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.