Unsettling Dreams

I had the most unsettling dreams last night. They were so vivid, and in color. I’ve been out of work too long. It’s been a couple years now. I don’t know what’s the matter with me, but I just can’t seem to find work. Arlene down the street has two jobs and yet has no where near the education and experience I have. True, her jobs hardly pay anything, but at least she’s working.

It’s in the papers, government reports, on TV— the economy is good and job creation is robust. We may experience a few ups and downs, but overall the economy is growing, the stock market keeps going up, inflation is under control, and employers have trouble finding people. What’s the matter with me?

Those dreams! I dreamt of charts that seemed to put the lie to what I see on TV and read in the newspapers. The charts show that job creation has been lousy, that compared to where we could be, we’re way off. I dreamt that lack of opportunity affects 10 to 12 million people who want to work, and I was one of them. Here’s an example chart from last night’s dreams:

Putting job creation in terms of population growth, the chart shows our country is nowhere near its potential. It turns out the average Democratic Job Creation Index is consistently higher than the Republican average. Based on the Democratic average, last month might have seen 280,000 net jobs created, not 132,000. Another chart I saw in my dreams gave the 60-year overall JCI average as 1.02. So just average or mediocre job growth would have produced 190,000 jobs in June instead of 132,000. That doesn’t fit with the happy talk about the June report, or previous reports. I dreamt I can’t find work because there’s less opportunity.

That’s just my subconscious playing tricks, trying to make me feel better. It’s everywhere in the media: Times are good. If one or two reporters or economists were saying it…but when almost all those knowledgeable people say that things are good, that we’re experiencing a Goldilocks economy, you’d think it’s so. Still, the dreams and charts are disturbing. It’s more than I can take right now. I need to clear my head. Maybe Fox TV is showing something on Paris Hilton. She’s a hottie.