We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Ben Shapiro: A nation in the bubble

How should we explain the bizarre spectacle of a nation that should be booming stagnating instead?

Ben Shapiro 2019.jpg
Syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro.
We are part of The Trust Project.

Last week, the Biden administration received just the latest slap in the face from cruel reality: An economic report showing just 194,000 jobs added in the month of September, short of the 500,000 jobs forecast by most economists. The unemployment rate dived to 4.8% from 5.2% -- not as a result of job gains, but as a result of more and more Americans dumping out of the work force. Meanwhile, inflation continued to pick up steam, with domestic labor shortages exacerbating supply-chain bottlenecks.

How should we explain the bizarre spectacle of a nation that should be booming stagnating instead?

For the Biden team, the answers range from the completely idiotic (lack of government stimulus, after the greatest single spending binge in world history) to the merely foolish (the delta variant, caseload from which has taken a nosedive). The actual answer, however, is simple: We have spent a year training Americans to believe that work is alternately unsafe, unavailable or unnecessary.

First, we have trained vaccinated Americans to believe that they are unsafe. According to a CBS News poll in July, just 48% of those who were unvaccinated said they were worried about infection from the delta variant, compared with 72% of fully vaccinated Americans -- this despite the fact that vaccinated Americans are rarely hospitalized and nearly never die from COVID-19. Yet Biden himself continues to trot out the lie that the vaccinated are not safe from the unvaccinated: In early September, he pushed for a national workplace vaccine mandate, claiming that it was necessary in order to "protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers." But that's precisely what the vaccine was for. It's no surprise, then, that so many vaccinated people -- the first people who should be eager to reenter workplaces -- are instead hesitant to go back to the office.

Second, we have barred the unvaccinated from going back to work. Biden suggested that vaccine mandates would heighten employment by making the vaccinated feel safe. But that obviously hasn't worked: Instead, all he's done is take jobs from those who were always willing to go back to work. Thousands of Americans have been laid off thanks to vaccine mandates, including in crucial industries like health care and air travel.

ADVERTISEMENT

Most importantly, we have trained Americans to believe that work is unnecessary. As jobs go unfilled, a certain contingent of politicians celebrates -- they say that workers have been unchained from their jobs, and that this is a net positive. In August 2020, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told Vice, "Only in America, when the president tweets about liberation, does he mean 'go back to work' ... I think a lot of people should just say no. We're not going back to work." Paying people to stay home, in this view, is merely incentivizing businesses to pay more for fewer hours, thus making life better for those who choose to work; for everyone else, the government dole.

Now, most Americans have rejected this last lesson. Most Americans want to work; most Americans are in fact working. Hence the unpopularity of the Biden administration spending plans, which most Americans feel artificially suppress economic growth and stifle opportunity. But Biden and Democrats are counting on the long-term play: grow government, breed dependence and ultimately shift the relationship between Americans and the government.

Biden promised he wouldn't shut down the economy or the country -- he'd shut down the virus. Instead, thanks to his progressive priorities, he's made the pandemic a problem with no logical endpoint in sight, shutting down the economy and the country in the process -- all in pursuit of his transformational vision. The current labor shortage is a feature of the plan, not a bug. But Biden didn't promise transformation in the 2020 race -- he promised a return to normalcy. And so, his approval ratings are cratering. As they ought to.

Ben Shapiro is a nationally syndicated columnist whose work appears regularly in the Grand Forks Herald.

What to read next
"I would never and did not advocate for any sort of end-run shenanigans. I wanted to push to make sure that shenanigans weren't being pushed in either direction," North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley said in response to a report that he advocated for recounts in the 2020 election in a message that reached former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Where is the outrage when college coaches see their multi-million dollar salaries subsidized by student loans? Where is the anger when billionaire professional sports team owners reach into taxpayers' wallets to subsidize a new stadium they could afford to build on their own?
"I know 125 years isn't a long time in the whole scope of human history, but it's pretty impressive for this part of the world. What's more impressive to me is that the town hasn't just stayed alive but has recently found new and interesting ways to stay lively."
It's hard to overstate how bringing chip-making to this country is good for this country. It would not only create many thousands of American jobs; it would ensure that other U.S. manufacturers don't have to beg Asians for semiconductors.