You might have missed these two stories in all the Trump Tweet stuff but you might want to remind yourself what we’re fighting against before you jump off the wagon.

Cause:

Seattle’s minimum-wage law is boosting wages for a range of low-paid workers, but the law is causing those workers as a group to lose hours, and it’s also costing jobs, according to the latest study on the measure passed by the City Council in 2014.

The report, by members of the University of Washington team studying the law’s impacts for the city of Seattle, is being published Monday as a working paper by a nonprofit think tank, the National Bureau of Economic Research.

That law raises Seattle’s minimum wage gradually until it reaches $15 for all by 2021.

Well in the face of that bad news Seattle decided that there could be only one effect

When a University of Washington study came out this week showing Seattle’s minimum wage has cost 5,000 jobs and is hurting low income workers, city leaders attacked the messenger –- a team of respected economists at Washington’s premiere public university.

The researchers, led by Jacob Vigdor, were hired by the city in 2014 to study the effects of Seattle’s $15 wage experiment. The contract called for five years of research. City officials stopped funding the UW team when they didn’t like the results.

“The moment we saw it was based on flawed methodology and was going to be unreliable, the Vigdor study no longer speaks for City Hall,” said Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. 

So they’ve decided to fund a new study, meet the boss professor Michael Reich:

Reich is currently co-chair of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. Before earning his PhD in economics from Harvard, Reich was a founding member of the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE), a group seeking a “human-centered radical alternative to capitalism,” according to its website.

Reich has authored several studies on the effects of raising the minimum wage. They all concluded that increasing the minimum wage only helps low-skilled workers.

And I’m sure that Professor Reich will dutifully produces numbers that the leftists in Seattle will find acceptable but will not actually change the reality on the ground…

…unexpectedly.

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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in we are happy to get your prayers.

I really like credit cards. Every card in my wallet has purposes based upon rewards, limits, and due dates. The dollar bills in my wallet are probably the same bills I’ve had in there for weeks because I use cards for everything. Controlling expenditures and making certain my family is covered when life events pop up make credit cards an important tool in my fiscal planning.

The reason I don’t run into trouble with credit cards is that I never buy anything I couldn’t comfortably buy with money in the bank and I always pay in full before the statement is released. In the last decade, I could probably count on two hands (maybe one) the number of times I paid interest on a credit card balance. This is how credit cards are supposed to be used, in my humble opinion.

Where millions of Americans get into trouble from time to time is when they overextend themselves with their credit cards. Some look at their available credit as available cash to spend. Others calculate their monthly bills based upon the minimum payments on their cards and can’t wait until they pay the balances down to a point where they can spend on them again. Many lack disciple. Others lack knowledge. This is why otherwise responsible people around the country end up filing bankruptcy or some other form of debt relief.

Americans who are in trouble with credit card debt are each microcosms of the fiscal status of the United States federal government. Washington DC has been paying off credit cards with other credit cards, transferring balances when it doesn’t make sense, and manufacturing more credit cards because their old ones are maxed out. The interest alone on our $20 trillion debt is more than many countries’ GDPs. This is untenable and unsustainable.

When an individual gets into major credit trouble, the first thing they should do is stop spending on anything that’s not absolutely necessary. While I’m not a proponent of literally cutting up credit cards, it’s important for those with debt issues to pretend like there’s no money that can be spent on anything other than essentials while they do everything they can to pay down their balances.

We’re well past the time for the U.S. government to take the same approach. They need to tighten the belt in a big way and take the necessary actions to embrace fiscal responsibility for the first time in decades.

There’s a challenge with this. One of the reasons not mentioned above that some people get into deep credit card debt is addiction. There are those who are simply addicted to spending, shopping, buying, whatever. Even when they know they’re drowning in debt, they continue to make it harder to swim by continuing to spend. This is the problem with both major parties right now. They have this belief that if they go down the fiscally responsible route and start slashing the budget, they’re going to lose elections as a result. They feel they need to essentially buy votes by continuing to fund programs that are unnecessary. They believe they’ll gain votes by spending more of our tax dollars on departments, agencies, programs, and subsidies that get people pumped up because they’re the direct benefactors. A cruel but accurate way of presenting the current mentality of most DC politicians is that they think we’re all too stupid to understand the mess they’re building and we’re so simple that if they give us things, we’ll vote for them.

