James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

How high unemployment undercuts Obama’s agenda

September 4, 2009

At the end of the 2000 film “The Perfect Storm”, a Gloucester swordfish boat captain (played by George Clooney) finally accepts that his crew won’t escape a monster hurricane in the North Atlantic. “She’s not gonna let us out,” he says as the trapped vessel moves from the eye of the storm and back into the raging winds.

The White House economic team can probably relate. The nation’s unemployment rate jumped to 9.7 percent in August, said the Labor Department, after dipping to 9.4 percent in July. “That drop in July had been too good to be true,” sighed Nigel Gault, the chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight. Merely the eye of the storm, perhaps.

To be sure, the pace of monthly job losses is abating, falling to 216,000 compared with a high of 741,000 in January. It now also seems unlikely that the unemployment rate will hit a post-World War II high of 10.8 percent. Good news all. But the employment declines do continue nonetheless, with more than 7 million jobs lost since the recession began in December 2007

Also continuing to decline is President Obama’s approval rating, which has plunged to 53 percent from 61 percent during the past three months, according to an average of polls calculated by RealClearPolitics. Almost nothing poisons a president’s popularity like high unemployment.

And why think that the job market or the president’s approval rating will improve dramatically during the next year or so? Let’s assume a snappy recovery in 2010 with GDP growth of 3.5 to 4 percent. That’s the JPMorgan forecast. But despite a mild V-shaped recovery, the firm’s economists still see an average unemployment rate of 9.4 percent in the fourth quarter of that year.

Even the superbulls at First Trust Advisors, looking for 4.5 percent GDP growth in 2010, don’t see unemployment breaking much below 8.5 percent. Keep in mind that those rates are almost double what Americans have come to expect the past two decades. It’s going to seem like a jobless recovery to many voters.

The labor market isn’t going to let Team Obama out. Its troubles will continue to drain the president’s popularity and perhaps result in large losses for congressional Democrats in the 2010 midterms. If Obama still wants to pass big change from a position of moderate bargaining strength — and while he still has maximum muscle on Capitol Hill — it needs to be now. This would mean centrist proposals like healthcare reform that would expand coverage while also making it easier for individuals to purchase their own private insurance, or a climate change bill where revenue from carbon emission allowance auctions would offset payroll taxes rather than given away to companies or spent by government.

Rahm Emanuel, White House chief staff, famously said that you “never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” With the moment of acute economic crisis past and a long “muddling through” begun, the president’s time of opportunity is nearing an end.

Comments

This commentary is spot on. It makes me glad that the president chose a centrist healthcare reform policy from the beginning rather than a liberal single payer system. Allowing people to choose for themselves whether they want private insurance or government insurance is the middle ground that can pass.

Posted by Kirk | Report as abusive
 

Unemployment will not improve in any significant way until the president addresses a trade policy that gives away access to our market for nothing in return. Whatever it takes – including protectionist tariffs – is what’s needed to restore a balance of trade in manufactured products and bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

 

While I am in favor of single payer, government run health insurance, Obama’s centrist effort will do.

Posted by Rgoalierob | Report as abusive
 

During the recent campaign Mr Obama touted his leadership abilities. Now, Mr President, let’s see some untainted unbiased leadership. Leadership means protection your home jobs and stopping the influx of cheap substandard products from China. There are some good products made in china, but they cost as much as things made here. Now is the time to throw out the party advisors, the whiz kids, and the let’s wait and see advisors. If you are going to be president, Mr Obama than be the president.

Posted by f belz | Report as abusive
 

Why is it that I read where unemployment is higher or highest since WWII when the fact is the military was never counted until Reagan added them. If you took the military out whats the unemployment rate then? Am I wrong or the only one who gets it?

 

For President Obama to solve the unemployment problem, he has to apply “Republican attitude” to his agenda. This means giving businesses the confidence that he will not tax them. That they will be free to profit from their ventures without the cloud of taxation hanging over them. Right now is not the time to consider taxes for businesses to hire workers again.

