The Big Picture On Jobs

FiveThirtyEight (newly added to my blogroll) has a solid rundown on the big picture on employment, unemployment, and job growth chock-full of graphs, charts, and numbers. The bottom line is that jobs are being created but at a rate just a tiny bit greater than the “natural increase”, i.e. not fast enough to bring the millions of people who lost their jobs in the late recession back to work, and the jobs that are being created don’t pay as well as the jobs that were lost. Spin this as you like.

Here are the president’s priorities on jobs:

President Obama will continue calling on Congress to:

1: Raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for all American workers.
2: Ensure women get equal pay for equal work by passing paycheck fairness
3: Extend emergency unemployment insurance for Americans who are looking for work.
4: Reward hard work by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit.
5: Remove retirement tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and improve them for the middle class.
6: Protect LGBT workers by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

and here’s the statement on the economy from the Republican National Committee’s web site:

We believe in the power and opportunity of America’s free-market economy. We believe in the importance of sensible business regulations that promote confidence in our economy among consumers, entrepreneurs and businesses alike. We oppose interventionist policies that put the federal government in control of industry and allow it to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.

If there is something in either of those statements that will put 10 million people back to work in something short of geological time, I’m missing it.

It certainly appears to me as though either neither party is particularly interested in the millions who are out of work or neither party has any ideas and both want to change the subject.

7 comments… add one

  • ...

    Both sides want wages crushed. Nothing that improves the job market helps crush wages. So neither side is going to do anything meaningful about the situation.

    But you know, they really REALLY care … About getting re-elected. Fuck ‘em all, and fuck those that tell us what a great job they’re doing.

  • Cstanley

    I think the desire to change the subject that you mention in your last paragraph is largely the reason for the daily outrage phenomenon that is referenced in the post above this one.

    On the job issue, the best that could be said about the two parties’ plans is that both believe that job growth will spontaneously happen. The GOP at least has an argument, that reducing regulation will create a more favorable environment for this to occur. What is hidden in their messaging though, is the degree to which they support a different destructive environment, namely the creation of policies that favor large corporations at the expense of smaller would-be competitors.

    So in the abstract, the GOP is more correct but in actuality they are disingenuous so it erases any theoretical advantage.

  • Piercello

    I’d replace your “either/or” formulation with something along the lines of “both” or “and.”

  • The English language is sadly lacking an inclusive “or”. The post loses something in translation from the original Latin.

  • ...

    “The post loses something in translation from the original Latin.”

    What, you don’t use Linear B?

  • Ben Wolf

    The two parties have done nothing other than make excuses for why nothing can be done, as though nations have no power to shape what happens within their borders. Once we follow the money to who benefits from the present situation the real purpose behind this reasoning becomes clear.

  • ...

    Ben, they were spending $85 billion a month for quite some time to ‘help the economy’. We know who that helped and so do they. They’re lying when they say ‘nothing can be done’. Things can be done, and have been done, and the government chose the winners and losers – again. Interesting that they chose to reward the richest at the expense of most everyone else, and now complain about inequality.

    Like I said, assuming good but flawed intentions on the part of our lords and masters strains credulity well past the breaking point.

Leave a Comment