Tag Archives: jobs

June Unemployment = Cold Porridge

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the monthly employment situation for June this morning and a mixed top line almost hides some really scary internals.

The headline numbers were that June added 223k jobs which, by government counting standards, dropped the unemployment rate to 5.3%.

Black unemployment still leads all other demographics at 9.5%.

Some important revisions to the April and May numbers were announced as well. April was reduced from +221,000 to +187,000 jobs and May revised down from +280,000 to +254,000 – a 60k job reduction in total.

With the revisions in place, and supposing that June takes a similar 30k reduction, June appears to show a drop from May and only a slight increase from May.

The jobs increases came mainly in the areas of healthcare, retail and professional services with smaller gains in transportation and warehousing. But 71,000 jobs were lost in the mining sector mainly due to petroleum price-driven reduction in drilling rig counts and continued losses in coal mining due to over-regulation.

The remaining internals show an incredible weak jobs market where no wage inflation is likely any time soon.

People of working age that actually had jobs in June dropped by 432,000 people which dropped the labor force participation rate to 62.6% – the worst showing since October of 1977 (remember 1977?) This drop is not a one-time-off thing – May saw the labor force drop by almost the same amount. The reduction is illustrative of a jobs market that is not keeping up with graduation rates and those coming of age to work.

An area of concern is youth employment stayed at 18.1% despite the overall unemployment rate decrease. Are more adults taking jobs traditionally held by teenage workers?

A look at underemployment reveals another concern. The number remains steady at 6.5 million. That’s almost 7 million people that have taken part-time work that would rather have a full-time job. This likely continues to provide pressure on the underskilled and youth workforce.

The remainder of the drop in the labor force is likely due to those just giving up on finding work. Boomers will just retire and take their social security. Younger workers have been flocking to disability if they can get it.

While the headline numbers fit the “Goldie-locks” – not too bad, not too good – scenario, the internals look like pure, cold porridge.

BLS June 2015 Employment Situation Report [Full Text]

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until USDL-15-1274
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, July 2, 2015

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JUNE 2015

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in June, and the unemployment
rate declined to 5.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade,
financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.3 percent in June, and
the number of unemployed persons declined by 375,000 to 8.3 million. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.8 percent),
adult women (4.8 percent), and blacks (9.5 percent) edged down in June, while the rates
for teenagers (18.1 percent), whites (4.6 percent), Asians (3.8 percent), and Hispanics
(6.6 percent) showed little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by
381,000 to 2.1 million in June. These individuals accounted for 25.8 percent of the
unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined
by 955,000. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force declined by 432,000 in June, following an increase of similar
magnitude in May. The labor force participation rate declined by 0.3 percentage point
to 62.6 percent in June. The employment-population ratio, at 59.3 percent, was
essentially unchanged in June and has shown little movement thus far this year.
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers), at 6.5 million, changed little in June. These
individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time
because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time
job. (See table A-8.)

In June, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little
changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for
a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because
they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
(See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 653,000 discouraged workers in June,
essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe
no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally
attached to the labor force in June had not searched for work for reasons such as
school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in June, compared with an average
monthly gain of 250,000 over the prior 12 months. In June, job gains occurred in
professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities,
and in transportation and warehousing. (See table B-1.)

Employment in professional and business services increased by 64,000 in June, about
in line with the average monthly gain of 57,000 over the prior 12 months. In June,
employment continued to trend up in temporary help services (+20,000), in architectural
and engineering services (+4,000), and in computer systems design and related services
(+4,000).

Health care added 40,000 jobs in June. Job gains were distributed among the three
component industries–ambulatory care services (+23,000), hospitals (+11,000), and
nursing and residential care facilities (+7,000). Employment in health care had grown
by an average of 34,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

Employment in retail trade increased by 33,000 in June and has risen by 300,000 over
the year. In June, general merchandise stores added 10,000 jobs.

In June, employment in financial activities increased by 20,000, with most of the
increase in insurance carriers and related activities (+9,000) and in securities,
commodity contracts, and investments (+7,000). Commercial banking employment
declined by 6,000. Employment in financial activities has grown by 159,000 over
the year, with insurance accounting for about half of the gain.

Transportation and warehousing added 17,000 jobs in June. Employment in truck
transportation continued to trend up over the month (+7,000) and has increased by
19,000 over the past 3 months.

Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in June
(+30,000) and has increased by 355,000 over the year.

