Green Room

Zero Percent Unemployment – Now!

posted at 10:52 pm on July 16, 2009 by

There are about 15 million people unemployed in the United States at the moment, and the number is rising. Barack Obama is personally responsible for every single one of them. Why? Because he could hire them all.

The wasteful, pork-encrusted “stimulus” bill rammed through Congress by the Democrats cost taxpayers $787 billion. That works out to about $52k per unemployed person. Instead of pouring all that money into the pockets of their political allies, the Democrats could have hired every single unemployed person for two years, at $26k per year, tax free. The biggest problem with Obama is his lack of vision. He’s got his addled Vice President staggering around, claiming to see “workers rehired, factories reopened, cops on the street, teachers in the classroom, progress toward getting our economy back on the move” everywhere he goes. Instead of wasting everyone’s time with the Joe Biden clown act, he could simply assert control over the entire American economy, and declare unemployment to be zero percent.

What would Obama do with those fifteen million new employees? Well, they’ve all got skills, right? Most of them are capable of working, and I would venture to say that many of them desperately want to work. Surely a man who can conjure the biggest, most complex medical insurance “corporation” on Earth out of thin air could find something to do with fifteen million new pairs of hands. Maybe they could write their own job descriptions, and suggest fun, productive ways to put their talents to use on behalf of America. I bet we could find “green jobs” for all of them.

Or, better yet… why not indulge in a little more deficit spending, and set up medical scholarships for those who score the highest on aptitude tests? (With the appropriate number of racial set-asides, of course. We wouldn’t want newly minted Justice Sotomayor getting all Ricci on our brand-new program!) We’ll need lots of new doctors to provide all those expanded health benefits. Don’t liberals keep bleating about 47 million uninsured in this country? Well, if they’re all going to suddenly have health insurance, thanks to a stroke of Obama’s pen and some fat surtaxes on the wealthiest Americans, we’re going to need a surge in health-care workers to take care of them all. The current ratio of doctors per 100,000 population is about 260. That means we’ll need 122,000 more doctors to handle 47 million more people with health insurance. We can scrape by if about half a percent of our 15 million unemployed are doctor material.

But wait… unemployment is going to go up in the next couple of years, due to Obama’s policies. Cap-and-trade will put a lot of people out of work. Come to think of it, how many people work for the medical insurance companies that Obama’s new “public plan” will force out of business? Will they all go to work for Obama Insurance, Inc., or will we need to find jobs for some of them, too? Well, no problem – even if the number of unemployed doubles by 2012, we can just charge another $700 billion to Uncle Sam’s deficit card, and hire them all. Zero percent unemployment forever!

Except… those two-year stimulus jobs will run out around 2012, won’t they? No worries – I’m sure those people will have proven themselves highly productive assets to the economy, and America will consider it a bargain to keep them on its payroll forever. With all those new workers, the wise and brilliant Obama will have created entirely new industries. You might be shaking your head and wondering why people with guaranteed government jobs, paid in tax-free money, would feel motivated to work hard, let alone display the discipline and energy to create new industries. Let me assure you that your fears are unfounded, because… well…

Oh, hell. That’s where the whole beautiful scheme falls apart.

Listening to Democrats explain their wonderful plans for universal access to free everything, you realize they have a profound misconception about the economy, which fuels many of their other delusions: they think running a business is easy. Being a doctor is easy. Working in a bank, a mortgage company, or an investment brokerage is a piece of cake. All of the people who do these things will continue to do them, with equal dedication… even if their taxes are raised, or their industries are nationalized. Creating a federal health insurance company of titanic size will be a snap – the Democrats will just throw a few politically reliable people into the executive slots, pour an avalanche of tax dollars into their laps, and bingo! The existing health insurance companies don’t have any special knowledge about their industry, and there are no business reasons why they stubbornly refuse to provide cheap coverage for those 47 million uninsured. They only withhold that coverage because they’re evil and greedy. Caring political appointees will easily succeed where they failed, on a budget fixed by next year’s Congress. I’ll bet they can guarantee all Americans first-rate coverage without exceeding that budget by one red cent.

