hey, i'm in there somewehre...
From the AP: U.S. Unemployment Rate Climbs in May
WASHINGTON - The nation's unemployment rate climbed to 6.1 percent in May, the highest level in nine years, as businesses cut 17,000 jobs in a weak economy struggling toward recovery.
The rate was up one-tenth of a percentage point from April, peaking at a level not seen since the country was emerging from the last recession, the Labor Department reported Friday.
July 1994 was the last time the jobless rate was at 6.1. It was higher only in April 1994, at 6.4 percent.
One reason for last month's increase was that more people resumed their job searches, but failed to find work. Nearly 9 million people were unemployed in May.
Payrolls fell by 17,000 in May following a revision in April, in which no jobs were lost. Those revisions are made annually, and the results showed that job losses were not nearly as steep as previously reported. The government also changed how it calculates payrolls data and expanded job categories.
The report was slightly better than what analysts had predicted — job losses of about 30,000.
I don't have figures, of course, but I suspect that even when people find work, in many cases it's lower-pay, lower-prestige jobs in the service industry. Technically not unemployed, but...
I know a lot of conservatives, like this guy, still have faith in trickle-down economics. However, from my perspective, many people I talk to recognize this time that Republican economic policies represent redistribution of wealth to the already-rich at the expense of the middle class. (In addition to redistribution of tax dollars from the high-population blue states to the low-population red ones.) also have a sense that no matter how "concerned" Rove makes Bush seem about the economic squeeze on the middle class, the so-called "lucky duckies" will recognize how the rich are making out like bandits at their expense. CalPundit has been all over this trend.
Others, like George "Gotcha, Suckers!" Will, brag now that the tax cut is less about economic prosperity for all Americans -- a dubious claim in the first place -- than about cementing Bush's re-election and achieving a back-door implementation of the twin Republican agenda of eliminating popular government programs (by bankrupting the government's ability to pay for them, which explains why Bush has evidence so little inclination to cut spending...) and instituting a regressive, not progressive, tax system. (Those "lucky duckies," again...) Will makes clear that that by running up massive defecits, Bush will force a subsequent president with integrity -- which of course excludes Bush -- to either raise taxes -- which Will definies, probably rightly, as political suicide -- or slash programs the public likes and the Republicans don't have the integrity or guts to publicly oppose. (Although Will seems to lack the courage of his convictions -- he trouts out the laughable Laffer curve, just in case -- a ridiculous notion; were there any merit to it at all, Bush's tax cut mania would not have run up such mind-boggling defecits already.)
Will also revels in the fraud of the so-called "sunset provisions" insisted on by some of the few remaining Republicans with genuine fiscal conservative integrity. He parrots the ludicrous claim that allowing a tax cut to expire amounts to a "tax increase." I would obvserve that even were that true, then the sunset provision are not only yet another fraud perpetrated by Bush -- ostensibly agreeing to fiscal restraint he had no intention of exercising -- but a "tax increase" Bush himself signed. If the Democrats had any spine, they would lambaste Bush with this -- Bush simultaneously perpetrated a ruinous fiscal fraud on the American people and, by his own definition (however dishonest), signed a tax increase. Several of them, in fact.
But all the conservative worship at the supply side altar is, I think, not lost on the American middle class this time around. During the boom 90s, the middle class finally felt as if it was catching up with the . Now the intentional failure of the Bush economic program to benefit anyone but the rich is too obvious to ignore. I believe that not matter how much Rove tries to make Bush seem to "care" about the economy, Bush's policies will also be too obvious to ignore. The economy will remain a major vulnerability for Bush come 2004.