American Elephants


The Scandal of Obama’s Very Own Slow Recovery by The Elephant's Child

President Obama simply cannot stop doing the things that discourage businesses from hiring, and failing to do the things that wold help improve the employment situation. The biggest downer at present is ObamaCare. The regulations that force businesses to pay for the health care of anyone working 30 hours a week have led, not to a flurry of hiring more people for 40 hour weeks, but to workers being reduced to part-time at 28 hours or less.

Grocery stores operate on a low profit margin, and schedule workers for the hours when the store is busiest. Here, and probably nationwide, more stores are converting to at least partial self-check-out lines. The same for big box stores like Home Depot. Business has never liked being in the health-insurance business, and is using this opportunity to get out of it. Every law, passed in haste, will have unintended consequences. Thoughtful people can anticipate some of them, but things do not work out as expected. In manufacturing plants, more tasks are performed by machines. Who do you call today where you are answered by a human instead of a machine?

The administration has bragged that the economy added 175,000 jobs last month, but the number of job openings actually fell by 118,000 in April. The burning desire of a statist administration is for ever more regulation, ever more control — impulses that create more unemployment. If you refuse to allow the free market to work, you don’t get much work. Economics writer James Pethokoukis plaintively asked recently “Where are the entrepreneurs?”

Starting something new is taking a big risk. People who have a great idea borrow from their home equity, relatives, friends, take out second mortgages and load on debt to start a new business. Why are so many of Obama’s backers looking for subsidies and grants from the government to start a business? To absolve them from the risk of starting on their own.

Free people strive and create; regulated, controlled people hunker down and try to save their money. We have a government at present that wants more people to be dependent on the government. They are paying people to sign others up for food stamps, for welfare, for disability—the help that you are “entitled” to. The thing you won’t see on this chart is the increase in part-time or temporary employment. The problem is not, as is often claimed, available workers lacking the skills needed for the sectors with job openings — but a broad-based lack of demand for workers. Business is hurting. If you listen carefully to the radio, you will hear all sorts of businesses advertising who have never advertised before.

The administration’s efforts to destroy free market capitalism are perhaps the biggest scandal of all.

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