Monday, August 2, 2010

Paul Krugman: "I’m starting to have a sick feeling about prospects for American workers."

The New York Times--centrist liberal, sure, but hardly a bastion of radical economic thought--has finally begun to recognize the dire position in which American workers are increasingly finding themselves trapped.

Last week in a column titled "A Sin and a Shame," Bob Herbert detailed the ways in which corporations have exploited the economic downturn, using the recession as an excuse to take advantage of workers even as worker productivity has increased dramatically. Writes Herbert,

The recession officially started in December 2007. From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2009, real aggregate output in the U.S., as measured by the gross domestic product, fell by about 2.5 percent. But employers cut their payrolls by 6 percent.

Today, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman sounded additional warning bells. It's a bad scene, he says--1 in 6 unemployed or underemployed, average length of unemployment 35 weeks and growing. We can, and we have to, do something now--but he fears that politicians are biding their time until it's too late, waiting until a moment where they can call unemployment structural and unavoidable.

Concludes Krugman, "I’d like to imagine that public outrage will prevent this outcome. But while Americans are indeed angry, their anger is unfocused."

If ever there was a time for action, it's now. It's time to stand up and remind our elected officials that they are ultimately accountable to us, and that we, their constituents, demand aggressive action on job creation. Congress returns from recess September 10th, and the Jobs with Justice network is gearing up for a September 15th National Day of Action to let Congress--and our local officials-- know that America demands the creation of good jobs now.

Join us as we remind Congress: their bosses live on Main Street, not K Street.

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