Do you know anyone who has been seeking work in the last several months, and has suddenly found openings?
And yet, the headlines are blaring that unemployment is down to 8.1%!
So, no jobs to speak of are being added, in fact — as Ed Morrissey notes here, our total employment level actually fell by 169K — and yet the unemployment numbers sound encouraging!
Welcome to the funhouse mirror of the Obama Presidency, as reflected (and protected) in the mainstream press.
It’s a game. The press understands all too well the power of a headline in creating perceptions. Outside of news junkies and the moderately curious, there are huge numbers of people who read a headline or a lede — or listen to a 30-second soundbite — and figure that’s the news; that’s what’s true. They don’t bother to read what is (and often is not) spelled out further in the story, and they never know about corrections to the blaring headlines of last week.
Yes, there’s power in that; it’s not an absolute power, because alternative media exists, but it’s enough power to corrupt.
A headline or a soundbite or a bellowing broadcaster, in the tank for Obama and touting an “improved 8.1% unemployment rate” simply makes it so, for many. Repeat a distortion often enough, it becomes “true” for enough people to make a difference.
Here is a difference you should know about:
In April the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 522,000 from 87,897,000 to 88,419,000. This is the highest on record. The flip side, and the reason why the unemployment dropped to 8.1% is that the labor force participation rate just dipped to a new 30 year low of 64.3%.
So, 64% of the nation is working. Some more of this “improvement” and soon we’ll get that down to 55%.
And yet, somehow, government programs are going to take care of all those people who are not working (and address its soaring deficit), from the reduced tax revenues gleaned from a reduced workforce which is already being squeezed every which way. Somehow a government with 1950′s tax revenues is going to afford 2012 entitlements. Forever.
Was it really only six years ago — just before Mrs. Pelosi brought her clown gavel to Congress — that the NY Times was reporting record high tax revenues that were actually curbing the deficit because people had jobs and payroll taxes were being collected?
The president has squandered his term in office; instead of using stimulus monies to create genuine “shovel-ready” jobs that he later said didn’t exist, he allocated the money to cronies hyping “green” endeavors that quickly went belly up, and to the public service, unionized sectors upon whose votes he relies. Instead of focusing on job-creation and reaching out to the business community, he focused on ramming through an unpopular healthcare bill, demonizing corporate job-creators or over-regulating small businesses.
With Obama, what you get is always the exact opposite from what you need. His presidency is the personification of disorientation. Which is why fewer people working translates into lower unemployment numbers. Nothing actually makes any sense at all, and hasn’t for some time — at least not since the press decided that the best person to elevate onto their shoulders and shove into the White House was a fellow so secretive he wouldn’t even release his college transcripts, a guy with little experience in governance and no experience in business or finance, but with a real sharp crease in his pants.
But hey, unemployment is 8.1%! Things are getting better. “Change is slow”, but of course things are getting better; don’t believe your own stinking eyes as your kids come back to live with you because they can’t find a job; don’t believe your own stinking eyes when you take over their student loans because — since they can’t find jobs — they can’t pay their bills.
So much of what is wrong with this country right now can be laid at the feet of a mainstream press that no longer wants to do its job, and has not wanted to for, oh, a good while, now.