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.
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.
Judith Stein: If President Obama wants the United States to manufacture again, he must change foreign and domestic priorities. The United States is more committed to maintaining its open market than to providing jobs for Americans.
Robert Reich: Conservative economists have it wrong. The underlying problem isn’t that so many Americans have priced themselves out of the global/high-tech labor market. It’s that they’re getting a smaller and smaller share of the pie.
Robert Reich: Not only do we need extended unemployment benefits. We need a new WPA, modeled after the WPA of the Great Depression, to put jobless Americans to work. We need a national infrastructure bank to rebuild our crumbling highways and water and sewer systems, thereby putting additional people back to work.
Carl Bloice: If Congress does not vote over the next week and a half to re-authorize federal unemployment benefits through next year, before they expire November 30, nearly 2 million women and men and their families will face a dismal holiday season.
Carl Bloice: If it remains almost impossible for a couple of generations of young women and men to earn a decent living, it is calamitous for black people and the country. They cannot become the personification of the “new normal.”
Robert Reich: A record number of Americans is unemployed for a record length of time. This is a national tragedy. It is to the nation’s credit that many are receiving unemployment benefits. This is good not only for them and their families but also for the economy as a whole, because it allows them to spend and thereby keep others in jobs.