The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Recovery’ in the Obama Age

Posted on | April 3, 2015 | 31 Comments

Democrats discovered they can reduce the official unemployment rate by driving people out of the work force altogether:

The number of Americans 16 years and older who did not participate in the labor force–meaning they neither had a job nor actively sought one in the last four weeks–rose from 92,898,000 in February to 93,175,000 in March, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That is the first time the number of Americans out of the labor force has exceeded 93 million.
Also from February to March, the labor force participation rate dropped from 62.8 percent to 62.7 percent, matching a 37-year low.
Five times in the last twelve months, the participation rate has been as low as 62.8 percent; but March’s 62.7 percent, which matches the participation rate seen in September and December of 2014, is the lowest since February of 1978.

(Via Memeorandum.)



31 Responses to “‘Recovery’ in the Obama Age”

  1. Hanzo
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 4:36 pm

    …. but Obama said just the other day that the economy is rolling along.

  2. Thatch
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 4:53 pm

    Gee, now who was the president in 1978?

    I also read somewhere that is the misery index was calculated the same way as under Carter we would have similar numbers under Obama. It would be interesting to know if that is true.

  3. kbiel
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 4:55 pm

    Don’t worry. Once the Iran “deal” finally turns so completely sour that even the sycophantic media can’t hide the stench of failure, our lecturer-in-chief will pivot to the economy.

  4. Adobe_Walls
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 4:59 pm

    That’s pushing 30% of the population not the potential workforce, add the number for those working part time who’d prefer to be working full time puts unemployment over one third.

  5. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 5:14 pm
  6. Dianna Deeley
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 5:14 pm

    The whirligig president. He pivots so much he spins.

    However, he does not toil.

  7. Hanzo
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 5:23 pm

    Probably higher. The only parameter that would be different is the interest rate. The Fed wasn’t as restrained back then. Now, with the economic whizbangs we have at the helm, unheard of low interest rates are necessary to keep the market inflated (prolonging the suffering, New Deal anyone?), skewing the misery index.

    Since Carter, the unemployment rate index has been changed at least 2x, and the inflation #’s no longer include food or energy, so the cost of living rate in regards to inflation is forever skewed.

  8. Quartermaster
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 5:24 pm

    Unemployment numbers have been manipulated for many years. The standard tactic is to not include those who are not actively looking for work. The result is what you have now, and have had for many years. The important statistic is workforce participation. That number if utterly dismal.

  9. Hanzo
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 5:26 pm

    Also not included are self employed, so that’s most of the construction industry alone.

  10. Hanzo
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 5:28 pm

    He doesn’t dare miss a tee time as well.

  11. DeadMessenger
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 5:54 pm

    Ah yes. Mr. My-Christian-Faith. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

  12. M. Thompson
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 5:58 pm

    Dead cats bouncing.

  13. Daniel O'Brien
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 6:58 pm

    I retired at age 58 9/12ths and have been living off my small pension and my investments ever since. So, I’m out of the work force, left a slot to be filled by a lower cost L1 Visa employee, never to work in IT again.

  14. Adobe_Walls
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 7:23 pm

    Nointerest interest rates are necessary for the amount of national debt as well.

  15. Adobe_Walls
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 7:29 pm

    Most construction workers are not self-employed. Even the ”self-employed” owner of a 5 person company has 4 employees.

  16. Hanzo
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 8:46 pm

    Yes, they are. They are subcontractors, and I am one of them, and I also hire my own subs on larger projects. Union participation is at an all time low. In order to streamline red tape Construction employers hire workers as subcontractors.
    The post you made is valid enough, except …. the 4 employees you mentioned are most likely paid as subcontractors.

  17. Hanzo
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 8:49 pm

    The no interest rates is a canard for propping the stock market, make no doubt about it.

  18. Adobe_Walls
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 8:52 pm

    To what limit are they bonded?

  19. Hanzo
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 8:57 pm

    It varies by trade. I carry $1,000,000, but I participate and lead in some larger projects. You now carry your own workers comp also. Bottom line >> Government regulations are like a Python slowly squeezing the life out of out economy, especially in Trades and Manufacturing.

  20. Steve Skubinna
    April 4th, 2015 @ 1:36 am

    Fundamental transformation.

    Any questions?

  21. Daniel Freeman
    April 4th, 2015 @ 2:25 am

    The Federal Reserve is pushing on a string. All of their efforts at this point only go to benefit their intermediaries, the financial services sector, and there is no pent-up demand for investment. Companies sit on enormous hordes of cash because the ultimate source of demand for everything in-between is the final customers, you and I.

    Further, our elites are incapable of even comprehending the problem — let alone fixing it — because it is an article of faith for them that wealth begets wealth. It has always been the case for them, so how could it be otherwise?

