Friday, March 7, 2014

Economic News Today--Good News or Bad?

February job figures were released Friday morning, March 7th. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment figures are down to 6.7%.  January’s figures were the lowest in years: 6.6%. February’s figures are not far behind: 6.7%. These are the lowest percentage since 2008. The Dow hit triple digits this week. Friday at 10:30 the Stock Market had climbed to an all-time high: 16, 484. We’ve never been here before.

My question is: why aren’t we bringing in the champagne and popping the corks? This economic news is good news—for a change. I don’t hear much celebration this morning. What’s wrong with us? Have been so mesmerized by negativity that we can’t hear a good word when it comes down the road?

I know the unemployment figure is a sad 10.5 million unemployed. Most of these thousands are desperate for work. Despite the good news about our economy—we must not forget all those who suffer.

I also know that the critics will say that these good figures are really overblown and do not tell the whole story. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lies? Seriously—a great many of us cannot accept the truth even when it is laid out with hard and fast statistics.

I know it is an election year and all those politicians out there are looking over their shoulder at the Tea Party. How can they possibly rejoice in good news when bad news sells papers and collects votes?

I love this country but somehow we are on the wrong track. Wouldn’t it be something if we could find a way to help all those out there desperate for jobs. To stand up for the poor and the disenfranchised. To come together as a people and help make our country a good place which our forebears, on their better days, dreamed. And—to celebrate the victories when they come.

One play on Broadway years ago summed it up so well: “There was a great man in that body...but somehow he got lost.” Reckon those words reflect our attitude toward good news when it comes?

--cartoon by Elijah Paul
--rogerlovette /  

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