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Where’s the Recovery?

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Posted on May 17, 2010
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By Bill Boyarsky

As President Barack Obama, speaking last week in Buffalo, N.Y., was assuring the country that “our economy is growing again,” the usual large number of unemployed lined up at a community aid center in Los Angeles for food, clothing, advice and help finding a job. “For us, it is getting worse,” said Jan Maseda, who runs the center, one of several founded by Lutheran churches. Her clientele has doubled to 300 a day in the past year and a half of the recession.

The confident-looking, eloquent Obama, who spoke Thursday, stood in sharp contrast to the chronically unemployed at the community care center in a struggling section of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. Most of them had been out of work for months or years. “We are exploding,” said Maseda. “We’re now seeing white-collar families, people living in their cars.”

I visited the LSS (Lutheran Social Services) Community Center to learn more about the long-term unemployed after reading a report—“No End in Sight: The Agony of Prolonged Unemployment”—just released by the John S. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development of Rutgers University.

The report said, “Despite positive signs of economic growth and a rising stock market, millions of unemployed Americans see no end to the Great Recession that wrecked their finances and threw their lives into turmoil … the vast majority of jobless Americans have not found new jobs. When they did find work, all but a few took pay cuts and lost benefits. Among those still searching for work— many for more than a year—are millions who have never been without a job and who have at least a college education.”

Debbie Borie-Holtz, Carl Van Horn and Cliff Zukin surveyed 1,202 men and women who were unemployed in August 2009, and the three researchers were able to reconnect with 908 of these people in March 2010.

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They wrote, “It is remarkable that fully two-thirds (67%) of those jobless last August were still jobless this March, and 12% had given up looking for jobs. Since August, the number of job seekers searching for more than seven months rose from 48% to 70%. Over half do not think they will find a new job in the near future even though 73% are willing to take a pay cut and 77% are willing to change careers in order to get a job.”

For a substantial number, there is no safety net. Almost 50 percent are not receiving unemployment insurance. A small number of these still have health insurance.

With the federal and state governments pulling back, the long-term unemployed are increasingly dependent on the kindness of nonprofit social service agencies for health care and other services. 

Those coming into the Los Angeles center for help are a cross section of the unemployed. “We had a writer in here,” one worker told me. “He had a great CV. He was embarrassed to come here.  He didn’t have enough money to pay his utility bill.” The center paid the bill. “Lots of the people coming in are dressed exactly as you are,” Maseda said, noting my chinos, sport coat and button-down sport shirt.

Machinists, teachers, car washers, short-order cooks, computer technicians, hotel workers, secretaries, horse groomers, sales people and construction workers are among them. Some are developmentally disabled men and women who would have found work in better times. Some are substance-addicted and/or mentally ill.

Some are recently discharged veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan war. The vets usually are in their early 20s, having entered the service at 18. Despite the promise of Army recruiting ads, four years of combat has left them with no marketable skills and often with severe mental troubles.

Using a state grant of $500,000, the center provided job training and helped the veterans find jobs. But the administration of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ended the program, and the veterans’ room at the center is unused.

Obama’s main point in Buffalo was “[t]his month was better than last month. Next month is going to be stronger than this one. And next year is going to be better than this year. … We are on a course that is working.”

But Obama also acknowledged the plight of the long-term unemployed. “… [I]f you are still looking for a job out there, it’s still a recession,” he said. “… It’s not a real recovery until people feel it in their lives, until Americans who want work can find it, until families can pay bills and send their kids to college.”

The nation is far from such a recovery. Many of the businesses that are now more profitable have done it by shedding jobs. You see it whenever you encounter a phone answering system that has replaced office workers.

The short-term impact of this is severe. In their study, the Rutgers researchers found that “[t]he emotional upheaval felt by those who have been looking for work for so long range from physical distress to isolation and, worse, substance abuse, loss of self-confidence, and isolation.”

Unemployment affects whole families.

