Dave Johnson: American Jobs Tragedy

The stimulus worked but was not enough. Here is the result:


This is known as “the scariest jobs chart,” from Calculated Risk.

Robert Reich: The Great Jobs Depression Worsens, and the Choice Ahead Grows Starker

The number of Americans willing and able to work but who cannot find a job hasn’t stopped growing since the start of 2008. All told, about 22 million Americans are now jobless. Add in those who are working part-time who’d rather be working full time, and we’re up to 25 million.

And because most families depend on two paychecks, the practical impact is almost double.

The DC and business elite don’t feel it. They explain the problem by blaming the people they put out of work, saying the unemployed are just lazy, and unemployment checks keep them from looking for work. They’re doing just fine and taking good care of each other.

Frank Sobatka describes one of the main reasons for the problem:

Frank’s right. Our choice is to manufacture or borrow (until we can’t.) Other countries are being smart on trade. Why aren’t we? We really, really need an industrial policy to guide us back to growth. We can build a new economy from old roots. I mean, what were we thinking? We turned our companies into buy-sell commodities with our country and people as “costs.” So we ended up caught in a machine that grinds us up. This has led to and attitude that citizens are an infestation, if you feed them they breed, like “the help” — you have to make them work, certainly no longer as the people in charge.

We thought moving a factory was “trade,” when it is really about evading democracy’s protections of We, the People. We didn’t see that Wall Street was at war with the real economy and We, the People, paying out $140 billion for bonuses but zero for America’s future. We thought getting back to “normal” was an option. But really, It’s The Economic Paradigm, Stupid!

Here’s another part of the problem: Tax cuts are theft. Our investment in infrastructure created the conditions that enable commerce to prosper – the bounty of democracy. In return we ask those who benefit most from the enterprise we enabled to share the return on our investment with all of us – through good wages, benefits and taxes.

What Can We Do?

Here are parts of the solution: We need a democracy tariff at the border to stop greedy employers from stepping around the wage, safety and environmental protections that We, the People fought to build. We need to tax the wealthy and Wall Street to pay to fix up the infrastructure and public structures that enabled their wealth. Tax Cuts Leave Nothing Behind — Infrastructure Investment Leaves Behind Infrastructure. Not only that, Tax Cuts Caused The Deficits, Therefore…

Where Are The Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs? It’s The JOBS, Stupid! Why DC Elites Don’t See This?

P.S. if you have time, please click the links.

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF. Sign up here for the CAF daily summary.

Read more: Manufacturing, Wall Street, Trade, Obs, Politics News

Slumping Economy Jeopardizes Democrats’ Election Prospects

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Frustrated, discouraged and just plain mad, a lot of people who have lost jobs – or know someone who has – now want to see the names of Democrats on pink slips. And that’s jeopardizing the party’s chances in Ohio and all across the country in November’s elections.

In this big swing-voting state alone, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland is in a dogfight for re-election. Senate candidate Lee Fisher may be even worse off. As many as six House Democrats could lose their jobs this fall. Recession-fueled animosity is dominating every race, giving Republicans hope of huge victories.

Read more: 2010 Midterm Elections, Economic Recovery, Midterm Elections, Economic Crisis, Politics News

Bill Lichtenstein: U.S. Jobs: Good News Is No News To Fox and Glenn Beck

News came this morning that the U.S. unemployment rate increased in August, to 9.6 from 9.5 percent in July. The job loss was less than Wall Street had predicted.

With the announcement came the good news that 67,000 new jobs were added to the private sector, including 28,000 in health care, 17,000 in business services and 19,000 in the construction industry. At the same time, the federal government laid off 110,000 workers, many of whom were hired for the census, trimming public spending.

This growing number of private sector jobs and the cutback of the federal workforce is exactly what the GOP/Tea Party has been demanding. But you would never know it from the instant response of the Fox media axis setting the agenda these days for GOP/Tea Party followers. The headline in Glenn Beck’s aptly named new “news site,” “The Blaze” shouted: “Wrong Way for Labor Day.”

Fox followed suit, burying any positive news in their story, “Jobless Rate Rises, Republicans Press Obama to ‘Change Course'”:

New employment figures released Friday fueled Republicans’ call for President Obama to replace his economic team and “change course,” as the president sought to put the best face on what many say is just more evidence of an economy stuck in neutral.

The unemployment rate rose in August for the first time in four months as more people entered the job market looking for work and struggled to find openings. The rate rose from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent. One Republican called the numbers ‘anemic.’

Only Lucia Mutikani at Reuters was evident first thing this morning in offering the good news that:

“U.S. employment fell for a third straight month in August, but the drop was far less than expected and private hiring surprised on the upside, easing pressure on the Federal Reserve to prop up economic growth . . .”

with the caveat that

“. . . the data will likely do little to take the political heat off President Barack Obama over his handling of the economy or improve the Democratic Party’s chances in November’s mid-term congressional elections.”

After nearly two years where the Obama administration demonstrated its preference for building consensus over getting effective legislation passed, there are many who hope that the administration has learned the lesson that short of leaving office, there is nothing President Obama can do to please the GOP/Tea Party. And while there may not be an opportunity to get major legislation passed before the November elections, the Obama administration certainly has the opportunity to “seize the narrative” of such important national issues as the economy, health care, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and religious and racial tolerance.

With just 60 days until the November 2, 2010 elections, they need to start now, or else suffer the Fox and Beck headlines on November 3rd.

Read more: U.S. Economy, Unemployment Rate, Economics, 2010 Elections, Economy, Fox Business Network, Unemployed, Unemployment, Economic Stimulus Package, Stimulus Package, Fox News Channel, Economic Crisis, Bill Lichtenstein, Barack Obama, Unemployment Numbers, Elections, Unemployment Insurance, Fox News, Economic Recovery, Glenn Beck, Economic Stimulus, Fox, Media News

Earl sweeps through Maritime Canada

HALIFAX, Canada (Reuters) – Hurricane Earl made landfall in Canada on Saturday after a series of scares along the U.S. East Coast, flooding roads, felling trees and cutting power to tens of thousands in the Atlantic province of Nova Scotia.

Obama says his economic policies halted "bleeding"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, previewing a big push on the U.S. economy next week, on Saturday defended policies that he said “have stopped the bleeding” and put the middle class on the road to recovery.

Afghan progress slower than first hoped, general says

KABUL (Reuters) – International forces in Afghanistan have at times overstated the progress being made this year, the deputy commander of the NATO-led force said on Saturday, with advances coming slower than originally expected.