In the Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey plunges into a nightmarish vision where Middle America’s vibrant, wholesome Bedford Falls is transformed into seedy, corrupt Pottersville. Similarly, President Obama is transforming America, land of opportunity, into Obamaville, nation of despair.
One gauge of a country’s economic health is its unemployment figures. When everyone is working, everyone has money to purchase goods and services produced by businesses and industries needing to hire those people. And to get a better picture of a nation’s economy, one has to go beyond looking at mere percentages and examine unemployment durations.
In Keith Koffler’s “White House Dossier,” he wrote Tuesday:
Long term unemployment under President Obama is at the highest level since at least the end of World War II, threatening to create a permanent underclass of workers who will find it difficult or impossible to obtain jobs in the future. What’s more, Obama’s insistence on repeatedly extending long term unemployment benefits may be fueling the unemployment problem.
According to data recently released by the St. Louis Federal Reserve, the average duration of unemployment is now at about 40 weeks, double the previous highest level of about 20 weeks that prevailed during the last three recessions.
As the chart above illustrates, long-term unemployment took a sharpo rise in 2009 and has continued that course since.
Obama’s repeated requests to extend unemployment benefits only adds to the problem, according to Alan Krueger, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Krueger co-authored a paper in 2002 for the Handbook of Public Economics that, according to the Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry blog, showed that extending unemployment benefits does nothing to stimulate the economy and generally hurts the individual collecting those benefits.
“The empirical work on unemployment insurance (UI) and workers’ compensation (WC) insurance finds that the programs tend to increase the length of time employees spend out of work,” the abstract of Krueger’s paper states, according to The Foundry.
Exacerbating the problem is that when the worker’s benefits finally run out for good, his ability to find work is severely diminished. In fact, according to findings reported in AOL-Jobs last September, employers were more likely to hire criminals than the long-term unemployed.
The president has a habit of hiring economic advisors with great fanfare and then rejecting their findings. He did it with Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, and he’s doing it with Krueger. As a result, America’s Bedford Falls is being transformed into a dismal Pottersville, or more appropriately, Obamaville. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
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