Underemployment: Obama’s dirty little secret
Even the best-qualified, highest-skilled, and hardest-working Americans are up against it these days. Yes, even those Americans who still have jobs! We all know that the official unemployment statistics are vastly understated, in that they focus only on claims for unemployment compensation. The stats do not properly account for older workers who have taken early retirement after losing a job; young workers who cannot enter the labor force; “discouraged workers” who are still looking for work, but whose unemployment benefits are exhausted; disabled persons who could work to a limited extent, but who aren’t being hired; and American citizens who have had to travel overseas, often at great sacrifice and financial loss, to find work.
But perhaps the biggest of the dirty little secrets hidden by the official unemployment statistics is underemployment. I know about this from personal experience. Despite all of my qualifications, I have not been able to find full-time employment in over two years. The reason? With all of the hidden ramifications of Obamacare looming over everyone’s heads, along with the other past and future attacks on private enterprise, nobody wants to hire full-time people at all if they can help it. Certainly nobody wants to hire someone over 55 for a full-time job where the employer will be forced to provide overpriced health insurance or be fined for not providing it. Some people may call it age discrimination, but it’s the government that is causing it, not the prejudices of private employers.
There’s no need to take my word for any of this. Look at any job board or want-ad listing and notice the proliferation of part-time, temporary, and contract assignments, and the relative absence of full-time jobs with benefits. For example, a retail store that would normally hire two or three full-time employees will instead hire five part-time employees for 15 to 30 hours per week, at minimum wage, perhaps with commissions, but no benefits. A recent Gallup Poll also reveals large-scale underemployment in the form of part-time workers who want, but cannot get, full-time employment.
The liberal elite wants it that way
Of course, the liberal establishment pretends not to know why unemployment remains so high. Case in point: NYT: Mystery for White House: Where did the jobs go? [H/T: Rodan]
That conundrum, which reclaims center stage in Washington this week, is this: Why is unemployment so high?
The whodunit has flummoxed economists in both parties for a year. In 2009, as the new Obama administration grappled with the financial crisis, joblessness rose nearly two points beyond customary recession forecasts.
Part of the uncertainty concerns why. More consequential now, as the administration and Congress determine what to do, is whether the unemployment spike reflects a short-term or permanent shift in demand for workers.
I have studied economics and I know this for certain: All they have to do is repeal Obozocare, resume drilling, seal the borders, and end the H-1b program, and unemployment will drop three points within a month. I guarantee it!
But none of that will happen until we somehow muster the political will to force our government to do that. Or until enough States secede and decide to govern themselves in the interest of their own citizens.
One way or another, we need to free ourselves from the predatory liberal elites who flout the will of the people and who serve only their own interests and those of our foreign enemies.
The Obama administration, together with the liberal establishment in academia, the mainstream media, the NGOs, the foundations, the Ivy League, and the UN, all have reason to want unemployment to remain high. Why? Because, though it may make the Obama administration look incompetent in the short run, as it did with FDR, it will create more dependency on the government and increase centralized government power in the long run.
Dependency, the Liberals’ Natural Resource explains how this nefarious system works:
A Heritage Foundation report shows that thanks to multiple government programs, the proportion of Americans in some way dependent on government largess has suddenly jumped by 31.2% since 2001 after decades of much slower increases. Even in inflation-adjusted dollars, America now spends thirteen times more on public welfare than it did in 1965. Dependency has snowballed in health care, public welfare, and housing, and the upward trend seems likely to continue as Obama’s statist polices take hold and baby boomers retire. Indeed, the president plans to spend some $10.3 trillion in welfare over the next decades. In a nutshell, Uncle Sam is replacing the family, the church, private charities, and all other non-government sources of assistance, and this means regular jobs for the new caregivers. And it feels good to work for Uncle Sam: Benefits included, the average federal workers in 2008 earned double what those in the private sector took home. So it is hardly unexpected that since about January 2008, some 7.9 million private sectors jobs have disappeared, while 590,000 public sector jobs were created — and this trend seems to be multiplying. It’s a thoroughly modern ménage à trois of dependent citizens, well-paid government employees ministering to them, and harried taxpayers footing the bill.
Here’s what makes this “new wealth” so attractive: In today’s uncertain economy, it far outshines the old wealth of building things and selling them at a profit. For one, jobs ministering to the dependent are labor-intensive and immune to mechanization. Government jobs are also wonderfully secure. It is inconceivable, for example, that a counselor working with Vietnamese gangs in Los Angeles will be replaced by an industrial robot or that under-employed social workers will also be asked to direct rush hour traffic to trim labor costs. This is not the cost-cutting-obsessed airlines where passengers make their own reservations, print boarding passes, stow their own luggage, and bring their own food. Nor can these interventions be outsourced to foreign competition. Helping the less fortunate has a permanent “Made in USA” label attached — Toyota has no interest in tackling the pathologies of those living in Detroit.
