Opinion

More Hope and Change!

Jedediah Bila, Red Eye, 1-18-13 edBy Jedediah Bila

In case you weren’t already feeling the hope and the change, meet today’s numbers.

The Hill reports:

The nation’s economy added 88,000 jobs in March, a figure far below expectations that is likely to trigger new doubts about the strength of the economy.

While the unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent, that reflected 496,000 workers leaving the workforce and not a strengthening labor market. The 63.3 percent labor participation rate is the lowest since 1979.

Jim Pethokoukis reminds us:

1. That is a paltry number of jobs, more or less matching assumed labor force growth per month. So the economy must add at least that many jobs just to keep the labor market at current depressed levels. In other words, at 88,000 jobs a month the economy would never ever close the jobs gap.

2. The unemployment rate dropped because of a further decline in the labor force participation rate, now at its lowest level since 1979. If that rate were merely at March 2012 levels, the unemployment rate would have been 8.3%. At January 2009 levels, 11% (or 10.98%). While going back four years ignores demographic factors like baby boomer retirements, the aging of America doesn’t explain the entire drop. (Indeed, before the Great Recession, the Congressional Budget Office predicted 2013 labor force participation would be 65.2% (vs. 63.3% in March), assuming demographic changes.)

Now if that doesn’t put you in the mood for another Obama campaign-style speech, I don’t know what will. And yet, in the midst of these horrific numbers, President Obama is still focused on–you guessed it–tax hikes.

Fox News reports:

The administration is clear that it is offering changes to Social Security and Medicare — the two benefit programs most important to seniors — in order to convince Republicans to accept increased revenues.

I said it during the 2012 election season and I’ll say it again: Obama has no intention of caving on tax hikes for “the rich.” He campaigned on it twice, made it his priority to market wealth redistribution to voters in 2012, demonized Mitt Romney via class-warfare tactics repeatedly, and needs that revenue so that he can continue to spend, spend, spend your money.

What’s astonishing to me is that enough people haven’t lived the awful effects of these economic numbers long enough to know that Obama-style “stimulus” just isn’t working and that taking from one to give to another doesn’t grow the kind of economy that promotes opportunity or success for all.

Why the blindness? Or worse–do many just not care? It’s frightening, because if we become the kind of society that agrees with Barack Obama’s economic philosophy, we’re in trouble. Big trouble. The kind of trouble I’m not sure we can get out of.

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila

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Adam F. Kohler
8 years ago

You need to be interviewed by Rush Limbaugh.

LouM
8 years ago

Sadly, the points made by JB are valid and true. The masses can tell you all about the most popular TV shows but know nothing about the Federal Budget Deficit or the National Debt. The Economy and private sector job market have been so bad for so long that College graduates don’t know what it’s like to have multiple job offers in your field of study. There is almost no one in Politics or the mainstream media that will honestly describe our president as a Socialist or Marxist. He does not believe in a strong Military or American Exceptionalism. He detests Capitalism and the dreaded “1%”. We haven’t had a budget in more than four years. We spend $3.5 Trillion each year and borrow a Trillion dollars each year to do it. Unsustainable, to quote the CBO. Everything our President has advocated has worked against job creation in the Public Sector. You can tax the crap out of the top 1% and make only a small dent in the annual budget deficit. Our President believes in “Social Justice” and “Income Equality”. The dozen speeches by Van Jones explaining all this may still be up on You Tube. Not even the Repubs are advocating real budget cuts. The Ryan budget merely cuts the rate of increases. Depressing, isn’t it? Just remember what Margaret Thatcher said….”Socialism always fails because sooner or later, you run out of other peoples money!”

Congrats to JB on becoming a Fox News Correspondent! You go girl….

Tom O'Rourke
8 years ago

Jedediah, you need an hour long show on Fox prime time to diligently discuss these issues and get away from the bombast of calling people Bible thumpers.

Justin Noyes
8 years ago

I am amazed that the mainstream media is not talking about how the only reason why the employment rate is lower is because more people are no longer counted as being part of the workforce. Were it Bush, they would be screaming bloody murder about the people who have statistically timed out of the work force.

Lyle R. Rolfe
8 years ago

Beck’s fill-in this morning was talkign about Dennis Miller commenting on you being on Red Eye and referred to your legs. He has good taste. As a red blooded American man I have to agree with him. Who says you can’t have beauty and brains in the same person? As for people not believing what is happening, I’m not sure we’ll every be able to get through to many of them until it’s way too late.I see so many anti Obama things on the internet but no one seems to be going after any of them–stories on his stealing the electoin through corrupt election judges etc., Obama doing whatever he wants with executive orders etc. No one in Congress seems to care about any of this. Why not? If us common folk know of these things, our legislators must know of them. Why are they refusing to admit these things are happeing? When will they do so and go after him? If they don’t wake up, they’ll go down the tubes with the rest of us. Obama won’t save them unless they happen to be his puppet legislators. I am hoping I’m wrong about all this, but I woulldn’t bet money on it.

PaulE
8 years ago

As to the reduction in unemployment. That is only happening because of the way the government chooses to measure the stats. As Jimmy P. points out, if you’re looking at over half a million people giving up looking for productive employment in a month’s time and the government doesn’t choose to account for these people anymore, then sure the unemployment rate will tick down.

By that logic, if we keep ignoring the fact that more and more people are giving up on finding any meaningful employment, the government will soon be touting that they’ve solved the unemployment issue. The labor participation rate will eventually fall to somewhere below 50 percent. We’ll still have tens of millions of people unemployed, but not counted by the government, and Obama running around saying we have the lowest unemployment rate in 20 years as the welfare and social security disability rolls explode to absorb all those who have given up on ever finding meaningful employment.

