I don't understand the big fuss being made about the unemployment rate being high. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate on the first day of each year since 1982 averaged 6.4 percent. The current rate exceeds that average only by 1.8 percent. At the start of 2009, the end of G.W. Bush's term as president, it was 7.7 percent, 1.3 percent above the average. The unemployment rate during the time since 1982 has been as high as 10.4 percent in 1983 nearly two years into the Ronald Reagan presidency; it took more than four years to return to that average of 6.4 percent, only to climb back to 7.3 percent by the end of George H.W. Bush's term. It has gone as low as 4 percent in 2000 near the end of Bill Clinton's term as president.
I've only gone back 30 years, as going back any further presents an unnecessarily long look back in history with individual highs and lows being brought about by events like recovering from World War II, which led to several years of low unemployment, and the resignation of Richard Nixon, which led to a feeling of unrest in the country and high unemployment.
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The two wars we've just come out of did not afford us a long period of high employment because rather than sacrifice as a nation leading to shortages of manufactured goods our leaders chose to raid the national treasure, lower taxes and go into unrealistic debt to fund the wars and hire private contractors (one of the businesses of the then-vice president) to restore the infrastructure of the (oil producing) country we eventually defeated.