“Nearly half of the unemployed–45.9%–have been out of work longer than six months, more than at any time since the Labor Department began keeping track in 1948…Overall, seven million Americans have been looking for work for 27 weeks or more, and most of them–4.7 million–have been out of work for a year or more.”
“Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the economy has now recovered sufficiently for government to begin to make way for private business investment.
Mr. Geithner’s comments on Sunday, which echo previous sentiments expressed by President Barack Obama, reflect a turning point in the government response to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, a period marked by deep federal intervention in the financial, housing, auto and other industries.
“We need to make that transition now to a recovery led by private investment,” Mr. Geithner said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Led by private investment? Corporations are sitting on nearly $2 trillion of profits now and unemployment is still hovering around 10%. Just when is this private investment going to kick in and start hiring?
“A survey last month of more than 1,000 chief financial officers by Duke University and CFO magazine showed that nearly 60 percent of those executives don’t expect to bring their employment back to pre-recession levels until 2012 or later — even though they’re projecting a 12 percent rise in earnings and a 9 percent boost in capital spending over the next year.”
“2012 or later” huh? Something else is scheduled for 2012, isn’t it? Conspicuously convenient timing for the unemployment picture to start improving if you ask me.
Why aren’t corporations hiring now? The Chamber of Commerce claims it’s because of the “onerous regulations” being placed on them by the Obama administration. Now if one had a conspiratorial mind one might think that big business wants to keep the unemployment numbers high through 2012 so that they get a Republican Congress this year to be followed by a Republican president in 2012 who would cancel all those “onerous regulations.” One might think that, and one would be right, in my opinion.
Sadly, the administration seems to be willing to accept 9% or higher as the new norm:
“The White House said Friday it expects that unemployment will stay at or above 9% until 2012, but at the same time forecast that the economy will grow by at least 4% in 2011 and 2012.”
To whom it may concern at the White House:
If you seriously think that the economy has “recovered sufficiently” so that the government can get out of the way and let private investment take over on job creation; if you’re willing to accept unemployment at 9% or above through 2012; schedule the moving vans for the morning of January 20, 2013.