Krauthammer’s Take

From Friday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the January numbers from the Labor Department:

And I think the reason unemployment goes down is the huge number of Americans who drop out of the labor force. In fact, the rate at which — the percentage of — Americans adults [participate] in the labor market today, is the lowest in 26 years. That implies there are a lot of people who have quit looking.

There is a high percentage of unemployed who are unemployed for a half year or more, chronic unemployment that generally you don’t have in the U.S. but you have a lot of in Europe. That implies there is a whole cohort of people, probably older, who may not be employable again either because they can’t get re-skilled as it were or [there is] a housing issue.

If your mortgage is underwater and you can’t sell a house, and there are jobs that are opening up in America — traditionally in America you pack up and leave. If you are stuck in the same location, in a place like, say, Detroit where jobs are falling away and there are job openings elsewhere, you are stuck because of skills or location. When you add them together, you have this chronic unemployment issue which is new in this country. …

And we are in the middle of a slow oil shock. … Two years ago it was under $30 a barrel, now over $90. That is an inherent tax on every American that goes overseas and ends up in places like Russia and Saudi Arabia. And that is a huge anchor on the economy struggling to get going.

On the unrest in Egypt:

I do not understand why the administration, starting with Robert Gibbs on Monday, [is] saying that a new government, a provisional government, would have to include non-secular elements, meaning religious elements, meaning the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the equivalent of the mullahs in Iran. That is incomprehensible. It might happen, but why should we be pushing it, legitimizing it, and demanding it? It makes no sense at all.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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