Saturday Noon ~ thefrontpagecover

~ Featuring ~  
The Unemployment Rate Can Only Go So Low
Thomas Gallatin  
The Jones Act Is an Antiquated, Protectionist
 Policy Failure. Mike Lee Is Aiming to Kill It.
YE85LQ_aWqWtQI2RpSr7_7NyFdXhA0xuadWcKSpjydG6x8iFiagfQYcxqcNS0hlfYnh0KhrU9rXJVA6K_8sNoR-hag2BD-7IS83RP2j5KOnvauSmyf2Jl5kTyoc2AT5CzccfexBS3Vo=s0-d-e1-ft#%3Ca%20rel%3Dnofollow%20href=by Eric Boehm
{} ~ If you wanted to ship some widgets to Jamaica, you could hire literally any ship on the open oceans to make the delivery. But if you wanted to send the same cargo to Puerto Rico... you'd be allowed only to hire a ship that was built in America, crewed by Americans, and operating under the American flag. The reason? The Jones Act, a vestige of the 1920s that prohibits non-American ships from carrying cargo from one American port to another American port—including ports in American territories, such as Puerto Rico, Guam, and other far-flung islands. You don't have to work in the export business or have a degree in economics to see how that this is blatant protectionism for American shipping companies. And, indeed, shipping costs from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico are twice as high as prices to ship the same goods to neighboring islands. Those higher costs get passed along to consumers in American territories and in states like Hawaii and Alaska, which import much of their food from the lower 48. But those states don't get much of a say in Congress, so the Jones Act has persisted for decades. It's a clear example of public choice theory: American shipping companies enjoy concentrated benefits being able to charge higher prices because of artifically limited competition while the residents of Alaska and America's island states and territories pay the diffuse costs. "Restricting trade between U.S. ports is a huge loss for American consumers and producers," says Sen. Mike Lee (R–Utah), who introduced a bill this week to repeal the Jones Act. He's from a landlocked state himself, but Lee says it's long past time to act, "so that Alaskans, Hawaiians, and Puerto Ricans aren't forced to pay higher prices for imported goods—and so they rapidly receive the help they need in the wake of natural disasters."...
The Left vs. Life in General
28PIG62tL2OBaurqwgia6-PhenXt3pZ17dG40Woy-4HZbj1uDP7no9eeLAUT0NkNP305PbyMp0B56o9WRbe2vL8Qk2xZNch2NSothREOZ4x9gktd6L0=s0-d-e1-ft#%3Ca%20rel%3Dnofollow%20href=?profile=RESIZE_710xby Deana Chadwell
{} ~ The concepts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are dear, or once were dear, to the hearts of all Americans. These are the sacred rights of all human beings... “sacred” because they are God-given and are not derived from government, rather government’s only mandate is to provide cover for those rights. However, due to decades of twisted school curricula, and of postmodern, subjective journalism, we’ve arrived at a place where a sizable percentage of our population finds equality, immorality, and environmentalism superior concepts. In fact the left finds these ideas so compelling that they are willing to sacrifice the lives of us all to impose widespread adherence to these new gods. Equality alone is deadly. Despite its description as “leveling the playing field” there is nothing level, nothing honest about it. The left openly wants to redistribute wealth as if a cosmic unfairness had declared some rich and some poor and government’s job is to rectify that. That attitude might have made sense back in feudal times, when upward mobility was close to impossible, but it makes no sense at all in a society where millions have manufactured their own wealth and the door of possibilities stands wide open. At least for now. What’s worse is the audacity of some to think that they are the ones with the right to decide who gets what and that becomes even more audacious when you realize what wealth actually is. Whether we talk about the 1% or the middle class, wealth and property are bought with one’s time, effort, and talents. They are purchased with one’s life. After all, that is all that life gives us -- time and the capacity to use it productively. To take my property is to help oneself to my life, to say that my production belongs to someone else, not to me. Once a person has convinced himself that he has a right to my life in that sense, it doesn’t take long to assume that he has the right to also take the life of my body. Perhaps this explains the cavalier attitude of the left toward life in general. Leftists appear to be quite comfortable with killing infants...
Pompeo Reminds China It’s in Trump’s World 
Now with Use of Force Announcement
by Ben Marquis
{} ~ For the past several years, the communist nation of China has sought to expand and exert its influence over other nations in the region... specifically those that share the international and territorial waters of the South China Sea. By way of taking over existing uninhabited islands — or manufacturing man-made islands altogether — and then militarizing them with landing ships and missile launchers, China has established a presence and laid sole claim to waters that are at best regarded as open and international, and at worst already claimed by other nations in the area, such as the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. But per a report from The Washington Free Beacon, those efforts by China to impose its will and control over the regional waters that serve as a vital route for roughly $5 trillion in international trade annually have just run into the determined opposition of President Donald Trump’s administration, as was relayed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a recent visit to the Philippines.In a joint press conference with Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Pompeo made it abundantly clear that the United States would honor its long-held mutual defense agreement with the Pacific Ocean island nation against any sort of threat posed by China to their sovereignty. “As an island nation, the  Philippines depends on free and unobstructed access to the seas,” Pompeo said, according to a State Department transcript. “China’s island-building and military activities in the South China Sea threaten your sovereignty, security, and therefore economic livelihood, as well as that of the United States. “As the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, any armed attack on Philippine forces, aircraft, or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defense obligations under Article 4 of our Mutual Defense Treaty.” Pompeo was asked what sort of action the U.S. might take in the event it proved necessary in the South China Sea...
