Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Let not Obama leave alone any chance to kill jobs. Oysters. The Obama Food and Drug Administration plans to ban sales of raw oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico. Unless, unless they are pasteruized. Yum, the FDA will augment the delicious salt-water flavor with "mild heat, freezing temperatures, high pressure and low-dose gamma radiation. Oh, yes maybe 15 people die each year from oysters. This a $500,000,000 industry that Obama wants to either devastate or garner campaign contributions for not banning sales.  No Jobs Obama is living up to his name. 

And speaking of the FDA, it's looking for more money to inspect plants, set safety standards for fresh produce and additional regulation, including 350 more employees (of course) to increase the size of government during recessionary times.  Get this: the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ("HELP") Committee is in charge.  HELP is right!

The Obama Justice Department will try to squelch jobs in the optical-drive industry by launching subpoenas for information from Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp., and Sony Corp., with the Chief Economist of the Federal Trade Commission saying that the FTC is targeting the technology industry -- the only hotbed of innovation other than Obama, Congress and liberal judges -- to "assure economic innovation" and campaign contributions. The FTC also said it had been looking into Intel's marketing practices.

While Obama is stopping oil exploration, drilling and the building of nuclear powerplants in their tracks. The competition is moving in. Repsol YPF SA of Madrid, Spain, has invested deeply over the past decade into oil and gas exploration and is hitting paydirt, while U. S. companies are handcuffed by government domestically. Repsol made a huge new discovery in the Gulf of Mexice adding to its Shenzi field there. Last year it was involved in three of the five largest discoveries in the world. President Obama apparently wants to cripple the energy production in the United States. Why?

This one's great! Obama is doling out $2,300,000,000 to wind turbine producers to create jobs, including $500,000,000 to a dozen wind and solar farm projects. One a 36,000 acre West Texas developed by Shenyang Power Group...and if that sounds like a Chinese name, you are right. Its purchases will create 300 jobs in the United States and 2,500 jobs in China. China jobs with our money. Obama you are insanely stupid.

Understanding they don't want to compete honesty, the American Booksellers Association has asked the Departent of Justice to investigate a greast deal for comnsumer, but who cares about them?  Wal-Mart, Amazon and Target have slashed prices on some upcomin best-sellers, so the ABA is begging for help from Washington DC to put especially union-despised Wal-Mart in its place. Political connection competition.  One would naively think lower prices are good for consumers, who pay less.  But not in Washington DC.

Daniel Tarullo, a Democratic lawyer was appointed by President Obama to come down with a firm hand on banks with his proposed new restrictive guidelines to be carried out by his 2,858-person army of regulators, covering virtually every segment of the financial services industry, probably including break times for executives. It is said Mr. Tarullo has a deep skepticism of banks, banking organizations and financial institutions. He's a micromanaging second-guessor who demands to make every little decision, thus neutering his staff. He's deeply into risk, business models and how the businesses should be managed. Mr. Tarullo taught banking law at Georgtown University and became fast idealogic friends of President Obama, neither with any real-world experience.  Yes interesting how people with no real-world experience think they can manage better....

The Obama Federal Railroad Administration has proposed rules to mandate billions of dollars of new safety hardware costs on railroads to prevent collisions.  The vast spending mandate -- near-term $2,000,000,000 increasing to between $7,000,000,00 and $24,000,000,000 in 20 years -- could lead to cutting passenger-train traffic.  It might prevent accidents that killed 25 commuters in Los Angeles in 2008.  Or might not.  But it will kill jobs.

Then there are jobs then there are jobs.  While the private sector sheds them like snake skin, the federal government is planning, according to the Partnership for Public Service, to add 273,000 -- a 41% increase -- during the rest of Obama's reign.  Each job must be paid for either by a tax on the rest of the country's taxpayers or by borrowing from foreign governments or U. S. citizens.  Government jobs do not create weatlth they destroy wealth.

Uncertainty, as this article from the Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2009, front page A 1 indicates kills jobs.  [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125659324579108943.html]  "(U)ncertainty created by Washington's bid to reorganize a wide swath of the U. S. economy."  7.2 million jobs have been kiulled since August 2007's start to this recession.

The Obama administration is setting aside 200,000 square miles in Alaska and its coast as "critical habitat" for polar bears that restricts off-shore drilling for oil and gas, thus further diminishing in-country access to USA oil and gas reserves, putting the country further at risk and dependent on foreign sources of energy.  And, of course, diminishes jobs in Alaska and the country as a whole.

