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Washington, you have a problem

Lost among the dystopian dark shadows cast about in Barack Obama’s Scamalot empire is the fact the economy remains in the septic tank (which is worse than merely “in the toilet”). Restated, based on everything except the quasi-scary stock market and housing reflation, Obamanomics has been an epic failure.

Of course, it’s comforting to know Dear Reader still has your best interest at heart (assuming that policies of legalized and intergenerational theft work to your benefit). 

The conclusion? Washington, you have a problem. Actually, you have several problems…


The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression?

The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is the so-called recovery under President Barack Obama. The Obama “recovery” has been actually been worse than the Bush “recession.”

The state of our union is this: Incomes are lower today than they were when Barack Obama was first sworn in as president. True, he became president during a recession, and incomes dropped 2.6 percent during the recession. Since the end of the recession, they have dropped another 4.8 percent — which is to say, incomes have fallen almost twice as fast during President Obama’s so-called recovery than they fell during what he (inaccurately) called “the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

North Korea has Dear Leader. We have Dear Reader. Iran has the Ayatollah, we have President “I-just-told-ya.” Libya had Khadafy, we have “Hillary, get me a coffee.” France has a rich, clueless, socialist poser as its president; America has a rich, clueless, socialist poser as its president.

If America succeeds—and the trend line is not encouraging—it will be in spite of President Obama and not because of him. Even Bill Clinton (once he’d lost the House and the Senate) knew enough to get the government out of the American economy’s way.

So how to explain the President’s not-stellar-but-not-as-bad-as-you’d-expect approval ratings? Easy: You can fool some of the people all of the time.

Strange days indeed.

We’re number twelve!

The good news is that America is the world’s twelfth most prosperous nation.

The bad new is that we’ve fallen out of the top ten for the first time ever.

The criteria for prosperity are:

economy, entrepreneurship and ownership, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, and social capital.

So the question is this: has our slip in prosperity been caused by the Obama Administration, or is it only correlated with Barry and his band of d-baggers?

Imagine, as Michelle Obama has asked us to do, what Barry will be able to accomplish in another four years! Maybe he will make Tom Frymom’s Friedman’s dreams come true and we’ll be just like China (currently number 55)! Exciting times, indeed!

China Pulls a GM

China has pulled a Government General Motors only it’s regarding solar power instead of transportation. From the New York Times:

China’s biggest solar panel makers are suffering losses of up to $1 for every $3 of sales this year, as panel prices have fallen by three-fourths since 2008. Even though the cost of solar power has fallen, it still remains triple the price of coal-generated power in China, requiring substantial subsidies through a tax imposed on industrial users of electricity to cover the higher cost of renewable energy.

This sort of government interference has also taken root in America; consider the Chevy Volt, losing up to $50K (and disputed by GM, and likely, the government) for each vehicle sold.

Per Obamanomics, China has a plan to make everything better: they’ll fix their per unit losses by increasing their sales volume.

Finally, doesn’t the photo make one long for a U.S. manufacturing resurgence?

Obama’s America

“I’m Barack Obama and I approved this video”

Obama ‘recovery’ worse than Bush ‘recession’

And now a word on household income from Peter Ferrera, himself quoting the WSJ:

“For household income… the Obama recovery has been worse than the Bush recession.”

But, but, but… that’s impossible! It’s Bush’s fault! Pants on fire! Four Pinocchios!

No, it’s factual. From Ferrera:

Even if you start from when the recession ended in June, 2009, the decline since then has been greater than it was during the recession.  Three years into the Obama recovery, median family income had declined nearly 5% by June, 2012 as compared to June, 2009.  That is nearly twice the decline of 2.6% that occurred during the recession from December, 2007 until June, 2009. 

Accordingly, Barry Oh! and his surrogates need to pull a manmade global warming and hide the decline. But what’s the real damage, Officer Ferrara?

In January, 2009, the month he entered office, median household income was $54,983.  By June, 2012, it had spiraled down to $50,964.  That’s a loss of $4,019 per family, the equivalent of losing a little less than one month’s income a year, every year. 

