Turn Things Around

Earlier this month, the Obama government and the Labor Department were bragging about how they have lowered the unemployment rate from its record high levels at the beginning of Obama’s administration. The official unemployment rate at the peak of the Great Recession in October 2009 was 10%, and according to the government, it has now dropped to 5.3%.

This would be a remarkable achievement and a feather in Obama’s cap, if only it were true. This 5.3% unemployment rate is called the U-3 rate, and it’s a special way of calculating America’s unemployment that does not show the whole picture. To qualify as unemployed under this government scheme you must have no job and must have looked for a job in the past four weeks. That doesn’t give us an idea of the real state of America’s economy.

There is a much more comprehensive measurement of America’s workforce called the U-6 rate. The U-6 includes ALL unemployed Americans, including those who are so discouraged about their employment prospects that they have stopped looking for a job, and also includes the underemployed who are looking for full time work but have settled for part time work in order to survive. When all of these people are taken into account, the full unemployment rate for June of 2015 was actually at 10.5%.

It is obvious why the White House has chosen to promote these faulty numbers – it makes them look good, it makes their corporate friends look good, and they hope it will encourage Americans to be more confident in our supposed economic recovery and spend more of our money. However, nobody is going to be fooled when we can look around and see how many of our friends and community members are struggling.

Our economy has not truly recovered because we have not fixed the problems that led to the recession. The credit crunch was caused by people defaulting on loans, but the reason so many people were relying on credit to make purchases was that the policies of decades of Demo-Republican administrations have devastated the American working and middle classes. Those policies have not changed, and American workers are in a worse condition than at any time since the Second World War, even in this so-called recovery.

Every Congress and every presidential administration in recent memory has had one goal in mind: increase the wealth of their corporate friends and masters. They have worked to achieve huge tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy while regular Americans have suffered and instituted policies that encouraged major American corporations to move their factories and other facilities overseas. Outsourcing, in particular, has damaged American workers more than anything else.

As a presidential candidate, bringing back American jobs is my highest priority. As an independent candidate, I am not beholden to any of the corporate interests that fund the Republican and Democratic parties. Unlike the other candidates, I will be able to work to implement policies that will bring good jobs back home – both incentives for businesses to set up shop here and penalties for corporations who insist on outsourcing. Also, as an independent, I will be able to work with our members of Congress on both sides of the political divide and avoid the partisan bickering that has dominated our federal politics for decades.

We can’t afford to wait any longer for someone to set things right. America has been in decline for decades, and none of the mainstream party candidates are prepared to do anything to turn things around. On Election Day next year, I urge you to join with me by casting your write-in vote for Art Drew for President of the United States.