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. The 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!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.
However, AP discovered this little tidbit: Let’s face it, we’ve been living in a global economy for years now, ever since you first heard a Customer Service rep speaking in some unintelligible accent telling you he can’t understand what you are saying. Since the 50s we’ve had cheap airplane travel. Since the 70s cheap telephone calls. Since the 90s, the Interwebs. It would be a surprise if companies DIDN’T try to find the cheapest labor force somewhere where they wouldn’t have to pay the salaries expected by Americans, so they could screw every last nickel out of our pockets. After all, if we can’t make customer service understand us, we’ll stop calling Then they can reduce the CS force and make even more money! Satisfaction is our middle name! Hey, WE are satisfied!AP Investigation: Banks sought foreign workers. You remember those banks that have caused global economic disaster? All US based. And We, in the goodness of our hearts, gave them 700 billion dollars last fall, no ties, no questions, no accounting, to keep them from dragging us any further under. US–that is, the U.S. Us. Well, not only did they turn around and pay several of those billions giving bonuses to the boneheads who made the decisions that made their money evaporate, but it seems that they have been hiring VPs, SVPs and other high level executives from outside the US. Hey, they’re cheaper. But when they run into trouble, who dey gonna call? That’s right, Uncle Moneybags. Now a global economy is an inevitability. But there’s something wrong with expecting the people of the US to bail them out from the consequences of their own greed and rapacity, while giving a golden shower to the people who’re giving them the money. And I don’t mean coins.