The ‘Obama Factor’ and Unemployment Statistics

The state-controlled Democrat Media Complex (DMC) loves to tout tiny improvements in the unemployment rate as evidence that the “President’s plans are working”.

I have to agree — those plans are working just fine — if what the President wants to do is reduce the number of makers and boost the number of takers.  On that score, Obama has made undeniable progress from Day One of his administration.

As evidence –

See the chart below, which shows the Labor Force Participation (LFP) Rate.  This statistic answers the following simple question:

What fraction of our total civilian working-age population is actually employed?

In this statistic, people are counted as either working or not-working.   It doesn’t matter whether they’re looking for work or not.  That makes this statistic harder to “fudge” than the widely reported “unemployment rate”.  While there are month-to-month variations, note the steady, linear decline in the trend lines since Obama took office in January, 2009.  Well done, Mr. President!

This is The Obama Factor.  It’s a phenomenon, a statistical trend, and a chart we should all demand to see every time the state-controlled DMC reports the usual unemployment rate statistic.  If the DMC doesn’t oblige, continuing the malpractice of what it still calls “journalism”, you can find the chart at this link.

So …

Do Obama’s re-election prospects get worse as the LFP rate continues to fall?  One might think so, but the answer is No.  Perversely, his prospects actually get better!  There are two reasons:

First, all those newly unemployed people are prime candidates to become new Obama model-citizens.  He convinces them they are victims of the vilified “1%”, he offers them extended unemployment benefits with more borrowed money, and, with high confidence, he chalks them up as Obama-voters come election time.

Second, once these folks say they are no longer looking for work, they no longer count as “unemployed”.  Consequently, they contribute to a drop in the commonly reported unemployment statistic.

This is terrific news for Obama — a double win — as long as voters remain stone-cold ignorant of The Obama Factor.

As an aside, if you are an Obama believer who is currently unemployed but still looking for work, you could help the president’s “job numbers” if you would just stop looking for work two to three months before the election.  If only half of the unemployed-but-still-looking would do that, the official unemployment rate would drop to between 4% and 5% just before the election.  Wouldn’t that make a great campaign talking point for your beloved leader?

But I digress.

If Democrats/Progressives manage to re-elect Obama, The Obama Factor trend will continue — possibly accelerating.  One day soon there will be so many takers that they can out-vote, out-shout, and out-threaten the makers.  As the takers demand more and more, the makers produce less and less as they lose their remaining incentive to generate new jobs, products, services, and income only to see it confiscated.  Eventually, many of them go on a virtual “strike” as the industrialists did in Ayn Rand’s newly relevant novel Atlas Shrugged.  Soon thereafter, the Democrats/Progressives run out of other people’s money, borrowing power, and resources.

There will then follow some combination of rationing, civil unrest, martial law, tyranny, and virtual slavery to The State. The only alternative will be starvation or imprisonment in The State’s prisons and gulags.  It has happened many times in many places. recently interviewed three direct eye witnesses (here, here, and here).

Preposterous you say?  Such a disaster could never happen here?  Stick around.  It’s on its way (before 2027) unless we act to stop it.  And Obama recently laid more critical groundwork for this nightmare with his stealthy signature of the National Defense Authorization Act.  That law gives him dictatorial powers over American citizens when and if he chooses.  These powers violate (at a minimum) the Fifth and Sixth Amendment protections in the Constitution.  But Obama has told us not to worry because he won’t use those powers unless he really has to.  Small comfort.

This November, we have one last solid chance to reverse The Obama Factor, turn the economy around, and restore Constitutionally protected freedoms.  Here’s hoping we score an electoral victory large enough to effect those changes as well as overcome the Left’s continuing attempts to commit vote fraud.

As one of the Republican candidates for President has said, the 2012 election is the most important US election since 1860.  Those who again fall for Obama’s rhetoric, voting for him again despite his record, must share responsibility for the all-but-certain national mega-disaster that is headed our way.


  1. AmericaFirst says

    How is the way the unemployment rate is now calculated different from previous recessions and administrations? Were those who stopped looking for work still counted in the unemployment rate in the past?

    • dleeper47 says

      It’s been the same for a long time — it’s called ‘U3’ — From Wikipedia under “Unemployment”:

      U3: Official unemployment rate per the ILO definition occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively looked for work within the past four weeks.

      It may seem like a good idea to compute unemployment this way because, for example, some people retire early and are not seeking work any more. Furthermore, lots of people aged 16-22 are still in school. Neither group is “unemployed” in the usual sense.


      U3 has the weakness that people who can just get by ‘on the dole’ for long periods of time may become discouraged in their search and simply stop looking. They don’t count as “unemployed” in U3, even when they are quite capable of being employed. In the extreme, if every unemployed person in the US were to stop looking for work for a couple of months, U3 would drop to zero. Would that be a sign of a healthy economy?

      For that reason, especially in today’s environment, the LFP rate is a better measure of the growing or declining ability of our economy to support jobs. But when a downtrend in LFP rate occurs like the one from 2009-2012, no politician of either party would want it reported. The media should report it, but with few exceptions, today’s mainstream media will not because they are agenda driven.

      • AmericaFirst says

        Thanks, Dave. Your knowledge and your intelligent and reasoned response is refreshing.

        • dleeper47 says

          You’re welcome, AF, and thanks for the comment. The bottom line is that it’s probably best to use more than one measure of unemployment. Each tends to emphasize one element and hide others. In the future I would settle for the media reporting the “standard” U3 plus the LFP rate. But I won’t hold my breath.

          I haven’t fully researched it yet, but it looks like the steepest drop in employment reflected by LFP rate decline has been among women. Romney has been saying that a whopping 92% of the jobs lost were those held by women. This is so large that it’s hard to believe … maybe I can confirm/reject with more digging … if a Republican were in office now, I’m sure the Left would have its hair on fire over an imbalance that large.

    • TruConserv says

      Actually, the methods of calculating unemployment have changed a bit over the years.

      From 1995

      Bushed changed the definition of drop-out during his administration, as well.

      LFP is not an good indicator of unemployment, at least as that word is meant in its ordinary use. When we think of unemployment, we think of people who want jobs but can’t get one, or in a larger sense, people who need a job, but won’t or can’t find one.

      LFP measures neither. It states how much of the population is working. For example, as retirees become a larger percentage of the population, we would expect – and hope – the LFP would decrease.

      The LFP is an important indicator, and a 2.5% decrease is worth examining, but not in the wingnut way Dave does it. Hell, the simple fact that he used an cropped graph, designed to make things look worse then they are, tell us all we really need to know about David capacity for intelligent and trustworthy discussion.

      Guys like Dave predicted the same gloom-and-doom when Obama was running the first time and it made conservatives sound like idiots then, all this article does is double down on the insanity.

      Phrases like ” Democrat Media Complex” and calling a public signing of a (R) backed bill a “stealthy signature” as a prelude into a forecast of rationing, gulags and state prisons simply make us all look bad.

      Another perfectly good issue rendered ineffectual because yet another wingnut can’t be trusted to not to resort to hyperbole.

      This is why I can’t stand wingnuts and hate it when they pretend to be conservatives.

Leave a Reply