Image via WikipediaFrom Denny: The world economy is a mess and about to get messier with Japan in distress from their latest earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster trifecta. Well, the good news is that we are all in the same boat, trying to swim the same polluted economic waters. It would help if our governments gave us accurate numbers and quit massaging them to please the financial markets.
The unemployment here in America is supposed to be at 8.8 percent. What a joke. There are millions of people who gave up looking. Those known as The 99ers, whose unemployment benefits ended after 99 weeks, have been unemployed for years now. Even President Obama says there are hundreds of thousands of people who will never get a job again. What kind of statement is that from a president? Not everyone deserves a job in this country?
The ugly reality is that unemployment is truly up in the stratosphere at about 27 percent when you factor in people like The 99ers who have fallen off the rolls looking for employment. Others just gave up looking and quit. There are no figures on that segment. They could be homeless. They could have been absorbed by family or friends sheltering them. No one really knows what has happened to millions of unemployed.
Employers crassly announce that if you don't already have a job then you need not apply for a job with them because they simply are not interested. They refuse to give an unemployed person the time of day - or an interview. That's outrageous and yet President Obama does nothing about this grievance. Whatever happened to enforcement of federal laws about age, gender, racial discrimination?
Right now the gains in jobs are listed at 216,000 for the month of March. Of course, that was before the disaster in Japan happened that will surely affect the American job market severely. Already, parts and car plants owned by the Japanese are shut down until further notice because they cannot import parts to sell or assemble a car. What a mess. The car retailers will be hurt as well, saying goodbye to sales and parts employees.
Where were those job gains in March? They occurred in professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality, mining. Manufacturing jobs trended up somewhat as well, according to the The Labor Department.
Trending downward quickly is state government employment. Cash-strapped states, counties and cities are shedding workers in droves. Since September 2008, employees in the state and local government offices have dwindled by as much as 416,000 workers.
At the moment the federal government may shut down by this Friday, April 8, because the Republicans want it to happen. Anything to make President Obama look bad in this reelection cycle. Politics: instead of common sense and practicality, seeing about the business of the American people.
Of course, the real reason the Republicans and the Tea Party want the government shut down is because of the economic havoc it can create. A shutdown, of the huge proportions of a federal government, has the capacity to disrupt supply chains to businesses, shake up financial markets and also lead to increased interest rates in the banking sector.
Referencing the lone air traffic controller who fell asleep on the job at midnight, forcing two commercial jets to land on their own at Reagan airport in Washington, D.C. He also had just finished four nights of over time. Also, for 30 years the FAA has repeatedly refused to staff two air traffic controllers at these lean traffic times. This was bound to happen. How do we know the man did not have a brain stroke, a heart stroke, an epileptic seizure that was mild and without his knowledge? Maybe he was "just" sleep deprived. This was more the fault of those who set bad policies.
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