Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, January 29, 2010


Megan McArdle is dreadfully worried about all the people thrown out of work by our economic crash and the bursting of the housing bubble. All those construction workers, granite salesmen, interior decorators, window manufacturers, landscapers, restaurateurs, and other workers who depended on cheap credit and the credit boom to survive are losing their jobs, and the jobs won't be back. McArdle is worried sick.

In 1930s, when FDR was trying to combat mass long-term unemployment, all he needed to do was create a construction project; most of the men in the country did some sort of hard physical labor. It was relatively easy to create jobs that they could fill.

But what kind of public works projects would absorb mortgage brokers or mid-level managers? As jobs have gotten more skilled, more human capital is specific to firms, industry, and job classifications.

That means it's going to take longer to transfer those workers into other areas of the economy. Either they need to search harder to find a job that meets their skill set, or they need to get new skills. Either way, that high unemployment number is probably going to be very stubbornly persistent well into next year.

Oh, my bad. She was talking about the bankers.


Clever Pseudonym said...

Heaven forbid the poor financiers take work that is beneath them, as well!

Susan of Texas said...

They can always become schoolteachers. McArdle approves of alternate certificate teachers.

Downpuppy said...

And just to be evenhanded, she invented a jobless recovery under Clinton.

zhakora said...

I think all the out-of-work banksters should storm the gates of the Atlantic, and vie for McArdle's job while she's honeymooning.

Too harsh?

Nah ...

Susan of Texas said...

Typing, lying, what's the diff?