Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times says we should remember the value of unions. Wilma Liebman, writing in the L.A. Times, takes a slightly different perspective, and says we should remember the value of unions.
Actually, I guess that’s the exact same perspective.
Maybe I can offer a truly different perspective: remember the value of labor. Of the opportunity to work. Which many Americans lack under this president.
Ed Morrissey has an amusing interview by Chris Wallace of David Axelrod, in which Axelrod attempts to dance around the following uncomfortable comparisons between when Obama took office (“then”) and now:
- Unemployment: 7.8% then, 8.3% now
- Median income: $54,983 then, $50,964 now
- Gas prices: $1.85 per gallon then, $3.78 now
- National debt: $10.6 trillion then, $15.9 trillion now
You know the drill by now: it’s Bush’s fault!!!
But it’s worse than that. The real number (which everyone puts in quotes despite the fact that it really is the real number) is more like the number named by that supposed doddering old fool Clint Eastwood:
The “real” number of unemployed Americans is 23.5 million. These are people that are unemployed (12.8 million), want work but have stopped searching for a job (2.5 million), or are working part-time because they can’t find full-time employment (8.2 million).
As the Maryland governor showed, it’s impossible to honestly answer that Americans are better off today than they were four years ago. If you need to work full-time, but are only working part-time, you are not doing well. If you have given up on looking for a job, you are not doing well. 8.3% doesn’t begin to paint the picture.
Every one of those 23.5 million people needs to understand that we are worse off today than we were four years ago. Not better.
That’s what I’m thinking about on this Labor Day.
UPDATE: Elect me and this time it will be different!!!