President Obama had a meeting of the minds last week at the White House Jobs Summit.
The minds included the chief executives of top companies including Google, Disney, FedEx, a handful of small business leaders, as well as economists Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Jeffrey Sachs and topping it off with the mayors of Des Moines, San Antonio and Allentown.
Their mission: To get our economy back to pre-recession levels.
According to White House advisor Valerie Jarrett when she appeared on “Good Morning America“, discussions in the job summit will focus on infrastructure, small jobs, exports, green jobs and “innovative ways to retool our workforce.”
But how to retool a workforce that is mostly out of work is a big head scratcher even for these big minds.
Nearly 1 in 5 Americans is either out of work or under-employed.
Hard working Americans are hardly working as the middle class continues to disintegrate.
Quoth Daffy Duck: “And brother, when it disintegrates-it disintegrates!”
And quoth Elizabeth Warren, Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the banking bailouts, in HuffPo: :
While the middle class has been caught in an economic vise, the financial industry that was supposed to serve them has prospered at their expense. Consumer banking — selling debt to middle class families — has been a gold mine. Boring banking has given way to creative banking, and the industry has generated tens of billions of dollars annually in fees made possible by deceptive and dangerous terms buried in the fine print of opaque, incomprehensible, and largely unregulated contracts.
And when various forms of this creative banking triggered economic crisis, the banks went to Washington for a handout. All the while, top executives kept their jobs and retained their bonuses. Even though the tax dollars that supported the bailout came largely from middle class families — from people already working hard to make ends meet — the beneficiaries of those tax dollars are now lobbying Congress to preserve the rules that had let those huge banks feast off the middle class.
And Salon’s Angela Blackwell who is also jumping up and down and pointing “Over here Mr. President! LOOK!”
Decades of disinvestment in many American communities has left us reeling. We are wasting the most precious resource we have — the ingenuity and hard work of millions. We need all Americans working on all cylinders to keep our economic engine running. A stagnant economy that leaves millions behind cannot compete in the global marketplace.
So will the way it was be the way it will be?
Remember the good old days?