RUSH: Washington Post with a story today. And here's the headline: "Job Recovery Is Scant for Americans in Prime Working Years." The guy who writes the story is Peter Whoriskey. "The proportion of Americans in their prime working years who have jobs is smaller than it has been at any time in the 23 years before the recession, according to federal statistics, reflecting the profound and lasting effects that the downturn has had on the nation’s economic prospects. By this measure, the jobs situation has improved little in recent years." That's not news to you and me. "The percentage of workers between the ages of 25 and 54 who have jobs now stands at 75.7 percent, just a percentage point over what it was at the downturn’s worst, according to federal statistics. Before the recession the proportion hovered at 80 percent.
"During their prime years, Americans are supposed to be building careers and wealth to prepare for their retirement. Instead, as the indicator reveals, huge numbers are on the sidelines." And that is an important point. You don't get the years back. You don't get your prime years back. I remember, ladies and gentlemen, back in my day, before I had reached the age of 40, by the time you started high school, college, it was just a rule of thumb that you wouldn't know until you were 40 whether you'd really made it or not. As a general rule. There are always exceptions. The Ray Krocs, the entrepreneurs, the Zuckerberg types. There are always gonna be exceptions. But if you hadn't made it by 40, you were toast. That's the way it was.
I remember when I was in Sacramento, California, just to illustrate this, and I was buying what I considered my first house. It was actually the second. But the first one was just a dump and a shack. I didn't even want to buy it when I bought it. It was a dumb move but I got talked into it by a bunch of people I shouldn't have listened to, so I don't count that. My first house. I'm at the now closed Mesa's, which is a great restaurant and bar, and I'm talking to the developer of the real estate, "I'm gonna buy a house." And this is 1985, maybe '86. And he said to me, "You know, they don't let you make any money until you're 40." Now, what he meant was that's the way our society is. People under 40 just aren't invested in with huge salaries or compensation because you haven't proved yourself until you're 40. You haven't done enough. It's just the way it was when I was growing up. I don't think it's the case now, but every generation changes. But it was that way for many generations prior to mine, and it was mine.
I'm telling you this because if you blew off the years you were 30 to 35, you couldn't get 'em back. They were wasted and you could not get them back. An athlete, football player, National Football League, you hit 30, nine out of ten players and the team starts looking for your replacement. It's not personal. It's you lose speed skills, hand-eye coordination. Some positions can last a little longer like quarterback, but running back especially, 30, the wheels are gone. And if you have an injury and you miss a season or two, you can't get those years back. Here we have the proportion of Americans in their prime working years who have jobs is smaller than it has been in 23 years. Thank you, Mr. President. It's Obama's America.
During their prime years, Americans are supposed to be building careers and wealth to prepare for their retirement. Instead, huge numbers of people are on the sidelines, and they're not gonna get these years back. How does it manifest itself? Well, "the falloff has been sharpest for men." I can't believe this is in the Washington Post. But it is by a guy named Peter Whoriskey. "The falloff has been sharpest for men, for whom the proportion had been on a slow decline before the recession. The percentage of prime-age men who are working is smaller now than it has been in any time before the recession, going all the way back to 1948." Can I tell you that again?
"The percentage of prime-age men who are working is smaller now than it has been in any time before the recession, going all the way back to 1948." This is according to federal statistics. "The proportion of prime-age women is at a low not seen since 1988." Now, what happens when these people hit retirement age? They're not gonna have contributed much of anything because they'll not have worked in key earning years where their earning potential is at its highest. I'm not trying to be a downer. I live in Realville, and I'm hell-bent here on people understanding exactly who Barack Obama is.
I don't think this guy ought to get 10% of the vote if there were an election today. It is an utter disaster, what's happened, and what is happening.