Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Labor Day blues

Robert Samuelson has a curious op-ed in the Washington Post, in which he seems to settle for permanent stagnation:

On this Labor Day, there is little good news about labor. We have entered a long period of crushing unemployment and downward pressure on wages that may well transform the nation’s economic and political landscape. There was no job growth in August, and the overall numbers are stupefying: 14 million unemployed; nearly 9 million part-time workers wanting full-time jobs; 6.5 million who want jobs but have given up looking and are, therefore, not counted in the official labor force. People are only gradually recognizing the magnitude of the problem.
Wouldn't it be more productive to conclude that for three years the administration and Congress have been making the problem worse rather than better? We have returned to the 1930s, when the Roosevelt administration met every setback with more of the same--more taxation, more regulation, more infrastructure spending. Unemployment in 1939 was still 17.2 percent, even though the United States had already begun to gear up for the Second World War as Britain and France ordered aircraft.

It wasn't Franklin Roosevelt who got us out of the Great Depression. It was Adolf Hitler. Instead of waiting for another catastrophe to change things, Mr. Samuelson would do better to suggest a change in government strategy. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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