Millions of Americans are suddenly “quitting” their jobs. But no, it has nothing to do with the “mandates”, right? (Op-ed)

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The  following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

WASHINGTON, DC- Have you gone to your favorite Dunkin or Starbucks lately at 3pm only to find a sign on the door saying “closed?” How about your favorite restaurant where you now have to place your order online because there isn’t enough wait staff?

According to the U.S. Labor Departments “Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey,” or JOLTS, a record 4.4 million Americans just up and quit their jobs in September. The number of available positions dropped down a bit to 10.4 million openings, Breitbart reported.

That number equates to about three percent, which rose slightly from 2.9 percent in August and 2.7 percent in July. According to Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), September’s number is the highest number on record in the past twenty years.

A number of reasons have been given for the numbers of people quitting their jobs, however one factor hasn’t been reported by either the federal government or the talking heads in the business media, the proverbial elephant in the room—vaccination mandates.

It is a fact that a large number of Americans are quitting jobs where there have been vaccination mandates, including public sector jobs such as police and fire, the Transportation Security Administration, and the military as well as hospitals and other healthcare businesses, plus now the transportation sector.

An honest government and media would address the fact that the vaccine mandates ARE having an effect on employment and that only stands to get worse as Biden’s vaccine dictate using OSHA as a smokescreen is set to take effect in January. 

He is using OSHA to try to hide the fact that he is in fact issuing a national vaccination mandate which completely busts yet another one of his “campaign promises.” Hopefully when this does make it to the Supreme Court they will do the right thing. 

The JOLTS report noted that certain job sectors had the most significant number of “quits,” while some stayed high but relatively unchanged from previous months. The report noted:

Quits increased in several industries with the largest increases in arts, entertainment, and recreation (+56,000); other services (+47,000); and state and local government education (+30,000). Quits decreased in wholesale trade (-30,000). The number of quits increased in the West region.

The leisure and hospitality, accommodation, and food service also reported high quit rates, however most experienced slightly more to no increase since October. The phenomenon has been labeled the “Great Resignation,” noting Americans are quitting their jobs in record numbers, thus creating significant shortages of workers for businesses. According to UPI:

Not only are the unemployed not filling these positions, but workers are also quitting their current jobs. This is not just an epidemic among the highly skilled who could afford to do this; sectors employing lower-skilled workers such as construction and leisure and hospitality are also not immune.

Fox Business noted that many Americans have been leaving their jobs and careers “in droves in recent months” and are reevaluating their careers during the pandemic.

“Some workers are seeking the ability to work from home while others have been lured by higher pay,” Fox Business said.

The Boston Herald meanwhile reported that in a separate report, U.S. consumer sentiment fell to a decade-low in early November, which appeared to reflect growing fears of the impact of inflation on their finances.

Over four consecutive months, the number of available jobs has topped 10 million. Prior to the pandemic, the record was 7.5 million. In fact in September, there were more job openings in September than the 7.7 million unemployed, a microcosm of why so many companies have had such a hard time finding workers.

For example in September, the number was 10.4 million job openings, a rate of 6.6 percent.

“Job openings increased in health care and social assistance (+141,000); state and local government, excluding education (+114,000); wholesale trade (+51,000); and information (+51,000),” the report stated. Job openings decreased in state and local government education, real estate, and educational services.

The rate of hires, meanwhile, were “little changed” at 6.5 million and 4.4 percent in September, BLS reported.

“Hiring increased in health care and social assistance (+109,000) and finance and insurance (+60,000). Hires decreased in state and local government education (-92,000) and educational services (-89,000). The number of hires was little changed in all four regions,” according to the report.

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If the job market isn’t bad enough, inflation is eviscerating the budgets of the American people and it is likely to get worse before it gets better. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

The following contains partial editorial content which is the opinion of the author. 

As if things are not bad enough for American citizens as the one-man pandemic known as Joe Biden bungles one crisis after another, now an energy CEO is warning the U.S., which only nine months ago was energy independent, may experience blackouts this coming winter, the Epoch Times reports.

