Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke kicked off the Labor Day weekend Friday by saying the nation’s economy is “far from satisfactory.”
We can only assume it was not lost on him that such an observation is not exactly news to the 8.3 percent of Americans who find themselves on unemployment rolls this Labor Day.
Beyond stating the obvious, Bernanke promised the Federal Reserve can and will do more to improve the economy in a speech at the Fed Reserve conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo. But he didn’t say what, nor is there certainty nor agreement as to what steps the Fed can take that will improve the nation’s overall economic picture.
The chairman of the Federal Reserve did say that the nation’s weak job market was “a grave concern” that causes “enormous suffering.”
We can’t argue with such a master of understatement.
The status of the nation’s job market continues to be a central theme for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as they campaign for the office of president.
The economy was the main topic of discussion for much of the recently concluded Republican convention, and likely will be when Democrats convene as well.
So many people talking … so little improvement.
The unemployment rate hasn’t declined since January, and the general consensus is the number of unemployed Americans is actually higher than the numbers suggest because so many have quit looking for work after months, in some cases years, of being unable to find a job.
That’s the hard economic reality for far too many this Labor Day.
The Federal Reserve has tried to fix the problem. The president has tried to fix the problem. So has Congress. Governments at every level have tried job programs and economic incentives. And still the nation’s economy remains largely unresponsive.
Perhaps that’s because we’re trying to solve a problem with the same mindset that created it – too much government involvement.
The core foundation of the nation’s business community is still strong, but it too often is stifled by excessive taxes, burdensome red tape, strangling regulations and an absence of common sense in government offices.
Maybe the results of the election in November will provide hope that some of those problems will be addressed and changed. If not, a year from now many Americans may still be wondering how to celebrate Labor Day when you can‘t find a job.