Time to Share The Pain?

Hello Boomers, 

The economic news continues to be grim.  While some companies have posted profits, few indicate plans to hire anytime soon.  Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke thinks the economy is in danger of further erosion and that unemployment may rise to 10% and stay there until early 2011.

Meanwhile the stock market has posted some recent gains as earnings reports trend up.  Unfortunately,  overseas sales and continued business streamlining here at home were responsible for most of the profits.  Demand is still very weak and that is reflected in little job growth.  Without jobs, consumers cannot buy so demand will remain weak.  And so it continues.

One bright spot has been in technology solution sales.  Unfortunately many business purchases will create further efficiencies, eliminating the need for hiring and perhaps causing even more layoffs. 

Our leaders continue to fight over the more prudent course of action to stimulate the economy: spending or cutting spending.  Both are touted as ways to increase  jobs.  I guess the most prudent option depends upon where you sit.   With so many stimulus dollars already pumped into the economy with little to show for it in jobs creation, it is no wonder that many say “enough”! 

Politics aside, people are hurting.  The discussion often devolves into name calling or assumptions about the unemployed and the disenfranchised.  Such comments from our leaders do nothing to help the situation and serve only to divide the electorate.  

Stating that cutting off unemployment will force those collecting to “go get a job” ignores a mathematical (if not geographical) equation of at least 5 or 6 qualified candidates for every open position.  Stating that “it’s true” and that “research has shown” that cutting people off forces them to find work ignores the fact that this job picture is unlike any other since the Great Depression.

Those who are employed need to find some compassion for those who are not.  That includes those who have jobs to fill.  Refusing to consider unemployed candidates for open positions is an ugly practice that needs to stop.  Those who have jobs would do well to remember that even “stars” are not immune in such an economy.

Those who are unemployed must not give up hope.  They must not stop looking no matter how futile it seems.  They must not let themselves fall off of the proverbial radar screen because when they do, our leaders point to shrinking numbers as success when success remains a distant hope for so many.       

This November we have a chance to change the course of our country, a chance to change our future.  We can’t sit on the sidelines and assume others will do it for us.  We must make our voices heard.   We must ask the candidates for public office to be specific about their plans for our futures.  We must demand that they are accountable to us and we must throw them out when they aren’t.  It may just be time for a few politicians to experience unemployment too.

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