The NEW Illustrated Guide to Mendacity and Folly in the 21st Century.
Posted on | August 10, 2009 | 1 CommentThe other week, President Obama decided he deserved a pat on the back so he gave himself one. The unemployment figures for July showed an amazing drop of ONE-TENTH of ONE PERCENT!. Ahhh, the stumble-us–errrr–stimulus has worked and we have avoided a major financial catastrophe. Kudos to my administration!
Well, Mr. President, I think you might be being a bit premature here. Granted we NEED some good news, what with the economy bouncing along the bottom like it has, but a tenth of a percent is really nothing to write home about. Hey Mom, I got a 65.1 instead of a 65 on that test–I didn’t flunk AS BADLY. I’m sure my mom would’ve just hugged the daylights out of me–or got the daylights out of me some other way. Robert Kuttner points out that the job market still hemmorhaged nearly a quarter of a million more jobs and that the drop in the unemployment rate was due to the fact that more people have stopped looking for work. You see, after you’ve given up looking for work after months and months of fruitless job interviews, the people who figure the unemployment rate decide that either you’ve retired or you’re a skid row bum living on mashed potatoes and Heaven Hill. One of the so-called “hardcore unemployed”. In other words, not worth counting anymore. But, if you manage to find a part-time job cleaning the parking lot at the local MickeyD’s–hey, you’re employed again! According to Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute if you add in all the “marginally attached” and “involuntarily part-time” workers, a staggering 25.6 million people–or over 16 percent of the population (nearly 1 in 6) is either unemployed or underemployed.
The good news is that at least one policy is showing success–the Cash for Clunkers–so much so that it had to be given more money. That at least helps people who HAVE jobs. And gets some of the gas hogs off the road. But mostly, the stimulus has only helped people with large offices…with windows…in banks. And one thing you know about bankers–they don’t give away money without giving themselves a bonus first! Yacht sales were booming last February. You can see some of the best of them here: 10 CEO Mega-Yachts (PHOTOS, POLL). Trickle down in action! Ronald Reagan would be proud.