Jul 082011
 

According to one of the pontificators on NPR’s Marketplace, the economy is actually fine, we’re just in a “jobs recession.”

Now I feel better.

This is what passes for insightful commentary among the media elite on the day that unemployment shot back up to 9.2 percent.

“If you’re rich, it’s great,” says Felix Salmon, Reuters columnist. “But if you’re a working person it’s terrible.”
As for President Obama, he reacted to the terrible jobs report by saying: “We still have a long way to go.”

Except he shows no inclination to go there.

He’s wrapped up in the Republican austerity agenda so tight he can’t find his way to suggest anything to reduce unemployment.

He meekly suggested that reducing the deficit would help create jobs, though most economists acknowledge such cuts will hurt the economy – and the unemployed.

We all know that President Obama needs to raise $1 billion for his presidential campaign, and Republicans are falling over themselves to kill financial reform in their efforts to woo Wall Street. You have to admire the Republicans’ focus: they don’t give a damn about the economy, they only care about getting rid of Obama.

But both Obama and the Republicans they must be counting on only the rich voting.

The day before the jobs report, Obama’s top political adviser told Bloomberg News that the unemployment rate wouldn’t hurt Obama’s reelection chances. Obama adviser David Plouffe also asserted that people thought that the economy was getting better, based on anecdotal evidence.

Here’s what Plouffe had to say:

“You see, people’s — people’s attitude towards their own personal financial situation has actually improved over time. You know, they’re still concerned about the long-term economic future of the country, but it’s things like “My sister was unemployed for six months and was living in my basement and now she has a job.

There’s a — a “help wanted” sign. You know, the local diner was a little busier this week. Home Depot was a little busier. These are the ways people talk about the economy.”

Either Plouffe is drinking his own Kool-Aid or thinks he can play off the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression as a minor dip.

As emptywheel points out on Firedoglake, the measures of consumer confidence don’t agree with Plouffe’s blithe assessment. As emptywheel suggests, if they expect voters to keep them in their jobs, Plouffe, Obama and the rest of the administration need to get out of their bubble and start listening “to the pain of real people.”

Martin Berg

 

About Martin Berg

Martin Berg, WheresOurMoney.org editor, is a veteran journalist.

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