POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Zachary Karabel: an intelligent discussion of what’s really going on in America’s jobs market … LMW: it’s not what the Tea Party/Republican “no-nothings” are screaming about … in fact, all the shouting about government as the problem and debt as the cause is keeping us from focusing on the real problems

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 2, 2011


a confusing picture that requires intelligent analysis


Zachary Karabel writes in The Daily Beast (9/2/11) …

  • Over the past year, it’s become ever more clear (or at least it should have become ever more clear) that the United States is ossifying into several different economies.
    • One is the Apple economy of high-tech devices, ample discretionary income, and brave new-world giddiness of social media, interconnectedness and burgeoning global commerce.
    • (at the same time, we have) 14 million unemployed, a permanent underclass of underemployed, underpaid, and marginally attached workers.
  • Unemployment
    • is a massive problem for younger people and younger men, and especially young black men.
    • It is not much of a problem for college educated white women.
  • the fiction that we are all in this together is a further impediment (to understanding the true situation).

We have a serious employment problem in the United States

that is a product of changing economies and a global commercial system

knit together by technology 

  • There is an underclass of tens of millions of people in the United States who are on the short end of that stick.
  • Unless that is specifically acknowledged and addressed, “jobs creation” is likely to be a will-o’-the-wisp.
  • At the same time, ignoring the fact that a majority of the country is actually doing fine or thriving doesn’t help us either.
    • the affluence of much of the country is a resource.
    • Pleading collective penury – as the Tea Party does – or claiming that the government is broke when interest rates are as low as they’ve ever been and the world is pouring dollars into U.S. Treasuries is to live in an alternate reality.
    • Companies that are growing 20 percent a year in revenues and sitting on cash have the resources to invest
    • government has the ability to spend wisely and constructively to assist that process.
    • But you wouldn’t know any of that given how the jobs report is used and analyzed.
  • the chronic underemployment of early 21st century America will require years of transition and money spent somewhere by someone to cushion the worst effects of that for the millions who are caught in that inflection, who cannot magically be retrained and who still need food, clothing and shelter.
  • It will require one other element most missing just now: a full recognition of the strengths of a $15 trillion economy, of the vast resources that the U.S. possesses, and of the fact that we are not even close to using that wisely.

Shouting about government as the problem and debt as the cause

is more than distracting.

(It is keeping us from focusing on the real problems)

Zachary Karabell is president of River Twice Research and River Twice Capital. A regular commentator on CNBC and a contributing editor for Newsweek/the Daily Beast, he is the coauthor of Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World and Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World’s Prosperity Depends on It.

read the entire article at … http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/02/jobs-report



Zachary Karabel has given us an intelligent discussion of what’s really going on in America’s jobs market. It’s not what the Tea Party/Republican “no-nothings” are screaming about.

In fact, shouting about government as the problem and debt as the cause is keeping us from focusing on the real problems.

We need to understand the complicated facts of our employment and other problems so that we can consider rational approaches to resolving those problems. We need to understand that we have the resources to resolve our problems so that we have confidence and avoid panic. We need to step beyond the simplistic and toxic political rhetoric and actually deal with reality.

We need to reject candidates who know nothing and who appeal only to misdirected anger. There are no solutions there.

We need also to stop bashing President Obama for not accomplishing all of the conflicting objectives that various liberals focus on to the exclusion of other equally demanding problems.

Barack Obama is the best hope our country has. Sure we need to push him to be more aggressive and to deal with the nonsensical Republican/Tea Party opposition in more forceful ways. 

But let’s not destroy the possible in our impossible search for the perfect.



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