Instead of looking at the U3 number, which is the number the federal government uses to calculate the unemployment rate, people should instead focus on the U6 number. That number takes into account all the nasty real issues, like labor participation rate reductions, that the government chooses to ignore for political reasons. That shows our national unemployment rate is currently 13.8 percent. Here’s the link:

http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate_u6.jsp

PaulE
8 years ago

I saw this morning that various talking heads for the administration were already trying to blame the dismal numbers on the sequestor. What a joke. If you look at how the numbers break down, the tiny amount associated with federal labor loss is inconsequential. Look for the all the weekend talk shows to feature administration spokesmen pushing the sequestor to try to swing the blame from Obama’s bad economic policies to the Republicans> Of course none of them will bring up that the sequestor was Obama’s idea to start.

As to where the real drop off in employment occurred, it was mainly concentrated in the retail sector pulling back. Gee, do you think businesses are starting to prepare for the implementation of ObamaCare by either not hiring additional people or converting as many of their existing employees to part-time as possible to try and minimize the financial hit they face in less than a year? It isn’t hard to determine cause and effect here.

JLB
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Paul E,

You are well informed on the issues. Keep posting your thoughts. Maybe we can educate a few people.

Len Bliss
8 years ago

Have you noticed that nobody considers the future consequences of Obama’s actions, policies, and regulations.
It seems most of us fail to consider that even if Obama means well, there may be in the future a President that will
take advantage of the changes he made to give the President such an unlawful amount of power. I stll believe that
he has overstepped his executive authority, and Congress has not halted him like they should, regarding his blatantly
unconstitutional power grabs and monetary practice. All Americans need to focus on laws passed that are not supported by Constitutional Law and should require amanding the Constitution. And where are the times when we used national referendum to poll the people’s will, instead of some poll that is always biased and mathematically invalid. Mathematicians will tell you that all the polls are invalid. The only way to know the margin of error is to compare the poll results against the entire affected population. When was the last time you saw a poll saying that over 200 million registered voters were polled?

Joe Severa
8 years ago

Hi Jedediah:

I need for you or your staff to change my email addy. My ISP has too often not allowed me to download URLs in my email.

Pls use [email protected] from here on.

As for your comments to today’s stats, I’m with you. I’m more of a Centrist, we have too many old Rhinos in Congress, we need more Tea Party folks before the 2014/2016 elections w/o a doubt.

Do you know the real reason(s) that Glen Beck left Fox TV Jedediah? He’s lost a lot of following down here in Central East Fla ever since leaving Fox TV.

T.I.A.!

JLB
8 years ago

If the Obama administration receives additional revenue from tax increases they will not use the money to reduce the deficit; they will use it to increase spending. Tax increases do not always result in an increase in revenue. People will find tax shelters or just stop working when rates become too high. If the government is going to take fifty percent of every dollar someone earns many people will choose leisure over productive work.

To create jobs we need to make production easier. High taxes, burdensome regulations and the uncertainty of Obamacare are suffocating entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large corporations. Until this environment changes we will continue to have anemic job growth.

We have failed to learn an important lesson from history. The same types of policies prolonged the recession of 1929 until it became the Great Depression.

PaulE
8 years ago
Reply to  JLB

JBL,

The reason very few recognize the similarities between the wrong-headed policies of FDR and Obama, is because history is not taught any longer. At least not factual history anyway. Look at what is in most of the social studies books students are using today and you’ll see what I mean. These days what is taught in most schools is a revisionist load of nonsense designed to promote and lionize the policies of Wilson, FDR and other “progressives”, while at the same time distorting the mis-characterizing the policies of presidents like Coolidge and Reagan. The intent is to indoctrinate, not educate the young.

So the education system of course tends to turn out graduates that are functionally illiterate when it comes to real American or world history and who are pre-disposed to vote for candidates that mirror what they have been taught (conditioned) to accept as “good economic policies” (progressive policies). That we have ended up where we are, with so many unable to recognize what is so obviously wrong, is perfectly understandable under these conditions.

JLB
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

The way history, economics and government are taught – or not taught – in our school is a national disgrace.

Arthur Rooney
8 years ago

By all means when the numbers are bad, publish your righteous indignation and disgust with glee.

When the numbers are good, be sure to hide them and tell nobody.

Otherwise, people might suspect that you, like the network you report to, are “fair and balanced.”

Joe Severa
8 years ago
Reply to  Arthur Rooney

Jedediah publishes all numbers, but you Socialist/Marxists are biased & wrong. You Obama suck-ups disgust me Arthur!!! You should talk about media bias, you have no honor to our FREE country, get lost!!! Even the ACLU has turned on you.

Arthur Rooney
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe Severa

Hey Joe,

Ex-marine here. Fought in VN 1967 through late 1968. Injured when a howitzer-type cannon explosion hit my platoon.

Neither a socialist nor marxist am I, and I wouldn’t dare think of leaving this country.

“Even the ACLU has turned on you”…. I’m still trying to figure out what you mean by that.

The fact remains that J.B. never reports good news, only bad. You are wrong when you say she “publishes all numbers”.

chamuiel;
8 years ago
Reply to  Arthur Rooney

The ACLU has come down and against the New gun control laws that obama and the Liberals are trying to push through Congress.

I see you have difficulty keeping up.

Len Bliss
8 years ago
Reply to  Arthur Rooney

Please explain to all of us when Obama’s numbers were good. I still remember that the numbers are adjusted
in a week or so, in the worse direction. The monthly numbers supplied by the Gov’t. are not final. If you look, you will see that jobs will decrease from 10,000 to as much as 50,000 and unem % will increase, accordingly, by as much as 0.4%.

MJ
8 years ago

100% right. Scary it is.

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