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.


2 responses to “A Jobs Summit: Wishing and Hoping?

  1. I sure wish they’d include the college graduates that can’t seem to find ANY job and are desperate for a job in their unemployment numbers! I graduated in Dec. 08 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Organizational Communications with a major in Public Relations. I didn’t have a job prior to graduating and I am still looking. I am not included in the unemployment rate. Unfortunately, I am on my second round of six month deferments for my student loans. At this rate I’ll exhaust all the deferments permitted (granted due to unemployment) on the loan before I ever land a job. In the mean time while interest is piling up on the loans and “they” are figuring out how to get a job to trickle down to me this issue needs to be addressed. If unemployment benefits can be extended, then the six month grace period on student loans immediately following graduation for students should also be extended.

  2. I agree. This is a big problem — and it points to the fact that we are in the midst of a jobless recovery. Recent grads — and young people trying to build careers in general — have been hurt badly by this recession, job losses and fact that many baby boomers are delaying retirement.

    And you raise an interesting point about student loans. It should be considered — along with other matters at the jobs summit.

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