Obama's Internal Revenue Service continues its revenge on the successful.  IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman is targeting the very wealthy -- of course those typically-successful people who make the vast majority of the venture and new-business investments in the country -- by "better understanding the entire economic picture of the enterprise controlled by the wealthy individual.  I am sure this very threat will create more job-killing uncertainty in investors. 

New businesses in their first 90 days created 14% of all the hiring in the 15 years from 1993 to 2008. These new business starts tanked to 187,000 over the last year, the lowest since 1995. Jobs? The fewest at 794,000 since 1993.  And the following posts outline the initiatives by President Obama to damage business and kill jobs.

The Obama Food and Drug Administration will start cracking down on cereal logos because his Commissioner Margaret Hamberg thinks some might be misleading.  I don't imaging she'll crack down on hambergers.  What little miniscule business corner isn't under attack by this anti-free-enterprise president?   I guess he thinks jobs are created by Washington DC politicians and bureaucrats.  That's what you learn from Harvard Law School and ACORN.

Obama's Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will investigate oil-shale leases in Colorado and Utah made by the Bush Administration.

Uncertainty incents companies to hold on to their money rather than invest it in creating, for example, new jobs.  Obama advisors are examining the hugest of the huge uncertainties.  Whether to make less financially attractive the ability of corporations to raise money through debt (which is tax-deductable) rather than equity (the sale of stock, which is not tax-deductable).  Mr. President keep killing jobs, after all you have one.  For now.

Private-family investment funds or so-called family offices, of which there might be 1,000 world-wide with assets over $100,000,000 (half of them over $1,000,000,000,000), have been placed in the target of Democrat lawmakers for regulation like hedge funds which raise money publicly.  That should get them to reign in that horrible activity such as investing in venture capital and developing companies.  But not to fear many have banded together to lobby, and in all likelihood, provide members of Congress with additional campaign contributions and the like.  Hiring Jake Seher, a former top aide of Joe Biden and Thomas Quinn, top Democratic fundraiser and good bud of formerly-alive Senator Kennedy for $60,000 a month!  Hmmm.  But as one Democratic representative said, they'd have to obey some rules in order to continue to "play in OUR capital markets".  "OUR" being my emphasis and my wondering if he thinks the capital markets are owned by...politicians ("our"), Democrats ("our") or who.  Free enterprise?  Hmmmm. 

And once again the Obama administration is extending the dependence the United States will have on foreign oil.  His Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected the modified design of a next-generation nuclear power station from Westinghouse Electric Co. (a Toshiba Corp. division).  Seven U. S. utilities are seeking licenses to build 14 of them in five states.  Obama's action may well delay planned completions around 2016.  But, hey, who needs cheap, clean nuclear energy when we have bat-killing windmills (more on that later)?  I may be a cynic but Obama's wholly-owned media service, NBC, is owned by the General Electric Company, a manufacturer of nuclear power stations for decades.  Oh, just a coincidence.

And to further hurt businesses large and small and kill jobs, the Obama Labor Department is stepping up union-desired oversight of workplace-safety programs.  Let's see, because of 12 workplace constuction-related deaths on the Las Vegas Strip for 2006 -- 4 a year, compared to 40,000 deaths a year from the common flu.  And some union representatives weren't notified of fatality investigations and couldn't talk to investigators.  A no-no with the Obama Occupational Safety and Health Administration, part of His labor Dept.  It had better hire some more union-represented, Democratic-voting investigators.  No doubt.

A proposed merger?  "No way," says the Obama administration.  "Free market"  (an oxymoron in the U. S.) negotiations between Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. and Live Nation Inc, are continuing, with no final decision, but the U. S. Justice Department is demanding changes to an agreement not made or they'll sue to block a merger only under discussion.  "Big is Bad", says Obama, except of course for government which is run by omnipotent politicians trolling for campaign contributions.  No doubt.  And surprise, surprise competitors, politicians and "consumer advocates" whatever they really are have complained.  Perhaps Barney Fife could have the combined entity make sub-prime loans to poor people who can't repay in order to have the merger approved.  That always works!

