published Monday, May 14th, 2012

Some recovery

Is the economy having fun yet?

You wouldn't know it from recent unemployment reports. Only by using the most ridiculous accounting gimmicks can it be claimed that joblessness actually fell in April, for instance.

Officially, the rate ticked down from a high 8.2 percent to a high 8.1 percent, and 115,000 jobs were created.

But those gains were more than offset by the numbers of Americans who simply gave up looking for work and dropped out of the workforce altogether last month. Because they are not actively seeking employment, they are no longer counted in the unemployment rate. The labor market participation rate fell in April to a three-decade low -- only 63.6 percent -- as about 342,000 Americans left the workforce. That is not, in fairness, exclusively a result of people giving up the job search. Baby boomer retirements make up part of that. But people ending their job hunts are a significant part of the picture.

Reuters news service put it mildly: "Even a slight drop in the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent had a dark tone because the fall was due entirely to people dropping out of the workforce," it reported.

And an investment strategist with Prudential Fixed Income told Reuters, "The bottom line is you don't have evidence that this economy has reached escape velocity."

The bad news on jobs was many-faceted.

There had been hope that the economy would create a better, if not thrilling, 165,000 jobs last month rather than the 50,000 fewer that actually materialized.

And April was the third consecutive month in which job creation slowed.

If those numbers don't excite you, you might want to go into seclusion for the next couple of years. The Federal Reserve predicts that it will be at least 2015 before the labor market gets back to "full health," Reuters noted. That's more than two and a half years away.

"We've got to do more if we're going to recover all the jobs lost in the recession," President Barack Obama said in a speech in Virginia in response to the painful new numbers.

And by "more" he means, of course, more government intervention and spending and higher taxes on "the rich," all of which have proved historically to suppress economic growth rather than encourage it.

But there is more that the American people can do, particularly starting in November, to turn things around. We can elect members of Congress and a president who understand the economic benefits of limited government.

Or we can just wait around under existing policies for a strong job market to return -- in 2015.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

The problem is you can't be sure what would have happened if another path was taken. How do you know it wouldn't be worse?

But you know what we do know? That Fortune 500 companies are sitting on a mountain of cash, that they've had their most profitable quarters in history.

Yet...they won't do anything with it. If they're not acting, who should?

I almost wish Romney could be elected so you'd be force excuse your way through the results of his failed economic policies, but I just can't put the country through that.

May 14, 2012 at 12:13 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Liberals(or so called by themselves)never ever let the truth get in the way of pursuing their goals. That is unless they can "create a truth" for their opponents. This economy is not really getting better but we know what's coming, it's an election year baby. So we pretend recovery to get our president re-elected. If that happens and his programs continue to flounder, we still hear how much it's someone else's fault. Happy keep the class warfare going. Let's see what an advantage that becomes for this nation.

May 14, 2012 at 7:14 a.m.
conservative said...

If we had a Republican in the White House you could bet your latest unemployment check that the constant story by the mess media would be that three-decade low 63.6 percent labor market participation rate. Only a blind Liberal ( yes, I know that is redundant ) would not see and deny that.

May 14, 2012 at 7:46 a.m.
LibDem said...

This Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is interesting. From January '83 at 63.9, it drops to 63.6 in April '12. However, it peaked at about 67.3 during some periods in 1997 - 2000. It remained pretty stable at slightly over 66 until about November 2008 when it began dropping to the current low.

This is well beyond my knowledge of economics.

May 14, 2012 at 9:26 a.m.

Livn4life, there is a class war going on, and the rich are winning.

There is a reason their wealth has grown to the detriment of the middle and lower classes.

Which side are you on, prosperity available for all, or prosperity only for some?

May 14, 2012 at 9:45 a.m.
conservative said...

Owebama quote : "We've got to do more if we're going to recover all the jobs lost in the recession,"

That might be the understatement of the year, especially since his Socialist policies have made things worse ( who would have guessed that ).

May 14, 2012 at 10:44 a.m.

The class war is being caused by government regulation. There is currently no motivation for companies to invest in this economy. The policies of the white-black president Obama and his army of czars and thugs are ensuring that the free market stays broken.

Take West Virginia for example, Obama almost lost the primary in that state to a convict in a prison in Texas. Why? White-black Obama is waging a war on coal and the good people of WV depend upon coal as a major source of their prosperity. He is destroying their livelihoods through U.N. inspired environment policy. They sent a message by voting against him. White-black Obama is doing the same thing in the gulf of mexico where his administration has been held in contempt of court for blocking the oil industry down there which provides lots of employment down there. At the same time, the administration is investing money in foreign oil companies owned by marxist countries.

I am not saying the rich aren't getting richer. I am just saying that federal govt policy is what is making it possible.

