Trick-onometry: The study of Obama-metrics

Suzann Darnall

Or, how Obama-nomics rely on DC fuzzy math to crunch the numbers needed to make Obama look good in the upcoming election.

Last week I was watching and listening as the-powers-that-be trotted out the latest unemployment and job creation figures. It is a lot like listening to stories from the books I read as a little girl, 'cause there really are very few facts or reality involved in the tales they tell while weaving their little fabrications around the failure that is Obama's economic policy for job creation.

According to the figures reported, unemployment is now less than 9%. But, from my research, less biased reports, common sense, and actual unaltered statistics, our unemployment would be at a minimum of 11%. And, if the under-employed are figured in it would rise to somewhere between 18-23%.

Now, I am not a mathematical wiz, but I am able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, count, and recognize numerals. Hmmm . . . all things considered, this might well put me ahead in honest math skills when compared to the politically-bent statisticians of Washington, DC.

I just cannot figure out how they say unemployment is dropping when I read or hear about the following situations. For one thing, it was reported that people applying for first time unemployment rose. Also, while people were dropped from unemployment roles, over 300,000 of those were because they have given up looking and/or because they have exhausted their unemployment benefits. I think that still leaves them unemployed. Right?

The powers-that-be also report that "we" added over 100,000 new jobs, but it turns out some of those are sorta shifty numbers. There is some manipulation of figures where people have been moved to new positions and other such things. Not actually new work or new workers, just DC new-math fuzzy fact checking.

Some other problems negate the recent reporting of economic growth and employment improvement. One is the fact that the labor force participation number has actually dropped. The labor force is figured as everyone of working age, usually 16 to 65. These are considered participating workers. People actively employed or seeking employment. People not counted include students, retired people, stay-at-homes, people in prisons or institutions, people with unreported income, plus discouraged workers who can't find jobs. Among other things, the-powers-that-be apparently keep increasing those not counted as part of the labor force, which alters the percentages to their benefit and makes it look like unemployment is falling.

Another thing that makes the economic numbers not nearly so rosy is the news that hourly wages are dropping. So that even those folks lucky enough to find work are bringing home less money. I won't even go into how much less they can buy with that money 'cause of inflation, rising cost of living, and so on.

And, yes, we do have inflation and rising cost of living! It is just that the-powers-that-be have also used trick-onometry to jigger those figures, too. I mean, honestly, how can you figure cost of living without including fuel and food costs in the equation? Is there anyone out there that is not paying more for gasoline and groceries than you did three years ago???

When I came up with the idea to write about unemployment and the falsehoods about it out of DC, I decided to do a little low-level research on FaceBook. I posted the following:

sooo . . . doing a little casual research for an article about the unemployment debacle. does anyone else think the situation is actually getting better? like they are trying to show with their questionable fuzzy math statistics? i am pretty sure we have more unemployed or underemployed now than we did before Obama took office. please share your views on Obama's job creation.

I got the following responses:

Shana W: what job creation?

Kitty G: I have not heard of any job creation. . I have just empathized with so many that have lost jobs and can't find another. . . Life is hard now. Curtis D: You are dead center, Sue! They are fabricating WITHIN THE RULES THEY MAKE UP MONTH AFTER MONTH. Progressively altered rules for how to figure that there's not Cost of Living Increase, that the Jobless, all totally bogus, of course. The U-6 numbers tell the story 17% unemployed, not 8.6% as shown by the U-3. Looking forward to your article. Love you!

Tammy H: think we r stuck . . . those working r working and those not r not . . .and if they r hiring its part time. .

I certainly don't see anyone feeling all hopeful about the changes Obama has wrought. Personally I have seen hard economic times hit within our family, church, and community. Many people losing jobs and homes. Some folks are trying relocation, often without any positive results. All over there are communities and churches stepping in with food and assistance. Like Kitty said, life is hard now.

I fear it will just get harder unless we stand together as common-sense voters and send a strong message to Washington, DC. A message sent through the voting box. A message that sends Obama back to Chicago and cleans house in politics, from the White House, through the Senate, down to Congress, and all the way to state and local governments. A message telling politicians that WE THE PEOPLE are back in charge and we want smaller government with less waste!

Obama is still driving that car. You know the car that is our economy. That car that is sometimes a bus. The one where he wants Republicans to sit in the back. And, now he is saying he wants to not put on the brakes, but step on the gas. Meaning he wants to throw more of our taxpayer money right out the window in his drive-by stimulus. Seriously? We need to not only pull his driver's license, but take away his keys. 'Cause the only place he is driving this economy is right off the "road to recovery", into a ditch, at the bottom of a cliff.

© Suzann C. Darnall, DECEMBER 2011

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