The latest news shows the U.S. economy is still far from being healthy. Increases in jobless benefits and a lackluster 193,000 jobs added gives little to cheer about. The battered economy has never been able to free itself from the sandbar of taxes, regulation and, of course, ObamaCare that is preventing it from making real progress. The U6 (unemployment/underemployment rate) remains north of 13% a full six years after the banking collapse. The participation rate is also historically low meaning the real unemployment rate is even higher. All of this translates into an economy that is far from being healthy.
Lackluster does not begin to describe this economy, it is becoming by far the worst recovery in history. What little good news there is usually comes with an asterisk. The biggest bright spot has been in the area of energy production. Oil and gas continue to boom due to fracking on private land. Coal on the other hand is languishing due to expanded regulations by the EPA. Housing has recovered some also but that has been due to institutional investors, not increased home ownership. Consequently, the present slowing of housing is likely to develop into a pull back in many areas. The stock market too has shown resiliency thanks to the FED, but how long that will last is anyone’s guess. Without real growth to back up rising stock prices there is little doubt a sharp downturn is coming.
So far, a complacent media and Federal Reserve printing presses have saved the Obama presidency from paying the full price for its economic foolishness. Unfortunately, they have not been able to spare the American people. More Americans are now reliant on welfare for their survival than anytime in American history, a fact that is unlikely to change anytime soon. Correspondingly, the American middle class has continued to shrink. If all of this has made any impressions on President Obama, he does not let it show.
Historically captains were expected to go down with their ships, a symbolic last act of honor that, for those whose failure to protect that which was entrusted to them, called for the ultimate sacrifice. In contrast, President Obama once said that he did not worry about the future of his family because, even if the United States fails, they have enough to be okay. A captain who, it seems, does not care about the true shape of the ship of state as he has his own private escape yacht. That may be fine for President Obama but does little good for the majority for whom no such option exist.
Unfortunately, the course of the economy is set. The mid-term elections might offer a shot of sanity to an otherwise insane economic policy but real change will not happen until at least 2016. This leaves the real question, how long can this economy and the American people continue to just tread water.
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