Mark Twain once said “Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.”
Someone in Washington better take heed, and fast. Latest unemployment figures look like the beginnings of a class war. It’s nice Congress just said no to $1.75 Billion in new fighters- but, we need to FORCE big companies to start hiring Americans pretty quick.
Here are the latest horror numbers for our fair town:
In June, Dayton’s unemployment rate hit 13.7 percent, up from 12.6 percent in May, and 8.6 percent in June 2008, according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
Compared with other major Ohio cities, Dayton’s unemployment rate is higher than Cincinnati’s (10 percent), Columbus’ (9.1 percent) and Cleveland’s (12.2 percent). Youngstown and Toledo both have higher unemployment rates, at 15.2 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively.
Montgomery County’s unemployment level in June also rose, climbing from 11.4 percent in May to 12.4 percent in June, following a loss of nearly 3,000 jobs. Last June, the county’s unemployment rate was 7.4 percent.
Normally, a war is a great way to spur employment, but this one isn’t big enough. It’s expensive enough, but we’ve gotten much more efficient at killing and need less grunts on the ground.
While bailed out banks are arguing over bonuses vs salaries in the 6 figure range, people in towns like Dayton across the country are getting hammered. It can’t go on. Sure, health care costs are a major contributor- but when people can’t eat- they sure can’t afford health care.
This country has the power to regulate a lot of commerce. We regulate utilities, we regulate banks (poorly) we regulates monopolies, we regulate stock offerings. It’s time to pull the emergency brake and force companies that trade publicly, to halt compensation over $500K for the next 2 years unless the company hires more Americans. No more million dollar payouts to any CEO who lays off workers- in fact- no paycheck at all during the crisis if you hand out a pink slip.
Until we get our priorities straight, and get our economy back on its feet, all the “principles” of a free market need to go out the window, before we end up owned by China, Japan, India and Russia.
We’re in a war right now- and it’s not being fought with guns- it’s over bread and butter. And if the folks in Washington don’t get smart real fast, they may find that it’s hard to argue with hungry people on the streets- people who once had jobs at companies where the CEO is still fat and happy.
How bad will it have to get before the voices of the unemployed get heard? 13.7% is pretty close.