Monday Brief

The Real Unemployment Numbers

Oct. 8, 2012

The Foundation

“There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.” –George Washington

For the Record

Math for manipulation

“Suspicion about the federal government’s September jobs report has fallen on Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who appeared on CNBC [Friday] morning and defended the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), claiming – falsely – that upward revisions of 86,000 jobs were from the private sector. In fact, the new number is entirely accounted for by upward revisions to state and federal government payrolls. The BLS reported that while only 114,000 jobs were created in September – which would have translated into a rise in unemployment from 8.1% to 8.2% – the unemployment rate fell dramatically to 7.8%. That unusual drop is the fastest in nearly three decades, and was unexpected even in the rosiest predictions. One reason for the rise was an upward revision of 86,000 to the July and August jobs numbers – all of which came from a 91,000 increase in the estimate of public sector jobs. Private sector job estimates were actually revised downward by 5,000. In addition, the BLS reported a large rise in the number of part-time jobs, adding 600,000 jobs to the total – a dramatic increase of 7.5%, not explained by any other economic indicators – and raising questions about whether the government had changed the way it counted part-time workers. … [S]olis describes the 86,000 upward revision as if it were an increase in private sector jobs, though in fact the increase came entirely from revisions to public sector payrolls by cash-strapped federal and state governments. Instead of shedding jobs, as previously claimed, governments have been adding jobs.” –Breitbart’s Joel B. Pollak

Government

“The broader U-6 rate – which takes into account part-time workers who want full-time work and lots of discouraged workers who’ve given up looking – stayed unchanged at 14.7%. That’s a better gauge of the true unemployment rate and state of the American labor market. … The shrunken workforce remains shrunken. If the labor force participation rate was the same as when President Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.7%. If the participation rate had just stayed steady since the start of the year, the unemployment rate would be 8.4% vs. 8.3%. … The 114,000 jobs created would have been a good number … but for 1962, not 2012. The U.S. economy needs 2-3 times that number every month to close the jobs gap (which is the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while also absorbing the people who enter the labor force each month.) At 114,000 jobs a month, the jobs gap would not close until after 2025…. We are still on pace to create fewer jobs this year than last year. In 2012, employment growth has averaged 146,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. … Bottom line: The U.S. labor market remains in a deep depression with virtually no recovery since the official end of the Great Recession. But the Long Recession continues unabated.” –American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis

Insight

“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.” –President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

The Gipper

“The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. … Business doesn’t pay taxes, and who better than business to make this message known? Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business. … If the tax cannot be included in the price of the product, no one along that line can stay in business.” –Ronald Reagan

Political Futures

“If Obama were to show up in a clown suit and flip-flops, the media narrative would be that his unconventional attire was a daring and brilliant move designed to challenge the status quo and to reveal his human side, or possibly a laudable effort to make politics more interesting to children. … It should be obvious that America will continue its descent into socialism as long as voters are immersed in liberal ideology in our schools and when they tune in to the news. Elections will determine only the speed of that descent. … Conservatives never even dream of a day when liberal candidates are peppered with questions by conservative reporters on the nightly news, when network anchors hint darkly at the extremism of liberal candidates, or when schoolchildren celebrate the victory of conservative candidates with songs. Perhaps the fundamental reason, then, for America’s precarious state is that conservatives, by nature, mind our own business.” –columnist Timothy C. Daughtry

Opinion in Brief

“Congress has long been a repository for American unhappiness; the last time Congress was popular, it didn’t exist. Banks have never enjoyed a warm and cozy reputation. George W. Bush was perhaps the least popular two-term president in modern history. But Barack Obama still enjoys the goodwill of the American people. In large part, that’s because he’s personally popular. And he’s personally popular because the American people still see in him, after four years of failure, as the answer to the most burning question in American history: can we bridge our racial gaps? The fact is this: Obama is not personally likeable. He is alternatively arrogant and smug, smarmy and nasty. He is not well liked on the Hill. Every story about his personal interactions has him lording over other participants. And yet he’s liked by the American people. Obama has placed himself in perfect political position: he spent the 2008 campaign convincing the American people that he’s a racial unifier rather than a divider, without any evidence to prove it. Now, the American people don’t want to hear anything to the contrary. … Barack Obama remains well liked because Americans want to like him. They’re willfully blinding themselves to the truer Obama, the more radical Obama. And that’s just the way he likes it.” –columnist Ben Shapiro

Re: The Left

“When President Obama came to the U.N. General Assembly on September 25, his arrogance was on full display. He skipped meeting any world leaders, but did find time to sit down and talk about his lover moves on ABC’s ‘The View.’ Topics included how he’s a ‘romantic husband,’ how he ‘tucks in’ his wife at night and how his first kiss with Michelle is now memorialized by a monument in Chicago. Meanwhile, Israel is preparing for war against a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. Yawn. … Our media failed to report the obvious: Obama is AWOL when it comes to condemning desecrations of Christianity. Where is he with the constant, obscene attacks against Catholics at home? Where is he on the assault on Christianity all across the Muslim world? How about Israel? Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) recently called on the president to ‘stand up for America’s values and beliefs and denounce the "Piss Christ” that has offended Christians at home and abroad.’ … There were no calls to the gallery the way Team Obama called YouTube and asked for censorship. … But in his speech, Obama employed New York City as a model of religious tolerance. … [O]ur very politicized media [are] the ones who are rigging this election and allowing Obama to say all sorts of ludicrous things about religion and to skip all sorts of meeting with world leaders.“ –columnist L. Brent Bozell

