Aug 22, 2014

Our Economy Needs More Than Optimistic Rhetoric From The President

“We have fought back,” from the recession, President Obama said at the end of July in Kansas City. “We have got back on our feet, we have dusted ourselves off.”

But simply saying so doesn’t make it true. If the economy is doing so well, why are so many people left on the sidelines without work or having to work part time and for lower wages than they did before the recession began? Why is it that so many hardworking Americans continue to live from paycheck to paycheck?

Labor force participation is at its lowest since the late 1970s. During the recession, the number of part-time workers surged by 12 percent, yet years into the “recovery” that number has stayed the same.

Inflation-adjusted US hourly earnings growth was 0 percent last month compared to the previous year and the disposable income per capita was up only 1.6 percent. This economic slugfest gets even worse considering the cost for a middle-class family to raise a child rose to over $240,000.

And there’s no bigger culprit for the continued economic drag than overregulation from Washington.

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out today, cities, states, and important economic sectors like manufacturing are reporting that businesses are cutting back on workers or keeping workers down to part time because of Obamacare’s attack on the 40-hour workweek. In Philadelphia, for example, 18.2 percent of businesses say they are cutting jobs and employees because of Obamacare. Another 18 percent say they are shifting to hiring a higher portion of part time labor.

A strong and vibrant economy that is filled with opportunity doesn’t come from government mandates or regulations. Nor does it come just because the President says it will. Policies that empower the individual, embrace competition, and encourage job creation are the surest ways to break free from a stagnant economic recovery leaving too many Americans stuck in place.