A Few Reasons for the Economic Stimulus Package

Posted by Katherine | January 9, 2009 – 7:02 pm

Yesterday, in his first big policy speech since November 4th, Obama waded in forcefully on the economy, pressing Congress to hop to it on economic-stimulus legislation.

The context is grim. The holiday shopping season was dismal-to-possibly-bankrupting for many retailers. Obama will inherit a record-breaking $1.2 trillion budget deficit for the year (pre-stimulus package). China seems less enthusiastic than it has been about buying US debt — with potentially bad consequences for US borrowers. And unemployment hit a 16-year high in December.

Here’s what some of that looks like outside the headlines.

Jared Razzano just got laid off after nearly four years in his job. This letter seems to be how he found out:

Dear Jared…
[rknrll / Flickr]

Grant Davis in Columbus, Ohio, is a divorced father of two. Until this week, he was a Traffic Manager for a scale manufacturer. He’d had his job for “just 25 days short of 20 years.”

[M]y boss came to my office and asked me to come with him. We went to his office where the HR Manager was waiting for us. He shut the door and I was given the news that my position was being eliminated and I was losing my job. […]

We were told before Christmas at a plant meeting there was going to be a work force reduction in early January. I never dreamed at the time I would have anything to worry about. However as time progressed over the holidays I could see the writing on the wall, I was intentionally held out of meetings I would normally be a part of with the other supervisors and my boss started giving me the cold shoulder. I’m finding out that all together they got rid of 9 people today.

Mike hasn’t been thrilled with working life (doing tech support for a software company), so he sees his layoff this week at least partly as a “blessing in disguise.” Still, as it was happening, he fought an instinct to run and hide.

The manager was in his glass office on his computer. Every time he stood up I would stare out of the corner of my eye to see if he was going to approach me. I’m sure EVERYONE was doing the same. Normally, our manager is a very chill guy. […] But today was different. Today he was transformed into the Angel of Death. Sickle in hand. Ready to give the bad news to his next victim. But it wasn’t his doing. The company as a whole was going through a 20% reduction worldwide. About 170 people cut! Just like that!

I worked. I sent out emails to clients. I was doing some research and investigation. Something to keep me from thinking I would be next. […]

But then I heard…

“Mike, can we go talk somewhere?”

It was my manager. And that was that.

Katjs11 has a government job in DC and is pretty confident he’ll get to keep it, but he can’t believe his “brilliant and talented” brother got laid off yesterday.

I know the economy is in the toilet and many people are worried about their jobs, but it amazes me some of the people it effects. I mean, for goodness sakes he is a director of a division of Fox. Meaning the TELEVISION company. It’s freaking HOLLYWOOD!!! How can HOLLYWOOD be crapping out???

Let’s hope, despite the brewing fights, that Congress rolls up its sleeves and gets to work — so that the rest of America can work, too.

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