Friday, October 24, 2014

In response to "Broken young lives hard to fix" By Clive McFarlane TELEGRAM & GAZETTE, http://www.telegram.com/article/20141024/COLUMN44/310249916:

So the police are focusing on the problem youth, 105 of them, at the heart of a "subculture of young people living outside the rules and constraints of this city's civil community." 

They got that way because of "...early and prolonged exposure to violence, abuse, neglect, living in poverty and with family members involved in criminal activities, and with racism." 

Commenters point to lack of fathers, but what about lack of jobs? 

Chief Gemme's response is probably appropriate, what else can the Worcester PD do? But this is the tip of a much bigger problem: thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of young people who have never had and have no hope of ever having what my generation would consider a "good job". Many grew up fatherless because their birth father couldn't find or hold a good job either. 

By a "good job" I mean a "bread-winner" job which you can raise a family on, steady work with good pay and benefits and some assurance you won't be fired without good cause. Today many regard  temporary work for $15 an hour as good, which is ok if you have only yourself to support, but even those are few, fleeting and far between. 

The core problem is that THERE AREN'T ENOUGH JOBS! And the competition for the few jobs there are is driving down wages and conditions, making "benefits" a thing of the past. If you doubt this, go explore the BLS statistics for "Employed" and "Employment Population Ratio" at bls.gov/cps/cpsatabs.htm   and see if YOU can find a "recovery" there! 

In the meantime Governor Patrick has been sitting on some $16 Billion (with a B) in money for projects that could put tens of thousands back to work for 4 or 5 years, money authorized by the Legislature that he never chose to borrow and spend - despite record low interest rates. Congress and the Obama Administration, with the power to go after the unspent Trillions (with a T) that the billionaires and big corporations are sitting on, have utterly failed to tackle the task. 

And young people with no hope and no future get into trouble and throw their lives away. 
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