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Community Commentary: On a path to more joblessness

October 15, 2011|By Chriss Street

It would seem a little embarrassing to have to inform the "Occupy Wall Street" movement that the corporate icon they are protesting — The New York Stock Exchange — was already sold to the Germans.

But the real motive behind the protests are a spin job on the basic instruction set drilled into young law school students about how to win courtroom arguments: "When the facts are in your favor; pound the facts. When the law is in your favor; pound the law. When neither the facts nor the law are in your favor, pound the table."

The facts are that from 2008 to 2010, the left controlled the presidency and a filibuster-proof-Congress for the first time since the 1977 to 1979 days of Jimmy Carter. The left used its iron-fisted dominance to pass laws to engage in massive stimulus spending and interventionist restructuring of the American economy.

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As a result of these historic actions; our federal debt grew in three years by more than during our first 222 years — and our credit rating was downgraded — while unemployment rose and is about to go even higher.

With a record like this, it should not come as any surprise that the left has been reduced to taking to the streets to pound the table.

After gaining control of government, the left screamed that the economy was facing a depression and needed the type of large government stimulus spending programs enacted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his filibuster-proof-Congress in 1933.

But after three years in office, FDR's federal spending only hit 10.2% of gross-domestic product (GDP), whereas current federal spending is estimated to have risen to 25.3% of GDP.

After three years in office, FDR's stimulus spending helped reduce unemployment 2.6%; versus the 4.3% rise in unemployment we have suffered over the last three years.

In fact, from 1940 to 2008, unemployment only exceeded 9% for one year, but unemployment has been over 9% for each of the last three years.

More foreboding, a chart from Lombard Street Research demonstrates employment trends lag U.S. GDP by 12 months. Given GDP growth peaked in the third quarter of 2010, plus it takes at least 150,000 new jobs per month to keep unemployment from rising due to population growth, unemployment appears to be on the verge of a big jump!

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