August Job Numbers: Sucking the air out of the President’s campaign rhetoric.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Here are the opening paragraphs from NBCNews.com’s story on the just-released jobs numbers for August. Click on the image to make it larger. You can use the link to see the full article, or look around for any number of other reports. Keep in mind that NBC and other news services revise their stories, particularly soon after they are first posted, so the current text you see may differ slightly from the screen shot I’m showing below. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website has the original release.

The unemployment rate is down to 8.1%, but that’s just because so many people (368,000) have given up looking for jobs. In fact, the number of jobs created aren’t enough to lower the real level of unemployment, the rate of unemployment that includes everybody who would like to work, even if they have given up looking. That rate, which is difficult to estimate, is much higher than 8.1% and rising.

And the 63.5% figure for Americans working or looking for work, the lowest since 1981, is not a sign of prosperity as it might be in the context of a booming economy. It’s just the reverse.

The Democrats and Republicans can have all the conventions they want. They can all wear funny hats and applaud with wild, occasionally tearful enthusiasm, but there’s nothing funny, no reason to party in these numbers, not to mention the national debt and the “fiscal cliff” our collective Chevy is about to drive over. “See the USA, in your Chevrolet,” the old Dinah Shore anthem used to say. Maybe later.

I’m only one person who lives to write upbeat pieces, and detests the onslaught of bad news. My love of politics notwithstanding, the ick-level of campaign rhetoric is getting to me. “HEY!” I feel like shouting at these guys. Stop spinning. Stop lying, especially President Obama’s campaign, about your record and what you want voters to think your opponent believes or represents. For that matter, just stop talking and get back to work.

Talk all you want. The numbers are awful, Mr. President. Oratory won’t save us anymore than a doctor with a great bedside manner who doesn’t know how to treat his patient. Nobody unemployed, no struggling family really gives a poop about your humble upbringing. Bringing a crowd of convention delegates to their feet isn’t the objective. There are millions of Americans who want to be on their feet, on their way back to work. Too bad you aren’t as good at solving economic and fiscal problems are you are at campaigning. Too bad, but you’re not and giving you four more years to wait for an organic economic recovery for which you can take credit is not what America needs.

Mr. Romney, on the other hand, isn’t as personable. Isn’t as smooth and crowd-pleasing. He’s a manager, with a proven track record. Once you get past the lab coat and pocket protector, figuratively speaking, he’s the world-class surgeon who feels more comfortable operating than talking about it. Mitt Romney is exactly what we need. If, Mr. President, you had any real understanding of the economy and the actual business of running a government, you’d be voting for him yourself.

-Next Contestant

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