The U. S. banking industry reeling from bad loans and income-killing regulations from the Obama administration and U. S. Congress is facing yet another Congressional attack.  This time on fees banks charge merchants from so-called interchange fees set by Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc.  Accounting for $45,000,000,000.  Banks have been weakened by government regulations and mandates, and are thought to be politically vulnerable, what with being in some cases forced to take Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TWERP or TARP).  Obama is attmepting to run out all qualified banking managers by slashing executive pay on TARP-takers and "regulating" all other bank exec comp as well as slashing and changing contracts banks have made with consumers about credit cards.  Is anyone wondering when the U. S.-Obama federal government will weaken all banks enough to simply take them all  over and run them as public utilities?  Soon.

Obama's Environmental "Protection" Agency is killing jobs and hurting the domestic refining of oil exacerbating the need to purchase oil from the Middle East and other foreign countries, by objecting to a federal air-permit application of BP PLC to expand its refinery in Whiting, Indiana for $3,800,000,000 (sounds like a lot of jobs).  EPA felt BP doesn't know enough about the "best available techmology and lowest achievable emmissions rate" now, because months ago EPA did give it a permit.  Obama's EPA knows more about technology, of course, than the hated and evil Bush administration.  Obama's job-killing program to continue the U. S. dependence on foreign oil.

Mr. Obama, job openings in August were 2.4 million, down from 2.41 million in July (and off nearly 50% from August 2008!) and were at the lowest level since tracking began by the Labor Department in 2000.  Job separations, quits, retires or laid-offs reached 4.27 million in August with hirings of only 4.01 million -- an historic low.  And all you can do is hurt businesses, as this post proves.  You are sinking the boat you had no hand in building: the prosperity of the United States of America.

Wall Street Journal, October 10 - 11, 2009, page B 1:  "Democrats Weigh Tax On Financial Transactions".  This possibly proposed new tax is "gathering support in high places", labor unions and Democrat legislators especially Rep. Barney Fife (oops, Frank) (D.,umb) especially as a way to finance a new stimulus.  The article also mentions that the concept was slipped into Obama's "stimulus bill" unbeknowst to Congress and in all likelyhood, Obama, none of whom apparently even read it anyway.  It was only $787,000,000,000!  The insertion calls for requiring -- requiring -- the president to submit legislation that pays for any eventual financial shortfall in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TWERP).

And while we're at it, let's go after IBM for running two Japanese companies out of the mainframe business.  Fujitsu Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd. couldn't take the heat from IBM so they abandoned the business in 2001.  Now mainframes are probably around 20-25% of IBM's revenue and double that percentage in operating profits.  Interestingly 10% the server market, pioneered by micro computers and software, is in mainframes.  A micro computer company, T3T Inc., of Tampa, uses Intel microprocessors and IBM's software for this market.  When IBM refused to license its newest z/OS operating system software to T3T, it sued for antitrust, but the suit was dismissed in New York federal court because it "does not constitute anticompetitive conduct"  So the Obama antitrust administration's Justice Department has, of course, step in over the courts and is launching an "inquiry".  Let's take down to size the longest-lived technology company in America.  At the very least pry some more lobbying money, attorneys fees and campaign contributions out of it.

The Obama Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating again, this time some accounting and disclosure issues for the nation's fifth largest seller (closed sales 2008) and builder/developer of homes.  The industry in general is suffering from overbuilding, high inventories of unsold homes and foreclosures and, of course, the recession and job losses.

The Unites States' 1997 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act hasn't been used much since passage, but the Obama administration has charged a dozen individuals working for corporations with violations.  This virtually unprecedented indictments instead of companies will diminish American companies' appetite for foreign business in part because of the uncertainty and in part because the statutes are confusing and unclear.  And as such can be interpreted arbitrarily.  One exec (founder of Dooney & Bourke) was charged not with doing but knowing his employees might possibly be making illicit payments.  So much for the Rule of Law.   (Please see "The End of the Rule of Law (Part Two)" below.)

Diminishing business is a keynote of President Barack Obama, as this post points out.  Also other posts outline the same intiatives.  Please see "Break Job-killing Union Monopolies and influence".

Montsanto Co. the largest agricultural seed company in the U. S. is targeted by the Obama Justice Department's vendetta against business.  It is scrutinizing "competition" in the U. S. and looking perhaps to overturn an acquisition approved by the George Bush administration, that of Delta & Pine Land Co. in 2007.  Seems big is bad, except when it comes to government.  Yes, Montsanto must be a bad seed!