Ted Cruz demonstrated that this isn’t necessarily the case when he won the Iowa Republican Caucus. Most pundits thought he was dead in the water when he said he intended to pull the ethanol subsidies that helped many farmers in Iowa. Donald Trump and just about every other candidate doubled down on keeping the funds flowing in abundance, but Cruz said no. What did everyone other than Cruz get wrong about Iowa? They all thought the only way to get votes was to buy them. Iowans demonstrated that many Americans aren’t as simple-minded as politicians often think.

Unfortunately, that lesson will be marked down as an anomaly by the two major parties. The Democrats will push even further to the left in an effort to bring real socialism and even communist principles of government control over everything. The Republicans will continue to redefine “conservatism” by telling us it’s okay to spend more as long as the expenditures are justified. Of course, justification is easy for the GOP to manufacturer on pretty much any topic. That’s why they don’t have to blink when they attempt to replace Obamacare with Trumpcare. It’s why they can proudly accept Chuck Schumer’s and Donald Trump’s trillion-dollar infrastructure dreams. It’s why they scream loudly when they cut some budget from the EPA while hiding the asterisk in small print at the bottom that admits the money “saved” is simply being redirected to fund other programs.

I don’t recommend for individuals with credit card debt to literally cut up their credit cards because the scale is usually manageable and bankruptcy is an option when the scale is too large. However, I definitely recommend cutting up as many of the U.S. government’s credit cards as possible. They have too many and have demonstrated a complete inability to control themselves. It’s an addiction. They’re beyond the ability to even make the minimum payments which is why we’ve needed “stimulus” packages for the last two Presidents and we may see another one from the current President in the not-too-distant future.

Republicans are right in one regard. It’s time to redefine conservatism, just not the way many of them are hoping. Steve Deace over at Conservative Review brought some points to light in his article earlier this week titled “Needed: A new conservatism.” One of the things he touched on was the Federalist Party, of which I am a part. Here’s what he said:

A wise man once said something about the foolishness of pouring new wine into old wineskins. After all, this country is a living example that once paradigms embrace corruption, independence from the corruption must be declared, whether it is the Pilgrims fleeing corruption on the Mayflower or the Founding Fathers loading their muskets to stand up to it. Therefore, as students of history, if we’re going to spend years changing the paradigm, choose the strategy history says has the best chance of success — something new. Besides, wasn’t the Republican Party itself originally founded by those who fled the corruption within its predecessor, the Whig Party? This is the rationale behind the effort to launch the Federalist Party.

With the GOP in full control in DC, one of two things needs to happen. Either they get their act together and start reining in the power, bureaucracy, and out-of-control budgets that have been growing incessantly for decades or they need to admit they’re no longer a party that embraces smaller government. Unless things turn around very quickly, the latter is the only viable possibility. We know they won’t admit it, but the real question is whether or not conservatives are going to call them out on it or continue to fall for the same tired sales pitch.

The 21st century isn’t turning out so well for millenials.  They are making less than their parents did at their age.  Home ownership, one of the key markers of financial success, is down for their age group.  And, apparently, in general they are unhappier and more narcissistic.  It’s declined to the point you can now see how poorly you compare to other countries (although I can’t vouch for the data).

But hey, we got that going for us!

Why is this?  Most blame the recession.  But plenty of millenials have done well, despite a recession.

Me when I realized this while writing this article

My current job gives me some insight.  I work with junior Sailors on a daily basis, most in their early twenties.  As their commander, I get to interview them and get a peek into their lives.  I also keep copious notes, and as an engineer, I look for trends.

I see one big, ugly trend: most Millenials come from broken homes. 

Almost 85% of my Sailors come from divorced parents.  These are people from across America, from every state in the union.  I was astounded by this.  In many cases, at least one parent (mom or dad) is completely out of the picture.

These broken homes don’t produce broken people.  My Sailors are hard working Americans, and they arrive with a very deep love of their country and wanting to do right.  In many cases though, their broken home hinders them.

How I feel sometimes

I take for granted that my parents cared about my education and well being.  While they didn’t pay for college (thank you Uncle Sam!), they did set me up pretty well, and helped me cover emergencies until I got on my feet.  My parents taught me about debt and savings.  I didn’t have a credit card until I was in college, and even then, I paid it off every month (and still do!).

Many of my Sailors don’t have this.  Too often they go to boot camp with very little in their pocket.  Many arrive with little to no furniture.  Plenty come in with credit card debt.  Luckily, we have free classes on financial management, and most turn themselves around.  For the average person though, these free classes don’t exist.

