Jan 9, 2009

Big O ... Year I

What we need is not a leader to assure us of our greatness...

Yesterday Obama gave a speech regarding the economic crisis this country is facing right now. It contained that rhetoric about how America has the best most productive workers in the world and other such b.s. I wish politicians would stop spewing. It sounds like pandering and it sounds too self involved, you know as if other countries around the world have really lazy workers and workers who aren't as productive. Also it reminded me of rhetoric John Mccain would dole out during the campaign when he flubbed his line on the American economy being strong.

Obama's speech was short on specifics and contained much of the rhetoric he's been doling out for the past few months regarding investing in infrastructure in order to create jobs. However I wish his people would outline what these specific jobs would be, because I would imagine that construction workers would benefit from this, so would managers and secretaries, but would architects and other type of designers? Its just that the type of work it seems to imply isn't something that the population at large can say, "Oh wow once that happens I'll have a job for sure."

I'm a graphic designer and every time I hear about this infrastructure business I'm like how would that benefit me and other people who are in creative fields of work? Hell even some Senate Democrats are expressing their distrust in the plan, in this NYT article, Senate Allies Fault Obama on Stimulus.

There is talk about sending out another round of stimulus checks, because that idea worked so well the first time around.

Several Democrats on the Finance Committee earlier in the day questioned the proposal to give tax credits worth $500 to individuals and $1,000 to married couples. Several senators said that initiative would provide a token sum of money, which taxpayers were likely to save, not spend.

Did the last round of checks help the economy? NO! People used those checks to pay their bills, they didn't go out to buy luxury goods or new HD tvs and they did nothing to improve consumer confidence. I mean honestly when you're an unemployed individual an extra $500 isn't something you look at and go, "Wow I can finally go on that shopping spree." Its money that goes into your budget to pay off your bills, if you're a fiscally responsible person trying to support yourself that is.

I think the main thing is that businesses need to have credit and incentives in order to start creating jobs outside of the infrastructure sector. Obama acknowledge the skepticism and said,

 “I understand that some might be skeptical of this plan,” he said. “Our government has already spent a good deal of money but we haven’t yet seen that translate into more jobs or higher incomes or renewed confidence in our economy.” But he said his plan “won’t just throw money at our problems. We’ll invest in what works.”

I dunno, still sounds like a gamble but hopefully it has a good impact to lower the unemployment rate. I feel really bad for people every time they release the new job loss numbers, because as a someone who's been unemployed for the majority of 2008 and continuing to do so now in 2009 I understand how hard it can be for people. And frankly it takes a toll on you mentally, the lifestyle you'd grown accustomed too is ripped out from under you and applying for jobs day after day and getting no replies back can be very depressing. It was a very dark time for me when first got cut from my job so I can sympathize with how helpless and insecure people are feeling.

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