Sunday, October 7, 2012

Wag The Economist

[Posted by Jake]

We've all heard the prevailing wisdom that no President has ever been re-elected with an unemployment rate above 8%. So is anyone surprised that, right on cue, the government jobs report squeaks just under that symbolic 8% threshold, conveniently one month before the election?

Fresh off Obama's embarrassing performance in the debate last Wednesday, otherwise known as the "debacle in Denver", these supposedly neutral government reports couldn't have come at a better time for the President. His campaign could switch gears from making excuses for Obama's 90-minute broadcast meltdown to reiterating the fantasy that their economic plans were finally beginning to work. It's too bad actually, because the post-debate excuses were almost as entertaining as the actual event.

Unfortunately, there is no entertainment value in the human misery these labor statistics convey. Even if you accept the new 7.8% unemployment numbers, they are based upon assumptions that reflect an America in profound distress. The total unemployment and underemployment rate (the U6 computation) remains the same, a debilitating 14.7%.

Likewise, the labor force participation rate has not changed and is stuck at a 30-year low. If this labor force participation rate was the same size as when Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.7%. It should be no cause for celebration that millions of Americans have given up looking for work.

So the politicking and spinning will go on, obscuring the high cost of this Administration's economic and leadership failures. What is especially troubling is that in Mitt Romney we have perhaps the most qualified person ever to run for President and fix these problems. As long as the voters permit these "Wag The Dog" or "Wag The Economist" campaigns to dumb down our public discourse, then we will continue to suffer with a partisan, incompetent government diminishing the American dream.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake.
Your implication that the unemployment statistics were cooked is insane. I'm no fan of Obama but, you are engaging in conspiracy type thinking which allows for any kind of rationalization that fits your preferred view of reality.

October 8, 2012 at 2:15 PM 
Blogger jake said...

Anon,
If I'm insane, then I'm in pretty good company.
A quote from the Gallup chief economist, "Friday's report of a drop to 7.8% in the Household survey seemed to surprise everyone...The problem is that even though the Household survey tends to be very volatile, this decline seems to lack face-validity, particularly after the prior month's numbers."

October 8, 2012 at 8:05 PM 
Blogger CharlieSix said...

I'm with you, Jake. And with Gallup. THe BLS numbers just don't make sense. We're in good company, ala Jack Welch who knows a thing or two about numbers.

October 8, 2012 at 8:36 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake and Charlie,
Perhaps the chief economist at Gallop has a point about finding a more valid measure of unemployment. But, if you challenge the numbers in Obama's favor, why not be suspect of the ones that were not ?

October 8, 2012 at 11:08 PM 
Blogger jake said...

Anon,

The problem is that Obama and the liberals are politicizing, and therefore corrupting, much of the information and institutions the people reasonably expect to be honest and accurate.

The bias of the media and their suspect polling have been more obvious in this election than ever before.

And the publication of the federal labor statistics have routinely been adjusted after-the-fact these past four years. When did the excuse of "unexpectedly" become the new normal for every unemployment report?

October 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM 

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