Bush Tells Urban League Employment is Rising
After George Bush snubbed the NAACP, he appears before the Urban League with another partisan attack at the Democrats with lines like: “I know plenty of politicians assume they have your vote. But did they earn it, and do they deserve it?” and “Have the traditional solutions of the Democrat Party truly served the African-American people? There is an alternative this year. Take a look at my agenda.”
OK, he may have a point about the Democrats taking the black community for granted, but let’s take a look at his agenda. He starts off by touting his supposed tax cuts, which we know is really a tax shift imposing less of the burden on the rich and more on the middle class and the poor. But the following line caught my attention:
The role of government is to create an environment where people from all walks of life have a chance to realize their dream. And that’s precisely what is taking place in America. And the economy is better for it. And more people are finding work.
Employment for blacks has improved? Let’s look at the data in terms of overall employment, the employment-to-population ratio, and the unemployment rate. Black employment peaked in February 2000 at 15.624 million with the employment-to-population ratio hitting 61.7%. Black unemployment fell to 7.0% by April 2000. By the middle of 2003, however, employment was only 14.727 million with the employment-to-population ratio hitting 57.3% and the unemployment rate rising to 11.6%. Employment did rise to 14.909 million by March 2004 with a corresponding increase in the employment-to-population ratio and a decline in the unemployment rate. Since then, however, employment has declined to 14.833 million with the employment-to-population ratio now being only 57.0% and the unemployment rate rising back to 10.1%.
Did Bush realize who he was talking to? Is he that clueless as to the reality of the job market? Even if he is, one has to wonder who wrote this speech for him.