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Political Editors / Sep. 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day — If You Have a Job

Even Obama admits “too many working folks still feel left behind.”

The headline unemployment rate is at 4.9% after Friday’s jobs report — about where it has been for the last nine months. But, the real unemployment rate, when taking into account Americans who are now chronically unemployed and no longer looking for work, is in excess of 10%. The fact is, a record number of Americans are out of the labor force, and in a now familiar refrain, job growth slowed in August and remains stuck in the same ditch it’s been in for the last seven years — stagnating.

Cue Barack Obama’s Labor Day radio address, where even he conceded that “too many working folks still feel left behind by an economy that’s constantly changing.” Actually, they have been “left behind” by Obama and his Democrat Party — they have betrayed American workers.

Let’s look at the Democrat record. A year after they took over Congress in 2007, the housing market bubble, previously inflated by easy-lending policies enacted by Bill Clinton a decade earlier, began a rapid deflation. Democrats’ answer to government-caused cascading economic crisis of confidence was, as always, more government. In 2009 Obama and his Democrat Congress passed a near-trillion dollar “stimulus spending package” that did nothing to stimulate the economy and everything to grow the size of government, while lining the pockets of leftist constituents and cronies. Additionally, Democrats passed the so-called “Affordable Care Act,” which has proven a colossal failure and an huge obstacle to economic growth. So yeah, you could say the economy is “constantly changing,” and the net effect of Obama’s policies have crushed the middle class.

In regard to labor unions, one of the Left’s most vociferous captive constituencies, since 2008 an estimated 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created, but none were union. In fact, since Obama took office, labor union membership has dropped 4% overall. Commercial sector unions are now at 7% down from 20% 30 years ago, because union labor is not competitive. But, government employee unions – federal, state and local – have now grown to 35%, because they are not subject to competition – which explains the chronic lack of productivity in the bowels of federal bureaucracies. However, state government unions will likely slide in the future, primarily due to right-to-work legislation such as that in Wisconsin, where teacher unions have sided with Gov. Scott Walker and are decertifying their unions.

And as far as working folks being left behind, Obama has undermined workers at every turn. He’s pushed for a record number of economically suppressing regulations, a higher minimum wage that will price low-skilled laborers out of the jobs market, and advocated a virtual open borders policy, which has flooded the market with low-skilled labor. In short, Democrats are bad for business, which means they are bad for labor.

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