The Obama administration and even the Pence administration at the state level keep touting unemployment statistics that make it appear the country has recovered from the Great Recession. The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth because the unemployment rate is not 5.6% as advertised by the government but well into the double-digit range. Gallup's Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton is speaking out on the big unemployment rate lie.
There's no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie. And it's a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory.
A good job is an individual's primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity -- it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen's talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.Clifton points out that the U.S. economy shed 13 million jobs during the Great Recession, only three million of which have returned. Many workers counted as employed are actually working only part-time or in grossly-underpaid jobs below the level they were trained to perform. Still millions of others have dropped out of the job market altogether. Clifton says only 44% of adult Americans are employed in full-time jobs today with a regular paycheck.
The truth of the matter is that the American Dream is dead for most Americans. The only people getting ahead are the chosen few who are having enormous wealth and opportunities bestowed upon them at the expense of the rest of us. Those people don't play by the same rules as you and me. It is heart-wrenching to hear stories from people who sent their children to universities to earn degrees in the so-called STEM field after running up large student loan debts only to learn that job opportunities are being denied to them so jobs can be filled instead by newly-arriving immigrant workers from India and China that the Bill Gates and the Warren Buffets want to see more of, not fewer. It's not hard to understand why so many black youths turn to a life of crime. At least in jail they don't have to worry about a warm place to sleep and food to eat. The tens of millions of illegal immigrants allowed into the country have sealed their fate by taking away even the low-paying jobs.