UNBELIEVABLE: Jay Carney Thinks A Shrinking Workforce Is Actually A Positive For The Economy

“Reports are telling me that zones of pacification are expanding, that we are on the verge of defeating the enemy. These are tactics of the lie. Lies have the stench of death and defeat.”

“Col. Strelnikov,” Red Dawn, 1984

This ought to more or less prove that Democrats are against people earning a living, no?

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that the number of people dropping out of the work force, which artificially depresses the unemployment rate, can be regarded as an “economic positive.”

“A large percentage of that is due to younger people getting more education, which in the end is an economic positive,” Carney said. “This increase in the number of people leaving the work force has been a trend and a fact since 2000, because of an aging population, which is not to say this is wholly — that’s not to say that I would wholly disregard as an issue.” Carney had been asked about the 19 million underemployed or unemployed Americans, and about people who had left the work force.

“I think some of those who, I suppose, don’t wish us well politically have tried to make a point about this,” he also said. “The facts are that in these most recent numbers, this is not an issue of people leaving the work force; the numbers are positive across the board.”

The fact is that the labor participation rate is shrinking at the same time the White House is running around with this bogus 8.3 percent unemployment rate. This country doesn’t have 8.3 percent unemployment by a long shot.

Gallup measures it at 8.6 percent.

Except that’s not really the number. Because you’ve got a huge percentage of people who are working part time but want full-time jobs.

And that means underemployment is skyrocketing again…

It appears that what’s going on is the government is no longer counting young folks who are getting out of school but can’t find jobs as part of the workforce. So when older people retire, the labor force just shrinks.

And Carney seems to think this is a good thing.

His job is to spin this stuff. We get that. But that Carney would take that angle in support of this bogus contention that the Obama economic train is thundering down the tracks right now is mind-blowing.

Human Events’ John Hayward wasn’t all that impressed

If you weren’t already terrified by the notion that people like this might get four more years to beat the cheese out of the U.S. economy, this ought to get your adrenaline pumping.  It’s great that people are getting old and dying, or dropping out of the workforce to go to school?

Who’s supposed to pay for the entitlement benefits for that “aging population,” Mr. Carney?

And as for his pulled-from-the-trousers claim that our workforce has collapsed under Barack Obama because young people want to stay in college… isn’t this the same Administration that has been loudly complaining about the size of U.S. student loan debt?  Where is the evidence that the wildly inflated tuition paid to keep kids in school for all those extra years is producing a more valuable work force?  How can you square that claim with all the billions Obama thinks we urgently need to spend on job training?

Also, the current unemployment rate for ages 20 to 24 is 13.3 percent, while it’s 9 percent for ages 25 to 34.  Those rates are much higher than the national average of 8.3 percent.  If the bulk of the people dropping out of the workforce completely were coming from those age cohorts, their unemployment rate would be much lower.

As flaccid and dubious as today’s employment situation is, these are our salad days.  The Congressional Budget Office forecasts horribly anemic 1.1 percent GDP growth for the coming year.  That will cause both rising unemployment rates and a further private-sector workforce reduction.  Will the economic geniuses of the Obama Administration blamethat on a tidal wave of people staying in school longer, to become extra-well-qualified for jobs that no longer exist?

This is the kind of thing that a good Republican presidential candidate would be jumping on with both feet, offering a well-reasoned and passionate argument for how obvious lies like this demonstrate the putrid job this administration is doing on economic policy.

Instead, they’re quibbling about primary rules and beating each other to death while the polls show Obama is gaining support.

It’s early yet. But it’s going to require someone forceful in the arena to counter the administration’s lies, or else mendacity like Carney’s will go unchallenged.

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