With so many threats facing or involving our country- and the president’s perpetual, head-shaking incompetence in dealing with these threats- be it confronting the perils of ISIS, dealing with Iran as it continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons; the socio-economic consequences stemming from illegal immigration; that Ebola and the “mysterious” Enterovirus both pose a considerable health threat to the nation- there’s been an understandable tendency to overlook the country’s lagging economic situation which in its own way, also poses a threat to the well being of the country.
And as if on cue, the president- in an attempt to remind the nation that he hasn’t forgotten about our continued financial struggles- has taken to giving yet another campaign style speech (midterms, anyone), this time at Northwestern University, to praise his administration’s economic achievements. At this point in his presidency, that he has to remind our reassure the country that the economy is slowly “recovering” is a sure sign that a majority of Americans don’t feel as optimistic as the president would mislead them to be. And according to one poll, almost 60 percent of likely voters disprove of the president’s economic leadership.
And for good reason- very few believe him. Given the president’s tendency to aggressively flee from the responsibility of leadership on almost every issue, it’s easy to see why he’s lost the trust of the American people.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that based upon its third estimate of second quarter data, GDP grew at an annual rate of 4.6 percent, an increase from its previous estimate of 4.2 percent. But before opening bottles of cheap champagne, know that when averaged with the first quarter’s 2.1 percent contraction, it means the economy has only grown 1.25 percent this year.
The overall unemployment rate shockingly dropped to 5.9 percent while the U-6 rate is 11.8 percent. The unemployment rate for blacks and black teens dropped to 11 percent and 30.5 percent, respectively. The labor force participation rate also declined to 62.7 percent– the lowest it’s been since February 1978, a 36- year low (it was 65.7 percent in June ’09 when Obama declared the recession over) while 9.3 million people are considered “unemployed.” A record 92.5 million people remain out of the workforce altogether.
Job creation for the month of September was up from the previous month, with ADP estimating that 213,000 private sector jobs were created, while the BLS said that 248,000 jobs were created, a considerable improvement from the previous month, even after the number of jobs created was revised upward to 180,000 from 148,000. Of those jobs, too many continue to be part time employment, which is more proof that all jobs aren’t created the same. Over 7 million people are forced to work part time jobs because they can’t find full time work, a slight decrease from the previous month. So though jobs are being created, which is obviously good, not enough full time jobs are being created at the pace needed to have the kind of economic impact many Americans need like increased employment at higher wages.
And speaking about not having enough jobs, a survey form Rutgers University found that 20 percent of workers were laid off in the last five years (post recession), while more than 20 percent of those who lost their jobs still haven’t another one. The survey also said that it took almost seven months for the nearly 40 percent of those who were laid off to find another job. Further, half of the estimated 30 million people who were laid off found work that paid less than their previous jobs.
The Senate Budget Committee released a report showing the stark facts related to this jobless recovery. The report says that 25 percent of Americans in their prime working years- almost 30 million Americans between the ages of 25-54, aren’t working.
Other economic related news of note-
- A recently released Pew Research Center report shows that a majority of Americans- 79 percent- sees the current economic conditions as “fair” or “poor” while only 22 percent see the economy improving a year from now. So when the president says, as he did in his speech at Northwestern University, “Believe me, we’re better off,” most Americans simply don’t feel the same way.
- The negative effects of Obamacare on businesses continue to grow. According to data from a report released by the American Action Forum, take-home pay at small businesses was dramatically reduced by almost $23 billion as a result of Obamacare-related insurance premium increases, totaling nearly $1000 per employee. The report also found that these insurance-related premium increases were responsible for the loss of over 350,000 jobs. The employer mandate begins in 2016, which means this kind of business-related preparation will increase meaning more lost jobs.
- The Department of Agriculture says that 46,496,145 Americans receive SNAP assistance. This number is large enough to fill Yankee Stadium 925 times.
No matter how hard president Obama shakes his pom-poms in an effort to fool the country into believing his economic policies have been successful, too many Americans remain unemployed and underemployed with lower wages, coupled with rising costs. Very few Americans believe things will improve in the near future- economically or otherwise- under his tepid, incompetent and uninspiring leadership.
It’s the direct result of electing an inexperienced academic to the presidency.