Employment in mining continued to trend down in June (-4,000). Since a recent
high in December 2014, employment in mining has declined by 71,000, with losses
concentrated in support activities for mining.

Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing,
wholesale trade, information, and government, showed little or no change over
the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.5 hours
in June for the fourth month in a row. The manufacturing workweek for all employees
edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to
3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private
nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls were
unchanged at $24.95. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.0 percent.
Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees
edged up by 2 cents to $20.99 in June. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised from +221,000
to +187,000, and the change for May was revised from +280,000 to +254,000. With
these revisions, employment gains in April and May combined were 60,000 lower than
previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 221,000 per month.

_____________
The Employment Situation for July is scheduled to be released on Friday, August 7, 2015,
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).

April Employment Report: Jobs Situation Still Sucks

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their Employment Situation Report for April and there was no good news in it – at all.

The report pushed to the headline the usual artfully constructed numbers – last months job creation and the unemployment rate.

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in April, and the 
unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics reported today.

That’s great news right? I mean, in March we only created 126,000 jobs and 223 is bigger than 126! Not so fast.

Digging deeper, it’s clear that Americans are not finding jobs and that we’re getting smoke blown up our butts.

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks increased by 241,000 
to 2.7 million in April. The number of long-term unemployed (those 
jobless for 27 weeks or more) changed little at 2.5 million, accounting 
for 29.0 percent of the unemployed.

The number of people unable to find a job in the short term increased by a quarter-of-a-million and the number of longer-term jobless stayed the same. Not sure where the good news is in those two numbers.

Some other quotes from the report indicate that things really aren’t getting better, which means they are still awful unless you’re a politician or already wealthy (isn’t that the same thing?) Ok, I digress here are the low points:

  • In April, the civilian labor force participation rate (62.8 percent) 
    changed little. Since April 2014, the participation rate has remained 
    within a narrow range of 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent.
  • The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes 
    referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 6.6 
    million in April
  • In April, 2.1 million persons were marginally attached to the labor 
    force, little changed over the year
  • Among the marginally attached, there were 756,000 discouraged workers 
    in April, little different from a year earlier.

How does an employment situation – that has changed little in the last year – get reported as good? The job market sucked a year ago. Now the report says it hasn’t changed – ergo – the job market still sucks!

The downward revisions of the previous month’s report is where the real bad news shows up.

the change for March was revised from +126,000 to +85,000 ... Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 191,000 per month.

March had already come in with some of the weakest numbers in awhile, now they’ve been revised down heavily. A 32% downward revision is nothing to sneeze at and may indicate that we are in for an equally-terrible adjustment for the numbers we got today.

If the same revision is applied to April’s figures, the new job creation number for last month would be 151,000 jobs created – and that would be waaayy under the 191,000 the BLS portrays as the average from the preceding 3 month period. Then again, they could always just seasonally adjust in some magical, otherwise non-existent, new jobs in the next report – because they’re from the government and they’re here to help.

Hillary: Businesses do NOT create jobs [VIDEO]

Hillary Clinton appeared at a Boston, MA rally for gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley and told the accepting crowd that the idea that businesses create jobs is false.

“Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses create jobs,” Clinton remarked.

Perhaps that fall in the hotel room has done more damage than anyone thought. After all, without new and growing businesses, where would the jobs come from – outer space?

Now! Now It’s Job One?

Obama first took office in January of 2009, now, January of 2014 the Democrats are saying, to quote New York Senator Chuck Schumer, “The debt and Obama-Care are important, but our number one focus should be on the economy and jobs,” where were the Democrats six years ago?

In 2009 we were at the height of the recession, where was the concentration on jobs then? The Democrats instead pushed a stimulus package that did nothing and forced Obama-Care down our throats, that is in the process of not only hurting the economy but also killing job creation. This same Senator Schumer also said “Many of our Republican colleagues say: ‘Oh, unemployment benefits keep people from work.’ That is insulting,” I think Senator Schumer is smoking that funny stuff that Liberals like to smoke. Not only him, but Obama also said, “Voting for unemployment insurance helps people and creates jobs. And voting against it does not,”

Let me explain something to our Liberal pals, even though it will never sink in, paying people not to work, will keep them not working, if we keep extending unemployment until it becomes another entitlement, it will only keep unemployment high. The December jobs report came out, 75,000 jobs created in that month, 75,000 jobs, it has been three and a half years since the economy created that few amount of jobs. Where are the four million jobs that were supposed to be created “almost immediately” with the passage of Obama-Care, at least that is what Nancy Pelosi promised, another Democrat promise that went nowhere.