Posted by Frank Velasco | Report as abusive
 

Obama and his administration number one priority should be jobs. They have ignored the issue. Yes they gave the unemployed defensive measures such as extended benefits but never attacked it head-on. If the Obama administration use the same tactics as with health care then the situation would have been improved by now, I fault the administration by not setting their priorities correctly.

Posted by GG | Report as abusive
 

The real economy of the United States had been destroyed. we are fundamentally screwed up. Until you see re-industrialization of the United States, there will be continuous, permanent decline of this country to the third-world level. Collapse of the US dollar is the next step. Every common man feel it on daily basis however law makers and economists don’t get it.. Wake up and ask yourself “what’s come first? Country or something else?

Posted by CP | Report as abusive
 

obama isnt doing as well as i though he would of

 

I don’t live in the Wall Street world, but in REAL life South Carolina.Our state has lost jobs due to the increase in the minimum wage. Obama’s party pushed for the increase to help lower wage workers achieve parity.What is he going to give them now? Perhaps one of those “saved” jobs…

 

President Obama has a good team to handle the economic crisis and the White House will celebrate 60th anniversay of the People’s Republic of China(October 1st)China is doing its best to cooperate with US and other nations to try to resolve global economic crisis on earth.Let us have the virtue of patience to watch the developments in the coming months and years for a fair assessment of the economic policy of the White House.

 

How any President could even hope of being popular when so many young people who have been to college to better themselves and give something back to the world are left desperately trying to keep their houses, cars and jobs. Granted, consumption in the U.S. propably should be slowed for the sake of sustainability but the drastic sudden means of which a shift is being brought about is no doubt a cruel sadistic recipie for misery which offers punishment rather than incentives. High gas prices possibly even brought about artificially in part by excessive speculation, lingering student loan bills for useless diplomas and nickle and dime tax increases everywhere all while constantly being bombarded with stories of million dollar welfare salaries for bankers propably doesn’t help the Administation’s popularity any. Seriously, what is left of the dream? A future of government “make” work or joining the Army?

 

PEOPLE VOTE THEIR POCKET BOOK, IS THAT NOT HOW IT GOES? I REMEMBER BILL CLINTION…..ASK YOURSELF???? ARE YOU BETTER OFF NOW THAN FOUR YEARS AGO???? GUESS NOT> NEXT.

Posted by JOHN | Report as abusive
 

DOL official unemployment rate is 9.7%…BLS alternate unemployment U-6 tables rate is 16.8% – orinstead of 16 million unemployed- rather 27 million unemployed -based on current civilian labor force.DOL official figures also show a job loss of over 7.3 million jobs- September 2008- year over year- and seemingly these jobs will have to be regained- before any recovery sets in..? at least it seems that way.Yet, Wall St and financial institutions will tout forever that recession has ended- for individuals to jump on the bandwagon and buy stocks- -which is Wall St gains- they get commission for any sold/bought stock- so why not tout your own horn…Reality however, is much different- hang on to every dollar as long as you can. No spending- nothing.Michael

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive
 

I have been unemployed without a professional paycheck for Six (6) Years as of September 1, 2009 after 15 years of accelerating performance and increasing professional responsibilities from entry level to senior managment. I have received (“0″) unemployment benefits as I was a (“CONTRACT”) and now that my retirement and childs college fund is (“100%”) LIQUIDATED, I do not receive any MEDICADE, WELFARE, CHILD CARE SUPPORT, JOB ASSISTANCE or FOOD SUPPORT. I have had 14 addresses in the last 3 years which legally defines (HOMELESSNESS). I am 42 years old and am considered to have one of the highest IQ’s in the United States.If I can not make it in this environment, you can not.

 

Unfortunately your headline for your blog doesn’t tell the whole story. We know that a rebound in unemployment follows a recovery in the marketplace.Too bad you didn’t spend more time on the upswing in manufacturing and housing that also made news.Don’t you think it’s time to spend more time on the positive rather than the negative?I suppose I’ve answered my own question. Poor journalists always look for the slime in the market rather than the opportunities that lie ahead for the country as whole.

