04.06.2012 2

Have Biff and Buffy dropped out of the workforce?

Biff and BuffyBy Rick Manning — MSNBC asked the headline question “Sharp drop in jobless rate raises questions for economists” yesterday in preparation for the monthly release of unemployment statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The problem that MSNBC lays out is actually quite simple, the economy needs to grow at a certain rate in order to produce enough new jobs to absorb new entrants into the economy, let alone lower the jobless rate.  Yet, in spite of modest, at best, economic growth, the past year has seen a dramatic drop in the unemployment rate.

Even the left-thinking MSNBC eventually stumbles upon the answer that Americans for Limited Government has been pointing to for months — the labor participation rate has been falling like a stone since Obama became president.

This means that a smaller percentage of the civilian working age workforce are actually participating in the labor market, and the 4.4 million people who have dropped out are simply not being counted as unemployed.

Incredibly, the MSNBC story offhandedly dismissing these drop outs as “older workers who have been forced to retire earlier than they’d like.”

The story continues, “The biggest drop, though, has come from younger workers who have gone back to school, moved back home or cashed in their savings to travel the world before settling into a life of mortgage payments and retirement planning.” (emphasis added)


MSNBC is attributing the labor force drop-out rate to millions of elite dilettantes travelling the globe before entering the workforce?  Apparently, according to the left-wing media, those who have dropped out of the labor force are the one percent.

Of course, bankruptcy plagued American Airlines would be shocked to learn that they had missed taking advantage of this burst in young drop out jet setting.

What can we expect next from this network of insightful economic analysis?

A breathless story on how U.S. taxpayer supported electric car manufacturer Tesla is producing a car for the masses that only costs $60,000?  At least, if the masses all have summer homes in the Hamptons.

Or maybe, they could do a gripping expose on how taxpayer funded television increases our nation’s culture by broadcasting opera into the inner city — at least to the inner city penthouse dwellers.

The hard truth that MSNBC tries so glibly to dismiss is that millions of Americans are outside the labor force, not due to their own choices, but due to Obama’s economic policies of penalizing and regulating job creators.

Don’t take my word for it.  The Hill quotes United Mine Worker president Cecil Roberts from a West Virginia radio show MetroNews Talkline, “The Navy SEALS shot Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and (Obama Environmental Protection Agency Administrator) Lisa Jackson shot us in Washington.”

Similarly, Obama’s decision to not allow the building of the Keystone XL pipeline has been met with jeers from the leaders of many construction trade unions whose members are being denied good, high paying jobs due to his policies.

When even the big union bosses blame Obama’s regulatory extremism for killing jobs and entire industries, then perhaps the dramatic decline in the labor force participation rate extends beyond Biff and Buffy flying off to St. Moritz rather than working in Daddy’s law firm.

Perhaps the problem resides in the extreme views of the radical anti-capitalists who occupy the White House, and believe that government is the solution to all problems and private enterprise is merely a pocket to pick to fund their latest scheme?

Perhaps the problem resides within government agencies which view any energy sources that are plentiful and abundant here in America as inherently bad, and would sacrifice millions of people’s dreams for a better life on the green altar?

Perhaps the problem is with a media which is more interested in dismissing the plight of millions of people who have been forced to retire early and live a life of relative poverty rather than shining a bright light on the failed fiscal policies that are strangling real economic growth?

And perhaps the problem lies with Americans who have exchanged a little economic security for their economic freedom to succeed or fail in the marketplace?

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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