Writing on RealClearMarkets, Louis Woodhill of Forbes characterizes the Obama Era economic recovery as a lumbering mob of zombies:
The White House is hailing the fact that the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs in America went down by 56,000 in June? President Obama’s merry band is hailing the fact that the economy replaced 272,000 full-time jobs with 432,000 part-time positions, thus eking out the reported 160,000 gain in total employment for the month? …
Despite being riddled with reality bullets, Keynesian stimulus staggers on, glassy eyed, muttering, “I blame Bush.” Stimulus is an economic zombie, stalking across the land and striking fear into the hearts of taxpayers, whose blood it craves.
As noted earlier, Obama’s economic recovery itself must also be accounted among the undead. It certainly isn’t alive in the same sense as America’s previous economic recoveries were alive. …
Zombies feast on the flesh of the living, and Obama’s zombie economic recovery has been making a meal of median family income, which is down by 5.0% since the recovery began. During this time, the median duration of unemployment has declined by a mere 0.1 weeks, to 17.3 weeks. When Bush 43 left office, this measure was only 10.6 weeks.
Woodhill blasts a clip’s worth of other “reality bullets” into the beast, but he makes the basic point early on: If we’re “on the path to a recovery” that’s “gaining traction,” we’ve had no real recovery at all. This should not be tolerable to Americans. Life in this country is getting worse every month that we sink more deeply into the mud, and while it may be politically expedient for a certain party to expand the number of people who see government as a necessary patron in their lives, such a path will be the nation’s death.
I would adjust Woodhill in one respect, though: The zombie image has things backwards, in a sense. The American economy is not being kept alive by unnatural forces (stimulus and quantitative easing); that’s the talking-point dogma of Obama zealots in whose view the president can never fail because it will always be possible to close their eyes and believe that things would have been worse without him.
Rather, it is being held back by those unnatural forces and others (most notably over regulation). Look to Rhode Island for the test case — with a General Assembly that has now concluded its session proud to have made it more difficult to live and do business in their state. In light of Woodhill’s analogy, I’m inclined to see the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ map showing New England unemployment as a sort of infection map for the zombie apocalypse:
Unlike remote parts of Maine, there is no excuse for that big red blotch at the bottom of the region. We can — and we must — find the antidote, here.