$862 billion created millions of new jobs and saved the unemployment rate from going to above 10%. That is what politicians want us to believe. People out of work or looking for work know different, a lot different. They know that employers are not really hiring and those that are, want the cheapest people they can get, not the best.
First let’s be clear about the cause of the current economic funk: people are not feeling good about their personal economic situation and have curtailed spending. One major market research company even said that we’re seeing a basic shift in the way consumers spend money that is not going to diminish once the economy improves.
What has happened is that as consumers “nest eggs” (homes) have lost their value they were given the shock treatment that they don’t have enough money to continue to purchase things they want: now it’s about purchasing things they need and even then they are spending less money.
The other key issue is that government’s inability to create jobs via the stimulus money has Americans believing that once again Washington is really broken and that the change that we thought was coming was just another campaign promise. This isn’t about which political party is right it’s about “get these bums out of Washington and get people in there who are willing to do the right thing not the “party” thing.
The government promised to help people who lost jobs stay in their homes, that program was a complete failure. They promised to help homeowners reduce mortgage payments, that program only was a drop in the economic ocean of despair. So once again you, me and others are finding out that the only ones we can really depend on is ourselves and thus we have to stop spending because you never know when an employer is going to show you the door to meet numbers while senior executives rake in millions of dollars in salaries and perks.
I don’t worry about the deficit too much because even though it’s debt that money is spent here and thus goes back into the economy. I do worry about the people who have given up looking for work as potential employers don’t even have the courtesy to acknowledge people who submit resumes for open positions. Even when they find a job the emotional scars of being out of work and feeling “worthless” are going to linger.
There is nothing worse than applying for a job that you feel is perfect for you and then not hearing a word back. Any company can quickly set up an automated response to at least acknowledge that candidates have applied for a position but then why should they care ?
People do vote with their wallets and pocketbooks. Right now a lot of incumbents are going to learn that being a politician is not something you want to advertise.