The insecurity of being raised by frightened and constantly stressed parents will shape the behavior of the children of the unemployed, just as it did with the children of the Great Depression.

Moreover, they will have a harder time than their parents did in getting the training necessary to compete in a technological economy. The state university near the community center I visited is restricting admissions and raising tuition, as are other universities in a public education system that once offered opportunity for all.

The pain of this recession will be with us for many years.


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LostHills's avatar

By LostHills, May 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

There is no recovery, except for the billionaires. There are more good people out
of work right now than at any time during the great depression.
And it’s continuing to get worse….

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By yours truly, May 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Considering that the direction of change is backward, not forward, and that the system’s rigged against us, doesn’t it follow that either we rise up and change the world or it’ll be lights out for all life on earth?

But rise up how?

At the right moment, as follows…

Based on?

Vision + Plan + Spirit = Change

The Vision?

  A just and peaceful world

The Plan?

  To be developed as we go

and the Spirit?

  The all for one and one for all in pursuit of a
  better world, with this widespread antiestablish-
  mentarianism the initial expression of said
  spirit.

But is this the moment?”

  It’s not as if we can pick and choose, what with
  perpetual war + global warming = doomsday, and
  with time running out.

Meaning that it’s now or never?

Exactly

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By LJL, May 20, 2010 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Timestyx is absolutely right that employment must be increased.  The sticking point is that jobs creation takes a back seat to profitability.  In a manner of speaking, from the capitalist’s view point it makes some sense.  From the people’s view point, however, it makes no sense at all.  Outside of commanding enterprises to hire workers despite the profitability, the two traditional ways of stimulating private sector hiring is through lowered interest rates and taxes.  Our five year long low interest rate regime has not worked.  While offering tax incentives for hiring as President Obama has tried with only moderate success in turning around unemployment is proving to be insufficient to the task. It is time to rewrite the tax code to raise business taxes coupled with a wealth and inventory tax then offer relief from the new, higher taxes with credits given for hiring employees.  Therefore, if a company tries to keep its money by withholding employment it will be taxed.  But if the company employs more, the tax code could be jiggered to give them real economic advantages.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, May 20, 2010 at 4:33 am Link to this comment

Tennessee:
Come on. Don’t sugar coat it. Tell us how you REALLY feel.

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By Timestyx, May 20, 2010 at 2:57 am Link to this comment

well the economy is growing at last, but it seems that it’s only really good news for the government, it’s tax collectors and the top 10% of america. The average Joe is still unemployed and living off whatever is left in his savings account. The problem of unemployment isn’t easily solved, more needs to be done to improve training and back to work schemes for those who have been punished by the actions of those on wall street.

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Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, May 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

MOST PEOPLE IN USA ARE PSYCHOPATHS.  READ THIS ARTICLE ABOUT THE OFFICIAL AMERICAN WAY OF LIVING BEHAVIOUR.  1776 AMERICANISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER

http://www.countercurrents.org/miller091007.htm

By Jason Miller

09 October, 2007
Countercurrents.org

The essential features of Americanistic Personality Disorder include pervasive patterns of extreme self-absorption, profound and long-term lapses in empathy, a deep disregard for the well-being of others, a powerful aversion to intellectual honesty and reality, and a grossly exaggerated sense of the importance of one’s self and one’s nation. These patterns emerge in infancy, manifest themselves in nearly all contexts, and often become pathological.

Specific Culture Features

Americanistic Personality Disorder appears to prevail in a very high percentage of those in the upper strata of the socioeconomic order in the United States (and to persist tenaciously because these individuals have little motivation to alter their pathological behavior as they are largely immune from the consequences of their actions). While it is epidemic amongst the opulent, this characterological deficiency does not recognize socioeconomic boundaries. Various segments of the middle, working and impoverished classes comprise a notable percentage of those exhibiting this condition, including those practicing deeply conservative Christianity, many residents of reactionary states such as those in the south, Kansas, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, and many members of the Republican Party.

