We’re Nobody’s Fool!

Today, April Fool’s Day, we’re beginning our 31st Volume. We’d be feeling good about it if we had some favorable news to report, but except for the fact that Major League baseball’s opening day is next week, there’s nothing to smile about.

And to be truthful, most Americans don’t feel too good about that, either. Their chief concern is our crashing economy. Yes, crashing. We’re broke. We need jobs. Without jobs -without weekly paychecks – violent reaction is sure to become commonplace.

Robert Reich reported a few weeks ago that recent fudged figures from the U.S. Department of Labor were encouraging. Those figures showed a slight decrease in new unemployment claims, but by this time everyone is on to the government’s game. It’s just one spin after another.

“But the U.S. labor market is far from healthy,” Professor Reich said. “America’s job deficit is still mammoth. Our working-age population has grown by nearly 10 million since the recession ‘officially’ began in December 2007 but many of these people never entered the work force. Millions of others are still too discouraged to look for work …

“Given how many people have lost their jobs, and how much larger the total working-age population is now, we’ve got a long road ahead.” But even at January’s (fudged) rate of 243,000 job gains, he pointed out, the nation wouldn’t return to full employment for another seven years.

But we don’t have another seven years. Precious time is being wasted by deceitful politicians who pretend that budget cuts will somehow straighten things out. They’re kidding only themselves, however, if they think they can “fool all of the people all of the time.”

As Professor Reich stated, “We can’t possibly achieve the growth needed to reduce the budget deficit as a proportion of the total economy unless far more people are employed. Workers are consumers, and consumer spending is 70 percent of economic activity. And cutting the budget means fewer workers, directly (as government continues to shed workers) and indirectly (as government contractors have to lay off workers) and therefore fewer customers.

“Yet deficit hawks continue to circle. State and local budgets are still being slashed … Republicans are calling for more cuts … Austerity economics continues to gain traction …

“Forget the budget deficit”, he concluded. “The jobs deficit is still our number one problem.” –

Okay, sir – so what’s the number one solution? How can we create the 40 million jobs needed to end this second Great Depression? Nobody – but nobody – has provided an answer to that question.

Here’s another question. Why do our elected officials refuse to look back at the Great Depression of the 1930s when FDR created 40 million jobs by revitalizing dozens and dozens of our shipyards?