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Hope, Change, and Unemployment

Well, that didn’t take too bloody long, did it?  Within 48 hours of the takers overpowering the producers at the polls, the following companies have announced layoffs:

Westinghouse, Research in Motion Limited, Lightyear Network Solutions, Providence Journal, Hawker Beechcraft, Boeing (30% of their management – gone), CVPH Medical Center, US Cellular, Momentive Performance Materials, Rocketdyne, Brake Parts, Vestas Wind Systems, Husqvarna, Center for Hospice New York, Bristol Meyers, OCE North America, Darden Restaurants, United Blood Services, Welch Allyn, Dana Holding Corp., Stryker, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Smith & Nephew, Abbott Labs, Covidien, Kinetic Concepts, St. Jude Medical, Hill Rom. 

Among those companies announcing preliminary office and store closings within 48 hours after the election:

Caterpillar, Albrecht Sentry Foods, Target, Millennium Academy, KMart, The Andover Gift Shop, Grand Union Family Markets, Movie Scene, TE Connectivity (closing it’s Greensboro plant with 620 layoffs expected), Fresh Market, AGC Glass North America, The Roses, Meanders Kitchen, Harley-Davidson, Townsend Booksellers.  

Additionally, according to Human Events, the New York State Comptroller anticipates Wall Street layoffs to number approximately 10,000 by the end of the year. And just to add a little lagniappe to the mix, the Obama Interior Department has unveiled a plan to shut down 1.6 million acres of federal land to oil shale development. Think of it as energetically un-energetic.  

I’ve seen some back slapping and mutual congratulations amongst a few of my brethren on the road now that their guy won the election. I can’t help but look at the list of companies who are down sizing and notice those whose freight we carry. I wonder how many of these cheerful drivers just voted themselves out of a job? I wonder how many people look at the above list and notice the amount of cuts taking place in the medical industry. That can’t be good.  

No worries, though, because even as all reality breaks lose, Dear Leader is on the case. He announced today that his flexibility includes the inflexible demand that tax rates go up for the people who do the producing and the hiring, virtually ensuring still further layoffs and closures as businesses fight their government just to survive. “You know, at a time when our economy is still recovering from the great recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth,” said the President, even as pink slips rain upon hapless hopey changers across the land, from bureaucracy to shining bureaucracy.  

“If we’re serious about reducing the deficit,” says the man who added almost $6 trillion to it in four years, “we have to combine spending cuts with revenue.” Uh oh. “And that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes.” Hear the moving vans yet?  Because you see, the wealthiest, who make about 18 percent of the nation’s income, also pay about 38 percent of the nation’s taxes.  

Question: Why so timid? If it isn’t enough that the top 1 percent should pay 38 percent of the tax burden, how is paying “a little more in taxes” going to correct the imbalance? The President won, right? The people are on his side, correct? So why not hammer down, as we say on the CB?  Gas on it, driver! Crank the rate back up to Jimmy Carter levels, with a top rate of 75 percent! As my grandfather used to say, “If you get your feet wet in the river, jump in!”  

Claim your mandate, sir, and assume the mantle of Your Royal Fairness. Why cheat your legions of supporters from the pink slips and catastrophes they so earnestly desire? God knows the Republicans won’t stand in your way, having lost first the election, and now their spine. Hell, they’re even congratulating you on your victory, which, come to think of it, is like congratulating the burglar for ransacking your home. So go for the gusto and let ‘em have it. Meanwhile, we’ll just keep score on the ratio of hope to despair, of change to disaster, and of fundamental transformation to destruction, in the hope that when Americans have had enough there will still be enough of a country left to salvage. 

  1. genferei
    Lavaux … I was thinking the same thing, particularly after reading that 8 of the 10 richest precincts in America went for Obama. Fine, now ya gotta pay, suckahs!

