Come on, Robert Reich, you’re almost there. You mentioned there was zero jobs growth in August. You noted that the number of Americans looking for work “has grown by over seven million” since 2007, but that 300,000 fewer Americans actually have jobs now than in ’07. You put in a word for the march for jobs in DC to be led by Al Sharpton, who still voices vigorous support for Barack Obama, even though the latter has done nothing to create jobs since taking office.
But you’re not writing we’re in an unqualified depression because, technically, the economy isn’t depressed so long as the multinational corporations and other large businesses are making huge profits. You write:
America’s ongoing jobs depression – which is what it deserves to be called – is the worst economic calamity to hit this nation since the Great Depression. It’s also terrible news for President Obama, whose chances for re-election now depend almost entirely on the Republican party putting up someone so vacuous and extremist that the nation rallies to Obama regardless.
The problem is on the demand side. Consumers (whose spending is 70% of the economy) can’t boost the American economy on their own. They’re still too burdened by debt, especially on homes that are worth less than their mortgages. In addition, their jobs are disappearing, their pay is dropping, their medical bills are soaring.
You’re the economist, Bob, so what’s the difference between the “jobs depression” and the Great Depression to most Americans? Is the misery index any lower now than in the 1930s? If my parents were alive, I think they’d say no, except that this depression is less visible, because there are food stamps rather than breadlines.
The banksters and the corporations were bailed out, and now they’re hoarding money and refusing to create jobs, except in other countries.
Remove the word “jobs,” Bob, and just call it what it is — a full-blown disaster-course depression.
Footnote: Reich hit a home run in a follow-up column on the same subject:
… When Republicans recently charged the President with promoting “class warfare,” he answered it was “just math.” But it’s more than math. It’s a matter of morality. Republicans have posed the deepest moral question of any society: whether we’re all in it together. Their answer is we’re not. President Obama should proclaim, loudly and clearly, we are.
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