The economy is still failing- at least, if you measure the success or failure of that sector by unemployment rates, which still stand at over 9 percent. This rate is increasing amongst high-tech skilled workers, who are getting laid off due to lack of work- and then their jobs are being given to younger people fresh out of college. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that many of these jobs are now being sent overseas, where there is a burgeoning job market for these kinds of talents, and where workers will do the same work for less than Americans.
As we know, high-tech positions and workers aren't the only ones being hurt by this recession, but I think there is some credibility to the argument that they are sometimes hurt more than less skilled laborers. If an electrician gets laid off, he can get a job somewhere else relatively easy, even if it isn't electrical. But if there is a drop from somewhere like Hewlett-Packard as a computer engineer to fast food...well, that just isn't good.
But you know, don't worry. Our fearless leader has a plan. He's calling for $50 billion to be put into a new infrastructure fund and for there to be a push to upgrade the roads and railroads of America, thereby creating jobs.
It's about time, if you ask me. Some of the stretches of interstate highway I've seen are absolutely disgraceful. (Still better than some stretches of highway between Lusaka and Livingstone in Zambia, Africa, but still pretty bad. ^.^)
This is one measure I think I could potentially agree with President Obama on. Our road and railroad system is due for an overhaul, and this seems like a good idea. It may or may not be wise during a time of economic upheaval as we're in, but at least it's Constitutional. I also think some of the logic behind the plan, that of hoping to prevent earmarks headed for transportation projects, is good. It might make our lawmakers more focused on important things. Or wait...maybe we don't particularly want that.
In any case (and all jokes aside), at least they're still trying. But there's one area that some are saying shouldn't be maintained, and they should stop trying.
That's the housing market. From this article:
"As the economy again sputters and potential buyers flee — July housing sales sank 26 percent from July 2009 — there is a growing sense of exhaustion with government intervention. Some economists and analysts are now urging a dose of shock therapy that would greatly shift the benefits to future homeowners: Let the housing market crash. When prices are lower, these experts argue, buyers will pour in, creating the elusive stability the government has spent billions upon billions trying to achieve."
In the Texas town where I live, house sales are crazy. You drive down a residential street, and you're almost guaranteed to see a house for sale. And these houses aren't selling. They're just sitting there on the market, waiting for someone with enough money to come along.
And as the article above pointed out, despite the billions of dollars the government has pumped into the industry, it hasn't helped. The housing market is still failing. Further, the government insured thousands of loans and credit for mortgages on new houses, and now those people are defaulting, costing us even more money.
Personally, I agree that they should just leave it alone. Experience shows us that oftentimes, when an industry like this goes down, it springs back up soon after. People have to have houses to live in, one way or the other, and they'll continue to buy them, just as they will food or clothes.