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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Inauguration Day Madman

February 8, 2009


The Era of Empty Pockets

What can Americans do without in the wake of their jobs having been lost? It's a fair question and one which just about every single unemployed American must answer.

With the news that some 598,000 Americans lost their jobs in the last month George W. Bush was President (January 2009) - a number some 17,000 jobs lost worse than the 581,000 predicted by the "experts" (do they still have their jobs?) - the number of Americans who are asking "What now?" is growing with no end in sight.

The news that the unemployment rate has risen to 7.6 percent is even worse news because it's a number that all Americans can understand. The highest rate during the Bush (43) years represents the worst rate of his presidency, and it surpasses the rate Bush (41) left to the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton. That rate was 7.5 percent.

When the Clinton administration turned our economy over to the latest Bush administration, nearly sixty-six (65.9) percent of the of the non-institutionalized workforce above sixteen years of age was employed. Today that rate has fallen to just over sixty (60.5) percent. It represents a loss of over eight percent of our national workforce.

To put the number of Americans without jobs in perspective, think about this: If the rate of 65.9 percent were merely kept up to by the Bush (43) administration, there would be nearly 20 million (19.11 million) more jobs available and for those who are unemployed to be working at today.

That's 20 million more jobs. Thank about it.

The latest job numbers show losses in almost all industries with "goods producing" - a.k.a. manufacturing and construction - jobs leading the way with 319,000 disappearing.

And that's in just for one month!

The only industries showing job increases were education and health services (54,000) and - get ready for this - government, which projected an increase of 6,000 jobs.

(Note: It was Michael Steele who said, "Government has never created a job," right after winning the job of Republican National Committee Chairman this past week. He must have missed the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' news release this month.)

With the loss of their jobs, many Americans will have to do without health care, medicine heat during the Winter and cool, air conditioned air in the summer. Many Americans will do without their homes as they get foreclosed on by the lending institutions which lined up to give them the loans in the first place as well. But those things are merely the tip of the economic iceberg.

Those of us in the middle class will go without going out to eat or seeing a movie. We'll go without that family vacation or even forego their family's reunion. In short, they'll go without the things necessary to keep our economy going.

It's The Era of Empty Pockets.

The GOP leaders look at the economy as a whole, not as a group of individuals with independent needs making up that whole. It's the reason they try and revise history to tell us all that FDR's New deal was a failure. They point to the Clinton years as a "lucky" period in our nation's history surrounded by two "unlucky" periods led by men named "Bush".

I don't believe in coincidence.

The jobs lost prior to Clinton and since tell the whole story. If it were just bad luck then it's name must be synonymous withy "Bush".

I hope we all can remember that when Jeb (Bush) runs in 2012.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to, ""The 'FDR Failed' Myth," Robert Scardapane writes:

FDR did not fail but the Republicans did and are failing us once again. The Republicans have chosen obstruction for political goals at a time when their nation desperately needs cooperation. Obama lived up to his promise; he appointed Republicans to his cabinet and he invited the Republican leadership to the bargaining table. What was his reward? The Republicans stabbed him in the back. If it wasn't for 3 reasonable Republicans we would be making no progress at all.

Enough with Republican lies, political games and outright hypocrisy. If the Republicans can't find an ounce of statesmanship in them when their nation is in a crisis, they should get out of the way.

In response to, "Those 'earning' their money in the market (whenever that happens again) don't pay any withholding tax on that "income" much in the same way they don't pay any Withholding tax over the magic and arbitrary 100G mark," Pat Thompson writes:

And those making millions in hedge funds pay only a 15% tax, due to some loophole. Social Security would remain secure for generations to come if all income was subject to FICA and Medicare Tax.

And in response to, Tom Daschle "was a mentor to Obama in the Senate," pat Thompson writes:

They never served at the same time. Daschle lost his seat in 04, and that is when Obama won his. Daschle was an early supporter of Obama's presidential campaign.

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-Noah Greenberg