The Trouble With Sorcery

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This week, the Saudi government executed a woman they accused of being a sorceress.  This marked the 73rd beheading this year in Saudi Arabia. Liberals who call Rick Perry a monster for sanctioning the execution of 13 murderers in Texas this year yawn at the multicultural exoticism of the sheikhs who wield axes in the desert.  If only Perry spoke Arabic and threatened to kill Jews, or performed regular clitorectomies rather than mandating Gardisil, or chopped people’s heads off with a large sword rather than using lethal injection, he’d perhaps be less morally objectionable.

But the execution of the alleged sorceress in Saudi Arabia raises another question.  If there are such people able to conjure why don’t we save them from death and bring them over here to practice a little white magic on our financial system.

For three long years now, we’ve been practicing financial sorcery of our own with incomparably more evil consequences than anything these alleged desert witches have accomplished.   Conjure money out of thin air and hand it to poor people, and voilà: phantom jobs.  Ratchet up spending by turning one dollar bills into hundred dollars bills, and abracadabra: the deficit’s been decreased.

How does any of this work?  Who knows?  Like any good sorceress, the Obama administration will never reveal the secrets of their dark art.  They will, however, claim the disappearance of jobs on their watch has been an illusion.  When Obama waves his hand again, we’ll get the prestige: the jobs will reappear.

In fact, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, sneered at Gretchen Carlson of Fox News: “You just said the unemployment rate is going up since Obama took office, and it hasn’t … Unemployment is nearing right around where it was when President Obama took office and it’s dropping.”  Obama has apparently convinced his supporters that his magic is working—the magic of magical thinking.

The real unemployment rate in the country – the rate based on the number of people working in 2007 – is at 11 percent.  Even Obama supporter Ezra Klein of the Washington Post had to admit, “Remember that the unemployment rate is not ‘how many people don’t have jobs?’, but ‘how many people don’t have jobs and are actively looking for them?’ Let’s say you’ve been looking fruitlessly for five months and realize you’ve exhausted every job listing in your area. Discouraged, you stop looking, at least for the moment. According to the government, you’re no longer unemployed. Congratulations?”  As Klein points out, if you count those who are underemployed – people who are working less than full time jobs – the real unemployment rate is actually “near 20 percent.”

A little bit of financial sleight of hand, and 20 percent becomes 11 percent becomes 8 percent. Huzzah! … I guess.

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  • ARay

    Presto! The Census bureau says half of the populace now is in poverty today. Obama's Census bureau say it, so lets all start chanting it til election day! "Obama-nomics equals poverty for you and me!"

  • ARay

    50% are now poor, shove Obama out the door!

  • davarino

    Maybe obama should consult Harry Potter to come up with the right spell.

    Economics is a mystery boys and girls, dont try this at home

  • StephenD

    He has to do none of the above.

    He already has the Treasury printing all the money he'll need. Why, we've already tested the waters and it works! When we can't sell our bonds overseas we'll print more money and buy them from ourselves! Suddenly, we have more money in the till…out of thin air!

    But hey, we only need it to stay afloat until he is re-elected. Then to hell with it and the inflation tank runs us over. But then, who cares, "his eminence, the most illustrious potentate" will be secure in his tower.

    Look at the bright side, he won’t have to pretend anymore and may stop telling us it’s Bush’s fault!

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Do Republicans have any magic, maybe eye of Newt? Three witches,
    "bubble bubble, toil and trouble" makes one wonder how they saw our
    times in that cauldron. The problem with the Democrats is that they are
    using snake oil and the chief snake oil salesman is not so hot with his
    black magic, kind of got us in a spin, spin, spin, i'm going to throw up!

  • Adam

    Ben, I really appreciate your elucidating articles. Perhaps you could shed some light on these issues that honestly confuse some of the less brainy among us.
    1. Why in an age when the Constitution is much discussed will virtually no one touch the subject of the Constitutionality of what it means to be a 'Natural Born Citizen'?
    2. Why the fact the Obama and his wife both had to surrender their law licenses is never mentioned.
    3. Why the apparent fact that Obama has a suspect social security # is never mentioned.
    4. Why there is no demand to prove he actually attended Columbia when the preponderance of evidence says he did not.
    6. Why did members of the Saudi royal family donate millions to Harvard on his behalf?
    7. Why he can present 3 different birth certificates, all apparently counterfeit and there is
    near silence on the issue.
    8. Why his justice department can run a false flag operation 'Fast and Furious' which contributed to the deaths of Mexicans and at least one US citizen is hardly discussed when everyone talks about what a strong candidate Obama will be. What did he know and when did he know it – should be shouted by everyone running for office.
    These are just a few of the many questions that really confuse those like myself that are simple minded and not sophisticated.
    Thank you,
    Adam in NY

    • FriendofGaryCooper

      AdaminNY: Here's one to add to your list–Where are Obama's girlfriends? You don't hear anything in the press about that; all you hear is that he's a good family man. Well, he might well be a good family man. But its difficult to believe that our President doesn't have a mistress somewhere.

      • Adam

        More likely a boyfriend.