    How about some enterprising activist/journalist goes through the list of Obama/DNC etc. contributors, matching them up with the richest in the land, and asks those folks to confirm: (a) whether they paid more in tax and charitable contributions than Mitt Romney did; (b) whether they voluntarily contributed more to the Treasury than was required; and (c) whether they pay their tax accountant more than their secretary.

    Oh, who am I kidding…

  2. genferei

    Hell they’re [the GOP] even congratulating you on your victory which, come to think of it, is like congratulating the burglar for ransacking your home.

    I don’t think this analogy really works – no one is saying O won because he broke the law. Lied and smeared and covered-up with the usual assistance of his acolytes in the MSM, yes, but not really burglary-level crime. And not against the GOP.

    Perhaps it’s more like Charlie Brown congratulating Lucy for snatching the football away. Yet again.

  3. ctruppi

    Great post Dave.  You’ve touched on what’s been announced, which are bigger companies.  I have a good friend who owns a small company (appx 25 employees).  He’s been able to weather the Obama ecnomy , but has decided that he doesn’t have the fight in him for another 4 years and will be closing his company after the new year.  He will make sure to tell his employees that he can’t continue operating with Obama still in office. 

    How many of these small  businesses are out there that don’t make the headlines or newsfeeds?  We’re living an economy of death by a 1000 cuts.

  4. Scott R
    Jim Ixtian

    Indaba: Tax Hollywood.

    It might be too late for that. More and more filming is done outside of California in places that have actively sought out filmmakers like British Columbia, Australia, New Zealand, etc. · 7 hours ago

    The blockbuster Avengers was filmed in Cleveland of all places, since, to date anyway, we’re tax friendly on that particular activity.

    CA’s suicide is proving a boon to so many, even semi-sorta-basket-cases like OH. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

  5. Scott R
    Trace: Yes, this is maddening. They think it’s out of spite. Just the same way they think that not simply using cash on hand to pay salaries whether or not there is a market for their goods is unpatriotic.

    But I do fear that this is how nationalization of industries begins. · 8 hours ago

    Douglas: BTW, Twitter is full of liberals saying things like “This is just revenge against Obama! It’s Un-American!”. LOL, idiots. You bought it, you own it. · 1 minute ago

    These dodobirds don’t understand the “tragedy of the commons”: Even if a particular business or cooperation wanted Obama “punished” with higher unemployment, they’d still leave it to their competitors to do the punishing and base their own decisions strictly on their own best interests. As would all their competitors, of course, and hence “punishment” of this sort is impossible.

  6. Standfast

    Here is my two cents.  We are no longer a nation of two ideologies.  We are a nation of two cultures.  Unfortunately, I do not think that even a great depression can bring the two back together. 

    Our culture, the one that  believes in Constitutional principles and in a higher power, must start to build our own institutions.  We must start to build, somehow, our own economies.  Somehow we must gather together, in one place, and build our own society while the rest of the world destroys itself.

    May God lead us all to do the things we need to so that we can survive as a people.

  7. Baja
    Purplestrife: I have three questions for every poor sap who gets fired in the next year because of Obama’s re-election:

    (1) Did you vote for Obama?

    If yes, (2) are you happy now that you got the entirely predictable result of re-electing Obama?

    If no, (3) will you listen next time? · 10 hours ago

    Edited 10 hours ago

    I’m extending that to anyone who complains about anything to do with govt, healthcare, the economy etc…

    My question is “did you vote for Mitt in 2012?” If the answer is no then I don’t want to hear anything else come out of your mouth.

  8. liberal jim

    While I don’t disagree with the characterizations of Obama, I am more inclined to the view of A. Codevilla that the primary problem is a corrupt, bi-partisan ruling elite.  I can’t believe anyone honestly believes that the out come of a fifth episode of negotiations between bonehead Boehner, no-nuts McConnell and Obama will be that much different than the out come of a bi-partisan seeking Romney and Harry,  I never saw a dollar I wouldn’t steal, Reid would have been.

