President Obama’s Jobs Speech sounded hopeful. The delivery was excellent. I did not see it, but rather heard it on the radio. It’s easy to misinterpret the sound of applause, politicians being the actors they are. On the other hand, when listening only, one gets more of the intended content and the writing than when confronted with all the visual distractions.
Putting people back to work in public works projects is something some have been begging the administration to do for some time. It worked in the past, but in today’s divisive and corruption laden environment, it remains to be seen if the pork can be kept out of the beans, as Obama promised in his speech.
Extending unemployment for another year is at odds with putting people back to work. Some have been on unemployment for many years now, and I believe that is just wrong. It’s not just my personal experience; I’m one of those who has steadily paid into the system, and yet have never qualified for Unemployment Insurance even when I needed it most. It’s not sour grapes, but I am here to report that I made it through just fine, and although at times I had to search hard for work, and sometimes settle for what some would see as menial jobs, I perservered. So, in my view, many who are on the dole appear to be either lazy or gaming the system.
Despite the media reports, which are based on official numbers, which are based on a lot of bull, it can be observed that there are plenty of jobs available. Illegal Mexican immigrants continue to stream across the border to take them, because hardly any Americans will “lower themselves” to take the jobs the Mexicans will. There are service jobs everywhere, and that has increased steadily in the last year. Reports indicate that $99,000/yr jobs are going begging in the latest oil boomtowns in North Dakota, where Walmart sells out every day and McDonald’s pays workers $15/hr and still needs more.
In the face of the empirical evidence, it seems wrong to extend Unimployment Insurance. I fear the manifestation of a “lost generation” of workers who have no job skills, no understanding of how to look for, perform on, and keep a job. This is a crowd lacking in determination, with a sense of entitlement to an income, or worse, a job that requires no work. Such a generation would be a drag on the economy for as long as they live. True, ending the extensions to UI would cause some pain, but clearly, there are some who need to feel some pain. And the pain of our current economic situation is something that should be shared: for unless that happens, there will be insufficient motivation to the populace to drag our sorry butts out of the pit we’re in.
Back to the Obama proposals, I wish them well. His bill goes beyond anything the pain-averse lamer politicians in the Congress and Senate could come up with. That bunch needs to be sent out into the fields to pick fruit and nudge out some of the illegal workers. It would be a hit on their income and a rude awakening, but something they desperately need.
That’s my two cents. What’s yours?