“Lord save us all from a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.” —Mark Twain.
The same spin-doctors who were selling hope and change for Barack Obama four years ago will no doubt twist the dismal monthly jobs report released by the Labor Department this morning as a sign that things are indeed looking up. After all, the unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent in July to 8.1 in August. In reality, the unemployment rate would be around 11.7 percent if it was being calculated the same as when the president took office.
What you won’t hear from the Obama sycophants—and most of the media can be found among their ranks—is that during August the percentage of Americans who have given up hope of finding a job was the lowest it’s been in 31 years.
The way you get a drop in the unemployment rate in an economy that only created 96,000 jobs in August is that the labor force participation rate has fallen to 63.5 percent. The last time we had so many people who decided to just give up looking for work was back in September of 1981.
Back then, Ronald Reagan was busy digging us out of the economic mess left by his predecessor, Jimmy Carter. Remember when presidents actually fixed problems instead of blaming the guy who was in office before them?
Like Obama, Carter was good at blaming others for the nation’s economic woes. In his eyes, the economy was in trouble because the American people lacked confidence—hope, if you will—that better days were ahead:
He had a point. The country had a big hope deficit to go along with the job deficit. What Carter left out is that the reason we were in such a malaise during his tenure as president was because of his policies, which made it rather hard for people to muster that “get-up -and-go.”
Among Carter’s fixes for the economy outlined in his “malaise” speech were tax hikes on oil company profits and an increase government spending on alternative fuels during a fuel shortage. Progressive thinking hasn’t changed much since those time Paul Ryan is calling the “good old days,” under Carter.
It didn’t occur to Carter that keeping the top marginal tax rate at 70 percent and letting Federal Reserve Chairman G. William Miller flood the market with dollars—bringing on massive inflation—wasn’t the best way to restore hope to America.
Obama’s recipe for hope? Tax rich folks more and let Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke devalue the dollar by having the U.S. Treasury print more money to monetize the debt—something that Bernanke promised under oath would not happen. He’s getting ready to do it again, it you were wondering.
There have been lots of broken promises during the Obama years, but saddest of all might be the promise of hope and change, which led so many dreamers to pull the lever for him in 2008.
It gets kind of tiring preaching to the choir about what a dismal failure Obama has been. If there are any people who voted the president in 2008 who are capable of being honest who are reading this, just ask yourselves the simple question whether he has delivered on the hope he promised you.
Sure, there has been change. He never said that change would include a nation that’s more divided than it’s been since Fort Sumter was fired on, unemployment above 8 percent for 43 months and a debt that’s climbed above 16 trillion.
As for hope? It seems that when you have such a large number of people who have just given up even looking for work, the promise to bring hope to the nation isn’t really panning out.
When things have gotten bad enough to make Dirty Harry cry, we might be in a little bit of trouble:
There wasn’t a lot of hope to be found listening to speakers at the DNC this week—seemed like more empty promises, a lot of trying to scare women over social issues and a little braying from donkey’s about free-market principles they don’t really believe in.
There’s a lot of hopelessness in this new “Crisis of Confidence,” with lots of Americans deciding it’s not worth trying to find employment or just choosing to scrape by as best they can by living off the public dole. Funny thing is that once Carter was out of office and we got a new leader who understood the tenants of capitalism that lead to prosperity, confidence returned.
People found hope once more.
Sadly, we don’t have Reagan around these days. We have Mitt Romney and it’s time to him a shot at fixing things, ’cause things aren’t going to get any better with Obama.
That “hope tree” is barren—the latest jobs report should be proof enough for any honest dreamer.