Posted by Amanda | Report as abusive
 

He can’t help that, it is the neo-liberal, free market religion of the last twenty odd years that brought us there.Manufacturing jobs have all gone and, what is and will be is due to leaveas well because the free market dictates our businesses to do so at the ciost of our employment. And…funny enough it is our market that pays for it by consuming it and because of competition pushing the proceeds of actual work down and down and down.Did’nt marx warn us for that and…who still believe in Marx?

Posted by Jens Bos | Report as abusive
 

In order for socialism to work, we must have relatively high unemployment. Then the government steps in and renders aid to all the unemployed and their families. This is just the beginning of the movement. It’ll play out in perfect textbook style.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive
 

Now let’s be reasonable, you can’t blame Obama for the unemployment which began before he took office, the unemployment ball was already in motion long before, it just got worse on his watch which will take time to improve the same way it took to began. No matter who became President this was going to happen reguardless. Let’s just pray he can help put an end to it in the time he has left, it’s only been 9 months. Americans want everything yesterday,not willing to wait, no one seems to be putting any blame on Bush for creating this mess with a 8 year head start on Obama. Something to THINK ABOUT! A quaterback coming off the bench in the 1st quater being down 24 points, can’t be blamed for those points, it’s what he does there after that’s on his shoulders for the next 3-quaters. Obama has 3-more yrs to clean-up the mess handed him, at least give him that time to make a “Change”/Difference! PRAY, don’t BLAME !!

Posted by Big Ron In Costa Rica | Report as abusive
 

I’m not sure what exactly a president is supposed to do to save jobs… should he put together gov’t ‘make work’ projects tat are decried as pork, or protectionist measures that are countered by other nations and ultimately costing more jobs. It’s on industry’s shoulders to rebuild the job market; after all, isn’t it mega-corps laying off 10k people at a shot to make the bottom-line look artificially better the real problem? But then again, I suppose it’s Obama’s (personally, I gather) problem that corporate America has so much sway over political and economic conditions in America. Yup, all his fault. Phone your congressman and give them shit, and tell them to make things work… don’t funnel vitriol at Obama for the economy.

Posted by the Shah | Report as abusive
 

Unemployment went down in July but back up in August based on January. Has anyone considered the unemployment ran out for those that applied in January, even with the extension? Those that were on it, lost it and are still unemployed with no resources now and no job prospects to gain. They are screwed with no more help from Obama or anyone else. Our Country, our economy, our health insurance, our jobs, our homes, our American lifestyle are all in jeapardy with this Administration. Our children and their children’s future are only paved with paybacks from this Administration. The money and handouts are not free. The American people have to pay it back and it will take generations as fast as he’s shelling it out. We need Americanism, not Socialism. We need Patriotism, not division of the masses. There is so much fighting going on here, we are not working together. Reganomics got us ahead, Bill Clinton didn’t do crap. Congress and Clinton’s Administration were butting heads and no one made progress. Clinton didn’t do it, Reagan did. Do your research people. Believe nothing of what you read and half of what you see. Politics and politicians lie…it’s how they get elected.

Posted by Debbie Donaldson | Report as abusive
 

Perhaps it might be a bit more honest if we knew the real unemployment figure. What is given to us as the bottom line is NOT. Let’s be honest here and add the number of people whose benefits have run out and who are still NOT employed! I know a few of them and they are being subsidized by family and charities.

Posted by Beverly | Report as abusive
 

Obama is just like Bush.. another puppet

Posted by Steve in NY | Report as abusive
 

Heck boys, just grow you something a little extra, who needs an unemployment check?

Posted by Stinky | Report as abusive
 

Lets stay focused here this all got started long before Obama even thought about becoming President, back in the 8 years of the Bush era, and Paulson was the one/gangster who ask for the cash to start the bailouts aka taxpayer rip off and that became a snow ball effect to this point, The ship was already sinking when Obama took over and there’s no way in hell in 9-months was all this created, do the math Lets see where we are this time next year & if worse then blame Obama, but now he was dealt a bad hand to began with,it is what it is a bad hand to begin with 9-months ago! What would have done if it were you in his place with what he had to start with ?? Blessings To All.

