Statistical Quirks

Yes, let’s give “credit” to President “Eye Candy” (his term) for the September jobs report. After the debate shellacking he experienced–whether from the altitude, his bewilderment over Mitt Romney’s personality change or “lies,” the simple impossibility of defending his record, or his own lazy incompetence–Mr. Obama desperately needed some good news. And the government report provided it, if you don’t look too closely.

It heralded the end of a 43-month streak of joblessness over 8 percent, an important talking point for a president who thrives on them. True, Team Eye Candy had promised that by this time in the “recovery” (his term) that the rate would be 5.6 percent, but what’s a couple of measly percentage points when you have a nation to “transform” (his term)? And don’t worry about the fact that the report calls much of the drop to 7.8 percent due to a “statistical quirk.”

And, true, much of this unexpected drop in the unemployment rate was due to a huge jump in the number of involuntary part-time jobs (what used to be called “McJobs”), as well as continuing historically low levels in the labor-force participation rate. If the same number of people were still looking for jobs as when President Eye Candy took office, the jobless rate would be 10.7 percent. As it is, the broader U-6 rate–which adds in discouraged workers who’ve stopped looking and part-timers who want to be full time–remained at 14.7 percent–a Depression-era level.

And since President Eye Candy is taking “credit,” would it be too much to ask which of his policies has finally brought about this miraculous change? Did the $800-billion “stimulus” finally kick in? Did his opposition to drilling and the Keystone Pipeline finally pay off? The huge increase in people on food stamps? How about his payoffs to his buddies in “green energy”? What’s your secret, President Eye Candy?

So if this latest report really is good news for the president, it sure isn’t for the rest of us. This November, let’s be sure to give credit where credit is due.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for BreakPoint.org. He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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