The Economy’s Getting Better? Who Are They Kidding?

Disneyland. Credit: Cd637, CC-BY-SA 3.0 (source)

Since early summer, not only the President and his cronies, but even some uncritical economists are trying to convince us that things are getting better. They say that unemployment went down over the summer (which it did, mostly owing to the allowance of outdoor dining and other activities, as well as states like Texas and Florida, which chose to put their economy ahead of peoples’ lives).

But getting better?

The facts: 28 million people are collecting unemployment benefits. That’s almost five times as many unemployed as there were in January! There were one million new unemployment benefit claims again last week. There are millions who have given up even looking for work, and therefore aren’t counted in those statistics. That means that the official unemployment rate of 8 percent may obscure a real unemployment rate of 18 percent!

Disney, Exxon, Allstate, the entire airline industry, and many other businesses are ending furloughs, and starting to lay people off outright. As cold weather sets in, expect some of those restaurants that survived the summer to die off for good. Those furloughed will become unemployed. Temporary layoffs will become permanent. This means that while we may have gotten past “depression level” unemployment, we’re still in a deep recession, with little hope of real recovery. Does anyone at this point really expect Congress and the President to address our problems in a meaningful way?!

The politicians and their media hangers-on can say what they want, but we can see the reality for ourselves.

And we don’t have to take this! There may be hundreds of thousands of them. But there are hundreds of millions of us! We make society run! We do the work! We can push these people out our way and make the changes we need.

Let’s start talking about how to do that.