Tuesday, August 3, 2010


New York

OK, enough about the Blackberry. The story is less than 3 days old and I am already bored with it. BobOnARoll is old enough to remember the days before cellphones, emails, sms, AOL, and www. Life was grand. I didn't have to hear from all concerned 24/7 as the proof of my importance or existence. Let's all do ourselves a favor and turn it all off on the first and third Thursday of every month.

The more important challenge we have is not the devices but the people who operate them. And here in the US, we have a potential looming human catastrophe that is just surfacing. And sadly so. The challenge of the unemployed whose 99 weeks of unemployment benefits are expiring and who have nowhere else to turn.

These 99ers, one of whom was movinglly portrayed in yesterday's NY Times, are, for the most part, workers and managers who played by the rules, had good educations, good jobs, and then were hit with joblessness by the Catastrophe. The first wave of these unemployed are just now running out of benefits and, with few job prospects, face homelessness and hand to mouth lives. There could be additional millions of these Americans in the next 12-18 months, perhaps recalling the grainy black & white photos of the Depression in the mid 1930's.

This marginalized but growing segment is not going to make it onto Sarah Palin's palm or the senior leader agenda in DC unless we pay attention and insist that job-creating initiatives rise to the top of the list. We are facing a bleak medium term future if we don't act now.

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