A.J. DiCintio
Not your Father's Labor Day
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By A.J. DiCintio
September 2, 2012

Four years ago Barack Obama promised us a program of hope and change to reverse the economic decline that is ravaging the dreams we have not just for ourselves but our children and grandchildren.

Unfortunately, we are left today only with dashed hopes and memories of lofty rhetoric now turned bitter and, far too often, ugly.

So it is that as another Labor Day approaches, the shining sky that once enveloped picnics, barbecues, and time spent appreciating late summer's vigorous splendor has gone dark and foreboding.

With his usual insightful honesty, John Mauldin (mauldineconomics.com) captures the grim reality as follows:

"There is something missing from this thing we are calling a recovery. For most in the US it does not feel like a recovery, and for good reason: the jobs aren't there."

This piece, of special relevance to the country's youngest workers, presents some disturbing facts about the "thing" the Obama administration is touting as a recovery and offers an opinion about what needs to be done to give this nation a chance of getting back to Labor Days it once knew.

First, to the issue of jobs, which Mauldin illuminates by referring to a graph published by The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce for the period of recession ('08-'10) and alleged recovery ('10-'12).

To summarize its content. . .

Workers with a high school diploma or less lost 5.6 million jobs during the recession, a number which now stands at 5.7 million.

Workers with an associate degree or some college education lost 1.75 million jobs, with their total job number currently down nearly half a million from its high point in May of '08.

Workers with a B.S. or better have gained 2 million jobs in the recovery, putting them about 1.2 million jobs ahead of their high point in May, '08.

Well, at least college graduates have benefitted from Obama's economic policies. Right?

Wrong! Totally! Because the Georgetown graph alone "tells only part of the story."

Citing data from the Economic Policy Institute, Mauldin informs us that "between 2007 and 2011, 98.3 percent of the job gains in [the college educated] group went to advanced degree holders."

Indeed, Atlantic magazine got the job picture right when it asserted that "These days, it seems we're really in a grad school economy."

Sadly, millions of college grads and their parents have long been aware of that truth, about which a recent NYT article reveals a number of disheartening statistical facts, including this one:

"In the last year, [college grads] were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians."

However, the nation's appalling job situation and the reality that most workers' wages have been flat for the past decade aren't the only clouds darkening Labor Day.

Also roiling the sky are these ominous problems that no amount of taxing the rich or anyone else will solve:

The federal government's $1.5 trillion annual deficit, its nearly $16 trillion debt (100% of GDP), its trade policies that nation build in China and elsewhere at the expense of American workers, and its insanely ironic open border policy that purports to energize an increasingly technological economy by infusing it annually with hundreds of thousands of utterly untrained, unskilled workers.

Then, there are the hard actuarial facts about entitlement spending, for instance, as Mauldin reports, that as of June this year there are just two Americans in the private workforce for every person receiving Social Security's pension or disability payments.

Yet with the nation confronted by a host of profound economic problems, the current administration has failed to propose a single brave, honest, innovative solution to any of them, especially the healthcare cost problem, which Mauldin perceptively argues, makes Social Security reform look "easy."

Moreover, what the administration has done at every turn is to lay on an already beleaguered population an ever increasing burden of federal spending, the madness of its fiscal behavior best exemplified by the trillion dollar lie it lied when it forced "Obamacare" down the nation's throat.

And "madness" is precisely the right word if we summon up the courage and good sense to look at unemployment rates among the young in Europe's debt-sickened "social democracies."

Yes, 53% in Spain, 36% in Italy, and 23% in "better off" France, Great Britain, and Sweden tell us all we need to know about what really happens when a nation embraces the canard that a combination of big government power, big government spending, and big government debt "spreads the wealth around."

Which brings me back to Labor Day and the fact that this year it's followed by perhaps the most important election in the nation's lifetime.

I'm not going to suggest that rejecting a man who has absolutely zero experience in creating jobs in favor of one whose life is a testimonial of his talent for creating economic success stories in both the private and public sectors will immediately have us singing "happy days are here again," for only liars or airheads claim there are easy answers to getting the country back on the right path.

I am suggesting, however, that given his record as a leader who has excelled only at turning a blind eye to vicious epithets spewed at those who oppose his policies, Barack Obama has got to go if we are to have any chance of brightening the sky over Labor Days to come.

© A.J. DiCintio

 

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.

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