Trapped in a Recovery

“Obama ‘Jobs Recovery’ More Than 100 Million Not Working”

How’s that for a headline? It’s at the top of an Investor’s Business Diary editorial (02/18/2014), and is supposed to shed some light upon the nation’s economic “recovery”. Here’s the rest of the story:

“January’s labor report confirmed yet another month with over 100 million Americans not working. In fact, more than 100 million Americans have not been working in Obama’s workers’ paradise for all of 2012 and 2103, a unique achievement in American history.

“White House spokesman James Carney hailed this as a milestone on the path toward the ultimate complete liberation of the American worker from the drudgery of work.

“The 10.7 million Americans not working in January reflected the employment-population ratio for the month of 58.8%, compared to – to put it in proper perspective – 62% in a good year. By the fifth year of Reagan’s recovery, the employment population ratio was up to 61.5%, on its way to 63% in 1989. That represented an increase of 17 million jobs since the Carter recession started.

“Today, after five years of Obama as president, we still have not recovered the jobs since the latest recession began in December 2007. The economy then was employing 146,273 Americans. More than six years later, in January 2014, the number of Americans employed was still only 145,244 million, or about one million fewer jobs. By now in the normal recovery there would be 6 million more jobs.

“Obama is not the only president to be challenged by a recession while in office. Since the Great Depression, there have been 10 other recessions before this last one. On average, all the jobs lost in those recessions were recovered within two years after the recession started.

“Moreover, Obama apologists cannot claim that the recovery from the recession was so bad because the recession was so bad. The historical record for the American economy has always been that the worse the recession, the stronger the recovery. Under every other president in U.S. history, going back for well over a century at least, the economy was in a booming recovery within years, even under Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression!

“How has Obama managed to ‘liberate so many workers from work? Through Social Security disability, which has increased by more than 21%, extending ‘unemployment’ benefits to two years, and by eliminating work requirements as a condition of receiving federal benefits.

“The number of Americans on food stamps has soared by 50% under Obama to close to 50 million, largely because work requirements, asset checks and other restraints on abuse have been relaxed. Indeed, more than twice as many more Americans have gotten food stamps under Obama than have gotten jobs. Under ObamaCare, the same transformation is now underway for Medicaid.

“Today, federal and state taxpayers pay a trillion dollars every year to the lowest 20% on the income ladder basically not to work. Under Obama total welfare spending has doubled since 2008. (Note that the administration is suing the state of Louisiana to turn over the names of everyone on welfare, precisely for Obama’s voter-turnout database.)

“CBO is now reporting that ObamaCare will force another 2.5 million workers out of the workforce by penalizing work through the withdrawal of health benefits as income rises. Carney was quick to laud this further Obama worker liberation from work, saying these ‘workers’ would no longer be ‘trapped in a job.’ Private, independent economists estimate that the figure will be double that, or 5 million.

“CBO estimates that the slower economic growth from this reduced labor supply will mean $ 1.4 trillion less in federal tax revenue over the next 10 years. So ObamaCare will reduce the deficit after all.

“But not to worry. At this rate, as the last American worker leaves the workforce to live on long-term unemployment benefits, the unemployment rate with a zero labor force, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates it, will fall all the way to an all-time record 0%.

“Wait till you see the plan Obama’s chief economist, Jason Furman, is cooking up to finance this. The Fed will simply print new money to cover universal ‘paychecks’ for everyone, the ultimate Democratic program.” –

Figures don’t lie. Liars figure. 100 million Americans not working? About half the working age people in this country standing in unemployment lines? If that were so, we’d be seeing blood in the streets. This whole article was politically motivated and meant to sandbag Obama. He deserves criticism, of course, because he’s one of the worst puppets ever to be positioned in the White House, but the writer didn’t need sarcasm and exaggeration to get his point across.

That ill-informed writer also buys into the oft-mentioned inaccuracy that “the latest recession began in December 2007.” It began well before that, and Ben Bernake himself confirmed it in June of 2006. We were able to cite that confirmation in our Vol. VII, Art. 37 commentary.

And the writer’s statement that “the economy was in a booming recovery within years, even under Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression” needs a little clarification. FDR’s “booming recovery” was in no way part of normal economic ups and downs. If it weren’t for the planned Second World War and his fortuitous Emergency Shipbuilding Programs, that Great Depression would have brought on an unthinkable catastrophe.

Recessions don’t have a “beginning”, by the way. Recessions have a way of developing before they ever become noticeable – and if steps aren’t taken to put a stop to this century’s economic tailspin that “unthinkable catastrophe” will surely come about.

Only another Emergency Shipbuilding Program can save our skins. We have the patented container ship, the Jones Act, Title XI and 40-50 million job-hungry Americans. What are we waiting for?