Posts Tagged With: youth

SOUTH’S REVOLUTION AGAINST THE CARPETBAGGERS ……


During the period of reconstruction scores of protective secret organizations were formed by the white men of the South. These ranged “from small bodies of neighborhood police, which were common in 1865 and 1866, to great federated orders like the White Camelia, covering the entire South and even extending into the North and West. The largest and best known was the Ku Klux Klan, or the Invisible Empire.

The Ku Klux Klan was organized by some young men of Pulaski, Tennessee. Originally it seems to have been partly an expression of the gregarious instincts of youth. In addition, these young ex-Confederate soldiers… soon found that terrorizing the criminal element among the negroes, by means of mysterious costumes and nightly maneuvers, furnished both fun for themselves and protection to life, property and the home. It is impossible to determine what relative part these desires played in the original organization, but it is sure that in a very short time protection became the great object of these watchers of the night. Their success led to similar protective orders throughout the whole South, and they soon united under the name of “The Invisible Empire.”

It was indeed an invisible empire. Initiations were not mere useless horse-play, as in some societies of the present time, but were designed to test thoroughly the mettle of the initiate, and one who passed through them possessed bravery at least. The Ku Klux Klan at first performed much the services of the slave-patrol of ante-bellum days. Mr. Gardner, in “Reconstruction in Mississippi,” says, “The nocturnal perambulations of the freedmen, their habits of running away from labor contracts, the large amount of petit larceny among them at the time, the abandonment of crops to attend political meetings, their participation in the Loyal [Union] Leagues, and their alleged insolence to their former masters created a necessity for some kind of restraints, as the whites believed. The Ku Klux Klan organization (in Mississippi) was designed to accomplish this purpose.”

That the first operations of the Ku Klux Klan were a blessing seems to be admitted by most northern historians. The Radical leaders became more moderate, burnings, a weapon of the Loyal [Union] League, stopped, negroes were frightened into good behavior, women were protected, and civilized forms of society reappeared.

In many sections the activities of the Ku Klux Klan consisted only of innocent pranks to frighten the negroes into obedience, and such sections soon fell into the hands of the whites. In the black districts, however, with the coming of Carpetbag rule, and the consequent social disorders, more strenuous measures were adopted. When other methods failed, whipping and even the death penalty were resorted to as preventatives of arson and the ravishing of women. These punishments were decreed and carried out in a formal and dignified manner in conformity with the strict discipline of the Ku Klux Klan leaders.

The members of this order were thus self-constituted committees of safety, such as always appear sooner or later in a lawless, disorganized society. Like organizations served to restore order in many western mining towns during a rule of anarchy. This fact must be kept constantly in mind—in many sections of the South there was no other protection to life, property or virtue. The more serious penalties imposed by the order would never have been resorted to by the intelligent men of the South had the courts been open to them, or had even a semblance of justice and civilization been maintained. And the Ku Klux Klan was composed of the bravest and best men of the South, much as this has been denied by well-meaning northern apologists.

Anarchy reigned supreme, and the Ku Klux Klans merely resorted to the first law of nature, self-preservation. The ethics of social progress demand that, at such a time, the intelligent and safe elements of society band together to restore law and order. The means to be used must be commensurate with the disorders threatening, and the Ku Klux Klans stayed within the limitations of this rule.”

Source: Secret Political Societies in the South during the Period of Reconstruction, An Address given before the Faculty and Friends of Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, by Walter Henry Cook given on Founders’ day, January 16, 1913

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Obama begins second term facing pessimistic public….


As President Barack Obama heads into his second term, he faces a pessimistic and weary public, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released late Tuesday.
The percentage of Americans satisfied with the direction of the country stands at a paltry 23 percent in a poll taken Dec. 14-17. By a margin of 50 to 47 percent, respondents said the country’s best years are over.
Fifty percent of respondents said it is somewhat or very unlikely that today’s youth will have a better life than their parents.
That pessimism and negativity extends to the president, according to the poll

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America’s hidden unemployed: too discouraged to count…..



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(Reuters) – When Daniel McCune graduated from college three years ago, he was optimistic his good grades would earn him a job as an intelligence analyst with the government.
With a Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty University in Virginia, majoring in government service and history, McCune applied for jobs at the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies.

But after a long hunt that yielded only two interviews, the 26-year-old threw in the towel last fall, joining millions of frustrated Americans who have given up looking for work.

