Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, July 6, 2012

Obama Not Adding Value To Jobs Market Or Economy (UPDATED)

President Obama is a "No Excuses!" kind of guy when it comes to education reform.

The only thing that matters to President Obama about teacher performance is test scores.

Are teachers "adding value" to their students' scores?

If not, they need to be fired, like in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where the president cheered the firing of teachers at a school in one of the poorest cities in the state.

High poverty, high unemployment, municipal bankruptcy, serious social and economic problems facing the students and community?

"No excuses!" says Obama. "Raise scores or be fired!"

Given his refusal to accept mitigating outside circumstances for why students might struggle in school, one wonders why he refuses to hold himself to the same standards when it comes to his performance as the nation's economic steward.

But he's not - he's still blaming Bush for the problems:

US unemployment stayed stubbornly stuck at 8.2% with only 80,000 new jobs added in June, dealing a potentially damaging blow to Barack Obama in the run-up to November's White House election.

The US bureau of labor statistics, in a jobs report published Friday, said the unemployment situation was "essentially unchanged" from the previous month, with unemployment at 12.7 million.

The Republicans seized on the figures to say Obama's attempts to stimulate the economy over the last three and a half years had failed.

Obama, campaigning in Ohio on Thursday, argued that he had inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression, and that it takes time to turn an economy around.

Here are some numbers we can look at to see how much value Obama has detracted from the economy:

Delving deeper into the figures, the unemployment rate for whites and Latinos is unchanged, but unemployment among black Americans has risen, to 14.4%.

About one-third of the jobs gained in June were in temporary services. Manufacturing added 11,000, its ninth straight month of gains. The healthcare sector added 13,000 jobs and financial services gained 5,000. Retailers, transportation firms and the government all cut jobs.


Analysts had anticipated an increase of at least 95,000 new jobs, a fairly modest target. But the figures were even lower than that.

And U.S. manufacturing is actually in recession again:

US factories saw their biggest one-month drop in orders last month since the 9/11 terrorist attacks as the effects from Europe's sovereign debt crisis rippled across the Atlantic.

Amid growing evidence that the battle to save the euro is now having a global impact, a key monthly snapshot of business in America showed manufacturing sliding into recession territory for the first time in three years.

Shares fell on Wall Street after traders were taken aback by a gloomy report from the Institute for Supply Management in the US, which followed downbeat news earlier in the day from China and the UK as well as the 17-nation eurozone.

Oil prices also fell back sharply, losing almost $2 a barrel amid concerns that weaker growth across the world economy would hit demand for energy.

Analysts were particularly concerned by the sharp drop in orders for US factories last month, the main factor behind a drop in the ISM's purchasing managers' index below the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction. The ISM said the fall - which puts pressure on the Federal Reserve to take fresh steps to boost growth - from 53.5 to 49.7 was the first since the US was last in recession in 2009.


"The fall in June's ISM manufacturing index to below 50 is the surest sign yet that the US is catching the slowdown already underway in Europe and China", said Paul Dales, US economist at Capital Economics.

Sure there are mitigating outside circumstances for why the jobs market has stalled and U.S. manufacturing is back in recession.

But "No Excuses!", Mr. President.

Add value to the jobs market and economy or go do something else for a living.

That's your message to public schools and public schools teachers.

Fair's fair - you need to live by your own rules too.

The NY Times picks up on the "It's Not My Fault!" angle Obama is trying to sell on the campaign trail.

Obama is not wrong to say these are long term problems that defy quick solutions.

I just wish he would acknowledge the same in public education.

But he doesn't.

Instead he sells a reductionist program of education reform - fire our way to the top.

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