RUSH: This is yesterday, last night on Fox News Special Report Bret Baier the Fox News All Stars, George Will was talking about the economy and jobs and so forth. I read a couple of blogs today who thought that this was just the most brilliant thing they've ever heard. They thought, "My God, we haven't heard this before. Wow, this is really, really smart!" Here's what George Will said...
WILL: We've lowered the unemployment rate largely -- not entirely, but largely -- because workforce participation rate has gone down as more and more workers are being discouraged and are no longer counted anymore 'cause they're not looking for work. If the workforce participation rate today were as high as it was when the recession began, the unemployment rate would be 11.3%. We wouldn't be calling it a poor recovery because they wouldn't call it a recovery at all.
RUSH: What's that? What's that you say? I have? I've been talking about this for two years? I thought it was three that I was talking about it. But regardless, I have? I've been talking about it? You know, I thought it sounded familiar. Snerdley's reminding me that I've been talking about this for two or three years. But the guy that really started analyzing labor force participation rate and what the current unemployment rate would be was our old buddy Jim Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute.
He is starting to moderate a little bit on the dangers of debt. It's not that big a deal he says anymore, really. The Republicans need to get over this idea that debt is a problem, but it was Pethokoukis that first started exam, and Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge, who started looking at the labor force participation rate. We have done it. We've talked about this for at least two years. Folks, there are 91 million Americans not working in this country.
The number of people, the labor force has shrunk by nine million human beings since Obama took office.
This is the point they've been making the last two years. The unemployment rate is now low because the universe of people looking for a job has shrunk. The labor force participation rate is so low, that 91 million Americans not working. The unemployment rate of 7.3% is so bogus. Anyway, I read a couple of blogs today, and they just thought this was the most brilliant thing they had ever heard, and they had not heard it before, and they thought we were so lucky to have such smart people on our side on Fox who can figure this out.
I thought, "Well, it sounds familiar."
So thank you for reminding me, Mr. Snerdley.
RUSH: Okay, so I looked it up, ladies and gentlemen, the first known instance of me discussing the labor force participation rate and how it was driving down the unemployment rate. Get this: February 4th, 2011, almost three years ago, and numerous times since -- maybe so many times that many of you mighta gotten tired of hearing about it.
But we first mentioned the phenomena of people leaving the job market, the labor force participation rate shrinking, and that causing the unemployment rate to go down. Well, that's true. It's just fascinating. So these two bloggers, I guess 'cause it was on TV, thought, "Wow, I never thought of that! Wow, that's so smart." Anyway, I just wanted to get it on record, three years ago.