As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama Isn’t Creating Jobs; He’s Creating Welfare

The jobs numbers for May come out Friday, and as you read them, remember, they hardly tell the full story.

That’s because, as former Bush economic adviser Edward Lazear makes clear in a superb piece today in the Wall Street Journal, the proper measure of employment is not unemployment, but, well, employment.

That is, the unemployment rate you will see Friday, as many of you are aware, doesn’t count those who are “discouraged” and have stopped looking for jobs, taking them out of the officially counted workforce. This had contributed to the recent declines in the unemployment rate.

But a better term than “discouraged” for many of them may be “encouraged” – as in, ENCOURAGED TO DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN WORK.

Lazear notes that in an unprecedented turn of events, the unemployment and the employment rate are not moving inversely to each other. That is, unemployment is declining, but employment is not increasing:

The better measure of a strong labor market is the proportion of the population that is working, not the proportion that isn’t. In 2006, 63.4% of the working-age population was employed. That percentage declined to a low of 58.2% in July 2011 and now stands at 58.6%. By this measure, the labor market’s health has barely changed over the past three years . . .

Over the same period, the unemployment rate has declined from 9 percent to the current level of 7.5 percent. In fact, as the unemployment rate has declined from its top rate of 10 percent in October 2009, the employment rate has remained uncannily steady at around 58.5 percent.

So let’s think. Fewer people are unemployed, but employment doesn’t rise. Where on earth are these nice people going? Someone’s feeding them. Who’s feeding them?


 . . . because government benefits are lost when income rises, some people forgo poor jobs in lieu of government benefits—unemployment insurance, food stamps and disability benefits among the most obvious. The disability rolls have grown by 13% and the number receiving food stamps by 39% since 2009.

The Obama administration has been aggressively “reaching out” to sign up seniors, illegal immigrants – anyone who might need it – for benefits like food stamps and disability. And lo and behold, this seems to be one thing government is good at – nourishing its own growth.

Ironic, isn’t it? The White House touts the decline in the unemployment rate, perhaps the most recognizable symbol of the health of a capitalist economy. And yet, the reason the rate is improving is because socialism is expanding.

56 Responses to Obama Isn’t Creating Jobs; He’s Creating Welfare

    • Yes. Drawing on her deep understanding of macroeconomics, she stated…

      At a press conference in her home town of San Francisco, Pelosi explained that the program’s multiplier effect –the amount of money generated in the local economy as the result of the subsidy– far exceeds the nearly $60 billion spent this year by the federal government and is a sure-fire way to stimulate the economy. For every dollar a person receives in food stamps, Pelosi said that $1.79 is put back into the economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture cites an even higher figure of $1.84.

      Clearly, even the Ag Department is under the same mis-conception that taking money from productive people (or the future productive people) and handing in to the definitionally unproductive, there is some weird positive multiplier effect on the economy. Again, Orwell speaks from the grave on this one.

    • Oh, really? So who the hell are you, and what courageous thing have YOU done for this country lately? And what, exactly, is YOUR plan of action going forward?

      What, exactly, do YOU plan to do? If you’re going to accuse us of not taking action, you’d damn sure better tell us what YOUR next action is going to be, or else you’re nothing but a drive-by hypocritical cheap shot artist.

      • And if I were a camel I would most certainly choose to passe through the eye of a needle rather than spend a minute with Princess Nancy!!

    • Climbing out from under your scandalmania rock to lob a few grenades? I’d be careful popping off like that – your government is watching you.

  1. It’s all rather Orwellian, in my opinion. We’ve lost touch a long time ago with objective metrics and use the words that convey what our leader wants us to believe. Unemployment metrics were changed a while ago to no longer reflect the actual situation. Because the standard definition has been compromised, most people use the Labor Participation Rate (LPR):

    The graph on the link show, as noted above by Keith & Lazear, that while unemployment seems to be getting better, the LPR has fallen rather steadily since Obama has taken office.

    • Rod – good link.
      Reminds me of COLA. I can’t remember what metrics were used prior, but do recall that certain line items were removed over the years.

    • “It’s all rather Orwellian, in my opinion. We’ve lost touch a long time ago with objective metrics and use the words that convey what our leader wants us to believe. Unemployment metrics were changed a while ago to no longer reflect the actual situation. ” – Rod

      They did the same sort of thing with inflation when they took food and energy off the table. So, as long as you don’t eat, drive, or need power for anything, your inflation is totally under control.

      And if you believe THAT, we’ll just move on to how Benghazi was because of a video, Obama can’t control the IRS, and the Justice Department can be trusted to invetigate Holder while Al Qaida is on the run…and if you like THAT, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn they’d be happy to sell you…

  2. Those who are dependent on government will continue to vote for more government. And once something is given for free, try taking it away.

