Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is Long-Term Unemployment America’s Future?

Nice piece by Terrence Heath, cross-posted from AlterNet, on the folly of "jobless recovery."

"Like tea party activists and some of their fellow conservatives, Congress’ reckless inattention to the deficit makes me concerned for my children’s future and the kind of economy they will inherit if indifference continues. It’s not because Congress is spending too much. It’s because Congress is investing far too little where it’s needed most, to do what the private sector can’t right now — create jobs. The alternative is long-term unemployment, for a long, long time — and all its attendant consequences.

When I look at the current reality of long-term unemployment and the appalling failure of our elected officials to do anything about it — despite having ready options that might begin to offer some relief — I fear I’m looking at my children’s’ future, and that of millions of our children. As parent who’s already doing all I can, I’m asking: Why doesn’t somebody do something?"

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NYT:> How Democrats Fell Short in Job Creation

Economic Scene - How Democrats Fell Short in Job Creation -

"One of the political mysteries of the last year is why the White House and Congress have not been even more aggressive about trying to put people back to work.

"It is true that President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress favor more stimulus and have been stymied by Republicans and, more recently, conservative Blue Dog Democrats worried about the deficit. But it’s also true that Mr. Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have done less than they could have.

The president has not wrapped his arms around teachers, firefighters and other government workers facing layoffs and dared Republicans to oppose him, much as he did with financial reregulation. He has not pushed for a big new round of tax cuts, which could also put Republicans in a bind. And the White House has been slow to fill vacancies at the Federal Reserve that could go to officials who favor the Fed’s doing more to lift economic growth."

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Calls for Stimulus Yield to Deficit Concerns -

If you're looking for a righteous cause where you can be a gadfly, instigator and inveterate underdog, arguing for jobs in the face of deficit hawkery should prove to be a great choice.

It will be right up there, apparently, with the idea that America should have a responsible energy policy that reliably reduces carbon emissions.

And maybe the equally ridiculous ideas that we can prevent a double-dip recession and avoid catastrophic cuts in state and local government budgets, and oh yes, solve the foreclosure crisis.

As Mark Twain once said, "What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know, it's what we know for sure that just ain't so..."

Calls for Stimulus Yield to Deficit Concerns -

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