Prevalence

The overall prevalence of Americanistic Personality Disorder was recently measured at approximately 35% of the overall population in the United States.


Diagnostic Criteria for 1776.0 Americanistic Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of greed, selfishness, and lack of empathy, beginning the moment he or she begins to intellectualize and presented in nearly all contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. lacks empathy due to an excessive degree of self-absorption
2. believes that he or she is exceptional and morally superior
3. frequently engages in exploitative behaviors
4. requires frequent acquisition of goods he or she doesn’t need
5. usually resorts to some form of overt or covert violence, coercion, or extortion to resolve conflicts
6. perceives others as obstacles to his or her “success”
7. disregards laws and rules except as a means to achieve his or her agenda
8. demonstrates deep hypocrisy by projecting a righteous, benevolent image while committing reprehensible acts
9. refuses to accept the consequences of his or her actions

Jason Miller is a wage slave of the American Empire who has freed himself intellectually and spiritually. He is Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor (http://www.bestcyrano.org/) and publishes Thomas Paine’s Corner within Cyrano’s at http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/. You can reach him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By Psycho Babbler, May 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think that I will refrain from my typical venting about this because you have all
covered it better than I could. I think that the most obnoxious thing I could do
now is to say “Hey, you guys need to cheer up”.

Here is a video of a dog flushing a toilet:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHNwCTDrIVU

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Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, May 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

Fuck the US constitution, fuck the US founding fathers, fuck all US citizens, and all US voters, fuck the american way of life, and fuck capitalism and Israel, they are evil and satanic, even the US founding fathers.

Wake up from The Matrix of lies that you have been taught about Jefferson, Washington, US founders, USA and US History.  USA is a mistake, USA needs to end and needs to be replaced by a new country with new laws, and a new system

This country needs to end, it needs to be replaced by a new country.

.

.

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Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, May 19, 2010 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

http://www.takeoverworld.info/parenti_talks.html <—Go to this link to download speeches on MP3s by Dr. Michael Parenti about the real truth of US founding Fathers, US History and US Imperialism and that in 1776 USA was founded by oligarchs and bankers as an oligarchic-empire and not as a beacon of liberty, freedom and social egalitarian democracy as people are taught in schools

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Tennessee-Socialist's avatar

By Tennessee-Socialist, May 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Cicero: “Freedom is participation in power.”

Associated Press which always unleashes its CIA plants during “wartime” is reporting this morning that, “Elena Kagan is no ivory-tower peacenik. Judging by her own words, the Supreme Court nominee held the armed forces in high regard…”

Blah, blah, blah. Big Media never explains what being a peacenik during the current botched occupations means, let alone why Big Media uniformly implies that peace is a negative thing, because it never questions any of the illegalities of launching those wars (or the carrying out of sundry past and ongoing war crimes associated with them) in the first place.

We aren’t told what the “unusual and extraordinary threats” are that Iraq allegedly continues to pose towards the U.S. to which Obama recently alluded. We defeated the enemy in Iraq when we deposed the country’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, and his government YEARS ago. No one in Amurkan politics or corporate media has explained why we are still there at such numbers at such cost in blood and treasure and the Amurkan sheeple are too stupid or scared to ask press them for answers.

None of our militarized corporatist fascist “mainstream” press has even asked Team Obama to explain what legal justification or UN Security Council resolution the U.S. is using to carry out armed JSOC and privatized incursions and aerial drone bombings and assassinations inside Pakistan—more of them privatized or with CIA DNA on them than not. The ACLU has filed FOIA requests to find out the answer to this one and has been stonewalled so far.

These are very important questions, now and for their impact on the future: Just how many Amurkans know it’s all about oil, natural gas, pipelines and other mineral wealth? How many of the ones that know are AOK with these atavistic colonial resource wars? How many know and keep silent out of fear? How many know its wrong and cruel but justify anything the military-industrial-petrol-complex does so long as they keep their cushy lifestyles? How many are still swallowing the terrorist/fear excuse hook, line and sinker and are just too stupid to factor in the foreign resource thefts & extortions? How many are just deep in denial about these resources thefts & extortions? How many are just conning themselves and knowingly letting the government’s lies & omissions reinforce the dirty little lies they tell themselves to “keep functioning as Americans” (Americanism now being all about lifestyles of the remnant-middle, upper-middle and upper-classes and almost nothing about the Constitution and Bill of Rights)?

