Do the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page editors read their own newspaper?
The frontpage headline story for the Labor Day weekend was ‘Low Wage Growth Challenges Fed.’ Despite an alleged 4.4% unemployment rate, which is full employment, there is no real growth in wages. The front page story pointed out correctly that an economy alleged to be expanding at full employment, but absent any wage growth or inflation, is ‘a puzzle that complicates Federal Reserve policy decisions.’
On the editorial page itself, under ‘letters to the editor,’ Professor Tony Lima of California State University points out what I have stressed for years: ‘The labor-force participation rate remains at historic lows. Much of the decrease is in the 18-34 age group, while participation rates have increased for those 55 and older.’ Professor Lima points out that more evidence that the American worker is not in good shape comes from the rising number of Americans who can only find part-time work, which leaves them with truncated incomes and no fringe benefits, such as health care.
Positioned right next to this factual letter is the lead editorial written by someone who read neither the front page story or the professor’s letter. The lead editorial declares: ‘The biggest labor story this Labor Day is the trouble that employers are having finding workers across the country.’ The Journal’s editorial page editors believe the solution to the alleged labor shortage is
This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on September 29, 2017.