Patterico's Pontifications


What Should We Think About on Labor Day?

Filed under: 2012 Election,Economics,General,Obama — Patterico @ 1:38 pm

Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times says we should remember the value of unions. Wilma Liebman, writing in the L.A. Times, takes a slightly different perspective, and says we should remember the value of unions.

Actually, I guess that’s the exact same perspective.

Maybe I can offer a truly different perspective: remember the value of labor. Of the opportunity to work. Which many Americans lack under this president.

Ed Morrissey has an amusing interview by Chris Wallace of David Axelrod, in which Axelrod attempts to dance around the following uncomfortable comparisons between when Obama took office (“then”) and now:

  • Unemployment: 7.8% then, 8.3% now
  • Median income: $54,983 then, $50,964 now
  • Gas prices: $1.85 per gallon then, $3.78 now
  • National debt: $10.6 trillion then, $15.9 trillion now

You know the drill by now: it’s Bush’s fault!!!

But it’s worse than that. The real number (which everyone puts in quotes despite the fact that it really is the real number) is more like the number named by that supposed doddering old fool Clint Eastwood:

The “real” number of unemployed Americans is 23.5 million. These are people that are unemployed (12.8 million), want work but have stopped searching for a job (2.5 million), or are working part-time because they can’t find full-time employment (8.2 million).

As the Maryland governor showed, it’s impossible to honestly answer that Americans are better off today than they were four years ago. If you need to work full-time, but are only working part-time, you are not doing well. If you have given up on looking for a job, you are not doing well. 8.3% doesn’t begin to paint the picture.

Every one of those 23.5 million people needs to understand that we are worse off today than we were four years ago. Not better.

That’s what I’m thinking about on this Labor Day.

UPDATE: Elect me and this time it will be different!!!

23 Responses to “What Should We Think About on Labor Day?”

  1. That last video deserves its own post.

    Patterico (83033d)

  2. What Should We Think About on Labor Day Empty Chair Day?

    The question answers itself.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  3. UPDATE: Elect me and this time it will be different!!!

    Right, just let me kick this football that Lucy’s holding first.

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (2bb434)

  4. I think we should think about how lucky we are that ‘the private sector is doing fine’.

    Icy (e071b2)

  5. Hey, the Great Depression wasn’t so bad …..

    If you had a JOB!

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (2bb434)

  6. I’m going to think about how many more jobs America could have 4 years from now … if Romney/Ryan win and they focus on expanding domestic energy production, reducing the size of government, and cutting the deficit and taxes.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  7. Believe me, those 23.5 million KNOW they’re not better off.

    They’re not the ones who need to be convinced.

    There are quite a few folks who’ve managed to keep their jobs who have trouble understanding how bad things are for some out here. They see the increased cost of gas and food and such but don’t relate to what some have to go through every day to stay alive.

    Some of them are clamoring for cutbacks on govt programs as being the place to start balancing the budget. Trouble is; what are those who don’t have a job and can’t find one because there aren’t any going to do when they lose that assistance.

    Yes, fraud should be eliminated and wasteful management also. They don’t understand that investigating fraud can be expensive in some cases. We do know where some of it lies but the dept’s responsible aren’t taking the steps necessary to stop it. No investigation needed.

    Like the IRS giving out refunds without even checking the math on the return? Or other scams that they KNOW about but don’t want to do anything about.

    How about corporate welfare? How many company’s making a profit are also getting handouts from the gov’t? That should stop.

    Make cuts but don’t cut programs. Cut the waste but don’t leave those wrongly affected by the mismanagement of the country’s finances and the laws that prevent financial institutions to ruin our economy.

    Jcw46 (b4329c)

  8. Increased employment is not hard. It is just that Obama refuses to consider policies to encourage it. Things like a tax policy that provides more than a few months of certainty would be a start but Democrats refuse utterly to even consider it. And refuse to do their most basic governing responsibility _ a budget.

    Useless incompetent, petulant children – that’s the Democrats under Obama leadership. Because that is the sum total of his character.

    SPQR (f10b76)

  9. jcw46, your belief that government “manages” our financial institutions is freaking hilarious. You actually believe that?

    SPQR (f10b76)

  10. I hate to disagree with Chris (and almost everyone else out there) but I don;t think things were better in ’36 than ’32 or maybe even in ’40 than ’36. FDR and his brain trust were throwing whatever they could up against the wall and hoping something would stick and help them and the country. Roosevelt and his advisers admitted they didn’t know what would stop unemployment and bring back recovery. And it sure as heck wasn’t raising the top tax rates from 25% to 60+% that stopped the depression.

    John Pomeroy (1bb113)

  11. Here’s some folks who aren’t better off even though Obama “helped” them before becoming President.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  12. I liked what Gingrich said when asked when the recovery would start…

    “Late on Election Night when it becomes clear that Obama has lost, small business will begin to hire again.” (paraphrased)

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  13. How’s going with the Magic Oreo look now chilluns? It was all for you.

    2012 is going to be worse for incumbents, especially Donks than 2010.

    Given the momentum, mostly bad, we’ve go stored in the flywheel, I’m a goin out on a limb and hazard 2014 is looking like more of the same.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  14. I find it ironic that Hiltzlik of the LAT chooses the iron workers union to extol on Labor Day rather than the the teachers union, or police union or prison guard unions. But perhaps he wants to avoid being reminded that the public sector unions in our state have broken the back of the California economy. The iron workers’ union is small potatoes, with only 125,000 members nationwide compared to the California Teachers Association, which has more than 335,000 in-state alone.

    Dana (292dcf)

  15. So . . . to the LAT, “labor” is synonymous with “unions”.


    Icy (3cd0cb)

  16. R.I.P. Michael Clarke Duncan

    Icy (3cd0cb)

  17. I like to think of Margaret Thatcher breaking the National Union of Mineworkers. Reagan breaking the Air Traffic Controller’s Union.

    Aah, the good old days.

    Steve57 (40573d)

  18. Cue Rocky and Bullwinkle, “This time, Rocky, for sure!” And he pulls another snarling lion out of the hat instead of the promised rabbit.


    JD (55bdf1)

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  21. Won’t anyone rid me of these miserable trolls?

    AD-Restore the Republic/Obama Sucks! (b8ab92)

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