Well, certainly the President and his Dems have improved the position of the poor?

Now The Huffington Post reports that the poverty rate is on track to rise to the highest level since 1965, before the War on Poverty began… [and] a consensus survey of experts across the political spectrum indicates the poverty rate could soar from the current 15.1% to as high as 15.7%. 

So in summary: debt up massively. Unemployment up massively. Household income down significantly. Poverty up significantly. If only we’d had an empty chair like in the Eastwood skit, things wouldn’t be this bad. Instead we have an empty suit with initiative.

And to borrow an old line made modern by Obamanomics, Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you like the play?

Obama 2012: fool us twice, shame on us.

The line of the day

The line of the day comes from Doug Bandow writing at Forbes and regarding the failed Obama-led economy and the bigger failure of Keynesian economics:

If government could spend America to prosperity, good times would have arrived long ago.

As Mr. Bandow points out, it’s easier for industry to practice regulatory capture and grab government grants than it is to innovate (let alone to assume the risk playing with one’s own money).

Although the lesson of “teach a man to fish” should come to mind, “teach a man to lobby” seems to be the rule of Obamanomics.

Remember and repeat: it’s Bush’s fault

krugmanFrom Paul Rugrat (AKA Paul Krugman) on how a bureaucratic functionary undid the otherwise spring-loaded-for-success Obama economy: it’s Bush’s fault.

…this week’s shocking refusal to implement debt relief by the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency — a Bush-era holdover the president hasn’t been able to replace — illustrates perfectly what’s going on.

First, the Rugrat seems to forget President Obama’s history of making recess (and unconstitutional) appointments when the Senate is in session, so with that explanatory-fail out of the way, onto more non-explanation:

Some background: many economists believe that the overhang of excess household debt, a legacy of the bubble years, is the biggest factor holding back economic recovery. Loosely speaking, excess debt has created a situation in which everyone is trying to spend less than their income. Since this is collectively impossible — my spending is your income, and your spending is my income — the result is a persistently depressed economy.

How should policy respond? One answer is government spending to support the economy while the private sector repairs its balance sheets; now is not the time for austerity, and cuts in government purchases have been a major economic drag.

Many economists? Yes, and four out of five dentists recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.

And Paul, there is the government who’s now about 25 percent of the economy and they’re spending about 140 percent of their income. This very same government has spent over $5 trillion more than its income during the Obama era.

…the Federal Reserve’s refusal to act in the face of high unemployment and below-target inflation is a scandal.

But fiscal and monetary policy could, and should, be coupled with debt relief. Reducing the burden on Americans in financial trouble would mean more jobs and improved opportunities for everyone.

The Fed has bought much of the government’s debt (over 60% in 2011) the Obama Administration has created, so to follow the Rugrat’s logic, maybe the Fed needs debt relief.

Or perhaps the government itself needs debt relief. Or even the American people who fund the government.

After all, each taxpayer’s share of the national debt is about $194K and $64K of that has happened on Obama’s relatively short watch. And those numbers don’t include the nation’s true unfunded liability which is closer to $500K per taxpayer.

The real lesson? Who—besides the government—will loan money without an expectation of repayment (let alone reasonable return)? Not even a fully indoctrinated lefty like the Rugrat would do that.

While the President can’t control the economy, he can influence it. Obama has and his influence—all of it bad—is his legacy.

Finally, Paul (and Barry), It isn’t the taxes. It’s the spending.

Obama’s Participation Economy

Victor Davis Hanson notes much of the electorate appears to be comfortably numb on the Obama-led U.S. economy. Dr. Hanson’s point is the November presidential election may be more about something other than the economy.

None-the-less, his article made me ponder self-esteem, Obamanomics, and our current state of economic non-success.

Self-esteem, we all know, has become the most important thing in a child’s success. That’s why the end-of-season t-ball party hands out participation trophies; to help the child feel good about him/herself.

