Daily Archives: November 18, 2009

A Jobs Summit: Wishing and Hoping?

Kind of a slow news day. There’s more on the net about the Sarah Palin Newsweek cover photo kerfuffle —  a bold and descriptive illustration (used previously in Runner’s World) depicting the contrasts that Palin represents or a shameful exploitation and sexist to boot. Gee, guess it depends on your world view. And ho-hum. I opined on that Monday.

And everyone seems more interested in Bill Belichick’s play-calling than in the long-awaited decision by Prez O about whether to send more American troops into the rat hole that is Afghanistan. Oops. I digress.

Anyway,  as I was making my five-mile pre-dawn running tour of the neighborhood this morning it struck me that maybe we have lost sight of what should be the biggest issue in this country now: jobs.

Folks, the Great Recession might be easing somewhat — if measured by recent stock market gains and modest improvements in housing and in consumer confidence. But there are still millions unemployed — millions who are working at jobs for which they are overqualified and most likely underpaid — millions — especially seniors and young people — who have dropped out of the job market altogether.

A solution? Well, how about a national jobs summit. That’s going to take place at the White House Dec. 3.

Will calling together business pooh-bahs, policy wonks and other miscreants get people back to work? Well, here’s wishing and hoping.

Here’s from Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, writing on The Huffington Post, “A Wake Up Call on Jobs“:

President Obama has announced a White House Jobs Summit for next month. At least that’s the beginning of recognition that the unemployment rate is unacceptable. The measured rate is now 10.2 percent, but if you count people who have given up or who are involuntarily working part time, the real rate is over 17 percent.

And the point:

If past Obama White House Summits are any guide, this one will invite a broad cross section of people: trade unionists and deficit hawks, investment bankers and labor economists, industrialists and Republicans; and everyone will speak of the importance of their pet project for job creation. That’s not good enough. This is not a moment for another White House gab fest. It’s a time for progressive leadership.

Hmm — progressive leadership.

Here’s wishing.

And hoping.