The Obama-Biden campaign loves touting the number of jobs that they created, 4.5 million. It sounds great and it's an excellent way for Democrats to pat themselves on the back for a job well done.
If only this had some resemblance to reality.
The Associated Press recently fact-checked the Obama-Biden talking points on jobs:
"BIDEN: "After the worst job loss since the Great Depression, we've created 4.5 million private sector jobs in the past 29 months.
THE FACTS: This seems to be a favorite statistic, because many speakers at the convention cited it. But it's misleading - a figure that counts jobs from when the recession reached its trough and employment began to grow again. It excludes jobs lost earlier in Obama's term, and masks the fact that joblessness overall has risen over Obama's term so far.
As well, in the same 29 months that private sector jobs grew by 4.5 million, jobs in the public sector declined by about 500,000, making the net gain in that period about 4 million."
Throwing numbers and statistics at the American public is the best way to bore them of the reality. Personally, I would prefer to hear the bottom line number rather than looking at the facts and calculating the truth for myself, so I'll try to spell it out in laymen's terms.
The recent jobs report came out a few days ago and the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% last month to 8.1% this month, but this doesn't tell the whole story. The unemployment rate is calculated by taking the people looking for work and dividing it into the overall U.S. workforce. In this month, the number of people that dropped out of the workforce is over 368,000. This means that they stopped looking for work. Obama's strategy seems to be based on discouraging people from looking for work. Naturally, if the workforce stayed the same this month and the number of people looking dropped, the unemployment rate would decrease.
To make it even more clear, if everyone stopped looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 0%. Then the Obama Administration would be elated with their results! No matter how you look at it, in January of 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8%.
The American Enterprise Institute put it plainly, "If the labor force participation rate was the same as when Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate would be 11.2%.
If the participation rate had just stayed the same as last month, the unemployment rate would be 8.4%"
As you can see, the percentage of people looking for work has dropped significantly since 2009 and the Obama Administration is claiming credit for increasing the amount of jobs. Most people know the people that are not in the work force that should be; some still live with their parents, some get a masters degree in the history of basket-weaving, some just collect welfare or unemployment. Why work when the government will give you everything that you need?
Of course there needs to be a safety net for those who cannot help themselves. Those are not the people that are hurting our economy, it's the ones that take advantage. Since people are built to capitalize on opportunities, it seems that some people are starting to think that there is more opportunity in collecting a check from the government then there is in opening up a business or working for a company that is growing.
Are you ready for the final blow? Check out the U.S. Debt Clock. These numbers come straight from government sources like the US census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you take the *actual* number of people unemployed (22,682,358) and divide it by the U.S. workforce as I see it now (142,155,756), you get something closer to 16%. The Actual Unemployed number includes people working part-time for economic reasons (not because they are in school) and Marginally Attached Workers, who are people who have looked for work in the past 12 months, but have given up int he last 4 weeks.
If a Republican said that, he would be called out instantly; remember "Bush Lied, People Died" and "Buck Fush!" bumper stickers? Since Obama said it, he deserves a high five or a nice cold beer, cuz everything is cool ;). It's time we apply the same scrutiny to facts stated by politicians no matter which side of the aisle they are on.
If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.