Tuesday, July 3, 2012

All Quiet on the Jobs Front... For Now

We haven't heard a lot about jobs lately.

The big news last week was about Obamacare, what the Supreme Court decided, what it means, which side really won, what will happen with the states and their money, and so on.  Some excellent insights on this decision, which was as the Supreme Court is supposed to work, limited to constitutionality. 

The follow-up, though, is looking weak.  Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made a surprisingly tone-deaf statement that the Court was wrong, that the health reform laws were still unconstitutional.  Even if he is right, he did nothing to appeal to voters in the center, and may even annoy people on the right, since the likes of conservative columnist and commentator Charles Krauthammer have said, in effect, it's over, let's move on.  Krauthammer is correct - with Obamacare decided, right or wrong, we have other things to discuss - starting with jobs.

This Friday the June employment report will be out.  If it shows any kind of improvement over May's, the Obama administration will be talking about the "recovery."  If not, it will be on the defensive and Romney will talk about its failure.  You reading this blog need to know two things.  First, the country needs about 133,000 net new jobs just to break even with population increase, so anything under that is no cause for celebration.  Second, there are still 32 million Americans who want to work full time and are not, a huge hole we need to dig ourselves out of.  Given both of those things, any enthusiasm will need to be very preliminary - and there will probably be grounds for none at all anyway.

As for the candidates, we need comprehensive jobs policies.  We then need people to analyze the proposals and come up with questions.  We need answers to those questions.  We need discussion on what the two sides might trade to reach a settlement.  Then we need to challenge our senators and congressional representatives to implement something.  If they won't act, we need to THROW THE BUMS OUT.

The press will not be silent on the jobs crisis for long.  We are still seeing stories about individual people who are dealing, in different ways, with not being wanted for work.  As the number of such people continues to increase, which it will indefinitely, broader stories will come out.  The issue needs serious attention as much as ever.    

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