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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How'd I miss it?

“Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.” (Jim Bishop). Jim Bishop was a newspaper man. He might be as confused as I am at the report on yesterday's national newscasts that not only is the great recession over; but, it has been over for over a year now. With the great clarity that comes from hindsight, economists are now declaring that the Great Recession ended in June 2009. Wow! How'd I miss that?

Maybe it's the fact that we still have between 15-20% of our state's citizens wandering about like zombies looking for work that now longer exists here. I read in today's paper how one local luxury mall is dong great guns business and how workers at a local auto supplier are all very busy. Of course they're busy; all of the remaining workers are doing the work of 2-3 people, since everyone else was let go.

There are now many scholarly debates going on about what to do to get the economy moving again. I saw a great line in a local newspaper about one of the major issues with housing in Detroit that might apply to this issue, too. The writer said that Detroit has 800,000 people living in an area with housing for 1,200,000 people and that is why there is such a problem with blight and abandoned building. Well if you turn that around a bit and apply it to the job situation; we probably have 1.200,000 people living in an area with 800,000 jobs. And, the lost jobs aren't coming back. The problem is compounded by the fact that most of the people without a job are living in a house that is under water on the mortgage; so they can't even move to find work.

Now there are even articles starting to appear that say, "Gee, maybe we should bring back some of the manufacturing jobs that we shipped overseas." Well, DUH! It's starting to sink in that the Chinese workers that our American companies are paying to manufacture their goods are not running down to the local Walmart to buy those goods. In fact, no one is running down to buy those goods, because the Americans who remain in the area are out of work or fear that they will be soon. But, hey, the Great Recession is over! Celebrate! Just ignore those people with the "Will work for food signs." They're probably slackers. Oh, wait, that's my neighbor...your brother...someones daughter...

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