USA 2010: Stuck In Unemployment--Side Effects, Action
Aug 15, 2010
By Loyd E. Eskildson
Returning To Full Employment
In the Bureau of Labor Statistics for July, 2010 report, about 14.5 million Americans are wanting work but unable to find any. In addition, another 1.2 discouraged Americans have given up looking, and 8.5 million are working only part-time for economic reasons. That represents almost 16% of the work force - about one out of every six adults, with 3.4 million fewer private-sector jobs than there were ten years ago. We're stuck at 9.5% unemployment, despite non-financial companies sitting on nearly $2 trillion in cash (Newsweek, 8/7/2010).
Important side effects include increased foreclosures (1 in 4 home mortgages are underwater), bankruptcies, and homelessness, greater demand for government support (unemployment, health care, welfare), declining home values, reduced government tax revenues (income and sales taxes) and increased deficits, and deteriorating work-force skills. A parallel problem is that government debt now totals about $72 Trillion (unfunded Medicare, Social Security obligations, state and local government debts, Federal government debt) - almost 5 times the GDP. Some contend this is the 'new normal,' our equivalent of Japan's 'lost decade.' Actually, it is the result of misguided policies on Free Trade and illegal immigration.
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