Happy Labor Day America!
America's Treacherous New Disease: Unemployment
by Peter Stern
Unemployment is the scourge hitting Americans hard, not H1N1 Swine Influenza.
Congress continues to do what it has done for generations --- NOT deal with real issues. People are hurting big-time and still Congress plays politics instead of moving quickly to provide jobs and injecting money directly into the economy while rebuilding our national worth/value.
Apparently, we still don't get it.
Since Colonial times Americans were raised on less government in our daily affairs, but now that generations of government interference created much of this economic mess we need it to correct some of the issues it created and before removing it from our lives.
Unemployment is the number 1 ailment and has injected fear and loathing into our daily lives, yet no one talks about the anger. There are more violent incidences now than several years ago. There are reasons. The economy has added the venom and state governments are cutting police, firefighters and other urgently needed personnel.
We now recognize the depression among the unemployed, but NOT the anger.
As a Disabled Veteran and patriotic American, I am pissed that our government refuses to acknowledge what is really happening here. People have no work, no income. They still are losing their homes and apartments because they have no jobs and income.
There are no miracles here. People can NOT spend what they do NOT have. Retail is hurting. Job markets continue to downsize because no one knows when this depression will be over. Outsourcing continues. More homes are going into foreclosure, even with the new loan options being provided. There also is a time=lapse element, e.g., it took me 5 months simply to refinance our home. Fortunately I could wait until the loan company got to my refinance, but many can NOT wait.
Unemployment hits single people hardest. If one person of a couple loses a job they still can live tightly on one salary. What does a single person do? How do you hang on to your home? How do you put food on your table?
The housing market is declining rapidly. Even with so many foreclosed homes up for sale, people can NOT afford them. Those who still have jobs don't know how long they will keep them, so no one wants to spend money on anything. Consequently, there is no money going into the dysfunctional economy.
This is basic economics, but no one sees it or cares to see it in Washington D.C. They still don't get it. Why should they get it? They are living well in Congress. They have their jobs and health care. They have their several homes, jobs and luxury vacations. So, why should our "leaders" see what most Americans are going through? There still is delusional thinking among government and the public re: unemployment.
First, unemployment has steadily been increasing since Bush took his 2nd term though no one viewed it, no one publicized it. There is no method for determining how many people are/have been unemployed for long periods of time. The numbers are askew and growing.
Another issue that few recognize is that older workers who normally retire are being forced to hold on to their jobs in this economic depression. That's right, DEPRESSION!!! It is NOT a recession, but a full scale depression. It will take another year for it to loosen-up a bit.
People are being told to remain busy if unemployed. It does NOT matter employability-wise if you remain busy during the unemployment period and most people need to focus on finding work. The problem is that there are no jobs to apply for. Some of the publicized jobs for many companies are merely to build up a file of potential candidates for the future, when companies may anticipate some additional job openings.
In addition, if you are over 55 in this job market, basically you are doomed in finding work because employers do NOT want old workers, no matter what the skill level and/or how productive they may be. No matter what the laws, there is blatant job age discrimination. Employers can hire 2 young workers for 1 older employee they get rid of.
We are in a "Catch-22" in that Obama and Congress bailed-out larger financial and corporate sectors, but the money provided has no real oversight. There is no money or paper trail that may be followed. There is no trickle-down.
Furthermore, many corporations are holding on to the money, getting interest on it. Many corporations are paying bonuses to their big-wigs.
The bail-outs were supposed to trickle-down to the people, but that has NOT happened.
One of Obama's promises was to create large numbers of new jobs. That has NOT happened either.
While Obama's stated hero is President Franklin Roosevelt, he has NOT followed in Roosevelt's footsteps. We could provide the money and incentives to generate jobs rebuilding our infrastructures, e.g., roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, dams, etc., which would provide jobs and put value back on a national and local level. But we are not doing that.
What is Congress waiting for? This is the primary issue, NOT healthcare.
Without jobs and income people can NOT afford to own or keep their homes. The housing market remains broken as more foreclosures keep the market down, while no jobs prevent people from keeping and buying homes.
It is obvious that as long as Washington D.C. does NOT grasp the scope and magnitude of this depression, we will remain in it for a longer period of time.
It becomes more apparent that we have NOT learned any real lessons from the past decade's economic, social and political declines. If we don't get it fast, we are doomed as a nation and as individuals.
Question: What does it take to get America back on-track?
Answer: A real plan of job creation, reducing national debt and cutting expenditures and then removing the government's tentacles from our daily lives.