The dominant discourse in national American politics these days is a discourse on deficits. The leadership of the Republican Party, emboldened by their mid-term capture of the House, regularly informs us that “we are broke, and that we need to do something about it.” By “we,” they invariably mean the federal government. By ‘broke,” they mean the scale of borrowing currently necessary to balance the federal government’s books. By “doing something about it,” they mean the wholesale cutting of a swathe of discretionary public programs: $61 billion worth of such cutting if the mainstream Republican politicians have their way, $100 billion if the Tea Party agenda
A little over a month ago my husband Rich Silverstein and I launched our One Job For America initiative on the Huffington Post. 600 comments appeared at the time which indicates to me that regardless of what people thought of our idea it’s one that provoked a good deal of conversation. Since then we’ve had over 10,000 visitors to our One Job For America website. And to date nearly 160 businesses from all over the country have made a pledge to create one new
“And if all others accepted the lie which the party imposed — if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became the truth.” ~ George Orwell, 1984 (published in 1949)
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was in town yesterday (specifically, at Stanford’s Hoover Institute where he could surround himself with sympathetic Republicans) to tell this whopper: “Cutting the federal deficit will create jobs.”
It’s not true. Cutting the deficit will creates fewer jobs. Less government spending reduces overall demand. This is particularly worrisome when, as now, consumers and businesses are still holding
In the last couple of years our country has elected our first black president, and witnessed the appointments of our first Latina Supreme court justice and our first openly gay White House Social Secretary. After centuries marked by slavery, segregation and other forms of legalized inequality it seemed as though our country was finally headed in a direction in which fewer groups would feel the need to request federal civil rights protection simply to survive. But recently progress was tapped on the shoulder by our friend, cold, hard reality and told, “Not so fast.”
Last week Representative Hank Johnson introduced legislation that would add another group to those already protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act: the unemployed. The Fair Employment Act of 2011 would make discrimination against the unemployed a civil rights violation, on par with discrimination on the basis of race or gender.
The reason? Because just as some signs outside of restaurants, stores and job postings used to declare “No Coloreds Allowed,” some employers are now declaring, “No Unemployed Allowed.” (Click here to see a list of current
You may think you are having problems, but did it occur to you that you could be having solutions instead? I’ll bet you will be as angry as I was when it dawned on me the solutions to our current problems are freely available to us, but we are blind to them.
The naked truth is we already have all the resources necessary to improve our economy by trillions of dollars and create as many jobs as can be filled. Every major energy source throughout history has been quietly lying beneath the surface like a Mother Load of gold, oil, uranium, and gas, waiting to be discovered.
Eight trillion dollars is the conservative value of the immense intellectual capital, wisdom, and experience residing in our citizens, yet we have failed to notice it, much less monetize it. Why? Hubris.
We know it all and we know everything better than anyone, so why listen to anyone else? We still think of workers as unworthy cogs in a machine without any potential value to contribute outside their ordered tasks, as if we believed cars were only to be used to drive to work and could never be used for any other purpose.
People have an innate drive to contribute and to be helpful, yet somewhere along the path we decided the economics of mass production were more valuable. We didn’t realize it took the spirit and soul out of people once they made a few suggestions, hoping to be helpful, and their efforts were ignored.
While our collective experience cost a fortune to create, we turn others off, like putting an old hard drive in the closet that is still full of valuable information.
In most organizations the majority of the problems that existed decades ago persist, since no one listened to those who spoke of them, no one could bring them to the attention of those who had the ability to solve
The disaster in Japan is almost beyond comprehension. Without minimizing the scale of the humanitarian tragedy, it is already possible to discern the emerging economic debate.
Stock markets immediately anticipated the potential benefits to Japan’s construction industries and their suppliers. Policy makers in the U.K. and Europe, who are busy implementing austerity measures to curb budget deficits, should take note.
The valuable argument coming from the ashes of this crisis is simple: Japan can afford to rebuild.
The Bank of Japan is clear about
Remember the comedy film, “Failure to Launch,” where Matthew McConaughey played Tripp, a 35-year-old slacker living at home? That was back in 2006, when unemployment was below five percent, the real estate bubble was still inflating and the term “boomerang generation” had yet to become a household word.
Today, due to one of the weakest economies in a generation coupled with burgeoning student debt, many young (and not so young) adults have been forced to seek the refuge of their parents’ home. According to recent surveys, almost a third of adults age 34 and under are living with their parents. What the surveys don’t show is the toll it can take on familial relationships and
As spring dawns, the economy’s green shoots have been trampled once again, first by the economic fallout from Japan’s tsunami, and again by rising worldwide commodity prices.