An MVP award? Winners and losers? Keeping score? Class rankings? Playing tag? Sorry, these are gauche throw backs to the repressive Eisenhower era.

Today, the President’s equivalent of participation trophies is his welfare state: food stamps, welfare roll-back, crony capitalism, green jobs, unending unemployment, disability-nation, etc..

How important is self-esteem? It’s essential: we all know that ability, effort, and results matter little because those who possess such things and create positive outcomes didn’t do it themselves. Thankfully, the benevolent government Leviathan—as ruled by our enlightened elites—is there to spread things around for us and to make all peoples equal (although it’s also true some—the elites—must be more equal than others).

Who knows where we’d be otherwise? Probably alone, hungry, cold, thirsty, afraid, ignorant, without health care, and otherwise fending for ourselves.

And where would Pink Floyd have been without a government grant?

Obamanomics: getting you comfortably numb (and it’s for your own good).

Hatin’ on Obama?

From Jonah Goldberg at NRO:

What drives Barack Obama’s “doubters and haters”?

So asks Obama biographer David Maraniss in a recent op-ed article for the Washington Post. By doubters and haters he means the people who think Obama wasn’t born in the U.S., that he’s a secret Muslim, or that he’s a closet socialist.

Let’s unpack this one item at a time.

First, while Barry Oh! and his surrogates have been less than forthcoming with the Obama document release (that is, they won’t release his scores, papers, transcripts, college applications, etc.), to my knowledge there is no credible evidence (Obama’s self-penned literary biography excluded) he was born outside the United States.

Second, and similarly, there is no evidence Obama is a Muslim; he just attended a Muslim public school. On the other hand, you could argue there’s even less evidence Obama is a Christian given his theological mentoring, Biblical ignorance, and Scriptural cherry-picking.

socialistsFinally, Obama is clearly not a closet socialist. Rather, he’s an openly practicing socialist. The evidence is legion and actions speak louder than words. 

Is being a socialist a good reason to hate the President? No, but it’s a fine opportunity to examine his failed policies: Obamanomics; imperial overreach as far as the eye can see; the unpayable national debt and matter-of-time broken government promises; poverty now above “war on poverty” point; record unemployment rates; the choking Federal Leviathan regulatory state; etc..

And the iron-logic wrap? Socialism is a failure and Barry is a socialist, ergo, Barry is a failure.

There’s plenty of reasons to hate Obama’s policy and governance “sins” and almost four years worth of evidence that these sins have worsened the American condition, but I don’t think we need to hate the sinner. Mock and ridicule, yes. Vote out, yes. Hate, no.

Ezra Klein, Obama’s Weenie Apologist

not my faultIn a world with two types of people, those who make things happen and those who watch things happen, Ezra Klein always manages to find a third way: he wonders what happened.

Right from the get-go, Klein goes full-Obama apologista with the following:

There’s no mystery as to why Congress is not doing more to help the economy: Disagreements between Republicans and Democrats have paralyzed the institution.

The fundamental postulate, that the government can manufacture jobs, is a total fallacy and if you don’t believe me, look it up.

The next idea Klein offers is that the President has been hamstrung by the Congress. None of this is Barry’s fault, even though Obama made himself the face of America’s way ahead in the 2008 campaign.

Who should really be blamed: Bush? Check. Congress The House? Check. Obstinate Republicans? Check. Typhoons, an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane, and Lenny Bruce is not afraid? Check. Obama’s debt, food stamps, imperial power grabs, disability payments, “you didn’t build that” philosophy, our budget-free Senate, etc.? No way, man!

Ezra, did you ever consider that when voters turned the House over to Republicans in the 2010 elections, it was because they wanted the Democrat Congress paralyzed?

Later, Klein offers an additional Obama gets-off-the-hook apologetic:

But there’s a real mystery as to why the Federal Reserve is not doing more to help the economy. Ben Bernanke, after all, keeps saying the central bank can do more, and if the economy gets worse, it will do more. But the economy keeps getting worse, and the Fed keeps not doing more.

