Sunday, July 12, 2015

JEB! Sez You Don't Work Enough Hours

Michelle Chen at The Nation:

When asked about the crisis of unemployment, Bush stated, “Workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and through their productivity gain more income for their families.”

The economy should aim for 4 percent annual growth to sustain more jobs, he argued, so “we have to be a lot more productive.”

Smug JEB!
The comment was instantly assailed as both “out of touch” and incompetent. But the best takedown comes from the latest economic data reports: Americans overall work longer hours on average than peers in many other rich industrialized countries. Full-time employees clock about 47 hours weekly, according to recent surveys. Nearly 40 percent of full-time workers spend 50 or more hours at work each week. Most working households have seen their annual working hours tick up by 9 to 10 percent between 1979 and 2007. Plenty of workers, especially women, are even juggling more than one job.

It’s true that many people are working fewer hours than they’d like, but that’s not for want of trying: they’ve been unable to secure full-time work so they take up part-time gigs. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the number of “involuntary part-time” workers has grown since the recession hit to more than 6.6 million.

And more than 3 million so-called “missing workers” have dropped out of the workforce altogether because they’ve become discouraged from even trying to seek a job. ...

Just so... JEB! is a perfect example of a "person unclear on the concept." Before Junior Bush wrecked the economy in his last year or so in office, I seldom even had to pick up the phone to get as much contract IT work as I wanted: clients came to me, not I to them. Then the flow slowed (over a surprisingly short period of time) and stopped... and no amount of phoning my usual sources of work, or even unusual possibilities, accomplished anything at all: I was involuntarily retired, probably five or ten years earlier than I had intended or expected. This was not my doing, nor was it my former clients' fault: the work just dried up, for them and hence for me. (NOTE to truly ignorant Republicans: yes, the Great Recession began just before 2008, the last year of GeeDubya Bush's administration, not the first of Obama's: "According to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research (the official arbiter of U.S. recessions) the U.S. recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, ...")

I don't know if JEB! has ever had to have a real job in his life, just to have enough money for him and his family to get by day to day. But I do know this: he never had to look for a job. Republicans in powerful positions, or with powerful connections, just don't. In JEB!'s case, it seems likely that he remedied his slack periods, if any, with a phone call to Poppy. [ADDENDUM: In JEB!'s case, according to Wikipedia, the connection for his first significant job, a bank job (ahem), was GOP kingmaker James Baker.] That's how it is when you're born wealthy and privileged.

As a consequence, JEB! understands being out of work about as much as he understands having to grab his fishing tackle and catch his evening meal if he wants to eat tonight: in other words, he doesn't comprehend it at all.

Don't you think a POTUS should have at least a speaking acquaintance with having to seek work to feed his family? Damn, I sure do!

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