Whatever the answers are to these questions, too few Americans are complaining against these monstrously illegal, un-Constitutional, cruel and unaffordable bloodbaths and the few that are complaining against them are too disorganized. There is no longer any excuse for this.

Meanwhile, after nearly a decade of gruesome oil terror war quagmires and ongoing war crimes, we are subjected to intellectually insulting and morally null & void excrement like this from a Democratic Party nominee to the goddamned Roberts Supreme Court: “In the heat of the recruitment debate, and after, Kagan praised military service as ‘the noblest of all professions’ and a ‘socially valuable career path’ that should be open to all. ‘I know how much my security and freedom and indeed everything else I value depend on all of you,’ she told West Point cadets.
[Source:http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5itsfgwpwg_Zi9T36J1CWAQgOJX2gD9FP3O9O0]

Somehow I don’t think the record number of troops committing suicide since 2001 and the record number of them developing PTSD feel very fucking noble. And neither should any American anymore. This country has disgraced itself in too many of its own people’s eyes and before the rest of the world and continues to do so every bloodthirsty, oil glutted day these war crimes go on and on and on…


.

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By berniem, May 19, 2010 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

This has nothing to do with immigration reform, racisim, anti-diversity, eugenics, secular humanism, catholic bashing, or whatever. Is unemployment too high because of the economic crisis or is it simply a case of too many people in the world today resulting in a vast surplus of unnecessary labor? Face it; a consumer economy requires a never ending supply of consumers to sustain and, indeed, justify growth and expansion. Factor in finite resources, technological advances, automation, and an ever decreasing need for un- and semiskilled labor and you come up with an over abundance of potential consumers without the werewithal to purchase the fruits of higher productivity. Listen up gang! something has to give eventually. Plagues, famines, droughts, infestations, pestulence, never-ending war…all have been tried with the inevitable result that humankind always bounces back with more bodies than it originally lost. We’re running out of everything on this planet but people! Like the bacteria on the petrie dish, we,ve gotten real close to the edge and there ain’t no more to be had. And please don’t tire me with that old BS about god not allowing his children to become extinct especially when he’s the one what told those old time Middle Eastern shepperds to go,be fruitful and multiply! Sorry Billy and little Franklin and the rest of the bible, koran, torah, or whatever your choice of fairytale book you choose to thump; there ain’t no god out there who’ll come riding to the rescue. this current edition of the universe has been chugging along for about 13-14 billion years and this earth of ours as well as all those stars, galaxies, you name it will go on dandily for eons after we’re gone. Now if we don’t want to be gone sooner than later, we better start figuring out intelligent, humane, and objective ways by which we can control our numbers. Oh, and while at it, we need to come up with an economic model that rewards efforts towards sustainable ways of making a living rather than what we have now which is essentialy devising evermore complex means of making a killing, because the ultimate killing will be our’s.

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JohnMcD's avatar

By JohnMcD, May 19, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

No Carl, I don’t favor “federal workplace raids” with illegal immigration as the next excuse for militarizing our police forces & expanding the prison complex…  As far as I’m concerned, if someone wants to work here all they need to do is show up and pay their taxes like the rest of us.  If there weren’t arbitrary national limits and so many bureaucratic hoops to jump through, I doubt many would choose to be illegal.

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By LJL, May 19, 2010 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

A lot of people who think about “things” fail at it miserably.  There are those who come up with the idea that capitalists do not have to share ‘their’ stuff with the rest of us.  And there are romantics who think money is “just” something you exchange for things in the store, something like what goes on in entertainments like second life.

