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Director’s Viewpoint Ever-swinging Pendulum O ur society is one in which the to most economists this change results pendulum never ceases swing- in a new tolerable floor for unemploy- ing, going from one extreme ment of 6.5 to 7 percent. That’s too high. to the other. Today I would like to And then there are the sociological exam one swing in particular, the ever- effects felt every day when there is high greater outsourcing of aviation work unemployment. Imagine being in your overseas and its effects. 40s, the breadwinner and losing your In general, while the current reces- job due to a bad economy, restructuring sion appears to be over, at least techni- or, even worse, the company outsourc- cally, the trauma suffered by the work Nick Sergi, ing overseas. How badly can this feel? force will have its effects in the years Director of Content Demoralizing to say the least. Only a to follow. “Real unemployment,” (which very strong family will survive, while includes people who want to work but have many marriages will go down the tubes. In some stopped looking, and those who want full-time cases even the mental health of the unemployed work but can only fine part-time jobs), is more will deteriorate. Essentially, for most, unemploy- than 17 percent, the highest figure in this group- ment will produce a crippling disorientation. I ing since the ‘30s. know I’ve been there and have been lucky enough Long-term chronic unemployment affects the to wind up on my feet. country’s economic growth, and it results in deep All solutions must include ways to strengthen changes to our society, families, and the politics of the economy in the short term and clear the the nation. It will leave a permanent scar on blue- way for long-term growth. Two ways to support collar workers; it could change the character of the process are more aggressive support for the modern marriage; and it will most certainly plunge unemployed and employer tax credits for hiring our inner cities into despair and dysfunction. the unemployed. Most recessions end when people start spend- Most outsourcers argue that outsourcing is the
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