The Nation in the Bubble

Biden’s administration was dealt a cruel blow this week by an economic report that showed only 194,000 job gains in September. That is less than the forecast of 500,000. It was not due to job losses, but because more Americans are leaving the labor force. The unemployment rate fell from 5.2% to 4.8%. Inflation continued to rise, with supply-chain problems being exacerbated by domestic labor shortages.

What is the explanation for the strange spectacle of a country that seems to be stagnating when it should be?

Biden’s team believes that the answer ranges from the totally stupid (lack government stimulus following the biggest single spending spree ever recorded in the history of the world) to the simply foolish (the Delta variant, whose caseload has fallen by half). However, the truth is that we spent one year teaching Americans how to think about work as unsafe, unsuitable, or redundant.

We have first trained Americans who are vaccinated to think they’re unsafe. CBS News conducted a poll of unvaccinated Americans in July and found that only 48% were concerned about the possibility of infection by the delta variant. This is despite the fact COVID-19-infected Americans rarely need to be hospitalized, and almost never become ill. 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. So it’s not surprising that many people who have been vaccinated are reluctant to return to work.

The second is that we’ve banned unvaccinated people from returning to work. Biden believed that vaccination mandates would increase employment, as they make the vaccinated feel safer. Biden’s suggestion that vaccine mandates would increase employment by making the vaccinated feel safe has not worked. Instead, he took jobs from people who are always ready to return to work. Due to the mandates of vaccines, thousands have lost their jobs in critical industries like aviation and health care.

We’ve also trained Americans to think that working is redundant. A certain group of politicians rejoices when jobs are not filled. They say workers have been freed from their jobs and this is a net benefit. 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’ … Many people need to 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.

This is the last lesson that most Americans are learning. The majority of Americans desire to work. In fact, most Americans do actually work. Biden’s administration spending plans have been criticized for being too expensive. They are perceived as artificially suppressing economic growth and restricting opportunities. Biden, Democrats and others are betting on the long-term: increase government, foster dependence, shift the relationship between Americans government and government.

Biden said he would not shut down either the country or the economy, but he would shut down this virus. His progressive priorities have made the pandemic an issue with no clear endpoint, and he has shut down both the country’s economy as well as the nation to pursue his transformative vision. It is not an issue, the labor shortage that exists today is part of the plan. Biden did not promise transformation, he only promised normalcy. His approval ratings have plummeted. They should.

Ben Shapiro, 37, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and editor-in-chief of He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers “How To Destroy America In Three Easy Steps,” “The Right Side Of History,” and “Bullies.”

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