Politics can be reduced to a game of he said she said with the gender specific pronouns being replaced by the nouns Democrats and Republicans. This is certainly clear with the debate on unemployment. Both parties have been successful at taking the focus away from the real issue, which is unemployment, choosing instead to focus on the fake issue — extension of benefits for the unemployed.
Neither side of the aisle has addressed unemployment outside of name calling and bickering. The real question, which neither the Republicans nor the Obama administration is asking, is where do 8.4 million jobs that were lost come from and what is required to be done for the younger generation entering the job market to also have jobs?
The fact is that no program can make up for the loss of that many jobs, so America will have to get accustomed to double digit unemployment. Although many accept the government's projected figure of around 10 percent for unemployment, I have calculated it to be more like 25 for the general population. Which means if it is that high for the general population, the 16 percent propounded to represent the unemployment rate for African Americans is really closer to 35 percent.
The way unemployment figures are calculated currently, military, college students, part-time workers and seniors are not included in the statistics. As it stands, the economic downturn has hit the African American community harder than any other group. This was also true during the Great Depression when we also were impacted disproportionately.
New data shows that the median duration of unemployment is higher today than any time in U.S. history and is really is more than twice as high today than any time in the last 50 years. The reason is a function of two main components: the loss of jobs to cheap labor abroad and the impact of technology on society.
Many jobs over the last 50 years have been eliminated due to technology. No longer are men required to dig ditches, package or can food items or man gas stations. No longer do we focus on creating and manufacturing as in past decades but rather bartering our services. Obama's solution as a function of the observed 1.5 dip recession, is to institute a large-scale national jobs program that would have the government pay these wages directly. The Republicans on the other hand have no specific policy directive. Both of these approaches are equally ineffective and miss the problem completely.
The new American job market will be one filled with temporary hiring and part-time employment. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans can institute any policy to change the future landscape of the American job market because of the impact that technological advancement plays in increasing the ranks of the unemployed.I said it before and I will say it again, there is no such thing as a jobless recovery.