While media outlets like NBC, CBS, and ABC continually point out the strengths of the economic recovery, journalists who care to go beyond the Obama Administration’s press releases have regularly found that things aren’t as they seem. Obama gets up in front of the press at least once a month to talk about all the jobs he’s created in the last six years, but a new chart from the Senate Budget Committee shows a stunning statistic that refutes anything he might say. According to the chart, almost 25% of Americans in their prime working years are simply not in the job market.
Republicans in the SBC insisted the numbers were a direct rebuke of our so-called economic recovery. “There are 124.5 million Americans in their prime working years (ages 25–54). Nearly one-quarter of this group—28.9 million people, or 23.2 percent of the total—is not currently employed. They either became so discouraged that they left the labor force entirely, or they are in the labor force but unemployed. This group of non-employed individuals is more than 3.5 million larger than before the recession began in 2007.”
The Republicans behind the report anticipated the usual arguments liberals put forward in defense of Obama’s efforts. They typically point to an aging population, insisting that the retirement of the baby boomers is to blame for low workforce participation. The news that a quarter of the prime working age population is absent from the market, though, shows why this is an incomplete explanation.
The truth, when you step back and take biased politics out of the equation, is that we are experiencing one of the slowest economic recoveries in the nation’s history. High unemployment numbers and desperately low workforce participation rates persist despite the efforts of the administration. While changing demographics do account for some of the slow growth, experts insist that rising education rates should be doing more to offset the imbalance. That isn’t really happening.
The Anti-Business President
Why isn’t the country recovering as it should be? For an answer, look no further than the president himself. Obama has been one of the most viciously anti-business leaders we’ve ever put into the White House. His attitude toward the private sector has informed his speeches and his policies, and it is the number one reason why we can’t quite get back to the glory days before the 2007 crash.
Examples of Obama’s anti-business policies are numerous, but some of the most harmful are easy to point out. Obamacare is a big one, placing enormous costs on small businesses at a time when they need all the help they can get. It also takes an undue toll on industrial manufacturers, forcing employee cut-backs and reduced hours for staff. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire puts even more pressure on small business owners, effectively thwarting some of the best job creators in the country.
With this guy in office, a full recovery may be impossible. Unfortunately, many economists predict that we could only be a year or two away from another recession. Falling from a perch much lower than last time, how dramatically will the next recession affect the U.S. economy?