April 05, 2013
Rush Limbaugh: 'We Are Living in a Dying Country'
Rush's take on the latest March jobs numbers:
TRANSCRIPT: The Rush Limbaugh Show, 4/5/13
RUSH: Folks, I don't know how else to categorize this. We are living in a dying country. I don't know how else to categorize what's happening -- 88,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate, because of a terrible statistic, is down to 7.6%. The number of people in this country who are not working is shameful. Ninety million Americans are no longer in the workforce. Ninety million. People not in the labor force grew by 663,000, and now 90 million. That's the labor force participation rate. This is 1979 levels. The only difference is that we don't have an election around the corner to fix it like we did in 1979. We had that election last November, and we blew it.
In addition to payrolls only adding 88,000 jobs, an additional 81,800 went on disability in March. We're now up to 8.8 million Americans on disability. We had nearly as many people go on disability in March as people who found jobs. I think it's official. We have a dying country. There is literally no way that our entitlement programs and our safety net and our absorption of immigrants, legal or otherwise, can be supported this way. This simply cannot be sustained. I don't know how else to describe this. The unemployment rate of 7.6% is ridiculous.
The U-6 unemployment rate is still around 15%. That is the unemployment rate you get if you add people who are out of work and looking for a job and people who are out of work and have given up looking. Those people have been out of work for a long time. They've had 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, and they've given up looking, so they're not counted in the reported unemployment percentage of 7.6%. If they were counted, the number would be 15%. And if there were not the demographic weighting -- the 7.6% number is arrived at by estimating certain factors as being in existence or being true based on demographics. There are assumptions made about employment, unemployment in the Hispanic community, with women, black community so forth.
This is from Jim Pethokoukis, our buddy at the American Enterprise Institute. If you take out all of the demographic weighting -- let me give you another example of weighting. Let me use radio numbers for it. In local markets, there are minority-owned-and-operated radio stations. This goes way back, by the way. For the purposes of affirmative action, the audiences of minority stations were always bumped a little beyond what the actual ratings were. It was part and parcel of recognition of past discrimination. It was part of making amends. It was part of affirmative action, and it was accepted. Nobody complained about it. It's the way it was. People did business that way, but nevertheless it existed. You agree with me on this?
What? Well, there's a whole bunch of reasons. Yeah, the ratings didn't reach minority people, was one of the explanations, the old diary system. Now it's the one-eyed, one horned flying purple people meter, whatever it is, but they didn't reach these people. So it was just estimated that audiences to minority radio stations were much higher than they actually ended up being reported as being. That's called weighting. Well, the same thing is done in employment, unemployment numbers. And Mr. Pethokoukis' point is if we just dealt with what the real numbers are, as Bob Johnson was the other day, unemployment in the black community, 15%, black teenagers, 25%, if you deal with those numbers, his point is that the U-3 number or the 7.6% number would actually be 9.9.
If we just took the data and just reported the data as it is without any demographic weighting, then we'd be at 9.9%, not 7.6%. It's like yesterday we had the report on the number of applications for unemployment compensation, which skyrocketed back up 388,000. Much higher than what was expected by the experts. And, of course, that number will be revised upward even more in a couple of weeks. You have to work really hard to find that revised number, but it will be around 400,000. In the meantime, while all this is going on, the regime's running around talking about our economic recovery and why we've gotta start making loans to people that can't pay 'em back again to boost the home market that's recovering.
It really is obscene. There is no housing market recovery to speak of. There is no recovery anything to speak of here. Now we're gonna start making loans to people who can't pay 'em back. Banks are being forced to do this by the regime so those people are not left out of this housing boom. Folks, it's utterly ridiculous, 7.6% unemployment weighed against 90 million Americans not working. The labor force participation rate also includes the number of jobs that have disappeared. They're no longer in existence. They're not there to be filled by anybody. The regime does that to get that number down to 7.6%. If the universe of jobs available shrinks, then the percentage of people out of work will be smaller, by definition. I can't tell you how many months I had to go through fisticuffs, practically, to get people who are telling me I didn't know what I was talking about, to convince them that I did. But if your universe is a hundred percent and your unemployment rate's 7.6%, then what do you figure? You got 93% or whatever of the people working.
Well, what if your universe shrinks to 80% but you still call it a hundred percent? That's what's happening here. There aren't a hundred percent anymore. It's shrunk. The number of jobs that are available, the number of businesses which are open, the number of businesses which have jobs to fill, plummeting. We're a dying country. Everybody knows it. Even Ichabod Goolsbee, who is a former economics guru in the regime, now in the private sector making legitimate money, Ichabod Goolsbee said, "This is like a punch to the gut." And we've got some sound bites and news stories here where all these experts just can't believe this. Why, this doesn't make any sense, and of course they're blaming the sequester for this. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, the sequester, because that means it's the Republicans. Except the sequester's got nothing to do with this.
This all started January 21st, 2009. That's when the intense trend began with the immaculation of Obama and the mythical stimulus package. We're a country in decline, and the president is presiding over a country in decline. So he's gotta budget that he's gonna be presenting soon, we're told, and one of the things that the president is going to do to generate revenue -- 'cause, see, that's the problem. Do you know in the midst of all this what the big problem is? The government does not have enough money. It's not that the country doesn't have enough jobs. It's not that the people of this country aren't earning enough salary, wages, whatever. No, no. The problem is the government doesn't have enough money.
So the president is going to trying to get more money by placing a $3 million upper limit on tax preferred retirement accounts. So he's going to take even more money from the so-called rich under the guise they're not paying their fair share. Because the government's running out of money, and we cannot have that. So payrolls grow by 88,000. Eighty-two thousand new Americans on disability in March. A total of 8.8 million Americans on disability, and every damn one of them feels justified. And I'll tell you something else. All of the people -- 90 million Americans -- ladies and gentlemen, 90 million Americans are not working, but they are all eating, and they're all using cell phones. And they are all watching television. And most of them are driving.
I don't know how this can be sustained. A blogger at ZeroHedge.com, a guy named Tyler Durden, which is a stage name, says things just keep getting worse for the American employee, and by implication, the US economy, where, as we've shown many times before, it pays just as well to sit back and collect disability and various welfare and entitlement checks than to work. The best manifestation of this, the number of people not in the labor force, which in March alone grew by 663,000. They want to tell us that there were 88,000 new jobs in March, when the number is 663,000. Over a half million people dropped out of the labor force. That means they either lost their jobs or stopped looking for one.
What is this 88,000 people found work? Compared to the 663,000 who dropped out. A record 90 million Americans are no longer even looking for work. I don't even want to get into whether it's their fault or not. Folks, everybody has to eat, and they are. The Democrat Party's seen to it. This was the biggest monthly increase in people dropping out of the labor force since January of 2012, when the Bureau of Labor Stats did its census recast of the labor numbers. Even worse, the labor force participation rate plunged to the lowest level since 1979.
But, in a perverted way, that many people leaving the workforce shrinks the universe, and it makes it possible to say that unemployment's improving. I'm not kidding you. Even Mr. Durden makes the point. If you shrink the universe, then the percentage of people not working gets smaller, and you can say, "We added 88,000 jobs, not like we want, but we're working at it. We're adding 88,000 jobs. The unemployment number is coming down." And as far as low-information Americans are concerned, that's it, and that's all there is to know.