A Sluggish Recovery for President Obama

The mainstream media did a heroic job of making the mixed jobs numbers on Friday look good.  Then the experts pointed out that the 244,000 new jobs in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Establishment Survey were mostly a statistical artifact.

If you look, as I do, at the BLS Household Survey, you see a downtick in Employment of 190,000 jobs and an uptick in Labor Force of 15,000.  (That's why the Unemployment Rate went up to 9.0 percent.)  Don't understand the numbers?  Then here's a chart of US Employment since the start of 2008 to show you what is happening.




The economy has added about one million jobs since the beginning of 2010.  That means we need another six million jobs just to get back up to the level before the Great Recession started.  That just ain't gonna happen by November 2012.  Or November 2014, for that matter.

What is going wrong with the Obama recovery, which Jay Cost shows is the worst recovery in the last 50 years?  I will tell you what.  The problem is that the Ruling Class, the liberal educated elite that runs our government, our media, our schools, and our entertainment, is grasping the wrong end of the stick.  At both ends.  Again. 

Democratic capitalism is the idea that politics should be egalitarian and economics should be hierarchical.  In politics, we say, everyone should be equal, but in business the people with good ideas and good execution should go to the head of the class.

Liberalism is the idea that politics should be hierarchical, directed by the educated elite, and economic results should be egalitarian, as enforced by the educated elite.  But the science is in on liberalism: the more you meddle with the proposition of democratic capitalism, the more misery you create.

It's curious that our present age should be a blend of equality and hierarchy.  It's all very Hegelian, a synthesis of egalitarianism and its antithesis, hierarchy.  Back in the hunter-gatherer age, mankind was egalitarian.  There was a reason for this, explains Nicholas Wade in The Faith Instinct: "Men like power and will seize it if they can. But if they can't rule, their next preference is that no one rule over them."

In the hunter-gather age, men couldn't seize power; the other men in the band wouldn't let them.  But then came the agricultural age, its antithesis, and it was marked everywhere by hierarchical exploitation and oppression: slavery and serfdom.  Obviously there was something about agriculture that made it easy for some men to seize power, and there was something about the age that made it hard for the rest of us to prevent oppressive rulers from ruling over us.  I argue that farmers are uniquely vulnerable to exploitation, for they must store enough food to last till the next harvest, an irresistible temptation for oppressors and plunderers.

Then came the bourgeoisie, dignified and free.  Why not combine equality and hierarchy in a Hegelian synthesis, they said?  Let's collapse the rigid hierarchy of emperors, kings, princes, dukes, earls, counts, lords, bailiffs, and serfs and make everyone equal, as ordinary citizens.  But let's allow a hierarchy of sausage kings, railroad barons, and lords of finance.  Let's allow them to lord it over us as long as they can churn out sausages we like, run railroads that can move freight around profitably, and run finance without bailouts and meltdowns.  Let's call this concept: equality and hierarchy under freedom.  It's a social kind of thing, because it assumes that most everyone is a good guy, an equal, and it honors those with good ideas and good execution with huge fortunes and slim trophy wives.

Then came the educated elite, jealous and power hungry.  They wanted to combine equality and hierarchy too, only their synthesis was very different.  They wanted to continue the hierarchical bureaucracies of the absolute monarchs, and make the political sector their administrative servant.  And they wanted to enforce an economic equality over all economic transactions that they called social justice.  Spread the wealth, as President Obama says.  Let's call this concept: equality and hierarchy under compulsion.  It's a cruel thing, because the only thing it knows is force.

Well, we know what happened.  Whenever people combined equality and hierarchy under freedom, prosperity and freedom flourished.  But wherever men with power implemented equality and hierarchy under compulsion, poverty and tyranny flourished.

Of course the economy is sluggish.  President Obama is getting exactly what he ordered.  He has increased federal government spending from the 19 percent of GDP in the Bush years to 25 percent of GDP, and he has eaten up our seed corn with a plague of czars.  When you crank up government power you get much less economic growth.  That's because equality and hierarchy under freedom creates a flourishing society and equality and hierarchy under czars produces misery and conformity.

We are living in momentous times.  The American people are getting to experience directly the folly of the compulsion agenda.  It helps us all to appreciate the wisdom of the freedom agenda.  Some people got the message on the day that President Obama was inaugurated.  We call them Tea Partiers.

