John Ransom
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What a difference a few month makes.

Last month we were told by a fawning news media how great things were. The economy was a little engine that could.  And the declining unemployment rate was touted in headlines as significant progress toward economic recovery.

Unemployment rate falls to 7.8% in September, reported the Washington Post- a four-year low...”nearly”… whatever “nearly” means.

“The nation’s jobless rate dropped to its lowest point in nearly four years in September. And unlike some recent declines, this one happened for the right reason: not because people gave up looking for a job, but because far more people reported having one.”

Hurray! The exclamation points by the Post (!!!) were implied.

Unemployment year-over-year still has magically dropped from 8.7 percent to 7.7 percent, not withstanding September, because mostly people stopped looking for work.

But you wouldn’t have known it by press accounts this year.

Oh my! Not in an election year? Under Obama? The most transparent politician…EVER?

Now clear of the pressures of presidential election politics, the press story has changed just slightly and so unexpectedly.



“Of course, things aren’t THAT great.” There are still plenty of reasons, we’re told, to write Obama a big, fat blank check because the economy is very, very fragile.

It’s almost as if- I don’t know- had the fiscal cliff not existed, politicians would have had to invent it to justify more deficit spending.

Because the unemployment rate for November, touted at 7.7 percent, is dropping once again, this time for the wrong reasons, just as it has throughout 2012.

But now the press is taking note.

“And economists noted that the unemployment rate would have risen if more people hadn’t stopped looking for work,” reports the Associated Press regarding the most recent unemployment report. “Once people without jobs stop looking for one, they’re no longer counted as unemployed.”

Oh, my! Where was this transparently opportunistic analysis during the election?

While there are around 2.5 million more people with jobs year over year, those jobs just cover new entrants into the labor market. Still there are 2.4 more people not counted in the labor force since last November. How convenient for an administration bent on getting people to stop looking for work while needing the unemployment rate to go down. 

And, the reason of course for the shifting press coverage is so they can now make the argument that only the government, through the intervention of the holy spirit of Obama, can rescue us, assisted by the crucifixion of the rich, who must pay for our sins. 

There are now 350,000 fewer people in the labor force now than in October, reports the BLS . In addition, the labor participation rates have fallen another 0.2 percent, which is 542,000 more people not in the workforce since October, echoes the press eagerly. There are 122,000 fewer people with jobs, month over month. And since about 200,000 new people enter the workforce each month, it shouldn’t surprise us that under Obama, of course, the unemployment rate is going down while not adding actual jobs.           

Ok, here’s the point that the press, the Democrats and the GOP moderates won’t tell you America: Even if you solve the so-called fiscal cliff, Obama’s voodoo economic policies won’t work. They aren’t based on economic science. They are rigid ideology wrapped in the gift paper packaging of wishful and convenient thinking.

They aren’t so much socialist as they are the most logical extension decades of Keynesian thought. Obamanomics, in fact, are the culmination of 80 years of liberal thought from both the left and the right in this country.  

And with four more years of out-of-control government run by the same technocrats who got us into the mess, in December of 2016 you’ll wish then that you were as well off as you are today.  

Obamanomics works so poorly that the typical ways that we measure economics can’t even adequately explain what’s going on in the economy. The old rules don’t apply anymore, because fiscal and monetary policies don’t conform to the economic realities facing the country.

These massive distortions can be seen in stock markets and supermarkets- and, as we see, in the unemployment rate, which is going down despite unemployment technically remaining unchanged.

Commodity prices, which should be much lower, have remained stubbornly high despite a worldwide economic slowdown; gold trades independently of the dollar on speculation regarding government policies; public benefits remain sacrosanct and celebrated even as they literally bankrupt public budgets; and Joe Biden remains a heartbeat away from being the most powerfully inappropriate man in the universe.     

We’ve entered a cowardly new world where every time someone gives up looking for work it helps drop the official unemployment rate, while simultaneously allowing Obama to shellac the rich.

It’s kind of like following a policy where a dollar’s value today is only worth 90 cents tomorrow. Who would do THAT on purpose? 

And it all took place in a few, short election months.

Think what a difference four more years will make.

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John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.
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