May 14, 2012 at 10:50 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

I'm so sick of this "limited government" crap I could puke. You ninnies who keep babbling about how useless and even "evil" the government is don't stop to consider what this country would be like without it and what benefits you have derived from it all your lives. Apparently you think if we did away with government, taxes, regulations, the whole kit 'n kaboodle, everything would just magically hum like well oiled machinery, without need of maintenance or upkeep. And the Republicans running to get elected and re-elected are the biggest hypocrites of all: They try to convince everyone how useless, inefficient, and bad government is, yet all the while they're trying their damnedest to get one of those GOVERNMENT jobs with those cushy perks – those GOVERNMENT perks that no Republican that I know of has ever refused.

The last time I checked, we are still a country of, by, and for the people – or supposed to be anyway. We elect our own people to represent us. Those freely elected representatives make up our GOVERNMENT. That is what all nations have in place to keep things running smoothly and to serve the people – ALL of the people, not just the upper upper upper crust. But If you radical right wing half-wits would prefer a government so small that you could “drown it in a bathtub," as your simple-minded guru Norquist once said, then just stop playing the game of politics altogether, why don't you. Here's an idea: Let's not elect anyone into office, neither Republican nor Democrat nor Independent, and see how much better off we'd be without those bad-ass government types running things. So you politicians, stop running, and you voters, stop voting...then voila...problem government!

But you, we, all of us....ARE THE GOVERNMENT. You cannot get away from it! We have to have government to survive, to keep the gears of our society greased and running. And you need to stop acting like it's some evil alien entity set on destroying us but the very embodiment of who we are as a nation. IT IS US, for god's sake. It's like you're all sitting in front of your TVs watching the Super Bowl and cheering but saying you hate football. You're all effin' insane.

May 14, 2012 at 1:20 p.m.

Rickaroo, While I agree that the republicans are no better than the Democrats, I don't agree with the rest of what you said. If politicians were actually answerable to the public, Obamacare would never have passed. We still need government, just much much less of it and what is there needs to be irrefutably constitutional.

Calm down, unbunch your undershorts and pour out the rest of those urine soaked wheaties. We are all being taken for the same ride. The only problem is, we aren't driving. We are just being led to believe we are. Open your eyes and see things the way they are. The middle class is being systematically destroyed so that we will all rise up and demand change. It's all part of the plan.

We have lost our freedom and will soon lose our sovreignty. The fed is currently printing so much money, the resulting inflation when it hits will crush almost everyone. Our government is no longer the government established by the founders. The constitution has been eroded so much that it no longer offers us the freedoms and protections from the government it was designed to provide. Did you get that? The constitution was designed to protect the people from the government. We are no longer protected. We are under siege from the same government you are praising as keeping "the gears of society greased and running". While the government used to be by and for the people, we are now slaves to government regulation and onerous rules that trample almost every freedom afforded to us by the constitution. We now have a government that can lock any man up for nothing at all, forever. We have a government that can seize everything you own in the name of sustaining itself. We have a government that can force you to work in any job they find neccessary to keep itself running. All that with no say from any of the "people". We are all slaves waiting for the emergency that will set it all in motion.

May 14, 2012 at 3:21 p.m.
Hilltopp said...

DOW closed 7949.09 on inauguration day Jan. 20, 2009.

DOW closed 12695.35 today May 14, 2012.

This indicator suggests the economy is fairly healthy. Somebody is having fun.

May 14, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Wow, I can't remember the last time I saw two more contrasting posts that show how differently two people see things. Rickaroo is right where the "powers that be" would have him be, and FPSE has worked diligently to be well informed. You have a good understanding, FPSE.

I have to agree with what FPSE said about both sides having their problems, but if the Rickaroo's of the world, don't take their rose colored glasses off, and inform themselves more before this election, we're gonna be too deep in "Obama's big plan" to ever get out.

May 14, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

FPSE...I'm not trying to make the case that government is some perfect entity. Our government is owned by big business and the ultra-rich, making us in actuality an oligarchy, not a democratic republic; and we need to wrest power away from the bastards who have usurped it. The problem is, the teabaggers and libertarians who squawk about the evils of government are not referring to the evils of being owned by the rich and powerful but the "evils" of even the most sensible policies that would limit the unchecked power of those who should not have so much power in the first place. They are in essence taking the side of the very people who would just as soon spit on them as give them the time of day. The ones who are complacent now and fail to see the holes in the bottom of the ship won't feel so cozy much longer, though. As long as the income disparity remains so vast and nothing is done to check it, and as long as the righties want to keep pushing "austerity" and milking the have-nots while pampering the "haves," an all-out depression is most likely just around the corner.

We are living in a time of the lowest tax rates this country has seen since pre-Eisenhower, yet the righties keep whining about how we - and particularly those poor ol', picked-on rich folks - are "overtaxed." Corporations have shipped jobs overseas for the express purpose of paying lower wages and avoiding taxes, yet they cry about what a burden it would be on big business to simply get them to pay taxes that they should have been paying all along. They whine about what a mistake it would be to regulate or tax the "job creators" yet those "job creators" have not created any jobs in the entire 12 years of tax cuts and minimal new regulations being put in place.