Anyone who runs a real business knows how completely wrongheaded this is. Business ownership is hard. It takes entrepreneurial risk, the ability to find and exploit opportunities, discipline, and sacrifice. The owners and managers of every business, from small family operations to huge conglomerates, must make tough decisions about paying expenses, making investments, pleasing shareholders, and coping with unexpected setbacks. Sometimes these decisions are agonizing. Every business owner reading this could tell a story about sitting up late at night, staring at vendor invoices, payroll ledgers, and accounts receivable with watery eyes, trying to make them fit together and produce balanced books somehow. Even the wealthiest of them could tell you harrowing tales of lean times, when personal assets had to be put at risk, or life savings had to be tapped as investment capital. Even hearing these stories would not prepare you for the reality of owning a business of your own, if you’ve never tried it. You must experience it for yourself to appreciate it.

Very few Democrat politicians have ever run a business. Barack Obama certainly hasn’t. I doubt he would agree with the sentiments expressed in the previous paragraph. In his heart, like every socialist, he sees business owners as nothing but rich people driving around in fancy cars… and since the federal government is richer than any of them, it will be the best business owner ever. The truth of the matter is that deep pockets are the government’s sole advantage. It has no discipline, no entrepreneurial spirit, no reason to take its lumps when it makes a bad decision, and a very low threshold of pain. If Obama Insurance, Inc. loses money, the government will just give it more. When bondholders refuse to raise the limits on the government’s deficit card any further, it will simply seize more money from taxpayers, making duly “progressive” adjustments to soak the wealthiest of them. The government will not be the best insurance company ever. It will be the worst…. and the one thing its bad decisions can never force it to do is go out of business.

Why are those 15 million people unemployed? For the most part, they’re looking for jobs, but no one will hire them. Companies very much want to hire more people, and expand – no business wishes to remain stagnant. The decision to refrain from hiring people is a tough one. Business owners don’t make it because they’re cruel and like to laugh at people in the unemployment lines. One of the reasons the economy is contracting is because money – the avatar of time, resources, and entrepreneurship – is being forced to go where it doesn’t want to go. Businesses that should fail are being propped up by reckless deficit spending. The shadow of titanic tax increases to come, including those needed to fund Obama’s adventure in health insurance, looms fearfully large on the horizon – and when money is frightened, it hides.

Hiring people to fill job openings is not the same thing as handing them a check and announcing they’re employed. The health care “crisis,” to the extent one exists, cannot be solved by signing a bill and declaring everyone has health insurance now. Businessmen live at the intersection of theory and reality, while politicians angrily deny that intersection exists at all. That’s one reason I much prefer dealing with businessmen.

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Comments

This is what happens when the same players keep showing up every year, no access for people with different ideas…

Not sure that I *like* the idea of term limits, but it’d help with this. Cap the maximum time in the congress at 12 years and see what happens…

Mew

acat on July 17, 2009 at 7:31 AM

The existing health insurance companies don’t have any special knowledge about their industry, and there are no business reasons why they stubbornly refuse to provide cheap coverage for those 47 million uninsured.

OT: I’ve asked elsewhere before whether we really have 47 million uninsured. I’ve read that 25% are illegal aliens, 25% are those who can afford insurance but choose not to be insured, 25% are those who are eligible for coverage under existing programs, and 25% are those who are actually uninsured. I realize that healthcare reform has many aspects (of course, tort reform is verboten with Dems), but can’t we agree on the facts of the approximate number of uninsured, and only then devise solutions to address that aspect of healthcare reform?

BuckeyeSam on July 17, 2009 at 8:26 AM

. Why? Because he could hire them all.

why bother, when he already think he owns us?

right4life on July 17, 2009 at 8:33 AM

But wait… unemployment is going to go up in the next couple of years, due to Obama’s policies.

For Obamaism to become the new society of the US, the Constitution needs to become perforated and the treasury must go into bankruptcy. Geithner is handling the treasury and Sotomayor will begin work on the Constitution. Biden is simply a sideshow. There is no talent requirement for assembling a group to ruin a business or a free society. As unemployment continues to rise and commerce screeches to a halt, we’ll be helpless to vote the country into another direction. This untalented group is skillfully implementing the end of our freedoms.

Baa, baa.
Moo, moo.

ericdijon on July 17, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Thank you for this post. I’ve always said that I’s rather have an MBA in the White House than a PhD. in Law any day.

CynicalOptimist on July 17, 2009 at 8:38 AM

BuckeyeSam on July 17, 2009 at 8:26 AM

Funny how Obama never talks about that, huh?