Right. We all forgot the Fed is the keeper of the keys for the economy and the President’s influence is totally limited (except Bush, whose influence was unlimited and who put us in this deep, deep hole). So Bernanke is to blame as well. Bernanke and Bush, that is. And obstinate Republicans. And Congress (except the Senate).

That’s a source of much amusement to me. How can the traditional media blame Bush, who was simultaneously an evil genius, conspiracy king, puppet master, destroyer of economic value, and simpleton while they ignore the “accomplishments” of Barack Obama, he of the trillion dollar deficits, 40-something months of 8 percent-plus unemployment (and closer to 18 percent actual unemployment), and of course, being our most intelligent president ever?

Wow, that was a really long sentence. Sorry.

The sad thing is what’s been discussed so far reflects the most cogent parts of Klein’s article, which contains another message:

…I am convinced that there is something more the Fed can do, and that now is the right time for them to do it. I call it Uncle Ben’s Crazy Housing Sale.

Ezra appears to have found the codeine-laced cough syrup again and just started typing.

Say goodnight, Ezra. Please.

Impediment to Obama’s re-election: his record

From the Hill:

Two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washington’s fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else, according to a new poll for The Hill.

It found that 66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.

The bad news for the President is (despite his best efforts to convince America otherwise) he isn’t running against Congress, Wall Street, or George W. Bush; he’s running on his record and against Mitt Romney.

Obama, with malice and forethought, willfully made himself the face of the American economy and (as with the Pottery Barn rule) since he broke it, he owns it. Pay up, sucka.

President Obama channels Elizabeth Warren

The President is busy, busy, busy jetting around in Air Force One, doing all those fundraisers and re-election events and whatnot. So did his fatigue cause him to reveal more to the American people than is appropriate for his own good (emphasis added)?

…There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Yes, success is now attributable to—and limited to—the idea that it takes a (government) village.

Mr. President, have your handlers finally driven your modest intellect and learning over the economic cliff? If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. Really?

No business can succeed with with unending and unsupportable deficit spending. So what does the President do? He calls for more ruinous spending, advocates for class warfare (more taxes for the most successful; more bills for the young), and props up failure and rigs the game with government-driven market interference: bailouts, takeovers, public-sector spending, and crony capitalism.

Of course, the above Obama block quote is largely an intellectual lift from another great fraud, Elizabeth Warren.

The President made himself the face of the U.S. economy but as it turned out, his mouth was writing checks that neither his economic ideas nor his government authority could deliver. If voters don’t make him pay for the failures of Obamanomics in November, we’ll be getting the government we deserve.

Moody’s Downgrades Obama Administration

Moody’s Downgrades Obama Administration

By Duke Camel and Michael J. Monroe – Jun 22, 2012

Moody’s Government Ratings Service downgraded the Obama Administration to “junk” status with the post-Fast & Furious revelation that actual U.S. government fiscal liabilities are not merely the $50,100 for each man, woman, and child in America, but may be far higher–and worse–than acknowledged.

The most recent estimate for the difference between the net present value of federal government liabilities and the net present value of future federal revenues is $200 trillion, nearly 13 times the debt as stated by the US Treasury. Notice that these figures, too, are incomplete, since they omit the unfunded liabilities of state and local governments, which are estimated to be around $38 trillion.

While foreign and domestic financial markets reacted with alarm, the Administration shrugged the assessment off. White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “We disagree with the Moody’s assessment. The Fed has a plan to deflate the value of this contingent liability to get it to a manageable level. That, in conjunction with the President’s pending Executive Order to increase tax rates for millionaires and billionaires earning over $250,000 per household, means there’s really nothing to worry about. However, the do-nothing Congress has refused to support the President’s plan for increased borrowing for more public sector and green jobs which we know from economic experts, will more than pay for themselves.”

