unemployment

The former Michigan governor whose leadership oversaw a severe economic downturn, skyrocketing unemployment, Detroit’s emerging bankruptcy, and the meltdown of the automotive industry, is now a professor specializing in job growth.

This fall, Michigan’s former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Mulhern Granholm is teaching a graduate course focused on “creating jobs through better government policies,” the class description states, adding “it is designed to help to launch the American Jobs Project at UC Berkeley.”

Yet as governor from 2003 to 2011, Michigan’s unemployment rate soared from 6.6 percent at the beginning of Granholm’s term up to 14.2 percent in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

When she left office, the unemployment rate languished at 11 percent. The national average at the time was 9 percent.GranholmInside

Michael LaFaive, director of Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative and economist at the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy, told The College Fix that “creating American jobs is not what she did during her tenure.”

“In fact, she presided over one of the largest economic declines in Michigan history and herself fled the state in search of employment,” LaFaive said. “Michigan, during her tenure, had the distinction of one of the highest unemployment ratings in the nation, one of the highest population declines, and being the only state in the union with negative economic growth.”

Granholm did not respond to requests by The College Fix on Wednesday and Thursday seeking comment.

The course description states “the American Jobs Project will focus on a bottom-up strategy of stoking jobs policy in the states, designing the road-map for each state to create innovative energy job clusters in the advanced energy and manufacturing job sectors.”

LaFaive said he questions her ability to teach successful job growth strategies.

“I wonder if she will be able to get up and talk about her tenure as governor and support her assertions with anything approaching empirical evidence,” LaFaive said in an interview with The College Fix. “In fact, you could argue that her participation in this class would be as the counter-example of what not to do.”

In addition to job growth, the course aims to assist politicians with the rollout of new environmental protection rules.

“The class will coincide with the rollout of EPA rules regarding CO2 emissions, wherein states must formulate state-specific plans for cutting carbon pollution,” the guide states. “The final state-based reports will be delivered to candidates and office-holders of both political parties in each of the states.”

“Customized innovative policy recommendations” based on “state-specific research” will be outlined for 10 states, possibly including Michigan. Other potential states include Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia or Illinois.

In her keynote speech at the 2013 Ted Conference, Granholm outlined her plan of a “Clean Energy Jobs Race to the Top” through investing in alternative energy, similar to the course description of the “American Jobs Project.”

Granholm served as Michigan’s 47th governor prior to joining UC Berkeley as a professor. She also held a role advising the soon-to-be President Obama’s transition team in 2008-09. She studied political science at UC Berkeley before going to Harvard Law School.

At the Goldman School of Public Policy, Granholm is listed as “Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy” and will make $84,300 for teaching the “American Jobs Project,” the only course she is scheduled to teach in the fall semester, according to an online database of public salaries. The two previous years she earned about $150,000 per year, the database shows.

In spring 2014, Granholm co-taught a similar course that focused on “creating jobs through better government policies for innovation and education.” Previously, Granholm taught a course titled “Governing during Tough Times” in fall 2013.

In fall of 2012, Granholm also taught a special topics course titled “The Legal Journalism Practice Project,” while at the same time her husband, Dan Mulhern, taught a course called “Holistic Leadership,” which he also taught in spring 2014.

College Fix reporter Derek Draplin is a student at the University of Michigan.

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Who would have predicted that after six years of President Barack Obama’s hope and change, Millennials who voted him into office would be so miserable? Welcome to Generation Obama:

1. Brother, can you spare a job? 

In July, the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-old increased from 13.3 percent to 13.6 percent;HigherEdBubble.Flickr for 20- to 24-year-olds it jumped from 10.5 to 11.3 percent; and the unemployment rate for 25- to 34-year-olds rose from 6.5 to 6.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Grads are so desperate for jobs that they are panhandling for them on street corners. Seriously.

2. What the … ?

Illegal immigrants get to chill out in suites with flat-screen TVs while 21.6 million Millennials still live at home with their parents.

3. Obamacare Nightmare

Millennials have to pay astronomical rates for full-coverage health insurance they don’t need because Obamacare took away their choice to buy cheap, catastrophic-only coverage. Meanwhile, universities hike tuition and slash jobs to pay for the massive federal UncleSam.GenerationOpportunitygovernment mandate. One college student even had to go on food stamps in part because of Obamacare. Not to mention, ad campaigns touting the Nanny State program portrayed women as giddy sluts.

4. Getting Screwed 101

According to Congressional Budget Office findings, the government pulled in more than $50 billion in profit from federally subsidized student loan repayments last year. Meanwhile, the government keeps doling out more loans, easy-to-borrow funds that mean students are able to pay more, so universities keep charging more. Runaway tuition costs have outpaced national inflation rates. It’s a Ponzi scheme, and it’s only gotten worse under Obama.

5. Minimum Wage B.S.

Obama goes around pushing a minimum wage hike as some sort of panacea for young people struggling to make it, when in fact they’re the ones hurt the most by it. Read this and this.