But unless you are a hermit, working and living in the modern world entails money and money is everything, it is food, shelter, clothing, security, relaxation and status.

And talking about money, capitalists have an organic obligation to use their capital for the benefit of the economic community.  Because that is how economy works.  Workers produce wealth and capitalist by concentrating capital multiply the effects of the workers’ production.  Without the workers the capitalists would never exists and without the efficiencies arising from the concentration of capital workers’ work would be less efficient.  But when the natural economic symbiosis is broken (e.g. the capitalists greedily hoard capital and do not hire workers) the economy collapses.  Economy is the product of evolution and evolution makes us social, civilized and cooperative individuals.  Whereas greed and the hoarding it causes is unnatural and criminal.

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By Carl, May 19, 2010 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

It’s good to finally see an article here about America’s poor and unemployed, instead of daily articles about the problems of foreigners who sneak across our borders.

Too bad the author ignored one of the biggest problems these people face, illegal immigration. If asked, I’m sure all favor federal workplace raids to arrest illegals (thus opening up jobs for them), the eviction of illegals from govt. housing, and oppose amnesty for illegals.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, May 19, 2010 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

All you posters should pay attention to ITW. He has great cred in this debate. He’s in the system. He knows how it works. Nothing is stopping anyone from approaching the economic world in the same way.

If you hate capitalism, don’t play. But don’t expect capitalists to pay your way either.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 18, 2010 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

But none of this has been sufficient to get the Capitalists to open their wallets to rehire the workers they had fired.  Plainly put the Capitalists are hoarding money and not sharing it with the workers. 
**************************************

I’m sorry but it sounds to me like you have no idea what either a JOB is, nor what MONEY is.  I’m not surprised—most people think a job is a place you go to do something you don’t like for which they give you money.  Money is stuff you take to the store to get other stuff.  AND THAT’S ALL THEY ARE.

But that’s not what either is.

A job implies that there’s a task that needs doing, a task that ADDS VALUE to the company doing the hiring.  The value may be direct—sell a gazillion widgets, removed but still direct—MAKE a gazillion widgets that can then be sold, or ancillary—make it possible for the seller and the maker to do their jobs (I.T. depts in many firms have this function.) THAT is what a job is!

Money is a promise. It’s not a car or a kippered herring or gym socks.  It is IN AND OF ITSELF WITHOUT VALUE!!!!  It is only as a medium of exchange that it attains value.  So I build canoes and you make blankets.  We can either barter them (but who want to carry around canoes and blankets? How do you make change?) or we can use a contract—a dollar bill or a gold coin.  Doesn’t matter. The MONEY itself is valueless, even if it’s gold.

Several posters have astutely noted that this has gone on for 30 years.  29 years and 4 months to be exact—the day that destructive bast@rd, Ronald Reagan, took office and started dismantling all the safeguards in the economy, breaking unions, and shipping manufacturing overseas.  He led us down the path of self-destruction like no other President until Bush 43.

Every attempt to create a new manufacturing base, such as in wind and solar energy, has been met with every possible resistance by the auto and oil companies.  We don’t even have a steel industry anymore—Reagan/Bush shipped THAT overseas, too!

I’ve been unemployed during this mess. I’m classed as “educated” and “white collar” and I was given the bum’s rush anyway. I busted my butt to find another job, doing everything you’re supposed to, and, in the end, I just got lucky.  It wasn’t a good job, in fact it was a miserable one, but it paid well, and let me get back on my feet. I was even able to find a better one (doesn’t pay as well, but So What?).  But I was on unemployment for nearly 5 months, forced to go to government-run “orientations” in parts of town with no parking and only bus service, where they gave you flyers on training to become a forklift operator.  Not that it isn’t honest work, but MY construction days are hopefully LONG over.

Still, I got lucky, but I know what it’s like to be a statistic in this recession.

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By Yuvid 1, May 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

This article is so biased and unbalanced I am really surprised that Truthdig published it.  Many more of this type of propaganda and I won’t be returning.