    They understand that you cannot increase tax revenues indefinitely by simply increasing tax rates, because eventually receipts will go down from evasion and slowed economic activity. So, they demand lower taxes on themselves — shifting more and more of the burden to us — failing to understand that the exact same principle of diminishing returns applies to them.

    All that matters in the end is the final customer. All other economic activity is derivative of that, so it does no good whatsoever for the public to pad a profitable company’s already-fat warchest. Furthermore, the financial services sector’s increasing share of the economy is a worrying sign, since there must be some point at which they would turn from symbiotes to parasites, in exactly the same way that you can’t raise taxes forever — and I fear that said point has already been passed.

    Needless to say, I don’t even like to think about our national debt. I wouldn’t be able to sleep.

    Lower taxes on the final customer, but not anyone else. Eliminate public subsidies — the companies that are doing fine on their own don’t need it, and the others are bad investments — except for those that serve the final customer (such as public transit). Raise taxes on the financial services to make the change revenue-neutral, and then hit them again to reduce the deficit.

    That is my reasoning and my prescription. YMMV

  22. theoldsargesays
    April 4th, 2015 @ 7:03 am


  23. Southern Air Pirate
    April 4th, 2015 @ 8:19 am

    Some of this isn’t just a governmental issue its a social philosophy issue. Remember as well up until the recently it was almost a right of passage in some states as a teenager you had to get a work card just to get permission to go and work in business. This work card was to prevent child labor abuses and even if you worked for the family business in the shop or farm you had to have that work card (because government cares).

    Now somewhere in the last 20 years the idea that teenagers enter the work force has become almost foreign and in some folks opinion bordering on child abuse. If you add in that now we have policy decisions that are making it neigh almost impossible for a teenager to find a job and develop some of those entry level job skills (show up on time, be nice, smell nice, wear nice clothes, understand a paycheck) and they aren’t learning them until they have taken on almost 100K dollars worth of debt from student loans with the so called promise that these loans will lead to a big job ala Gordon Gecko is wrong. These combined with the special snowflake syndrome leads the perfect conditions to grow the conditions we have. So is it any wonder why the OWS grew like it did with some folks just angry that they were lied to about college and how jobs work?

  24. Matt_SE
    April 4th, 2015 @ 10:44 am

    If interest rates reverted to even the long-term average of about 4%, non-negotiable interest payments on the debt would be somewhere above $800 billion, and would be the second-highest TOTAL budget item after Social Security…higher even than the projected Defense budget.
    As I said, these interest payments are NOT DISCRETIONARY.
    Can you imagine what the impact would be if we added another SS program to the budget overnight?

  25. Matt_SE
    April 4th, 2015 @ 10:46 am

    Too late.
    Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow predicts Q1 will come in at 0.0% growth.
    And there’s still a month left for more bad economic news to come in, so there’s every possibility the number will go negative.

    Even if you think they are an outlier, the consensus forecast among the top 10 national/international financial institutions is around 1.5%. Historically, their predictions tend to lag behind the true numbers (ex: Q1 of 2014).

    I see virtually no way US GDP in Q1 will print above 2%, and most likely won’t even make it to 1% growth.

  26. Matt_SE
    April 4th, 2015 @ 10:55 am

    This is state propaganda, designed to fool enough people so that a preference cascade doesn’t occur.
    The problem is, you can’t hide reality from citizens. They see it every day, with their own eyes. The best the government can do is to introduce doubt into the citizens’ minds…to get them to question whether what they’re seeing is real or not.
    There’s a time limit on how long that can go on, and eventually citizens’ benefit of the doubt is exhausted.

    As I love reminding lefties online, we’ve been in a “recovery” for FIVE YEARS now. Obama told us so often enough, and now he’s become trapped by his own lies.

  27. Adobe_Walls
    April 4th, 2015 @ 11:01 am

    In 2013 we borrowed over eight trillion dollars. Most of that was refinancing short term maturing debt. With 4% interest that number would rapidly escalate.

  28. Matt_SE
    April 4th, 2015 @ 11:02 am

    All good points, but I don’t think this will be adequate as long as there are companies that are Too Big to Fail (or Prosecute, as it turns out).
    We need to re-introduce Glass-Steagall and chop the financial industry back into manageable parts.

  29. Matt_SE
    April 4th, 2015 @ 11:05 am

    One THIRD of student loans outstanding are now delinquent in payment.
    This is the SECOND-HIGHEST source of consumer debt after mortgages, in excess of $1.2 trillion.
    …let that sink in for a while.

  30. Matt_SE
    April 4th, 2015 @ 11:13 am

    Yes, US debt is constantly being rolled over, since the issuance is in different-maturity lengths, from short-term money market bonds of less than one year up to long-term bonds of 30 years.
    I believe the current average of debt maturity for US debt is about 5 years. Before the 2008 crash, I think it was about 4 years.
    No matter. The extra one year won’t make much difference.

  31. OccupyDisqus
    April 4th, 2015 @ 2:09 pm

    Jazz Hands!