According to Ernie Thrasher, head of Xcoal Energy & Resources, he told Bloomberg News that some power utilities feel they may have to implement blackouts this winter.

“We’ve actually had discussions with power utilities who are concerned that they simply will have to implement blackouts this winter,” Thrasher said. “They don’t see where the fuel is coming from to meet demand.” This follows in line with shortages and blackouts which have occurred in Europe and Asia.

Thrasher said utilities are switching from natural gas to coal during the fall and winter months in order to meet the anticipated demand.

The demand for power across the globe has surged as countries try to revamp their economies in the aftermath of the pandemic, which have triggered natural gas shortages in Europe and Asia.

Some power producers, among them Duke Energy have been warning customers bills may spike this coming winter. On Tuesday, Duke’s Piedmont Natural Gas unit predicted that higher gas prices coupled with lower demand will raise bills for customers in North and South Carolina by an average of about $11 per month.

“The whole supply chain is stretched beyond its limits, Thrasher said. His Pennsylvania-based company works in coal logistics. It’s going to be a challenging winter for us here in the United States.”

In New York, the state’s Public Service Commission told Bloomberg News that it is looking at utilities in an attempt to determine if there will be enough fuel supply for the winter.

“The utilities have hedged approximately 70 percent” of their residential electricity needs, they said, while continuing that they expected to be able to satisfy consumer demand.

While benchmark U.S. natural gas contracts have been rallying, in fact hitting seven-year highs, its $5.62 per million BTU’s prices is far below the $30-plus being paid in both Europe and Asia, according to Reuters.

Still, the upcoming cold has U.S. markets concerned, particularly in New England and California, where prices for gas to be delivered this coming winter is way above the nationwide benchmark. For example in New England, buyers are expecting gas to cost more than $20 per million BTUs.

Already, prices in New England are seeing January prices soaring, trading this week at over $22 at the region’s Algonquin hub, the highest price paid in a month since January and February 2014, during the great polar vortex.

“Henry Hub prices continue to climb for the winter months, but we should see even bigger increases on the East and West coasts for New England and California, said Matt Smith, lead oil analyst for the Americas at commodity analytics firm Kpler.

According to Reuters, James Shrewsbury, co-chief investment officer at e360 Power LLC, a gas and power hedge fund in Austin, Texas, the U.S. should be good if it is a “normal” winter. However sustained low temperatures could create shortages.

“If we get a prolonged cold this winter, there will be problems.”

Much of this has been caused by the climate change narrative, with suppliers being hesitant to increase production of some fossil fuels. This has resulted in U.S. utilities’ stockpiles retracting and it isn’t clear if the U.S. will be able to meet the increasing call for more fuel.

Meanwhile last month, an opinion piece in Fox News warned the Biden administration would be wise to heed what was going on in Europe and call on the U.S. energy industry to increase production, otherwise it could lead to one of the most expensive winters seen in years.

Increasing energy prices have led the way as inflation goes from bad to worse. The writer of the piece, Phil Flynn, a senior energy analyst at THE PRICE Futures Group, warned that with a prediction of a very cold winter, it is possible that prices for heating fuels could double or even triple, along with shortages in parts of the country.

In essence, this is an emergency and Biden needs to treat it like one, instead of directing the Justice Department to target and harass parents. Priorities, you know.

Flynn noted that according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, crude oil supplies are 8% below the five year average. Distillate inventories, which include products such as home heating oil are 14% below the five-year average.

Due to shortages of propane and natural gas around the world, countries will be looking to oil and distillate fuels to run factories and keep the heat on.

Propane, relied on primarily in rural communities, is showing at 21% below the five-year average what Flynn refers to as a “real danger.”

Flynn noted that where the U.S. was energy independent in January, we are now heavily dependent on Russia for our oil, with imports from Russia to the U.S. at all-time highs.