The supply of these jobs-generating assets is also inexhaustible. America will never, never run out of this newly discovered “wealth.” We may deplete our oil and ravage our forests, but what are the odds of drug addicts, the mentally ill, young unwed mothers, and others needing intervention vanishing? Those mired in pathology are a truly renewable natural resource. Social problems do recede, but rest assured, replacements are easily found (e.g., sex addiction). In a pinch, just open the borders and receive a bountiful fresh supply. And compare the ease of setting up an in-school clinic to mentor anorexic, non-English-speaking adolescent girls with low self-esteem versus building a factory. The former is instantly shovel-ready.
In other words, if the government stops the private sector from offering relatively secure, remunerative, full-time employment to American citizens, that will eventually leave the government as the only source of good jobs on American soil. This is how the federal government creates a new class of Soviet-style apparatchiki. Of course, those jobs ONLY go to those who actively support the regime and do their part to enhance the careers of those already in power, while keeping everyone else down.
Our goal is to re-empower ourselves and our families, and decentralize and take back control over everything that has been usurped from us. That means we need to go on the attack to discredit the liberal establishment and all its pomps and all its works, anywhere and everywhere it appears.
We must overcome not only economic underemployment, but the underemployment of the human spirit.
To that end, please turn your attention to this excellent article: Read the rest of this excellent article at America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution. [H/T: doriangrey]
… Consider: The ruling class denies its opponents’ legitimacy. Seldom does a Democratic official or member of the ruling class speak on public affairs without reiterating the litany of his class’s claim to authority, contrasting it with opponents who are either uninformed, stupid, racist, shills for business, violent, fundamentalist, or all of the above. They do this in the hope that opponents, hearing no other characterizations of themselves and no authoritative voice discrediting the ruling class, will be dispirited. For the country class seriously to contend for self-governance, the political party that represents it will have to discredit not just such patent frauds as ethanol mandates, the pretense that taxes can control “climate change,” and the outrage of banning God from public life. More important, such a serious party would have to attack the ruling class’s fundamental claims to its superior intellect and morality in ways that dispirit the target and hearten one’s own. The Democrats having set the rules of modern politics, opponents who want electoral success are obliged to follow them.
Reducing the taxes that most Americans resent requires eliminating the network of subsidies to millions of other Americans that these taxes finance, and eliminating the jobs of government employees who administer them. Eliminating that network is practical, if at all, if done simultaneously, both because subsidies are morally wrong and economically counterproductive, and because the country cannot afford the practice in general. The electorate is likely to cut off millions of government clients, high and low, only if its choice is between no economic privilege for anyone and ratifying government’s role as the arbiter of all our fortunes. The same goes for government grants to and contracts with so-called nonprofit institutions or non-governmental organizations. The case against all arrangements by which the government favors some groups of citizens is easier to make than that against any such arrangement. Without too much fuss, a few obviously burdensome bureaucracies, like the Department of Education, can be eliminated, while money can be cut off to partisan enterprises such as the National Endowments and public broadcasting. That sort of thing is as necessary to the American body politic as a weight reduction program is essential to restoring the health of any human body degraded by obesity and lack of exercise. Yet shedding fat is the easy part. Restoring atrophied muscles is harder. Reenabling the body to do elementary tasks takes yet more concentration.
The grandparents of today’s Americans (132 million in 1940) had opportunities to serve on 117,000 school boards. To exercise responsibilities comparable to their grandparents’, today’s 310 million Americans would have radically to decentralize the mere 15,000 districts into which public school children are now concentrated. They would have to take responsibility for curriculum and administration away from credentialed experts, and they would have to explain why they know better. This would involve a level of political articulation of the body politic far beyond voting in elections every two years.
If self-governance means anything, it means that those who exercise government power must depend on elections. The shorter the electoral leash, the likelier an official to have his chain yanked by voters, the more truly republican the government is. Yet to subject the modern administrative state’s agencies to electoral control would require ordinary citizens to take an interest in any number of technical matters. Law can require environmental regulators or insurance commissioners, or judges or auditors to be elected. But only citizens’ discernment and vigilance could make these officials good. Only citizens’ understanding of and commitment to law can possibly reverse the patent disregard for the Constitution and statutes that has permeated American life. Unfortunately, it is easier for anyone who dislikes a court’s or an official’s unlawful act to counter it with another unlawful one than to draw all parties back to the foundation of truth.