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Let’s see where we are: 14.6 million people are officially out of work – 7.3 million of them for more than half a year. In the past two years, 55 percent of Americans have directly felt the sting of our country’s ongoing Jobs Depression – 32 percent of this majority have lost jobs, 28 percent have had their hours involuntarily reduced, 23 percent have been forced to take pay cuts, and 11 percent have had their jobs converted from full-time to part-time.
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The worst news is not in today’s deplorable jobs numbers, but in the fact the moneyed elites intend to make such numbers the “new normal” – an economy of planned insecurity for all but the rich, featuring long periods of joblessness for most workers, permanently-low wages, the barest of benefits, and a tattered safety net.
Meanwhile, the White House and Congress are laying down on the job. Democrats and Republicans alike coolly cash their generous monthly paychecks, while not lifting a finger to cope with the creeping joblessness that literally is devouring America’s middle class. In the face of this deepening economic crisis, our policy makers hem and haw, stall and dodge.
The perfidious right-wing Republicans in Congress are pathetic, even blaming the unemployed for their unemployment. Yet Obama and a cadre of pusillanimous Democrats are unwilling to challenge the GOP’s perfidy. They could and should rally the American public around a national mission to restore the middle class with a bold program of infrastructure repair and construction of a new, green economy. But, in a disgraceful failure of leadership, they refuse to try.
As in the past, working folks must organize to build their own middle-class recovery. For information and grassroots action, connect with the National Jobs For All Coalition: www.njfca.org.
“Corporate kings grab our tax subsidies but create no new jobs. Obama fiddles.” Hightower Lowdown, September 2010.
“Waiting For Mr. Obama,” The New York Times, August 29, 2010.