A “Jobs Friday” By Any Other Name Would Have Been As Sour
posted at 10:39 pm on June 1, 2012 by Patrick Ishmael
Friday morning the Labor Department reported that the American economy produced only 69,000 new jobs in May. Experts had expected companies to add nearly three times as many workers over the past month, with the shortfall coming as a major disappointment for the country on the whole and to job seekers specifically — many long out of work. “Jobs Friday” was, in other words, notable more for what it lacked than what it held for workers, young and old, newly entering the job market or trying to break back into it.
America has drifted along the path of centralized planning for several years now, and that plan has clearly failed. Particularly now, it’s worth reminding ourselves that the numbers we read and hear about through the news and which we deal with daily at the Show-Me Institute are not just numbers; they represent people with hopes and dreams, starting their lives, building their wealth and continuing what they hope will be their upward march through the wonders of American social mobility. This latest “progressive,” statist experiment of the last few years has been conducted, and in numbers and practice, it has been a disaster. Bear in mind, you don’t just see the tendency toward statism at the federal level. You see it at the state level. You see it locally. It is the cost of vigilance lost or forfeited, and it does not begin and end at the national level.
And the problem is much bigger than anything that can be seen in one jobs report or be fixed in November 2012.
Yes, politics, especially in an election year, are central to the debate about the proper role of government, but politics are not essential to it, and just as the inertia of American history has carried us into the policies of massive governmental overreach we see today, the consequences of what has transpired over the last decade may very well take us through to the other, better and more prosperous side — that side which trusts in Americans’ self-reliance and ingenuity rather than simply their reliance and indifference.
The harshness of these past few years, compounded by bad stewardship, have I think left their impressions on young and old alike. I think we have seen what we could become if we continue on this path… and we don’t like it.
Perhaps more to the point, we can’t afford it. We have to change course.