The jobless recovery

Michael Ramirez, cartoonist for Investor’s Business Daily, may have summed it up best.

In a recent offering, he shows President Barack Obama bending over to address a pathetic, bug-eyed, obviously exhausted American businessman, who struggles on one knee to hold aloft on his shoulders an entire globe labeled “Taxes / Regulations / Uncertainty.”

“Well, don’t just sit there,” the president instructs the capitalist with a wave of his hand, “Step up and hire workers.”

“Nearly two years after the economic recovery officially began, job creation continues to stagger at the slowest post-recession rate since the Great Depression,” USA Today reported Friday.

The nation has 5 percent fewer jobs today — a loss of 7 million — than it did when the recession began in December 2007. Hardest hit? Housing.

“That is by far the worst performance of job generation following any of the dozen recessions since the 1930s,” the newspaper reports. “In the past, the economy recovered lost jobs 13 months on average after a recession. If this were a typical recovery, nearly 10 million more people would be working today than when the recession officially ended in June 2009.”

But they’re not.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty about the economic recovery, and many companies that would like to hire are reluctant to do so because they’re not confident sales will pick up and remain strong,” explains Jerry Conover, director of the Indiana Business Research Center.

This unique recession has been particularly unfriendly to job-seekers, experts say. “There was too much employment in housing, and that isn’t coming back — and frankly shouldn’t come back,” adds Amar Bhide, a Tufts University professor.

The solution? Slash taxes. Downsize government. Slash regulations — especially those that require employers to pay the government more money for each employee they hire, or even to report how many employees they have in the first place. Cut spending to balance the federal budget with no additional borrowing, freeing up vast amounts of capital to flow into private-sector growth.

Yet many still in charge today — in Washington, in Carson City, even in downtown Las Vegas — prefer to throw about euphemisms about “streamlining” the way government imposes its choking regimen of licenses, regulations, and most of all its voracious appetite for taxes and fees … which it will use to hire more regulators, to “deliver more services.”

They don’t get it. To slim down and compete in the new world market, America must shed regulatory superstructure. Atlas has begun to shrug.

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