Meanwhile, in the real world...
by David Atkins ("thereisnospoon")
The stock market appears to be rallying, much to the relief of the financial sector. But back in the real world:
A record 4,121 hopeful job seekers attended Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s 14th annual job fair at the Washington Convention Center on Tuesday.
Unintentionally, the fair came on the heels of some of the worst economic news in three years, including the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. government debt, the stock market plunge Monday and the rancorous debt-ceiling debate, not to mention the possibility that more federal jobs may be disappearing.
Attendance was up by more than 1,000 from last year’s fair, according to officials. “It’s breaking records, and it’s breaking my heart,” said Norton (D), the District’s representative in the House....
Williamson said she has been searching for an entry-level job since 2008. Like most others at the event, she had a stack of papers in one hand. In the other, she had her black high-heel shoes. She had been at the fair for a few hours, she said.
Norton said the recent action to reduce the federal deficit strictly by making spending cuts — and without raising additional revenue — has given people a “feeling of loss.”
“Our self-inflicted wound from the deficit debate played a real role,” she said.
At times like this, it's worth remembering that the Village-approved solution to this problem is to cut even more jobs in the name of "deficit reduction." It's also worth remembering that the blood price Republicans demanded last year for extending unemployment benefits for people like Ms. Williamson so that they could maintain even a glimmer of hope, was the perpetuation of the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Tax cuts that continued to explode the deficit while doing little to nothing for economic growth.
I guess it takes the really smart cookies to realize that the solution to Ms. Williamson's woes is to cut social security benefits, which will then activate the confidence fairy, who will sprinkle her magic market dust to give S&P and the bondholders the boost they need to help invest in companies, who will then suddenly use their record profits to give Ms. Williamson a job someday in a field she'd rather avoid. That Rube Goldberg machine is guaranteed to work.
Stupid people like me keep suggesting that we return to Clinton-era tax rates for the rich, and use the revenue to close the deficit while creating the sorts of jobs that will bring the middle-class economy back to life. But that's far too simplistic to actually work. Also, too, it sounds a lot like socialism.
Fortunately, the smart people are in charge through at least November 2012. No need to worry my little head over it.