My headline is not a wild exaggeration. The New York Times yesterday in its front page story on the newest jobs numbers talked about a report by Adam Hersh of the Center for American Progress. He had done a study to see when the U.S; would get back the number of jobs lost during the Great Recession. “The answer? 2037”. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/business/economy/08jobs.html
Is he nuts? The unemployment rate dropped a lot last month, from 9.8% to 9.4%. Is that wonderful news? The President said so. The problem is that the rise in the number of jobs was just 113,000. That wouldn’t account for a 0.4% drop. What’s happening is that hundreds of thousands more workers are telling the government they’re no longer looking for work. With them out of the work force the percent out of work appears to drop.
The same New York Times article said, “A measure called the real unemployment rate, which takes account of discouraged workers who have given up looking for work as well as those still actively seeking a job, stands at 16.7 percent.”
Bob Herbert today in the Times again called attention to the poorest workers, in particular to those families living on less than$11,000 a year. Believe it or not seventeen million people are living like that in the U.S.A. today. As Herbert points out welfare for them is very limited. (As you might recall Bill Clinton’s “reform” screwed welfare very thoroughly) *http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/opinion/08herbert.html?_r=1&hp
With the new even more pro-business Obama Chief of Staff being appointed (William “from the house of J.P.Morgan” Daley), we can see even more scapegoating of working people and ever more billions for the mega-rich.
So should we redouble of efforts to appeal to the better nature of our billionaire masters, show our sores of poverty more openly, ask for just a bit more? Screw that.
It is crucial for working people to clear their heads and stop begging for crumbs. The only program that makes sense is for the government to take the $600 billion its printing to give money to the banks and use it as a down payment to create jobs directly…Public Enterprise. I’ve said this many times before and will said it many times again.
Set up full time jobs 1) to fight catastrophic climate changes, 2) to treat hundreds of thousands of injured soldiers 3)to increase physical fitness and to fight tobacco addiction 4) figure out how badly Wall St. screwed up finances, 5) to employ people in the arts and so on and so forth.
At all levels people need to organize and demand jobs…NOW, no more excuses.