Oct 5, 2009 11:42 am


Greenspan on THIS WEEK: The stimulus did not stimulate. It it was not even spent (it was designed for spending before election 2010). Now, We are in trouble!

The job report was pretty awful, no matter how you looked at it. Indeed, not only, of course, did the unemployment rate go up, but I was particularly concerned about the number of Americans who have been unemployed for six months or longer. And that went up...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Five million Americans.

GREENSPAN: But that went up sharply in September. And remember, the reason that is a problem, obviously, other than the obvious personal difficulties that families have in such a context, is that the economy loses skills. And people who are out of work for very protracted periods of time, lose their skills eventually.

And remember that what makes an economy great is a combination of the capital assets of the economy and the people who run it. And if you erode the human skills that are involved there, there is a real and in one sense an irretrievable loss.

Have Americans been out of work as long before? We do not know

As of September, job searchers could expect to spend 26.2 weeks on the hunt -- the longest average on record since the BLS started keep records back in 1948.

The last time the jobless rate was this high, the average search took 20.8 weeks. Today, people are facing average searches that are six weeks longer. The BLS says the number of people sidelined for 27 weeks or more has risen to 5,438,000 from 4,988,000 in August.

What happened? An expensive useless, unspent stimulus designed with election 2010 in mind, leaves the American people with with higher unemployment even than Europe and in greater debt. It is a small wonder that the business community has turned against the administration. At least that is what Mort Zuckerman said on the Mclaughlin Report.

Proof? Angela Merkel's targeted, small stimulus, the one economists said will be a disaster, has proven itself effective according to Boston Cconsulting Group Survey:

Berlin - The German economic stimulus package is seen as highly effective in combating the effects of the global recession and stabilizing the country’s economy. A recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group found that the measures implemented in Germany were effectively stimulating domestic demand and lacked protectionist tendencies.

With only the sixth-largest stimulus package worldwide, Germany was able to score important points in the three remaining qualitative categories of the survey.

. . . BCG also credited Germany for its promotion of future technologies and education.

Germany would have done better, had the consultants looked at the stimulus success in limiting job loss. Remember, both the US and Germany started the year with a 7.2% unemployment rate. American unemployment is at 9.8 and rising. The German one is at 8.2% and falling to MSM's repeated surprise:

German unemployment fell again in September, helped by the usual seasonal decline that accompanies the end of the summer holiday period, the Federal Labor Office reported Wednesday. . . .

Even after seasonal adjustments, the number of jobless fell by 12,000, resulting in an unemployment rate of 8.2%. Economists polled earlier by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted a rise of 25,000 in seasonally adjusted unemployed and a jobless rate of 8.3%.

The Federal Labor Office also revised down the drop in seasonally adjusted unemployed in August to 6,000 from an initial estimate of only 1,000.

In unadjusted terms, the number of jobless fell more sharply, by over 125,000 to 3.346 million, or 8.0% of the workforce.

Merkel deserves her country's confidence. I wish I could say the same about our haughty president.

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