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Amid labor shortage, Biden quotes his father: ‘A job is more than a paycheck’

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With his ratings in the same basement he campaigned from and his economic agenda stalled on Capitol Hill, President Joe Biden took a page from his dog-eared “working-class Joe from Scranton” script this week while trying to sell his multi-trillion dollar “Build Back Better” social welfare/Green New Deal plan.

Doing so, ironically, while speaking to an invite-only crowd made up of mostly politicians at the Electric City Trolley Museum, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, about how “a job is about more than a paycheck,” proclaiming that it’s also “about your dignity” and that it “defines who you are.”

The very next day, the president appeared on Biden-friendly CNN to declare without hesitation that first responders including cops, paramedics and firefighters should be let go if they refuse a COVID-19 vaccine. Biden also said the vaccines “are working,” even as breakthrough cases abound. Equally ironic, he went on to say he’s concerned about “misinformation,” before taking what amounts to a remarkable stance as a sitting president — mocking the concept of freedom: “Freedom. ‘I have the freedom to kill you with my COVID.’ No, come on, freedom?”

The irony of Biden’s remarks on jobs doesn’t end there, as a jobs report came out Thursday showing 290,000 new applications for jobless benefits — which the media is spinning as a “new post-lockdown low.”

“Claims hit a new pandemic low of 290,000, but that number is even more impressive given seasonal adjustments were working against it due to the Monday holiday last week. All things being equal, we’re on track to return to pre-pandemic layoff levels by year’s end,” Navy Federal Credit Union corporate economist Robert Frick is quoted in The Hill.

In his speech Wednesday, Biden went to great lengths to paint himself as an average Joe — or shall we say Joey.

“I learned from my grandpop that money doesn’t determine your worth. I learned — he told me, and it’s not a joke, those of you who know, we know it to be true, and you guys know it — is that, ‘No one in the world is more worthy than you, Joey, but everyone is your equal; everybody is your equal,'” he rambled on. “My mom would remind me, she said, “Joey, this is the God’s truth. Remember you’re defined by your courage and you’re redeemed by your loyalty.'”

“And my dad — when things got tough in Scranton after the war, when there wasn’t any work, my dad did not work in a coalmines — my great grandfather was a mining engineer, but my dad was in sales, and he worked for the Amoco trucking company. And things got slow in Scranton, so we moved” he said. “…And I remember when we moved down to Delaware and my dad would say, “Joey…” — and all my friends know this — I mean, literally, this phrase, you’ve heard him say it I don’t know how many times — ‘Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about being able to look your kid in the eye and say, ‘Honey, it’s going to be okay.’” And think about it. Think about what it is — it means a lot more than just whether you get a paycheck. It defines who you are, in his mind.”

“And I learned that at the kitchen table in Scranton,” Biden added.

A kitchen table that’s a little more bare due to supply chain disruptions that are resulting in empty store shelves across the country. This being just one of several factors that are putting a drag on the economy, as the administration struggles to resolve the crisis — on the very day Biden touted the value of a job, the Federal Reserve reports that the economy faced a number of headwinds.

“Several districts noted that the pace of growth slowed this period, constrained by supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and uncertainty around the delta variant of COVID-19,” the Federal Reserve said Wednesday, according to Fox Business — critics argue the labor shortages are due, in part, to the government paying people to stay home.

Inflation, which crushes the average family, is also a factor.

“Cost increases were widespread across industries and were largely driven by product scarcity and supply chain disruptions. Price pressures also stemmed from increased transportation and labor constraints, the Fed said, with the cost of steel, electronic components and freight rising rapidly,” Fox Business reported.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

Tom Tillison

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