Tag Archives: unemployment

Harvard A Equals American B-Plus?

President Barack Obama was asked to rate himself on being president for eleven months and the former Harvard A student gave himself a B-plus grade. He explained why he rated himself a B-plus rather than an A leader. “B-plus because of the things that are undone. Healthcare is not yet signed. If I get health care passed, we tip into an A-minus.” That is an interesting analysis from someone who waited eleven months before deciding that a ten percent unemployment figure was a bit too much for even a B plus president to accept. If ten percent unemployment rates one a B-plus then what does 8% rate one– an A?

Obama cited he had initiated an evacuation from Iraq, and worked out the “best possible plan” for Afghanistan. Oh well, I suspect if Barack was at Harvard a few history or political science professors would have given him a C for the Afghanistan plan he proposed. Then again, some might have failed him for the course. There is always a hubris when someone declaims their work is outstanding, but for a president who has allowed unemployment to soar without offering plans to deal with this problem, this constitutes arrogance of the first order.

What Happens When An Economy Collapses?

What happens when an economy goes down the tubes? Officials in Denmark, which is only experiencing a 4% unemployment rate in contrast to the American 10%, report growing evidence that college graduates are now willing to accept jobs that ordinarily would be filled with high school graduates. Barack Obama has not been very aggressive in pursuit of jobs for Americans other than claiming his stimulus package, “eventually” will produce the jobs desired by those who have spent years and thousands of dollars to attain a college degree. Just wait and it will arrive claims Obama which offers slight hope to someone with a degree and now delivering pizza.

We are entering a new era in jobs and economic recovery. Evidence increasingly is evident we may have an “economic recovery” without a job recovery. The nightmare scenario is whether this phenomenon heralds the arrival of a new era in economic development. Are you listening Barack? People will not be yelling your name if they are on bread lines.

Obama, Unemployment, Madoff And Future

The conviction of Bernard Madoff has created many scenes of joy at the sight of a lying manipulator finally being sent to prison. But, the Madoff conviction also highlights a basic mistake of the Obama administration–focusing on prominent people as though this will in itself create jobs. The unemployment rate continues to rise despite pouring over a trillion dollars into the economy. Obama’s focus is mainly on restoring financial health, but it also has a hidden assumption that once banks and Wall Street are OK it will translate into more jobs for those unemployed. Placing Bernie Madoff in jail for 150 years is an emotional high for many, but it does not place food on the table of those unemployed.

Obama continues to claim adherence to the ideas of FDR and the New Deal, but he misses the point. The significance of the New Deal was creation of government sponsored jobs whether on WPA building projects or building road sin forests or paying artists to paint or musicians to play music. Obama makes much of re-educating the workforce, but this is based on an assumption if the workforce had higher technology skills there would be jobs. But, is there any evidence gaining new technology translates into new high tech jobs?

The current workforce is fundamentally different from those who joined WPA work projects in building schools or highways and bridges. We offer the following suggestions:

1. Create a 250,000 Teacher Corps which would place an entire team of Teacher Corps staff into a single school. Free such schools from the need to meet irrelevant testing standards and allow them to invent a 21st century education model.
2. Create a new rapid transit national system which would offer travelers speedy travel on trains rather then on planes. Place a hundred billion into revamping large city rapid transit accompanied by laws banning cars from entering these cities Monday-Friday.
3. Create a new Business Stimulus Fund for those with new business ideas. Allow the creative ideas of young Americans to emerge along with new jobs.
4. Model the New Deal programs for theater, music, art, and literary projects.
5. Let’s get going with new technology that will eliminate the need for an oil centered economy. Talks is cheap, get them going–NOW!

China Faces Employment Crisis

The economic crisis continues to spread throughout the world with nations encountering serious issues of being able to offer work to its workers and students. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, promised the government would do something to assist college graduates who face a terrible job situation that most probably will get worse before it gets better. “your difficulties are my difficulties,” he told students at Beijing University. He admitted the nation faced severe economic issues, but a priority was developing programs that would meet student needs. However, he also noted there were other issues to be resolved. “But, currently we are most concerned about two issues, migrant workers returning home and employment for graduates.”

Most probably, the issue of migrant workers may be the returning to farms and villages. This group could become a force that would threaten established law and order since they have lived the good life of being in a city and now must return to the misery of rural life in China.

Want A Job–Check With Hamas!

A major goal of Israel’s blockade of Gaza has been to weaken the power of Hamas in the eyes of Palestinians. Ironically, the tighter and more extensive is the blockade, the greater the power and influence of Hamas among people in Gaza. The Hamas de factor government is one of the only employers in Gaza with a growing payroll in an economy which offers scant opportunities for employment to people. A new UN report shows more than 52% of
Gaza households have now plunged below the internationally-designated poverty line despite humanitarian assistance. Unemployment has now reached 45%. The UN Relief and Works Agency(UNRWA) noted 19% are living in poverty in the West Bank and in all Palestinian territory, the unemployment rate is 29%. The only increase in jobs in the Gaza Strip came from Hamas.

The report cites anecdotal evidence to reinforce the impact of the Israel blockade which has created unemployment and forced hundreds to seek employment in Hamas organizations including the militia. As an UNRWA official noted: “If you deprive young people of an economic future, you deprive them of hope and when hope vanishes, what is left? How better to prevent despair and economic misery taking hold of a whole population than to re-open Gaza’s borders?”