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Why the Public Questions the Recovery

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While economists and politicians celebrate economic recovery, the American people refuse to accept the good news. Only a third of the public sees the nation headed in “the right direction” – a figure that’s dropped ten points since President Obama’s re-election.

Improved unemployment numbers hide the fact that millions have dropped out of the work force. The percentage of the working age population that’s employed is only 58.6% – much worse than 2007, and virtually unchanged since the recession’s darkest days.

New claims that US households have, overall, regained the wealth they lost, concentrate on improved circumstances for the top third, while most families still face hard times and dim prospects.

As Republicans focus on Obama scandals they must remember that ordinary citizens still care most about the struggling economy and the difficulty of finding jobs.

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Comments (13)

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  1. American  •  Jun 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Many of the employed Americans are low paid self-employed professionals with college degrees that used to make much more money before the Great Recession. The disparity in income is ignored in this data.

    U.S. politicians are preparing to saturate the nation, via their immigration reform, with 33 million more foreign workers in the worst domestic labor market since the Great Depression when so many of the employed make so little anymore.

  2. kick  •  Jun 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Stagflation (rising prices for Capital assets with shrinking Capital base) is not Economic Recovery.

    Barack Obama apparently lacks the intellectual ability to understand the difference.

    It’s a limitation the current President shares with both former Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter.

    President Obama and his ilk has simply subtracted formerly self employed people who no longer have work & incomes, along with people whose unemployment benefits have run out from his totals of unemployed Americans.

    250,000 new people enter the potential labor force every month because they turn 18 years or graduate from college.

    The US economy has to produce at least 250,000 every month just to stay “even.”

    Anything less means unemployment is worse which is also never added to Obama’s phony estimate of the percentage of Americans unemployed.

    Productive Americans are past being tired of being lied to by Obama and his non productive supporters in government employment.

    That’s what all this means.

    • mewp12  •  Jun 14, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Since 0bama is going on a $100 million trip to Africa for some unknown reason, maybe he can hire a few Americans has bearers.

  3. kick  •  Jun 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    As long as President Barack Obama keeps pretending to create new productive jobs, government employees will keep pretending to work.

  4. Joey  •  Jun 14, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Mr. Medved rails about those disheveled that occupy Seattle’s parks and underpasses. As a recipient of two degrees from a local university, one in a science, I’d like to comment on his attitude. If I wasn’t as self motivated as I am, possessed of a work ethic and a desire to maintain dignity, I might be out there with them. His attitude is reprehensible. There is a solution Michael- don’t visit these places. You live in a magnificent neighborhood, and I can only trust you have at least a modestly nice back yard; use it, and leave the parks to the poor and those with a modicum of compassion.

    • Cynde Harris  •  Jun 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      Joey – What of those people who aren’t like Michael? People of modest means who rent, live in an apartment or don’t have a backyard for their child to play in? They should be forced to go to parks where people are sleeping or passed out drunk on the benches?

      The truth is, there are PLENTY of places for the homeless to go. Unfortunately, those places require drug and alcohol abstinence which is why many homeless people will not visit them. Speaking as someone who lived in her car for a few months when I first fled from a terrible home life, I know the choices available to those who have no home and there are many.

      • Joey  •  Jun 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm

        Cynde, you make a good point. I have no kids and hadn’t thought of that.

  5. Keith  •  Jun 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    I’ll always believe that the depth of the economic collapse in 2007 was worsened by the constant media drumbeat about how bad America’s economy was. It was nearly 2 years before their self fulfilling prophecy came true, and they did elect Obama, but at what cost? And today that same corrupt media are doing everything they can to convince the beaten down public that NOW! – all is well again. The only silver lining is that many of those false ‘reporters’ are today searching for a job, victims of their own success at selling a lie, and rigging an election.

  6. Annie  •  Jun 14, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Have you heard?? The recession is over! Yahoo! No, wait a minute – home foreclosures and short sales are the new norm; not enough jobs being created (hence the stagnated unemployment rate) and companies continue to layoff.

    Speaking of which, I work for a very large software company (the one headquartered in Bay Area) and they layoff in large quantities every quarter. The number of layoffs (RIFs = reductions in force) are under the amount that triggers scrutiny. But, alas, those RIFs translate to real people. Looks like my ‘yahoo’ was premature…

  7. Greg Crown  •  Jun 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    While there are certainly many who are in tough circumstances through no fault of their own, many (and I mean millions) are in that position due significantly to their own irresponsibility, lack of discipline, and/or laziness. Examples: the single mom with multiple kids from multiple partners who struggles to provide for her children while claiming to be a victim; the unemployed person who failed to take advantage of a free high school education; the young college graduate with a degree in Humanities finding it tough to get a job; the unemployed person unwilling to take a job “out of his field” or at a lower pay rate; the parent who abuses drugs or alcohol, to the detriment of job and family. There are certainly many who are deserving of a hand up and financial support – public or private. However, this support cannot and should not last years and years, spanning multiple generations, as it often does. It’s time for many on the dole to stand up and take care of themselves and their families – and insure that their children don’t fall into the same trap as they did..

  8. Charles  •  Jun 15, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Hear, hear, Greg. Well said. There will always be those who, through little or no fault of their own, have found themselves on hard times. No reasonable person would disagree that society is obligated to help such people get back on their feet, but those we help also have a solemn obligation to take meaningful steps to get back on their feet as quickly as possible. It’s this latter obligation that liberals may give lip service to agreeing with, but when any politician tries to put laws in place intended to separate the truly needy from the truly parasitic, those same liberals scream bloody murder. And of course they’re joined by the main stream media, in full 24/7, wall-to-wall assault mode, pounding out the steady drum beat of how evil and heartless those disgusting conservatives are. “Tsk, tsk, tsk.”, says the network propagandist for the umpteenth time this hour. “Those wascally Republicans are at it again. They’re sooo out of touch with the average American and have absolutely no clue with just how hard it is to make it in this country. They just don’t get it and they never will.” And so it goes. It’s all part of the Democrats’ completely transparent use of taxpayer dollars to bribe as many people as they can reach to help maintain their hold on money and power. “Vote for me and I’ll make sure your personal gravy train not only keeps running, but gets even more generous every year!” What an evil siren song! The resulting squandered human potential is staggering to think about, indeed incalculable. The social ills caused, exacerbated and perpetuated for generations by liberal policies is a national disgrace. But the Democrats don’t care about that. Those are their voters. They’re not so much humans as they are the indispensable key to their personal kingdom of wealth and power. They MUST be kept dependent. Their worst nightmare is the day they stand on their own two feet. Why, then they wouldn’t be takers anymore and therefore not bribable for their vote. They’d actually be producers who pay taxes. And that means the light bulb may go off above their heads causing them to vote for politicians who want to pass laws intended to separate the truly needy from the truly parasitic. And we couldn’t have that, now could we?

  9. Bill  •  Jun 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm


    Talk about U6. The MSM and others don’t talk about this and what it means. It appears to be a more accurate picture of unemployment in our great nation.

    Thanks for what you do.

  10. Mark  •  Jun 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    “Economists” and “politicians” need to be schooled on what the term “recovery” actually means. They claim recovery, yet businesses in my area continue to close their doors, and no new businesses are coming in to replace them. The stock market is being artificially propped up. Real unemployment is sky-high. People are still struggling as much as they ever were during the times that obama said were the worst since the Great Depression.

    Obama, by his own policy decisions, or as the case may be, a lack of policy decisions and failed leadership, this modern-day Nero is not just fiddling away while Rome burns, he is fanning the flames.

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