Monday, August 22, 2016

"Be-Laboring A Point"


The U.S. Labor Department just released the latest "labor productivity" numbers...and economists were once again shocked.  Labor productivity declined half a percent, the third straight quarter of economic decline.

Why is that important?  Labor productivity is our best signal of economic is tied directly to a nation's Gross National Product (GDP).  And without growth in GDP our wages remain stagnant, as does the economy that relies on a worker's wages for robust economic activity.

Now you would not know this, judging from Barack Obama's monthly trot out to the Rose Garden, a big smile on his face as he touts that 4.9 unemployment rate.  Of course Barry doesn't tell you that the labor participation rate sits at all time lows, our economy now producing 30 hour work weeks from the millions of part time jobs, made part time by Barry's now failing Obamacare program.  Employers simply refuse to hire full time because doing so imposes such high employer costs for health care.

The productivity numbers are even more telling.  Even as labor costs soared we didn't get any better production for that higher labor rate.    Even as Chicago and New York and Seattle and San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the dozens of other liberal bastions have imposed higher minimum wage rates, productivity has not gotten any better.  Those $15 dollar per hour burger flippers didn't get any more ambitious, or work any harder to earn their higher salaries.

Those economists, not relying on a government grant, or federal paycheck, will tell you that we will never improve the economy as long as those 93 million people who left the work force, remain at home, sitting on the couch and collecting unemployment checks.  

We kind of knew the numbers wouldn't be good, right?  Last month we learned that our trade deficit with our trading partners has declined by another $37 billion last month.  Our manufacturing jobs continue to go overseas, and our prime economic activity seems to be in the service we shine each others shoes, sell cheap plastic stuff made in China over at the local Walmart, and service the Japanese made cars down at the Honda dealership.  

And through it all, the American worker has seen his pay frozen in time, with no real pay increases in the last seven years.

Don't expect Barack Obama to trot out to the Rose Garden on this number's ugly and getting uglier.


Frank Krzesowiak said...

Don't care about anything Obama anymore. He's toast. Gone in a few short months. We have someone who says he will fix it, and we have someone who says eveythings ok, I'll do the same. You're choosing the "I'll do the same" by NOT voting for the guy who says he'll fix it. Time to realize your part of the problem.

TheRandyGuy said...

Well said, and I'll add just a couple of things. 1) The Federal Reserve is going to raise interest rates, and probably very shortly AFTER the election (can't have that punch before the faithful cast their vote for HRC). The Fed says they're "concerned" about inflation and the raising of the interest rates will slow down the growth of inflation... despite the fact inflation is under 2%. Any Idea what happens when the Fed raises interest rates? The economy slows down; 2) The stock market is still wildly out of touch with reality, staying at almost record highs for the better part of a year. Stock market corrections (10+ % drop in the value of the market) happen, on average, every 6 years. We're 8 years since the last one, and those corrections ALWAYS occur. In addition to all you've said, you don't need a crystal ball to see what's coming when the interest rates go up and the market goes down.... "Stimulus" has been done. Any idea what either President will do then? BTW, HRC wants to raise taxes, too.... This reminds me of a young Mike Tyson walking across the ring when the bell sounds - he hasn't thrown a punch (yet), but you know what's coming.

A Modest Scribler said...

Frank, your campaign for Trump comments noted (and ignored). And, Randy, you have it right; we've been living in a bubble now for a long, long time...the chickens always eventually come home.