Bob Franken

Unemployment: Platitudes From the White House

Let’s dispense with the cheap shot first: The Salahis were not invited to the White House Summit on jobs.

Unfortunately, neither were the unemployed, not in any meaningful way. True, there is no shortage of concerned speeches, including one by the Concerned-Speechmaker-in-Chief, addressing a collection of economists and other academics, and politicians , of course, along with representatives from business, mainly small.

They are all hand-wringing over the outrage of an economy turning upward while the downtrodden unemployed get more numerous and more desperate.

But all they do is nibble around the edges with platitudes instead of offering real solutions, which would be laws and policies that force the prosperous who are prospering again to share their prosperity with those they have victimized.

It is galling that an administration and a Democratic party that purport to represent common people have done so little to get them back on their feet. The protestations that their actions prevented the economy from falling into the abyss. That has little meaning to the millions whose lives are in that abyss, while the select few, with massive government help, are able to step on their backs as they scramble out.

Until we have a genuinely equitable tax system in place where the rich must better share their riches, until we create a structure of coordinated legal protections that deal harshly with the wheeler-dealers, and until we force those financiers who are hoarding their wealth to resume the lending that will feed a recovery for everyone else we are nowhere.

None of that will happen in any significant way. What we will get instead are proposals that are aimed as much at next year’s elections as they are at leveling the economic playing field.

Perhaps the only really effective jobs summit would be some sort of a March-for-Employment on Washington. Call it an “E Party”. In this case, instead of feeding the ambitions of demagogic politicians and TV personalities, this would be a demand to feed all the people by making sure they can get the work to pay for the fundamental necessities that are every American’s right…not just the wealthy few.

We can even invited the Salahis, at least Michaele, whose cheer leading would be every bit as genuine as what we hear out of of the White House Summit.

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