Big Red Car here. One of the most important things in life is to be engaged in the right issues.
The Boss was chattering to a friend of his about how the President does not seem to be engaged in the critical issues of jobs and the economy.
Recent results are particularly troubling — unemployment and its severity
First, this recession has been deeper, longer and the recovery more anemic than any since World War II. This is not a garden lizard — this is a dragon come to eat the country.
It is big. It is settling in for the rest of the winter and spring. It shows no signs of going away. It may be the new norm.
Current unemployment is also longer than it ever has been. More folks unemployed for a longer period of time. And getting worse.
Look how long folks have been unemployed. This shows an average of 39.1 weeks and it has been steadily increasing.
Not to put a thumb in anyone’s eye, remember we have also purged the unemployment rolls of 8.5MM folks who are considered to have abandoned looking for a job. Look at the impact on the Labor Force Participation Rate. If these folks had not been purged — bit of self serving fiction in my book — unemployment would be approximately 12%.
What about the economy?
The economy has contracted during the last quarter. And though it has been mumbled that it is only negative 0.1%, it is really much bigger when it is adjusted for inflation.
You have to educate yourself about the implications of looking at GDP with a range of appropriate “deflators”. This is, in effect, adjusting GDP for inflation but with such low inflation as we have today is that a credible lens?
Using CPI, which makes the most sense to me, shows a GDP contraction of almost 1.5% — way out of the width of the chalk stripe.
Currently Washington is completely distracted focusing not on jobs and the economy but rather the sugar high chest beating issues of gun regulation and immigration.
These are important issues to be sure. But when you have cut an artery, you don’t have time to focus on dandruff.
Let’s get focused, please
We need the Congress and the Administration to get focused on the issues of jobs and the economy.
Remember “Maverick” who was unable to get his head right when he lost his back seater, Goose. He had to get focused on the future and make peace with the past. Tom Cruise in Top Gun shows us how it needs to be done.