Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Joblessness running amok.

Wall Street Journal Online
One Household, Two Pink Slips
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page D1
By JOANN S. LUBLIN Tuesday, May 12, 2009

...Double pink slips are proliferating, causing a double dose of trouble for affected couples. More people than ever are looking for work right now, complicating job searches and aggravating the emotional and financial setback of losing two incomes. Both the husband and the wife were jobless in 124,000 families last year, up from the 87,000 families with the same dilemma in 2006, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics...

Highly involved spouses "curtail the length of the dual unemployment," says David Mezzapelle, founder of JobsOver50.com, a free Web site. He recommends jobless couples closely scrutinize each other's lists of contacts -- even if they toiled in different industries. He finds the tactic frequently results in more interviews, improved networking and a job for one or both spouses....

Networking is something that is very important for job seekers in general. But the trend has been for many Jewish employers to seek out cheap illegal aliens instead of employing other members of the community. Of course, Christian companies and Muslim companies are doing the same - but does that make it right? Should we not strive to employ every member of our own communities before looking for outside help?

Some business owners will claim they cannot afford to hire as many legal American workers, of course. That's probably true in the short run. But living wages are a necessary ingredient for any real economic recovery. Paying their employeees sub-living wages only ensures that there won't be any significant economic recovery - the more your employees have to rely on credit for their purchasing power, the less they will be able to buy, from you or from anyone else in the neighborhood who would like to buy from you. The money can't circulate back to you under those conditions, and the economy of your community can't survive.

On the flip side, some buyers may say they can't afford to shop in places that pay their employees living wages. Perhaps you will not be able to buy as much at first, that's true. But the long term benefits of keeping the money in the community far outweigh the short term benefits of buying cheap junk from China at giant national retailers who take the profit and ship it away to their own home communities, away from yours.

This is a serious issue that our communities must confront - eradicating unemployment of our own and refusing to send our hard-earned money to Robber Barons who surely don't need it like our own community does. It's a conscious choice that we need to make in our everyday buying and hiring decisions - to do the right thing, or not. If not, let's just tell it like it is - we have essentially stood by and let our brother's blood be shed by the Robber Barons. We have sacrificed our community's survival for short term expediency. We have declared to the world that we are not, in fact, a community at all.

"We must all hang together, or we will surely hang separately," as one of America's founding fathers once put it. Divide and conquer is still the enemy's favorite tactic - will we let them divide us, or not?

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