Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Our Work Is Not Yet Done"


So said President Obama speaking in Berlin earlier today.  The president referenced unemployment and poverty as items left undone.

What the president meant, of course, is there is more for big government to do.

It was appropriate that the president's venue was Europe.  Europe, by policy, has ruled out any hope of full employment or prosperity.  Creating 'justice' and 'fairness' in the labor market has meant that, for European youth, there is no economic future.

Unemployment is above 12 percent, on average, across the Eurozone and over 25 percent in the hardest hit areas.  Youth employment (18-25) is rarely below 25 percent even in the best of times in Europe.  This is the new European reality.  The Eurozone GDP has been mired in recession for more than two years and there is little prospect for the European recession to end.

America is learning the European way.  The unemployment rate in the US is kept below double digits only by the fact that millions of Americans now consider their own job prospects so hopeless that they have given up looking for a job.  That means that millions of Americans are no longer counted in the unemployment data. 

US GDP is growing almost imperceptibly.  That is not likely to continue with the Fed finally reversing course on bond purchases and the looming implementation of Obamacare.

So, what is left for government to do?

If markets were free, Europe would have an unemployment rate below 5 percent, as would the US.  Economic growth would exceed four percent in both Europe and the US.  But free markets are frowned on by policy makers and their admiring press.

But, Obama sees more to do.  Not a good omen for those looking to the future.

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