The disruption of Japan’s production revealed the soft underbelly of globalization — the reliance on vulnerable global supply chains only as strong as their weakest link. Rising food and energy prices produce a toxic stew of inflation and unemployment.
This depressing news, of course, has political as well as economic consequences. Politically, it means that the incumbent party — Obama’s — faces even tougher going in 2012.
Economically, rising inflation makes it that much harder for the Federal Reserve to keep resorting to very low interest rates to levitate a sick
Even as President Obama and members of Congress celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I doubt they will dwell on the worst chapter in the history of the Emerald Isle — the Irish Famine of 1846 to 1850.
Yet shamrock-sporting politicians everywhere should pay heed to the depths of that calamity. An inadequate response and misplaced priorities of the government in London added immeasurably to the
Secretaries of Labor are often unstoppable cheerleaders for the job market, seeing blue skies ahead. Former US Representative, now cabinet secretary Hilda Solis has learned from two years on the job during tough economic times: No blue sky forecasts unless they are absolutely guaranteed. Here’s what she sounds like now: “I don’t think that right now the Federal Government or the Congress is in a position to say that we’re somehow going to be able to address all that. We’re all going to have to come to the table, all make hard decisions, and tighten our belt.”
Who can blame her? When the stimulus money for state and local governments ran out, public workers started to get laid
We just saw a pretty good ‘official’ unemployment report for February, wherein for the first time since April 2009 the official unemployment rate dropped below 9.0% (to 8.9%). However, the real unemployment rate, which is the only rate that really matters, remains at 17.8%, including all categories of the 28.4 million out-of-work Americans. The all-important “jobs gap” that needs to be filled in order to be at full employment in real terms is a staggering 20.4 million, and the number of workers unemployed a half year or longer is at least 10 million. Each of these figures is unprecedented in modern
The president should declare that he would sign a bill that contains substantial additional budget cuts — but only if it sets a trigger that activates them automatically after the unemployment stays at or below 7 percent for six months.
One can set the unemployment rate at some other figure (say, 7.25 percent) or the trigger period at some other interval (three months?), but the main features must remain: the recognition that (a) additional budget cuts at this point may stall the economic recovery, (b) unemployment is unacceptably high, (c) as the economy grows stronger, we must attend to the deficits in earnest, and (d) the president is irrevocably committed to attending to both jobs and deficit-cutting.
One may quibble and ask: what if there is some great disruption? Say, oil prices rise to $200 a barrel or… or… Congress of course could reverse itself, but the president should sign such a bill as soon as it reaches his desk.
Note that according to a February 2011 Gallup poll, 35% of Americans felt unemployment was the most important problem facing America; only 11% said the same of the deficit.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
Despite a modest downtick in the aggregate unemployment rate due in part to labor force withdrawals, U.S. labor markets remain in a deep recession. High levels of open unemployment and underemployment and nearly 7 million hidden unemployed dominate the scene. The recent release by the
The numbers are crawling. They are crawling slowly. Nonetheless, unemployment numbers are moving in the desired direction: down! My personal experience illustrates this, as I see clients and friends going back to work after being engaged in a job search for months — even years. Recently, a concern that I have been hearing a lot, as a result, is how to successfully transition back into a full-time, structured work schedule after not having one for so long.
Below, I’ve outlined some tips here on how to make this transition a graceful one:
Go To Bed
I’ve noticed people frequently develop erratic sleeping patterns when structure and schedule are fluid and
The Obama administration has encouraged something of a lovefest between President Obama and Ronald Reagan. Gauzy stories about how highly our current president esteems the 40th — along with equally gauzy commentary about how these two share a talent for appealing to a wide swath of the American public — have been all over the news.
Time Magazine put a ribbon on the meme with its “Why Obama Loves Reagan” cover package about the Obama/Reagan “bromance,” with no less an eminence than presidential historian Douglas Brinkley proclaiming that Obama is “approaching the job in a Reaganesque fashion.”
Obama’s praise of Reagan leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of those who thought Reagan’s geniality was largely an act that masked eight years of making the rich richer and the poor poorer, including wasting untold billions on a crony-rewarding military spending binge.
But Obama seems to have overlooked Reagan’s greatest gift and most effective tactic: the ability to declare that virtually any triumph that happened while he was president, and even after, was his own; and that whatever went wrong was the fault of big government liberals.
The Romans called this post hoc ergo propter hoc — literally, “after the fact, therefore because of the fact.” When I was in college, my logic professor called this the Rooster Fallacy: The rooster crows when the sun comes up, so the rooster thinks he made the sun come up.
That was Ronald
The noted American philosopher and psychologist William James once said “the art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” This is often the case with investing — one must sometimes ignore issues that may be important in the long run in order to focus on what could have impact today. In fact, we need to look no further than Ben Bernanke for evidence of this strategy. As Chairman of the Fed, Bernanke is tasked with the dual mandate of controlling inflation while maintaining employment. But given the deep recession this country is emerging from and the scars it has inflicted upon the American workforce, Bernanke seems to be “overlooking” his inflation mandate in order to focus on restoring
Weekly Audit: Standoff Continues in WisconsinBy Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger The 14 Democratic state senators who fled Wisconsin to thwart the passage of a draconian anti-union have no plans to return. On Sunday night, a Wall Street Journal blog reported that the senators planned to return soon. Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly found it odd that the piece didn’t contain any direct quotes from the exiled Democrats. The claim that the Democrats were planning to return rested on a paraphrase of State
In 2009, Jeffrey Erb left his management position at a premier New York City design firm to branch out and start his own business, Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design, which creates artful urban landscapes and garden designs. Though Jeffrey plans to hire and expand his young business in the future, current economic conditions necessitate that he remain a “one man shop.”
Jeffrey’s situation is becoming increasingly common. The layoffs of the Great Recession have prompted more and more people to set off on their own, trying their hand at running a business. New data from the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity indicate that startup activity rose to record highs in 2008 and
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke knows it. Education and training are central to our nation’s economic competitiveness. In fact, he recently urged that budget deliberations recognize the benefits of programs that equip workers with needed skills — even when we must grapple with difficult decisions around balancing state and federal budgets.
But House leadership is taking action that will cut off our nose to spite our face. The House-passed Continuing Resolution, which would fund the government through the remainder of FY 2011, includes drastic cuts to adult, dislocated worker and youth programs under the Workforce Investment Act
How lunatic-fringe do the House Republicans have to be on budget cuts before President Obama starts calling them out on their plans? Evidently, they still have a ways to go, because the administration has been mostly silent on the sheer perversity of the Republican cuts.
The cuts proposed in the House budget would devastate spending on everything from Headstart (157,000 eligible kids denied services) to Pell grants (a 25 percent cut) and dozens of other programs including job training, energy assistance, safe food and clean water.
On paper, the Republicans would cut discretionary spending by “only” 14.3 percent, but since the fiscal year will be more than half over by the time the cuts become official, the actual cuts would be fully one-fourth — a staggering cut for any program to bear and an insane economic idea during a severe downturn. These cuts have nothing to do with reasonable fiscal policy; they are pure ideological retribution against government.
You would think that at some point, President Obama would be pointing to the recklessness of these proposals in a still soft economy. But instead, the president has doubled down on his bipartisanship.
Last Friday, in Miami, President Obama could found be sharing the spotlight with former Florida governor Jeb Bush, crowing about their shared views on educational reform.
Obama declared in his weekly address:
In other words, with Republicans slashing everything from Pell Grants to Headstart, there are no partisan differences on
Are we making progress on the jobs front? The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 192,000 new jobs in February (220,000 new jobs in the private sector and a drop in government employment), and a drop in the overall unemployment rate from 9 to 8.9 percent.
We’re heading in the right direction but far too slowly to make a real dent in unemployment. To get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent by 2014 we’d need over 300,000 new jobs a month, every month, between now and then.
Overall, the number of unemployed Americans — 13.7 million — is about the same as it was last month. The number working part time who’d rather be working full time — 8.3 million — is also about the same.
But to get to the most important trend you have to dig under the job numbers and look at what kind of new jobs are being created. That’s where the big problem lies.
The National Employment Law Project did just
The February unemployment rate is 8.9 percent. The broader Bureau of Labor Statistics U6 jobless rate is 15.9 percent. The report shows a net increase of 192,000 jobs. However, we need 127,000 new jobs every month to keep up with population
Charlie Sheen is definitely mad as hell and not taking it anymore. His angry calls into radio stations have evolved into wacky but entertaining (at least, until the allegations of spousal abuse and parental issues resurfaced) television interviews. TV is his friend. He has played a charming bad boy on two successful sitcoms; now he’s living that on a multi-channel, ever-repeated reality
Imagine yourself running a non-profit in one of the hardest hit economic areas of the country and feeling like you’re making progress with your mission of advancing economic development through a focus in innovation and entrepreneurship. Then, imagine the White House calling and saying that they were so excited by what they were observing in terms of the state of change in the region that they wanted to come look and learn for themselves. Well that’s exactly what happened here.
On February 22, President Obama visited Cleveland with an impressive team of five cabinet members and two senior administration officials for the first in a series of Winning the Future Forum on Small Business gatherings across the