6. Welcome to Adulthood – That Will Be $100 Trillion Dollars

A UC San Diego professor has pegged the national debt at nearly $90 trillion dollars, when the speculative “off-balance-sheet commitments” from Medicare, Social Security, student loan guarantees and other future federal government promises is factored in. Guess who will get stuck with that bill?

7. New College Grads’ Wages Are Growing Slower Than Everyone Else’s

Let’s just add salt to the wound, shall we? San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank research found that little nugget to throw on top the heaping pile of Millennial gloom.

8. They Live in a World Without Privacy

Back in the day, you could live off the grid. Today, by collecting and storing every text, every email, every web search, the government knows everything about you – from whether you like jam on ObamaBigBrother.StudentNetAlliance.Facebookyour toast to whether you’re cheating on your spouse. Yes, the Big Brother Spy State has not in any way, shape or form shrunken under Obama, despite his campaign pledges to rein it in.

9. Many Millennials Remain Misguided

Perhaps the worst item on this list is that far too many young people blame the wrong thing for their depressing state. They’re losing hope in America, not President Obama. Thankfully, a good amount of Millennials have stopped drinking that Kool-Aid.

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While the latest job numbers suggest a slight improvement in the U.S. economy, jobless Millennials – especially recent college graduates – continue to struggle.

U.S. employers added 217,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.3 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week. With this news came renewed uncertainty for recent college graduates, many of whom are new entrants into the U.S. workforce.

Notably, the unemployment rate for those ages 16 to 34 increased from 9 percent to 9.2 percent in May, and from 10.6 percent to 11.1 percent for 20- to 24-year-olds. Most Wall Street strategists and analysts say the job market is still a long way from where it should be.

“Are we really creating enough jobs to bring people back into the work force? We’re not and we need to create more,” Byron Wien, a Wall Street strategist, told The New York Times.

For Millennials and recent grads, the situation remains bleak.

Last August, the Pew Research Center’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that 36 percent of 18- to 31-year-olds were living in their parents’ home – the highest share in at least four decades.

Not only will the slew of grads this month face a tough job market, but many Millennials still languish in this economic recession.

Take Alexis Gallagher, a 2013 graduate of Towson University who still cannot find a job in her field and lives with her parents.

Gallagher graduated with a B.S. in political science and mass communication and a concentration in journalism, was president and editor in chief of the Pre-Law Journal, and president of the Pre-Law Society at Towson. In addition to maintaining a 3.5 GPA, she interned three days per week on Capitol Hill, for which she had to travel from Baltimore, and also held a few part-time jobs throughout her college years.

Instead of heading straight to law school upon graduating, Gallagher decided to jump into the job market first.

“Ideally I am interested in economic policy, so I would want to work in an economic think tank,” she said in an interview with The College Fix. “I started looking for jobs in public affairs and corporate communications, but have broadened my search to administrative roles and marketing jobs.”

But her current job situation hasn’t been what she expected. Currently living at home in Atlantic County, New Jersey, she has been working at The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa as a cocktail server.

“I make really good money,” she said. “But it is not at all what I want to do – especially with a college degree.”

In the meantime, she has been saving her money since she moved back home with her parents. She took the LSAT on Monday, and depending on her score, is considering applying to law schools in the fall.

In light of the most recent unemployment numbers and a grim outlook for recent college graduates, the Republican National Committee is saying enough is enough.

“Millennials propelled Obama into the White House, but all we’ve seen are more regulations and fewer jobs,” said Raffi Williams, an RNC spokesman. “Nearly 6 in 10 Americans now believe the American Dream is out of reach, but Republicans know we can do better—for my generation and for all Americans.”

Gallagher echoed these sentiments.

She blames “government regulation and tax policies” as one of the main reasons recent graduates like herself cannot find good jobs.

“Minimum wage laws, overtime pay mandates, payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, and healthcare regulations all make it more expensive to employ labor, which then impacts the number of employees a firm will hire,” she said.

Another significant reason is uncertainty, she said.

“Many firms do not know what the economy will look like in a few months, so they are more reluctant to hire more workers,” she said.

She also put blame on President Obama’s signature legislative achievement in office, the Affordable Care Act, calling it an “added expense” for many businesses.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, tweeted on Sunday that her party will talk extensively about student debt this upcoming week, citing President Obama’s weekly address titled “Supporting America’s Students.”

President Obama said in his address that “we have to do more to lift that burden” of student loan debt, vowing to do whatever he can without Congress to help young people pay off their student debt more easily.

But Raffi Williams of the RNC accused Democrats of playing politics with the issue.

“Due to the Obama economy Millennials are stuck at home with their parents unable to find work,” he said in a statement. “Instead of putting forth serious legislation like the dozens of House passed pro-growth bills that sit on Harry Reid’s desk, Obama and the Democrats continue to play politics with the future of young Americans everywhere.”

