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Dems Divide Us by Race While Trump Expands Economic Pie

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The black and Hispanic unemployment rates both just hit another all-time low, proving that the Trump administration’s focus on providing equal opportunity to all Americans is doing more to empower racial minorities than any of the divisive approaches the Democrats have ever tried. 

President Trump has advanced an economic agenda that puts American workers at the center of the government’s decision-making. Policies such as cutting taxes for middle-income workers, fighting back against foreign trade cheaters, and stopping the flow of illegal immigration empower all workers and are improving the lives of working Americans and their families. 

These policies have had remarkable effects, especially for blacks, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and women, all of whom have achieved all-time low unemployment rates on this president’s watch — and the outlook just keeps getting better.  

The African American unemployment rate, for instance, fell to a new record low of 5.5% in August, significantly lower than the previous record of 5.9% that was set in May 2018. The unemployment rate for black women dropped even more precipitously, from 5.2% to 4.4%. The current disparity between the black and white unemployment rate is at the lowest point on record, proving that the president’s pursuit of indiscriminate prosperity is succeeding at reducing racial economic inequalities.  

Latino unemployment also decreased in August, matching historic lows set earlier this year thanks to the Trump administration’s policies. With an unemployment rate of only 4.2%, Hispanics are thriving in this strong economy, proving that there’s truth to John F. Kennedy’s sage observation that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” 

In fact, minority workers have filled the vast majority of the millions of new jobs created under this administration. Since the end of 2016, roughly 4.5 million newly created jobs have gone to minority workers between the ages of 25 and 54, compared to 700,000 that have been filled by white workers. 

Nevertheless, Democrats and the mainstream media keep pushing a divisive agenda that pits Americans against each other, usually by portraying one group’s success as another group’s loss. While President Trump works to improve economic conditions and create opportunity for all Americans, Democrats and the liberal media advocate cynical policies meant to stoke ethnic conflict. This strategy is irresponsible and risks severing the ties that bind us together as American citizens who bleed the same red blood of patriots.  

Slavery reparations, for instance, have gone from a fringe notion to a central talking point among the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. They have proposed all sorts of measures to offer black Americans cash payments as compensation for “structural racism,” but none of those proposals could ever provide the level of dignity and independence that come with access to good jobs and rising wages. Conversely, the president’s pro-growth economic agenda, coupled with the “Opportunity Zone” initiative he created to encourage new investment in impoverished neighborhoods, has already demonstrably improved the lot of minorities in America, which is reflected in the record number of new businesses started by black women, the reduction of food stamp enrollment by 6.2 million Americans, and many other measures of economic success.  

Donald Trump has created an economy that empowers all Americans, and the record-low unemployment rates for black and Hispanic workers show that his approach is working. 

Instead of undercutting the shared bonds of fellow countrymen and -women, this president is bringing people together by expanding economic opportunity to all Americans, including communities that had been left behind by establishment politicians for far too long. 

Kimberly Guilfoyle (@KimGuilfoyle) is a senior adviser to Donald J. Trump for President Inc.

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Attorneys say Supreme Court overlooked law in Columbia business owner’s case

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Cole

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Attorneys for a Columbia man said the Supreme Court of Missouri overlooked precedent and law when it reversed a decision granting him a chance at parole.

Kent Gipson and Taylor Rickard of Kansas City filed the request to rehear the case of Dimetrious Woods with the high court on Tuesday. The motion asks for the court to rehear the case and instead side with a Cole County judge that gave Woods a chance at parole in 2017.

The 6-1 Supreme Court decision said that the state legislature’s repeal of a law in 2014 barring parole for repeat drug offenders should not apply retroactively. Woods was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole under the scheme in 2007, then sued once the law was repealed.

Woods’ motion said that common law dictates that repealed laws dealing with criminal sentences should apply retroactively. The motion quoted the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who supported that position.

The motion also said the decision could cause unintended consequences for future legislative action in criminal justice.

“For example, if the Missouri legislature decides in the coming years to repeal the death penalty retroactively, which is not an unlikely scenario in light of public opinion and recent repeals in other states, the holding in this case could be used as a cudgel by the executive branch to stymie the voice of the people expressed through their elected representatives that Missouri should not sanction the executions of any unfortunate soul who received the death penalty before or after its repeal,” Gipson and Rickard wrote.

The attorneys and others fear the Supreme Court decision could allow the Department of Corrections to revoke his parole. Rickard said Woods would face a release date in 2036.

Boone / Columbia / Jefferson City / Missouri / Top Stories



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The dance of women leaders and limited economic opportunity

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Editor’s note: Six Democratic candidates met on the debate stage in Las Vegas on Feb. 19, discussing health care, immigration, billionaires and economic equality – as well as the name of the president of Mexico. We asked two scholars to pick out what they viewed as the night’s biggest moments as Nevada Democrats get ready for their caucuses on Feb. 22.

