It will come as no surprise to even the most casual observer of American politics that our economy is in real trouble. Worse than the dismal economy, our government is stuck in a tailspin of the same failed ideas that got us here in the first place; thus, our prospects for seeing our economy bounce back in any timely fashion are slim to none if we continue to implement the same bad ideas. The July jobs numbers came out recently. I’ll spare you the suspense: they’re not good.
In fact, the official unemployment record jumped to 8.3%. When I say “official”, I mean a government number that is, in all reality, a best-case, glass-half-full kind of measurement. The number varies greatly by community and only represents those that are unemployed but still looking for jobs. It does not count those that have been unemployed so long, they are no longer considered looking for work. When we add them to the equation, the real unemployment number is around 15%.
July saw 163,000 people added to the workforce, better than expected. However, don’t pop the champagne yet; it was far below what was needed to keep up with new entrants into the job market. Furthermore, 155,000 people dropped out of the job market as they have been unemployed for too long. Also, we can’t really rely on the best-case numbers given out, especially since June only saw 64,000 people added to the workforce, despite the claim of 80,000. But hey- 163,000 sounds like a big number, right? And that is exactly how the Obama administration will spin this.
Furthermore, we are only talking national averages here. When we dissect the problem into subsets of communities, age groups and states, we see the real devastating toll our government’s ineffective leadership has wrought upon the people. The Hispanic population has an average unemployment rate of 10.3% and the black population- you know, the one whose “back” Obama has had these last four years- they’re looking down the barrel of a 14.1% unemployment rate. It’s funny, I see less “Hope” tee shirts than I used to.
And what about little Johnny who has moved back into his parents’ house? The younger population, between the ages of 18-24 is seeing a whopping 23.5% unemployment rate! That means almost 1 in 4 do not have a job. The number is certainly higher than that, as it only counts those that are still considered to be actively seeking a job. Furthermore, if we count the underemployed people, say, working 10 hours a week, we see that 54% are unemployed or underemployed. So, mom and dad, be nice to Johnny if he comes crawling back home and cramps your style; the world is not the same as it was when you got out of college, and I promise you, he hates it as much as you do.
So why am I throwing a bunch of numbers at you? Because the mainstream media projects their numbers in one of two ways. They either give you the official, rose-colored numbers. Or, they throw out confusing numbers with no explanation of the real-world meaning behind them. Despite assertions from a president who wishes to keep his job, our economy is real trouble and it shows no sign of even slow growth.
Rather than real solutions, we are fed excuses as to whose fault this really is. While Obama shoulder-bumps a father of two to show he’s a “real guy”- a man of the people- he neglects to begin to fix the problems affecting “real guys” across the country and says that he needs more time.
Most galling of all, we have a president that asked for the job, created radical reforms that, by any honest measure, brought us from bad to worse, and now complains that he inherited a bad economy, that those mean Republicans won’t let him throw more money down the drain and that he needs more time. Whatever happened to the $825 billion we spent on the so-called stimulus that was to keep us from ever approaching the 8% unemployment mark? We paid $825 billion, and we have only seen the unemployment rise and 42 consecutive months of 8+% unemployment.
Think of it this way, if you have a leak under your kitchen sink and you hire a plumber to fix it. He charges you at astounding $1000 and says he will fix it. When he leaves and the leak is actually worse, will you re-hire him and give him a chance to install your new tub? Likewise, how could we even be considering re-hiring the man who was hired to fix a problem, but instead only charged us an arm and a leg to make it worse?
We need new solutions. Mitt Romney, while perhaps not being the most exciting nominee ever, does have a strong background in private enterprise. He literally made his money putting people to work. This election rests on fixing the economy. We need the candidate with the best ideas. These failed economic policies have delivered us from a bad situation to near ruin in less than four years. The numbers do not lie, things are getting worse.
My solution to this problem is win-win: Since Barack tries to shore up his “man of the people” cred at every turn, I say we help him by sending him to the unemployment line with the other millions of Americans where he can “fist bump” the people he failed. We get fresh blood in the White House and he gets to hang with the people. Win-win.