This morning’s headline in the on-line New York Times was that the “Jobless rate soars to 6.7% in November.” I am really sorry about that. I know people who have lost jobs, I know people whose jobs are on the line, and I give thanks daily that both my husband and I seem to have stable jobs for the time being. A high unemployment rate is a bad thing for the nation as a whole and for each unemployed individual. But (with me, there’s always a but) . . . but:
It’s worthwhile checking out the statistics for a few major Western countries, the ones that the Democrats are so desperate to have us emulate (especially when it comes to increased government control over the economy and ever-higher taxes).
In 2007, Britain had a fairly low unemployment rate at 5.3%. However, since I keep up very closely with British news, even though I don’t have statistics, I suspect that the unemployment rate reflects the fact that the government itself employs a lot of people, so the numbers may reflect an unemployment rate a la the former Soviet Union in which everyone worked — for the state.
Other major European countries, during an average, non-recessionary year, weren’t doing so well. In France, the 2007 unemployment rate was 7.9%; in Canada it was 6%; and in Germany, the low estimate for 2007 was 9%, with the high estimate at 10.8%.
I don’t pretend to have any understanding of economics. I just know that it’s worth thinking about the fact that, even when our jobless rate is soaring, it’s still about the same as (or even much lower than), the regular jobless rate in those countries our new Democratic Congress will seek to emulate.
UPDATE: Although not quite on point, Jonah Goldberg’s excellent article about the fallacy of “planned” economies (that is, those subject to government, not market, control), seems very apropos when it comes to the Dems thinking, with typical Progressive optimism, that this time they can get government interference to work out right (never mind that it has never, in the past, done so).
UPDATE II: Gordon Chang pessimistically throws out a reminder that the worst is yet to come.