Obama, Unemployment and The Big Lie

snake oil
Somebody, they might have been famous, I don’t know for sure, once said that if you tell a big lie often enough, eventually you’ll convince a lot of morons that the lie is the truth. Unsurprisingly, this tactic, a favorite of totalitarians and community organizers everywhere is being used by Obama. From his State of the Union speech:

Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis.

If you think this is true, raise your hand. See, except for the one hairy chick wearing the DailyKos tee shirt no one raised their hand. That is because, given the choice between believing Obama and your own lying eyes you trust your lying eyes more. From the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment:

Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

What the media are catching onto is what conservatives have known for some years. If you force enough people out of the job market you can make the unemployment rate decline. The story of Obama’s economy can be told in two graphs.



The number of discouraged workers, those persons who are out of work but have given up looking for work, remains very high. In fact, it is on par with the aftermath of the dot com bust in the late 90s.

labor force


The labor force participation rate is back to where it was when most families only had one adult in the workforce.

So when you read utterly bizarre stuff, I mean stuff like this that can only be written while taking industrial strength anti-psychotic drugs and huffing airplane glue Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing there is only two ways this is true and both are designed to deceive you. First, when Reagan took office the US had a population of about 230 million. In 2015, we have 320 million. The left is relentless in a direct job creation comparison which is ludicrous. Of course more jobs are being created today, we have 50% more people. The sad fact is that job creation today is not keeping pace with population growth. Which brings us to the second point. People are checking out of the labor force at a staggering rate. By encouraging this, Obama is able to hold the unemployment numbers down.

This recovery is a Potemkin Recovery. It is illusory. The reality is that the economy is in the tank, and it is in the tank because Obama would rather preside over a nation dependent upon the federal dole than working and independent.


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