Enrique Van Gogh, lead ECB economist and former monetary adviser to French President Francois Mitterrand said, “While this situation in America is regrettable, we’re in no position to offer a bailout of either money or leadership. Really, our political leaders are far beyond tapped out… actually, I think we’re really all in way over our heads. Could the U.S. ask China to borrow some money? And some leadership?” Substituting Chinese control for U.S. sovereignty is a well-worn suggestion advocated by unpopular New York Times writer Thomas Friedman and one other.

Shares of the nine massive federal programs affected by yesterday’s action, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Government Motors, The Affordable Care Act Holding Company, and Broken States America all collapsed to the lowest monetary and leadership valuations in more than seventy years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The ratings agencies like Moody’s are looking for a raison d’etre in the face of our self-evident leadership failure,” said David Zippo, chief market strategist at The Jeffersons & Co. in an interview on Michael Bloomberg Television’s I’ll Tell You What’s Good For You. “But I don’t think the ratings are that big a concern unless you work in the private sector and support the government.”

“The country is worse today than just three years ago,” echoed David Cassidy, an analyst with BFD Capital Markets, adding the Administration has long papered over the concerns raised by Moody’s. “Yes, the government rating is lower, but is Uncle Sugar going to have to pay an extra 50 basis points? They’ll either just take or make more money, so I don’t think so.”

The leadership downgrades reflect risks that that many voters have recognized for years, other investors said. “Moody’s is not going to detect some fundamental problem like spending more than you make for decades on end and then warn the public,” said Ken Fisher-King, chief executive officer and founder of Redbarn, California-based Fisher-King Investments. “Whether it’s a stock or a bond or a government, the free market already decided. Moody’s just tries to validate what they think voters are going to do.”

The reductions by Moody’s are “a mea culpa dating back to the 2008 elections,” said James Joyce, a government analyst in Chicago at Mourningstar. “Leadership has gotten so much worse in the last few years in terms of every stinking thing, yet their ratings never moved, except in the 2010 elections. What does that tell you? That the Administration’s ratings were wrong long before this.”

(Philup Nubia and Zerxes Jones-Smith from Bloomberg’s Mumbai Information, Research, and Translation Service enclave contributed to this article.)

The Obama Syndrome

The President’s apologists have been attempting to ride to the rescue regarding his statement from last Friday that the private sector is doing just fine and that it’s the public sector that really needs help. Their general take writ large? The most intelligent, articulate, brilliant commander-in-chief ever misspoke.

As Keith Hennessey has observed, the President has instead made both a diagnostic error and a prescriptive error. The bottom line:

For every net lost government job since employment peaked in January 2008, the U.S. economy has lost more than eleven private sector jobs.

The President seems to think that public sector jobs like firefighters and police create wealth. This is incorrect, however, those functions can help preserve wealth, just like insurance.

But as millions of ads per day tell us, we may be paying too much for our insurance.

Besides paying too much, it’s also possible to have too much.

If Obama could only be average…

While the economy is not under the president’s control, it is under the president’s influence.

And Barry Oh! has been a very bad influence on the U.S. economy.

Run away from your record as best you can Barry; you’ll just lose tired.

if only obama were average

Obama, Weapon of Mass Distortion

How do you describe the Preezy of the United Steezy, AKA Barry Oh!?

One way would be to explain him as a weapon of mass distortion, replete with straw men, a bully pulpit (plus Air Force One), and enabled by a subservient traditional media.

You want evidence? Sure we got evidence.

Take USA Today… please:

President Obama sought today to shift blame for the bumpy economy to congressional Republicans, saying too many of them are “standing in the way” of recovery.

“Either they say they want to do nothing … or they want to double down on some of the policies that didn’t work and got us into this mess in the first place,” Obama told voters in Iowa, citing in particular proposed tax cuts for the wealthy.

That’s called politics Barry, you know, where Republicans reject your party’s failed ideas? It’s clear you’re living in denial, but how do you explain the results of the 2010 elections? That was an endorsement of your party to keep doing what you’d been doing?

You got yer Washington Examiner:

“Do not buy into the B.S. that you hear about spending and fiscal constraint with regard to this administration,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One on Wednesday. Carney went on to cite a MarketWatch column by Rex Nutting, purporting to show that “under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.”

