10 Thoughts On America’s Unrecognized Scourge: Joblessness
from WGBH Radio, Boston, MA
” Thanks to a cocktail of factors – deregulation, globalization, deindustrialization, automation – wealth in the 21st century has become uncoupled from work.”
1. A specter is haunting America – the specter of joblessness. Between Bill Clinton’s Washington exit 17 years ago and Donald Trump’s recent inauguration, about 10 million jobs across the nation have disappeared. Poof. Gone.
2. Friday’s report from the Department of Labor that the economy added 235,000 jobs is good news. “Robust,” is how NPR characterized it. But it’s a gloss on reality. It doesn’t reflect that somewhere between 20- and 40-million able-bodied people of working age have been displaced or dropped out of the workforce.
3. There are huge social, economic, and political implications attached to this still under appreciated phenomenon. The two most obvious: Brexit and Trump’s election. It would be gross over simplification to attribute these tectonic shifts to disappeared jobs alone. But it is reckless and irresponsible not to factor it into public thinking.
Then resist, with all your heart and will.