Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An Employment Lament

Tens of thousands of physically able persons of employable age left the Michigan workforce during the age of Obama. While it isn't entirely fair to blame this all on Obama (lets face it, Jennifer Granholm did a reasonably good job of pushing them toward the employment door) it does seem peculiar, does it not, that the unemployment rate can actually fall as fewer jobs are created? Yet this is what happened for many months.

Indeed, the national and state unemployment rates have been on a slow decline over the past couple of years even though slogging job seekers were enjoying little success looking for employment. And, while I'm thinking about it, many of those lucky workers who found work found themselves underemployed by education and fractionally employed when measured against a forty hour work week. Yet, the unemployment rate fell.

And the press celebrated.

Wannabe workers wore out shoe soles beating the pavement. Their distant relatives developed carpel tunnel syndrome filling out their unemployment claims. Businesses that hired did so reluctantly. Many other businesses reluctantly didn't hire as they waited out the uncertainty brought on by a burgeoning regulatory bureaucracy.

None of this did the unemployed much good and they tired of looking for work. They became qualified for disability in record numbers. They retired early in record numbers. They decided they actually could survive on government benefits in record numbers. They started watching Alice reruns.

While the falling unemployment rate was celebrated by the media and helped a benevolent government lay plausible claim to a warming economic climate, people suffered. One hundred thousand newly created jobs month after month became "positive evidence of an expanding economy for the country." First time weekly jobless claims of 350,000 or so were again signs of a strengthening economy. Neither of these numbers is at all positive yet they were represented as such by a left leaning media adherent to government worship.

Unemployed Masters of Business Administration became Masters of Burger Flipping. Former sales managers became sales clerks. On the bright side, those with Women's Studies majors remained unemployed but now have more leisure time in which to protest a paternalistic society's war on women.

Now we are seeing the flip side. The underrepresented unemployment rate is beginning to rise even though a relatively larger number of jobs are being created, all this because the discouraged are once again seeking work.

Obama has already been reelected and many of his policies still aren't done damaging the work force. Obamacare is going to be disastrous, the EPAs war on coal and oil is going to be a brutal punishment for anyone trying to pay the bills and buy food on his own dime, while overarching intrusions into other formerly free markets will (and have) needlessly chill profits and their greatest byproduct--private sector jobs.

More people are already on public assistance than at any other time in American history and poverty rates are rising even as that unemployment rate begins to creep up again.

More road signs than ever point to Greece.

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