The Democrats wouldn’t know a jobs plan if it bit them on the ass, their full concentration seems to be on keeping people out of work by paying them to do so. Now Obama has another bright idea that will go nowhere, ‘promise zones’ when you sit down and examine them, they are nothing more than welfare on steroids. This President does not seem to get it, LBJ tried it in the mid 1960’s with his war on poverty, that only grew generations of Government dependency. I have to hand it to the Liberals, they keep trying over and over, what are nothing more than failed policies, just putting a different name to them, they are persistent I must say.

Ronald Reagan said it best when he said “I believe the best social program is a job.” Why don’t Liberals understand this philosophy, why don’t they see that people would rather have a job than an unemployment check, is it so hard to understand? Liberals seem to be good at creating more and more entitlements, but why don’t they learn how to create what people want, which is a job.

FDR kept this country in a depression for ten years with his big Government spending, you would think that Obama would learn from that, all he is doing is following in FDR’s footsteps, thank God Obama can’t be elected to another term or we would see another four years unemployment checks instead of jobs. I have to hand it to Obama, he is good at giving people hope, but sooner or later people are going to realize you can’t live for long on hope. Going into the sixth year of the Obama Presidency and the Democrats are now starting to concentrate on jobs, but they are not fooling me. The only reason they are shouting income equality, and jobs is to get the heat off the failure of Obama-Care.

I am far from an economist, but even I know Government spending does not create jobs, the private sector does that. Oh, the Government can start a job for a month or two, but when the money runs out, so does the job. These Liberals need to understand, if you get the Government out of the way, the private sector will take care of the rest, but why am I wasting my breath.

“What Kind Of Society Are We Leaving Our Kids.” Available here.

Poor

This is one man’s opinion.

President fails to address middle class needs while bending to environmentalists

President Obama claimed many things: be the most transparent, court the world into loving the U.S.A., and to be the protector of the middle class. So far, he’s 0 for 3.

The President is more focused on finding a way to turn George Zimmerman into a political target than fixing the nation’s real problems – there is a real reason.

Housing starts hit a new low, inflation is starting to kick in, gas prices are rising, industry earnings disappointed and even Bernanke said that he needed to see far more improvement in the employment situation before tightening. – Things are not getting better.

In Obama’s most-recent speech he pushed for changes in state’s “stand your ground” laws after the Zimmerman trial didn’t turn out how he wanted. But that’s just one conversation with America where the President has failed to address actual problems in our nation.

America’s job situation is critical, if not dying. There are fewer jobs than when Obama took office. More Americans are relying on government benefits than ever before – even during the great depression or Jimmy Carter’s disastrous presidency, no justice has come from the administration’s failure to protect the ambassador and his staff in Africa (Benghazi.) , Chicago citizens are dying at an alarming rate despite some of the most restrictive gun laws… the rest of the list would take days to complete.

The question – where is the President on these major issues?

President Obama has been at the head of stopping the XL Pipeline, shutting down coal mining, buying old cars, paying for craptastic government mistakes, spending billions on failing alternative energy companies and approaches, fueling the Arab spring, dealing with African violence, taking expensive trips around the world, fund-raising for his party’s candidates, championing ineffective gun control, trying to save an unpopular health care law… you name it – unless you name the American jobs situation. On jobs, the President is absent, silent, quiet, non-existent – paralyzed.

During that time he’s protected the interests of large environmental organizations. Makes sense, since the environmental left is .. well, left.

Obama’s reaction to Zimmerman’s verdict is par for the course. When the President doesn’t like something, right or wrong, he sics the entire federal government on it – damn the consequences.

Obama has an environmentalists agenda and everything else is an annoyance. Review his past, check his current policy. Our President is focused on giving money to failing environmentalist efforts and green companies while ignoring the real problems of this great nation.

 

 

Amid scandals, Obama re-re-re pivots to jobs and the economy

obamas_economyThe President is off to Baltimore today to do what he does best – give speeches – in hopes of taking the focus off of a series of government scandals.

President Obama will visit a school, a dredging manufacturing plant and a worker re-training center on this trip.

Obama is continuing his “Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour” which started last week in Austin, Texas.

Just this week the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced troubling statistics. First time jobless claims surged up to 360,000.

During his Texas tour stop, the President told attendees that America needed to become a better magnet for good jobs, government needed to help people earn the skills they need and that “we’ve got to make sure people’s hard work is rewarded so that they can make a decent living doing those jobs.”