Posted by Big Ron In Costa Rica | Report as abusive
 

One of the posters said “don’t blame one Obama or another said Bush? How about all of them! Clinton started the events which led up to the credit default swaps, Bush spent over a trillion dollars a year on two wars. Hell, the last four presidents sold our country to the Chinese. Perot was right! The lobby groups need to go, we need term limits on senators and house members and there needs to be fundamental change in our federal government.

Posted by David | Report as abusive
 

Nope,High on interverntions undercuts Obama’s agenda…It is NEVER a roll of any administration to create jobs. Businesses create jobs, but our government failed to see that…Only if our government would ease regulations, give incentives tax breaks to new starting firms and ALLOW them to compete in a True, Free Market Economy that might just work.It is too COSTLY already to produce anything anymore here in the states!We consume too much and don’t produce anymore…

Posted by Ordinary Taxpayer Joe | Report as abusive
 

Obama had a chance to break clean at the very start but instead decided he would be a wall st sock puppet. Appointing Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, what did you expect? It’s back to the 90′s! Whee! This is going to be fun!

Posted by jason | Report as abusive
 

America has been hijacked by wall street. I find it utterly amazing that the govt gives away hundreds of billions to assist banks and does not make it mandatory that it must tell it where all the money is going?Yet GM nd Chrysler despite their woes are put through a much more harrowing process, why not the banks. In austrlia in the 70′s a credit union (semi-bank) collapsed call the Pyramid credit union and as of 10 years ago 140+ people due to that relatively minor collapse committed suicide. The management got away scott free. How many Americans have been pushed over the edge, now let alone of the next 10 years. Why havent the bad regulators lost their jobs and houses too.From an outsider point of view you debate on healthcare is wacky. If I am uninsured in austrlia and had a car accident and its cost $300k, the state pays. Insured I mores choice, speed and better options but I am not left out the cold like in the USA. You spend 14% of gdp on health and we spend 8% and live 2-3 years longer.Do a search on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme PBS in Australia and you will know your government is in the pockets of big pharma, this will blow most Americans . Comapnies do not have to offe r health plans as the sate does it here much better as does Europe. Eat living foods and send Big Pharma broke.Also if USA companies would respond to more overseas inquiries I reckon you would generate hundred of billions in extra sales. Even if you are small you can do it. I export small machines I make to 20 countries in my small business.To educate the USA follow the example at http://www.marvacollins.comYour only vote you really have is how and with whom you spend your next dollar.

Posted by thomas mitchwll | Report as abusive
 

People are going to have to learn to live with less. And they should, because our ridiculously high standards of living may well be making it impossible for future generations to live at all by creating environmental an food supply catastrophes. World oil production will soon no longer be able to increase, and we face an energy supply crisis in the fairly near future according to a study commissioned by the Energy Information Administration in 2005. This will impact our lifestyle, making commuting long distances (or at all) prohibitively expensive for most people. Already (as of 2007), one-sixth of the average income is spent on transportation, $8,000/year. Time to go back to growing food and living off the land. If we lived one family per room, our needed income would be far less, our energy consumption far less. If we turned lawns, vacant lots, any free space into gardens our suburban and urban areas could be self-sufficient in food. We must follow the example of Cuba in their adaptation to the new future of high unemployment and underemployment and expensive or unavailable energy sources. If we don’t adapt now, we’ll just be forced into it anyway in the near future.

