Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Dealing with the Depression

This article does a good job of describing why the current economic slump qualifies as a depression, and it has some interesting ideas for addressing some of the problems.

It's a Depression
The March employment numbers, out this morning, are bleak: 8.5 percent of Americans officially unemployed, 663,000 more jobs lost. But if you include people who are out of work and have given up trying to find a job, the real unemployment rate is 9 percent. And if you include people working part time who'd rather be working full time, it's now up to 15.6 percent. One in every six workers in America is now either unemployed or underemployed.

Also bear in mind that the number of jobs is not equivalent to the number of workers, because many people are working 2+ jobs in attempt to make ends meet.

"Hire Americans to weatherize and insulate homes across the land."

This is a great idea. It would make our increasingly expensive energy go farther through efficiency.

" Don't encourage General Motors or any other auto company to shrink. Use the auto makers' spare capacity to make busses, new wind turbines, and electric cars (why let the Chinese best us on this?). Enlarge public transit systems."

This would avoid destroying current industries by refocusing them. It would also reduce demand for gas, saving money for individual drivers, and would reduce pollution.

"Meanwhile, extend our educational infrastructure. So many young people are out of work that they should be using this time to improve their skills and capacities. Expand community colleges. Enlarge Pell Grants. Extend job-training opportunities to the unemployed, so they can learn new skills while they're collecting unemployment benefits."

This is a good start, but really -- emphasize free education. If you have no job and no way of getting one, then try to learn some skills that could become job-useful later. Trade knowledge with other people. Trade skills too, if there are things you can't afford to pay someone to do, but you can find someone who needs what you can do.
Tags: economics, news

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