The Obama administration is in an unenviable position. For one thing, they’ve been crowing that the sequester would cost nearly one million jobs along with causing water to become poisoned and leopards to lose their spots. Yet they ostensibly want to allow their government-censored unemployment numbers, the ones that only tell half the story, to go down.
The only way this could work out is if the average voter responded to the sequester threats by voting in more big government and blaming said big government for nothing. Wait a second…
While the White House and Ben Bernanke are cheering Friday’s headline decline in US unemployment to 7.7% (of course, the sequester had yet to be enacted last month), the real numbers are, as usual, quite different.
While 165,000 Americans entered the working age population in February, a nearly equal number, 130,000, dropped out of the labor force. History tells us broken governments are quick to make sure the “official” rate is the one that makes them look the best.
Yet this trend of folks dropping out of the labor force is perhaps the most disturbing trend of the Obama presidency, and cause for serious concern. Far from the “official” rate, the U-6 rate of unemployment (what some call “real unemployment”) is still almost double at 14.4%, and includes those who have given up.
That means that the US is really no different from places like Ireland, home to one of Europe’s highest rates of joblessness. States like Nevada are practically on par with Spain, with near 1-in-4 real unemployment.
The “official” rate also doesn’t measure part-time work. After all, in the New America, you should be happy with whatever you can get, right? While February’s 170,000 job gains sound good, 212,000 full-time jobs were lost.
The difference – some 382,000 folks – joined the Obama conga line to see how low they can go in terms of weekly hours worked.
Do you expect those full-time jobs to be replaced as Obamacare creeps into nearly every business in America?
Most notable in making the case for Nomad Capitalism is how the US found itself in this ongoing mess. While the numbers have been fudged every which way lately, America reached full employment at the end of the twentieth century, with more full-time jobs than any time in modern history, backed by a relatively stable dollar and a standing in the world as a moderate tax haven for corporations.
Today, the US offers the highest tax rates in the world, a currency of dwindling significance, and two Presidents whose policies have put the kabosh on full-time employment.
The robust growth the US needs to exit its slow growth policies needs reasonable taxation and regulation, free trade, and a stable monetary policy. As these seem to have been throw out the window in the land of the free, it’s a mystery how exactly people will get back to full-time work and relative prosperity.
If the government doesn’t step up and compete the way even socialist Europe countries have done in recent years, the answer is that they won’t.
Of course, there will surely be a new “official” government way to measure things – the economic equivalent of moving deck chairs – so the sheep can be assured everything is just fine as the water creeps up around them.