Monday, February 15, 2010

How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America

From Don Peck at The Atlantic:

"The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come."

"Even if the economy were to immediately begin producing 600,000 jobs a month—more than double the pace of the mid-to-late 1990s, when job growth was strong—it would take roughly two years to dig ourselves out of the hole we’re in. The economy could add jobs that fast, or even faster—job growth is theoretically limited only by labor supply, and a lot more labor is sitting idle today than usual. But the U.S. hasn’t seen that pace of sustained employment growth in more than 30 years. And given the particulars of this recession, matching idle workers with new jobs—even once economic growth picks up—seems likely to be a particularly slow and challenging process."

“We haven’t seen anything like this before: a really deep recession combined with a really extended period, maybe as much as eight years, all told, of highly elevated unemployment,” Shierholz told me. “We’re about to see a big national experiment on stress.”

This is a long read, but much food for thought.  As someone who IS unemployed, this gives me cause for great concern.  My wife and I are already experiencing the things the author is explaining, such as increased stress, total uncertainty as to the possibilities of jobs opening up again and the conern of having to start over in a different career (at age 61!).  And I KNOW I am just one of millions thinking the same thing!  But the most frustrating thing is the fact that the folks in Washington HAVE NO CLUE as to how to get us out of this situation!  My greatest fear is that our whole economy will collapse before the potitical idiots figure out that our present course is completely unacceptable. - SP

1 comment:

  1. Now is the time for something radical like the Fairtax to get a shot at being implemented. Quit punishing labor by taxation, eliminate the tax burden on business and watch America become the "tax haven" of the world! Libs hate it because it takes power from the government and restores it to the People.