Shirley Sherrod may have a new job waiting for her in the USDA, but for average Americans, the situation is much worse. New jobless claims for last week rose dramatically to 464,000. Much higher than the ‘experts’ expected, as usual. The good news, I suppose, is that the Senate may actually pass the long awaited extension to unemployment benefits.
Initial jobless claims jumped by 37,000 from last week. This was 19,000 more than expected. All of this bad news continues to mar the Obama “Recovery Summer” campaign, a feeble attempt to convince Americans that the stimulus package from last year has improved the economy. But reality keeps rearing it’s ugly head.
Yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sent stocks plummeting as he appeared before Congress with yet another of his long-winded outlooks. Bernanke proclaimed that the economy appears “unusually uncertain”. Out of the mouths of babes! This guy gets big bucks and plenty of perks and power for knowing what all too many Americans understand personally as they wait in line to apply for jobs which aren’t there.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate, the unemployment extensions passed by a vote of 59 to 39. The bill now floats to the House where it is expected to pass easily. For nearly seven weeks, in between Memorial Day and 4th of July holiday vacations, the Senate has wrangled over passage of extensions. Oh, the agony! Obama will sign the measure as soon as it’s ready. Probably before he goes on another golf outing.
Seriously, there are times when one just has to look to the sky and shout “WHY?” The talking heads and spin doctors perpetuate the myth of Keynes and play musical deck-chairs as the ship of state goes down at the head. The simple arithmetic is that the percentage of working Americans to population has declined the past 12 months from 59.4% to 58.5%. Not exactly a sign of recovery, growth or, even, dare I say it, HOPE?
So jobless claims last week have increased 464,000. Another unexpected rise for the white-shoed economists from Harvard, Yale and Princeton. The Congress will pass the unemployment extensions and Obama will sign it, further pushing America down the road of debt and misery. The Keynesians will rejoice and eat their Kobi beef with an appropriate wine. Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!