LETTER: Job creation needs more attention from Washington

Thursday, July 28, 2011 | 5:20 p.m. CDT

It's time to have a march on Washington for jobs. Large numbers of recent veterans and African-Americans are unemployed, probably more than three in 10 including those not in the official statistics. Many more people in the Rust Belt and Appalachia are also without jobs. Many private-sector employees have lost work. Public-sector employees are next.

The focus of attention by the administration and Congress appears to be on jobs as only an afterthought. Such issues as Wall Street, budget ceilings, budget deficits, health care, taxes and defense spending dominate Washington’s attention. 

Meanwhile, voters at home are feeling the loss of jobs, future losses and all of the effects of unemployment on housing education, health and our local economies. Unemployed and potentially unemployed people cannot delay having their interests heard and addressed. If there is not more dynamic participation by voters, the administration and Congress will continue to only give token lip service to our priority for jobs.

There is a need to develop and plan policy and to create programs that will address our unemployment situation before it's too late. A dynamic march for jobs would enable us to communicate and elevate our priority for job development. It would also enable us to build coalitions of advocates around the needs of the jobless and underemployed.  We don’t have much time. Let's march for jobs.

William E. "Gene" Robertson is a Columbia resident and professor emeritus at MU.

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Michael Williams July 28, 2011 | 6:51 p.m.

Well, having no good plan for future space exploration hasn't helped the situation very much.

My guess is that Houston, Huntsville, and the Cape just saw their unemployment numbers go up. Hopefully, the private space exploration programs can take up the slack for these highly-trained folks, but that action might be a mite slow.

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david smith July 28, 2011 | 9:21 p.m.

NASA laid off 2000 employees after the last shuttle mission, however don't worry they continue to work on Muslim relations per obama's request. If you own a business you don't want to spend money on capital equipment or hiring employees because you have some liberal community organizer who has passed a health care plan in some smokey back room with cornhusker kickbacks that will increase your labor costs and also he continuously threatens to raise taxes on business. The logical decision is too hold your cash until these idiots get voted out.

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Corey Parks July 28, 2011 | 10:38 p.m.

I could see many of these highly trained individuals getting very upset when they go to apply for these private jobs and realize that they will not be getting the same salaries, benefits as the govt has been giving them. They have been with NASA for so long they more then likely feel entitled to what they had been earning.

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Mark Foecking July 29, 2011 | 2:42 a.m.

It's not always the case that the government pays better than private concerns. I was a VA employee for 16 years and when I went to MU employment, I felt the benefits were just as good, and they matched my salary. If I worked for a drug company, I could probably triple my present salary.

Top management types in private industry earn many times what top management types in government earn.


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Mark Foecking July 29, 2011 | 5:29 a.m.

david smith wrote:

" If you own a business you don't want to spend money on capital equipment or hiring employees because you have some liberal community organizer..."

It's not just that. Busimnesses have to feel there is an increased demand for their products or services before they will expand. Consumer confidence has to recover, and I'd imagine this to be a far larger reason for caution than any concerns about new taxes.

Also, since a lot of consumer purchases involve debt, the debt market has to loosen up for consumer spending to increase. Unfortunately, loose credit is a big part of what got us into this recession.


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Ed Lane October 25, 2011 | 8:33 p.m.

This is what you get when you put a "community organizer" in as potus!!!!

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Ellis Smith October 26, 2011 | 8:44 a.m.

In a real sense the success of manned and unmanned (probes*) space travel, principally to date by the United States and Russia, has caused these programs to be victims of their own success.

We now know with a degree of certainty that no planet in the solar system other than ours has the capability to foster anything beyond the most primitive life forms - if even that. Given demands here on earth, how much money and intellectual capital should we spend on space exploration? The answer is that this isn't an Obama thing (I detest the man) or a this-person or that-person thing, it's a matter of real priorities.

I, like many others, am a great fan of "Star Trek" and have enjoyed watching the "Enterprise" fly around the galaxies using "warp drive," but warp drive isn't available. Also, If you agree with Einstein you wouldn't want to travel at the speed of light, "c," or faster. We aren't going to travel to any other "solar systems" any time soon, no matter the amount of money spent.

*- For example, we now know that the the situation on the planet Venus is such that you could melt lead on the planet's surface and the atmosphere is extremely toxic.

(Report Comment)
Michael Carter November 16, 2011 | 3:48 a.m.

I will use myself as an example, I hope to cause the reader to act either out of jealousy or inspiration; I recently submited a 14 page research paper on a topic I will not disclose for fear of backlash of my opinion which I reserve the right to express liberally without contempt under the U.S. Constitution as long as it is not slanderous or libel. I submited this research to the President of the United States of America, Missouri Senator Emanuel Cleaver, and My pastor to be in perfect submission. No complaint will ever change the minds of "elected officials" what will help is a healthy perspective on the given facts and proven successes and failures - reminders of methods that worked for generations like the Baby-boomers. The mistakes of violence against American citizens. And the atrosities that occur when the laws of the land are not upheld. Presenting your oppinions objectively, based on historical facts and current scientific evidences in a praise worthy manor you too, will see a government by the people and for the people - I love you Missourian and the beautiful caucasion women of America (oh, I am a black single male and out there).

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