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August 6, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Aug. 6, 2013

The truth about jobless ‘rate’

As I watched the various media outlets tout the 7.4 percent unemployment rate as some major success, the lowest “rate” since Obama took office, I wondered if this is how the public felt in the 1980s Soviet Union. Only Fox News and CNN were honest enough to mention that it is completely due to a shrinking workforce and that even worse, of the jobs that have been created, well over half are in the service industries.

Add to that, regulatory agencies are bypassing Congress and instituting regulations that are causing the cost of energy to soar, so incentives for businesses to expand or heaven forbid start anew are limited. Then you top it off with a convoluted law that causes doing business at all in this country to become a penalized activity (Obamacare), and you are left with a shrinking pool of what would qualify as decent jobs.

Reality is, the unemployment rate would be 12 percent if you counted those who no longer qualify for unemployment benefits, and that number is probably grossly under-counted if you considered those who would work if it could give them a better living than the government dole.

Politicians changed the way the rate is calculated to eliminate these people from existence. If we took the number currently working and compared it with the number working when the “One” took office, we would easily be over the 12 percent rate.

How is that a success unless moving people to dependency on government is the goal? Wait, that is a success for Obama and the Democrats. He has successfully “changed” America. Long live Big Government and the Dependency State.

— Michael C. Sherrill

Marshall, Ill
.

Opening the book on Tony Bennett

Since Tony Bennett’s grade-rigging scheme for Christel DeHaan’s charter school has led to the former Indiana school superintendent’s downfall, let me note a few things Hoosiers may have missed.

According to tax records, DeHaan’s charter school has spent over $70,000 on travel expenses the last few years.  

DeHaan — a major Bennett and Daniels donor — is a board member of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. This group hands out the teaching fellowships that Mitch Daniels, as his emails attest to, didn’t want archrival Chris Little’s IUPUI students to get.

When Daniels first responded to the Howard Zinn email scandal, the Purdue president lifted from other writers’ work. This wasn’t Daniels’ first plagiarism rodeo with Purdue. In 2011, after I pointed out that state board of education member Gwen Adell had stolen entire sections of her Purdue dissertation from other scholars, Daniels and Purdue held their feet for months. Adell mysteriously disappeared from the board after The Associated Press picked up the story.

Tina Bennett’s former boss, Daniel Elsener, used to run DeHaan’s family foundation before he used the $500,000 in taxpayer money Tony gave him for his Marian University turnaround academy. Both Elsener and DeHaan are on the state’s Education Roundtable. Elsener is a member of the State Board of Education.

As I detail in my book, “Hoosier School Heist,” which will be released in December, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Wealthy people with political connections want to pocket your taxpayer money through charter schools and wipe out hard-working teachers and Indiana public education.

— Doug Martin

Universal

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