Saturday, September 15, 2012

Prepare To Scrub Toilets For A Living

Last week Bloomberg News carried the poignant tales of formerly prosperous Greek citizens who lost everything and were forced to take low paying jobs doing menial labor in foreign countries.

Before the Greek economy crashed and unemployment soared to 24 percent, Tilemachos Karachalios was a pharmaceutical salesman. Today he scrubs toilets in Sweden.

In many ways, Greece has come to resemble those Latin American, third world nations whose citizens have to seek work outside their nation’s borders so that they can send home a few dollars each month to support the families they left behind.

Greece’s path to poverty was inevitable, too much government spending, too much dependency on government handouts, an excessive government debt load and an overly burdensome welfare state.

Does any of this sound familiar?

According to President Barack Obama, last month’s pitiful employment data, which showed that only 96,000 seasonally adjusted jobs were created, “provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”

Let’s take a closer look at what qualifies as good news in the Age of Obama.

Last month, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1%. That may sound like good news, but the drop was not attributable to any great surge in hiring. In fact, when one takes into account the natural growth in the population, the economy would have had to generate another 40,000 jobs just to break even. This drop in the unemployment rate was the result of another 368,000 Americans despairing of ever finding work again.

That means that nearly four times as many Americans gave up looking for work last month as actually found jobs. If the labor force were the same as it had been the previous month, the official unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%.

For that matter, Obama has been far better at creating food stamp recipients than jobs. During May, the last month for which we have data, 173,000 Americans went on food stamps. Obamanomics created only 69,000 jobs that month.

Meanwhile, job growth for the last two months has been revised downward. Way down. June job growth was originally reported as 63,000. It has since been corrected to 45,000. July’s job creation was revised downward from the original estimate of 163,000 to 141,000.

Obama has now presided over 43 consecutive months of unemployment over 8%. And had it not been for all those people giving up since he took office, the unemployment rate would be 11.2%. Assuming that the August numbers are not revised downward (as they most likely will be), over the last three months combined, the US economy has created only 280,000 jobs. At this point in Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the US economy was creating 800,000 jobs per month.

And it’s worth remembering that in May of 2004, when Barack Obama delivered the Democrats’ weekly radio address, he dismissed the creation of 310,000 jobs during the previous month as inadequate.

Two thirds of all the jobs created during the Obama “recovery” are low wage, “hamburger flipper” type jobs. Most are temporary. Few people are finding career path employment under Obama’s so-called recovery.

But frankly, even these data underestimate the devastation Obama has wrought upon this country. If one adds to the unemployed those people who have given up looking for work, along with those who are “marginally attached” to the workforce, meaning that they are in low-paid, temporary jobs, and those who are involuntarily working in part time jobs, the real unemployment rate approaches 20%.

And even that’s doesn’t fully capture the damage. Of the jobs that have been destroyed under Obama, most were middle class jobs. Most of the jobs now being created are low-paid jobs in the service industry.

Add those jobs into the mix and our economy is barely distinguishable from Greece’s.

And as we saw in Wisconsin during the recall election, the Occupy Wall Street movement and now with the Chicago teachers’ strike, there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the conduct of our leftists and the behavior of Greek protestors.

It’s just another manifestation of our drift downward spiral into 21st century Hellenism.

You can’t say we weren’t warned. Four years ago, a pretentious Barack Obama delivered his acceptance address at the Democratic National Convention framed by Greek columns. And today he is giving us Greek economics.

If Obama is re-elected, you might want to update your resume to include your toilet scrubbing skills.


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