Apr 13, 2010

Dear Bob Herbert: We couldn't have said it better ourselves

Bob Herbert's most recent column cracks open our country's unemployment situation with the kind of blunt eloquence that makes his columns must-reads for UFCW members and all working people.

Here are some highlights, though really, you should read the whole thing:
"The crippling nature of the joblessness that has moved through the society like a devastating virus has gotten neither the attention nor the response that it warrants.


"We need to pay less attention to the Tea Party yahoos and more attention to the very real suffering of individuals and families trapped in an employment crisis that is unprecedented in the post-Depression era."
In an era where a person could literally go mad wading through statistics, the stats Mr. Herbert picks out are comprehensible and poignant, getting to the heart of the issue, and showing why this recession has been a bit more like a depression than most people are willing to admit. For instance:
  • "Blue-collar job losses during the so-called Great Recession surpassed 5.5 million, and many of those jobs will never be seen again."
  • More than eight million jobs vanished during the recession, a period during which three million new jobs would have been needed to keep up with the growth of the population. “That’s 11 million missing jobs,” said [AFL-CIO President] Trumka.
  • Jobless workers who are 55 or older are having a brutal time of it. Thirty percent have been jobless for a year or more.
As Mr. Herbert points out, as we celebrate a historic victory on health care reform, we must remember that there is still so much work to be done. And it's clear that the fight for good jobs has almost never been so important.

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