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Sunday, June 19

The Republic, for laughs

June 18:
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner may be at odds over taxes, the debt ceiling and the conflict in Libya, but for today at least, they put aside their differences for a round of golf. Obama and Boehner took on Vice President Biden and Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich in a game at Joint Base Andrews' golf course in Maryland.
"The foursome had great time and really enjoyed playing golf at Joint Base Andrews today," a statement from the White House said.[...]
WABC radio's John Batchelor is not amused.
Golfing Backwards for Laughs
By John Batchelor

The strange detail is that four government men make a peacock display of the game of golf in order to show common purpose with regard the fragile state of the US economy and the overbearing Federal debt load that threatens the nationals ecurity.
What do we learn from the theatrical exercise? These four government men are not in the same economy as the rest of us working fellows: they take the Treasury's check, and we pay the Treasury's bills.

Stats show there are 30 million American males working full time between the ages of 15 and 45. There are 15 million American men working full time between the ages of 46 and 65. The younger, larger group is frustrated and stuck.

Spoke with Mike Dorning, Bloomberg, to learn that one million fewer men and women are changing jobs each month now than before the Great Recession; that is a reflection of fear, caution, lack of choice, frustration, drift, underemployment.

In addition there are nearly 14 million unemployed; in addition hourly wages year over year (2010-2011) have retreated 1.6%.

In sum, the youngest workers are going backward in the same job.

All this adds up to tens of millions of men and women who do not have the leisure, cash, temperament or desire to play golf on a Saturday in June.
So what to conclude from the golf summit? These four government men have too much down time and not enough anecdotal information to realize that the US is in existential trouble.

What happened in the Great Recession of 2007, 2008 and 2009 is that the US government took money from taxpayers and gave it to the bankers and sharpies who crashed the economy with gambling dens and fraudulent markets.

TARP was theft from a generation of working men and women. The US government (Bush approved and signed: Obama and Biden and Boehner voted Yes; Kasich was out of office) colluded to take $1 trillion of TARP for the bankers and whatever else struck their fancy and whined loudly. TARP was theft from a generation.

Now the TARP thieves can golf together to demonstrate purpose? A golf ball on grass is meaningful? This is the Republic for laughs?
The podcast for John's ten-minute discussion with Mike Dorning is here (second interview).

The following chart backs up Dorning's observations. Yet what is doesn't show is how many of the employed males work in civilian government and in the military. Nor does it show how many of the males work as hamburger flippers in fast food franchises or in other menial jobs. Remove all three sets of workers from the tally and the true measure of how far and fast America is pedaling backward would come into sharper focus.

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