Obama Conjugates the Economy: Broke, Broker, Broken

John Ransom
Posted: Aug 02, 2014 12:01 AM
Obama Conjugates the Economy: Broke, Broker, Broken

While the media basks in the artificial light of a 4 percent GDP print for the second quarter, jobs continue to disappoint—and so does GDP. You wouldn’t know it, however,r by the way the media covers the economy.

“The high-flying labor market showed no let-up in July,” writes USAToday, “as employers added 209,000 jobs.”

Of course economists expected a bigger gain of 238,000 jobs, but you know: Who’s counting? Numbers and math are so overrated. We have gotten to the point that a missed estimate of 30,000 jobs is no big deal, while an uptick in unemployment is good news.

“The unemployment rate rose to 6.2% from 6.1%,” continues USA Today, “the Labor Department said Friday, as 329,000 additional Americans, including many who had given up their job searches, surged back into the labor force.”

Wow, finally an Obama surge that works. Or not. It doesn’t really matter. The press will cover the good news adequately, while the press will cover-up the bad news adequately, too. It's all the same, after all. It's helping Obama, the only economy anyone should care about.

While it’s true that things have gotten better on a relative basis—that is, relative to the 2009 recession when we were shedding jobs—the economy in general is limping along with mostly self-inflicted wounds.

Obamacare, tax increases, the war on energy, and a proud disdain for economics by the administration in favor of ideology and division, are all taking a toll on the only economic indicator that really matters: People.

People don’t have jobs.

Our contributor Peter Morici, economics professor at the University of Maryland, says that unemployment is really 18 percent, rather than the official number of 6.2 percent. I calculate it a bit higher than Morici, closer to 22 or 23 percent. But the fact that our difference in unemployment estimates encompasses almost the entire government unemployment estimate tells you some of what you need to know.

Forget the numbers right now. Things are so broken that the numbers don’t tell the real story of what’s going on inside our economy.

For example, things are so good that unemployment is…going…up? Yes, in the same way that the Affordable Care Act made healthcare more affordable by driving costs up, unemployment going up—or down, or staying the same—is taken as proof positive that things are getting better.

Just like Dodd-Frank solved too-big-to-fail by making banks bigger and much more likely to fail, the Obama jobs policy remains very humble, very modest. Jobs don’t actually have to be created-- any president coming out of a recession can do that. The trick is to make things appear to be getting better, while making sure people as individuals just don’t have jobs.

Because while we often talk about the corporate entity of America-- and how much she is losing under this administration-- we often forget to tell the story of the individuals who are directly affected by the strange economic policies of Obama and company.

I know business owners who have never drawn a paycheck since 2009, yet always make sure their employees get paid. I know people who are literally working for free in the hope that the free work will turn into paid work one day.

I know a real estate agent, very successful, very competent, who in the midst of the best housing market in –fill in the number and unit here, for example: 100 years—was selling a lifetime accumulation of stuff on Ebay, just to get by.

And so do you. But because of the general affluence of America, these people are ignored when we are told that everything is getting better, while they do their American duty by doing their damndest to get by.

In the future, the American economy will be better for these resourceful, free and independent people.

But despite what the numbers say, it would be a lot better for everyone if we had an administration, media, and government that would do their damndest to help these people.

Instead, they damn them contemptuously by trying to fool them over and over.