Thursday, December 3, 2009

Get a job

Today the much heralded Jobs Summit is taking place in Washington, in which our economic, business, financial, and academic elite all trudge to the White House to submit some resumes to Rahm Emanuel in the hope that someone, anyone, will hire them in this terrible, terrible job market. Also, maybe they'll discuss some ways to get the rest of the country employed. Maybe.

But there is one problem to doing any jobs-centric stimulus bill. One, of course, is that it has to get past the Senate. Secondly, is that it will actually cost money to do. This is not surprising to those of us who realize that wishes don't create jobs, but is apparently a big stumbling block for the White House. They're a little too concerned about phony deficit debates. As such, they're wringing their hands over the fact that they might actually have to spend money on *shudder* people.
Obama has summoned 130 corporate executives, economists, small-business owners and union leaders to the White House to sound out ideas for accelerating job growth during the worst labor market in a generation.
But Obama's options are limited, as the administration already has signaled that it is unwilling to make any investments that would add significantly to the nation's ballooning deficit.
It is far from clear that Obama will embrace all the ideas being promoted by his supporters in organized labor, who are making calls for direct funding of federal public works jobs, another round of aid to cash-strapped states and cities, and funding for infrastructure projects.

Taken together, those initiatives could cost hundreds of billions of dollars -- a tab Obama seems unwilling to shoulder. The White House has been warmer to ideas to use federal money to leverage private investments.
Let's recap. When Wall Street and banks are in trouble: "Dear God man, this is a catastrophe of epic proportions! Get out the checkbook and start handing out blank checks. No cost is too high, no expense will be spared!"

When unemployment rates are over 10% and showing no signs of improving: "Riiiiiiiight. Are you sure there's not some job creating machine that we already built, that we just can't turn on now? No? Yeah....I think it's time we had a little talk about fiscal responsibility and potential increases in theoretical debt payments decades down the line. I'd inside-out my pockets to mime being broke, but these pants are pretty expensive and you aren't supposed to do that to them. Go away now."

Finally, nearly two years into this collapse, someone finally gets around to saying "Oh shit, what about the people who actually have to live in this country" and you all magically get concerned about deficits, and start spreading bullshit about debt and spending too much. What is the goal? Inaction on unemployment. But of course. Enjoy your jobs summit, I'm sure the theater of it will be lovely. You can pretend you're soliciting opinions from all these various new sources and then you'll just go back to listening to the same old ones that get tight when helping humans is mentioned. Ahh Washington, you never disappoint.

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