experience of expansionist patriotism and post-World War I disillusionment. Vietnam, on the other hand, divided the young as it did the rest of the country. In fact, as the political scientist Gordon L. Bowen has written:
Contrary to the myth, when Americans were asked whether they supported or opposed the war, the youngest set of Americans were uniformly more supportive of the war than were oldest set of Americans. Moreover, 20-somethings also were almost uniformly more likely to be supportive of the war than were 30 to 49 year olds.
Bowen also shows that throughout the war, college graduates were more likely to favor it than were people whose education stopped at elementary school.
Finally, there is a fourth reason. Old age wasn’t really officially defined in America until the Social Security Act set it at 65. The youth of the 1920s began to pay into the system and benefited in the 1960s and 1970s from pensions and Medicare thanks in part to the payments of young people entering the work force then. Now that they are reaching retirement age, they are a ripe target for demonization in the interest of “entitlement reform” as their grandparents never were. There are legitimate arguments about the financing and extent of Social Security and the level of contributions by wealthier people; I don’t mean to dismiss such concerns. But Boomerphobia — with no counterpart in Fitzgerald’s time — appears to have filled the media niche left by the political incorrectness of older stereotypes. If this collective scapegoat didn’t exist, it would have to be invented.
via The Atlantic.