Clinton-era Secretary of Labor Robert Reich says the government should spend more, not less, and putting Americans back to work, as did FDR during the Great Depression.
"Let me say this as clearly and forcefully as I can: The federal government should be spending even more than it already is on roads and bridges and schools and parks and everything else we need," Reich writes in his blog.
"It should make up for cutbacks at the state level, and then some."
"This is the only way to put Americans back to work. We did it during the Depression. It was called the WPA."
Reich points out that 10 percent unemployment really means that 20 percent of the U.S. workforce is either not working or underemployed, which translates directly into late payments on mortgages, credit cards, auto and student loans, and loss of health insurance.
“Unemployment of this magnitude and duration also translates into ugly politics, because fear and anxiety are fertile grounds for demagogues wielding the politics of resentment against immigrants, blacks, the poor, government leaders, business leaders, Jews, and other easy targets,” Reich says.
“It's already started. Next year is a mid-term election. Be prepared for worse.”
According to Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President and Chief Executive Eric Rosengren, unemployment in the United States is likely to remain elevated for the next two of years, but over time the country will return to "full employment."
"The goal is not to get leverage back to where it was before," Rosengren told The Wall Street Journal.
"The goal is to get the economy back."
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