No wonder B can't find a job...the unemployment rate in our city is now hovering around 11 percent! Now I'm sure that's not hitting the white male college educated folks as much as some other groups...but then again, recent college graduates and late 20somethings are one of hardest hit groups out there in terms of employment (or the lack thereof). Seems like the older baby boomers don't want to give up their jobs now that their 401ks have tanked. Speaking of which, I have a great idea, lets make it so that your job automatically invests your retirement plan in what is now essentially monopoly money! Assuming you have a job of course.
Meanwhile, I've seen the job market in our city as I've been helping my husband look for job postings, and what everyone wants now is several years of experience. Never mind if you have a college degree, if you haven't been a secretary for the past 5 years we don't want to hire you in our secretary job. Cause there's no way someone with *just* a college degree and no secretary experience can possibly be a good secretary. Besides, we have 300 recently laid off secretaries just lining up to apply! And good luck with any job with more status than a secretary..for that you need at least 5 years experience and a graduate degree.
Which brings me to the Obama speech this morning. Yes, lets motivate the young so they all stay in school and go to college, thereby ensuring a future job for me and my academic ilk. I like that. But meanwhile, what good is a college education anymore? What good is working your ass off for years, excelling at everything, if at the end of years of higher education you end up where my husband is now and where it's looking more and more likely I'll be a year from now (after a decade of higher education)- unemployed.
So yeah, Obama is encouraging the young kids to put in an effort. But he's also reinforcing the great American myth- the myth that if you just work hard enough, and pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and study hard in school, one day you will be president. Or at least employed.
I lost my faith in that myth long ago.
In general, I am losing the hope I had when Obama was elected, although not enough to take my Obama sign out of my apartment window. He has a chance to get it back though. If tomorrow he stands in front of congress, grows a pair, and declares that a public option for health insurance is necessary, it may restore a little of the hope I had for his presidency. If he even pushes through all the other reforms without a public option, I will be less happy, but I won't lose all hope.
If he doesn't, well, the sign is definitely coming down.