    Wonderful country we are living in, isn’t it?

    • It’s a most encouraging economy. Obama encourages people not to work and not to be discouraged. Meanwhile, he did all he could to encourage Romney supporters not to vote, while discouraging attempts to treat everyone equally at the polling place.

      Even with all this encouraging and discouraging, “courage” is not a word befitting this administration.

          • I wish everybody would have figured this out earlier! Do all the people who stayed home think we are better off! Did they not think that by not voting they were certainly giving votes to BO? What WERE they thinking?

    • 5 years ago?

      You know Democrats don’t like to talk about things that were “a long time ago”-unless they can somehow tie it to Bush- so you need to update it a little…

      Where were they before November 2012?!?

      I’d ask where they were on this “credibilty” thing on 9/11/2012, but THIS we’ve already been told is ancient history, and “what difference does it make”…

    • Good God,
      A chill just ran up my spine. We HAVE committed suicide. I am afraid there’s no going back from the nanny state we’re in now!

  3. The cowardly republicans led by Boehner and McConnell won’t turn off the money spigot to the leviathan. They know there will be riots in the streets so they keep the illusion of a healthy economy by funding these out of control programs like the massive farm bill that is 80% food stamps.

    They know we are headed for a fall, but they are such cowards they won’t tell us the truth. Our liberty is being stolen by the administrative state and where are our leaders defending our civil society? Why aren’t they on the floor of Congress demanding a stop to this governmental overreach? Except for a handful of brave patriots in Congress, the cowardly and amoral congressional leadership is nowhere in sight.

    • “Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” – George Orwell

      Boehner, McCain, Biden, Obama…the differences are only, in Carney’s words, “stylistic”…

  4. There are so many different reasons for the welfare society that no one cause can be determined. Our schools are turning out or turning off dummies who can’t do math, have a limited vocabulary and no incentive to get the only job they’re qualified for…tossing french fries into the fryer. If a child manages to get to college, they pick majors that have no employment values and end up with nothing but massive tuition debt.
    We have millions of people who don’t have any skills to get any kind of job anywhere. The days of holding a shovel are gone; gone to the incestuous unions or the illegal immigrants who work for peanuts. The shade-tree mechanic is gone, never to return, because of the technical, electronic vehicles on the road.
    It’s too hard, too complicated to start up a small business. Permits, regulations, upfront costs are daunting and defeating.
    The welfare recipients, the food stamp families, and the desperate on faux disablility are only trying to stay alive in this new world of digital and specialized jobs.
    When the EPA shut down coal mines in WestVirginia they killed all employment opportunies for the former miners and their families. No one gets a new job with “coal miner” on their resume. Small business’ squeezed with mind-boggling rules and regulations that cost more to implement than their yearly income are forced to close their doors.

    We can’t let these people starve on the streets, nor can we turn our backs on those who are the least of us. We’re stuck with this new world and I don’t see any solution in the future.

    • The solution is to elect people who will roll back regulations and hold them accountable if they don’t.

      I started selling some of my baked goods a couple of years ago. I do it from my home which in NJ is illegal, you have to spend money to rent commercial space which is not readily available. But I’m small, don’t advertise and stay under the radar. I don’t earn that much from it, a few thousand dollars a year. Someone invited me to join a farm market that they’re starting. In order to do that I had to get a food handlers license, which cost me about $300, and insurance. I have not been able to find an affordable insurance policy. So far the cheapest is $2000, which is about 4 times what I would probably earn at the farm market. I feel like one of the kids whose lemonade stand gets shut down. And we wonder why there is no growth in the small business sector. Most of the people who might have started a business are either still under the radar or have been scared away. I don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in commercial space and fees. I just want to make people happy by selling them cookies and cakes.

      • Nova Scotia, where I live, has a very seasonal economy, with tourism and fishing being the two main industries. It has traditionally been a “have-not” province where many people collect employment insurance during the off season. Some people sold baked goods at weekend markets to augment their income. The provincial government enacted laws demanding labelling listing all ingredients, nutritional info, calorie and carb counts etc. Consequence? No more home-baked goods at markets.

        • I love Nova Scotia. We used to go camping up there every summer when I was little. We saw many stranded fishermen when the tides receded in under 5 minutes.

          There’s a group of people here working very hard to get a cottage food law passed. It’s been years and it always seems like our legislators have more important things to vote on, yet these same legislators don’t seem to be able to get our economy moving. You’d think at some point a light bulb would go off. It’s very frustrating.

