Forget all the happy talk and spin coming out the Obama Administration and the mainstream media about the economy getting better.
It’s not. There’s no massive net creation of jobs, no major housing turnaround, no uptick in the average family’s income. And the recession most certainly did not end years ago: It’s still here and has been since the tanking of the mortgage industry paved the way for the Obama Administration.
Here’s how bad the economy really is: While waiting for the bus (something I do to save money), I was approached by a guy who said I resembled a young Mel Gibson. (Actually he named a different celebrity whom I despise because he’s a miserable human being. But I’m just going to stick with Mel Gibson.)
The fellow started chatting about how he was an “underground writer.” (Meaning he’s big in Internet self-publishing circles. I sympathize.) What he really meant to say was that it was hot out, he was tired and thirsty, and could he have some of the soda he spied in my grocery bags?
While this conversation was occurring, another man approached the two of us and asked whether either of us was in need of a mechanic.
You have to get the whole picture firmly in your mind: There I am in my jogging shorts, holey T-shirt, “comfy” shoes and ball cap (hardly the image of the 1 Percent, or even the upper 70 Percent) while waiting for my public transit chariot, being hit up by a sweaty twentysomething “outside-the-box sci-fi” writer for a soda, and Einstein wants to know if either us needs a mechanic.
So now you’ve got bums asking other bums for work, food or change.
This is our economy these days. Everyone’s out of work or doesn’t have enough work, and even those with jobs are finding things harder to pay for.
Now the Census Bureau has verified what many people have known intuitively. The United States officially has more people on welfare than there are Americans with full-time jobs.
According to the Census figures, there were 108,592,000 people in the fourth quarter of 2011 who received some sort of means-tested benefits check from the government. In the same time period, the most recent for which figures are available, 101,716,000 people worked full time.
The Census Bureau considered recipients of “means-tested” benefits to be “anyone residing in a household in which one or more people received benefits from the program.” Many of those people were beneficiaries of more than one program.
At this point, the number of welfare recipients in this country outnumbers the entire population of the Philippines and is rapidly approaching the population of Mexico.
And yet, all the Harvard- and Yale-educated economists in our government can’t put two and two together long enough to chuck Keynesian economics and try to get this country back on track.