Culture

"When artist Andres Serrano photographed a crucifix in a jar with his own urine (‘Piss Christ’), the avant-garde Left not only protected Serrano’s constitutional right to offend millions, but also saw no problem in the U.S. government subsidizing the talentless Serrano’s sophomoric obnoxiousness. But the worldview of the Left is self-contradictory. One of its pet doctrines is multiculturalism – or the idea that non-Western cultures cannot be judged critically by our own inherently biased Western standards. Female circumcision or honor killings in the Muslim world don’t merit our attention in the way that a woman’s right to free abortion pills from her Catholic employer does in the West. … Schools could do better by cutting back on their multicultural classes and reintroducing study of the U.S. Constitution. All immigrants need to pass a basic test on the Bill of Rights as part of winning citizenship. ‘Speaking truth to power’ is not Sandra Fluke grandstanding to ovations at the Democratic convention on behalf of government-supplied free contraception. It is instead our elected officials reminding rampaging Middle Eastern terrorists and bigots that they will not alter our Constitution – and better not try.” –historian Victor Davis Hanson

Faith and Family

“Having a father in the house does more than add income – it gives the children a role model. … The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Survey has been conducted jointly by Princeton and Columbia universities for decades. … The survey shows that most low-income young women dream of having a husband, children, a minivan and a house in the suburbs ‘with a white picket fence.’ They just don’t take the path in life that leads to those goals. Instead of getting married before becoming pregnant, they tend to have the child first. … ‘Marriage is regarded as an important ceremony that will celebrate one’s eventual arrival in the middle class rather than as a vital pathway that leads upward to the attainment of middle-class status,’ as Mr. Rector puts it. … A single mother can receive far more from welfare than if she can if she gets married. So for many low-income couples, marriage means a reduction in government assistance and an overall decline in the couple’s joint income. That’s a clear disincentive. … In 2010, only 59 percent of all births in the nation occurred to married couples, down from 93 percent in 1964. The trend lines are definitely running in the wrong direction. Marriage is at risk – it’s time to save it.” –Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner

Reader Comments

“Mark Alexander asked Who Inherited What from Whom? A point about Obama’s ‘inheritance’ from President Bush: If I am not mistaken, Obama was a member of the Senate and part of the government that brought on the current economic crisis and ultimately bears just as much, if not more, responsibility for the legislation that instigated the downturn. He definitely bears responsibility for prolonging the recession through his ‘top down’ regulations of the health care and energy industries and the outright ownership of a large portion of the auto industry. These new terms ‘economic patriotism’ and ‘state capitalism’ used to be called what they are – fascism.” –Jerry in Tylertown, Mississippi

Friday’s Digest handled the first presidential debate quite well. Clearly from a debate standpoint Romney won this debate hands down. The question, however, is whether the American electorate listened and understood the issues and positions asserted by each candidate. We will know when the only important poll is taken on Election Day.” –Pete in Cypress, Texas

“Mr. Romney did an excellent job in the debate, A+. Mr. O. was terrible since he did not have a teleprompter to read from – he was on his own and failed.” –Lucia in Minneapolis, Minnesota

“I thought the president did a fine job at the debate. With no record to defend, what else could he have said? Besides it was all Bush’s fault anyway.” –Jim in Texas

“Prior to the debate I did not have a lot of confidence in Romney but I absolutely was not going to vote for Obama. After the debate there is no doubt in my mind that Romney will have my vote.” –John in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Friday’s Patriot Post has got to rank with one of the best ever. It outlined all of the news that shows how horrible the Obama administration is and what a travesty it is that this guy ever got elected. The facts can be denied by the Democrats and the liberal press but another debate will again show that truth will beat lies every time. I am only sorry that this country has so many people who are determined to vote for this guy again, regardless of the consequences. What are they thinking?” –Wayne in Annapolis, Maryland

The Last Word

“The fact is the only jobs a president can take credit for are those in the public sector. He can, after all, hire more bureaucrats to fill all those offices in Washington, D.C. But when it comes to the private sector, all he can do is provide a healthy environment by cutting the tax rate, getting rid of the 90% of government regulations that do nothing but stifle businesses and removing the federal snout from all of the many places where it doesn’t belong. What Obama doesn’t tell you is that the only reason that the unemployment rate is closer to 8% than 11% is because so many people have stopped looking for jobs that they’re no longer counted. So when Obama tells you what a great job he’s doing in turning around the economy, it’s a conundrum, with the emphasis on the first syllable.” –columnist Burt Prelutsky

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team