It’s frustrating to be a conservative in modern-day America. The media, save Fox and a few other relatively obscure outlets, loves to twist every possible story to favor their viewpoint. That’s not to say the conservative outlets don’t do the same; it’s just that they occupy such a tiny sliver of the general media pie. They also, as it happens, fall under almost continuous scorn for offering the other side of the coin. With much of the country being brainwashed into believing the Obama administration’s economic recovery plan is working, it’s up to these rare outlets to shine the light of truth on the lie.
According to the official story, unemployment dropped from 6.7% in April to a remarkably palatable 6.3%. Good news, right? It would certainly appear so. Finally, something concrete that can’t be attacked by that pesky right! Well, not so fast. There is a dark lining to this cloud, and it is one that invalidates the original number. What the mainstream media is loathe to point out is that the overall workforce in the U.S. shrunk by more than 800,000. How did that happen? Well, that was the number of people who simply let their unemployment turn into long-term retirement. It was the number of people who decided they weren’t going to get a job, so they may as well not look for one.
The total workforce participation rate in 2014 is now down to a sickening 62%. It hasn’t been that low since the late 1970s. The retirement of the baby boomers is responsible for some of that number, but you can’t explain 92 million Americans out of work solely through that fact. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does its best to break down the numbers into something conservatives can swallow, but the facts remain. In addition to the 10.1 million people the administration admits are officially unemployed, we have 6 million who want a job, nearly 2.5 million who didn’t bother to search, another 1.5 million that didn’t look for work because of this reason or that, and a final 900,000 that gave up entirely. How these require separate categories is a question that may continue to be unanswered, but it proves that Obama’s unemployment claims are as empty as his recovery methods.
There was a time when the population of the United States believed in values like hard work, personal responsibility, and self-reliance. While plenty of people still believe in that ideal, many have shifted ideologies. Now it’s considered rude in some circles to wonder whether someone <em>deserves</em> the good things in life if they don’t work for it. Now it’s considered stingy and selfish not to provide for those who refuse to do so for themselves. And as long as we stick our heads in the sand and pretend everything’s getting better, those millions of Americans out of work will never know the joys of merit-driven success. The health of the economy aside, that may be the greatest tragedy of all.