The New York Times carried a headline today reading thusly:
"Job Losses Hint at Vast Remaking of Economy."
The article, written by Peter S. Goodman and Jack Healey, noted 651,000 additional jobs went kaput in February and they're not coming back. Some key industries hurting badly are manufacturing, financial services and retail. "There are going to be fewer stores, fewer factories, fewer financial services operations."
Old solutions will no longer work, say Goodman and Healey. Now the government can't get by with merely handing out temporary unemployment checks. "This time, the government needs to place a greater emphasis on retraining workers for other careers..."
Furthermore, the situation isn't going to change anytime soon.
Here's what Bob Poris has to say, deriving from a lifetime of personal and business experience.
"The article re future jobs and industries is probably correct. You younger fellows should consider it when thinking of careers.
"In the meantime, the tax structure will remain the same for another year, at least, so the free market can keep more of any money they can earn. That will allow the trickle down from profits to continue at least another year.
"If trickle down works, we should be fine soon as it will be coupled with Obama’s stimulus package. If trickle down doesn’t work, we still have the Obama method with whatever adjustments he makes as time flits by. Sometime in the near future I suspect that the auto companies will be allowed to go under along with the financial sector, assuming the banks that are solvent can pick up some of the slack in lending that the “too big to fail” guys cannot do.
"We will still be left with huge deficits in any event and eventual tax increases to pay the bills Obama inherited plus the new ones he will have to create in order to keep the poor and the near poor from starving in the streets. I also assume many young, poor people will enlist in order to take advantage of the incentives being offered now and in the future, so we can rebuild our military quickly. The next step will have to be a draft, which will get more young people off the streets and allow us to wind down any current military adventures. We might also need a rebuilt military to handle Iran and North Korea, both of which will get more desperate unless the worldwide economy improves.
"The free market has failed due to the lack of regulations and the ability of a small number of adventurous people to screw up the entire world seeking profit from dumb business practices.
"We will also see more government involvement in almost all fields, also due to the failure of the free, unregulated markets to provide for health care, education, infrastructure, etc.
"You young people will live in a very different world than you have become used to. I am not sure it will be better than my time, even with a World War and a serious Great Depression. It will be up to the current generation to resolve the problems of the world and not fall prey to dictatorial leaders on the right or left.
"We allowed Bush/Cheney to weaken many of our safeguards, like checks and balances we allowed Bush/Cheney to expand the president's executive power which either overruled or stretched the Constitution. We will not know unless someone investigates it and makes decisions as to how to govern from now on.
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