The Chair is Confirmed to be Empty

Viewing Clint Eastwood’s RNC speech with a couple of weeks to reflect confirms his common sense observations as a citizen. The chair is empty.

The August employment report from the US Department of Labor showed more of the same lack of response we have seen for the past several years with the number of “unemployed persons” at 12.5 million, the number of persons “employed part time for economic reasons” (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) at 8.0 million, and 2.6 million persons “marginally attached to the labor force.” That totals 23.1 million Americans unemployed, underemployed, or who have given up looking for work.

Alan Abelson in the September 10 Barron’s quotes David Rosenberg, Chief Economist & Strategist at Canadian wealth management firm Gluskin Sheff, as follows; “bear in mind that in the month of August, more people went on the food-stamp program (173,000) than those who managed to find a new job (96,000).”

Here is a chart of average monthly food-stamp participation based on data from the USDA (2012 is a nine month average through June), showing participation increasing from 26.3 million people in 2007 to over 46.3 million people in 2012, a 12 % compound annual increase:

Food Stamp Average Monthly Persons Participating - Fiscal Years Ending September

The unemployment rate has gone from a low of 4.4% in March 2007, to 7.3% when Mr. Obama took office in January 2009, to 10.0% in October 2009, and now stands at 8.1% as of August 2012.

The number of people employed has gone from a high of 138 million people in January 2008 to 133 million people when Mr. Obama took office in January 2009, and now stands at the same 133 million in August 2012.

Mr. Obama told us in March 2009 that his trillion dollar stimulus would “save and create over 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.” If this is true we borrowed a trillion dollars our kids will pay back to subsidize jobs paying less than $100,000 a year that cost over $285,000 each to “create,” and we are now in a deeper unemployment hole than in 2009.

“Possibly, now it may be time for somebody else to come along and solve the problem.” Indeed.

Regards, Pete Weldon

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