The book of Jobs

Not sure if you’ve noticed lately, but everybody who’s ever been elected to office, from the lowly dogcatcher to the lowlier governor, is talking about job creation. The latest package of proposals — “Agenda 2010” — comes from the Senate Democrats. Not to be outdone, Senate Republicans released their own ideas, such as they are.

Lest we become too giddy about all these politicians who want to combat the state’s 12+ percent unemployment, we should all take a break and read this outstanding piece in the March issue of The Atlantic: “How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America.” In it, Don Peck makes a thorough case that for the last decade, our nation has been mired in a kind of “jobless era,” a time when national unemployment rates of eight to 10 percent are the norm, not the exception. And the effects of such jobless rates are eroding our society as we know it.

“We are living through a slow-motion social catastrophe,” Peck writes, “one that could stain our culture and weaken our nation for many, many years to come.”

Unlike the recent jobs proposals from Senate Democrats and Republicans, Peck’s story is thoughtful, intelligent and compelling.

-Anthony Pignataro

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