Guest Column

April 29, 2012

Little outrage heard from unemployed

The most recent data on the economy and jobs indicate two things.

The first is that the economy produced fewer jobs than it had in the previous two months, only about half of what some economists predicted. The second is that the national unemployment rate dropped slightly because more people have simply given up looking for work.

The bottom line is that 12 million people are still unemployed.

Economic recovery, you say? Who knows? The data is too confusing and convoluted to be a reliable indicator of how the economy is really doing. Like the Bible, you can find whatever data you need to support whatever position you have on the recession and the recovery.

I've been writing about the workforce for some time now and working in the field for much longer. I'm surprised by very little, certainly not the lack of innovative solutions.

I'll tell you what does surprise me, though.

What does surprise me is that 12 million people are unemployed, yet nowhere do I sense outrage or anger. Not from politicians, not from students and certainly not from the unemployed.

How can 12 million Americans be unemployed, many for a record number of months, and there be no physical manifestation of that outrage?

Maybe it's because I'm a product of the Vietnam era where people took to the streets to protest any manner of injustice — perceived or real.

Back in the day, people acted when they were outraged, often violently.

During the Great Depression, there were as many picket lines as there were bread lines and there was often violence in both.

In the 1960s and '70s, thousands of people would converge on Washington or on college campuses to protest the war, to fight for civil rights or to protest the fundamental values of American society. Amazingly, they somehow managed to organize these protests in spite of not having Twitter, Facebook or cellphones.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Guest Column
  • clute_cropped.jpg Finding accountability, healing

    Today, I focus on the vast majority of cases that do not go to trial but end in a guilty plea, writes former District Attorney and City Judge Penny Clute.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • krieg_felicia_mug.jpg Affordable doesn't mean low quality

    Drugstore products often perform just as well as their high-end counterparts, Felicia Krieg writes.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • paul_grasso.jpg Opportunity to repair infrastructure missed

    A vibrant economy requires roads, bridges, dams and other assets that are in good condition, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ken_wibecan.jpg Remembering the Sixties

    Each Memorial Day and Labor Day in the early 1960s, about a dozen of us city-dwellers drove to Lake George, writes columnist Ken Wibecan.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg The right to be forgotten?

    Europe taking first steps toward securing privacy with Google and Facebook, writes columnist Stu Denenberg.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Ethical consumerism in vogue

    However, making purchasing choices that can help save the planet aren't always that simple, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg U.S. lacking leadership

    Inspiration is hard to come by as society struggles to fulfill the traditional American dream, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for quality, safety, animal welfare

    June Dairy Month is a good time to appreciate all the effort that goes into producing the very best in dairy products, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    June 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Libraries still relevant

    In the digital age, it takes innovation and creativity to assure libraries stay a vital part of the community, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    June 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Trees at risk from pests

    The Emerald Ash Borer is a major threat to ash trees locally and across North America, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    June 1, 2014 1 Photo