During his first five years in the White House, President Obama has been criticized for a lack of action on the economy and jobs.

The President ignored and then disbanded his jobs council, has delayed the Keystone XL pipeline, targeted coal mining companies, dumped millions into failing green energy companies and dumped tons of money into ineffective stimulus programs like cash for clunkers all while getting Obamacare passed, pushing a failed attempt at a gun grab and hosting several star-studded parties.

In the last week, a series of government scandals involving the IRS, Department of State and Department of Justice have flooded the news.

Obama pivoted, then had a laser-like focus, then re-pivoted and is now pivoting again  to that which Americans have cared about most: jobs and the economy.

Billion Dollar Babies and American Jihad – Intellectual Froglegs

And here is the latest installment of Intellectual Froglegs:

Joe Dan Gorman nails it yet again, with his in-depth analysis of leftist propaganda on Jihadists, phobias, abortion, Planned Parenthood, and Janet Napolitano. In case you’re wondering, Napolitano has no clue how to do her job, except the part where she spews disjointed jargon in Congressional hearings. And the new inconvenient truth – successful terrorist attacks in four years under Obama is FIVE, and in seven years after 9/11 under Bush is ZERO.

What Obama doesn’t understand about the American entrepreneur

Our President bemoans those with means. Unfortunately, he doesn’t even understand what “means” means or what a “job” really is.

When was the last time our commander-in-chief decided not to cash his own paycheck so that his employees could cash theirs? I did that just two weeks ago and will likely do it again in the near future.

When was the last time the President paid a plumbing company to clear out an old sewage system so that his customers had functioning bathrooms while holding off on cashing that paycheck too?

Running a business looks nothing like the hired-in, vogue-hair, Armani suit things you see on television. Small business is down-in-the-weeds, making sacrifices, trying to make payroll and “hope that check cashes” kinda stuff.

Anyone that has ever run a small business with employees knows what it means. It isn’t luck – it’s sacrifice. Something the Obama’s know nothing about with their celebrity bashes, all-star parties and tax-payer funded vacations. Small business owner’s don’t get any of that, we just get bills, responsibilities, regulations and taxes.

Entrepreneurs have to navigate federal tax forms, state tax forms, unemployment insurance forms, worker’s compensation applications, insurance audits, EPA permits, OSHA inspections, ATF audits, city permitting and more.

America was built on the idea that we could risk it all and become so much more. Obama believes that by some miracle, no one should have to risk anything but should be gauranteed success – that’s just not realistic, common sense or any other term he tends to use to push his nonsensical initiatives.

Unicorns don’t exist Mr. President, it’s time to realize that we’ll all need to actually work to make our wishes come true and to make our nation stronger.

Most of the pile of crap small business owners deal with on a daily basis has NOTHING to do with selling their products. The government makes everything you buy cost more because store owners have to expend resources to deal with this stuff. It is “common-sense” math – government costs too much.

President Obama doesn’t understand the American economy because he’s never had to be a part of it – not as an employee and certainly not as an employer. If we want to see the employment situation get better, we should probably have someone else leading us. Until then, anyone that voted for him should just hang their heads and say “I’m sorry” to those of us actually sacrificing every, single day.

Employment situation still dicey as more jobs lost than expected

Initial jobless claims come in than economists had forecast showing a still weak jobs climate.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ending April 13th came in at a seasonally adjusted 352,000 which was slightly higher than expectations of 350,000 and an increase of 4,000 over last week’s numbers.

The employment market has not yet rebounded even four years into the President’s economic recovery plan that included multiple rounds of stimulus, cash-for-clunkers, the auto bailout and more.

The latest reports will likely feed into Federal Reserve considerations of whether to continue massive liquidity dumps including an $85 billion per month bond-buying program intended to keep interest rates low. The Fed has indicated that it will continue stimulus activities until the labor market recovers to acceptable levels.

With labor participation rates at 40 year lows, a recovery is likely far off.

Obama jobs efforts fail – Worst Participation Rate in Decades

Unemployed man

Guillaume Paumier / Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-3.0

The Department of Labor’s monthly Employment Situation Report was released today with disturbingly bad news – the largest percentage of Americans since 1979 have just given up on the idea of ever finding work in the Obama economy.

The civilian labor force declined by 496,000 over the month, and the labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 63.3 percent.

