Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Matter of Perspective

The New York Times has discovered something this week that most people in America are all too aware of—the economic downturn is about far more than just unemployment. Millions of Americans are toiling in jobs for which they are overqualified at wages that don’t pay the bills. As the Times reports:
These are anxious days for American workers. Many, like Ms. Woods, are underemployed. Others find pay that is simply not keeping up with their expenses: adjusted for inflation, the median hourly wage was lower in 2011 than it was a decade earlier, according to data from a forthcoming book by the Economic Policy Institute, “The State of Working America, 12th Edition.” Good benefits are harder to come by, and people are staying longer in jobs that they want to leave, afraid that they will not be able to find something better.
Unfortunately, President Obama is behind the New York Times on the suffering of the American people. He thinks, as he made clear in press conference a few weeks ago, that the “private sector is doing fine.” Clearly, that view doesn’t jive with the reality on the ground.

Or maybe it all depends on your perspective. President Obama was at a celebrity fundraiser last week, and he told the assembled glitterati, “You’re the tie-breaker. You’re the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes.” In Hollywood, things probably are going just fine.

President Obama’s problem is he needs to visit the small towns and communities around America and see the true results of his policies. He should start in Ohio. I have a feeling that his perspective might not be the same if he had a change of scenery.