Flat job rate is improvement

Published 9:43 am Thursday, September 8, 2011

The U.S. Bureau of Labor released the new U.S. employment statistics for August last week and they show we are at an even zero. A nice, big fast goose egg.

Wall Street reacted with large sell-offs that made talking heads appear like dandelions all over the news speculating if we were about to go into a double-dip recession.

While the old adage of paying attention to history or be doomed to repeat it is relevant here, it’s not because of a possible recession but fallout from all of the manufactured hysteria.

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If anyone cares to look back at the Labor Department statistics from previous years they can quickly see that for the past 10 years August was in the negative 70 percent of the time.

That includes the years before the Great Recession when we all thought we were doing just fine and the Gross National Product was growing at a nice clip.

In August of 2001 job growth was down 160 points and that’s before 9/11 occurred when we were all more worried about the sharks in the water instead of the ones on Wall Street.

Zero job growth is improvement.

However, all of the good news that was out there got shoved to the back of the closet and there are some very pertinent reasons why that keeps happening.

First, there is some gamesmanship going on in Washington right now and it’s costing the average taxpayer both sleep and money. Congress and the President have decided that being right is more important that effectively running a country and so compromise has become a sign of weakness rather than statesmanship.

Rather than recognizing that no one is going to get everything they want, that we’re still in a delicate economic state, that a lot of other countries we’re tied to in a multitude of ways are in a downward spiral and that too many Americans have no savings left, both sides are pushing their agenda.

As a result U.S. Treasury bonds have been downgraded for the first time since U.S. bonds existed and that will have some long-term effects on trade, which means U.S. jobs. Way to go politicians, thanks for having our backs.

Everyone in politics, both those in Washington and those hoping to get sent there, has become a suited-up version of the Jersey Show with a downgraded rating to prove it.

The second reason to push faux bad news on all of us is that we’re creeping into an election year way ahead of schedule and hopefuls who are running for the office are looking for our sensitive pressure points.

This early in the game it serves them more to cause us to doubt and worry than it does to offer solutions.

Candidates are throwing out enough gloomy prognostications in the weird hope that one of them will prove to be true and they can banter it around and get voters. Winning through negativity.

Take note, anyone who’s doing that is showing they’re clearly more concerned about their agenda than America’s because they’re willing to insight fear among the middle class if it gets them what they want.

If a candidate were to offer a viable solution this early and it didn’t play out to people’s expectations then the other candidates, regardless of party affiliation, would hang them on it.

But there’s now so much smoke and mirrors going on with the way everything is phrased and then parroted on TV that it can be difficult to know how to define success.

Any solution out there that’s already underway is being battered around by the other players who also have a hand in making the idea seem like it didn’t work by repeatedly stating success as a bar too high to achieve.

That’s how we’ve arrived at the gloom and doom chitchat surrounding the flat job rate for August.

We’ve become the politicians’ cat toy and are being batted around but only for as long as we keep paying so much attention to what they’re criticizing instead of what the one speaking is actually doing.

Let actions speak louder than that large pile of steaming words.

Look back at recent records and what someone is trying to build over time, which means gradual, instead of the ones demanding a quick fix to a complicated problem.

Take only a quick note of those who are bleating the loudest about others and recognize pointless gossip in place of good works when it actually does come time to vote.

If more of us do that then maybe we really can have a government for the people again, for at least a little while.

Martha Randolph Carr is a nationally syndicated columnist. Email Martha at Martha@caglecartoons.com.