With the latest monthly unemployment numbers coming out this Friday, I decided to take a look at what we've seen so far. It struck me that most of the quoted numbers were actually percentages, with the actual number of people not working obscured by statistics. So I decided to take a look at what would happen if I took the BLS numbers and then subtracted the number of people employed from the number of people in the populations that are 16 and over. This gives you the number of people who are currently not working, though are old enough to. Take a look at what has happened in Obama's first term so far:
As you can see, we've hit an all time high with over 100 million people not working, a number that has increased by 9 million since the day Obama took office with no letup in sight.
Now let's take a look at what happened in the first term of Ronald Reagan, a truly great American President:
Notice how different the trend is. Unlike Obama's trend which hit another all-time high in April, Reagan's peaked in March of 1983 and relentlessly fell from then on. It actually kept falling through his second term so that we had no increase in the number of people not working despite having 16 million more people 16 and over!
And all this happened in an economic environment that one could easily argue was less friendly than today. Remember that monetary policy was incredibly tight back then. Right when Reagan took office, Paul Volcker increased the Fed Funds rate by 2% to a whopping 20%! That is a far cry from today's zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) which has been in effect since December of 2008, right before Obama took office. From day one, Reagan was dealing with the tightest monetary policy in US history while Obama was dealing with the loosest, and yet Reagan was still able to turn gruel into gravy.
Also, if you look at the timing of the recessions each had to deal with, Reagan was disadvantaged there as well. Reagan's recession only ended in November 1982, almost halfway through his first term, giving him little time to show improvement in unemployment as that often lags economic growth. Obama's recession, on the other hand, ended in June 2009, 5 months after he took office, giving him quite a long time to improve the employment situation. And yet he has failed miserably.
Obama needs to go to the dustbin of history so America can start growing again. His un-American policies that rely on big government, crony capitalism and corruption are simply not working.