commie-Ocasio-Cortez hit with new 
ethics complaint over boyfriend's email account
by Perry Chiaramonte  
{} ~ A conservative group that filed a complaint with the FEC alleging Rep. commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's  campaign may have illegally funneled thousands of dollars... through an allied PAC to boyfriend Riley Roberts  on Thursday lodged a fresh complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics. The new filing also concerns the famous congresswoman's boyfriend, but focuses on his use of a congressional email account. The Coolidge Reagan Foundation, a political nonprofit, alleges in the complaint that the New York Democratic lawmaker used her newly found congressional privileges in an unethical manner when she set up the House email address for Roberts. “This Complaint alleges Representative commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez improperly converted U.S. House resources to her non-official, personal use by obtaining an official ‘’ e-mail address for her boyfriend, despite the fact he was not employed by her congressional office,” reads a line from the complaint obtained by Fox News. “Moreover, it appears she obtained the e-mail address for him by falsely designating him a ‘staff’ member.” Attorneys for the foundation allege that commie-Ocasio-Cortez violated restrictions on personal use of House services and equipment—as outlined in the House Ethics Manual. They maintain that the provision of an official House-based email address for Roberts is a violation of rules that prevent outside individuals from having an official account...
None of this is normal
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{} ~ A front-page headline in the Washington Post the other day declared: “Trump keeps his grip on GOP.” Hardly a scoop. It’s normal for a president to have a firm hold on his own party... And President Trump, an outsider who latched onto the Republican agenda, is no exception. A couple days later, the Post story in the upper-right-hand corner of Page 1 was heralded this way: “Democrats launch wide Trump probe.” That was putting things mildly. Half a dozen House committees with Democrats in charge are investigating Trump, his administration, family, appointees, political affairs, businesses, lifestyle, and various antics. This is abnormal. There’s never been an offensive so vast against a president by his rival party. It took only two committees — one in the Senate, one in the House — to look into the Watergate scandal and drive President Nixon out of the White House in 1974. But Trump is more popular today than Nixon was, and Democrats are taking no chances he might escape their grasp.The struggle with Trump defines Democrats. A liberal agenda is an afterthought. Democrats couldn’t pass one anyway, given Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell’s control of the Senate and a veto pen in Trump’s hand. Their only serious goal is to remove Trump from office or make him unelectable in 2020. It’s important to understand the Trump effect on both parties. He has captured the political part of the American mind. What this means is he’s constantly at the center of what Republicans and Democrats discuss, debate, or think about. He’s gotten in their brains. A whole tribe of political columnists have been affected. They can’t write about anyone besides Trump. His presence caused George Will, the great conservative writer, to quit the Republican Party. Trump’s rise prompted Max Boot, the military affairs expert, to become a liberal. The Never Trump cabal is small, but if you were running for reelection, you’d want those folks on your side...
The Unemployment Rate Can Only Go So Low
Thomas Gallatin:  The jobs numbers for February came in at a startlingly low number of only 20,000 jobs added, well below the 180,000 jobs many economists had expected. However, the headline employment rate dropped further than anticipated, down to 3.8%, while real unemployment (the U-6 rate) plunged from 8.1% to 7.3%. The really good news is wage numbers. CNBC reports, “Average hourly earnings increased by 3.4 percent on year over year, easily the best of the economic recovery that began nearly 10 years ago. That compares with a 1.5 percent increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers from January 2018 to January 2019. Economists had been expecting a wage increase of 3.2 percent.” It’s the seventh straight month of wages gains of 3% or higher.

So, what does this all mean? For one thing, it appears that as more and more Americans find gainful employment, the overall number of new jobs being filled will naturally decrease. Second, a lower unemployment rate means that employers will be competing for employees, which in turn drives up wages.

The low jobs-created number is somewhat concerning as it may indicate a slight slowing of economic growth, which Democrats are hoping turns into a recession they will then blame on President Donald Trump. As Mark Alexander wrote in December, “Caught in the Democrats’ political crossfire are tens of millions of American workers and their families whose jobs and income prospects will fall victim to the Demos’ politically induced recession — the direct result of having thrown economic confidence under the bus in order to attack Trump.”

Finally, this is only one month’s numbers, and a seeming anomaly at that. It will be more informative to see where everything stands at the end of the first quarter. But one more thing: The labor force participation rate remained at a five-year high of 63.2%. A lot of Americans are working.  ~The Patriot Post
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