Friday, June 3, 2011

Flash! NY Times Gets A Fact Right

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. The New York Times rarely does as well. But on Monday last, they did. "No American President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on election day topped 7.2 percent." I would rather see Obama gone for dozens of other reasons, and I pray for the nation that the unemployment rate drops well below 7.2 percent by election day. But I don't think it will.

At least FDR had the famous "all we have to fear is fear itself" to help him get through the Depression, even though he was a major contributor to that sad state of affairs. In addition, the nation had no practical experience with the deleterious effects of massive government interference in the market. Today, we do. And all Obama had to offer was a restored polar ice cap, lowered sea levels leaving New York City on dry ground, and the promise that his programs would assure that unemployment would never exceed 8 percent. The current official unemployment rate is between 9 and 10 percent. Including those who have simply given up and have exhausted their unemployment benefits, that rate is really much closer to 17 or 18 percent.

Each time the current figure has dropped a bit, it has been followed by another wave of new unemployment statistics. As the Times said: "Roughly 9 percent of Americans who want to go to work cannot find an employer. Seventeen months before the next election, it is increasingly clear that President Obama must defy that trend to keep his job."

Instead, Obama continues on his course of job destruction by threatening, taxing, cajoling and ignoring the major source of job creation and entrepeneurship--small business and individual inventiveness. Working in tandem with that plan, Obama's agenda includes massive governmental interference in private enterprise, newly-printed millions for crazy green initiatives, stifling of the rights of any business which is on record as opposing the socialist policies of the Obamists, and destroying creativity in the market by regulating every move a business might make. He toys with disaster by demanding an increase in the national debt ceiling without giving any serious cooperation in reducing the bloated and cancerous federal budget.

The only area of employment which is experiencing no unemployment and a growing number of new hires is the Obama Czar Program. He has created more jobs there than Wal-Mart creates in a year. Worse than that, one new czar's salary could pay for four Wal-Mart entry-level employees. Obama talks about "government investment" when he really means "government spending." The Federal Reserve can pump money into the economy, but to what purpose and to benefit whom? All the incentive and stimulus schemes have failed to stem the tide of unemployment or create an atmosphere where businesses can begin to hire again.

If all the ultra-rich whom Obama demagogues almost daily were to be taxed at 100% of their income, that wouldn't make a dent in the national debt. Yet "eat the rich" is one of Obama's rallying cries. He blames Wall Street and the banks, along with avaricious corporations for the lack of new job creation. Yet his party has been in bed with them for decades, and in fact imposed regulations on those institutions that crippled the flow of the market and resulted in the recent recession. A very bad recession.

Obama is also participating in an economic anomaly first created by Jimmy Carter--stagflation. Not only is the economy stagnant, but because of government interference in the means of production and regulation of wage-producers in the private sector, we are entering an inflationary period. None of this will result in any noticeable decrease in the current unemployment figures, and they will likely last right up to election day, 2012.

Meanwhile, Obama's devotion to international apology tours, what your kids eat for lunch, which race can be discriminatory and which cannot, and a host of other radical ideas to the detriment of serious fiscal action leaves many Americans believing the ship of state has no captain. Even if the unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 or even 6 percent, Obama's arrogance and lack of love for the great American republic would still endanger his re-election chances. But trust me, they won't drop that low.

FDR could get away with high unemployment because the public generally believed that big government programs and lavish public spending could solve the problem. We've since learned better. Ronald Reagan could get away with it because the public genuinely believed he was willing to devote major effort to solving the problem. His total devotion to his beloved nation let people give him a little extra time to accomplish the goal of reducing unemployment. It worked. Who but an empty-headed liberal can believe anything Obama says? Words, but no deeds. Priorities all wrong. And then there's his poorly-disguised contempt for the backbone of the nation--the middle class. A few rounds of golf or hoops are more important than buckling down and working on a genuine solution to unemployment.

Even if the unemployment rate drops to 7% by election day, it's still unlikely that Obama can be re-elected if the Republican candidate doesn't fall flat on his or her face or become the "me too" candidate. People are much more sophisticated than they were in the 1930s, and if the case is made properly, they will understand that a lowered unemployment rate was accomplished in spite of Obama, not because of him.

20 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

Nice job and you are right. I don't believe we will get below 7.2% either.

T-Rav said...

Below 7.2%? Yeah right.

I'm not intimately familiar with the job market, but I have applied for summer jobs the past couple of years, and it's been a crapshoot no matter how you look at it. A large part of the problem is that many employers are no longer hiring for temporary or seasonal work; they expect their employees to be there for the long haul, as training short-time workers over and over again has cut into dwindling profits too much. So people in my position are out of luck most of the time. (Of course, this would probably be less of a problem if we just eliminated the minimum wage laws.)

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: I just don't see how the rate can drop significantly without major changes in Obama's economic policies (or lack thereof). Tinkering around the edges, even if he were willing to do so, is not enough to make a serious dent in the numbers. Any moves to change this by the Republicans will be met with a presidential veto (Clinton would have known better). All things considered, I think Obama is the prime architect of his own coming defeat. Then he can join Jimmy Carter in the Worst Ex-Presidents Hall of Fame.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: You just touched one of the Democrats' third-rails. Minimum wage is always a bad idea and an impediment to entry-level and temp hiring. In the current climate, it's utter disaster. It's a dumb concept that has been with us so long that many people don't even realize that it is one of the fundamental forms of interference in the free market.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, I first learned about the problems with minimum wage when I was a junior in high school. We had an online economics class with an economics professor who was either pro-free markets or simply did the math. Anyway, he discussed minimum wage, told us to think of labor in terms of supply and demand, and voila. My reaction: "Gee, that was simple. Why haven't other people figured this out?"

