Stimulating Unemployment

Posted: October 5, 2009 in Economy
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So much for that stimulus package creating more jobs. The unemployment numbers for September were released on Friday and they had risen to 9.8 percent. Wall Street had expected 180,000 job losses, but the total came in at 263,000. President Obama, if one recalls, had promised that unemployment would not exceed 8 percent because the “emergency” stimulus plan that was rammed through was supposed to be so fantastic. But hey, at least we’ll have all those shiny propaganda signs out on the roads letting us know that the money is being spent somewhere… at more than $1000 a clip for a piece of painted sheet metal.

Vice President Joe Biden tried to ease concerns by saying that the rate of unemployment has slowed and he’s confident we’re going to recover. Of course we’ll eventually recover if capitalism is left to do its thing. The Obama administration likes to point back at the policies of Roosevelt during the Great Depression, but FDR’s policies did more to muddle the situation for twelve years than actually help, and it took World War II with its military enlistment and need for new industry to break us out.

To be fair, Roosevelt did create some jobs with programs like the Tennessee Valley Authority which involved dam construction to bring electricity to southern farms. Other programs built schools and roads. Workers also flocked to such projects like the construction of the Hoover Dam and the Empire State Building. These jobs provided a temporary boost to families to help them get through the times. Could our government be doing anything like this? Sure, we can point to those road construction zones that are sporting those outrageously overpriced signs (hint: give the sign money to the workers!). How about that gaping hole in New York City known as Ground Zero that should have new buildings on it eight years after they were brought down. You mean to tell me you can’t round up all those unemployed right now to reconstruct the towers? Americans would be damn proud to work on that project.

Instead, we’re fed a load of rhetoric and are taxed to pay for that failing stimulus package. Somehow this is supposed to make us feel better about the possibility of government-run health care? The government needs to prove it can handle its own business first before it even thinks about trying to handle ours.

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