Numbers game

The January unemployment rate, based on household surveys, is 9.7 percent, down from 10 percent in December. Good news, right? Perhaps, and it’s all but certain the Obama and his gang will claim credit for the slight dip.

But there are two more troubling numbers: 20,000, 480,000 and 52,000. As reported by the Wall Street Journal,

…nonfarm payrolls fell by 20,000…480,000 initial claims for jobless benefits rose by a larger-than-expected 8,000, to 480,000 claims in the week ended Jan. 30.

That’s almost one-half million newly unemployed. But, to add some salt to the wound, something to keep in mind whenever an Obama administration flack claims that things are getting better, this, from another WSJ story:

Last month, employment fell in construction, transportation and warehousing, while retail trade and temporary help services added jobs. Temporary services added 52,000 jobs in January.

Now, if you’re unemployed and need money, any job is a good job. But what this illustrates is that the fundamentals are weak: construction, transportation, and warehousing. In plain terms, these are jobs that are long(er) term and indicative of the overall health of the economy. Retail and temp jobs are much more volatile, meaning short(er) term.

Translation: we’ve still got a long row to hoe, and so-called stimulus bills, or government “investing” in pork projects just don’t work to add real jobs.  And, yes, Tampa, your rail project that Obama wants to “invest” in has that sweet-yet-rancid smell of spoiled pork.

It’s simple: if for-profit businesses won’t invest in a project, it’s generally because it is not a good investment. Meaning it won’t return a profit and will lose money. When the government does this, it’s may be called “stimulus” or “jobs bill.” I call it welfare.

The only thing that will bring us out of this recession without making us a second-rate socialist state is to let businesses alone. Reduce corporate taxes; keep individual tax rates, especially on the so-called rich, low. Because these are the engines of job creation.

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