March 11, 2012

Unemployment versus America

Unemployment remained unchanged in February at 8.3%.  Where it goes from here is not easy to predict given a lot of unkowns. The known unknowns - gas prices, European financial trouble, a possible China bubble burst could all lead America into another recession. Maybe.  There are other wild cards that could have similar impacts - Israel attacking Iran, Syria becoming a big powder keg? The unknown unknowns are even harder to foresee. There are bound to be new impactful events between now and the fall.  With all that, I have some thoughts about where the unemployment rates - both U6 and U3 - are headed.  But it's not material at this point.

What is important is the current psychology of the high unemployment rates over the last three years.  Politics aside, I wrote a few years ago that the United States is bigger than one man, even if that man is the president and that man is bent on reshaping America into a nanny state.  Four years of president Obama have not been kind to America, but they will not be its undoing.  Eight years may be another matter but I still think that America, while damaged is not broken.

The recession was/is pretty tough.  But America has survived many, including one that degenerated into a Depression.  A lot of Americans may have forgotten that the country is not simply an aggregation of a geographic area.  The United States, uniquely, is a country founded on principles of liberty and opportunity, which go hand in hand.  The government was designed from it's inception not to impede those ideas.  The nation's birth was an attempt to ensure that government did not dictate the lives of the country's citizens.  

Sure, the government has an opportunity to try, and some are trying their darnedest to do just that.  But the country will survive the attempt because enough people get what's going on.  And if the country survives an attempt to socialize it, a little recession (or even a big one), is small potatoes. 
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