, Newburyport, MA


December 8, 2012

No jump-start for the unemployed

I had just about given up on Big Freddy when he heaved through the door and made his way to our booth.

“Bad night?” I asked.

“Bad battery,” he said. “Sputtered a bit yesterday — was stone dead this morning.”

“They’ll do that,” I said. “Batteries are out of sight and mind until the bottom falls out of the thermometer.

“So -— did you get a jump-start?”

“Neighbor,” Freddy said.

“But it won’t last,” I said. “Better get a new one.”

“So should Washington,” Freddy said. “I’ve had it with all this Fiscal Cliff business.”

“Higher taxes for those who can afford them, and Obama won the election going away,” I said.

“So, it’s a jump-start for revenue time,” Freddy said. “All about taxes and pinning the tail on the elephant, but it’s not going to create jobs, and that’s what needs fixing.”

“But unemployment rate’s have gone down,” I said.

“Bookkeeping numbers have gone down because so many have stopped looking,” Freddy said. “But talk Fiscal Cliffs to those part timers working two or three jobs without any benefits and no security, and they’ll tell you they’ve already taken their fall. The charts don’t show all of that.

“Tell it to trained workers whose jobs have gone overseas who are trying to get by with whatever they can without losing their unemployment.

“Tell it to the college graduates who can’t find more than part time jobs and are having to pay the piper for their student debts.

“Tell it to those over 55 who are losing their homes because their jobs have gone overseas. And if you want real numbers, tell it to the 12 million registered unemployed and then add to that only God knows how many more who have just given up.”

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