As I was perusing the web and looking at the mornings early news, I came across the front page of Fox News, I know taboo, but on it was a very strange headline which read "Fox News Poll: Americans give 2013 a Thumbs Up, Feel Economic Optimism." And while I know that this isn't a scientific poll like Gallup or Rasmussen, it is important and shocking poll nonetheless.
This is because the Fox News audience tends to be the most conservative of all the news audiences in the country, though I concede that given its vast popularity that continues to grow this may no longer be the case, but nonetheless it is still thought as such. Thus, for a conservative audience to state that 51% of them had, or believe 2013 was a good economic year, and 54% of them to state that they believe that 2014 will be even better for the nation economically is disturbing.
Since while these numbers do not indicate any sort of clear majority, they demonstrate that even amongst conservatives the impact of Obamacare, of a higher nationalized minimum wage, and the effects of quantitative easing are not fully understood, and the numbers of an unemployment rate still hovering above 7%, that with the participation in the labor force still at a dismal 63% balloons to more than 20%, are simply being ignored.
Thus, given the 20% unemployment rate and the 63% participation rate in the U.S. economy not only is putting this poll on the front page of Fox News quite misleading since it does not truly reflect the real economic conditions on the ground, it is simply shocking given the true state of the U.S. economy; and suggests that perhaps Fox News, just like all the other networks, has begun to drink the Kool-Aid provided for them at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.
As for the Fox News audience, especially those 50-55% who desperately need to wake up in 2014 and smell the economy, it is clear that you need to be better educated on the true effects of Obamacare, of a higher nationalized minimum wage, and the effects of quantitative easing on the economy. To begin with Obamacare is about to kick in for businesses, meaning that any business that employees over 50 people is about to be hit and hit hard with the Obamacare mandate that they must provide their full-time employees (anyone who works more than 20 hours in a week) with health insurance. This means that not only will the cost of employment go up for businesses, but as we have seen in the individual health insurance market place where every plan has become more expensive thanks to Obamacare mandating what every plan on the market must provide, the cost of employment is about to go up quite a bit.
This means that, as we have already seen in the economy as full-time jobs become scarcer and more rare and part-time jobs become evermore plentiful, businesses will begin to lay-off full-time workers and fire instead of hire in order to remain competitive in the global economy as the cost of employing someone goes up in America. A trend, that because Obamacare has demonstrated itself effectively as a law that drives up the cost of health insurance not slightly but magnificently, will continue at a more rapid pace than many businesses hoped, and many workers feared. Thus, as a result if you are a worker do not be surprised if you are looking for a new job and that the 2014 economy looks a lot like the job market when you were first entering into it as an unskilled laborer in high-school; lots of minimum-wage jobs but nothing good and certainly nothing that you could support a family on.
Yet, this effect that Obamacare is about to have on businesses, is about to compounded as the shout goes out across the land by the Left, for a higher nationalized minimum wage, say at about $15-20/hour. With places such as Washington State having just recently raised the minimum wage to $15 dollars, and another 14 States across the nation to follow its lead. Since, not only does this mean that cheap labor is now made more expensive for businesses that use it predominantly, such as small-businesses who make up nearly 50% of all employment in the nation. It also means that jobs in other, traditionally higher-paying sectors of the economy, won't necessarily continue to exist with a down-grade in pay, but may have to be axed altogether in order for the businesses to stay afloat and competitive. Thus, once more contributing to the unemployment rate and a lower labor participation rate, and thus to the destruction of the U.S. consumer market.
A market that must remain strong if the U.S. is to survive, since unlike Canada who exports a vast majority of its goods and services to other economies, including the U.S., the United States is an import economy. Meaning that its own marketplace consumes more goods and services than it can produce and thus must import a majority of what the nation and the economy uses. Thus, if the U.S. consumer market is destroyed or severely weakened, so too is the American and world-economy which depends on the U.S. market's consumption to drive economic activity and prosperity.
Lastly, as bad as both the impact of Obamacare and any increase in the national minimum wage is going to have on the U.S. market and thus the economy as a whole, the damage that has been done and continues to be done by the United States Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program is much more dangerous and perhaps even irreversible at this point, even with the prospect of tapering.
This is because ever since the program started it has created an artificial amount of investment capital in the economy, as it hollows out the value that was once found in the U.S. dollar, creating an artificial economy. To the point that if quantitative easing were to ever stop, it may completely collapse the economy, just as if the rug were pulled out from beneath it. As a result, 2014 could in fact be the year that hyper-inflation really takes hold; resulting in a crash of the U.S. dollar, the world's reserve currency, and thus a complete collapse in the world economy. With the only way to really avoid it being to not just taper but completely eliminate quantitative easing and allow the economy to reset itself, before quantitative easing makes up more than a third of the economy and such a reset would result not in a temporary depression but in a complete economic collapse.
In conclusion, while no one wants to be the downer at the party, and just like everyone else I do in fact hope and pray that 2014 is the year of the rebound. The truth of the matter is that the realities on the ground in 2014 are even worse for an economic recovery then they were in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and pretty much ever since Obama took office back in 2008. Since as time marches on, more and more burdens such as Obamacare and a raise in the national minimum wage, increase in weight and weigh down the economy; while in the meantime quantitative easing's artificial economy continues to become a bigger and bigger percentage of the United States' economy, at the expense of the value of the U.S. dollar and thus the buying power of the ever shrinking United States' consumer market, upon which rests the entire world economy.
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