How many liberal myths can a mainstream news announcer cram into one innocent, 90-second, top-of-the-hour news briefing? On WABC’s New York affiliate one recent December evening, I counted eight.
First the news reader (as they more appropriately call them in Japan) cheerfully announced that seasonal hiring—inventory control agents, sales clerks, deliverymen—was way up this year compared to last year; that increased holiday spending was a sign the economy was improving; and that goods being purchased in the U.S. are unfortunately being made more often overseas.
There’s three myths right there: (1) elevated part-time hiring reflects economic health; (2) consumer spending drives growth; and (3) trade imbalances are harmful.
(1) That retailers are hiring more temporary help isn’t a sign the economy is thriving; it’s a sign there are more underemployed workers taking part-time work below their skill level. If permanent, full-time employment were stable, we wouldn’t see such a leap in short-term hiring during peak economic season. Increased part-time hiring also reflects employers’ reluctance to take on “full-time,” 30-hour-a-week employees whom they must soon provide health insurance per Obamacare. read more »