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: The clear, obvious and provable are just roadblocks on the road to utopia. Socialism and statism ignore two major factors: simple mathematics and human nature.

rlaWTX said...

if only NYT hadn't been bemoaning this fact...


on an entirely different subject (surprise): I may be behind the times, but Maine is very far away. Have y'all heard about this guy: Governor Paul R. LePage? Sounds like an interesting guy...
(and why does it seem that these poor kids from hard backgrounds keep growing up to be Republicans? Don't they know that the Dems are the "party of the people"?? lol)

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, There's no way. The real unemployment level is closer to 17%. That means that even as the job market recovers, 6-9% will re-enter the picture, which means that they need to produce jobs for those people before they can even get the number below it's current rate (in fact, it will go up when the job market recovers). That means it stays at 9% for a very long time and could even drift to 10% as things start to get better and more people are lured back into looking for work.

And nothing Obama has done is likely to cause any sort of recovery in the jobs market. In fact, everything he's done will only increase the problems. Right now, his only bet will be that the rest of the world recovers and forces us to recover -- but that's not happening as Europe is about to re-enter recession and even China is slowing.

I suspect that Obama will continue to prove the rule about the link between unemployment and being a one-termer.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I don't know if it was out of accidental honesty or just plain exhaustion, but the Times article had only a slightly liberal tilt. They stated facts, figures, and very little skewed opinion. Frankly, I checked twice to make sure I was really reading the Times.

I have heard mention of LePage, but what I don't know about him would fill volumes. Guess we'll have to take a closer look.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I don't even believe it will get better if Obama reverses every policy he has introduced. He still is a thieving Marxist at heart and any change in policies is a temporary thing. The business investors at large don't trust their money is safe when he is around.

With Clinton, he at least had the grace to understand that he needed the investor class. Obama and the rest of his Marxist friends act as if the money the investors have is theirs to do want they want with. Similar to third world tin-plated dictators.

One reason why third world countries aren't developed is because the people who run them don't respect property rights of investors. Nationalization is their watchword. As it so happens it is Obama's favorite.

I don't expect it to get better until Nov. 2012, and even then it will take a few years to recreate the level of employment enjoyed prior to Nov 2008.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Very few pundits and reporters ever emphasize the true unemployment numbers. As you and I mentioned, it's closer to 17% or 18%. Even Fox only brings up the real number occasionally. Just because you can't find a job and your benefits have run out doesn't mean you're suddenly not unemployed. It means you are now chronically unemployed. The 8% and 9% figures are all well and good for insiders in the Bureau of Labor Statistics to use, but it doesn't even come close to painting the true picture. I hope the future Republican candidate makes the real figure a major part of his or her campaign.

Now let us join hands and pray: "Dear Lord, may he be removed from office and may another take his place."

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: I don't think we have to worry that Obama will reverse his policies. He's a doctrinaire, elitist, self-important ideologue. And he's arrogant to boot. But I do agree that even if he did suddenly have a brain aneurysm and reversed course, it would be too late, too little and too unbelievable.

Clinton made a smart political move, but as much as I think he believed in the liberal line, he was not a devoted Marxist-leftist the way Obama is. He may have disliked having Congress yank his chain, but he didn't see it as a complete rejection of his entire being. For him, it was more about being liked than about being right, so he was able to bend. Obama has none of those characteristics. For him, this is personal.

Tennessee Jed said...

"It's the economy, stupid!" was famously used by W.J. Clinton to win the white house. There are underlying fundamentals that will make this downturn extremely long and painful. Those that think that Obama is unbeatable in 2012 are "effen" daft in the head. All that needs be done is continue to run attack ads on this guy's broken promises. "I am going to spend 100% of my time as the jobs president . . . blah, blah, blah."

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I agree. With a decent candidate, the only thing that could defeat the Republicans this time out would be a lack of the will to hammer Obama for his unkept promises, his weakness as a leader, and his crooked administration. The future of the Republic is at stake, and this is no time for gentlemanly half-measures.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, You know they won't discuss the real number unless there's a republican president in the White House, then there will be whole exposes on the "truth" about unemployment. In the meantime, we'll just keep hearing 9% and how that's not really all that bad.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: LOL Absolutely right. They'll discover the real unemployment figures about the same time they discover that the streets are suddenly full of homeless people again.

Anonymous said...

My husband is one of those "chronically unemployed". He works part time in order to home school our kids, but in 2009 his hours got cut from 20 per week to 6 and since he works at our church, he can't collect unemployment. All of those idiots who asked during the Bush administration if you were better off before he got into office are strangely silent now (or not so strangely when you consider the source).

TJ

LawHawkRFD said...

TJ: My sympathies are with you. At my age and given the Obama economy, I would find it hard to find work outside the legal profession and re-opening a practice is out of the question considering the costs. I have a different worry, and it relates to the -flation portion of stagflation. I tried to plan carefully so that my retirement would be comfortable (I never expected it to be lavish). Now I'm watching those carefully-planned budgets going to hell because of rising prices. I still write wills and trusts, but in this economy, estate planning for the average guy has given way to panic over whether his present is secure, let alone his future. And unemployed workers have no estates to plan.

Writer X said...

And the spin today by the White House on the economy was so laughable that it's hard to even put it in words, although one word does come to mind: Clueless.

Let's hope Obama stays on the golf course. Whenever he and his band of idiots have tinkered with the economy, they've made it worse.

LawHawkRFD said...

WriterX: Ya just can't put enough spin on this administration to get the dirt out. In fact, I think they've been spinning so long that their brains are mush. Their only accomplishment (other than putting the economy into a deep dumper and keeping it there) is Obamacare, and I don't think the public is too pleased about that. They're spending us into oblivion, and all they can say is "yes, but look at these magic beans we bought with your money."

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