Economists had expected that 200,000 or more jobs would be created in March, instead only 88,000 jobs were added. A number demonstrative of a declining employment situation and perhaps a receding economy.

Even with the poor fundamentals, the popular statistic – the unemployment rate – dropped to 7.6%. The drop is due to the almost half-million Americans dropping out of the work force and no longer being counted as “unemployed.”

The retail sector took the largest hit with more than 24,000 jobs being lost in March. Most-likely due to the tax increases on Americans put in-place by the Obama administration in January. More money is going to the federal government leaving less for private citizens to utilize.

Average hourly earnings had been increasing until March. Up until then, earners had seen their pay increase by an average of 42 cents over the past year. In this most recent report, earnings slid backwards by a penny showing possible signs of a trend reversal.

Not since Jimmy Carter has the American economy seen such harmful policies come to such a disastrous outcome. Higher taxes, over-regulation, healthcare reform and out-of-control spending are having the effects most on the right have expected – and fought against – for quit some time.

Laser-like focus on the economy?

In January, the Obama Administration announced a renewed laser-like focus on jobs and the economy. Where is it?

President Obama has been pushing gun control, talking about sequestration as if it were doomsday and has now pivoted to immigration reform while the economy struggles to recover under the weight of an overgrown government.

Recent Gallup polling shows that Americans top three concerns are the economy, federal spending and healthcare – all items upon which the White House is failing to lead.

68% of respondents said that the economy are most concerned about the economy, 61% felt that federal spending was a concern and 59% were very concerned about healthcare with gas prices and unemployement closely behind.

The Gallup Economic Confidence Index also took a dive from it’s January high of -8 to a current reading of -16.

Americans continue to assess current economic conditions more negatively than positively, with 18% saying they are excellent or good and 37% rating them as poor. This equates to a net current conditions score of -19, down from -17 the week prior. – Gallup

On the subject of jobs, a Gallup poll show a steady drop in American’s hope for finding quality jobs. At the beginning of Obama’s first term, 90% felt that they could find a job they wanted. As of March 20th, only 74% feel the same way.

A Rasmussen survey found that only 31% of Americans feel the economy is getting better.

With American’s perceptions of the economy faultering, where is the President’s laser-like focus on Jobs?

President Obama has taken some actions on jobs and the economy. The President has disbanded the jobs council he formed in his first term and had ignored every since. Obama also pushed for the tax increases that hit business owners, middle-income and low-income earners. The administration has also taken several actions to hinder the growth of the natural gas industry.

When Did Success Become Anathema to Feminists?

We live in a two income household nation, and the days of men being the sole breadwinners are dying.  Women are the majority of wage earners, and if the trends continue, they’ll become the main income earners by 2030.  So, women have made massive strides in the socio-economic landscape, and that’s a good thing.  However, when it comes to successful women, feminists can’t stand them.

It seems idiotic.  Feminists have long clamored that there aren’t enough women in Congress, corporate board rooms, sports, etc., but seem perfectly content with cannibalizing their own when one manages to make it to the top.

Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, and Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer are the newest victims of feminist wrath.  It’s because they go against the norm.  Hanna Rosin aptly noted that Mayer’s critics “believe in collective action,” and anyone that deviates from what the feminist establishment thinks is punished.  Hence, why conservative women are vilified without mercy, despite that fact that some have attained positions of power within male-dominated fields, particularly in politics.  In the world of media, feminist antipathy is no different.

Katie Roiphe of Slate wrote last week that:

The main critiques of Sandberg and Mayer boil down to the fact that they are “not like us.” And yet, it is precisely because they are not like us that we should admire them, or at least be pleased, abstractly, about their existence on earth.

It also seems like a feminist mistake to expect women entrepreneurs to create little utopias instead of running extremely successful businesses. Mayer was attacked recently for her decision not to allow employees to work at home. She is a woman, this line of thinking goes, how could she think women should have to work away outside of their houses, away from their children? But why should Marissa Mayer have some special responsibility to nurture her employees with a cozy, consummately flexible work environment just because she is a woman? Isn’t her responsibility to run a company according to her individual vision? If we want powerful female entrepreneurs shouldn’t we allow them to pursue entrepreneurial power?

The strange idea that women who are successful must represent all women, or somehow be like all women, is both totally absurd and completely prevalent. How could someone in the position of Sandberg or Mayer live exactly like most women in America? Mayer attracted criticism for taking too short a maternity leave and for saying her baby is easy, because women with any sort of success or advantage are supposed to be self-deprecating. They are supposed to complain or evoke the terribleness of their lives, so that other women will not be threatened, to diffuse the powerful and frightening competitive instinct. This is an expectation most of us pick up in middle school, but the fact that it persists and lives on in the blogosphere and newspaper columns among grownup critics and pundits is shameful.

