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Jobs:They’re on Everyone’s Agenda, but They’re No Easy Task

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As another big election day approaches, most candidates across the country seem to be focusing on the high unemployment rate as the one key issue to address. While amusing to watch and listen to as they try to prove they are the best person for the job, and for creating jobs for the rest of us, the extreme level some go to is no laughing matter.

Skewed, biased, melodramatic, and down right mean-spirited advertisements about the plight of this country, namely the high unemployment rate and who is responsible, continue to clog the airwaves, as candidates who seek to topple incumbents use this lagging economic indicator to their advantage.

Here in California, it’s no different.  In a close battle for an open US Senate seat, Barbara Boxer (D) and Carly Fiorina (R) continue to criticize one another on television and the radio. In the fierce, often bitter exchanges, one particular television advertisement stands out. It opens with two concerned farmers staring at the camera as a huge, barren farmland stretches into the distance behind them. The words on the screen state, “Barbara Boxer’s California.” The announcer firmly intones, “This is Barbara Boxer’s California,” as an image of a Sacramento homeless camp emerges next.

Sure times are tough for many Americans, but to depict California as nothing but a Dust Bowl shanty town, and blame it on one woman, is not only an outrageous exaggeration, but gives way too much power to one individual. It’s as if Boxer is not only responsible for losing countless jobs simply by being in office, but it got so bad she somehow managed to change the weather in the process.

The commercial is so exaggerated, it’s a surprise the Joads didn’t make a cameo.

On Sunday, in the local paper, the San Jose Mercury News, there was an article written by a former semiconductor industry executive and current venture capitalist who stated why Fiorina and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman (R) should be elected.  The reason was simple: they know how to create jobs, unlike their opponents. The author’s first point to back up the thesis was an anecdotal account of how several paramount semiconductor companies decided to open up plants in other states solely because their energy bills would be lower. Jerry Brown (D), the governor at the time and the one running against Whitman this time around, did nothing to try and keep these satellite offices in-state.  Another main example was simply the fact that Fiorina and Whitman both worked for top technology companies (Hewlett Packard and eBay, respectively), and thus know how to expand and thrive in any economy. The mere fact that they led well-known Silicon Valley companies at one time in and of itself was reason enough to support them over any – gulp — career politician.  That was it. No mention of either’s record at these companies or even a hint of any kind of job plan going forward.

The bottom line is nobody seems to have one, be they a candidate from the Republican or Democratic party, which is understandable, as it’s an extremely complicated issue with no quick fix. Even the leading economic gurus and advisers clash over the best ways to add more human resources to the private and public sectors.

Of course, candidates can claim they might lower taxes for businesses or cut spending on certain government programs (which will help the deficit but lead to more unemployment), but these are incentives, not plans. And so far this is all we hear from anybody, left or right of the independent center.

Thus, when it comes to the one key issue that most want to focus on, which is lowering the dreaded unemployment rate, nobody, not the candidates nor their paid pundits, can tell the citizenry who is the best person for the job. The good news is many companies are once again turning a profit, the stock market is up more than 200% in the past two years, and retail stores are seeing vast improvements in consumer spending.

Perhaps these factors alone and the knowledge that over time we’ll get the confidence we need to get more Americans back to work will get us all smiling again. Then maybe we can look back at all these absurd advertisements regarding unemployment and have a good laugh.

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About BizarroGuy

  • Clavos

    I wish the stock market actually were “up more than 200% in the past two years,” but in point of fact, it’s only slightly up from its level two years ago.

    The Dow closed the month of September 2008 at 10,877. September 2010’s September close was 11,159, an increase of only 282 points, or 2.6%.

  • Francis

    OUT WITH INCUMBENTS IN NOVEMBER

    The Liberal Democrats agenda in the first Senate session is sure to be the passage of AMNESTY, containing within the text AgJobs (for Farm guest workers) and the Dream Act. Self- Confessed Senator Harry Reid is determined to confront the 15 million unemployed Americans with this menacing referendum. What Reid and the Democrats haven’t revealed or the Liberal oriented press, the cost of processing this illegal Immigration law anticipated to be 2.6 Trillion dollars. This projection came from the non-profit group called the Heritage Foundation. This incredulous sum of money will be added to the US treasury shortfall of around 13 Trillion dollars and climbing. We are sitting on a financial powder keg and Incumbents Sen. Reid (NV); Boxer (CA); Feingold (WI); Bennett (CO); Inouye (HI)Lincoln (AR)); Mikulski (MD); Gillibrand (NY); Schumer (NY) Wyden (OR) Leahy (VT); Murray (WA) and Majority Speaker Pelosi.

