Has the economy gotten any better yet? Kind of yes, and definitely no. The jobless rate is at a whopping 8.3 percent, according to the Washington Post. The good news is that 163,000 jobs were added in July. The bad news is that this figure is merely a drop in the bucket and helps the nation run to stand still.
Millions of Americans are out of work. Millions are struggling, and millions are thriving. So how bad, or good, is it? Economic numbers have become the plaything of the politicians. Alan Kruegar points out that the unemployment rate has only risen to 8.254 percent on the White House Blog, and notes that 4.5 million jobs have been added in the past 29 months. Romney calls the same slight rise a "hammer blow to struggling middle-class families," according to CNN. Strong words from a man under fire for his swollen investment income and mysterious tax return history.
The bottom line is that this game, this battle is meaningless to individual Americans. Save the games for the Olympics, the escape from the very clear problems of America right now (financial mess, what has been the true effect of American military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, crumbling education system to name a few) that everyone is seeking. This back and forth rhetoric is coming from people who do not truly understand what unemployment, underemployment, and barely-scraping-by actually means.
The jobless rate does sound horrible, but there are opportunities out there. Walk around the nation's capital for example and see the 'now hiring' signs. Politicians on both sides should be focusing on going beyond accepting the crisis and whining. Acting powerless right now to try and throw blame elsewhere is the great crime of the powerful. Stop fighting over abstract numbers and connect people with jobs. Make every individual matter, instead of worrying about meaningless statistics. Create an employment website to connect workers with jobs. Offer job counseling, advice on skills to pursue, information on what fields are in need of employees. This is the information that should be shoved down the throats of Americans, not who is the bad guy. There is no such thing.