If we can believe anything that the Trump Labor Department says, the unemployment rate is 4.1%. The labor participation rate is only 62%, meaning that only 58% of all Americans are employed as the term is defined. The labor force is defined as all persons 16 years of age and older who are employed or unemployed (meaning those actively looking for work). Homemakers are not included among those employed so the number has always been skewed.
In any event, the rate was around 66.8% in 1990 and the rate rose to about 67.4% by the end of the Clinton presidency. It has declined since the election of Bush 43. The participation rate declined to 66% by the beginning of the recession and it has declined each year since then. Today, five percent fewer people are working or looking for work than in 2000, making the unemployment rate more like 9% than 4%.
The statistic fails to consider those people who are over qualified for their jobs and under employed as a consequence. Wages have been stagnant for years. I am still waiting for that wealth to trickle down. What can we do? More tax cuts for the “already wealthy” is not the answer. In fact, a tax increase on upper incomes to finance a massive public works project to rebuild our infrastructure is the right prescription. The “already wealthy” don’t care about infrastructure in the rust belt. They don’t live there. [Editor note: They fly right over it!]
The tax cut is estimated to add 1.5 trillion dollars to the deficit. Had Congress given every man, woman and child a direct payment of $1000 ($4000 for a family of four) every year for the next five years, the cost would have been 1.615 trillion dollars (323 million x $5000) and that money could have been taxable if Congress so provided. Would have been far fairer and would have been more stimulative since most people would spend that money on goods and services.
The “Fuhrer Principle” required everyone in Nazi Germany to accept that Hitler had all of the solutions to Germany’s problems and that Hitler was always right. In its most basic form, the “Fuhrer Principle” required that Hitler’s orders must be carried out and that anyone who challenged his orders was betraying Hitler and Germany.
Why won’t Trump release his tax returns? We can be sure that the Mueller team has examined them with a microscope by now. I’m guessing that he must own stock in Colt, Remington, Winchester, GE and General Dynamics. His visit to Japan seemed designed to scare the hell out of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (“Shinz” to the trumpster) so that he will buy billions of dollars worth of new weapons from defense contractors.