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Where American Productivity Has Gone under Obama

March 28, 2016 (EIRNS)—With the first quarter of 2016 coming to a close, GDP growth is again apparently going to be very low, estimated at a 1.0-1.3% annual rate. Zero, even negative productivity growth continues; both corporate profits and capital expenditures are falling, and personal/household consumption—which had been reporting rising fast in January but then was revised down sharply—grew only about 0.2% in the quarter. The one area of "personal consumption" which is growing rapidly, is Obamacare health insurance premiums. They rose 28% from 2009-2014, but then 11% in 2014 and 11% in 2015 on national average, so they have doubled, roughly, in the period Obamacare has been in effect.

The Economic Collapse Blog, using St. Louis Federal Reserve and Labor Department data, reported today on the actual unemployment/"inactivity" rate for people in the prime working ages—25-54 years of age—about 125 million in total in the U.S. population. The result puts aside the excuse that the American labor force has shrunk because of retirement of the large Baby Boomer generation. It is those at the time of life when they should be most productively employed, who have been disappearing from the workforce, their productive contributions to the economy effectively scrapped.

The total unemployed/"inactive" rate for these prime working ages is approxemately 23% (29 million people, and this is 4 million more than when Obama entered office).

Taking just the "inactive" (or out of labor force) group, it has doubled from 6% to 12% of all men of prime working age, and from 24% to 27% of all women of that age. Thus there are 7.5 million men and 17 million women in prime working ages who are out of the labor force.

Most tellingly, this prime-working-age, out-of-labor-force population of about 25 million people, is suffering a poverty rate of 24%, well more than double the poverty of Americans as a whole. The bigger, 29 million group which combines "inactive" and unemployed in prime working age, has that same 24% poverty rate.

It was summed up in EIR Founding Editor Lyndon LaRouche’s comment:

"A large number of once-productive people in America have been made unproductive, scrapped, and have tended to become suicidal as a result."

Death rates among these very age groups have risen by 15-25%—an unprecedented development in industrial societies—under Bush and Obama since 1999, driven by opioid and alcohol abuse and derivative illnesses.

As for the Baby Boomers, they have been unable to retire, and have been taking the majority of net new jobs created over the past eight years.

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