Broken homes break down other assumptions.  Driver’s license?  How to dress for an interview?  How to speak without using obscenities?  How to shake hands properly?  Speaking in public?  These basic skills can’t be assumed anymore.  Anyone who has worked with millenials would agree.

Although I enjoy watching my Sailors grow and develop these skills, I worry that in other parts of society, these skills are not being developed.  Yes, we should continue to work on our economy, but perhaps we’ve forgotten what a big influence good family life is on success.


Obviously I’m in the Navy.  In case it’s not obvious, this post only represents my views.  It doesn’t represent the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.  But you’re smart, so you already knew that…

If you enjoyed this, check out my blog, and drop Da Tech Guy some money!

if personal experience is any indication, yes.

While we wait to see what Congress is planning to do about the no-good, very bad Iran deal, let’s talk about something a bit closer to home.

I do the majority of my shopping online, and get cold chills at the thought of any kind of cyber-attack on the internet.

Today, I read several articles, all claiming that retailers are hurting in a very big way, and many major outlets will be closing their stores.  If true,  what will happen to the people who will no longer have jobs?

Several weeks ago, I stopped by Macy’s to purchase my favorite Clinque lipstick.  As I rarely go into major retail stores, I was shocked at the high prices on the merchandise.

I headed to the Clinque counter and searched around for my lipstick.  After about 10 minutes, someone finally approached to help me, only to tell me that the lipstick was probably discontinued.  She wasn’t a Clinque lady, and appeared to be trying to oversee three or four counters at once.  I saw no other sales people.  After looking it up in the computer, she said that it showed there were three lipsticks of that shade, but had no idea of where they were.  She said that they may be on the delivery truck, which was due in about three days.  Out came a tiny piece of scrap paper in which to take down my number.  I knew right then that I would not get a phone call when the truck arrived.

Understand this; I am in no way blaming her.  Retail work is endless and hard.  The store was understaffed, and for good reason.  There were almost no customers.

After checking online, I ascertained that the lipstick could be purchased directly from Clinque, who gave me, as a first time online buyer, a $10.00 off coupon, and free shipping.

I also needed some makeup from Ulta.  My last experience there was horrible.  No one to help you find anything, and the makeup was completely disorganized due to customers pawing through it.  I headed to Ulta online, picked out my products, and was also offered free shipping.

Lest you think I only buy makeup, the next example is from Walmart, where I hoped to purchase some Calms Forte, a natural sleep aid.  It was out of stock.

I found the Calms Forte at Puritan Pride online, and purchased 2 bottles of 100 each for $13.98 with, wait for it, free shipping.  The same amount of pills at Walmart would have cost about $37.00.

One of the articles I read today was Major Chain Stores Shutting Down as America Faces “Birth Pangs of Retail Apocalypse” which listed among them Macy’s, as well as other big retailers.

There’s several reasons for this, and the major reason, contrary to Obama telling us how wonderful everything is, people don’t have any money.  It’s as simple as that.

Do you really think that the over 45 million people on food stamps are buying $200.00 purses at Macy’s?

Unemployment 5.5%?  Even Bernie Sanders, the darling socialist of the libtards, says it more like 10.5%.  That should make some heads explode.

You can see a list of the 6,000 closings expected this year at Natural News.  Where are all those displaced workers going to find jobs?

Anyone who thinks that we’re not in a depression isn’t paying attention.

And anyone who is not paying attention, is not preparing.  Which are you?

 

Adrienne blogs at Adrienne’s Corner ( ya just can’t find a more captivating blog title), where she goes on periodic rants, and writes about whatever pops into her little flea brain. 

 

it depends.

If your life-long ambition is to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, a college education is unavoidable.  But what if you just want to earn a decent living?

Several weeks ago, my car was at the local dealership to have its timing belt replaced – something that is done at the 60K mark.  The technician who had originally told the the service guy that my 2008 Hyundai had a belt rather than a chain discovered that the 2008 model year was split between belts and chains.  My car was in the second half of the year and had a chain, which never needs replacing,  saving me about $300.00.  The dealership, bless their hearts, washed my car for me anyway.

When I picked up my car, I met the young technician who worked on my car.  Scott was 28 years old, personable, soft spoken, and clearly loved his job. Okay – he was cute, too.

He used to work at a Hyundai dealership, but was caught off guard by that model year being split between chains and belts.

