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Saturday, September 06, 2008

There is no comfort in numbers
Posted by Jill | 6:46 AM
Usually when people experience setbacks in their lives, it's a comfort to know that others have been through it too, and ARE going through it too. But there's no comfort in this:
Businesses slashed jobs and the nation's unemployment rate hit a five-year high in August, the government reported yesterday, dashing hopes that the economy might stabilize in the second half of the year and showing that trouble has spread far beyond the housing and financial sectors.


The unemployment rate rose to 6.1 percent, from 5.7 percent in July, according to the data released yesterday, making for the most severe four-month rise in joblessness since 1981. More people looked for second jobs to help make ends meet, with little apparent success.

Meanwhile the nation's employers cut 84,000 net jobs, the eighth consecutive month of declines. They have shed a combined 600,000 positions from their payrolls in 2008. Of major categories of employers, only the health-care industry and government added jobs in August.

"These are really ugly numbers," said Scott Anderson, a senior economist at Wells Fargo. "There's been optimism out there that we might be nearing an endpoint, that housing is stabilizing, that the stock market may have turned a corner. But this reinforces the view that things are going to get worse before they get better."

Swell. Just swell. And the cruel irony is that while only the health care industry and government added jobs in August, my job was in mental health research through a quasi-government agency -- and we had five people cut.

So I wonder what the Bush Administration and the McCain campaign, both of which believe that the economy is "fundamentally strong" suggest people looking for work do. Fortunately we are not in a position where we have to sell the house (not for a year or so anyway, depending on how long I'm out of work), but you have to live somewhere and an apartment wouldn't be much cheaper than our house. We don't have car payments, we don't have credit card debt. So I wonder what John McCain has to say to all of us out here who are out of work, while his wife wears $300,000 worth of finery to his party's convention.

I'm serious. I'm all ears.


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Blogger Fran said...
What a great post- I wish I had answers. I was just in a conversation/comment thread about the "elites."

The liberal "elites" are perceived in one way, yet there is much myth about it.

The conservative elites - no quotation marks needed - are way out there, but somehow it feels like they can connect with the so-called common person.

I do not understand.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
And in other news.

Feds Poised for Takeover of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

For a bunch that is so violently opposed to even the whiff of "socialism", having the government take over most of the home mortgages in the country....
They've already taken over major banking institutions. [More to come!]

But then, I guess it's only "socialism" if they plan to actually run it. I suppose if they only "own" it, it doesn't count. Let the incompetents who ran it into the ground keep running it [further into the ground?]. I wonder what bonuses Freddie and Fannie will be paying out this year!

Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...
You know, even at my wedding, my total outfit was worth:
$500 dress
$400 ring
$200 engagement ring
$100 necklace
$75 unmentionables
$20 shoes

And I liked that Cindy McCain was wearing all that while she asked people for money for hurricane victims. Of course, Laura's outfit only cost a few thousand bucks.