The Lowdown

A lead story in the Jan. 9th Boston Globe began with these pessimistic words: “Jobless report lowers hope – Boston Fed chief sees little growth, cautious spending”.

“The nation can expect sluggish job growth and high unemployment in coming months as tight credit, long-term joblessness, and cautious spending by consumers and businesses weigh on the economic recovery, Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said yesterday.

“Rosengren, addressing the Connecticut Business and Industry Association in Hartford, made his remarks shortly after the Labor Department reported that US employers cut 85,000 jobs in December and that more than 600,000 unemployed Americans stopped looking for work. That helped keep the nation’s jobless rate steady at 10 percent, since only those who actively seek work are counted by the Labor Department as unemployed.

“The December employment report was a setback to hopes that the national labor market had hit bottom and job growth would resume. Analysts said it was particularly disappointing following November, when the nation added 4,000 jobs – the first job growth in nearly two years, according to revised statistics released yesterday.

“‘I was hoping for a positive number in December and a new spin on the shape of the recovery,’ said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial in Boston. ‘In the end, we’re left just about where we were before: All the pieces are in place for the job market to turn around, but it hasn’t done so yet.’

“In Washington, President Obama also expressed disappointment … ‘The job numbers that were released by the Labor Department this morning are a reminder that the road to recovery is never straight, and that we have to continue to work every single day to get our economy moving again,’ Obama said. ‘What this underscores, though, is that we have to continue to explore every avenue to accelerate the return to hiring.'”

Dear Mr. President; What exactly do you mean by saying that “… we have to continue to explore every avenue to accelerate the return to hiring”…? Either you’re not being candid with the American people, or you’re “out of the loop”. You’re either ignorant of the nation’s 1930s recovery from the Great Depression, or you’re well aware of that historical recovery but, for reasons you keep to yourself, you are ignoring the hundreds and hundreds of faxes and e-mails we’ve sent to those in your administration and to members of Congress as well.

Those hundreds – no, thousands – of messages spell out in detail the only possible “avenue to accelerate the return to hiring” – a 1930s-type Emergency Shipbuilding Program. The misdirected bailouts and stimulus funding that have been dissipated during your tenure is a travesty, and history will record these missteps as either incompetence or deceit. It will all come out in the wash.