One weird trick to grow your imaginary job

Blogger John ‘gay goatee’ Ransom gets his economics freak on. Try n’ keep up:

The Real Cost of Obama: $19 Trillion
John Ransom |

There’s a super storm raging over our economy that’s been seeded and fueled by the federal government over a period of the past several decades. And it’s literally costing the country trillions of dollars in GDP per year.

Where the moist tropical winds of taxation meet the cool dry currents of regulated markets, you can expect Hurricane Communism. I steal John’s thunder.

The labor participation rates released recently by the Bureau of Labor Statistics now stands at 63.6, near Carter-recession levels.

According to policy scholar and historian, Professor Richard Vedder of Ohio University, that means as many as 14 million of people are officially out of the labor pool.

Now be honest, friends. Do you know where this is going? I didn’t have a clue.

And the professor from Ohio says it’s the government’s own unemployment program that’s helping to reduce the number of bodies willing to work.

“If you give people money to not work,” says Vedder, “some people will say ‘Gee that’s a pretty good option.’… There have been a lot of studies over the years going back to the 1970s that show these programs on balance added a bit to the unemployment rate.”

Because unemployment compensation has lasted so long, however, unemployment rates have gone up “a couple of percentage points” from where it would otherwise be.

Boing. Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. People can’t find jobs in a recession. They have no money. So to keep them from starving, the government pays them benefits. Which is why they refuse to work. In the recession.

Vedder’s back-of-the-envelope calculations that he shared with me says that those missing workers could be costing the economy as much as $800 billion in GDP per year. “That’s $2500 for every person, or $10,000 for every family” in GDP he says.

Get yourselves some bigger P.O. boxes, boys. The Nobel Prizes are on their way.