Discouragement is an extremely powerful force. When people see nothing coming from their best efforts, their values and attitude towards life change. They eventually will come to a point where nothing much matters other than getting what they want any way they can get it.
No where has more angst been created than in the labor market. Jobs are not being created fast enough to even accommodate new entrants, let alone those who have lost their means of self-support.
Recent graduates find themselves in enervating jobs that quickly destroy their prospects of ever achieving to their potential. Men and women who have led productive lives and even accumulated reserves to ensure they would survive six months or more should their income be disrupted are finding themselves barely subsisting on assistance as no work has been forthcoming for years.
The bulk of the new job growth has been in part time and temporary positions that offer neither income or security to displaced workers. As a result nearly 15% of Americans are unemployed by the broader U-6 measure, which includes those who have given up looking for work or who have been forced to take part time jobs for wages well below that to which they were accustomed.
When the labor force grows faster than job growth, as the numbers today suggest, the repercussions are harsh and far-reaching. The best and brightest of our young people, an irreplaceable asset, are held back by lack of opportunity. That alone has serious implications for our future as the loss in their combined life earnings is permanently subtracted from our nation’s wealth.
Older workers are particularly hard hit. Had they been able to continue working they would have made great contributions to the society with both their experience and generally higher incomes. Instead they now drain the country’s dwindling resources through receiving assistance and opting for early retirement on Social Security.
The people need one thing now more than any other: they need to feel encouraged. That won’t come from promises of better times, and it won’t come from more handouts. What we need the most is a sense that we are all on the same team working towards a common goal.
Sadly, too many good people feel only that they have been hung out to dry.