And that’s why, even as we’ve tackled the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression, even as we’ve wound down the war in Iraq and refocused our efforts in Afghanistan, my administration has refused to ignore some of the fundamental challenges facing this generation.
President Barack Obama, July 1, 2010
Stocks continued to slump this week as warnings spread of economic decline and double dip recession. A much-dreaded ADP report showed abysmal private sector job creation that should not have been a surprise to anyone paying attention to the lack of momentum in this economy.
Today’s release of June’s jobs numbers revived the same fears that helped drag the economy down at the start of the recession. The dissonance between the president’s words and the reality of our decline should be a frank reminder to everyone that lack of veracity is one of this administration’s biggest problems.
The president was wise to jumpstart his push to convert illegal immigrants into American citizens before we received the news that the economy dumped 125,000 jobs in June. While Washington will likely trot out the .2% decline in the unemployment rate, and the 83,000 jobs created by the private sector as signs of forward progress, the facts lie in the details. To be fair, the job losses were attributable mainly to the termination of temporary census positions, which were also responsible for inflating the job creation figures in May. Still, there is sad truth to be had here:
14.6 million Americans were unemployed in June 2010. Of the 83,000 private sector jobs created, 21,000 were in temporary help.
Compared to May 2010:
- Unemployment rates for adult men, teenagers, whites, blacks, and Hispanics were unchanged.
- The number of long-term unemployed, 6.8 million and 45.5% of total unemployed, did not change.
- The number of those working less than full-time because of the economy stayed the same.
- Average hourly earnings decreased for some groups, and were unchanged for others.
- The length of the average workweek dropped to 34.1 hours.
Figures from U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Employment Situation – June 2010.
From the day that Mr. Obama assumed office, observers warned that job creation was being ignored despite a horrendous, worst-case scenario recession. While our presidents are allowed to indulge their private agendas on a level that most of us cannot begin to conceptualize, Mr. Obama has an even rarer opportunity to work with a Congress who not only swallows his worldview, but has the impetus to pass legislation to make it reality.
Inexplicably, the lack of jobs is either not considered our most important problem or, more likely, the president has decided to use unemployment as an excuse to legislate paternalistic solutions to issues that will reap Democratic votes, like health care, financial sector reform, and citizenship for our illegal hordes.
Meanwhile, those of us lucky enough to still be working, paying our taxes, and conducting ourselves as the honest, salt-of-the-earth types that illegal immigrants are taking credit for exemplifying, are watching our futures and those of our children’s children swirl down the toilet like yesterday’s leavings.
When speeches are made and statements released about this jobs report and the economic successes of the Obama presidency, do not let Washington convince you that the economy, or this administration, is feeding you cake. You know what you are eating.