While living in Texas for two decades I saw lots of dead armadillos. They learned, too late, that the middle of the road is not the safest place. Maybe politics has become that way, as we head to the purported fiscal cliff. Democrats want to spend more, Republicans want to tax less, and both in recent years have had their way. The result: trillion-dollar deficits.
SINGAPORE—While the U.S. unemployment rate "dropped" to 7.7 percent last month—a figure even The Washington Post acknowledged was due "… in large part because the labor force fell by 350,000 …"—here in this modern and prosperous city-state of slightly more than 5 million people, unemployment is practically nonexistent.
A taxi driver tells me, "Everyone here works." With unemployment at an astonishingly low 1.9 percent, he is nearly right.
WASHINGTON (AP)—U.S. employers added 171,000 jobs in October and hiring was stronger over the previous two months than first thought. The unemployment rate moved up to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September.
Since July, the economy has created an average of 173,000 jobs a month, up from 67,000 a month from April through June.
WASHINGTON (AP)—Weekly applications for unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 363,000 last week, a level consistent with modest hiring.
The report comes just before Friday's October jobs data, the last broad snapshot of the economy before the presidential election Tuesday. The still-weak job market has been a top issue for voters during the campaign.
In form, President Obama came back strongly in Tuesday's debate with Mitt Romney, but substantively he continues to lag behind the Republican candidate. That's because the president has a record to defend and it isn't a good one.
Television being what it is, the president looked and sounded good, but the air seems to have gone out of his messianic balloon as voters focus more on facts and less on spin.
If promises mean anything—and they don't to most politicians—Romney hit the president where it hurts: on his failure to live up to most of his promises.
To the millions of Americans unable to find work, to college graduates who can't get a job and are living with their parents, to the underemployed who are working at jobs far below their skill set and experience, and to those who have given up looking for work altogether, a 7.8 percent unemployment rate is meaningless. The economy stinks.
And try as they might—and they are trying mightily to rescue a man they sold to voters four years ago as a political messiah—major media can't seem to transform a failing president into a success.