Christopher Chantrill  is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  See his usgovernmentspending.com and also usgovernmentdebt.us.  At americanmanifesto.org he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism.
The mainstream media did a heroic job of making the mixed jobs numbers on Friday look good.  Then the experts pointed out that the 244,000 new jobs in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Establishment Survey were mostly a statistical artifact.

If you look, as I do, at the BLS Household Survey, you see a downtick in Employment of 190,000 jobs and an uptick in Labor Force of 15,000.  (That's why the Unemployment Rate went up to 9.0 percent.)  Don't understand the numbers?  Then here's a chart of US Employment since the start of 2008 to show you what is happening.




The economy has added about one million jobs since the beginning of 2010.  That means we need another six million jobs just to get back up to the level before the Great Recession started.  That just ain't gonna happen by November 2012.  Or November 2014, for that matter.

What is going wrong with the Obama recovery, which Jay Cost shows is the worst recovery in the last 50 years?  I will tell you what.  The problem is that the Ruling Class, the liberal educated elite that runs our government, our media, our schools, and our entertainment, is grasping the wrong end of the stick.  At both ends.  Again. 

Democratic capitalism is the idea that politics should be egalitarian and economics should be hierarchical.  In politics, we say, everyone should be equal, but in business the people with good ideas and good execution should go to the head of the class.

Liberalism is the idea that politics should be hierarchical, directed by the educated elite, and economic results should be egalitarian, as enforced by the educated elite.  But the science is in on liberalism: the more you meddle with the proposition of democratic capitalism, the more misery you create.

It's curious that our present age should be a blend of equality and hierarchy.  It's all very Hegelian, a synthesis of egalitarianism and its antithesis, hierarchy.  Back in the hunter-gatherer age, mankind was egalitarian.  There was a reason for this, explains Nicholas Wade in The Faith Instinct: "Men like power and will seize it if they can. But if they can't rule, their next preference is that no one rule over them."

In the hunter-gather age, men couldn't seize power; the other men in the band wouldn't let them.  But then came the agricultural age, its antithesis, and it was marked everywhere by hierarchical exploitation and oppression: slavery and serfdom.  Obviously there was something about agriculture that made it easy for some men to seize power, and there was something about the age that made it hard for the rest of us to prevent oppressive rulers from ruling over us.  I argue that farmers are uniquely vulnerable to exploitation, for they must store enough food to last till the next harvest, an irresistible temptation for oppressors and plunderers.

Then came the bourgeoisie, dignified and free.  Why not combine equality and hierarchy in a Hegelian synthesis, they said?  Let's collapse the rigid hierarchy of emperors, kings, princes, dukes, earls, counts, lords, bailiffs, and serfs and make everyone equal, as ordinary citizens.  But let's allow a hierarchy of sausage kings, railroad barons, and lords of finance.  Let's allow them to lord it over us as long as they can churn out sausages we like, run railroads that can move freight around profitably, and run finance without bailouts and meltdowns.  Let's call this concept: equality and hierarchy under freedom.  It's a social kind of thing, because it assumes that most everyone is a good guy, an equal, and it honors those with good ideas and good execution with huge fortunes and slim trophy wives.

Then came the educated elite, jealous and power hungry.  They wanted to combine equality and hierarchy too, only their synthesis was very different.  They wanted to continue the hierarchical bureaucracies of the absolute monarchs, and make the political sector their administrative servant.  And they wanted to enforce an economic equality over all economic transactions that they called social justice.  Spread the wealth, as President Obama says.  Let's call this concept: equality and hierarchy under compulsion.  It's a cruel thing, because the only thing it knows is force.

Well, we know what happened.  Whenever people combined equality and hierarchy under freedom, prosperity and freedom flourished.  But wherever men with power implemented equality and hierarchy under compulsion, poverty and tyranny flourished.

Of course the economy is sluggish.  President Obama is getting exactly what he ordered.  He has increased federal government spending from the 19 percent of GDP in the Bush years to 25 percent of GDP, and he has eaten up our seed corn with a plague of czars.  When you crank up government power you get much less economic growth.  That's because equality and hierarchy under freedom creates a flourishing society and equality and hierarchy under czars produces misery and conformity.

We are living in momentous times.  The American people are getting to experience directly the folly of the compulsion agenda.  It helps us all to appreciate the wisdom of the freedom agenda.  Some people got the message on the day that President Obama was inaugurated.  We call them Tea Partiers.

Christopher Chantrill  is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  See his usgovernmentspending.com and also usgovernmentdebt.us.  At americanmanifesto.org he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism.