Authored by Joe Saunders December 2, 2016
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Comrade Stalin has done it again! Those slobbering wet kisses from the media just won’t go away until Barack Obama does.
In a fit of journalistic cheerleading that should turn even liberal stomachs, a New York Times article about the latest jobs report is hailing the American economy as a blessed miracle of modern efficiency that a triumphant Obama is handing off to lucky President-elect Donald Trump.
But a reader who makes it through the first gushing paragraphs will realize why Obama’s party is no longer in power.
Under the blatantly pro-administration headline “President Obama Is Handing a Strong Economy to His Successor,” The Times trumpets Obama’s economic stewardship in language befitting the Soviet Union’s old Five-Year Plan pronouncements:
- Private sector jobs are up! The unemployment rate is down! Those “utterly terrifying” days of the George W. Bush administration are buried deep beneath the god-like accomplishments of America’s first black president!
Comrade Stalin has done it again!
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Jason Furman, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, was particularly cloying in contrasting the economy of today with the one the country faced in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
“It was an utterly terrifying time, the likes of which none of us had ever seen in our lifetimes,” Furman told The Times, in hyperventilating prose. “The economy was following the same trajectory that it did at the beginning of the Great Depression.”
If all that’s true, of course, it raises the question of just why American voters rejected the president’s chosen successor in favor of a candidate and party that have made no secret of their loathing for Obama’s progressive policies and crony capitalism.
It takes a full seven paragraphs into the article before The Times suddenly changes its tune and gets down to the grim, black-and-white reality of the not-so-rosy employment picture.
For all the improvements, tens of millions of Americans understandably feel that the recovery has passed them by. Those without skills are relegated to low-paying positions without steady schedules, security and benefits. Breadwinners who once held well-compensated manufacturing jobs are angry about being forced to settle for lower-wage service jobs — or no jobs at all.
Profound anxiety, particularly among the white working class, about the ability to reach or comfortably remain in the middle class is one of the factors that helped propel Mr. Trump to the White House.
And right on cue in the concerted effort to portray Obama as a wise and wonderful parent handing the keys to a robust economy to a reckless teenage Trump, Politico declares in its own slavishly propagandistic piece, “Trump inherits Obama boom.”
It might come as a shock to people who sit on the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, but when five of the nation’s 10 wealthiest counties are in a collar around the nation’s capital, there might be a problem with the concentration of wealth and the men and women who are actually benefiting from the Obama Era government.
Americans outside the Beltway and its environs know that Obama’s Potemkin economy was never as good as his sycophantic media pretended, and the juggled statistics might have indicated. The official unemployment rate might indeed be low, but as Business Insider Points out, the labor force participation rate — that is, the percentage of those capable of working who are actually looking for a job — is at its lowest level since the 1970s.
Meanwhile, outside the sunny world of Beltway-area economists, the actual real-world situation isn’t nearly as sunny as The New York Times would have the country believe.
As Business Insider reports:
The big disappointment in the jobs report was wage growth. Average hourly earnings fell 0.1% from October. This was unexpected, given that the tight labor market — characterized by a record number of job openings and fewer job seekers — put some upward pressure on wages in recent months.
In other words, the unemployment rate endlessly touted by the Obama-glorifying media in the past seven-plus years is a cruel joke. It leaves out otherwise healthy individuals who have given up hope of finding work, it counts individuals who have even minimal – not-enough-to-buy-gas-with jobs – as “employed.”
In a controversial column in February 2015, Jim Clifton, president and CEO of the Gallup polling organization, blew the whistle on the whole sham:
There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.
And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity — it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.
None of that is going to make it into the mainstream media’s coverage of economic figures from the government for another two months, of course. The final days of the Obama administration are likely to be hailed as the twilight of a golden era in American prosperity. If The Times’ dishonest coverage is any indication of what’s to come from the rest of the mainstream media – and it usually is – the country can expect to hear nothing but solid economic news until at least Jan. 20 or so.
But come Jan. 21, and the first full day of the Donald Trump administration, don’t be surprised if the media suddenly report America heading back into a full-scale depression. And there will be no gushing paragraphs then.