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By renoliz, May 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

How can you include people who have been unemployed for years and those who don’t wish to work due to substance abuse in your anecdotes.  It has been said that anecdotes do not make your point and yet that is what you are using here.  My husband did take a paycut but he did get another job and it is a good one.  Does that prove there is some economic recovery?  Being raised by frightened and stressed out parents is nothing new to most Americans. We have no health care system.  We have no child care system. We have no eductional system.  We have what you can get in your state.  We have no security in this country and we’ve known that for years. We need to get our act together and have education that is affordable and useful. 

Just being a megaphone for the negative aspects of our economy by trumpeting this crock is not fixing our economy.  We need to raise taxes on a sliding scale, we need to have government regulation put back in place for banking and we need to not pay for people who do not want to work while helping those who do get more education.  The blue collar jobs will not be coming back but there is still reasonably well paying work if you are a car mechanic or any number of “service” oriented blue callar jobs. 

By the way, California is the worst off state and they have no choice but to cut programs because they don’t have a system in place to raise taxes.  The economic recovery in other areas of the country, though modest are at least a sign of hope.

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By gerard, May 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Shift:  It would help more people who need the information if you would spell out a little more in detail what you mean by “local alternative economies.”  There are probably many unemployed people who do not know what you mean, and the necessary information is nsot easy to find online unless you know where to look.  Thanks.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, May 18, 2010 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

There is absolutely NOTHING original in Boyarsky’s piece. All he does is describe what it’s like in the world of the unemployed. That world, sometimes big, sometimes small, will always be with us. What measures a recession is how many white collar jobs are lost. Blue collar and unskilled schlubs are ALWAYS on the cusp. That’s the definition of unskilled: First victims.

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By unfazed, May 18, 2010 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

This is NOT A RECESSION.

You’ve been in a train wreck. Your body is torn, mutilated, and crushed. Your
mind is traumatized. You are semi-conscious. You are in constant pain.

It is not a recession, a temporary inconvenience, a life-sucks moment. It is a
train wreck.

“Everything will be ok” is the FUTURE; the future never comes. Tomorrow never
comes.

It only makes it thousands of times worse that liars like Obama and everybody
in between are instrumental making this train wreck happen. Conservative,
liberal, it does not matter: Everybody in the position to prevent this didn’t.
They knew, and they looked not the other way but their own way; what’s in it
for them and them alone.

This is NOT A RECESSION.

Stop fucking patronizing people.

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By mike112769, May 18, 2010 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

LJL: Well said. This should show exactly how “trickle-down” economics works. I had a perfectly good job, and was laid off as soon as the presidential election results were in. I don’t blame Obama for that one, I blame my company. They laid a lot of people off in protest for electing a democrat.

RUDYSPEAKS: Agreed,sir.

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By LJL, May 18, 2010 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Reading about the employment crisis in America is like witnessing a cheap magic act.  And it is amazing how well the trickster’s sleight of hand has worked.  Because Capitalist pawns, right left and center, have been fooled into thinking that somehow the government itself fired 8 million Americans from their jobs and now it is the government’s job to hire them back.  But in fact it was the Capitalists who fired the workers, and it is the Capitalists who now refuse to rehire them.  The truth is that the government has done everything in its power to stimulate hiring, interest rates have been at historic lows for an ungodly long time.  President Obama has tried to stimulate hiring through unprecedented government projects and tax cuts to business to encourage hiring.  But none of this has been sufficient to get the Capitalists to open their wallets to rehire the workers they had fired.  Plainly put the Capitalists are hoarding money and not sharing it with the workers.  And against this the American government can do nothing more than it already has unless . . . .  Unless we nationalize the companies, take 51% or more stake so the government can mandate rehiring American workers. 

You can be sure that all those people who are blaming President Obama and the government for the current unemployment are knowingly or unknowingly capitalist stooges.

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By bob, May 18, 2010 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is simply the honey tongued traitor selected by the bailed-out class to keep the rubes down.

