Friday, November 4, 2011


The US economy had a positive October, at least according to new labor statistics. Unemployment dropped sharply from 9.1% to 9.0% after adding 80k new "situations" (as the Brits say). Of course this is impossible statistically unless they're playing with the numbers and gee, nobody thinks that unless, you know, they actually have brains in their head. Also, there's not much talk about under-employment or discouraged workers or McJobs (a favorite criticism of the last administration), but who wants to nitpick?

I was curious about what may be the American economy's "new normal" and crunched the unemployment numbers for the top five EU economies from 1999 through 2007. After all, if we're all socialists now, who knows how to run a Euro-Socialist economy better than the Euro-Socialists? So, while the US averaged 5.0% in this time period, the average jobless rate in a "booming" Europe was 8.58%. What, eight and a half percent? That's eerily similar to our present, and incredibly persistent unemployment figure.

The point is, these kinds of numbers are normal for mixed economies in the best of times. Why would anyone emulate failure? If Obama & Co. gave a damned about unemployment they would embrace capitalism. As Ayn Rand said:

If concern with poverty and human suffering were the collectivists’ motive, they would have become champions of capitalism long ago; they would have discovered that it is the only political system capable of producing abundance. But they evaded the evidence as long as they could. When the issue became overwhelmingly clear to the whole world, the collectivists were faced with a choice: either turn to the right, in the name of humanity—or to the left, in the name of dictatorial power. They turned to the left—the New Left.

Instead of their old promises that collectivism would create universal abundance and their denunciations of capitalism for creating poverty, they are now denouncing capitalism for creating abundance. Instead of promising comfort and security for everyone, they are now denouncing people for being comfortable and secure.

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