Friday, August 7, 2009

Re: the Unemployment "good news."

From Doug Henwood, a most trusted reporter on the US economy, whose weekly radio program and whose Left Business Observer are tent-poles buttressing my shoddy, B- theory-tarp.
While the unemployment rate fell by 0.1 point to 9.4%, the first decline since April 2008, it looks like a lot of people have given up the job search as hopeless, meaning they’re no longer counted as officially unemployed. And the ranks of the unemployed are increasingly dominated by people who’ve been jobless for half a year or more—people whose prospects for re-employment in the future are usually quite damaged by these long spells outside the labor force.

So while there are some signs that the recession is drawing to a close—an impression confirmed by the drop in first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week—the job market is still awful, and the recovery that’s likely to follow the end of the recession sometime later this year will almost certainly be very weak and not very joyful. The U.S. economy has some serious structural problems that aren’t even being discussed, much less addressed.

But I guess it's hard to find time to discuss "serious structural problems" amidst all of this latent xenophobe-qua-deficit-hawk Tea Partying? Between this and the Diana from OR vid [see below]. I feel like our political culture has less depth than, say, an average NFL Films presentation from the late 1960s.

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