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News of the Day

Creating Jobs

Democrats and Republicans agree on one thing: creating jobs to spur the economy. That is reassuring. But it’s not promising that the New York Times report politicians from both sides are squabbling about the details in the Senate. While not surprising, job creation during the Great Recession should be one matter where politics should not take precedence. It’s all about the economy.

Ask the people who are unemployed—some good, qualified people for up to two years. And then ask the workers who are routinely putting in 60-hour weeks to make up for those who were laid off. The politicians need to remember that all of us benefit when the economy strong and the job market is solid. It’s time for consensus.

I love an underdog, and the New Orleans Saints fit this role perfectly. The team has never won a Superbowl; the Indianapolis Colts were heavily favored to win. The Saints should never have won, but the team did. It’s like Charlie Brown getting the best of Lucy.

The contrast between the cities of Indianapolis and New Orleans is stark. Indianapolis is sleek, modern and homogenous compared to the still struggling to make a comeback city of New Orleans. But New Orleans has a long history and considerable charm on its side. I hope this sports victory sparks a renewal for New Orleans for people returning and for rebuilding.

Having been told recently that I am laid off as of Feb. 13, I find it scary to read in today’s New York Times that 20,000 positions were cut in January even though unemployment has fallen to 9.7 percent. Now I am one of many workers competing to find a job in a still hesitant economy that takes two steps forward and then another step backward. The Great Recession has become a reality, not an abstract concept, for me now.

Feb. 10, 2010