The Institute of Supply Management issued a study warning that American manufacturing growth had come to a standstill in September, and the Labor Department’s latest employment figures, the worst jobs report of the year, tell the same story from another perspective: unemployment rate stagnant, wages stagnant, hours worked down, number of new jobs far below forecast, previous reports revised downward, labor-participation rate at 38-year low, with nearly 95 million eligible American workers sidelined.
That the Obama administration is foundering from an economic-policy point of view is not news. Barack Obama & Co. represent the very freshest and most imaginative thinking of the 1930s — stimulus, public works, monkeying with the minimum wage, political favoritism for union constituencies, the ancient superstition that simply putting money in somebody’s pocket makes the nation richer through the miraculous power of the economic multiplier, etc.
There’s an old joke about an engineer, a priest, and an economist trapped at the bottom of a deep pit: The engineer looks for a way to get a handhold on the wall, the priest prays for deliverance, and the economist says, “No problem. First, assume a ladder.” Assume you know what the balance of trade in sugar should be, assume you know what McDonald’s fry guys should earn per hour, assume you know what the mix of energy sources used in electricity generation should be . . .
There’s much more, all good, but let me comment. Rather than having faith in “the market” to provide, Obama and his liberal ilk distrust it. The market leads to income disparity, hence the market must be controlled, hobbled, put down. You see it throughout what we wryly call Obama’s “career” (if community organizer and “present” state senator can be so described).
Then there was his stint as a “law” professor (senior lecturer, actually):
In 2008, he called for raising the capital gains tax rate—even if total revenue to the government fell—for “purposes of fairness”. ObamaCare was not about insuring the uninsured, but about government takeover of health insurance. Mere redistribution was inadequate; the president seized power to make law as his whims commanded.
It’s no wonder the market responds warily to Obama. More than six years removed from recession (yay!), this is a “recovery” fairly long in duration, but profoundly short on fizz. It’s not Carter’s era of stagflation and the Misery Index, but it’s not Reagan either.
In case you forgot:
That sound you hear is the country in one collective “meh”.
PS: I’ve posted many times before that picture of Obama lecturing (prating, yammering, droning, braying, choose all that apply), but it still fascinates me. He’s displaying a “power analysis” of “relationships built on self interest”. Corporations are reliant on banks, who are reliant on utilities (they are?), who are reliant on De Glop (whatever that is). From that unholy polygamy shoots a ray of money that pierces the “mayor”, with fragments of the ordnance taking out “aldermen” with collateral damage. What, if anything, have we learned? We already knew the Left hates business, suspecting it of owning politicians and buying influence. Did we need a chart? The one thing we don’t know, the meaning of De Glop, is never provided.