Tell all your “Objectivist” friends and the libertarian gang at Reason magazine to break out the champagne. Americans may have skipped the movie of Atlas Shrugged, nor have many read any of Ayn Rand’s works, but they have taken the author’s advice anyway and gone John Galt, quitting the work force in record numbers. According to Zero Hedge, the latest figures show the labor participation rate at 35 year low.
Realistically, it’s even more than 35 because that figure reflects an employment bump when larger numbers of women joined the work force in the seventies and eighties. (They’re gone now, with or without Gloria Steinem.)
Currently a record 91.8 million Americans are no longer looking for work. That’s almost one and a half times the entire population of France.
Although I admit to libertarian tendencies, I don’t think any of us can celebrate because of this. It’s an economic disaster that should be blowing even Chris Christie off the front pages.
In fact, it’s much worse than that. It’s a human emotional disaster. Freud may have been wrong about a number of things, but he was right about this. Two mainstays that get us through life, other than religion, which Freud didn’t cotton to, are “love and work.” I don’t know about love, but the work part of our lives has been brutally kicked out from under us in the Obama years.