Tuesday, May 10, 2011

America to Washington: Is Anybody There?

Robert Reich on "the here and now economy – the one Americans are living in day to day", not the possible problems next year:
The Labor Department reported [May 6] that unemployment for April was 9 percent, up from 8.8 percent in March. And that doesn’t include people working part-time who’d rather have full-time jobs.

Yes, 244,000 jobs were added in March — but that’s chicken feed. We’d need 300,000 a month, every month for the next five years, simply to get unemployment back under 6 percent.

And the percent of working-age Americans actually working – 64.2 percent – hasn’t improved. It’s almost as low as it was in the depths of the recession. 13.7 million people remain out of work.

Hello Washington?
Paul Krugman has addressed the same thing: "Washington’s obsession with phantom menaces":
It’s not as if our political class is feeling complacent. On the contrary, D.C. economic discourse is saturated with fear: fear of a debt crisis, of runaway inflation, of a disastrous plunge in the dollar. Scare stories are very much on politicians’ minds.

Yet none of these scare stories reflect anything that is actually happening, or is likely to happen. And while the threats are imaginary, fear of these imaginary threats has real consequences: an absence of any action to deal with the real crisis, the suffering now being experienced by millions of jobless Americans and their families.
This is the real problem, and this is the one that nobody wants to talk about - in fact, this is the one that gets treated as if it doesn't exit...

As Han Solo used to say, I've got a bad feeling about this...

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