It may be that the Obama campaign has developed a form of tone deafness. A CBS/New York Times poll this week found that more than two-thirds of respondents (67 percent) thought that Obama made his second switcheroo on the issue of same sex marriage for “political reasons” and only 24 percent because “he thinks it is right.” That is a pretty harsh judgment on the part of the public.
But at the end of the day, that alone will not win or lose the election. The latest job report shows an anemic 115,000 new jobs created but a huge 342,000 jobless people dropping out of the work force. One reason, a big reason, that Americans are so much more prosperous than the French (take your paycheck and subtract one-third for comparison) is that we work more. We work more hours in the week than Frenchmen. We work more hours in a year than people in France. And this is huge, more of us work. This is what the economists call the “participation rate.” This is the percent of our working age population that is active in the work force. Historically, we have had significantly more of our people in the work force than France. As of April, 342,000 people are no longer even looking for jobs, much less participating in the economy. Our participation rate is down sharply, approaching that of France.
Some say that Obama looks to France for the model of governance. I prefer the American model. I prefer to live in a country where people are free to work, save, invest and prosper. But not everyone agrees with me.