Figures Don’t Lie, but Liars Sure Figure

by CJFosdick on February 21, 2012

At the start of 2012, there seems to be a few rays of light on the horizon indicating that our economy might be improving slightly. Unemployment dropped to 8.3%, but the growth has been very slow and extremely nebulous. “People have to feel improving economic conditions in their bones; it has to be real to them personally, not just a statistic put out by the government.” So says Larry Sabato. “Most Americans are not yet feeling the slight improvement told to us by the government.”

The government does so much manipulation with statistics that we out here in Folkland are by nature suspicious of government figures. For example, the government is showing about six million fewer actual jobs available in America than there were at the start of the recession*, because they have dropped the number of people who have given up looking for a job from the jobless rate. These people, because after three years or so of looking, have become discouraged. There actually is 1.2 million fewer jobs here in January, 2012 than in January, 2011**. The Obama Administration is even counting those who have unpaid internships as being in the labor force. They also are counting the underemployed holding jobs intended for young workers just starting out, such as washing cars or working in McDonald’s, workers who are hired just part time, and even those who have only a temporary job lasting just a few days or perhaps weeks, such as in agriculture.

Also, the employment number is a nation-wide average of all workers, and do not show the extreme differences from state to state and from group to group that exist here in America. Among teens, age 16-17, there is an unemployment rate of 28.8%. Older teens between 18-19 have a rate of 20.5% unemployment, while the age of 20-24 have a rate of 13.3. The state of Florida has an unemployment rate of over 9% while Nevada’s rate is something like 13%. So while there apparently is improvement in some areas of America, other areas are still hurting. Now according to Obama in a recent speech, “The economy is growing and we cannot let the Congress muck up this growth. We cannot go back to the Bush Years.”

Another reason why the unemployment rate might be improving is that since the 2010 election when the House went into Republican hands, Congress has really been neutered, has actually become a do-nothing entity. Very little was done in 2011 either by Congress or by Obama in the way of new laws and/or taxes. No major new laws such as Obamacare passed that changed the whole national character. The only things of consequence done were to pass about three temporary budgets and twice to raise our debt ceiling at the last possible minute to keep our government from shutting down. Therefore, no new taxes, no new laws that inhibit growth, no new government expansion happened so that businesses were freed from former constraints to begin to grow. The more time Obama spent campaigning, the less time he spent in Washington fouling things up. He started campaigning in the summer and now he very seldom spends any time in the Capital. This is certainly something to think about. When the government gets out of the way, our economy seems free to develop at will. Now in spite of the do-nothing Congress and the lack of new laws, Obama has gotten into law many rules and regulations we have not had before he became President. These rules and regs have had a terrible inhibiting effect on the start of new businesses and hiring practices of established businesses. Thus if there is really a small positive change for good in America’s economy it could be wiped out or slowed to a stall. It is too soon to tell. But let us hope for a brighter tomorrow.

*Bureau of Statistics **Rush Limbaugh, 2/3/2012

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