Originally published August 27 2013
The Obama economy: Growing number of destitute New Jersey residents found living in the woods
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) President Obama and his new best friend, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have a lot of words for political opponents who try to paint them as ineffectual leaders who don't have their constituents' best interests at heart.
And yet, when it comes to the actual application of policies that would provide the most benefit to those constituents, both of these men appear to be missing in action.
A case in point combines the president's lousy economic policies with Christie's inability to improve economic conditions in his own state.
How bad are things? A number of New Jersey residents have no choice but to live in hovels deep in the woods.
'People of the woods' and other victims of bad economies
According to My9NJ, a local TV news affiliate, one such "community" of "people of the woods" exists near Browns Mills.
The station's reporter, Meg Baker, had been told about the community by a viewer. Once gaining the community's trust, she was able to go there for an in-depth report.
Baker says some of the residents have lived in the deep woods for as long as 20 years.
"The people in this community don't have many other options. Most of them are unemployed and Burlington County doesn't offer homeless shelters to help get them out of the woods," she reported.
After talking to a number of the residents, Baker said she discovered that many of them are down on their luck, unable to find gainful employment or a means of subsistence. "They can't afford to pay rent or live on their own and many feel they are forced to be there," her report said.
Nationally, the unemployment rate is about 7.6 percent - not good. In New Jersey, it's a full percentage point higher. A year ago, it was 9.7 percent.
In South Jersey, "it's a problem in manufacturing," said Sohini Chowdhury, the Moody's Analytics economist who specializes in New Jersey, in an interview with Philly.com.
But there's more than just a drop in manufacturing driving unemployment in the state.
Underlying problems no one seems willing to address
According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, scores of New York residents fled their state between 2000 and 2010, taking with them $45.6 billion in personal income. California, during the same period, lost $29.4 billion, making it the second-biggest income loser. Illinois was third, losing $20.4 billion, and New Jersey lost $15.7 billion.
New Jersey is also the state with the second-highest tax rate, behind only Connecticut.
And property taxes in New Jersey are the highest in the land. What's more, Christie has raised them 18.6 percent since taking office.
Nationally, Obama's economy is moribund. While the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high, the president is now the owner of the slowest economic recovery in U.S. history.
An Olympic Gold
"If mismanaging an economic recovery were an Olympic event, President Obama would be standing on the middle platform right now, accepting the gold medal," writes Louis Woodhill, for Forbes.com. "Deep recessions are supposed to be followed by strong recoveries, but, under Obama, the worst recession since the 1930s has been followed by the slowest economic recovery in the history of the republic. In a very real sense, there has been no recovery at all - things are still getting worse."
Here are some more dismal figures reflective of the poor Obama economy:
-- Been to the gas station lately? When Obama took office in 2009, a gallon of gas averaged $1.85; today, the average is $3.53.
-- When Obama was inaugurated, our trade deficit with China was about $268 billion; last year it had risen to $315 billion.
-- When he took office, the average length of time an unemployed worker received unemployment benefits was 20 weeks; today it is 37. And the number of folks who have stopped looking for work altogether tops 8 million - more than in any four-year period.
-- Today, the U.S. poverty rate is 16 percent - higher than when the "War on Poverty" began during LBJ's administration in the mid-1960s.
Bad economic policies create poor economic conditions and low growth, and low growth creates few jobs and more poverty. The Obama and Christie economies are prime examples.
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