Suddenly Jobs Stats Are Real, Out of Uniform
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 63
Econ 101: The economy added a healthy 235,000 jobs last month, dropping the unemployment rate just a tick to 4.7 percent and increasing the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week.
Although the Trump administration has done nothing yet to increase jobs, they were quick to claim credit. Jobs rose, in part, because business is optimistic about more favorable treatment by Trump.
The job and employment statistics are compiled the same way they were during the fall campaign when then candidate Trump said they were “phony” and real unemployment may be as high as 42 percent. Asked about that at yesterday’s press briefing, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he was told by the president to say, “They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.”
To Your Health: President Trump has formally thrown his support behind the Republican healthcare reform bill, putting him at odds with far-right members of Congress who say the bill does not go far enough to erase Obamacare.
The cost of the American Healthcare Act to the federal budget has yet to be estimated. And despite analyses that say the bill will cost millions of people their insurance, Congress is speeding ahead to pass it. Trump tweeted, “We are taking steps to stabilize health insurance markets and start bringing down costs for MILLIONS of people affected by #Obamacare.”
NY Times columnist Paul Krugman writes that, “If enacted, the bill would almost surely lead to a death spiral of soaring premiums and collapsing coverage. Which makes you wonder, what’s the point?”
He says, “Affluent young people might end up saving some money as a result of these changes. But the effect on those who are older and less affluent would be devastating. AARP has done the math: a 55-year-old making $25,000 a year would end up paying $3,600 a year more for coverage; that rises to $8,400 for a 64-year-old making $15,000 a year. And that’s before the death spiral.”
Silence: It’s been a week since President Trump accused former President Obama of committing a felony by ordering Trump’s telephones to be tapped last year. He has offered nothing to support his claim. Trump has kept a low profile this past week, but the White House press is not letting him forget it. Yesterday at a photo opportunity they peppered him with questions, which he ignored.
Out of Uniform: The scandal appears to be growing over a Facebook page called “Marines United” that featured nude pictures of female Marines, wives, girlfriends, and exes. At least 30,000 current and former Marines were members when the page was outed and shut down. But clones, including Marines United 2.0 and 3.0 have already popped up. Other military services may also be involved.
Military commanders worry that such treatment of women threatens equality in the ranks. Marine Commandant Robert Neller said, “These allegations themselves they undermine everything that we stand for as the Marine corps and as Marines.”
The Obit Page: Robert James Waller, who wrote the sentimental romantic bestseller, “The Bridges of Madison County,” died of cancer at home in Texas at age 77.
The novel was about a freelance photographer who goes to Madison County, Iowa to shoot pictures of its covered bridges and strikes up a four-day romance with an Italian-born farm wife whose family is away for a few days. It was made into a 1995 movie with Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.
Waller, who was a business school professor, said he wrote the story in just two weeks. “It all just came pouring out,” Waller told the New York Daily News. “Practically wrote itself. I just typed it. Almost couldn’t keep up with the words. I don’t know where they came from.”
Swoosh: Recognizing that there are more female Muslim athletes in the world, Nike has developed a hijab, the Muslim head covering, made for sports. Of course, it has the logo.