Since politicians continue to argue about whether or not the current unemployment statistics show signs of life in the American economy, I want to shift from election year mode to look at the facts and then shift back into an election year mindset to offer the most obvious advice.
Think of the US economy as a house filled with income earners and many mouths to feed. As the number of mouths to feed increase, there needs to be an increase in breadwinners or incomes to feed those mouths.
Economists Antonio Fatas and Ilian Mihov offer a sobering look at the ratio I described. Notice how the employment to population ratio has been going down since the year 2000:
There are remedies to fix the breadwinner/hungry mouth imbalance, but let’s first rule out decreasing the number of mouths to feed since I highly doubt America is going roll like China, and my look at the 30-year trend of flat to declining incomes for most Americans tells me there is a highly constrained pool of upside income available for breadwinners to feed hungry mouths. I don’t dig welfare either, but abolishing the welfare system tomorrow without creating jobs will speed up the revolution. Hell, even China is beginning to understand that. We have tangible evidence from other industrialized nations that disengaging the government from the unemployment solution leads to slower economic growth. Austerity sucks, and so does anyone who still recommends it.
Which brings me to my obvious advice, America. Your actions or passivity brought in the least productive legislative body in recorded American history, and whose willingness to fight the President over matters both tangential and germane to job creation contributed to how the above graph looks.
Therefore, vote. Every year. Make sure the person you vote for has brain cells and knows what economic growth means. And don’t just for the President, vote for every position that pertains to policy in your community. In other words, all positions you see on the ballot. Your only other option is to not be surprised when civil unrest visits your doorstep…
song currently stuck in my head: “baptized in dirty water” – chris thomas king