Yesterday, Jimmy Buffett did an acoustic set to close out the "locals Thursday" of this year's final Jazz Fest weekend. The morning newspaper's favorable recounting was a bitter-sweet read. Quick confession: I really can get into Parrothead frivolity; love that Buffett oeuvre, sometimes too much. But I skipped it in favor of, you guessed it, work. I'm getting too old to let fun times slip by. I keep telling myself there will be more chances, but down deep I know I could be wrong.
I worked not for the money this time, no. I worked because we are at the very end of a long project and need to push it to completion. Still, my friend and boss, knowing my weaknesses, offered over and over to cover for me if I wanted to catch Buffett. I declined. What are friends for?
Also in the morning paper is more sad reporting about the tragic European mistake of pursuing austerity measures in the face of final euro zone collapse. The entire continent is sinking into a second and worsening recession. The same story recounts how the U.S. has so far fared somewhat better for having taken at least some expansionary steps via the Obama stimulus. But the cautionary upshot is that Friday looks like a down day on Wall Street, due to an expected anemic jobs report of only 170,000 new hires this period. This is far short of the quarter million period-over-period number needed to simply inch ahead in recovery.
By now, we all know that what is needed is more, much more in the form of governmental outlays to lift the U.S. out of this generation long economic backslide, which really started when Bush II was appointed. Do we really care nothing at all about the young? They are being penalized a decade or more at the very start of grown-up life. What's the matter here, do they not have any friends? These are precious times they will never see again.
UPDATE: The actual new jobs number for the period came in at an even more dismal 115,000.