    For the last 12, I would argue 24, years, the country has been surviving in spite of what has been going on in DC.  Face it things won’t be much different no matter the party in charge until someone finally flushes the toilet in DC.   That is what the TP was trying to do, but it seems the professional politicians of both parties have prevented that thus far.

  9. Trace

    The list is even longer Dave when you include companies cancelling expansion plans and dividend payments. That all began today as well.

  10. The King Prawn

    Mencken’s definition of democracy is the background on my work computer now.

  11. HeartofAmerica

    In the last five months, my employer (a 100 year old) international company, has offered a buyout to employees with 15 yrs of service and over 50 years of age in an effort to reduce 300 headcount;  combined three plants into two including offering a second buyout for the hourly employees of those plants in an effort to reduce 200 headcount; sold a subsidiary and recently started to reduce some further headcount by eliminating individual jobs in a variety of departments. I expect more reductions next year as they continue to look for ways to reduce costs and would expect to see another long-time subsidiary close it’s doors and other locations moved to our headquarters. But pretty soon you run out of things to cut and what then? I will hang on until they tell me it’s over. But it’s a hell of a thing to have to live with a perpetual sword hanging over your head not to mention the government’s continual hand in my bank account.

  12. Dave Carter
    C
    Trace: The list is even longer Dave when you include companies cancelling expansion plans and dividend payments. That all began today as well. · 5 minutes ago

    I’m not surprised, Trace.  Is there a comprehensive list of those someplace, or is it still unfolding?  

  13. Ambulance Driver
    Dave Carter

    Trace: The list is even longer Dave when you include companies cancelling expansion plans and dividend payments. That all began today as well. · 5 minutes ago

    I’m not surprised, Trace.  Is there a comprehensive list of those someplace, or is it still unfolding?   · 11 hours ago

    Dave, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this site, but I ran across it yesterday.

    http://www.dailyjobcuts.com/

  14. Jimmy Carter

    Gettin’ while the gettin’s good. I’m now selling out and looking for a government job.

  15. Indaba

    Tax Hollywood.

  16. Nick Stuart
    Dave Carter

    Trace: The list is even longer Dave when you include companies cancelling expansion plans and dividend payments. That all began today as well. · 5 minutes ago

    I’m not surprised, Trace.  Is there a comprehensive list of those someplace, or is it still unfolding?   · 4 minutes ago

    Betcha lunch next time you’re in the western Chicago suburbs that this is going to unfold for a while.

  17. Dave Carter
    C
    Nick Stuart

    Dave Carter

    Trace: The list is even longer Dave when you include companies cancelling expansion plans and dividend payments. That all began today as well. · 5 minutes ago

    I’m not surprised, Trace.  Is there a comprehensive list of those someplace, or is it still unfolding?   · 4 minutes ago

    Betcha lunch next time you’re in the western Chicago suburbs that this is going to unfold for a while. · 1 minute ago

    You’d win that bet.  But I’m still up for lunch.  

  18. dittoheadadt

    I’m thinking, if Boehner isn’t run out of town on a rail by the House GOP (which is my first choice), then he should double-down on Obama’s desire to tax the rich and push for a 70% tax on income over $1,000,000.  Forget the piddling few percentage points on the +$250k.  Make Obama put his money where his mouth is.  Make it a tax hike that can be laid ONLY at Obama’s feet.

  19. jkumpire

    That’s bad enough. what worse are the huge number of young people who won’t have a hope of finding a job, especially the poor and needy. 

  20. Xennady
    dittoheadadt:  Make it a tax hike that can be laid ONLY at Obama’s feet. · 

    Great idea, but the present GOP leadership has all the political sense of Todd Akin without the charm.

    Long ago democrat Senate majority leader George Mitchell forced Bush 41 to put in writing that he was violating his no new taxes pledge.

    And Bush 41 did it, not understanding or not caring about the long term damage to the GOP that continues to this day. That’s the sort of leadership the Republican party is saddled with. Alas.