Posted by J. R. Carr | Report as abusive
 

LIARS !!!US unemployment data = 9,7%. ( released today, corresponding to Aug )216.000 employments destroyed in one month.15.000.000 americans are unemployed.Wall Street is up 1%.Europe indexes cheer up this data with heavy gains.If you take a look at CAC-40 or DAX XETRA daily chart for today, the movements are exact, 100% coincident. A light loss when the figure is released and a “magic” rally during the last hours of session.Someone talked once about the “invisible hand” that regulates markets. Adam, let me tell you, you were right !!!… That hand exists !!!… It is called MANIPULATION.Huge STIMULUS PLANS put into the system with our tax money, huge banks rescued but still rewarding their executives with high bonuses. Quarterly banking results made up with big markets gains due to derivatives operations… something heard about the REAL ECONOMY recovery ???…Not at all.I posted last week an article called: ” ARE YOU UNEMPLOYED ???…CHEER UP !!! WALL STREET is UP 60% “… Now I continue my description of reality with this ” LIARS”.My aim is to publish anyhow something different to those comments of “free and objective” journalists and columnists that show today that UNEMPLOYMENT DATA was BETTER THAN EXPECTED…Please, what does it mean BETTER THAN EXPECTED ???In July, + 185.000 employments destroyed.In August, +216.000 additional employments destroyed.TOTAL: 15.000.000 AMERICANS unemployed.Of course, one day we won´t lose any,…but you know why ???… Because if 100 people work, and in 6 months 99 lost their job, next month only 1 will lose it… Let´s cheer up !!!… RECESSION is over…What a nice figure of UNEMPLOYMENT !!!…RECOVERY is near !!!…we touched the BOTTOM of the crisis !!!LIARS!!!…My only doubt now is:Till when are you going to be able to keep this BIG LIE ??Are you sure you know what you are doing ???… Or maybe, we are going into a further collapse… I know the answer:A QUESTION OF TIME. YOU ARE PLAYING AGAINST TIME. YOU THINK THAT OBVIOUSLY ONE DAY, THINGS WILL IMPROVE… WHEN ??? you have no idea, but your hope is that it will be soon.Let´s hope then …By the way, “YOU” means CENTRAL BANKS, GOVERNMENTS, STIMULUS PLANS, FEDs, …Jose Luis Revilla EscuderoChairman & CEOWWShares, Inc-Global Wealth Management-www.worldwideshares.blogspot. com

 

@Debbie DonaldsonIt\’s Reagonomics and Thatcherism that created the current problems in the first place. Finance has become far too important. It is the financial ecomomics (Supply side economy) that did away with our jobs and sent them to China India (after all the free market dictates our businesses to do so, we must compete to survive and keep share holders happy).But….the differences (1 in 10/20) for similar work are far too big, here Marx comes in place (the army of unemployed in the world pull the income and chances for the rest down)What Obama should do, is what he set out to do, enormous investment in new technologies, industry and the like, after all the 1000 billion dollars spent in Iraq would have paid for all of this, thanks Bush for wasting so much money (Kyoto would have cost a lot less…)!Americans should see through the lies that are constantly poured out over the people from conservative sources and that now hamper a proper recovery, because of financial constraints.One final thing…protection…for the whole western world against unfair trade practises should be imminent… I think a levy of 50% on the FOB value of imported goods AND SERVICES (Internet!!!) from the low wage countries on goods that appear directly in our shops, should be applied.Best regards,JB

Posted by Jens Bos | Report as abusive
 

To Gene Scalla;If you factor the military, who by the way are all gainfully employed, out of the employment figures, then all govt employees, local, state and federal, should be factored out.

Posted by Peter Eldridge | Report as abusive
 

The highest unemployment in 26 years (President Carter), this is our closest comparison. It will not be President Bush, not President Reagan. Having to work odd jobs through the 70′s and early 80′s, it may have been worse unemployment than now (but wait it could get there). But, the real comparison isn’t the economy; it is the attitude of the nation. The dissatisfaction and hate for the country that has been stirred up by the “fill in your own terminology”. Just to to get where they have control. This is the most obvious part of the two common eras. President Carter and President Obama have so much in common; don’t expect a different result. I didn’t vote for President Reagan, but I am sure glad someone else did!

Posted by Ray Mailhot | Report as abusive
 

well, I don’t think this is the present president’s fault or due to faulty policies of his. this was done by the wrong planning of the previous 8 years improper policies.so don’t blame the first guy you see in sight. blame all to bush and chaney … team … which made the world a worse place to live and …….