    • Hard to pick one reason? I’m going with President Johnson. Not only did he “lie and people died” but he did start Johnson’s Great Society. While not meaning to disagree, it might not be a skills issue. You can’t even find people willing to work a shovel. (I know, even liberals should have skills here…they’ve been shovelin for years. But i digress) Full employement isn’t hard to accomplish. But many “jobs” have been displaced by the impact of government regulations and unions demands. It is cheaper to invest in a backhoe or rent one than to attempt to get anyone to do hard work.

  5. Oooh. I missed this one. Thanks for posting.

    I say , get rid of food stamps COMPLETELY!! Let hungry people pick up all the rice, beans, fresh vegetables and milk they can carry. that diet will motivate everyone to work and will do wonders for the obesity epidemic.

  6. Alas, Keith, Obama isn’t feeding the people who have stopped looking for work; the taxpayers are. But you know that….

  7. Memo
    To: NSA snoops
    From: srdem65

    Hi. Now that we know someone is taking note of everything we say and write, every hour of every day, I’m wondering if you would do me a solid and give my regards to the President and let him know that we’re not doing very well out here in flyover country. You can tell him that we’re not looking for a handout, but rather we’d appreciate it if he can get the federal government’s hands off of our shoulders and out of our pockets.
    Thanks, guys.
    BTW, good luck with that terrorist thing.

  8. Absolutely. The more useful idiots, sheeple, and the gimmedat crowd receive free bennies, the more they will vote jackass to keep those goodies flowing.

  9. We could call for impeachment until we turned blue. It won’t make a bit of difference with Harry and the rest of the Democrats (including those so-called Republicans that continuously sell conservatives out) in control. Impeachment will never see the light of day as long as these power hungry morons are in charge. They don’t fear the populace. They continue to get reelected.

    Shift the balance and then we can have serious talk about impeachment. Until then, Obama will continue to get away with this and much more. We all would love for him to be impeached, but we are a little more realistic around here.

  10. Who knew having a black man as President would turn people into just hateful, hypocritical racist Scumbags? Oh, yeah…I did!

    I kept saying Obama-haters ARE the biggest racists since the KKK and the Neo-nazis combined. Turns out I was right, as usual.

    What’s even more disgusting is the usual racists on the right playing hoiler than thou, calling Obama a liar, while in the same breath making up lies about Obama and then using those lies to build a whole narrative like him not supporting the troops.
    If failing to commemorate D-day is a measure of hate for veterans. Then I guess Bush hates veterans 6 times more than Obama does. Since Bush failed to commemorate the D-day anniversary 6 times during his presidency. In June 6th 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, George Bush made absolutely no mention of D-day, and attended other meetings and functions on those days, including a concert, but why is that……OH, WAIT. IT WAS BECAUE HE’S WHITE! THAT IS THE ONLY REASON!!

    If Barack Obama was a Muslim, why would people talk about the church he attended in Chicago?

    President Obama is neither a communist or anti- American. He is a decent man trying to govern a country in difficult times .

    Communist is the biggest over statement. A liberal may be. A communist no, if the guy was a serious communist there would probably have been a revolution in America. Just because he wants to help his people doesn’t make him a Marxist.

    Obama is not a crazy white-hating communist, you’re a mentally damaged black-hating racist. Obama is not an America-hating Marxist, you’re a Stuipid racist. Who ever actually believes Obama is a Muslim needs to get their head examined. He is Not a dictator.

    You racists keep calling a traitor, or at least someone who palled around with terrorists – and called a socialist, and a communist, and a Muslim, and a godless atheist in the same breath when he’s nothing of the sort!

    NO! and he’s not destroying America. He Got Bin Laden. (NOT KILLED) Got pirates. Killed more radical muslims than civilian killing Bush. Taking Iran to the mats. Withdrew from agreement when N Korea doubled back. Got us out of Iraq, honorable. Saved the country from financial ruin. Saved GM and Chrysler and a million American jobs. Got health coverage for 40 million Americans.

    POS!?!? it’s no coincidence that such derogatory and meaningless epithets are used by racists. Calling the POTUS a POS and a fraud seems to the usual calling call for you right-wing racists and bigots like you,

    You call yourselves ‘patriots’ but clearly the Republicans care more about party than about country. Their entire strategy is to get back into power, and they don’t care how much damage they do to the country in the process.

    The ‘Destroy Obama‘ game plan has been simple: Obstruct, disrespect and demonize the president — as un-American a.k.a “Not one of WHITE Us”.

    No president in the history of this country has suffered more dis-respect than Obama.

    When you call Obama un-American, a Communist” a Marxist, a Muslim, we all know you mean “n@@@@@

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