Both Lisa DeFrank-Cole, a professor of leadership studies at West Virginia University, and Jeffrey Waddoups, a professor of economics at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, highlighted moments when Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren engaged in a fierce back-and-forth across the stage.

Democratic presidential hopeful former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg speaks during the ninth Democratic primary debate.
Getty Images/Mark Ralston

Lisa DeFrank-Cole, West Virginia University

Elizabeth Warren: “Can I defend Senator Klobuchar for a minute? Look, you want to ask about whether or not you understand trade policy with Mexico? Have at it. If you get it wrong, you ought to be held accountable. … Let’s be clear: Missing a name all by itself does not indicate that you do not understand what is going on.”

In an era of political leaders bullying those they disagree with, it is refreshing to see one stand up for a competitor.

Even though Warren attacked Amy Klobuchar’s health care policy by saying it could fit on a “Post-it note,” she stood up for her colleague during another exchange, when Klobuchar was weathering criticism that she hadn’t remembered the name of Mexico’s president. Warren’s dual role of critic and defender in the debate reflects a challenge every woman leader faces.

Though a recent Gallup Poll found most Americans say they would vote for a woman for president, it is still not a sure thing. Society still expects women to be nurturing and helpful, not argumentative or decisive. Men, on the other hand, can be tough and strong with little or no regard for kindness.

It is hard for a woman leader to be seen as both likable and competent at the same time. This double bind makes it a challenge for women on the campaign trail like Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. They need to project warmth and compassion while also demonstrating the ability to get the job done. Their task is difficult: Be smart, but not arrogant. Be kind, but not weak. Be feminine, but not emotional.

In addition, it’s dangerous to focus on being a woman and to seek sympathy for having a harder time than your male competitors.

By attacking one of Klobuchar’s policies, and then within the same debate coming back to defend her fellow senator, Warren is projecting warmth and compassion. This is the dance that women leaders do every day: Take two steps toward strength and one step back to show kindness. It’s a dizzying maneuver to master.

Democratic presidential hopefuls Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders talk during the ninth Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas.
Getty Images/Mark Ralston/AFP

Jeffrey Waddoups, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Elizabeth Warren: “This country has worked for the rich for a long time and left everyone else in the dirt.”

There was a time in U.S. history when prosperity was more or less equitably shared across all economic classes. During the period that started just after World War II until 1978, increases in the minimum wage and the income of the median household reliably matched up with increases in productivity of the overall economy.

During those years, increasing prosperity in the overall economy generally translated into proportionate increases in the prosperity of workers and middle-income households. In a real sense, the economy was working not only for the wealthy, but for middle-income and lower-income workers as well.

Then things shifted: Starting in the late 1970s, productivity as measured by output per worker continued its upward march. But the economic well-being of middle- and lower-income employees stagnated. Most workers were no longer sharing proportionately in the economy’s prosperity.

That disconnection was accompanied by the weakening of two important forces for better wages: a minimum wage that tracked with inflation, and widespread collective bargaining. Both of those elements give workers power – which Nevada’s Culinary Workers Union wants to protect.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, a number that has not risen since 2009. That amount has roughly 30% less buying power than the $1.60 hourly minimum wage in 1968, an amount worth $10.15 in today’s dollars, when adjusted for inflation. Many state and local governments have set higher minimum wages, but hundreds of thousands of workers across the country are earning the federal minimum.

Similarly, union representation has dropped since the 1970s. In 1979, 27% of American workers were represented by unions. In 2019, that number was just 11.6% – meaning millions of workers today don’t have the bargaining power to get wages and working conditions that similarly situated workers in the past enjoyed.



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JP Morgan’s Kolanovic sees a bubble in defensive and tech stocks

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, January 24, 2020.

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

A bubble has formed in defensive and low-volatility stocks as coronavirus fears drove a record number of investors to those pockets of the market, according to JPMorgan’s quant guru Marko Kolanovic.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, hedge funds have shifted their allocation into low-volatility and defensive names on a record level, pointed out by Kolanovic, the bank’s global head of macro quantitative and derivatives strategy.

Defensive stocks are generally not tied to economic growth. They include utilities, health care and consumer staples stocks. JPMorgan reiterated its call to sell out of defensive assets and rotate into cyclical assets such as value stocks, commodity stocks and emerging markets.

“Bonds, momentum stocks, and low volatility stocks rallied – pushing the valuation spread between defensive and cyclical stocks to a level 2x worse than during the peak of the late-’90s tech bubble,” Kolanovic said in a note to clients on Wednesday. “The bubble we are describing is expressed in equity factors … We caution investors that this bubble will likely collapse, i.e. this time is not ‘different.'”

Kolanovic added some tech names are trading at “unsustainable valuations” supported by record level of speculative call option activity.

“Value stocks are typically on the other side of all of these trends that inflated this bubble,” Kolanovic said. The strategist had called the rotation into value stocks in September that rocked investors. He called it a “once in a decade” trade then.

— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.

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