Roiphe cited Anna Holmes of the New Yorker, who took Maureen Dowd and Jodi Kantor of the New York Times to task for taking Sandberg’s quote (“I always thought I would run a social movement”) out of context to make her look “arrogant.”

The original, quite reasonable quote was: “I always thought I would run a social movement, which meant basically work at a nonprofit. I never thought I’d work in the corporate sector.” But even if she had said the sentence, as a standalone aspiration, why should out-scale over the top ambition in a woman be considered arrogant or unappealing? Why is there so much resentment and mockery aimed at women with grand visions?

Hanna Rosin, also of Slate, noted how Mayer doesn’t consider herself a feminist, and thinks women of that mold are “militant,” with “a chip on their shoulder.”  Gasp!  It’s a duel between the individualist, independent-thinking woman and the collective tyrants of the secret circle.  Sandberg has stated that women themselves may be the problem when it comes to advancing in the workplace, as Norah O’Donnell reported on 60 Minutes. Rosin used Sandberg’s new book to convey this point.

… [the] tension between the individual and the collective is at the heart of the debate over Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in” idea. Sandberg is publishing a book of advice to young women executives at the same time as she launches a “consciousness raising” movement complete with specific instructions on how to run lean-in circles. But that kind of collective action feels at odds with the advice in the book. In the book, out next week, Sandberg tells women how to negotiate for higher salaries and promotions, how to nurture their own ambition, how to behave at work if they want to advance. It is all excellent advice, but it’s not the stuff of a consciousness-raising movement. It’s advice for this age of meritocracy, when feminist success largely means professional advancement, one woman at a time. What happens if you’re up against another woman for a promotion? In Sandberg’s world, you go for it.

Hence, why – ironically – independent women, like Mayer and Sandberg, are anathema to the feminist establishment.  They aren’t thinking like a feminist. They’re thinking about their careers, and their own interests.  Men do the same thing.  In fact, anyone who wants to get ahead will do the same thing.  As Robert Frost once said, “I do not want to live in a homogenous society, I want the cream to rise.”

This problem that feminists have with women succeeding relates to their movement as a whole.  It’s a common criticism that the third – and current – wave of feminism lacks a clear vision for the 21st century. What issues, if there are any, are left for women to campaign on that haven’t already been addressed.  There’s nothing new in the arsenal.  All that is left is what needs to be built on, and that isn’t necessarily a compelling call to arms.

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner wrote in her book the F-Word: Feminism in Jeopardy – Women, Politics, and the Futurethat the third wave is lost in the wilderness.

The lack of a cohesive movement is the crisis of the third wave.” Or as one of the young women she interviewed remarks, “In a nutshell, my problem with the third wave is that I think we’re a whiny bunch of elitists who think we’re so smart, but we’re not doing anything but power knitting. The lack of a political movement is huge, yet we feel so smug.”

What seems to frighten feminists about Sandberg and Mayer – and Rosin and Roiphe write this as well – is that feminism really didn’t help them rise to the top.  Furthermore, Rosin wrote that the crowd that Sandberg is trying to attract, of which Mayer is also a member, really don’t see much feminism has to offer in terms of advancing their careers.

Roiphe added:

the word feminist is of little use to us now, but if we are interested in female power then we should let our powerful women pursue power, without harassing them with our distaste for that pursuit. We should not expect them to be warmer, fuzzier, more nurturing than their male counterparts because to do so is to impose sexist expectations.

Could the feminist bashing of successful women be a manifestation of that frustration?  Is the “not being needed” angst driving this madness?  If so, the feminist establishment has a mindset of “these ladies have to go,” and hopefully the next crop will be more palatable to the cause. That’s one way to destroy a movement.  It’s something conservatives should’ve considered when they excluded GOProud at CPAC this year.

Either way, I say let women be women.  Better yet, let them be “American” – or “capitalist” – in their economic pursuits, which is grounded in being more aggressive, more competent, and more productive than your competition.  If a woman rises to the top, so be it.  She should be congratulated. We’re a meritocracy, and everyone should get a boost from the increased competition.  As for feminists, I suggest they go moan in a corner someplace else.  I want the economy to roar back –with men and women alike – and feminism isn’t helping anyone.

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