Kathleen Peine: The unemployment report came out recently, and Punxatawny Phil saw a service sector job — that means six more years of growth. Or something like that. It’s all very complicated.
Robert Reich: Government should extend unemployment benefits, and not cut spending until the nation’s rate of unemployment is down to 5 percent. Then, and only then, should we move toward budget austerity.
Julie Driscoll: In their zeal to see that President Obama is a one-term president, it does not behoove Republicans to roll out anything that would actually improve the economic outlook for the unemployed. They barely pay lip service to it.
Carl Bloice: The average period of unemployment now exceeds 26 weeks, well above the previous peak in July 1983 of just 21.2 weeks. This is critical because the longer that people of any age are out of work, the less likely they are to find another job.
Robert Reich: When people ask me what Congress is likely to do I always say the same thing: The odds are in favor of nothing.
Robert Reich: So the best of all worlds is to have a big jobs plan now, and also commit to automatic cuts triggered when unemployment falls to 5 percent.
Steve Hochstadt: Republicans believe that continuing high unemployment will bring Obama down, so they want to preserve what they feel is their winning card: a bad economy.
Robert Reich: Perry and Romney can duke it out over who created the most jobs, but governors have as much influence over job growth in their states as roosters do over sunrises.
Robert Reich: Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade.
Herb Engstrom: At this time of TEA Party hysteria, Fox News mendacity, and GOP hypocrisy a government guarantee of universal employment might seem like a radical idea, although it seemed not to be so to Franklin Roosevelt.
Steven Conn: For thirty years inflation has not been a serious threat to the American economy, yet politicians and pundits continually fret about it. The never-ending worry about inflation is like fighting the last war rather than the current one. What’s needed today is a war on unemployment and wage stagnation, not inflation.
Robert Reich: The only way out of the vicious economic cycle is for government to adopt an expansionary fiscal policy — spending more in the short term in order to make up for the shortfall in consumer demand.
Carl Bloice: If one out of ten people seeking work can’t find any, it follows that the average person has a friend, relative or neighbor amongst them. All she or he has to do is look out the window or answer the phone to be scared.