David Love: That anyone can actually utter the words “the recession is over” at a time of mass unemployment, foreclosures, homelessness and general despair tells you all you need to know about America. The nation actually exists as two nations: the few that have, and the many who don’t.
Randy Shaw: Few actions are more despicable than a multi-millionaire promoting making life worse for the very poor. Yet that’s what California Republican Governor candidate Meg Whitman is doing to get votes, even arguing that our lowest-income families should be removed from welfare altogether after two years.
Steven Hill: So when the authorities say “a recovery is under way” or “stimulus rather than deficit reduction” or “deficit reduction instead of stimulus,” remember: These are the same experts who are unsure of how to measure, who too often substitute ideology and partisanship for broken theory, and usually have been flat wrong in their assessments.
Shamus Cooke: The housing market appears to be on a never-ending downward spiral, with the much-discussed “recovery” always around the next corner.
Robert Reich: Having a giant undercover military jobs program is an insane way to keep Americans employed. It creates jobs we don’t need but we keep anyway because there’s no honest alternative.
Robert Reich: Higher corporate profits no longer lead to higher employment. We’re witnessing a great decoupling of company profits from jobs.
Norman Solomon: With unemployment so common that it’s widely seen as a long-term fact of life, a tacit fatalism has seeped into political discourse and the mass media. In short, what should be unacceptable has gained acceptance.
Robert Reich: Friday’s job report was awful. For most new high school and college grads finding a job is harder than ever. Meanwhile, states are cutting summer jobs for disadvantaged young people. What to do with this army of young unemployed? Send them to the Gulf to clean up beaches and wetlands, and send the bill to BP.
Robert Reich: The only reason the economy isn’t in a double-dip recession already is because of three temporary boosts: the federal stimulus (of which 75 percent has been spent), near-zero interest rates (which can’t continue much longer without igniting speculative bubbles), and replacements (consumers have had to replace worn-out cars and appliances, and businesses had to replace worn-down inventories). Oh, and, yes, all those Census workers (who will be out on their ears in a month or so).
Robert Reich: New businesses are vital to job growth, and entrepreneurship does fuel the economy. And surely some of America’s new independent workers will build their own companies. But when the economy is still so hard on so many, it’s important to distinguish between entrepreneurial zeal and self-employed desperation.