He’s been an auto technician for 8 years.  I asked him if he went to school for his career and he named a well-known technical college.  Never one to be shy, I further inquired as to the cost.  Surprisingly, it was $28K for the entire course. That’s equivalent to what many people spend for one year in a 4-year college, often graduating with a completely useless degree, and as much as $80K to $100K in school loan debt.  It’s takes a long time to pay off that kind of debt when you’re working as a barista at Starbucks.

So at the age of 20 or 21, Scott was already earning a very good income, while the future barista was still having the “experience of a lifetime” in a 4-year college.  In terms of salary, Scott earned about $150K, not counting benefits, during those 3 extra years and was doing something he loved.

So why this insistence that everyone must go to college?

Mike Rowe, who runs the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in the skilled trades.  He was also the host of the former TV show “Dirty Jobs”, and continues to try raising awareness of what we call “blue collar” jobs.

Just a few days ago, a person wrote a letter to Mike, deriding his approach to “work ethic”, calling it “right wing propaganda.”

Mike’s reply was epic.

A few excerpts:

You wrote that, “people want to work.” In my travels, I’ve met a lot of hard-working individuals, and I’ve been singing their praises for the last 12 years. But I’ve seen nothing that would lead me to agree with your generalization. From what I’ve seen of the species, and what I know of myself, most people – given the choice – would prefer NOT to work. In fact, on Dirty Jobs, I saw Help Wanted signs in every state, even at the height of the recession. Is it possible you see the existence of so many unfilled jobs as a challenge to your basic understanding of what makes people tick?

Last week at a policy conference in Mackinac, I talked to several hiring managers from a few of the largest companies in Michigan. They all told me the same thing – the biggest under reported challenge in finding good help, (aside from the inability to “piss clean,”) is an overwhelming lack of “soft skills.” That’s a polite way of saying that many applicants don’t tuck their shirts in, or pull their pants up, or look you in the eye, or say things like “please” and “thank you.” This is not a Michigan problem – this is a national crisis. We’re churning out a generation of poorly educated people with no skill, no ambition, no guidance, and no realistic expectations of what it means to go to work. source

So back to my question: Why this insistence that everyone must go to college?

Obama would like everyone to have a free community college education, otherwise known as high school grades 13 and 14. Why?  And who’s going to pay for this?

High schools also base much of their success on how many of their graduates go on to college.  Why?

Who benefits by the student loan industry?  Mike mentioned the staggering figure of 1.2 trillion dollars of outstanding student loans.

Our government, by backing these loans, is not only creating future generations of debt slaves, but making the cost of college skyrocket.

Don’t fall for it.  If you’re a parent, teach your children skills that may inflame a hankering for a specific trade. Don’t denigrate “blue collar trades”, because when your plumbing goes south, your electric panel breaks,  you need a new garage, or even a haircut, you won’t be calling that barista who has a degree in women’s studies.

 

Adrienne blogs at Adrienne’s Corner on any number of subjects – most of which she knows nothing about. 

 

By Steve Eggleston

Before I get to the bad news, I do have some good news, indeed the best news though it is almost 2,000 years old. Jesus Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Have a blessed Easter.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March jobs report, and it was a stinker. The non-farm payroll increased by only 126,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the fewest since December 2013. More telling, the number of employed increased by only 34,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis, with 96,000 people leaving the workforce.

The seasonally-adjusted labor force participation rate slipped by a rounded tenth of a percent to 62.7%, tied with Decmeber 2014, October 2014, February 1978 and December 1977 for the lowest since October’s 1977’s 62.4%, though each of those 4 months had a lower LFPR when rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. While the employment-population ratio remained at 59.3% for the third consecutive month, it was a weaker 59.3% as it slipped from 59.35% in January to 59.34% in February and to 59.31% in March.

Lest one believes that the Great Baby Boomer Retirement spree has started, ZeroHedge has the contraindicators, even if the more-shocking contraindicator is vastly understated. Those over 55 accounted for far more than the 34,000 increase in employment over the last month, with a gain of 329,000 jobs between February and March.

The understated portion is the comparison between the official start of the Great Recession in December 2007 and last month. I can’t duplicate his math, and the differing seasonal adjustments among the age groups make comparing different months of the year problematic, so I’ll use not-seasonally-adjusted numbers and compare March 2007 (the pre-recession March high) and March 2015.

In March 2007, there were 145,323,000 people employed, 119,838,000 of them between the ages of 16 and 54 and 25,485,000 of them aged 55 and older. In March 2015, there were 147,635,000 people employed, 114,375,000 between the ages of 16 and 54 and 33,260,000 of them aged 55 and older. While there were 7,775,000 more people aged 55 and older employed last month than 8 years ago, there were 5,463,000 fewer people between the ages of 16 and 54 employed last month than in March 2007.

