“America is starting to look comatose,” said the Economist.
We have 13 million unemployed. Four people are looking for work for every job opening. Of high school dropouts 30 percent are jobless. The average duration of unemployment is 40 weeks. We added 54,000 jobs in May, but McDonald’s created about half of them.
“The post-crisis imperative for banks and households to reduce their debt meant a V-shaped rebound was never on the cards. Even so, this is a terrible performance.” (The Economist: Excuses, excuses Please see our post-crisis consumer-debt chart below.)
Robert Reich calls unemployment harder on women, blacks, the less educated, the elderly. He cites their lack of political clout as the cause of their heightened financial problems.
“They lack the political connections and organizations that would demand policies to spur job growth. There’s no National Association of Unemployed People with a platoon of Washington lobbyists and a war chest of potential campaign contributions to get the attention of politicians.” (Robert Reich, LA Times: The Silent Jobless)
Is there really an economist who believes that you need a lobbyist to get a job? I wonder what lobbyist did he use to get the job at UC Berkeley?
HSH Associates says high food, energy, and commodity prices have slowed momentum. Manufacturing has been driving expansion. The consumer hasn’t been able to “pick the ball and run with it.” They cite falling home prices as a major buzz kill.
“That the value of perhaps your largest asset is under renewed pressure contributes to the feeling of economic claustrophobia, as the walls of debt you hold seem to be closing in around you.” (HSH Associates, Market Trends)
Anybody arguing that the 2409-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is driving new job growth or that we pursued this gargantuan task at the right time? If you do, then I suggest you call Mr. Reich. Maybe he will lobby his Washington friends. And get you a job at McDonald’s.