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A few questions

I’m trying to decide what to write for the Urban News this month. One of the biggest problems that I have is that I’m always turning in my articles as the new job numbers come out. So, I tend to want to talk about jobs. Jobs are important. They are probably the most important thing that is facing America right now. I could talk about how the GOP has blocked programs which are designed to help low- and middle-class families get jobs and get ahead.

I guess I could talk about Paul Ryan’s budget and his plan. He basically wants to give money to the rich and simply cut government down to size. If we enacted Ryan’s plan, the rich would take home about $265,000, plus the moolah from the Bush tax cuts, which would be extended. It cuts Medicaid, job grants, Pell grants and other programs which are designed to help the poor and middle class then you have most of the savings from Paul Ryan’s plan.

I could chat about CEO salaries. The average CEO pay rose more than 700% from 1978 until 2011. The average work pay has only increased by 5.7% during the same timeĀ period.

I don’t know. What do you think that I should write about??

By |2012-05-08T00:44:08-04:00May 7th, 2012|Domestic Issues, Economy|3 Comments

Job numbers are good but we need better

Slowly but surely, the economy is heading in the right direction. If the economy were a patient, the patient would still be in the ICU on multiple antibiotics. Though still on a ventilator, the patient looks better and is heading in the right direction. An infusion of 244,000 new jobss is part of the prescription for getting the patient back on his/her feet. Over the last three months, private sector jobs have grown by over 700,000. This is all good news. Yet, as I have said over the previous months, it is not time to do the happy dance. It is time to give our patient an infusion of more jobs (stimulus), which will really jumpstart the economy. This is what is desperately needed. Unfortunately, the political atmosphere in Washington will not get this done. No meaningful legislation will come out of the House over the next 18 months.

We still have 14 million Americans who are unemployed. 14 million Americans! At our current rate of job growth we can get our unemployment level back to prerecession levels by the year 2016. Who can wait that long?

If you look at the numbers more critically and break down unemployment by groups, certain groups are clearly hurting more than others. The unemployment rate among our youth (16-24) is a whopping 17.6%. For those youth with only a high school education the unemployment rate averaged 21.8% last year. The unemployment rate among African-Americans is 16.1% and among Hispanics is 11.8%. The unemployment rate among men is 9.4% and among women 8.4%.

Wages are stagnant. Hourly wages rose a paltry three cents in April. With 14 million Americans unemployed, currently the economic pressure is not there for employers to raise wages. (Great article by Rick Newman about why wages are stuck in neutral.)

So, we need more jobs. We need better paying jobs.

By |2011-05-06T15:47:22-04:00May 6th, 2011|Economy|Comments Off on Job numbers are good but we need better

House passes aid to help teachers

This is a relief.

From TPM:

House Democrats today passed a bill doling out $26.1 billion to states to help them pay for teachers and emergency workers and to cover growing Medicaid costs. President Obama Tuesday morning hailed Congress forĀ returning to Washington unexpectedly one week into the summer recess. Thanks to two Republican votes from Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both from Maine, the measure passed the Senate 61-39 last week.

The House passed the measure 247-161. Democrats and the White House estimate the new spending could save up to 300,000 teachers’ jobs across the country. Supporters see it as building on the stimulus program from 2009. But like anything in an election year, the vote set off political nastiness.

It’s a ready-made campaign commercial as Democrats plan to hail their own votes as heroic when states are facing massive budget crises. And — you guessed it — Republicans will say it’s another big-spending government plan.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) mocked the bill as “more ‘stimulus’ spending,” and offered a preview for how Republicans will frame the debate on the trail by saying the taxes that pay for the measure are a “new job-killing tax on U.S. job creators.” It was actually paid for with cuts to programs such as food stamps. (more…)

By |2010-08-11T09:09:21-04:00August 11th, 2010|Congress, Economy|Comments Off on House passes aid to help teachers
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