If one thinks that is because there are fewer young people around, guess again. There were 816,000 more people between the ages of 16 and 54 in the civilian noninstitutional population last month than in March 2007. Yes it is true that the elderly comprise the vast majority of the population increase, with 18,231,000 more people aged 55 and older in the civilian noninstitutional population.

The employment-population ratio bears that out. In March 2007, that was 73.6% for those between 16 and 54 and 37.4% for those aged 55 and older. Last month, while it slipped to 69.9% for those between 16 and 54, it rose to 38.5% for those aged 55 and older.

By Steve Eggleston

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been missing in action the last few weeks. I’ve just been burned out. One can say the economy is, at best, stagnant only so many times before running out of ways to say it.

Unfortunately for the country, but fortunately for my writing block, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released their third and final read of 4th-quarter GDP. While the BEA found a bit of inflation between the first and third reads to avoid making the deflation indicated in the first read official, they reduced the annualized real GDP growth from 2.6% to 2.2%, which is the same as it was in the second read.

The biggest contributor to that growth is spending on health care (no, not health insurance, health care itself). Annualized spending on health care rose by $39.9 billion in current (not adjusted for inflation) dollars, and $35.3 million in constant 2009 dollars, to, respectively, $2,048.8 billion (current) and $1,836.6 billion (constant 2009). The +0.88 percentage-point contribution to the change in real GDP is the highest on record going back to 1959, and is also the largest positive single-component contributor to GDP change last quarter. It also marks the third consecutive quarter increased spending on health care contributed the largest percentage-point increase to the personal consumption expenditures portion of GDP change.

As for health insurance, there are continuing strong indications that, contrary to the claims made at the time PlaceboCare was passed, spending on health insurance also skyrocketed. There are innumerable reports of skyrocketing premium increases. Further, the larger “financial services and insurance” component of personal consumption expenditures added another +0.17 points to GDP change, after adding +0.35 points in the third quarter. The BEA should issue its estimates of net spending on health insurance in 2014 late this summer, and I’d expect another performance like last year, when it increased by $7.4 billion to $145.1 billion

The report also contains further evidence that much of the job growth over the last year would have been derided as McJobs a decade ago. Increased spending on food services and accomodations contributed +0.30 percentage points to GDP change, the third consecutive quarter it contributed at least +0.21 percentage points. The last time that category contributed more to GDP growth was the 4th quarter of 1999, and the last time the current level of growth has been sustained for at least 3 quarters was the mid-1960s.

Addendum – Tom Blumer blows up the AP meme that the PlaceboCare McEconomy is “durable”.

My latest piece for Watchdog.org: Is President Obama ‘pulling a Homer’ on energy, or is he smarter than that? is now up:

“To pull a Homer”: to succeed despite idiocy.

In “Homer Defined,” a 1991 episode of The Simpsons, the Springfield nuclear power is going into meltdown.  Homer Simpson (the inept lead character of the series) manages to save the day by choosing the right button to prevent the meltdown.

He is celebrated as a hero until it’s revealed that his choice of which button to press was just pure incompetent luck (eeny, meeny, miny, moe).  This coins the term “pulling a Homer,” whereby a person without wisdom or skill succeeds in spite of their own incompetence.

This is an excellent illustration of what has happened with the economy, both over the last six years and in the past two months of the Obama administration.

Has Barack Obama succeeded, and if so why does he compare unfavorably to Homer Simpson?  Well you’ll have to go to Watchdog.org to find out

 

I am a member of the American Middle Class. I work hard, I am devoted to my wife and family.

I listen to the news and try to stay informed.

From time to time I disagree with the news and opinion shows but that is what makes America great. The ability to disagree.

I have been pretty quiet as I have listened for a few years about how this economy is getting better (something I hear espoused from Washington DC regularly)…things are on the mend…unemployment is down…blah blah blah.

Let me introduce those news and commentators (aka uninformed talking heads) to a few facts.

I have gone to college, I earned several degrees, in Physics.  My wife has multiple degrees in Chemical Engineering.  The economy for people with our educational background is supposed to be ours for the taking. Jobs should be there. They aren’t.

I do have current employment. It is with a large company that has been becoming smaller over the last few years. In fact it has gotten smaller by around 15%. My wife, after taking a few years off to raise kids, is attempting to reenter the work force and found zero opportunity (even with a background in nano materials).

