Happy Labor Day?

6 09 2010

Apocalypse by Josee-holland Eclipse

L.A. Times delivers the “happy” statistics on the unemployed this Labor Day.  Not pretty, but not surprising either.  A pull quote:

“Granted, the situation was worse in the last three months of 2009, when 10% of the country was unemployed. But painfully slow economic growth and even slower hiring has scarcely improved matters since then. And now the country’s workforce finds itself in an unusually uncomfortable position: For the first time since the Depression, unemployment is likely to be above 9.5% for two consecutive Labor Days.”

All the journalists, pundits, and politicians blowing smoke up our asses for most of this year are smacked with the reality that we are headed for the double dip–and there is not much anyone can do to prevent it.

Of course, other politicians, and the wannabes, are surfing the adversity wave with promises of, “reelect (or elect) me, and I will increase the jobs.”  In employment-strapped California (Ranked No. 3 for highest unemployment in the nation), its Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman singing that tune.  While this talk seems to have launched Whitman ahead of her competition–and with competition like Jerry Brown, this is not difficult–Fiorina is slightly behind the abysmal Barbara Boxer in the polls; this is California, after all.

In No. 2 Nevada, the Las Vegas Sun editorial does the usual partisan blame game: Democrats are trying hard–it’s the Republicans fault.  But 99-week extensions on unemployment have not produced more jobs, or motivation in the unemployed to look for work; so that argument is full of holes.

Now the “on top of it from Day 1” Obama administration announced a $50 billion infrastructure plan to create jobs.  From CNN.com, Obama plans big economic push: too little, too late? However, the journalists of CNN ask the right questions.  When backed into a corner on how much job creation more spending (and that’s exactly what this is) will accomplish, the truth comes out.  From the article, emphasis mine:

“[A] senior administration official acknowledged that the infrastructure package will not add any new jobs until at least 2011.’This is not a stimulus, immediate-jobs plan,’ one senior official said. ‘This is a six-year reauthorization (of transportation projects) that is front-loaded’ with money to try and spark the economy once Congress passes it.”

Well, if the editorial writer from the Las Vegas Sun is correct in his assessment, then that will never happen–and definitely not before the mid-term elections.  The CNN article goes on to say that the Democrats plan to use the “blame Bush” strategy to explain away why they are inept and incapable of doing anything about the economy except try to spend their way out of it.

Time for me to have a heart-to-heart with my aunts and uncles who survived the Depression era; they’ll have better ideas–and maybe even some solutions–than any economist or politician out there, whatever the party label.

Too little, too late indeed.



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