Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

Our Dear Leader is holding a summit to discuss how top reduce the dire unemployment figures in our country. He's got business people, academics, economists and union members all sitting around figuring out how to reduce unemployment. It's a conundrum isn't it, how to reduce unemployment? After all unemployment wrecks lives, wrecks election prospects and makes us all look bad. Australia hasn't even had a recession, those nasty socialists with their well regulated banks and socialized medicine. Italy has had gruesome budget deficits for decades and yet look how well Italians live. Of course they are hemmed in by government regulations and lack of prospects but they get free health care and free education so I suppose it's not all bad for them either.

Here in the land of the free and the home of the brave we are enjoying 10.2 percent official unemployment with new numbers out tomorrow. Official unemployment and under employment stand at 17.5 percent and unofficial unofficial estimates of people who've just given up and are scrounging indicate we may well be past the twenty percent mark. Now it used to be said that a country was in a Depression if unemployment reached 25%, because there is no official measure of an economic depression. A recession is measured by "negative economic activity" and we've been doing a fair bit of that the past year. Lately we saw a slight upward blip thanks to the cash for clunkers program so we are officially out of Recession, even though unemployment is nudging Depression levels.

What's more you need to be brave to be unemployed in these United States, because unlike our down trodden friends in the socialist states of Europe we lose our health insurance when we lose our jobs. We don't get guaranteed government payouts to keep us alive. Our "dole" runs out after just a few weeks and you know Congress is reluctant to extend those benefits because of the Federal Budget Deficit. Bummer, I guess we will see soup lines back in the land of the free. Cool, it will be like a living history museum. "See children. This is why FDR got us started with Medicare and Social Security. Remember his four freedoms? Want, fear, of religion and free speech." And we will stand on the sidelines and watch the starving in our midst shuffle up for soup like someone out of the 1930s.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had this to say in his first inaugural address to the nation:

“Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men…They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish. The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths.”

Our Dear Leader says he wants the most bang for the buck when dealing with unemployment relief. Sensible I suppose but not exactly inspirational. The most bang for the buck? It's easy. The solution to unemployment is to hire people. If you give people jobs they are no longer unemployed. Let's get them working through a new Works Progress Administration. It worked for the man who spoke those inspirational words of leadership in italics above, it might well work for Mr "Bang For The Buck." Easy peasy. Let's move on to figuring how we are going to punish the financial louts that got us here. Oh what's that you say? The deficit? I know it's awful isn't it, running up debt and ruining the future and everything. Yup. Well, let's hoard our cash, kill a few more Afghans and then perhaps the unemployed will have had the decency to die of starvation like gentlemen. I mean really if we have to choose between starving Americans and the budget deficit I choose the deficit every time. No More Deficit! And if that means soup lines and starvation and no health insurance and tons of homeless everywhere so be it. Future generations will thank us.

This message brought to you by an employed American with health care and a roof over his head.

Johnson On Sugarloaf

It happens form time to time that life serves up little disappointments and one has to be brave and take what one is given. North Johnson Road was a nothing place it turned out.It sits on the north side of the Overseas Highway just south (or west of you are going to be pedantic) of the restaurant known as Mangrove Mama's on Sugarloaf Key. I'd noticed it for years as I trudged between the restaurant and Sugarloaf School on this straight stretch of Highway One, but I never stopped to check it out.That's the thing about yielding to temptation. Sometimes the result doesn't live up to billing! I saw a winding, mysterious little lane leading off into the mangroves. What I found after 100 yards (90 meters) was a double barrelled No Trespassing sign. And a pretty little flower by way of compensation.
I did discover one thing though and this compound turns out to be......the nature Conservancy. That and three bucks will buy me a large con leche, but I never knew this was where these good people hung out. Now I do, and so do you.And in the back there was a tall house, possibly the residence protected by all the No Trespassing signs.Somebody got it into their heads that North Johnson is a real street and needed a real (and very restrictive) speed limit. I wonder what awful traffic violation was committed on this runt of a street that merited the installation of an actual speed limit?Casting around for something to photograph I saw this yellow International Jeep-like thing sitting under a palm tree all ready to go, everyone's idea of ideal Keys wheels.
And this, rather less evocative view is the maintenance yard of some utility or another, possibly the phone company I think.
And that, in summary is North Johnson Road.Not much to it really, so from now on I'll ride by and know that I'm not missing anything.