TWO HOT TOPICS AGAIN: JOBS AND ENERGY
February 17, 2010
According to a January jobs report from the Labor Department, the U. S. economy lost 7.2 million jobs during the two-year period ending November 2009. That is an astounding figure because it means that over 4.5% of all jobs in America were lost in only two years. But it gets worse: almost no new jobs have been created for those who have lost their jobs and for new workers entering the job market.
Despite the $787 billion stimulus package of 2009, which was touted as a way to “create or save” three million jobs, despite the push for “millions of green jobs,” and despite the “cash for clunkers” program intended to restore the auto industry to health, the Obama administration has not even begun to fulfill its promise of creating millions of new jobs. Among the highlights of the Labor Department report: manufacturing lost 2,147, 000 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities lost 1,763,000; and financial services lost 548,000.
There’s a bright spot in the report, however. Government added 98,000 jobs.
Unfortunately, none of these jobs actually produced anything. Most of them, in fact, were created with the express purpose of restricting the production of real goods and services. That kind of job creation—which is what Obama does best—results in a less productive economy, and the result is a lower standard of living for everyone.
Still, there was at least one category in which a large number of non-governmental jobs was added. The two-year period saw a 9.7% increase in employment related to the production of oil and gas. This increase in high-paying and productive jobs occurred despite all the obstacles that Obama and the Democratic Congress have put in the way of new energy exploration and production and despite the threats of future regulation and taxation.
Common sense would suggest that a business that produces an essential product and that creates new jobs ought to be encouraged. But within days of Obama’s inauguration, the oil and gas sector became the administration’s prime target for new taxes and regulation. Vast amounts of stimulus funding went to support doubtful alternative energy projects, but none went to promote conventional energy. Alternative energy projects were supposed to create “millions of green jobs,” but they have produced almost none. Even clean energy groups like the Breakthrough Project admit that “There are no short-term solutions” to the problem of green job creation. The $2.3 billion tax credits that Obama announced on Jan. 8, 2010, are just another example of throwing taxpayer money at the problem. That $2.3 billion is supposed to create 17,000 jobs, though there is no proof that it will. Even if we take the President at his word, that comes to $135,294 per job, and whether those jobs are permanent or not, who can say?
It is not very difficult to create a job for $135,294. It would be possible to create ten times that number simply by mailing $13,529.40 to each job recipient. What the administration cannot understand is that jobs can and are being created without federal or state subsidies by companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. If these companies were not subjected to draconian environmental restrictions and parasitical taxation, they would produce far more jobs, and these jobs would afford long-term employment while serving the public’s need for efficient energy. That energy from conventional sources would also be far cheaper than alternative energy, which is no small matter to hundreds of millions of Americans who have to balance their budgets.
Why then do Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar conspire at every turn to restrict onshore and offshore drilling? If these gentlemen are sincere about wishing to create jobs, why are they attempting to kill off one of the few sectors of the economy that actually produces jobs? If they believe it is more important to “combat global warming” than to create jobs, why did Obama just agree to send $2 billion to Brazil to subsidize oil and gas production there, where huge offshore discoveries point to an economic boom with jobs for all who wish to work?
About one point there can be no doubt: President Obama has consistently opposed new oil and gas exploration in the United States, despite his repeated promise to reduce this nation’s dependency on foreign oil. With his decision to delay offshore exploration by increasing the public comment period through September 2009, Secretary Salazar delayed offshore drilling in this country for six months, but it now appears that he will attempt to stall production further, perhaps to the end of Obama’s presidency. That decision is tragically misguided since every year that drilling is delayed, it costs America over a million new jobs. That’s 36 million jobs over a period of 30 years, according to the American Energy Alliance. And those are not temporary jobs or low-paying jobs. They are real jobs, producing a real product. If the President truly wished to create jobs, he would direct Mr. Salazar to proceed immediately with drilling on the outer-continental shelf as approved by Congress in 2008, as well as on federal lands in the shale-rich Western states.
Following discovery of the Tupi oil field in Brazil, President da Silva boasted that “God has given us another chance.” It would seem that Obama is not interested in giving American workers a second chance. He is too busy tallying up contributions from environmental groups. He has put the narrow ideological aims of the environmental movement ahead of the most basic of human needs: the need to work in order to provide for oneself and one’s family. Only a very blind, unfeeling, and calculating leader could act in this way, and this is what we have in Barack Obama.
On a somewhat related subject ... has anyone noticed the price of gas is going down? Word on the global market has it that George Soros has told speculators to back down from the petrolium markets until November. Why November? I wonder if we'll hear that the Democrats (Soros' puppets) have brought the gas prices down, serving as a great reason to return them to power in November?
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