Friday, October 01, 2010

"Always in the last 30%"

Watching an interview with Bill Clinton last night and he made the following comment very casually, citing it as good news, “…that we’ve recovered 70% of the income we lost from the recession.” He went on to compare us to some other countries, “Germany’s at 60% Japan’s at 50%, U.K’s at 30%.” He admitted we’re not there yet. “We don’t have the jobs yet, because they come always in the last 30%.”

There are a couple of ways in which I find that quote rather disturbing.

I find it disturbing that the men and women who roll up their sleeves and go to work every day for a paycheck make up less than 30% of this nation’s economy. That is, of course, a wildly inaccurate reaction to his statement, since a large portion of them are working and being part of the economy. It is only the unemployed who are in that 30%, which is unrecovered loss and not the economy as a whole. Still, there is a casualness and flavor the to nature of that reference to jobs, sort of tossed in as an afterthought, that bothers me. It seems to slight the importance of jobs.

And, why do jobs come last? Why is job recovery “always in the last 30%” anyway? Why do the bankers, investment managers, corporations and stock holders all get their money back before the working man and woman gets to participate in the “recovery?”

Maybe I’m just a ten-year-old pouting that the world is not fair. It is what it is. Still, whatever the economic trend is doing, I don’t think that anyone in the political arena should even use the word “recovery” until wage earners are participating in it.

1 comment:

bruce said...

With all due respect to former President Clinton, he doesn't know what the F*** he's talking about. Casually tossing (mis) information like that IS disturbing. What's even more disturbing is that some people will take it as gospel and believe it.

A jobless recovery is not really a "true" recovery. Tax cuts and loans and whatnot are not going to help people uless they have demand for products and services. It is a vicious cycle, to be sure. At least President Obama does have one thing right - it will be harder before it gets better and there's no telling how long that will take.

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