Friday, June 05, 2009
The Bad News and the Good?I always check the stock markets in the morning when I get to work. I know, I know, I'm crazy to still be invested in the markets after the last year, but the alternative to investing in the stock market is a savings account with a very low interest rate, or stuffing cash underneath my mattress. I am still hoping to retire at some point, I don't want to work until I'm eighty, in my line of work, that would be extremely difficult. I've lowered my expectations significantly, the apartment in Florence is completely out of the question, but if I can keep my job for about 10 more years, I might be able to afford one in Buenos Aires. The dream of retirement is still on the table, unless I get sick and have to sell my house to pay my medical bills.
Anyway, this morning when I logged on to CNBC, one of the headlines read "Stocks open higher on Jobs Data". I thought that the unemployment rate must have declined, so I clicked on the headline to find out how much. As it turns out, the unemployment rate has hit 9.4 percent, which is the highest I can remember in my lifetime. The job losses amounted to 345,000 which was apparently not as bad as the experts were predicting. So the good news is that we've lost fewer jobs than expected.
The bad news is that nearly one American in 10 is unemployed.
I admit that I don't understand economics, but I do know that people need to work. Americans need to work not only so that they can support themselves and their families, but also so that they are not sitting around in the daytime watching "The Price is Right" or some other brainless daytime television show and becoming ever more stupid as the length of the vacation continues. We already have more than our share of stupid people in this country, what will happen to America if more than one in ten citizens are subjected to non-stop viewing of daytime TV? Have you ever listened to the crazy people who call into these radio shows, even good ones like C-span? People need something productive to do, they need to engage in something useful to society, not watch Oprah or "The View", which will only fill their already empty minds with dangerous thoughts, and we will never get them back to work.
Where is the good news?
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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