Saturday was a good day (Exclamation Point)! I woke up, which is always a good thing, had a great time of devotion, and then traveled with my wife, picked up the grand-daughter (dropped her off at school), and took the grandson with us to Portland. We picked up some equipment for the daughter, and then traveled to Braking Cycles on Powell. It was Braking Cycle’s one-year anniversary. It was great to support the ministry and make new friends. After we spent some time there we travelled back to the Couv, where we dropped off the daughter’s equipment, and then went home and the grand-son helped with my yard responsibilities. He is now sleeping and I am writing. However, I did not post this blog on Saturday, and I have picked it up again after the midterm elections. I am interjecting my thoughts on the election.
First of all, I am appalled at the negative rhetoric in this campaign. I am horrified at Trump’s language, but I am just as appalled at the left’s willingness to do the same thing as they “resist.” Now the results are in, and it appears the Democrats will take the House, but the Republicans will increase their hold on the Senate. It also appears that Republican Governors will outnumber the Democrats. Congrats to the many women who have been elected in this midterm elections. Now is the time for leadership, not partisan politics.
My two favorite Presidents in my short life have been Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. People have strong feelings about both of these individuals, but both could lead. They both faced an opposition party that had control of all or part of Congress, but they got things done. If Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House and follows her desire to act like adults, then America wins. However, if she follows her rhetoric to destroy the GOP then America loses. On the other hand, we will now see what kind of leader Trump can become. If he tones down his rhetoric, just maybe he can get some things done even with a Democratic House. If he doesn’t then he will not have a chance in 2020. Obama never got the Congress on the same page as he, which is why, as much as people like him, I am not that impressed with him as a leader. He is eloquent, and smart, but I don’t put him at the same leadership level as Clinton and Reagan. Now back to this regularly scheduled show.
Today’s offering comes as a result of an experience I had at Braking Cycles. I had a conversation with Salvador. He is a young man who Transitional Housing helped get off the street and into a good paying job. He is now married and working in construction. It is a great testimony of the work Transitional Housing and Braking Cycles is doing with at risk youth. These ministries are not just about giving help, they are about giving young people skills and abilities to transition to a productive life. The greatest poverty reduction tool at our disposal is giving people the skills needed to be successful in their jobs. I think right now is an incredible opportunity for young people to find those jobs, good paying jobs, because of the booming economy.
In October business created 250,000 jobs. It also stated that wages grew another 3.1%, which is due to the tight labor market. In other words, there are so many jobs available that people have to leave a job they are currently at to take the new one. This means employers have to have better incentives, pay, to get employees to change, or stay. Over the last three months business has added, on average, 210,000 jobs. This is amazing for a nine-year economic expansion.
Although the unemployment rate has stayed the same, 3.7%, the workforce participation rate ticked up to 62.9%. This represents a prime working age (25-54) percentage of 82.3, a .7% increase. Teens increased to 35.5%, but the 20-24 year-old age group declined. Not sure why this occurred, maybe they are still living at home (just kidding). The labor force participation rate for those without a high school diploma increased to 47.7%. All of this is exciting.
What I find very interesting was reported back in May by the Washington Post. “The United States now has a job opening for every unemployed person in the country.” The Post also stated that “many business executives say their top worry is that they can’t find enough workers. Unemployment is at the lowest level in nearly two decades, and the jobless rate for African Americans and Hispanic Americans is at an all-time low.” This is the power of business to do good. It is about helping people have the ability to be productive and provide for their family’s needs. What is very good, “companies are revising their hiring practices to ensure that they do not rule out any potential good workers, especially those who might not have a college degree or people who have criminal histories and have served time in jail.”
I want to place this in juxtaposition with what just happened with the United Auto workers. It appears the justice department just convicted seven United Worker leaders and Fiat-Chrysler Executives for corruption and conspiracy. According to the WSJ, “The FBI’s three-year investigation has revealed that Fiat Chrysler executives funneled cash to UAW worker training centers in return for backing collective-bargaining agreements.” Union Leaders then used this cash for “lavish retreats to Palm Springs, condo expenses, and other things of value.” Regardless of one’s political affiliation, corruption is a possibility.
In this WSJ editorial the writers also discuss a report from the Detroit News about Union Leadership misappropriating union dues. “UAW Union leaders tapped the union strike fund to build an 1,885-square-foot cottage on Black Lake in Onaway, Michigan, for retired President Dennis Williams.” The hypocrisy continued when a UAW spokesperson said they always use union labor when available, but the news report stated that when union contractors are too expensive the UAW used non-union laborers to save money. Hmm, core values are one thing, but being pragmatic is another. This is the end of our regularly scheduled show, now another commercial.
Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Mitchell, and President Trump now is the time for leadership, not more partisan politics. The right does not have a monopoly on corruption, or even on politicians with allegations of abuse (Keith Ellison, Tony Cardenas, Bobby Scott, and Bob Menendez), the left has its issues too. Thus, it is time to stop throwing stones and work together for relief, development, and new social policies that help to create both economic opportunity and strong social programs. Good luck to the three of you, please for the good of the country exercise leadership instead of perpetuating hate.
And that is my thought for the day!