Column Date 2009-09-06

Good news for Labor Day: we're having a "Jobless Recovery"

We know you've been out of work for a year now. We know you're worried about your unemployment running out and keeping up with your mortgage payments.

Cheer up! Our learned economists have given you reason to be optimistic:

America is going through a "jobless recovery"!

That's right -- they're now saying that as long as our corporations are making money, our exports are rising, and the stock market is moving higher, all's right with the world. America is recovering!

This brings up questions.

Who, exactly, is "recovering"?

The artificial entities we call "corporations"? The S&P 500? The balance of trade numbers?

What about real people -- my family, my friends and my neighbors? Are they recovering, too?

Well, not exactly.

Because, according to these same gurus, the Dow Jones could go up like a rocket and America could still have high unemployment -- for a very long time.

It's Economic Never-Never Land:

America will go deeper into debt. Huge corporations will continue to make products in countries where labor costs are lowest. International bankers will continue to move billions of dollars around the world, largely unregulated, taking bigger risks for bigger profits. And the Dow could conceivably hit 15,000 in a couple of years.

Wonder of wonders, our economy will be completely recovered!

Except for the nagging little fact that millions of people will be left without jobs (except, perhaps for economists).

Once again, America will be leading the way by moving toward the world's first "Jobless Economy"

And you thought you understood economics.

(c) 2009 Peter Tannen