Like most Millennials, Alexis Gallagher said she remains hopeful that the economy will improve.

College Fix contributor Andrew Desiderio is a student at The George Washington University.

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While young voters overwhelmingly supported president Obama’s reelection in 2012. Voters age 18 to 29 supported Obama over challenger Mitt Romney 60% to 36%.

Obama promised voters he would create millions of new jobs–while simultaneously slashing the federal budget deficit.

Now a little more than a year later, Obama’s spending sprees have kept the deficit at $680 billion–with a “B”. That’s down from the $1.1 trillion with a “T” from last year, but still more than 50% higher than the $455 billion deficit of 2008–the year Obama was first elected.

Even more worrying is the fall of the U.S. labor participation rate to a new 35-year low of 62.8%. That means 37% of Americans aren’t working or even seeking work–a fact that explains why the official unemployment rate has continued to fall despite the fact that monthly job creation number have continued to fall short of expectations.

In keeping with this national trend of indebtedness and joblessness, millions of grad students and recent grad students find themselves today in dismal economic circumstances. Very few of them, it seems, can find meaningful work in their fields of study.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that 5% of households on food stamps are headed by college graduates.

Meanwhile, a recent news report out of the University of North Carolina, bemoans the plight of the school’s grad students–many of whom now rely on government welfare assistance in order to live. Increasingly, students are applying for food stamps even while they are still enrolled in degree programs.

One UNC PhD student, Releta Summers, said she wound up homeless last semester–sleeping in her car and living off food stamps: “From the outside looking in, most people wouldn’t believe me if I told them I receive benefits,” Summers said. “I still get up every day, and I comb my hair and put on real clothes and go into my office.”

Yet nowhere does the UNC report call into question the ethics of students who are able-bodied adults, and who could work to support themselves, but choose not to. Nowhere does it question whether they ought to be allowed on food stamps while choosing not to work a job the offers a living wage.

I grew up poor. I know what it’s about. But the above example is not true poverty–not really. Rather, it’s a lifestyle choice.

If one cannot afford to attend grad school and support himself/herself, is it really ethical to go on the government dole? Earning a PhD is not a human right, after all. It is a luxury.

Stories like the one above show that there is no longer any real stigma involved in going on government assistance–even among highly-educated, able-bodied people. Instead of looking at public assistance as a last resort, there are many who see it as an entitlement. It would never cross their minds to go get a night job flipping burgers at McDonald’s in order to stay off welfare. That’s too hard, you see. And we millennial, we don’t like to struggle do we?

I’ve heard my grandparents tell of folks who went through the Great Depression and were half starving–yet wouldn’t consider going on government assistance. It was considered shameful, certainly, for an able-bodied adult to do so when he had opportunities to support himself.

Fast forward a few decades, and our culture has grown much more used to the idea of relying on the government for support. Social security, medicare–these have become things we take for granted–but they exist for the benefit of the elderly and infirm. Those who cannot fend for themselves.

When strong, intelligent, able-bodied young adults are turning to welfare–that means something else entirely.

It means we have become comfortable with viewing the government as our provider.

Liberal, educated young people by the millions now look to Uncle Sam for help with their health care coverage, they want the government to pay for their birth control pills, they want the government to pay their tuition, and give them food stamps so they don’t have to work too hrd while in a PhD program that is also housed withing a university heavily subsidized by the government.

This is a generation comfortable with dependency. More worryingly though, this is a generation that lacks any real appreciation for value of independence. As a result, it’s a generation that is easier to control. All you’ve got to do is wave the carrot of government largess and you get their votes. Obama proved that.

On the other hand, I do observe a resurgence of libertarianism among some young people. These are the Ron Paul voters of the world. But I fear the majority of young people today are still true believers in the benevolent Uncle Sam.

Energy, industriousness, the old “protestant work ethic” cited by Weber more than a century ago–these aren’t the leading characteristics that come to mind when you think of PhD students on food stamps.

These are Obama’s kids. Obama’s vision of greater government control over, say, the nation’s healthcare system, is perfectly in keeping with the values of those who are willing to trade freedom for security.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

The News & Observer reports on a recent Duke University survey, which indicates that Obamacare will cost some Americans their jobs:

Top corporate executives say the Affordable Care Act, which requires most Americans to buy health insurance, will result in lower hiring at their companies.

Some executives say they will hire fewer employees; others say they will probably tilt toward hiring part-timers over full-timers. About 10 percent say the law, commonly called Obamacare, will cause layoffs at their companies.

Read more.

A troubling new report reveals that the Obama economy has produced millions of young Americans who are jobless and idle.

Phillip Elliot writes for the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Almost 6 million young people are neither in school nor working, according to a study released Monday.

That’s almost 15 percent of those aged 16 to 24 who have neither desk nor job, according to The Opportunity Nation coalition, which wrote the report.

Other studies have shown that idle young adults are missing out on a window to build skills they will need later in life or use the knowledge they acquired in college.

Full story here.

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