I missed this over the weekend, but it’s too good to let slide. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis wrote an essay for USA Today in which to defend the Obama administration’s efforts on job creation, a rather thankless task under the circumstances. Solis uses most of the space to argue via anecdote — in other words, to talk without saying anything — but it’s the conclusion that has to be read to be believed:
I am not an economist. I believe that numbers only tell you part of the story. I deal with real people, and I know that the only true replacement for a job lost, is a new job that pays good wages. I’m committed to making that a reality for anyone who wants a job.
That’s why I’m so excited to announce www.myskillsmyfuture.org— a new online tool to connect workers with high quality training and local employment.
By visiting the site and adding information about your most recent work experience, you can see exactly what skills you need to qualify for a broad range of careers. You can also find local training and education providers and, yes — you can see local job postings.
In other words, what’s next … is up to you.
There are jobs out there. And, this Labor Day — and every day — I’m going to continue helping people find them and employers fill them. If you’re ready to embrace a 21st century career, I want you to know your Department of Labor is here to help you. And, if you’re an employer looking to fill positions, we’ve got a list of great candidates for you.
Got the message? Unemployment isn’t Barack Obama’s fault, because “there are jobs out there.” It’s the fault of the unemployed, who haven’t visited Solis’ groovy new website and gotten with the program, literally and figuratively.
It’s a great message of self-sufficiency — when an economy is actually producing job growth. The problem with Solis’ argument is that the jobs aren’t out there, not anywhere near the numbers to even keep up with population growth. We produce more working-age jobless each month in the Recovery Summer economy that the Obama administration has created.
Now, if we had the kind of job growth that George Bush created in 2004’s recovery, then Solis would be more correct. But had George Bush (or his Labor Secretary) said anything remotely like this in 2004 or 2005, the media would have screamed about his lack of sensitivity to the plight of the unemployed and reported that he accused the jobless of being lazy. Hilda Solis would have been out in front with her anecdotal arguments about how lousy the economy really was, with unemployment peaking at 6.4%.
Solis is definitely not an economist, or a business leader. Neither is anyone else in Barack Obama’s White House.