    Judging from their voting records on the website–ALL THE ISSUES, other than Gillibrand, who no voting record on Illegal Immigration. The rest of the sitting Senators have voted for funding Sanctuary Cities, Public welfare benefits and allowing illegal aliens to participate in our Social Security. But this is by far not the limit to these treacherous moves by Democrat-Senate, as they all agree on forcing through a Path to Citizenship. Nobody should be rewarded for breaking our laws. Every new candidate for office better beware of the fact, that THE TEA PARTY will be observant of their voting on all issues, including a demand for transparency as nobody is immune from being unseated. The Tea Party will not be corrupted by the special interest lobbyists, the powerful and elites in either party. They will not owe favors to trade unions, or any other business entity, as the Tea Party is the essence of all Americans.

    That goes for new Politicians, Governors, Mayors, Police Chiefs and other elected officials in office. .Gubernatorial hopeful Jerry Brown is pro-Amnesty, so is Gavin Newsom, and have all catered to illegal immigrants by granting them access to welfare and all social services. This is a financial effrontery to all citizens and legal residents and should not be tolerated. The Federal government has been paying an estimated $113 billion dollars in benefits annually and it is still rising. There is another $60 Billion that leaves America in remittances in illegal workers wages and is not taxed. These amounts do not cover the State, county and municipal supplementary cash payments.

    As American citizens we need to keep a close eye on all polling stations, and a keen inspection of absentee ballots. California and Nevada especially as these states are well acquainted with illegal voting in prior years and have massive populations of foreigners, who will violate the law. GOOGLE–Voter Fraud, Illegal Immigration, add any additional words and decide your vote. Not the Liberal lies. Me–I am fed up with being “politically correct,”for the extremist fringe groups of Liberal usurpers have tried to suppress our Free Speech. The majority of our politicians have become arrogant, disrespectful to the taxpayer and believe themselves untouchable.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Clavos, a little disingenuous with the stock market figures, eh? After a long, sickening crash [the Dow dipped below 7000 in March 2009], the markets have climbed back close to pre-crash levels. That’s the real story.

    If only employment numbers were so healthy!

  • Cannonshop

    #3 Gambling is nearly always recession proof, Handy-the Stock Market IS Gambling, and therefore, dips will tend to nearly always recover-because people will gamble (think “Lotto Tickets” or Indian Casinos) even in a truly shitty economic climate.

    Ergo, the Stock Market is NOT a good indicator of the economy’s performance, any more than pro football is an indicator of average physical fitness, or collegiate basketball an indicator of Academic Achievement.

    Back on-topic…

    About two years ago or so, I pointed out that make-work projects don’t stimulate employment-and I’ve been proven RIGHT in the post-obama-stimulus, we have higher unemployment than was projected had Uncle Sam done NOTHING, this fits observed fact and…well…

    I told you so.

    [NPR Voice]neenah-neenah-neenah.[/NPR voice]

    The actual PROBLEMS are largely the result of misapplied or poorly constructed policies stacking on top of one another over decades. Paying firms to send jobs overseas while creating an anti-business environment at home (GATT,etc.), treating papershuffling and gambling as productive economic activity (GDP calculations that treat the stock-market like a real industry), market-meddling (CRA in its various incarnations), adding department after department after department (really chronic in Defense and Intelligence, but also in other agencies), writing incomprehensible laws and regulations (Tax Code, Obamacare, etc.) that even the WRITERS can’t comply with, non-enforcement of existing laws to justify NEW laws that will also not be enforced…not to mention “Too Big To Fail” (which really does translate as “Too big to succeed”)…

    The more you centralize control, the worse the economy is going to get. We’re seeing that now, but some of us noticed it a while back.

  • Zedd

    Jobs are not on big business’ agenda. They can hire but wont. They are making profits but don’t want to invest in America. They DO want government to bail everyone out. Sadly however Conservatives still believe!

  • Clavos

    They DO want government to bail everyone out.

    Interesting. Why do I remember the government having to insist that certain banks accept bailout funds?

    And later, it seems I remember Obama refusing to accept repayment of TARP funds??

    It’s not about jobs, or saving the economy or anything remotely like that.

    It’s about control.