Thursday, July 2, 2009

The 'Jobless' Recovery

The news today wasn't good for the unemployed.

After job losses in May were less than expected, sparking hopes that things were turning around in the jobs market, unemployment went up for the ninth consecutive month in June. More than 450,000 jobs were lost, compared to 322,000 in May.

And, as CNN points out, job losses were much worse than had been predicted.

The light that some people were seeing at the end of the tunnel seems to be moving farther away.

In recent days, Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize–winning economist and columnist for the New York Times, has been urging a second round of stimulus money.

He observed, in an interview with ABC News, that the nation faces a "prolonged jobless" recovery unless more stimulus money is pumped into the economy.

Earlier this year, when Barack Obama and the Democrats were congratulating themselves on getting the original stimulus package passed, Krugman was one of the leading critics, claiming that it was inadequate.

With the concessions the Democrats made in the misguided effort for bipartisanship, it has, indeed, proven to be inadequate.

In the months that have passed, the Democrats have gained a fillibuster–proof majority in the Senate. Their Republican colleagues will complain, but they have complained about everything the Democrats have done.

Now, their cooperation is no longer necessary.

Bipartisanship would be nice — in a perfect world. But this world is far from perfect.

And the unemployment situation is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about earlier this week when I said that the Democrats need to be clear about why they must do certain things.

Sometimes I feel like Hawkeye in the "M*A*S*H" TV series. Frustrated with the tepid pace of the peace talks, he burst into one of the sessions and told the diplomats, "You know what to do. Why can't you just do it? People are dying out there. You've got to stop it."

Winning is not the only thing. What is more important is doing the right things with legislative power.

And not being paralyzed by the fear of criticism from your political opponents.

1 comment:

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