Last Friday’s jobs report showed 159,000 new private-sector jobs in October. That’s better than previous months. But 125,000 net new jobs are needed just to keep up with the growth of the American labor force. So another way of expressing what happened to jobs in October is to say 24,000 were added over what we need just to stay even.
Yet the American economy has lost 15 million jobs since the start of the Great Recession. And if you add in the growth of the labor force – including everyone too discouraged to look for a job – we’re down about 22 million.
Or to put it another way, we’re still getting nowhere on jobs.
One out of eight breadwinners is still out of work. Most families in the Average Worker economy rely on two breadwinners. So if one out of eight isn’t working, chances are high that family incomes are down compared to what they were three years ago.
And that means the bills aren’t getting paid.
According to a recent Washington Post poll, more than half of all Americans — 53 percent — are worried about making their mortgage payments. This is many more than were worried two years ago, when the Great Recession hit bottom. Then, 37 percent expressed worry.
Delinquency rates on home loans are rising. Distressed sales are up as a percent of total sales.
Most people in the Average Worker economy own few shares of stock, if any. Their equity is in their homes. But with all the delinquencies and distressed sales, the housing market has a glut of homes for sale. As a result, home prices are still dropping. So the net worth of most Americans is still dropping.
Admittedly, Republicans blocked much of what Obama attempted to do in this area, such as funding the states and cities to maintain public employees and, e.g., creating a national public works project that would employ workers while fixing roads and bridges. Republicans blocked these programs, but the President was too accommodating and docile to strongly criticize Republican resistance, which arguably contributed to Republican Congressional gains.
Now, if President Obama moves to the right to collaborate with Republicans, Obama will become even more of the right hand of the Republican Party and the super-rich, which is utterly unacceptable.
I am disgusted with President Obama's supply-side approach to medical reform, rather than a public option. President Obama has incomprehensibly accepted using the same medical insurance companies that screwed us in the past to deliver our health care in the future, with no public option directed toward our care. Our only option continues to be health care denials by health care giants, and with no national public option that provides us care wherever we go.
President Obama inexplicably allowed his health care programs to go into effect only in 2013--after his re-election campaign and TWO Congressional election campaigns. It ought to be clear by now that the Republicans will demagogue this issue right through the 2012 elections, requesting a public mandate to abort President Obama's health care "victory" and his Administration before they can even be seen up and running.
And so, I'm ready to give Hillary Clinton a go at the presidency. At least she knows a greedy, callous and inherently untrustworthy insurance company when she sees one, and she and Bill know instinctively that such companies will not be the solution to health care denials or to the utter lack of real health options, aside from the supply-side alternatives that President Obama invested with omnipotence when he caved in on the matter of the Public Option.
Yes, Bill and Hillary insulted and endeavored to marginalize all Black people mightily in the 2008 Primaries, trying to color-arouse the electorate for political gain, but she has since joined the President's administration and been loyal to the President, at least to the extent of not criticizing him, even when it is obvious that his Administration's anti-insurgent campaigns in Afghanistan and now Pakistan are utterly out of control and are serving neoconservatives more than they are serving the Democratic Party base's basic values of less war and more humility in international affairs.
Plus, as regards Hillary, she and Bill were punished mightily for first taking the Black vote for granted and then trying to win the presidency by appealing to whites while insulting Blacks.
Bill Clinton deserved a Nobel peace prize for his work in Bosnia/Herzegovina, while it is now clearer than ever that Obama should rip up his Nobel Peace Prize and throw it in the toilet. The only thing he has done for peace is to demonstrate a way that a Black person could reach the pinnacle of apparent power and stay there for two years without having without an armed rebellion by Blacks or whites. That's a great accomplishment in a campaign for the presidency and even in his two years as president, but it's utterly inadequate to the tasks in terms of substance in government like health care, home foreclosures and war, more war.
Let's give Hillary a chance. In 2012, she can promise to fix all that is bad with Obama Care, just as President Bill Clinton said about affirmative action, "fix it, don't end it." With the economy in 2012 no better than it is right now, and perhaps dramatically worse, Hillary can promise a change from Obama's supply-side pusillanimity and offer solutions aimed directly at the public pain, rather than seeking to use and virtually begging corporations to do that which they are utterly unable and unwilling to do: focus on the public good.
Sometime in the near future, Obama should install Hillary as his vice president (a first), and then free her to form cogent Democratic Party criticisms of Obama's mistakes. Then Obama should bail out and let Hillary run as the incumbent in 2012. Of course Republicans would attack her mightily, but that would divert their attention from trying to undo what little President Obama has accomplished.