Here’s what Democrats don’t get about the jobs number: 250,000 jobs added in October is not just a statistic, it’s about real people.
It’s about people whose lives are getting better and who are more upbeat about their future. It reflects greater economic security, the possibility of planning for the future and the ability to dream about sending kids to college or about buying a home.
Democrats approaching the midterm elections have spent their time demonizing President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Kemp leading Perdue in Georgia gubernatorial primary: poll US ranked 27th least corrupt country in the world MORE, lying about his policies and fear-mongering about how Republicans want to destroy our health-care system and take away Social Security. They know these charges are untrue, but they have nothing else to run on.
What they really do not want to talk about is how life is improving for average Americans. Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerSchumer vows to vote on Biden Supreme Court pick with 'all deliberate speed' Voting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement last Friday, referring to the jobs report, that “these numbers will mean little” to families.
My guess is that it means a lot to the 250,000 more Americans who found work last month and to those who saw their pay go up by the biggest amount in a decade.
It meant the world, as well, to all those discouraged workers who have been sitting on the sidelines and who finally came back into the jobs market, boosting the worker participation rate.
It was sweet news for the 32,000 folks who found jobs in the manufacturing sector; they join the swelling ranks of those production workers who earn above-average pay — a group that has increased by 296,000 over the past year.
The October employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was a stunner, containing good news for so many Americans. Unemployment dropped from a year earlier for teenagers (13.4 percent to 11.9 percent), black Americans (7.5 percent to 6.2 percent), Hispanics (4.6 percent to 4.4 percent) and women (3.8 percent to 3.7 percent).
Again, those cold stats do not reveal the resurgence of hope among the hundreds of thousands who had sought work for years but had been turned away as the economy stuttered forward.
The numbers don't wholly reflect the increased feelings of security among those who finally have full-time work, who had latched onto part-time jobs or been bumped around as anxious employers, rattled by the anti-business Obama White House, tried to get by with as few employees as possible.
The booming jobs market has Americans feeling more upbeat, lifting consumer confidence to an 18-year high. The Conference Board tally of the nation’s brightening mood in October came despite the stock market posting the worst volatility and losses in years.
Such gyrations in financial markets make headlines, but families are focused on steadily rising paychecks and improving prospects. Not since the year 2000 have people been so cheery.
What are Democrats offering? Numerous states provide a good snapshot of how Democrat policies impact average Americans.
San Francisco voters, for instance, will be asked to decide the fate of Proposition C, which would levy a new tax on big businesses aimed at reducing homelessness. There are 7,500 people sleeping on the streets on the famously liberal city, raising crime rates.
The deteriorating quality of life in portions of San Francisco overrun by people living on the streets, combined with a rising cost of living, has residents fleeing the city. One report indicated that San Francisco lost more inhabitants than any other U.S. city in the final quarter of 2017.
Democrat administrations have long ignored and even encouraged this crisis by not enforcing quality-of-life laws and by driving up the cost of housing through a host of zoning and environmental restrictions. The plight of the homeless is tragic, but the surge in disorder and lawlessness is a horrific situation for the regular citizens of San Francisco, too.
In Michigan, union corruption will be on the ballot, as voters will decide whether to turn back a right-to-work law passed in 2012.
Because of that legislation, which was put in place by Republicans, auto workers can decide whether or not they want to belong to a union that just recently used a strike fund to build (with non-union labor) an 1,885 square-foot lakeside home for retired president Dennis Williams.
Michigan's Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Gretchen Whitmer, who has won UAW endorsement, has vowed to overturn the law, while her opponent, Republican and current state Attorney General Bill Schuette, stands by it. Whitmer leads by several points, according to RealClearPolitics.
In Arkansas, voters will determine through “Issue 5” whether or not the state adopts a sharp hike in the minimum wage. The state today sets the floor on pay at $8.50. If the initiative passes, the minimum will rise gradually to $11 per hour by 2021.
Arkansas' current minimum wage already tops the rate in neighboring states like Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, all of which have a $7.25 minimum.
Arkansas’ rate ranks as the 22nd-highest in the nation; this, despite Arkansas having the second-lowest cost of living in the country. Maybe that’s why the state ranks 38th in the nation in growth.
These are just a few of the issues Democrats are pushing, all of which take us back to the anti-business Obama years. What we see today is that encouraging companies to invest and grow through lower taxes and lighter, more sensible regulation, results in higher wages and better opportunities for all Americans.
Forcing through artificially higher wages, ignoring lawlessness and bending to union corruption does not advantage the middle class, or anyone else.
Liz Peek is a former partner of major bracket Wall Street firm Wertheim & Company. For 15 years, she has been a columnist for The Fiscal Times, Fox News, the New York Sun and numerous other organizations.