Hard Truth on Jobs

Tait Trussell is a national award-winning writer, former vice-president of the American Enterprise Institute and former Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.


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Even though the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed employment rose by 200,000 in December, it’s no reason for Obama to jump with joy. Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf has acknowledged that it is “completely impossible” to prove that President Obama’s stimulus programs created economic growth or jobs.

We know Obama promised to focus on jobs. Since his election he has spoken incessantly about all the jobs he says he has created or saved. Yet not only has the administration’s record been meager at best, “labor market conditions remain disappointing,” the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis declared recently. “The average duration of employment remains at a historical high and the employment rate is projected to remain above 7.8 percent until 2013. Economists are concerned that the U. S. economy is mired in another jobless recovery,” the bank warned.

In his current makeover, Obama has cast himself as the warrior for the middle class. “After struggling to find a winning message,” as The Hill report put in on Dec. 29, Obama has revved up his role as defender of the middle class.

MIT economics professor David Autor, who examined U.S. employment opportunities at length, however, found that U.S. employment growth “has polarized into relatively high skill, high wage jobs and low skill, low wage jobs, while middle skill routine jobs have diminished. Some routine jobs, such as administrative and operative positions have been replaced by computer automations. Other routine [middle class] jobs such as bill processing and manufacturing positions have been moved overseas to take advantage of lower wages. The Great Recession accelerated this trend: employment in middle skill and middle wage occupations declined[.]”

So, as warrior for the middle class, no matter what kind of war paint he wears, Obama can’t place these middle class workers in jobs if the work is not there.

One of Obama’s enthusiastic support groups in 2008 was the young vote. This group has declined by 46 percent, reported Bloomberg.com Dec. 15. It quoted from a poll by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University showing “an overall lack of enthusiasm” today among young voters, compared to the last election. No wonder.

A few years ago, for example, Cody Preston, 25, was gainfully employed in Portland, OR, married and settled in an apartment with his wife, a Wall Street Journal story reported. When the recession hit and the housing market collapsed, he lost his job. He and his wife separated. “I wasn’t living –just surviving,” he was quoted as saying.

Yale Economist Lisa Kahn found that college grads entering the job market in economic downturns experience a large, negative, persistent effect to their lifetime opportunities. The disadvantage persists even 15 years after graduation, she said. Obama’s eagerness to have all young people go to college hasn’t worked out for many, as this author can attest to. My oldest granddaughter, with top grades, and my stepson with an MBA are still looking for work after more than a year. That’s not unusual.

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  • FriendofGaryCooper

    It should be made acceptable to say, on a job application, "Lost my job because of Obama." And oh yeah, I heard Google is hiring, for engineers and customer service people, in CHINA. Will Google pay for your plane ticket?

  • davarino

    These dummies think they can make economic changes and everything else remains constant. Increase taxes on the rich and they continue on the same economic trajectory and you majically get more revenue. Hamstring doctors and they will keep on keepin on even if they are losing money. The funny thing is that the liberals keep on doing what they do with the same results, thinking that somehow, some day, the results will be different.

    • http://mphtransfer.com jetrayk

      The perfect definition of Communism.

  • Rifleman

    I don't know about forever, but the manufacturing jobs won't be coming back anytime soon. The technical schools in my area don't even have programs for machine tool technology or robotics any more.

    Somethijng else, most of the 'drop' in unemployment was due to people giving up and dropping out of the labor pool, not from people finding employment.

  • mrbean

    It is no longer even arguable that Obamanomics is the deliberate systematic destruction of the U.S. economy. Why? To bring the most hated superpower(hated by the left and marxists here and around the world) to its knees to complete their long-awaited marxisification of this nation. In his 27 months in office, Obama and his cohorts in congress have overspent our budget by $3.8 trillion dollars…that is just for 27 months as president. If you add the leftists Reid-Pelosi congress to that the figure jumps to more than $4.5 trillion in overspent budgets…all borrowed money or printed money. If you add the next 1.3 trillion that Obama wants to raise the debt ceiling by this year it is 5,8 trillion in overspending. The national debt then exceeds 16.6 trillion.

    • tanstaafl

      Strangely enough, no candidate is discussing our national debt…….

  • Brian Donegal

    Ron Paul seems to be the only one who had a platform against taxes. Sadly it doesn’t look like he’ll get the nomination.

    • WSG

      RE: Paul – whatever you feel his assets are his BLIND ISOLATIONISM – meaning 'allowing Iran to have nuclear weapons is no big deal' and that the JIhadists will just magically change their intent to kill/ subjugate the infidels(all of US) if we just IGNORE them is national suicide ! !

  • Amused

    I agree with the statement that some jobs are indeed lost forever . And the trends that lead to this , styatrted long before Obama took office ,and every successive president in the past 60 years has not only promised more jobs , but facilitated their loss . Manufacturers who open factorties overseas , save tons of money , avoid many taxes , make much more profits …….and the prices we all pay for these goods DOES NOT DECREASE . In addition the quality of these goods have steadily declined , some to the point of being criminally negligent . You want CHEAP , you get CHEAP ….or didn't your fathers teach you …."there ain't no free lunch " .

  • Amused

    As for taxes ? ANY politician who wants reform , and is NOT pandering to any particular group or voting base ,[lol and there are NONE ] would be campaigning for a FLAT TAX .
    You want FAIR ? That is FAIR . Anything less , and you are all full of sheet .