You say, "We have a government that can force you to work in any job they find necessary to keep itself running." What the hell does that even mean?! The jobs that people are being forced into are crappy minimum wage, part-time jobs because there are so few decent paying living-wage jobs to be had. Even our military is all-volunteer. The government does not "force" anyone to serve in that capacity, let alone civilian jobs. Please give me some specific examples of jobs that the government has "forced" you or someone you know into.

You are correct that the middle class is being systematically destroyed. But you and the government haters seem to think that big business, the Wall St. predators, and greed mongers like the Koch brothers and their ilk are just good ol' virtuous capitalists fulfilling the American dream of stuffing their pockets with as much untaxed loot as they can get away with while the government is the bad guy in trying to regulate their ruthless greed and power.

I like what you said here: "Open your eyes and see things the way they are." Good advice. Why don't you try that sometime?

As for you, chatt_man, my glasses might be rose-colored but at least I have on glasses and not blinders.

May 14, 2012 at 5:51 p.m.
joneses said...

The class war is being created and fueled by obuttheads and the liberals/dummycrats divisive hate speech pitting the poor against the wealthy, blacks against whites,gays against straights and women against men. This is all this fool of a president has said and spouted off his whole term. This pathological liar of a president only blames others for his failures and has not one success as president. If his policies were so great then why is he not running on his successes. It is because he has none to run on. If obuttheadcare was so great then why is he not on the campaign trail running on it's passage? It is because he knows it is a bad illegal piece of legislation.

May 15, 2012 at 5:37 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Hilltopp said... "DOW closed 7949.09 on inauguration day Jan. 20, 2009. DOW closed 12695.35 today May 14, 2012. This indicator suggests the economy is fairly healthy. Somebody is having fun."

Have you been following the global financial news lately? It looks like we are sitting on a 12695 house of cards, another bubble created by increasing the money supply.

May 15, 2012 at 12:48 p.m.

Rickaroo, Lets cut to the chase here. If the rich "own" us all as you say, it was the corrupt, criminal, politicians and public officials we entrusted with our futures that then sold said futures to the "rich". This wouldn't have happened had the politicians been honest and working for the people like they were elected to do.

The "rich" have no power without buying the public officials to whom we relegated the "power of the people". We were all sold down the river to the FED in 1913. Our economy was sold to the FED in 1934. The FED is a private company that has control of the money supply. The FED makes economic policy for the United States by controling interest rates and maintaining the money supply.

So you see, the FED actually owns us all thanks to our government selling us lock, stock and barrel to a private bank named the Federal Reserve. It is the regulations put in place by the FED and the Federal government that are preventing jobs from being created, not the rich.

The rich are just like anyone else. They aren't some mysterious group of alien beings from another world. They are either people who worked very hard and made smart decisions to get where they are or they are people who inherited their money from someone. Hilltop mentioned above that the market was up from the level it was at in 2009. When the rich invest in the market, they are for the most part investing in companies which are employing people. Without this investment, the companies that make up the market wouldn't have the money to hire people. Those greedy rich people are hiring people by investing in companies that are making a profit. They are contributing to the economy. The rich cover the whole spectrum of society just as the poor do. There are some that are greedy, some that are kind, some that are mean, some that are just like you. There are poor people that fit into these same categories.

The differences are created by the narrative being pushed by the politicians who are selling the power we granted them by electing them. They aren't selling the power to good rich people who aren't buying, they are selling it to the bad rich who are.

This whole class war thing is being used to keep Americans distracted. Today's politicians are masters of misdirection. You don't seem to have noticed the president signed an executive order that authorizes homeland security to seize private property in an emergency. This same act allows them to draft anyone to work "without compensation" to support infrastructure.

"milking the have-nots while pampering the "haves" Really? By definition, the have-nots can't be milked for anything. The haves by contrast can pamper themselves. You, like all liberals have it backwards and upside down.

May 15, 2012 at 2:39 p.m.

cont.... The depression is around the corner, but not because the evil "rich" aren't paying their taxes... The depression will be caused by the endless runs of the printing press. The FED I mentioned earlier will continue to "grease the gears" of society with quantitative easing. That is why the market is up now.

Our money has already been devalued over 90% since the day the fed was created. When the FED finally prints enough to make it more worthless than everyone else's currency, those who own FED currency will start converting it to something else which is exactly what caused the great depression. Our economic future is in the hands of a private bank that is hell bent on destroying our economy Keynes style.

May 15, 2012 at 2:40 p.m.
chatt_man said...

As I said earlier, FPSE has a good understanding of what is going on. I don't know if I've ever seen it worded any better.

The left and the right have us so involved in arguing about the fringe extremities, that we call eachother names, and don't work together toward a much needed solution. Great post FPSE.

May 15, 2012 at 4:54 p.m.
Hilltopp said...

"How easy is a bush supposed a bear!"

May 15, 2012 at 10:54 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.