Consumer credit -- the fuel for consumer spending but also entrepreneurial and small business activity (small firms under 500 employees create two thirds of new jobs and is half the nation's work force) dropped almost 6% in August, 2009, the 7th month in a row, longest since 1991.  Credit card lines alone have plunged some 25%.  So what would No-Jobs-Obama (NJO) do?  Cripple banks with more than fifty comprehensive rules.  It's President Obama's upcoming Consumer Finance "Protection" Act.  Consumer credit is off nearly $120,000,000,000 since July 2008, and lowering it more, of course, will protect consumers from their own base instincts to borrow.  What?  Oh, yes, if they can't have the freedom to borrow, they won't have to worry about the freedom to spend and repay as they wish.  What?  Yes, the president knows better how we should.  Should what?  Should do everything.  And under Democrat Barney Fife (oops, Frank) Chairman of the House Financial Services committee, this proposed new Obama agency will have a Czar who could declare products and services unilaterially "unfair" or "abusive", and force litigation (rejoice trial lawyers) not the much cheaper arbitration.  Czar'd collect fees and essentially dictate how financial institutions and banks do business. 

And you want innovation in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry? You'll have to wait.  Wait until President Barack Obama's anti-business Food and Drug Administration finishes undertaking (an appropriate word) a major review of device approvals under so called 510K, a program that has worked successfully for decades.  Head of the program, Donna-Bea Tillman needs to "get a better lay of the land" and wants all reviews by her subordinates to pass by her.  This in "furthering" of Obama's FDA head, Peggy Hamburg's "new direction" which seems to be both micro-managing and anti-business.  And perhaps those delays will lead to massive new campaign contributions to the Democrats, but that's a bit cynical on my part.  And Obama's mantra of "No New Jobs" continues.

No-Job -Obama's Environmental "Protection" Agency is proposing new rules to force private-sector power plant, factory and oil refining companies to spend vast sums of money for expensive new capabilities to cut carbon-dioxide emissions.

Energy companies which do "mountain top mining" for coal, which blasts hilltops of up to 800 feet, extracts coal, then rebuilds the hills, are now stopped dead by the Barack Obama No-Jobs Environmental "Protection" Agency. In a typical conflict between private enterprise and unelected, but politically powerful special "environmental" anti-business interests, Obama typically comes down on the side of No Jobs. In this case 79 permits are held up, with another 180 waiting, costing according to industry, thousands of jobs. But as a Wall Street Journal points out (Ovtober 8, 2009, page B 1)[online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703298004574459363401191286.html] this move would shift coal production from low-voter Appalchian states to the important mid-west swing vote states of Illinois (hmmm which president is from here?), Indiana and Pennsylvania.  Is that being cynical?

Want jobs, president Obama?  Read a letter from Merrie Spaeth, Dallas, to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2009 (page A 24):  "Businesses are not hiring because we have no idea what next year will be like."   She laments confusion and lack of clarity about taxes and about tax-tinkering every year.

Something like 26% of consumers overspend their checking accounts (and 5% account for 68% of it according to an article in the Seattle Times, "Banks will try to offset lost fees, Spetember 243, 2009, page A 12) and, thus those irresponsible minority are saved once again from the evil banks.  So Congress will dictate how the banks are to price and contract.  Central control of our economy by Democrats.  What will happen?  Banks profits will drop (at a time the federal government wants them to loan money out) and banks will shift their business so as not to lose that revenue.  Thus coinciding with the Democrats' core beliefs the responsible will bail out the irresponsible.  Thank you Obama and Congress!

How best to diminish business?  Cut and control compensation.  And of course, I believe it's just payback time for those who have been more successful than President Obama and his handpicked Democrat regulators ( "jealosy").  And speaking of regulation, Obama wants Kenny Feinberg his pay (Don't call me) Czar to dictate compensation for those pesky bankers who caused the entire world-wide meltdown and recession because of poor comp practices.  Checking rich bankers (including all financial companies at first, all other companies no doubt to come) will cut their tendency to be risky.  But who particularly defines "risk"?  Is being conservative and depending on the government-approved rating agency oligarchy being risky?  What is safe comp for one job?  $100,000?  $535,535? (At least one Obama Energy Dept initiative is "creating" "hundreds of green jobs" for Solyndra Inc. in a planned solar-panel factory by "loaning" it $535,000,000.  I wonder how will it repay the "loan" and that indicates a cost per job of $535,535 (for 999 jobs) to $2,675,000 (for 200) jobs depending on the definition of "hundreds".) $2,675,000 or simply $1,000,000?  But was it comp or simply the government's allowing, no promoting, vast leverage with which the banks could operate?  So, is Kenny going to sort out all of these issues and make the decisions, or will it be Obama, or his hand-picked Democrat elite?  Stay tuned.

