Obama Still Not Leveling with the Public as Unemployment Climbs
by Dan Ehrlich

President Obama, at town hall meeting, maintained while millions of people are still struggling, due to lost jobs and other economic hardships, this recession is history. "It's still (the recession) very real for them," the President said, responding to the National Bureau of Economic Research's assessment that the recession lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.

Obama’s statement and these figures are examples of what I brought out just a couple of days-ago on Hard-Truths. (See following story). The president made a similar statement a few months-ago, saying for people who had lost their jobs the recession was still a reality. His latest pronouncement continues to ignore the hard truth facing the USA.

Obama based his latest attempt at public sympathy on figures showing the recession officially ended last year. That was about the time when our unemployment figures went down to 9.5 per cent from 10 percent and our gross domestic product showed modest gains.

But, now our unemployment rate is climbing again, currently 9.6 percent and in California it has just gone from 12.1 percent to 12.3 percent.

"Something that took 10 years to create is going to take a little more time to solve," Obama said. But one woman answered the president. "I'm disappointed where we are right now… Is this my new reality?" Another man asked, "Is the American dream dead?" Still Obama insisted, the economy is moving in the right direction

The new reality the woman was probably referring to was lasting high unemployment and lower living standards. Yet for Obama’s part this is all part of the tried and tested business strategy of having older folks forget how things used to be and having younger citizens accept things as they now are, very similar to super market pricing, using weekly ads to first lower them raise prices.

Remember, decades ago, when American industry was king, we rated economic downturns by the percentage of people unemployed. Anything over 5 percent was a recession. However, as our industry receded and our employment factors became less stable, we switched to gross domestic product as a measure of our economic health. Part of today’s new reality is America could have 25 percent unemployment, but as long as we were making more goods, we wouldn’t be in a recession.

For example, General motors took billions in bailout money, yet cut back its workforce and now claims it is making a profit with fewer models and fewer workers.

The new reality is unless we develop new exclusive industries we will always have excessively high unemployment and our living standards will decline. So, while Obama often trumpets America’s industrial resurgence, he has yet to show a plan let alone any results. As for his comment about 10 years in the making, I’m afraid it has been a bit longer than that.

Once we became a wealthy, gluttonous consumer nation our fate was sealed and our destiny was transferred to emerging dollar-a-day manufacturing powerhouses in Asia and Latin America who could provide our all-you-can-eat appetite with cheap goods.

Following WW2 had our leaders and corporate giants been content to keep American appetites on a diet of homegrown products, we wouldn’t have been able to afford so many things we take now take for granted. On the other hand, more Americans would working and as a nation we would be a lot more secure and happy.

For starters Obama could make good on an election promise to create thousands of public works jobs with major projects all over the country. Undertakings such as a transcontinetal water aqueduct and green friendly power plants might be great to kick off our recovery.

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