At my employer, in the last two years, I have received a 3% raise and a 0% raise the following year.  I have worked uncompensated overtime, I have worked weekends, nights, whatever it took…I am told that I am no the only one in this position.

Ok, great I’m not alone…nice to know but doesn’t make life better as my family has to do less with more thanks to rising costs of everything from food to health insurance.

Perhaps I am not working hard enough you say?

In the last 5 years I have had 9 US Patents issued (my employer enjoys the rights to and they should as I was given a salary while working on those inventions), helped write 5 different successful proposals for my employer, authored 2 referred journal papers in my field, and written 7 books (including 2 that have entered the top 100 in their eBook category on Amazon), and pickup consulting work whenever I can.

Our family’s lifestyle has not changed for the better.  Thanks to rising costs (especially healthcare, auto insurance, and fuel) our lifestyle is basically the same (if not slightly less) than what it was three years ago.

So, when I see the news and they say the economy is getting better because unemployment is down or the DOW is up, what do I think? I think yes unemployment is down, because people have stopped looking and other people have 2 jobs just to keep up with rising costs. The DOW is up? Sure people heavily invested are making money, those of us trying to save some money so we can invest are screwed.  If you had money back when the market was down and put it in you have done well.  If you wanted to make money to invest and have some of that same rise in your savings, you, again, are just out of luck.

When I talk to politicians (and I have) what I get told is, well the numbers show it is better.  When I talk to my friends we are all in the same boat I am in.

So who is it getting better for?  For whom does the NYSE bell ring?

My guess, in the eyes of these politicians, as long as the donors are doing well the rest of us can just ‘wait our turn.’

Well, you won’t hold me back, I am the American worker.  I will work harder and longer if I have to in order to make a go of it in this country, and when I do succeed, and I will, I assure you incumbents beware….I’m coming for you…We know who messed it up and it is no longer a Republican or Democrat thing.  It is the inside the beltway mafia staying in power thing.

We have had enough, and this economy needs to be the focus of every decision in that town. Sucking more money out of it, writing regulations that hurt me, or whatever else Washington is going to do to us must end. We will succeed, despite those people in Washington or I don’t deserve to be called an American.

Autumn pipes
Next stop Atlantic Ocean?

By John Ruberry

President Obama may soon find out what how it feels to be un-upped by Canada in a hockey-style shootout.

Since his inauguration nearly six years ago, Obama has been dragging his feet in regards to approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed pipeline will bring much-needed petroleum from our friends in Alberta in Canada to the United States, which will lessen our need to import oil from hostile regimes such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. I can’t imagine America buying oil from the Islamic State, but more oil on the market means cheaper prices, which will of course harm ISIS and bolster our national security.

The northern segment of Keystone will pass through the Dakotas and Nebraska. There is a smattering of local opposition in the Cornhusker State and some legal obstacles, but let’s be clear: Obama, the man who bragged earlier this year that he doesn’t need Congress to make things happen because, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” would have found a way to break ground for Keystone XL by now if that’s what he wanted.

But Obama is of course more concerned about the needs of his wealthy environmentalist donors, who either believe that the era of fossil fuels is over or that the use of this Canadian oil will contribute to global warming. Obama, who once promised to heal the planet, is on the verge of being outmaneuvered.

TransCanada Corp., the mover behind Keystone, is strongly considering an-all Canada pipeline for the Alberta petroleum, Energy East, the terminus of which will be at St. John, New Brunswick on the Atlantic Ocean. The oil can be shipped from there to America or to western Europe, which will be welcomed with open spigots by countries fed up with buying petroleum from Vladimir Putin’s Russia.Canada

Bloomberg News is reporting that the supporters of Energy East are very confident that it will be built. A proposed western Canadian pipeline could still be constructed, although that route faces opposition from some Canadian First Nations people.

But if Keystone is built, it will mean up to 40,000, good paying–and are you reading this Obama?–union jobs. If the new pipeline from Alberta never crosses American soil, those jobs will taken by Canadians. Meanwhile, we have to go back to the sad Jimmy Carter years to find a time where the American labor participation rate has been lower than it is now.

I can imagine Obama looking north soon, as Jay Gatsby did from West Egg at the green light at the end of Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s pier, at those thousands of new jobs north of the border.

The last words are for the environmentalists: Despite your numerous protests and your arm-twisting of Obama, that oil is going to be pumped from the sands of Alberta whether you like it or not. Your Canadian War is over.

You lost.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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