The Obama administration is trying for all-encompassing curbs -- rather dictates -- on compensation for financial institutions.  The final proposal is a month or so away, but let the lobbying begin.  Campaign coffers fill!

Obama's new crop of regulators are doing what they can to hold down the growth and progress of business.  Yes, new rules on proposed business mergers will change how the new anti-business government regulates formerly free-enterprise mergers.  Now, my guess: how the regulators like the companies and other empathetic stuff.  Specific rules by which businesses can manage, not so much, but we'll see.

And yes, who better than to regulate business than a union boss guy?  But new Obama "senior counselor for manufacturing ("Don't call me Czar"!) Ron Bloom said he "won't dictate how much a factory should produce or the types of products it should make..." Whew.  Well except for whatever "green industries" might be.  But Obama lost his "green jobs" (Don't call me) Czar, former White House environmental adviser Van Jones, who called himself a Communist, has left the building.

But in the face of competition from abroad and anti-business activity in Washington DC, a little article about Farouk Systems, Inc. in the Wall Street Journal (August 24, 2009, page B1, "Coming Home: Appliance Maker Drops China to Produce in Texas") brings a little hope. The company, an entrepreneural creation of Palestinian-born hairdresser, Farouk Shami, sells $1,000,000,000 of hair irons and other hand-held appliances. He is moving production out of China to improve quality and image and better control inventory. Mr. Obama, back off. Let the free market grow and prosper and create jobs without burdensome regulation and unionization....

Dang! I have been updating this post for six months, and on August 31, somehow I deleted it all. So I am starting anew. In summary this post will describe instances where President Obama and his administration do things that hurt businesses and thus either reduce some jobs that businesses have created or diminish the possibility of businesses growing and producing new jobs. Simple. It outlines the tension between the president's pronouncements of "creating or saving 750,000 jobs" from the $787,000,000,000 "stimulus" and protecting the very entities that financed his election, which generally are anti-business, such as labor unions, trial lawyers and environmental activists, among others.

Obama's Labor Secretary is proposing to increase pay and enhance "protections" of seasonal farm workers. And a national electronic job agency to help farmers find U. S. workers, and for employers to prove they're looking for U. S. workers. Central control and command of farms, maybe? As typical unions love this and the actual owners of the farm businesses and the actualy employers of workers are against. Obama tried another anti-farm move earlier this year but it was struck down (FDR-like) in feceral district court. Mr. President, get rid of that judge!

The Obama Securities and Exchange Commission will give its attorneys even more authority and power to speed up new investigations of corporations. The SEC's challenge to business has opened 10% more investigations, granted 118% more formal orders, filed 147% mnore temporary restraining orders and filed 30% more cases, but who's counting? This in an effort to gain or retain 750,000 jobs in 2009! Huh?

And speaking of the "stimulus" apparently "only" about $88,000,000,000 has been spend by the first week in September, most on aid to struggling states, and aid and social programs which certainly do not support business, the only creator of lasting jobs and wealth. The only portion that might remotely help is the laughably-low $8 (eight dollars) a week tax credit to workers. And of course the entire $88,000,000,000 has had to be borrowed. While this didn't diminish business, it clearly didn't create jobs: (September 3, 2009)WASHINGTON (AP) -- The unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in August, the highest since June 1983, as employers eliminated a net total of 216,000 jobs; since Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden took office, the economy has shed 3 million jobs.

September 1, 2009, Erick at RedState.com [Erick.Erickson@RedState.com]: "Barack Obama Sneaks Through "Union Only" Order Shutting 8 in 10 Construction Workers Out of Federal Projects. There has not been a lot of coverage of this. It happened back in July and is only now winding its way through the federal system. Barack Obama and his administration are about to significantly drive up the costs of federal building construction. This is an astonishing reach. The Office of Management and Budget has directed that any federal construction over $25 million benefit unions. The order would make all federal construction projects 10-20% more expensive by requiring all contractors to either use union workers or apply inefficient union apprenticeship and work rules to their employees. Contractors would also be required to make contributions to union pension funds and other union programs that non-union workers will never benefit from.

This will hugely drive up the cost of construction of federal buildings and line the pockets of unions without even having union workers involved in the projects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that only 15.6% of private construction workers in America belong to unions. In other words, 8 out of 10 construction workers in America will be legally denied the right to work on federal building projects.

This is appalling."

Great news in the midst of a recession, right?

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