If you happen to be one of the millions of unfortunate Americans who have been out of work for months at a time, you may have feelings of desperation and resentment towards the government for not taking further steps to remedy the unemployment situation.
As of right now, 14 million Americans are unemployed. This number does not include the millions more who have given upon on their job search after months of making no progress and those who have chosen to take part-time positions in order to fill in the gaps. Of the 14 million out of work, more than 6 million have been unemployed long-term. The current national unemployment rate is over 9%.
These numbers are definitely not music to the ears of the American working class. The Great Recession (apparently over) has given way to a weak recovery, and progress has been sluggish. In addition, a persistent fear among the long-term unemployed is that they might never find jobs again and have to live on government assistance for the rest of their lives.
It’s easy to point out the negative, but there is hope for the future. According to a recent article by the Associated Press, President Obama plans to unveil a new economic strategy to boost the economy and get Americans back to work in early September. Just after Labor Day, Obama will deliver a speech detailing his plans for helping out the unemployed and getting them back to the workforce.
Obama’s new bag of economic tactics will include:
- Tax cuts to help the middle class
- A build-up America construction program
- Help for the long-term unemployed
- Plans to tax the wealthy more in order to help cut the deficit
It may very well be that Obama is sweating about being re-elected for his second term. This makes sense. The 2012 election is right around the corner. According to the Associated Press, no incumbent in recent years has ever been re-elected for a second term with unemployment rates so high.
If you ask the Republican Party, they will probably tell you that President Obama is simply trying to get on our good side in order to be re-elected. But you have to take into consideration that times were tough when he stepped into office, and it usually takes more than three years to turn the entire economy around. Progress has been made; slowly but surely. The only way to go now is up.
So do not despair. There is hope on the horizon. We can only hope that Obama’s new jobs proposal will really help to ignite the economy and get us back to work in full force. In the meantime, it might be a good idea for the long-term unemployed to step in and pick up a part-time. As crazy as it might sound, it’s easier to find a job when you’ve already got one.