ELDER PATRIOT – For over six years, or ever since Barack Obama became president, official quarterly reports have declared the economy in recovery. I am consistently disappointed in speaking with educated and otherwise, smart and accomplished people who parrot the numbers that the government feeds us. Almost unfailingly they bemoan their personal positions and cannot understand how so many are doing so much better.
Those who know better wait for the revisions to these reports to be released the following month. These later and more accurate reports have consistently been revised downward revealing a much worse the economy than the administration would want you to believe exists.
Worse has been the way the administration has manipulated the data that it reports in order to deceive the people about the weakness of the recovery. Under this administration, unemployment reporting has been limited to only those who are actively collecting unemployment benefits from the government. Those who have been unemployed in excess of 99 weeks cease receiving benefits and are now no longer counted in the official unemployment report.
Using this methodology the administration is reporting the “official” unemployment rate to be 5.5%. Because there are so many agenda driven websites (including the government’s) making claims we’ll have to do our own analysis with the available raw data to come up with a more accurate calculation.
There are approximately 156,000,000 people currently holding some kind of job. The official unemployment rate of 5.5% would mean that the government considers full employment to be slightly over 165 million workers leaving 9 million people officially out of work.
There are 243 million Americans over the age of 16. Given that 156 million of them are working that leaves 87 million people over 16 that are not working. In the most generous calculation we can give the administration we will exclude:
- 9,000,000 16 and 17 year olds who are likely in high school.
- 21,000,000 enrollees in college
- 40,000,000 people over the age of 65 who we will presume are retired.
Subtract the total of 70 million people from the 87 million and that leaves least 17 million people eligible for work but unable to find any. That’s double what the administration is reporting but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Consider these additional factors:
- There are many jobs are held by illegal aliens. There are counted in the employment numbers but not counted in the population of 243,000,000. Companies such as Disney have replaced American workers with H1B visa holders. These count as jobs but they aren’t held by unemployed Americans.
- Many workers who were dismissed from higher paying jobs now hold two jobs. They are counted twice in the employment numbers.
- To discount all 16 and 17 year olds, all college enrollees, and everyone over 65 distorts reality.
It’s probably fair to estimate say that another 15 million Americans who would like a job can’t find one. That would bring the total of unemployed American workers closer to 32 million. Admittedly this is an estimate, but a much more accurate estimate than either the administration or the conservative websites are providing.
With 32,000,000 out-of-work Americans seeking employment this would peg true unemployment at close to 20%. That’s almost 4 times the official number and approaching the 25% unemployment rate during the Great Depression. Whoa!
When not enough people are working and the cost of government continues growing the burden eventually causes the economy to shrink. This results in even greater unemployment. Have we reached this point yet? GDP, the measure of our economy’s productive output shrunk in the first quarter of this year. You can connect the dots.
Alarmingly, after spending trillions of dollars on education, Americans have no idea how to gage economic vitality or stagnation. They have been relegated to believing the stock market is the most important indicator of our economy’s health. The Fortune 500 companies employ only a small fraction of US workers and that number continues to be reduced by outsourcing.
Small businesses employee the greatest percentage of workers in this country and they have been under attack since Dodd-Frank was passed. That explains why we are experiencing such moribund employment growth while the stock market continues at record level.
Ronald Reagan said, “Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.”
What we should’ve learned in school we will soon all learn at a much steeper cost.