LOS ANGELES – Jobs. They seem to have become the Claude Rains of “Invisible Man” movie-fame for the United States and much of Europe – in other words, invisible.
Last week’s shockingly low jobs report, which threw a punch into the gut of the U.S. economy sent politicians from cities to the Capitol, business owners and regular folks like you and me into a “scratch my head and wonder what the heck is going on” mode. I’d use a different word than “heck” and it really doesn’t start with an “h” but what is going on?
With only 69,000 jobs created and coming on the heels of revised downward job numbers from the previous two months, we can continue to say this is the “Great Recession.” For far too many it is the second “Great Depression.”
Cities and states are laying off left and right – and we’re not talking political leanings here – except maybe in Wisconsin. Those public workers actually contribute to the U.S. economy, but not when they don’t have a paycheck to deposit. And the long-term unemployed continue to grow, helping to contribute to an uptick in the unemployment rate to 8.2 percent. And the stock market? The Dow plunged nearly 275 points Friday, June 1, in its worst day of the year. At least it didn’t happen on the 68th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day on June 6 when we did have at least a fighting chance.
In last week’s Wall Street Journal’s Friday edition, it was nothing but economic doom and gloom across the world. Greece, obviously, but also South Korea and Australia appear to be showing some weakness in their economies.
Europe continues to hobble the U.S. economy because of uncertainty over what their leaders are actually trying to accomplish. One wishes they would simply make up their minds so investors could make up theirs, too.
And speaking of making up its mind, the Obama administration could do more than a little mind-melding as well. You want to win this fall? It’s pretty darn simple. Get people back to work.
And as the host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” pointed out in a recent Politico piece, Joe Scarborough said that Obama has “five months left to prove that his policies have reversed an economic slide that he inherited in 2008…(his) argument keeps getting tougher to make every month, with the backdrop of an economy that seems to growing weaker by the day.”
In other words, Mr. President, go out daily and push for infrastructure repairs for cities and states and if the Republican-controlled House does not go along with it, come out the next day with another idea to put Americans back to work and on and on and on. This country needs a massive jobs bill that will additionally bring in tax revenue to help reduce the deficit. Word of advice to Obama, get your citizens, neighbors, family and yourself back to work.
Job Worker Photo by WSDOT2