Posted by Azam | Report as abusive
 

“fill in your own terminology”. is n’t that politics in general?Carter had the problems of the first emergence of low cost countries, Japan, Korea’s Asian Tigers and of course the problems relating to the oil crisis.By the introduction of supply side economy (very basic, primitive) Milton Friedmann/Adam Smith (18th century, before aircraft and Internet……. Reagan ..before Internet…laid the foundation for the export of manufacturing jobs.best regards,JB

Posted by Jens Bos | Report as abusive
 

Obama is just another lying politician. Trillions spent on “stimulus”, yet unemployment continues to spiral up; and NO accountability for where those dollars have gone. Has anyone here seen a dollar spent in their community? Where is all the infostructure improvement promised with those dollars? Also, we are STILL in two wars, that he promised to get us out of. He’s keeping the same 2011 withdrawl timeline that Bush had in Iraq. Afganistan continues to deteriorate. This guy is a kid that has to rely on the likes of Pelosi to guide him. We are in trouble.

Posted by Jack | Report as abusive
 

Indeed a lot of money was spent on the banks, money lost by them because of uncontrolled mortgageing, rolling the whole world into a crisis (light supervision, Bush, 2006)and – at the time- generating nice profits for bankers, who are now sipping theit cocktails on the beaches of the Cayman Islands….of course we should realize that the same bankers will this year still earn a lot of money (bonusses 2009 a record breaking 156 billion dollars, with that you can help a lot of the poor people in this country. But of course financial conservatism will stop attacking those bonusses, which we in effect, paid for…..Most of the other money still has to be spent, indeed on infra structure, that will bring jobs back.The only other solution however is new (clean)industry and energy production, but that also needs money, of course the GOP and conservative Democrats will be short sighted and regretaably the majority, so we will never get out of it….unless the mood changes…Yes we can will then be the truth.best regards,JB

Posted by Jens Bos | Report as abusive
 

@ Peter EldridgeOf course that is true, but why don’t we apply Keynes ideas more to our economy.The military seems the only field in which hardware production and employment are bevefitting from government investment….the same should apply for clean energy development and other way of sustainable production C2C (Cradle to cradle)best regards,JB

Posted by Jens Bos | Report as abusive
 

By the way somewhere in my postings I mentioned Marx, do not take me wrong, I do not believe in his solutions,Some countries do, that could be one of the reasons of the unemployment situation in the west as a whole,With a highly controlled currency and investment climate it would take forever to come along our costing level……I am for private enterprise, but the guy did see things that, in my opinion, are quite obvious…..best regards,JB

Posted by Jens Bos | Report as abusive
 

We need jobs. In down periods public works projects keep people employed and expand/repair infrastructure. Some take a while to begin. Improved infrastructure encourages and facilitates business as much as any de-regulatory scheme, and punitive tariffs on those who would transfer production elsewhere would quite easily fix that loss of manufacturing sector. Being the world’s dump for shitty little products is no way for America to be treated. If you don’t love America go away… and don’t expect to send shitty little stuff back here for sale. Wal-Mart holds prices down as if low prices were opium, while they receive the dole at the highest rate. All the while they beat up suppliers to shift production overseas…One of the worst corporate citizens you could grant a TIFF. Stab the customers in the back over jobs and the poor low price fiends (Hooked) come back for low prices (that might have been lower but WM overwhelmed all of the competition) So anyways, if we are in that service economy the minimum wage should be 4 times what is offered. Then if we only got fairness from health care providers and insurers we could all afford the premiums. Can I fix yer car for ya?

Posted by DanO | Report as abusive
 

We better get used to this new level of unemployment because it is largely due to structural changes to the global economy.The problem is that young college graduates are confronting an economy that doesn´t need them because the types of jobs they would like to have are simply no longer being offered in the US.The United States can either 1) create protectionist barriers as some here have mentioned or 2) adapt itself to the new trends resulting from globalisation.Tbe answer lies not only in improving education to make Americans more marketable to global companies, but also investment in supporting new business growth. The US must “innovate” its way out of this mess by supporting the business ventures that our new college grads will need to start.In regards to the US trade balance, the culture of American consumption needs to change. Instead of spending our income on PEZ dispensers, cheap clothing, and other mass manufactured products we should encourage the consumption of homegrown quality goods. Only through this change can we correct the trade imbalance.

