On this day that we rest from our labors, millions upon millions of Americans don’t have labors to rest from. Full employment? I don’t think so.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics alleges that “The number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million in August, and the unemployment rate was 4.9% for the third month in a row. Both measures have shown little movement over the year, on net.”
Right. By December, 2014, only 23 out of every 100 jobless workers were receiving state unemployment benefits; that’s how the BLS counts the “unemployed.”
Nicholas Eberstadt notes in The Idle Army that “America is now home to a vast army of jobless men who are no longer even looking for work–roughly seven million of them age 25 to 54, the traditional prime of working life.” Last year, the ratio of employment to population men that age was 84.4%. That’s lower than it had been in 1940 as the Great Depression ended and we ramped up to WWII. No matter what the politicians or the Bureau of Labor Statistics tell you, the U.S. isn’t even close to full employment.
159,463,000 (up from 142,220,000 in 2012).
253,854,000 (up from 243,354,000 in 2012).
The bottom number is what the BLS calls the “civilian noninstitutional population” (no, I don’t know how we institutionalized 58 million people, either). The top number is the number of people employed, the “civilian labor force.”
What we really know is that 7,800,000 people are collecting up to 73 weeks of unemployment benefits (down from 99 weeks in 2012) and the rest, 86,591,000 men and women, young and old, either don’t have, don’t want, or can’t do a job. The BLS does not count them as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey. That number is virtually unchanged in four years.
“President Obama is creating jobs!” my liberal friend Fanny Guay said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has an anonymous source — popularly believed to be Al Sharpton — who whispered that he has proof that Mitt Romney never paid income taxes for the past 110 years.
Really good spin.
Sen. Reid again refused to release his own tax returns, even as he continued to demand that Gov. Romney make his own public (sound familiar?). Rev. Sharpton, by the way, has a new tax lien to pay; he still owes $359,973 to the IRS for 2009 personal income tax. He also still owes more than $4.5 million in city, state and federal taxes, including penalties, dating back to 2002.
My new friend Ashley Proctor has been out of work in Madison, Wisconsin, since the Scott Walker cuts eliminated her job at Wisconsin Community Services.
“Losing my job is partly Gov. Walker’s fault,” Ms. Proctor said, “but it’s really the Koch Brothers who got him elected!”
That would be the same Scott Walker pranked by a left-wing blogger who posed as David Koch in a call to the governor. The blogger published that Gov. Walker was gonna take the money. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) later claimed that the Koch Brothers bankrolled Gov. Walker’s campaign to the tune of $8 million.
politifact.com rated Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s claim False. So did the New York Times. Even the Democrats finally had to fire Ms. Wasserman Schultz.
The best spin of all? The Administration telling us they have created jobs.
Meanwhile, Darcy Burner, a failed candidate for Congress in Washington state echoed Ashley when she said, “Our democracy has been bought and sold by people like the Kochs.”
“So basically the Koch Brothers are the George Soros of the Right?” Rufus asked her in 2012.
Ms. Burner didn’t answer.
“Oh, wait,” Rufus said. “They’re like Soros except for being on the Right and in that they make their money by manufacturing stuff? So she wants us to boycott the poor schlubs who are actually working???”
Ahh, George Soros. “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England” did it by short selling more than $10 billion in pounds sterling which devalued the pound and in a few days put more people around the world out of work than Bain Capital did in all the years Gov. Romney was there.
In 2005 the French Court of Appeals convicted Mr. Soros of insider trading. The French Supreme Court confirmed the conviction the following year.
Even left wing darling Paul Krugman wrote about Mr. Soros, “[N]obody who has read a business magazine in the last few years can be unaware that these days there really are investors who not only move money in anticipation of a currency crisis, but actually do their best to trigger that crisis for fun and profit. These new actors on the scene do not yet have a standard name; my proposed term is ‘Soroi’.”
Mr. Soros, like Democrat Joseph Kennedy before him, became busily engaged in buying approbation after looting the financial markets so they could run what Sen. Bernard Sanders (S-VT) always called the “good PACs.”
Simply unbelievable spin. Except for a True Believer.
Rufus has bought and used equipment from Koch Engineering. The rest of us have probably sipped from a Dixie cup, wiped up with Angel Soft™ toilet paper or Brawny™ paper towels, pulled up socks containing Lycra™ and walked on a Stainmaster™ carpet. All told, the evil Koch Brothers Empire™ employs about 100,000 people most of whom have a paid day off today.
The same can’t be said for the millions upon millions upon Americans who still have no jobs and have simply given up looking for work under this Administration.
Just another Labor Day, eh?
This column has mostly appeared before. I updated the numbers and revisited it because Ms. Clinton and many other candidates running on her coattails promise to continue the policies of this failed Obama Administration. My 2011 Labor Day column about how politicians “create jobs” is worth rereading today as well. You might also enjoy the 2010 Labor Day reminiscence, Milestones.