An Awful Juxtaposition On Jobs

Last night, Vice President Biden spoke about an incident where his father had to leave home to find a new job, but reassured his young son that everything was going to be fine.  “For the rest of our lives, my sister and my brothers — for the rest of our lives, my dad never failed to remind us that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck,” Biden said.  “It is about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in the community.  It’s about being able to look your child in the eye and say, ‘Honey, it’s going to be OK,’ and mean it and know it’s true.”

I think Biden is right — jobs are about self-worth, pride, and much more than a paycheck.  That is why today’s very bleak jobs report numbers are such a devastating blow for President Obama.  Only 96,000 new non-farm jobs were created in August, and the already poor jobs numbers for June and July were revised downward.  Even worse, 368,000 people who had been looking for a job stopped looking, and the total number of people in the workforce dropped to its lowest level in 31 years.  The unemployment rate fell slightly, to 8.1 percent, but only because of the huge number of people who have stopped looking for a job.

Consider:  368,000 people — more than enough to fill Ohio Stadium three times — have just stopped looking for work.  Those people won’t know the dignity, respect, and sense of community that a job can bring, and they won’t be able to confidently reassure their worried young children that everything will be okay.

Last night, President Obama and Vice President Biden sought to reassure us that things will get better through their efforts.  This latest jobs report makes those efforts to reassure seem empty and baseless — to those unfortunate folks who have given up, and to the rest of us who have been praying for an economic rebound.  If anything, the devastating and depressing jobs report says that things are going from bad to worse.

6 thoughts on “An Awful Juxtaposition On Jobs

  1. I object to the implication in this post that the blame for disappointing job reports falls on Obama’s shoulders. What about the House Republicans who refuse to work with him on anything? Who voted against his jobs bill last year?

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  2. We have to do more than pray for an economic rebound. I agree with Richard, the blame can be shared. I’m going to continue to support Obama. Romney was the last man standing in the Republican primary; the GOP is stuck with him because they failed to produce a better candidate.

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  3. Perhaps this linked article provides something relevant http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444097904577535311649107428.html then again, maybe not.

    One more question about former President Clinton’s “compelling” “facts and figures” speech the other night. I heard he claimed that no president could have possibly dug the country out of the terrible mess the Republicans left President Obama in as of early 2009 – but I am wondering if former President Clinton disclosed in his “facts and figures speech” the fact that the recession had actually ended in June 2009, shortly after President Obama was sworn in and long before any actions he took (for example the so-called “stimulus”) would have had any measurable impact on the economy.

    In my opinion (and it is no more than that), the economy Reagan inherited from Jimmy Carter in 1980 was worse than the economy President Obama inherited in early 2009. In my opinion (and it is no more than that), the difference between the two recoveries is primarily due to the polar opposite approach that President Obama has taken as compared the the actions taken by President Reagan in the early ’80s. One thing is clear, if President Obama is re-elected, he will surely not win 49 of 50 states like Reagan did in 1984.

    It’s now time for a renewed onslaught of annoying political ads for the next 8 weeks. May we all survive it, and may the best team prevail.

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    • Reagan was opposed to raising taxes but during his tenure he did raise taxes because it was necessary for the country to survive. He increased self-employment taxes and increased payroll taxes as a “reform”. He also closed some loopholes. None of these measures were marketed as tax increases but they increased taxes nonetheless.

      I remember my disbelief in the purported end to the recession in 2009. For us it did not end in 2009. 2010 was the worst year our businesses had and the first time people were laid off, collecting unemployment, in spite of the fact that we did not take paychecks ourselves and did everything we could to keep everyone working. It was a rough year for a lot of the micro business owners we know, some of whom did not survive it.

      It is challenging to discern the truth in all of the political rhetoric; most of us do not have the time or the energy for the required investigative work.

      Simson Bowles should have gone for an up or down vote, it spread the burden across the socio-economic spectrum.

      We the People bear some responsibility in the quagmire we find ourselves in for overextending ourselves and using easy credit as an entitlement.

      It’s going to be a loooong 8 weeks and when we wake up on the 7th all of the problems will be waiting.

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      • We’re part of the mutual admiration society, Mike! I’ve been visiting blogs whose authors are more conservative than I am to better educate myself. What I have found is a bunch of fellow citizens whose concerns mirror mine. We’d be a lot better of if news commentators kept the seditious rhetoric down to a dull roar.

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