Posted by alejandro | Report as abusive
 

I stand in favor of protectionist barriers to meet the protectionist barriers in place by quite a few of our trade partners. After this post, I intend to research how many American jobs have been outsourced by the insurance industry. I’ll bet that the loudest voices against socialized medicine are the same guys who embrace outsourcing at socialist countries.I’ll be back with an apology or confirmation.

Posted by RH Pyle | Report as abusive
 

According to Janet L. Kaminski Leduc, there’s been an increase in outsourcing by the insurance industry in the area of IT professionals.So sorry insurance vampires,,no apology today!

Posted by RH Pyle | Report as abusive
 

I think the answer is quite simple, also QUALITY products are produced in cheap countries, look where all the MP3 players, mobiles, DVD and stereo equipment, computers ETC. are produced AND WHICH NAME IS PUT ON THEM….that is what we like to spend our money on, they are mostly made in a well controlled economy, with quality control by the mother company.Is’nt it time we start to be in controll of our own (working) economy,…. the financial economy is well under controll, they make profits over our backs and those of the poor people in too cheap producing countries….All these ready made products, manufactured there for our (and European/Japanese) multi-nationals should be levied, correcting the difference in income between the producing and consuming countries (the cost of transport and current duties are practically negligable)Of course this could also apply to imported admministrative services.best regrads,JB?

Posted by Jens Bos | Report as abusive
 

To RH PyleYou say:”I’ll bet that the loudest voices against socialized medicine are the same guys who embrace outsourcing at socialist countries. “Yes indeed……the consequences of financial management and practically limitless globalization.best regards,JB

Posted by Jens Bos | Report as abusive
 

The jobs loss numbers are declining? If you look at the NON-SEASONALLY ADJUSTED numbers, we are in the 22nd straight month that has been worse year-over-year. We weren’t, until they adjusted the July numbers to show that 110,000 more jobs were lost than initially estimated. But keep thinking it will get better, especially as 2 million people collecting unemployment lose it in the next few months, and who knows how many will end at the end of December unless another extension is granted (not that I’m advocating an extension.) It continues to get worse. The first-time homebuyer credit ends at the end of October, as does the subsidy for COBRA for the unemployed. Also, taxes on car purchases are only tax credits through the end of the year. The stimulus money to states will decline in the next fiscal year (my state is July-June) so they will be cutting budgets next year. But I guess profits are up (due to layoffs) so that is a little good news except for all the people who lost their jobs because there is no news suggesting they will be rehired. What is a jobless recovery except for an oxymoron.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive
 

I love people who suggest the public works will employ people that can then drive us out of the great repression.It will only work if the government was spending money it had in reserves (i.e. not borrowing or printing)Borrowing just takes money that would have served a different (private) purpose.Printing can actually work like reserves–until it results in inflation and other problems (notice oil prices keep going up and the dollar’s value is down?)But keep believing we are “recovering” without jobs being created.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive
 

Indeed only real jobs can help, producing goods and services in this country and other “expensive” countries that people want to AND CAN AFFORD!!!(therefore we need work…) to buy…..That and that alone kan restore a certain balance in the world putting the place in a more constructive position.But in my opinion that requires macro-economical political action at home and abroad.

Posted by Jens Bos | Report as abusive
 

James stated: “I have been unemployed without a professional paycheck for Six (6) Years”Six years? Did you ever think of a retail job? Something that pays less than before? Maybe a $12/hr job at Home Depot?No?Then you have no sympathy from me. When I lost my job making $50K/year, I had to do something — I sold washers and dryers at Sears at nights and on weekends. I hated it… but I HAD TO.If you’ve not had a SINGLE paycheck in 6 years, perhaps you need to lower your standards, put away your ego and just work.There’s no shame even in flipping burgers if you’re supporting a family. You do what you have to…. or… you sit unemployed for 6 years like you.. and say we cannot make it because you can’t. No, sir… you WON’T.Put on an apron and work at the hardware store.Beneath you?

Posted by styer | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •