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Repeal the Health Bill The Content of Obama's Character

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Obama's Jobs Hole

by Christopher Chantrill
January 16, 2010 at 1:17 pm

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THE BUREAU of Labor Statistics released the December employment report January 8, and the mainstream media reported that 85,000 jobs were lost. The big story, as usual, was in the Household Survey. There was no mild leakage of 85,000 jobs there, but a whomping 589,000 jobs flushed down the drain. Here are the numbers from the Bureau:

TotalChange
Civilian labor force 153,059,000-661,000
Employment137,792,000-589,000
Unemployment15,267,000-73,000
Not in labor force83,865,000843,000

These are the numbers used to calculate the unemployment rate. Note the reason why the rate didn’t skyrocket. A total of 661,000 people dropped out of the labor force in one month. Don’t think that things are going to get better any time soon.

But let’s look beyond the numbers to the trends, also available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is where things really get scary.

Employment in the US is now down from the peak of 146.5 million reached back in November 2007. That’s a loss of 8.5 million jobs in two years.

Thank goodness the mainstream media has not made invidious comparisons to the Bush recession of 2001-02. Back then only 2 million jobs were lost, a mere scratch compared to the gaping wound in jobless Obama America. You can see why knowing people speak of 2009 as the year the locusts ate. What was President Obama doing flogging health care reform for a whole year when his policy should have been, from noon on January 21, 2009, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs?

Perhaps the president thought that the $787 billion stimulus bill would take care of the economy.

We don’t know what President Obama and his advisors were thinking a year ago when they decided to go for broke on the liberal legislative agenda instead of healing the economy like the American people wanted.

But they didn’t, and now we know that it was a strategic mistake that has put the Obama administration and the Democratic Party deep in the hole.

Even worse, things are going to get worse before they get better. That’s because Democrats still believe in the myth of Keynesianism, that you get out of a recession by printing money and increasing government spending. You’ll remember how well that worked when the Democrats tried it again and again in the 1930s.

Probably President Obama has never really thought much about economic affairs. His rhetoric mostly soars at the prospect of enlarging the administrative state, most obviously by taking over the health care industry to heal the sick or capping and taxing energy to lower the oceans. In his unscripted remarks before Ohio plumbers it does not seem to occur to him that the private-sector cattle must be fattened before we—that is he—can “share the wealth.”

We will see in 2010, as his increasingly desperate attempts to jump start the economy intersect with the impatience of the voters, just how badly the president has failed the American people by favoring liberal pet projects over the basic needs of the American people.

The reason we can predict this with confidence stares out at us from the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment numbers. The reason that unemployment is a mere 10 percent and not up at 11 to 12 percent at this moment is that many people have given up looking for work. Here is a chart on the labor force.

The chart tells us that if the labor force had expanded at a normal rate since 2007 it should be about 157 million by now. But in fact it is down at 153 million. Four million people have dropped out of the labor force and have stopped looking for work. Imagine what will happen when businesses start hiring again and discouraged job-seekers start reporting that they are looking for work. That 4 million in missing workers will turn up on the unemployment column. If unemployment were to go from its present 15 million to 19 million then unemployment would go to 12.1 percent.

Let’s be generous to the president, as we pundits should be when a Democrat is in the White House. All those discouraged people aren’t going to jump back into the labor force at once, so unemployment won’t jump to 12 percent overnight and humiliate him. Probably, the unemployment rate will only get up to about 11 percent.

Our friends in the mainstream media will have to summon all their considerable journalistic talent to remind the American people in objective news reports that despite the harrowing unemployment numbers the nation’s economy is really in good hands.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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