I did my best to make it through President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night without blowing a nut, and I was doing pretty well right up until this sentence: “But now that the worst of the recession is over…,” and then I lost it. Lost it completely. What planet is this guy on? Obviously not the same planet that I’m on, or that millions and millions of America’s unemployed are on either. Long term unemployment in America remains a crisis demanding an unemployment extension for millions of America’s indigent 99ers so that they can survive until the President creates some of the “new jobs” that he always so eloquently talks about. Talking about new job creation is not the same as delivering on the promise. With new job creation not even sufficient enough to create jobs for new entrants into the job market, how can millions of America’s long term unemployed expect to find work as well?
I’m a firm believer in the old axiom that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck; then it’s a duck. Having millions of people unemployed, and continuing to be unemployed for long periods of time, while more people become unemployed, is a recession, not a recovery. The metrics that we use for determining whether or not we are in a recession or not should be based on the level of human suffering, not the status of GDP growth or Wall Street’s performance. The measure of a recession should be about the millions of new American citizens that are being pushed into poverty each and every day, not because some corporation was able to report improved profits for the quarter. The truth be told, if we accurately measured the amount of existing human carnage one would be able to easily conclude that not are we only still in the worst of this recession, we are actually in a full-fledged depression. Yes, I said the “D” word that nobody wants you to utter.
It is for reasons mentioned above that I am becoming jaded about even trying to listen to the State of the Union Address anymore. Too much dressing up the pig and then calling it something else; when a pig remains a pig. If the President meant to say that the worst of the recession is over because America is not bleeding job losses at the same painful rate as before, that the patient although still in critical condition has been stabilized, that much hard work will need to be done before recovery occurs, then I would have bought in a little. But he didn’t, he blew smoke. Whoever wrote that line for the President needs to find another job, maybe in advertising where the truth doesn’t seem to matter much anymore.
The recession is not over. Not for me, and not for millions of other once hard working citizens that are now unemployed and are outside looking in. It is not over for millions and millions of still hard working people that are still facing pay cuts of pay freezes just to keep their jobs. When the President talked of more sacrifices, it was hard not to ask “By Whom?” By those that have already sacrificed it all? America needs to step up and realize that millions of 99ers that are suffering through job losses by no fault of their own need some help. They need an expansion of unemployment benefits in the form of a Tier 5. They need massive job creation so that they can get off the unemployment roles and get back to work. They need a President to stop saying that the worst of the recession is over when it isn’t. The economy is just as bad today as it was the day before for millions of struggling American’s, and in many cases, its worse!