Is this true? Is Obama, contrary to all conventional wisdom, actually the most fiscally restrained president since the 1950s? No. It is Nutting’s analysis, which, in Carney’s words, is “B.S.”

Carney seems to have accidently spoken the truth here: do not buy into the B.S. that you hear about…fiscal constraint with regard to this administration.

Only this Administration would assert Obama hasn’t run up the debt. Even China lectures us on our debt: when you make up your own facts often enough, the line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred.

Then there’s the DesMoinesRegister:

Obama repeatedly lashed out at Romney during his 42-minute speech, saying the Republican doesn’t see that the policies he’s proposing are “the very policies that got us into this mess,” Obama said.

“What happens is the Republicans run up the tab, and then we’re sitting there, and they’ve left the restaurant and then they point, ‘Why’d you order all those steaks and martinis?’ ” he said. “What he did not also tell you was that after inheriting a trillion-dollar deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law, so now I want to finish the job.”

$2 trillion of spending cuts into law? I’m not sure where that number comes from but suspect it is from drawdowns concerning Iraq and Afghanistan, money that was set to be cut regardless but of which Barry is desperate to claim credit for.

Or is the “analysis” from the aforementioned history re-writer Rex Nutting?

I’d like to know why the campaign couldn’t find just one clinically insane writer who would assert the Administration actually ran surpluses, reduced unemployment, and enhanced national security. Jay? Barry? Joe?

It’s also surprising the President didn’t recycle his unsuccessful Republicans drove us into a ditch and drank a Slurpee while Democrats pushed the U.S. economy over the cliff analogy.

Oops. Of course we really know that Democrats pushed us out of the ditch and that’s why we’re sitting pretty today with massive actual unemployment, out-of-control federal obligations, and the zombie-like brain-dead idea that government can lead us to the promised land.

Just like we’ve seen for the last three and a half years.

Libs entitled to own opinions and self-created ‘facts’

Some ancient pol is alleged to have said people are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts.

It’s an interesting bumper sticker, but based on the evidence, it’s false. Instead, people are not only entitled to their own opinions, but are similarly entitled to make up their own facts as well.

The “facts” in question: the article Obama spending binge never happened from MarketWatch.

The article’s author: Rex Nutting. No joke.

Man: still the only creature who can lie to himself.

Democrat economic strategy in a can

From a man who has and continues to serve the nation so well, one of the revolving-door finance types of the Administration, Peter Orszag (I think he was the President’s Fail Czar and is now at Citi), comes Democrat/liberal economic strategy in a can:

When policy makers put in place measures carefully designed to reduce the federal deficit in the future, most of them happen. This is a good thing, since enacting more stimulus today and more deficit reduction to take effect later is exactly what the U.S. needs.

Orszag’s very limited, very specific assertion is that raising the Social Security age from 66 to 67, phased over five years and starting in 2017, the carefully designed measure being referenced, will work anywhere.

According to this logic, although the federal government holds unfathomable debt and future liabilities, all we need for economic success are more carefully designed measures, like delaying repayment (per the Social Security example), adding more stimulus today, and holding off on any reductions until the metaphoric tomorrow. And because this additional deficit spending will fix the economy—your actual Obamanomoics results may vary—all will be well.

Insert your face-palm here.

For example, Orszag fails to address reducing the nearly $16 trillion federal debt, over $130K for each man, woman, and child in America, the perhaps $100 trillion in off-budget entitlement liabilities like Social Security, or the interest payments—already at record low rates—which still manage to eat up 20% of all federal receipts.

It’s almost like it is assumed these obligations won’t be paid off, or if they are, will be repaid with fewer dollars or dollars that have a greatly reduced buying power.

Peter Orszag does the impossible: he makes Joe Biden look reasonable.

Obama’s Good Unemployment News

The good news for the President: when everyone has finally given up looking for work, the unemployment rate will go to zero.

not wanted