Ron Paul Says U.S. Unemployment Rate Could Be Over 20%
The U.S. economy is in far worse shape than the government is willing to admit. The real unemployment rate could be over 20%. At least, that’s the opinion of former Congressman Ron Paul.
In a video published on Friday, the Libertarian activist dissected the September job numbers. The White House has been bragging about the country’s economic performance under the Obama Administration, pointing out the unemployment rate has plunged to 5.1%. However, Paul is skeptical of their claims. (Source: 579K Leave Work Force But Unemployment Rate At 5.1%? What?, Ron Paul Liberty Report, October 4, 2015.)
The official unemployment rate, he argues, is misleading. To calculate this indicator, the Labor Department excludes individuals that have given up looking for work. But Paul believes the unemployment rate would be significantly higher if we used a more honest measure.
“The participation rate keeps going down all the time. They keep saying it’s the lowest it’s been since 1977. But if you short out the woman in the workforce, it’s actually the worst it’s ever been for men. There was only a half a million [people] who actually left the workforce.
They tell us the unemployment rate is ‘great’ [at] 5.1%. We shouldn’t complain about it. But there was 579,000 people who left the job force. That seems rather strange.
In fact, if you look carefully at the Fed, they even have a number that puts unemployment rates over 10%. John Williams [at ShadowStats.com] says it could be over 20%. Well, that sounds like a depression. People keep saying the economy is doing well, but why are people so pessimistic?”
Paul puts the blame for America’s current economic malaise squarely on the Federal Reserve. Economic planning and the distortion of interest rates by central bankers has resulted in trillions of dollars in malinvestment. Only a return to sound, free market economics will solve the country’s problems.
“We have a whole culture of dependency. Both the wealthy and the poor are dependent. Those in the middle class still willing to work, they’re struggling and they’re hurting and they’re losing their jobs.
So if anybody really cares about making a fairer society and a better distribution of wealth, they have to look to the free market. Because it is the free market that has been able to create the largest middle class in the history of the world. It was in this country. It had the highest standard of living. It’s disappearing.
It’s critical on what we decide now. If we decide on more government and more interference and more paper money and more debt, this is going to get much much worse. We have to accept the fact that a lot of mistakes were made and we have to allow the market to give us some indication of how to eliminate the debt and get rid of the malinvestment. That is the solution. We need some liberty. We need some freedom. We need to deal in property rights. We need a lot less government.”
You can watch Paul’s entire commentary here.