Monthly Archives: June 2010

Where have all the jobs gone?

This is quite the tricky subject. Employment is a lagging indicator of the health of the economy. Most all other economic indicators return to normal before the employment statistics do. It’s pretty simple, employers do not invest in hiring until they are sure that their investment will pay off.

Further, it has been my experience, that some employers find that they can make do with smaller staffs, even after the economy recovers.

So, more than two full years after the Great Recession began, millions of American workers are still actively looking for work. Many more, especially older workers, have simply given up. Charitable organizations  around the country have seen their resources go beyond the breaking point.

In the past month, Senate Republicans have blocked efforts to extend unemployment benefits once again. Personally, that is the ultimate act of hypocrisy. And this is why……………

On one hand, there are those on the Right that say “there are jobs out there” and extending unemployment benefits is a deincentification for the unemployed to look for work. Yet, those same people on the Right also blame President Obama for not creating jobs!

Which is it?

Are there jobs out there? Very few, and most are quite low paying jobs. Did President Obama do enough to create jobs? Probably not. This Great Recession is unprecedented, far deeper than most could have imagined. The answers to all the questions do not come easily.

You know that times are bad when illegal immigrants are going back to Mexico to find work. Maybe NAFTA is finally working.

While there are some signs, however weak, that the economy is improving, there are also signs of a “double-dip” recession. Nationwide, housing prices have increased for the first time in forever, but the Consumer Confidence index has dropped dramatically.

I would like to think that I am intelligent enough to know some answers, but realistically, there are no answers.

Time will heal this wound, but time has a way of taking it’s sweet time.

Your take?


William Stephenson Clark

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Filed under Economics

The party of , “I don’t know?”

The Rachel Maddow show last night ran clips from  Boehner interview.  In it, Boehner was asked about the gulf oil spill, and the moratorium on deep water drilling.  He stated he was against it, then stated we should stop deep water drilling until we find out what happened. He also stated there was no reason for the moratorium to include shallow water drilling. The moratorium doesn’t include shallow water drilling. So what we’re left with is the leader of the republicans in the house who is for the moratorium, but against it at the same time, and the leader of the house Republicans failing to understand what the moratorium encompasses. This is the leader of the House Republicans, folks. Brilliant! The show.

And how about Kagan?  Did she take both Sessions and Coburn to task or what? Her answer to Sessions, when he tried to get a rise out of her over the Christmas bomber with, “Where were you on Christmas day”, was classic: “Like most Jews, I was probably in a Chinese Restaurant.”  A brilliant woman for sure.

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Wednesday, 6/30/10, Public Square

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What am I going to write about?

“I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh”

“A Day in the Life” – Lennon/McCartney – from “Sgt. Peppers” – 1967

There is so much going on in the world today that it is hard to pick a topic.

The passing of Senator Byrd and the posthumous right wing attacks on him? (Expected.) The situation with North Korea and demands, after sixty years that we withdraw our troops. (Where have you been for the last six decades?) Panetta’s comments about Iran. (Let’s start another war!) McChrystal? (No, he doesn’t have “freedom of speech.”) Jobs? (No kidding, it’s bad, but “we messed up, so vote for us!” doesn’t seem like a real good idea.) Kagan? (Dang, just confirm her and STFU!) Congress? (Yeah, they suck, but they are all we have.) Biden calls someone a smartass? (Damn, who wudda thunk it?) World Cup Soccer? (Beat that one to death already.)

My allergies? (Pfffffft! Ah-choo!) Cookie? (Doing better, groomed her myself so she is a bit cooler, too.) Weird pets? (The tubes aren’t big enough to tell all the stories about my weird pets!)

The weather? (Like that is a story?) Kansas? (It’s red and kinda flat.)

The SCOTUS gun decision yesterday? (Nope, saw that one coming a mile away.) Brownback, Tiahrt, Moran, Hartman, et al? (We have the loons by the bushel and peck.) Wichita? (Shoot, we are doing just okay despite ourselves.)

So, what should I write about today?

There is definitely a great surplus of topics that are on my mind and the minds of many others today.  Our warp-speed communication systems put everything on the table before we can even recognize that there is a table to put it on.  Dang, if you are bored, you can watch a live stream of the oil gushing on the floor of the Gulf. There is even a link available to watch the entire Isner – Mahut Wimbledon match on video – all eleven hours and five minutes of it.

The world, as we know it all to well, is a crazy place. What’s on your mind today?


William Stephenson Clark

39 Comments

Filed under Media

Tuesday, 6/29/10, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

Holy Crap! We Lost the Match!

The United States World Cup team lost 2-1 to Ghana on Saturday, eliminating the US from the World Cup tournament.


So, who is “we?”

The United States is a nearly unique collection of people, diverse, a melting pot of many ethnic groups, influenced by many cultures.

In our midst, we have a broad (as if that description is sufficient) range of political and social views. Our geography varies from “purple mountain’s majesty” to “oceans, white with foam.”

(Black with oil doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.)

If you think about it, we Americans are a fairly weird bunch. We have produced greatness, like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., yet we still have people that think that the State of New Mexico is a foreign country.

Our country is divided sharply by Red and Blue, and the incessant volleys of fire between the two camps constantly rises to a deafening roar.

So, who is “we?”

On December 7, 1941, the American people rose as one, defiant and united, dedicated to defeating Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. On September 11, 2001, we rose once again, dedicated to defeating an unseen enemy that had attacked us without provocation.

Absent those eras, we are not much of a united citizenry. The truth is, we are much more likely to unite over a sporting event than we are over any other issue. The flags waved after the “Miracle on Ice” and even after the victory of the “Dream Team.”

So, who is “we?”

I ponder our future. Will we, as a people, rise up once again to address the issues that face our society or has the partisan divide and social issues divided us to the breaking point?

We are a great people. America has been a shining example of the good in a society in many regards.

We are also burdened with shame for some of our past actions, the genocide of Native Americans, slavery and segregation, the bigotry of anti-gay  attitudes and the marginalizing of women.

So, who is “we?”



William Stephenson Clark

5 Comments

Filed under American Society

Monday, 6/28/10, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square