They want you to believe that every one of those 47 million are poor people who fall through the cracks somehow, but I would guess your estimates are much more close.

So, looking at those estimates, the mere 25% (~12mil) some of which, like many people I know, simply do not care to have health insurance.

Whether they are in the 18-30 year old range and don’t feel the need for insurance, or are just plain cheap and don’t want to pay for it, regardless, it is their choice, for now.

cntrlfrk on July 17, 2009 at 8:39 AM

but can’t we agree on the facts of the approximate number of uninsured, and only then devise solutions to address that aspect of healthcare reform?

BuckeyeSam on July 17, 2009 at 8:26 AM

The fact is that Obama wants to take over the 4 corners of Excellence in America.

1. Manufacturing, Innovation (GM, Chrysler)
2. Banking and Finance (BOA, Citi, et al)
3. Housing
4. Healthcare

That’s why this is so dangerous.

Great article, Dr. Zero!

Key West Reader on July 17, 2009 at 8:39 AM

Makes sense to me!

Herb on July 17, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Good article.
Things really are rapidly spinning out of control on all fronts in this country.
Is anyone out there speaking about the possibility of a tax revolt?
As things become increasingly insane, wouldn’t it be a thing of beauty to hear the producers/taxpayers in this country declare that ‘enough is enough’, and stop supporting the destruction of the nation with our tax dollars?

justltl on July 17, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Dr. Z knocks yet another one out of the park. Well done.

Snowed In on July 17, 2009 at 9:09 AM

They only withhold that coverage because they’re evil and greedy.

O’Reilly parrots this crap on his show.

Yeah, the Insurance companies seek ways to NOT have people signed up. They want 300 million uninsured Americans. Don’t all comopanies want to piss off customers and treat them badly?

The problem is the rigid contraints on consumers. Remove the barriers to buying insurance and competition with take of BOTH service AND pricing.

mankai on July 17, 2009 at 9:13 AM

The fact is that Obama wants to take over the 4 corners of Excellence in America.

1. Manufacturing, Innovation (GM, Chrysler)
2. Banking and Finance (BOA, Citi, et al)
3. Housing
4. Healthcare

That’s why this is so dangerous.

Great article, Dr. Zero!

Key West Reader on July 17, 2009 at 8:39 AM

For the life of my I couldn’t figure out why the powers that be won’t just work out a plan for the uninsured and leave the rest of us alone. I wonder why EVERYONE has to participate. Thank you for the enlightenment, Key West

NJ Red on July 17, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Years ago, Hillary Clinton was asked whether she might run for President. Of course she said no. The reason she gave was that it was too hard working within all the constraints of the Constitution, having to deal with Congress, state governments, etc. She said she’d have no problem doing the job if she could just implement all her programs without all those “distractions.”

In other words: being President is hard, but being God would be a cake walk.

To a conservative of course, that view sounds childlike, even asinine. But think about it: If you had no sense of responsibility, it would make absolutely perfect sense to you.

logis on July 17, 2009 at 9:31 AM

Business ownership is hard. It takes entrepreneurial risk…

They believe that the government can eliminate risk by forcing everyone to share it. Government, of course, only ever risks other people’s property, since it has none of its own. Risking other people’s property is so much more fun than risking one’s own.

JohnJ on July 17, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Outstanding column! I just wish we could get every American to read it.

I will quibble on one little point, though: you said

Businessmen live at the intersection of theory and reality, while politicians angrily deny that intersection exists at all.

I think the REAL problem is that politicians think that theory and reality not only intersect, but that they are THE SAME.

RegularJoe on July 17, 2009 at 9:37 AM

All of this mess clearly shows the disconnect from Washington to the people they actually claim to be so concerned about. Anyone remember the screaming memes from the Clinton era when Democrats kept hollering Republicans were mean old child haters? Where are the Republicans in turning this finger pointing right back on the Dems? In reality it is a Democrat’s plan which is raising the numbers of unemployment, and via universal health care, it will be a Democrat’s plan which will cause parents to watch their children die, or languish in a system that will not heal their bodies.

