American Elephants

This is Not “The New Normal.” Don’t Let Anyone Tell You It Is. by The Elephant's Child

A new phrase has crept into American vocabulary — “the New Normal,”— a national pessimism. Yes, we are in dismal times. New Yorkers, in particular, are hungry, cold, thirsty, and frightened.

Help is coming for New York and New Jersey, and all those in the path of Hurricane Sandy, but it comes too slowly and seems disorganized and incompetent. FEMA’s vaunted “lean forward” strategy that called for advanced staging of emergency supplies — has already run out of drinking water. They are asking for bids from potential suppliers. Governments (Christie and Bloomberg) have made dire threats against anyone price-gouging, yet it is raised prices that would pay for new gas supplies brought in from unaffected states. All that talk about a new power grid never got beyond the talk phase.

Governments are composed of ordinary human beings, just like us. We put them in charge, with little idea of their capabilities, and are surprised when confronted with disaster, they perform like politicians instead of the experts we mistook them for.

Mitt Romney made a commercial about the new normal, explaining that “the private sector is not just fine,” the current unemployment situation can be remedied, and the economy can grow again. This is not just campaign talk. There are causes and there are effects. An ideology that believes in bigger government, more regulation, more control, higher taxes, more rules and more criminalization — when put into practice — has results that are known to history.

The private sector in the form of business organizations like Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Associations, and independent businessmen just speaking out have explained why they can’t hire, why they are laying off people. Organizations of doctors have explained why ObamaCare won’t work. But those caught up in ideology are sure that it didn’t work before because they just didn’t do it right. This time will be different.

I actually heard someone on the radio patiently explain that there just will not be any employment in the offing, ever, for those over 50. No hope. The new normal.

We are all human, and one of the characteristics of being human is that we have no idea whatsoever what tomorrow will bring. Any correct prediction is pure luck, or obvious, but we are simply not endowed with insight into the future.

That said, I concurrently ran into this post from Zero Hedge:

The traditional excuse apologists for America’s collapsing labor force participation rate use every month is that due to “demographics” and retiring baby boomers, increasingly more old workers are no longer counted by the BLS and as a result, are skewing the labor force. That’s where they leave it because digging into details is not really anyone’s forte anymore. This would be great if it was true. It isn’t.

A month ago in “55 And Under? No Job For You” we presented visually and quite simply that of the 3.3 million jobs “created” (updated for October’s data), a gasp-inducing 3.8 million has gone to workers aged 55 and over, or the one cohort that according to conventional wisdom is retiring, and actively leaving the workforce.

President Obama seems to be convinced that the reason people are unemployed is that they do not have the skills needed for a Twenty First Century economy. He wants more people to go to college, although the evidence shows that college graduates learn less and less. He wants more job-training at community colleges. And of course he has a “vision” of a new clean-energy economy where high-tech workers work with rare earths to — do something special. The photos of him at new government-funded, clean energy manufacturing plants always show him with safety-glasses being amazed at some new thing. Apparently what is really needed are more math and financial skills to avoid bankruptcy,

Meanwhile, businessmen, when the facts are dragged out of them, admit that they have a hard time finding people who can correctly answer a telephone, have a work ethic, and some ordinary common-sense skills. And when asked what they need to return to growth, businessmen need certainty from government. They need less needless regulation, fewer regulations and less interference from the EPA. They never know what to expect.

ObamaCare is placing restrictions and regulations on doing business that business can’t meet. They are making more people part-time employees because they can’t afford to pay for their health insurance. Each new regulation is a cost to business — they have to hire someone, or many, to do the paperwork, buy new equipment, revise their way of doing business.

Mitt Romney does understand the burden of needless regulation — that’s one reason why he made a commercial about the new normal. He’s spent 25 years combing over balance sheets and understanding how the acts of government can affect the bottom line of a growing business.  I think when he says he expects to create 12 million new private sector jobs in four years, it is a serious calculation based on our new ranking as the nation with the world’s most plentiful supplies of energy, the opportunity offered to a manufacturing economy by cheap, plentiful energy, and the hope of removing some of the most onerous regulation. A “normal” that just keeps growing better.

Harry Reid has announced that he has no intention of working cooperatively with Mitt Romney under any circumstances. So it is important to elect enough Republican senators to make Mr. Reid Minority Leader. You would think that any government official of either party would be determined to put people back to work, to get the economy growing again, to restore the American dream, but not, I guess, if it interferes with one’s ideology. Ideology trumps all.


3 Comments so far
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“The New Normal” isn’t new… you usually see the phrase pop up near the end of Democrat administrations (you heard it a lot at the end of the Carter era).


Comment by Lon Mead

Is that just an old Democrat thing? I don’t remember it from the Carter era at all. You mean they don’t even change their playbook? Well, I hope it is an indication of the end of an administration. Richly deserved.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Yeah… I remember an old copy of either Newsweek or US News & World Report that we had in our high school debate and extemporaneous speaking files that had that on the cover (I remember it so well because we took the caption (1980, pre-photoshop!) and put it on a picture of the Speech and Drama club and would take it to tournaments).

I put it on a par with, when things are going to hell for whatever Democrat is president, that “the job of President is too big for one person to handle well”. I think they were testing that one out for Obama earlier this year… I think Axelrod put a stop to it because 1) I believe Obama thinks the job of President is too SMALL for him, and 2) Axelrod didn’t want anyone thinking that someone actually could do it better.


Comment by Lon Mead

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