Parallel Worlds

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"Whereas Obama (in his world), loves to tout the U3 unemployment rate of 4.7%, it is a false number. It is a math thing."

It truly is like President Obama and the Republicans live on two separate planets. Almost like in a parallel universe. While Obama thinks he has done a bang up job and everything is just hunky dory, the facts say otherwise. In fact yesterday (at long last), some financial guru on CNBC said the same thing this old Bird has been saying for years now. He was asked by the moderator with the unemployment rate approaching "full employment", why is there still so much misery in the heartland? The pundit looked at her and said, "The jobs being created are not the same as the jobs being lost." Bingo!
The financial guru went on to say many of the new jobs "created" are in the service sector. Lower pay, low or no benefits. In other words, jobs which will not support a family. This past month, only 150,000 of those mostly service sector jobs were created. Meanwhile, we find out that more people are getting thrown out of jobs they have held for years. Macy's and Sears are now closing stores in Minnesota. Last year it was Sports Authority and Old Country Buffet. Even those were not high paying jobs, the number of employment opportunities continues to shrink.
Whereas Obama (in his world), loves to tout the U3 unemployment rate of 4.7%, it is a false number. It is a math thing. It is true however, that every Administration has used that phony U3 index. It is a "feel good" number. For example, if everyone today was in the hunt for a livable wage job (instead of having 94 million people over the age of 16 sitting on the sidelines and not working), the unemployment rate would be much higher. If fact the U6 indicator which takes some of those factors (plus underemployment) into consideration, our unemployment rate would be 9.2%. That is a number which is never mentioned in Obama's world.
Donald Trump, who lives in the other world, is going to have some unique problems to deal with. And those problems will be obstacles for him in getting our economy back to a roaring 80's type of economy. He will have two enemies to fight - demographics and automation. Demographics in that the "baby boomers" are now retiring in waves. And the birthrate in this country is no longer robust. Plus the age of automation is poised to take its next leap forward. In the eight years of Trump (assuming he gets re-elected), expect to see many more jobs being replaced by robotics or rudimentary AI.
The question I have wrestled with in my head is this - what are the jobs in the 2020's going to look like? Or the 2030's? True, we will always have a need for plumbers, electricians, carpenters and so forth. But many of the service sector jobs which are low skill and repetitive are low fruit on the tree for being replaced by technology. Last week there was just an article in the paper on how Amazon has over 45,000 robots in their warehouses. And that number goes up every year.
I think the biggest difference when we travel from Obama's world to Trump's world on January 20th is this - President Trump is not going to put lipstick on this pig called our economy. He will be truthful in what he can and can't do. I do believe he, working with Congress, will "plow the road" as much as they can to allow for the creation of better jobs. But automation and demographics will remain the two specters which will haunt this new world.
I could be wrong, and I hope I am. I would love to see the country have another ride like we did in the 1980's. In any event, the ride (this new world) will be better than the old world we have had for the past eight years. How much better though, we will have to wait and see.