“There’s nothing out there and there probably won’t be anything for a while,” said McCune, from New Concord, Ohio. He has moved back home to live with his parents, who are helping him pay off his college debt of about $20,000.

“I don’t like it, it’s embarrassing. I don’t want to be a burden to my parents,” said McCune, adding that he felt like a high school dropout.

Economists, analyzing government data, estimate about 4 million fewer people are in the labor force than in December 2007, primarily due to a lack of jobs rather than the normal aging of America’s population. The size of the shift underscores the severity of the jobs crisis.

If all those so-called discouraged jobseekers had remained in the labor force, August’s jobless rate of 8.1 percent would have been 10.5 percent.

The jobs crisis spurred the Federal Reserve last week to launch a new bond-buying program and promise to keep it running until the labor market improves. It also poses a challenge to President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.

The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one has fallen by an unprecedented 2.5 percentage points since December 2007, slumping to a 31-year low of 63.5 percent.

“We never had a drop like that before in other recessions. The economy is worse off than people realize when people just look at the unemployment rate,” said Keith Hall, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.

The participation rate would be expected to hold pretty much steady if the economy was growing at a normal pace. Only about a third of the drop in the participation rate is believed to be the result of the aging U.S. population.

SLOW PROGRESS

The economy lost 8.7 million jobs in the 2007-09 recession and has so far recouped a little more than half of them.

Economists say jobs growth of around 125,000 per month is normally needed just to hold the jobless rate steady.

Given the likelihood that Americans will flood back into the labor market when the recovery gains traction, a pace twice that strong would be needed over a sustained period to make progress reducing the unemployment rate.

Last month, employers created just 96,000 jobs.

Roslyn Swan lost her job in 2007 as a portfolio associate at a financial firm in New York. After submitting hundreds of applications, the 44-year-old is taking a break.

“Maybe after the elections,” Swan said of her next attempt to get work. “I know that I will be employed again. I don’t know when, but I know it will happen.”

Americans of all ages are leaving the workforce, but the problem is most acute in the 20-24 age group, where the participation rate has plunged by 4.4 percentage points since December 2007.

Many Americans typically start working in their teens, taking part-time jobs after school and over summer vacations, a tradition that is supposed to instill a work ethic. With many failing to secure jobs after graduating from high school and college, analysts worry about U.S. competitiveness.

“Because of delays to their career, the skills set accumulation that normally happens in the first or third job is not happening,” said Paul Conway, president of Generation Opportunity in Washington, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works with 18- to 29-year-olds on economic issues.

TOUGH ON YOUNG WORKERS

Last month, the proportion of 20- to 24-year-olds in the labor force was its lowest since 1972. Other age categories are faring little better. The 25-54 age group has seen a decline of 1.8 percentage points since December 2007.

Some, like 27-year-old Casey Potts, have gone back to school. She is studying nursing in Kentucky after losing her medical sales job.

“If I had stayed in medical sales, I would be job searching now,” said Potts.

But separate surveys by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and Generation Opportunity found little evidence that young people were going back to school when unable to land a job.

One deterrent is the rising cost of education and record levels of student debt. About two-thirds of 2012 college graduates left school in debt, owing on average $28,700 in student loans, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org.

“Young people dropping out of the labor force to go back to school would be a silver lining if it were true,” said Heidi Shierholz, a senior EPI economist, adding that enrollment had gradually been increasing for decades.

A Generation Opportunity survey published in August showed a third of young people were putting off additional training and post-graduate studies because of the sour economy.

“This is significant. People are making the decision to put those off because the assurance of a return to investment is not there,” said the non-profit’s Conway, a veteran observer of the labor market as a former Department of Labor chief of staff.

He said his organization found that young people were doing unpaid internships at nonprofit groups and businesses to prevent their skills from atrophying. Others were joining the military.

Some economists say the participation rate does not paint a true picture because people find work in the informal sector, ranging from legal activities such as child care to crime in some cases.

“People are picking a buck here and there and not being reported in anybody’s payroll,” said Patrick O’Keefe, head of economic research at J.H. Cohn in Roseland, New Jersey.

“They will say they are not doing anything, even as they have a job and are being paid under the table,” said O’Keefe, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Labor Department. “We do not know to what extent that is going on.”

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A Stunning Senior Moment….


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