During the 2012 presidential campaign, as I listened to the competing slogans from Republicans and Democrats, phrases repeated endlessly on the campaign trail, I had a bad feeling that the traditional GOP message was failing to recognize a hidden truth about modern America. A truth that the Democrat campaign understood, and successfully tapped into. Many Americans actually don’t want a job.
It was a subversive, nagging thought. I wanted to dismiss it. Because I wasn’t just thinking about the welfare-dependent, or Occupy Wall Street anti-capitalists, or the the aimless couch-surfers in their parents’ basement, or members of the undocumented criminal economy, or the federal and state workers, the privileged, well-connected political classes who enjoy job security and fat pensions—the other, perfectly legal criminal economy–I was thinking about a lot of normal, regular people. People for whom the tried-and-true GOP-playbook phrases about the ‘Great American Work Ethic’ fails to impress.
Work does suck. Even for those that don’t want a get-out-of-work-free card, the modern workplace is a numbing, soul-sucking, hamster-wheel cage that’s increasingly unrewarding, humiliating, and for tangible less reward.
Between the nanny middle-managers, human resources rule-makers, petty tyrant bosses, the modern workplace a less dynamic environment than it used to be.
Add to that the diminishing opportunities for advancement, portable technology invisibly leashing employees to workplace concerns even when they’re not on the clock, and flat wages, the American workplace has become a treacherous, all-bullshit, all-the-time environment that doesn’t exactly inspire industrious, risk-taking, enterprising folks the way it did a few elections ago.
A new chart from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee details the fact that, since January 2009, for every person added to the labor force, 10 have been added to those not in the labor force. Heres a chart showing the dwindling labor force:
“For Every 1 Person Added To Labor Force Since January 2009,” the chart reads, “10 People Added To Those Not In Labor Force.”
That is, in nearly the four years, since President Obama took office in January 2009, only 827,000 people have been added to the labor force, while during that same time period, 8,208,000 have been added to those not in the labor force.
The chart relies on data available from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics…
- For Every Person Added To Labor Force, 10 Added To Those Not In Labor Force (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- Obama’s Recovery: People Leaving Labor Force Outnumber Those Added Added 10 to 1 (pjmedia.com)
- Good News: Since January 2009, 827 Thousand More Added to Labor Force! Bad News: 8.206 Million More NOT in Labor Force! (confoundedinterest.wordpress.com)
- Data Shows Clear Decline in Labor Force Participation Under President Obama (forbes.com)
- Why Are So Few People Working? (fool.com)
- Record 88,921,000 Americans ‘Not in Labor Force’ – 119,000 Fewer Employed in August Than July (cnsnews.com)
- And Now… Here’s The REAL Reason The Unemployment Rate Has Fallen So Much This Year (businessinsider.com)
- The (Maybe Not So) Simple Arithmetic of Unemployment and Labor Force Participation (wallstreetpit.com)