I read Laura from Maryland’s post yesterday on another thread which read something like this, “Has anyone seen Michael Steele? I saw his picture on a milk carton, and if you find him you should call 1-800-MIA-RINO.” I bow to the lady from Maryland for 1) making me laugh my head off, and 2) pointing out that if the GOP does not become engaged in stopping this crap, the American public is going to blame more than just the Democrats when the nation is burning to the ground! People are ticked off! And this should be like shooting fish in a barrel because the American public KNOWS they do not want this pile of excrement. 78% are not behind this plan! So, it is not like the GOP has some huge mountain to climb in order to put pressure on Blue Dawgs, or shoot holes in this behemoth so that it more closely resembles Swiss cheese!

A word of caution to the people of the United States of America, if you do not get involved in letting Congress know how you regard this bill, you will get the government you deserve.

A word of caution to the GOP, if you knuckleheads do not begin focusing in on tort reform as an answer to this insanity, then you do will get the much deserved boot from Washington. Ignoring this problem, and the connections it has to medical costs is shall we say, MORONIC! Fixing this problem would not cost the tax payers a dime, and it would have an instant impact on the medical industry. Look to the states which have addressed tort reform, and you will find conditions vastly different than say in a state who has funded universal health, care and is finding it hard to pay for now! Hello Massachusetts!

As usual Doctor Zero gives HotAir another terrific read! Thanks Doctor Zero!

freeus on July 17, 2009 at 9:48 AM

He’ll form his Gestapo from the unemployed.

Lowering taxes would fix the employment problem almost overnight.

TheSitRep on July 17, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Another gem, Doc Z.

LibTired on July 17, 2009 at 10:26 AM

15 million morons who mostly voted for Barack Obama out of work…F#ck em. They are getting what they voted for.

BillaryMcBush on July 17, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Not sure that I *like* the idea of term limits, but it’d help with this. Cap the maximum time in the congress at 12 years and see what happens…

Mew

acat on July 17, 2009 at 7:31 AM

Representatives at 6 terms and Senators at two terms maximum! I’m all for it!

ExpressoBold on July 17, 2009 at 10:44 AM

+ 15 million! Promote, please?

das411 on July 17, 2009 at 10:50 AM

I think the REAL problem is that politicians think that theory and reality not only intersect, but that they are THE SAME.

RegularJoe on July 17, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Yeah! If they (theory & reality) are congruent, they don’t intersect! D’Oh!

ExpressoBold on July 17, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Great article, Dr. Z.
The gang in charge have the mentality of ignorant students who resent their parents while being supported by them.

PaddyJ on July 17, 2009 at 10:53 AM

“Every business owner reading this could tell a story about sitting up late at night, staring at vendor invoices, payroll ledgers, and accounts receivable with watery eyes, trying to make them fit together and produce balanced books somehow.”

Dr. Zero did you see me pacing along the jogging trail of Braes Bayou at 4am as my family slept? And just try to keep your wits about you as you write a $15,000 quarterly tax estimate to the IRS while knowing full well there isn’t enough left for office rent, insurance, utilities, etc. Nothing will make a person more atuned to the divergent philosphies of the political parties than being self employed.

DanMan on July 17, 2009 at 10:53 AM

The answere is simple.

More regulation, higher taxes, and bigger government.

jukin on July 17, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Awesome post. Really enjoyed it.

Dr. Zero is that rarity of rarities: a clear thinker.

Gaunilon on July 17, 2009 at 11:16 AM

+7% Doc……..

Seven Percent Solution on July 17, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Meanwhile, the Obama voters are going about their merry way thinking everything is fine. Thank you MSM. The rest of us have to suffer while this runaway train destoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

redridinghood on July 17, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Listening to Democrats explain their wonderful plans for universal access to free everything, you realize they have a profound misconception about the economy, which fuels many of their other delusions: they think running a business is easy.

Marx is said to have held the same opinion…until it came to doing it.

THE ONE is both a lawyer and law professor. Ergo, he knows every damn thing. Except he doesn’t BEGIN to know what he arrogates to himself. He is an alarmingly ignorant man, with a hyper-inflated opinion of himself.

This is the most dangerous man in the history of America to hold his office.

Ragspierre on July 17, 2009 at 1:49 PM

I think that the government should give everybody a minumum wage job if they are going to have a minumum wage.

60 million could be employed for a year at minumum wage with 787 billion

PrezHussein on July 17, 2009 at 2:53 PM