“Is this still America?” Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) asked rhetorically last Friday, as he and other members of the House Ways and Means Committee questioned IRS officials about the agency’s “targeting” scandal. With all due respect to the Congressman, here’s a rhetorical answer: this is Obama’s America, and it is unlike anything we’ve known before. And here are, perhaps, a couple of more pertinent questions that we should all be asking right now: do sufficient numbers of Americans actually see how our country has been transformed over the past four years or so, and do sufficient numbers of us care about it?
Conservative America has been ranting and raving over the past several days, as the truth of the Obama Administration’s IRS scandal slowly unfolds. “They Knew Last June” a headline at Drudgereport.Com stated, as it linked to a Wall Street Journal article suggesting that “high ranking” administration officials knew about the targeting of conservative and religious organizations last June in the midst of the President’s re-election campaign. Similarly, other groups and individuals compared the crisis to President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, and quickly concluded that Obama’s IRS scandal is far worse.
Objectively speaking, this scenario is horrific. Yet the indignant blog posts and impugning Facebook remarks quickly become irrelevant to a culture that neither understands, nor cares about the injustice of the IRS targeting certain people groups. And if you don’t think that it’s a “tough sell” to get people to actually care about this, consider these two realities:
Participation in America’s labor force is dreadfully low: The labor statistic that gets the most attention in the media on a regular basis is the unemployment rate, yet look beneath the headlines, and you’ll find a more enlightening figure known as the “labor force participation rate.” This data point offers a clear picture of what percentage of the population is working, and what percentage is – for whatever reason-not working. And for the past three years, the labor force participation rate has been just slightly over 60%, which is roughly a thirty year low.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.