Why? Because Biden implemented short-sighted drilling moratoriums, sucking up to the far-left zealots in the Democratic party, as well as discouraging investment in the U.S. oil and gas sector, plus the overall demonization of the oil and gas industry by the Biden administration and the far-left neo-Marxist wing of the Democratic Party.

Of course high oil prices impact much more than just fuel for vehicles and home heating oil. A number of important products are made from by-products of fossil fuels, and any increase in the cost of crude oil has a domino effect on a number of other products. There is also the increased costs of transporting goods to market. All those costs will be passed on to consumers, adding fuel to the already raging fires of the Biden inflation boom…or is it bust?

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For a previous report on the “hidden tax” of inflation, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

WASHINGTON, DC- During the campaign, Joe Biden repeated ad nauseum that if he were elected, his administration would give the lower class a hand up. Unfortunately for the lower class, that hasn’t happened.

During the end of the Trump administration, the unemployment rate for black Americans fell for eight consecutive months, with black unemployment reaching historic lows.

Despite the fact the U.S. was dealing with the hangover from an unexpected pandemic, the unemployment rate for black Americans fell from 16.7 percent to 9.2 percent in January.

That recorded one of the fastest declines in unemployment in recorded history, according to Breitbart. That decline was short-lived however as the rate jumped back up to 9.9 percent in February, while recovering slightly to 9.6 percent in March.

However the malaise goes beyond black Americans. Low-income Americans across the board have all suffered setbacks in the early going of the Biden administration.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices jumped at a higher rate than expected in March. With a rate showing an annual gain of 4.2 percent, that is the highest jump since 2011.

Breitbart acknowledged that the number is somewhat of an anomaly created in part by a lowering in demand for goods and services due to COVID-19 restrictions. However even the monthly gains exceeded expectations, climbing 1 percent compared with forecasts which showed half of that.

Not surprisingly, inflation tends to affect those at the lower end of the income scale more severely than others. Since a larger percentage of their discretionary income goes into current consumption, any rise in prices obviously affects the bottom line.

Likewise, those on the lower end of the income scale tend to keep whatever savings they may have in lower-interest bank savings accounts rather than in equities or other investments which act as a hedge against inflation. They are therefore more vulnerable to the affects of inflation and deteriorated buying power, Breitbart says.

When digging into March’s prices hikes however it becomes clear why the inflation currently taking place in the early days of Biden’s reign are having more of a negative impact for those on the bottom end of the income scale.

Breitbart noted that gasoline prices, which we have all seen go up around a dollar a gallon since November rose 8.8 percent in March alone. It should also be noted that the lower third of household incomes spend more per capita on transportation than the upper two thirds, according to data from Pew Charitable Trusts.

Data from 2019 showed that transportation costs, which gasoline is a major part of, accounted for 17 percent of all household expenditures, according to Statista; this is the second highest category only after housing.

Food is next, and accounts for 13 percent of household spending. The news isn’t much better there, because according to March’s Producer Price Index, food prices rose half a percentage point in March and 1.3 percent in February. Over the past year, foot prices have risen 5 percent.

Juxtapose that with how household spending affects upper income brackets. For example, the top third direct about 8 percent of household income on transportation, Pew noted.

Statista showed a bit of a higher percentage for top earners; however it was still significantly below that for lower earners. Food also affects higher income earners less; it takes up much less of a wealthier family’s income.

Breitbart also notes that upper income households can actually benefit from inflation, noting that such households “have more fixed-interest type debt that is paid back in depreciated dollars in an inflationary environment.”

Conversely, lower income households tend to have more of “floating rate debt, such as credit cards. Those rates tend to rise along with inflation. Likewise, lower income households tend to be renters, not homeowners and as such rents tend to rise with inflation, whereas mortgages remain fairly constant.

Breitbart reported that inflation, in particular food and gasoline price hikes in fact act as a regressive tax, which hurts low income households more than higher income households.

While Biden promised to deal with the “inequality” between the poor and wealthy by raising taxes only on “Americans making over $400,000,” the “stealth inflation tax-hike” on low income households is having a significant effect on lower income Americans.

