There were 155,000 new jobs created in December, slightly more than the monthly average for the year. October's number was moved up slightly, and November's number was revised upward to 165,000. The right was chanting before the election that the government numbers were being faked, and would be revised downward to negatives after Obama stole the election.
There were 30,000 new construction jobs and 25,000 new manufacturing jobs, both indicating real growth. None of the new jobs came from retailing with Christmas season sales being rather flat. Healthcare created 45,000 new jobs, the aging population and the fact that tens of millions of people now get healthcare for the first time would be factors in that number. That would include people who have insurance that they are no longer afraid to use, since they can't lose it under Obamacare reforms.
This isn't fantastic job creation, but is more than twice what we need to keep up with current population growth given that we have 'negative' immigration. The average wage in the private sector crept up by six cents an hour to $19.92. The problem is that the average is being driven by the huge number of people who don't get paid very well, but are seeing modest increases, while those jobs that actually pay a good wage are being eliminated entirely. Ten states enacted modest increases in the minimum wage with most still under $8. Canada's minimum wage is around $10/hour, or slightly more in some Provinces with serious talk of increasing that to $16/hour.
Republicans haven't lost their nerve when it comes to baldfaced lying in front of the cameras. Senator Mitch McConnell got prominent face time this morning by saying that the debt ceiling is all that stops Obama from spending money that we don't have. The fact is that the Constitution stops Obama from spending money. All spending bills must originate in the House, as any Senator well knows. Obama can't spend one dime that Congress does not appropriate, and in fact most of the spending is mandatory, he can't refuse to meet the requirements of the legislation even if he want's to. Sure he can trim here and there. Obama has saved hundreds of billions by eliminating Bush crony contractors, and other deliberate waste.
Still the Republicans dominate the news cycle where they are shown fighting the deficit dragon with their mighty swords sallying forth in their shiny armor. A fairy tale of course. Republicans can't spend money fast enough, they just try to make sure it doesn't benefit anybody who isn't in the oligarchy that they've pledged their fealty to.
The simple fact is that if rich people got no special rates on dividends, interest, capital gains, and no other tax breaks us peasants never see, there would be no deficit even in this depressed economy. If corporations weren't able to offshore profits that would be another $500 billion. Besides that, we don't know how much the wealthy have in their money bins by simply evading taxes entirely, but tax haven countries have between 20 and 30 trillion dollars in their banking systems, and it's not there legally.
If the economy were up to speed we'd have little or no deficit even with the rich doing so very, very well. Another fact is that the economy would come roaring back if these parasites weren't dragging it down by hoarding money. People simply don't grasp the basic concept that money only exists to make the economy operate. Rich people don't like a booming economy. A booming economy creates competition, and the common man starts thinking he can own things. All bad for the truly rich, and they won't stand for it. www.prairie2.com
Oh, and the solution for defeating pike men? Get the peasants to fight one another, then swoop in and run down the stragglers for sport.