Sunday, May 8, 2011

Unemployment figures: the Yo-yo nature of the monthly reports on employment trend in America?

Keywords or Terms: Employment and Unemployment in America; Recession; Jobs Creation; Congressional Politics; Business Performance; Planned Parenthood; PPACA; Taxation; Revenue Collection; Lawmakers: Republican, Democrats and Independents

The current state of employment in America is patchy. Although a vast majority of companies and businesses are hiring, the threshold of employment has not been impressive enough to make a dent in the nation’s 10 – 16 % unemployment rate. This is probably why many in the unemployment lines cannot see the value of railing that the economy is improving or, not in a deplorable recession; and that, the unstable monthly unemployment reports are not showing the total picture of the performance of the economy.

Current House of Representatives negotiations over Federal budget, 2011 and 2012, shifted gear into consideration of social issues, excluding the dysfunctional America’s unemployment rate. Republican majority in the House of Representatives have concentrated their attention on issue of cutting funding for low income women to pay for abortion in the bid to undermine the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; hardly thinking of the need to invest in the future of companies to expand employment opportunities to the teaming millions out there still seeking work. How can companies and businesses be motivated to increase their labor force? How can entrepreneurs build up businesses and what can congress do to help them take up challenges that can resolve consumer demand problems? How can public policy enhance business performance and management systems so that employment opportunities improve? These are questions that the public wants resolved, not a debate over why a teenager must prevent unwanted pregnancy or why adoption is a better alternative to pregnancy termination.

Mind you, no one is saying debating social policy issues like abortion are inappropriate; however, the job issues are more pressing at this time. There are still too many people without a job and the college kids for 2011 are already swelling the number of the unemployed. Unless congress has taken up as its responsibility, the task of pushing funding of abortion debate to the brink, it should make a bold move to address what is preventing America from moving ahead in the sphere of job creation. Whether congress apportions fund for Planned Parenthood or not, people will still do what has to be done to prevent pregnancies from rape, incest or other complications. It will be good to have funds for early pregnancy prevention, birth control pills, and IUDs; however, if congress chooses to focus on gender-biased politics rather than creating jobs or opportunities to afford the private sector create jobs, the nation would have to contend with more poverty; a situation that never augers well for the rate of abortion or life births. Focusing effort on underfunding or de-funding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not the main goal of many Americans who are struggling to gain employment, hold on to their mortgages or pay their children college fees.

In case you missed the news, unemployment rate inched up again in the last monthly reporting, despite an amazing growth in employment figures in the private sector. There is growth in private sector jobs creation; however, the size of growth was not enough to compensate for the number of people seeking employment or those, who are underemployed for more than twelve months. A good performance of job creation will ensure that those seeking jobs get one, and those who are underemployed find opportunities that suit their qualification(s), with the good chance of both groups growing into reliable and productive employees. With improvement in employment opportunities, more people will be able to pay taxes and government revenue source will grow or swell. Arbitrary de-funding of Planned Parenthood is hardly going to create jobs or add a nickel to the government revenue source. And, in the absence of enough revenue, many state budgets will remain in the dumps, more and more programs to support poor and middle income Americans will continue to go away and those who are concerned that 20% of Americans hold down 80% of the nation’s wealth will have more debates and issues to mull over.

There are groups of lawmakers in Congress who still do not appreciate that the nation is gradually turning to an oasis of the unemployed and wasted human resources. I believe that the Obama’s Administration wants the nation’s citizens to be gainfully employed and would like to be accountable to many who are out of work and companies seeking friendlier environment for businesses to grow and create employment. There are some of us who do not believe that tax cut is the only way to create a business friendly environment or cut down on America’s deficit; thereby leading to more job creation. Further, apart from taxation relief, there are several other existing public policy issues that continue to encourage businesses to hide their wealth in overseas bank accounts and move American jobs overseas. Some of these issues are in finance, labor and resource use interchanges, among others. A few of them are well known in the business arena and others, well documented by the Internal Revenue Services. It is time to look into such laws and effect necessary changes to help American Companies keep jobs within the shores of the country.

We cannot pull America’s economy from the doldrums, if we continue to ship jobs overseas, give businesses big tax brakes and deregulate the banking system so that more of the nation’s wealth may be moved overseas. Lawmakers need to know what is expected of them. Without a clear understanding of the expectation of the electorate, lawmakers may sit and pretend they do not understand how important an aspect of the lives of the people they represent has become with the weak economy. The state of the American economy is not encouraging and the yo-yo data coming from those monitoring the economics statistics are showing that unemployment is very grim. Money is already tight but ideas are flowing freely and we need to harness these to create work for everyone who needs one and rebuild American allover again. Now, it is up to the lawmakers to genuinely do something about our challenge or just quit and pretend all is well.

Some of our lawmakers are doing a good job attending to bills that can actually alleviate the problems of unemployment. But it’s important to call the attention of many more lawmakers in congress, especially the Tea Party group, who could do more than play politics with the lives of the unemployed Americans. Many Americans are too shy to speak to their government regarding where the shoes are hurting on their toes. With many of the safety nets in place to catch those falling through the cracks closing up with more state budget shortfalls, it is about time our lawmakers understand that the people still hold the power and will always. By setting aside the important work of the people to address relatively insignificant and unnecessary issues like de-funding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Republican lawmakers that are spear heading this effort, may want to reconsider their effort by asking themselves, would this effort really create jobs for the unemployed American who are seeking work? Lawmakers are expected to work with themselves, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike, to facilitate bills that support the quality of life of the people, including creating jobs, setting goals that help Americans remain employed tax paying citizens, both at the federal and State levels. Yes, we’ve heard the story about how new taxes will stifle job creations, but that message is fast fading and getting irrelevant in a 10-16% unemployment environment. Employment impacts and drive taxes, taxation does not drive unemployment as many Republicans always want us to believe.

Republicans may want to revise and retool their strategy towards the 2012 Presidential Election, because using high unemployment as a campaign message, will hardly sit well with Americans as we all are aware of the current events in congress and how politics has overtaken the substance and message of the growing unease with unemployment problems; and how Republican lawmakers have chose to pursue other interest rather than concentrate on addressing the unemployment issues. Because the monthly employment data releases have not been encouraging, it may be better for lawmakers who want to retain their offices to proceed with the following initiative. First, re-focus attention now on bills that will create jobs, enough of that illusion that government does not create job, government has the incentive and instruments to re-energize the private sector to create more jobs. Second, develop a better working relation among the leadership of Democrats, Republicans, Independents and the White House; and ensure persistent conversation on creating better business climate that pushes for economic growth. Third, put in place bills that help correct the cyclical burst and boom cycles in our economic system; so we do not have to continue to deal with the often changing unemployment rate and monthly data collection and reportage. If the wrangling over who pays for abortion is not irritating to the House Republicans by now, it is for the unemployed and their family members!

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