obama.jpgAbout 15 million Americans are looking for work and guess what President Obama has planned? A meeting tomorrow with a bunch of CEOs.

It seems a bit odd that the administration would want to meet with the very individuals who have downsized, furloughed and cut benefits for the very workers he’s trying to help.

OK, there will also be some economists and labor leaders at the much-hyped job summit, but the dismal employment picture is going to need more than talk. Some labor experts say only an FDR “New Deal” type jobs program will save us.

Britannica’s overview of the New Deal in the 1930s:

The new administration’s first objective was to alleviate the suffering of the nation’s huge number of unemployed workers. Such agencies as the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) were established to dispense emergency and short-term governmental aid and to provide temporary jobs, employment on construction projects, and youth work in the national forests.

Lots of great things came out of the WPA in particular, including great art.

It was a government attempt to employ a variety of artists, writers, and musicians so that the work they produced could help them make a living and subsequently enhance the quality of American life during the Great Depression.

Such drastic measures to create jobs may be needed, according to some who get how the middle class has eroded in this country.

“I’m all for conferences, if they lead to action. Not otherwise,” said James K. Galbraith, Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin.

“We do need an updated New Deal, taking account of the more important role played by states and localities now, than in the 30s,” he continued. “And we need a parallel financial system — as was in fact created in the New Deal — to begin to restore the private economy in the face of the zombie character of the major banks.”

Here offered a link to some of his employment policy thoughts.

What’s your take? What do you think Obama should be doing tomorrow?

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