Mark J. Perry, professor of finance and business economics at the University of Michigan, puts the US economy in perspective:
The unemployment rate in Canada just hit a 30-year low of 6.1% in December, the lowest rate since 1977 when Pierre Trudeau was Canada’s prime minister and Jimmy Carter was U.S. president. During the last U.S. recession from March – November 2001, the unemployment never got higher than 5.5%. When the unemployment rate continued to rise to rise and peaked at 6.3% in June of 2003, it was dismissed as a “jobless recovery.”
When the U.S. unemployment rate is around 6%, it’s called a “jobless recovery.” When the Canadian unemployment is about 6%, it’s celebrated as the lowest jobless rate in a generation. The fact is that the U.S. economy, even its worst years, is still better than most other economies during their best years.
These are no small potatoes, we can quibble all day about what welfare program to support or not, but (involuntary) unemployment is a large and permanent waste on the economy, with no benefactors at all. It is also an economic indicator that directly concerns the poor. One may want Canada’s healthcare system, or Europe’s worker protection ‘rights’, but if unemployment is high it falls most heavily on the poor.
This is why I am not persuaded by Canada’s, Europe’s or Scandinavia’s economic model, we can argue to the sun comes out about whether we need more or less welfare, but when you have 6%+, 10%+, and 15%+ unemployment, your economy is clearly inferior to one that has 4%+ (and if you add in the minority unemployment rate, which is usually double and sometimes triple the average unemployment rate, those countries become downright dreadful to brown people like myself).