Sunday, October 7, 2012

Under Obamanomics, Here Are The Facts About Just How Far We Have Come

About the American economy, President Obama says we're on the right path and that we've come too far to turn back now.

That begs the following question, "Just how far have we come these past four years?"

{NOTE: If any "progressives" are reading this, please accept my apology for introducing a few incontrovertible facts into the discussion. And please forgive me as well for focusing on what's actually happened after four years of Obamanomics and not on what progressives like to say would happen under four years of a Romney administration.

In that regard, we'll follow the sage advice given by Sergeant Joe Friday, where he repeatedly said long ago in the Dragnet TV show, "All we know are the facts, Ma'am." Or "All we want are the facts, Ma'am. (Here's a note of trivia for my fellow oldsters; He never actually uttered the words "Just the facts, Maam.")}

But let's return to today and the here and now as we gather the facts about our economy and its outlook.

Happy Days Are Not Here Again is subtitled 'You don't need a conspiracy to know the job market is still lousy.' We'll quote some of the facts cited therein:

"The jobless rate fell in September to 7.8% from 8.1%, though the economy created only 114,000 new jobs, and . . . the job market still stinks.

Democrats are celebrating the decline in the jobless rate, which only shows how their standards have changed since President Obama entered the White House. In 2004, they were lambasting George W. Bush for a September jobless rate that was 5.4%. Only last month they were begging the Federal Reserve to print more money indefinitely because the job market was so weak. Now they say happy days are almost here again.

The reality is that more than three years into this weakest of economic recoveries, 12.1 million Americans are still out of work—nearly 23 million by the broader definition that includes those who have stopped looking or can't find full time work—and the labor participation rate is still down to 1981 levels at 63.6%. Hooray!

Of the 114,000 new jobs, 104,000 were in the private economy, and all of the 86,000 in upward revisions for July and August came in government jobs. Job growth for 2012 has averaged 146,000 a month, which is down from 153,000 in 2011.

Manufacturing employment fell again (down 38,000 in the last two months) further dampening one of the few bright spots in this recovery. A still abysmal 40.1% of the unemployed in America have been jobless for six months or more. Such a job market is anemic by any historic measure for this stage in an expansion and reflects continuing slow GDP growth in the 1%-2% range.

The number that has our (conservative) friends suspicious is the giant 873,000 leap in employment as measured by the "household survey." . . . The household survey determines the jobless rate, so the huge one-month leap accounts for the September decline to 7.8%. . . .

Even if the 873,000 job estimate is confirmed in future months, the survey found that 582,000 of those jobs were what the survey calls "part-time for economic reasons." That is, they would rather be working full-time. The number of part-time workers for economic reasons grew to 8.6 million in September from 7.7 million in March.

Working part time is certainly preferable to not working at all, but it's tough to pay the mortgage, energy, medical and grocery bills with a 20-hour-a-week job. The job market has been bad for so long that people are settling for any paycheck they can get. One suspect in this shift to part-time work is the cost of providing health insurance, especially with ObamaCare looming.

Campaigning on Friday, Mr. Obama touted the latest jobs report and repeated his refrain that the economy has created five million jobs during this recovery. What he didn't say is that in a normal recovery we would have nearly twice that number, and that the economy is still about 4.5 million jobs short of where it was in 2007.

He also didn't mention that those jobs aren't paying all that well because real median household income is down $3,040 since the recession ended in June 2009. That's right, the economy is growing but real incomes are still falling. . . . 

Mr. Obama is promising four more years of the same policies he's pursued in his first term, except that this time he says he really will raise taxes immediately in 2013. Anyone who wants the same job creation should vote for him."

Summing Up

And to quote the common sense of Forrest Gump, "And that's all I have to say about that."

Joe Friday and Forrest Gump on the same wave length. Who could ask for more?

Thanks. Bob.

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