Obama needn’t fret that he will lose his legacy if ObamaCare is repealed. Other than having his name stuck on it, he didn’t do much to impose the Unaffordable Care Act anyway. His true legacy may be the collapsing percentage of Americans who take part in the labor force:
The final jobs report of the Obama presidency, released Friday, shows that the number of Americans not in the labor force has increased by 14,573,000 (18.09 percent) since January 2009, when Obama took office, continuing a long-term trend that began well before Obama was sworn in.
Obama took office in the midst of a severe economic crisis. Regarding labor force participation, he has established this crisis as the new status quo — and it still continues to worsen.
The trend preceding Obama was a result of excessive taxation and steadily accumulating regulation reducing job opportunities, and of the growth of the entitlement state, which makes not working a feasible long-term option. Obama has deepened this trend, in part by illegally undoing welfare reform.
Even those who do not have jobs are counted as part of the labor force, so long as they are actively seeking work. Those not seeking work are not counted in the official unemployment rate, rendering that statistic increasingly meaningless.
The participation rate dropped to a 38-year low of 62.4 percent on Obama’s watch, in September 2015. It was only 3-tenths of a point higher than that last month.
The numbers come from the Administration’s own Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When President Obama took office in January 2009, 80,529,000 Americans were not in the labor force, the highest number on record. That number rose steadily during his two terms, reaching a record 95,055,000 in November 2016, then setting another record (95,102,000) in December.
Socialism sometimes seems to work in the short term, so long as there are far more people pulling the cart than riding in it. However, its perverse incentives result in ever more people riding and ever fewer pulling.
As Herbert Stein observed, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” The longer it goes before it stops, the uglier the stopping will be.
On a tip from Bodhisattva.