This is Biden’s America.

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Of course back in January, Biden put tens of thousands of Americans out of work with the stroke of a pen when he stopped the Keystone XL pipeline. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

WASHINGTON, DC – On his first day in office, President Biden “disrespected” Canada and reportedly killed over 70,000 American jobs. Within hours of taking office, President Biden signed an executive order revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Keystone XL pipeline is an oil pipeline system that was being built to connect oil fields in Canada with refineries in Illinois and Texas. The revocation of the permit will prevent the pipeline from being completed.

Ending construction of the pipeline will reportedly result in the loss of 11,000 direct jobs, and another 60,000 indirect jobs in support industries. The move has been blasted by both industry insiders and unions.

Association of Oil Pipe Lines CEO Andy Black said:

“Killing 10,000 jobs and taking $2.2 billion in payroll out of workers’ pockets is not what Americans need or want right now”

The association said they “lamented” the permit revocation which “blocked thousands of new jobs and deprived those workers of billions of dollars in payroll salary.”

Construction of the pipeline was expected to create 10,000 high-paying, American union jobs. Under a Project Labor Agreement between four American labor unions, $2.2 billion in wages would have been paid to American workers. Additionally, the pipeline builder budgeted over $3 billion in contracts to U.S. contractors and suppliers. All new steel pipes for the pipeline were required to be made in the United States.

The association also said that the Keystone XL pipeline project included significant environmental protections:

“Keystone XL would operate at net-zero GHG emissions. Its $1.7 billion investment in new, privately-funded renewable power infrastructure would provide 100% of the power to operate the pipeline.

The project sponsor also executed a renewable power MOU with North America’s Building Trades Unions to construct this renewable power infrastructure with a $10 million Green Job Training Fund for union workers. 

“Blocking Keystone XL may ironically lead to an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions…Denying construction of Keystone XL means much of that crude oil will travel by train or truck instead, producing greater GHG emissions, more air pollution, and more traffic congestion.”

Another point made by the association in a release posted on their website was that cancellation of the pipeline would adversely affect Native American communities:

“Native American partnerships in the project would generate more than $1 billion in equity ownership opportunities with input into construction and operations.

The project sponsor committed over $500 million for Native American suppliers and employment opportunities for tribal communities.

Rural America would lose out on over $100 million of annual property taxes that would have gone to rural communities.”

North America’s Building Trades Unions also issued a statement reacting to the President’s decision:

“Environmental ideologues have now prevailed, and over a thousand union men and women have been terminated from employment on the project,”

While not denying the inevitable loss of jobs, Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg claimed Thursday that the loss of jobs will be offset by new positions created by a shift in administration policy toward climate-conscious goals:

“I believe that the president’s climate vision will create more jobs on that. And I think it’s going to be very important to work with him and work with Congress to make sure that we can deliver on that promise too.

That on that, more good-paying union jobs will be created in the context of the climate and infrastructure work that we have before us than has been impacted by other decisions.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) challenged Buttigieg asking, “So for those workers, the answer is somebody else will get a job?”

Buttigieg responded:

“The answer is we are very eager to see those workers continue to be employed in good-paying union jobs, even if they might be different ones.”

American unions and officials were not the only critics of President Biden’s termination of the pipeline. Canada’s Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney blasted the decision:

“We have the biggest bilateral trade relationship between Canada and the United States. But the biggest part of that trade is Canadian energy exports — largely from our province of Alberta.

We have the third-largest oil reserves in the world. We ship about $100 billion of energy to the U.S. every year. Keystone XL would have meant a significant, safe, modern increase in that shipment.

It is very — it’s very frustrating that one of the first acts of a new president was I think, to disrespect one of America’s closest friends and allies.”

This is not the first time President Biden has played a role in stopping the construction of the pipeline. In 2015, the pipeline was sidelined by then-President Barack Obama while Biden was his Vice President. President Donald Trump reactivated the pipeline’s construction in 2017.

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

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