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By mrfreeze, May 18, 2010 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

rudyspeaks1 - Nicely stated.

Most Americans view our brand of capitalism as a “religion” rather than the flawed economic system it is. By this I don’t mean capitalism or socialism or Marxism or any of the isms are the solution to our human struggle to deal with the world. However, the notion that capitalism is, by its nature, supposed to “create jobs” or “give back” or “support the community” or “be a good citizen” are all a bunch of PR baloney. In the last 30 years we have seen the disappearance of a capitalism that served a larger common good to a virulent, self-serving mechanism designed solely for the purpose of shareholder/owner value.

In the end, average Americans are fooling themselves if they believe “things will get better” for them. Things will certainly get better for those in control of the capital (and by default in control of labour, government, etc.) and that class of people don’t give a damn about the rest of us. For them, in the morning when they light the incense at their shrine to Ayn Rand copulating with Alan Greenspan, they will say a little prayer for the “free loaders and parasites” (read that as you and me) who would “steal” their hard-earned profits. After all we’re nothing but beggars and functionaries and we need god’s (I mean capitalism’s) help. Right?

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By RdV, May 18, 2010 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

Well, of course the wealthy are doing well. HuffPost had an article from the LA times about how spending among the bailed-out class is driving consumer numbers up. Of course Obama is relaxed and confident, the class he serves is doing well, while he lectures us about shared sacrifice and “entitlements” that must be slashed to lower the deficit. Considering the endless billions funnelled to Wall St and the ongoing suffering of the average American, that he would even suggest further cuts to the safety net revel what a bankrupt tool Obama really is.

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By rudyspeaks1, May 18, 2010 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

The subtext of all of these articles is that we’re in some sort of “business cycle”
that has to “get better”. The racist ponzi scheme (Housing bubble) that just
collapsed was itself merely camouflage for the 30 year dramatic restructuring of
our economy and THAT is the real problem. Those jobs won’t be back because
they are now situated in other countries. With the economy permanently
destroyed the banks started to loot what was left, running up huge private debts
which were then transferred to the public books. And every solution that you will
see floated to deal with this mess will have one characteristic: the poor (and
middle class) will be asked to pay for it. The alternatives, “Tobin Tax” on financial
transactions, Eisenhower-level marginal tax rates for the rich, serious corporate
tax reform, are all MIA. 3rd parties aren’t a fantasy… they are your ONLY hope.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, May 18, 2010 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

Everyday, in Every way we are getting better and better….

Repeat after me….

Everyday, in every way we are getting better and better….

maybe that’s because the stock market is up, it’s up because when people lose their jobs, and life savings…the companies they used to work for become more profitable… so that means profits are up….

The stock market likes that….

Yes, the economy is growing again, like a tumor that’s survived chemotherapy…

and as the downturn continues, well then there will be more unemployment, because laying off people increases profits…

it’s a vicious circle, or a downward spiral, take your pick…

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By balkas, May 18, 2010 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

And the system that allowed or even commanded it not losing one single hair because of it.

For the world peace and its betterment, its the best thing that happened.

How many of these people are protesting wars? How many are trying to change the system via a political party?
In any case, the less people use the better for us all! tnx

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By Shift, May 18, 2010 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

The unemployed are being forced to pay the price for purposeful criminal behavior by big banks.  The criminals are being well fed while the working man goes hungry. 

People can choose not to be a part of that hostile world by seeking out and participating in the local alternative economies. Make the transition.

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By elwoodpdowd, May 18, 2010 at 4:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The government lackeys are on 24-7 nonstop Orwellian Newspeak ala Goebbels and the Nazi propagandists. It’s always good news- whether it’s the imperial wars, the environment or the economy. When they talk I picture Hitler and Goebbels in that musty bunker as late as April,1945, with Soviet guns booming just a block away, their radio broadcasts still predicting a glorious Nazi victory.

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By Commune115, May 18, 2010 at 2:13 am Link to this comment

Social revolution is the only solution. Wake up!

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