08/22/2004: Here's the picture of the Bush economic recovery:
Bush administration spin doctors won't be able to paint a happy face on the fact that an effort to fill 3,000 new jobs at the increasingly busy ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach led to a spectacular flood of applications, with half a million underemployed people seeking to fill the slots. This California gold rush — applications were mailed from across the country — is hard evidence of an unusually tough job market that continues to disappoint nearly three years into an economic recovery.And at the last Memphis blogger bash, I said to the "red blogger" (conservative colleague who proudly sports a "Blogs 4 Bush" graphic on his blog) touting the "economic recovery", "But what bothers me is that so many of those new jobs don't pay nearly as much as the jobs which were lost.
The port jobs, being filled after a lottery in which applicants' postcards were chosen from a giant bin, are part time and offer no benefits. Some could evaporate after crews process the wave of imported goods heading for store shelves in time for the holiday shopping season. Yet, as a labor union official put it, Thursday's job lottery clicked with Americans because "people are hungry for a decent job."
On that score, these jobs deliver. Pay ranges from $20.66 to $28 an hour, well above the average of $8.38 per hour that entry-level workers earn in Los Angeles County. And those whose names were drawn also fall in line for possible full-time employment and membership in the powerful International Longshore and Warehouse Union, with a pension and healthcare coverage. Contrast that promise with the frustrating reality facing many Americans who are struggling to make ends meet. California employers cut 17,300 jobs in July; nationwide, just 32,000 jobs were created, well below the 250,000 most economists had predicted. And many of the jobs being created look a lot worse than the jobs that have been eliminated. [my emphasis --LRC]
And he replied, "So what?"
Somebody is living in a fantasy world. I suspect it isn't me.
Heads up via Melanie.
Len on 08.22.04 @ 11:18 AM CST