Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's note: The bad economic news kept mounting for President Obama. And yet, in my daily letter to Pennsylvania Avenue I say don’t push it away…embrace it!
Dear Mr. President,
So Christina Romer is leaving your economic team? Bummer. I guess.
Now, that’s not a dig at her. I’m sure she has been a valuable advisor and knows a lot about money, and investments, and interest rates, and bulls and bears, and people who wear five-thousand dollar suits, and Gordon Gecko, and all that stuff that makes my head hurt. On the other hand, the economy is still looking pretty bad so it’s not exactly like you’ve lost a chip from the Rosetta Stone of economics, is it?
Presumably you will now be looking for a replacement, but I want to make a suggestion: Do without.
Make your team do what so many of us are doing all across the nation right now. In one business after another, Americans have seen co-workers laid off and the work load ramped up on everyone who remains. I can’t tell you the number of people I have met who say they are effectively doing the work that used to be done by two, three, or four other people. So why not make your team do the same?
If that means Axelrod and Rahm have to come in earlier and leave later, so be it. Now, I know what you’re going to say: We’re already working as hard as we can over here. We’re laboring every waking hour to address the myriad problems facing our country. There is just no more time in the day for these folks to take on more work.
And that’s the whole point. We’re all saying that, and we’re not getting a break. A lot of people who work for a lot less glory, less money, and with much, much, much less influence have effectively been told by their bosses, “Hey, if you don’t want the job, I’ll find someone who does.”
So don’t just feel America’s economic pain; live it. You don’t have to lay anyone off, but tell your staff that you’re not going to replace anyone who resigns until the unemployment rate drops below nine percent because you want to spare taxpayers the expense, AND you still expect them to get all the work done, make steady progress on your agenda, and keep their desks tidy.
If that sounds unreasonable, well that’s the whole point. Our economic problems have made life pretty unreasonable for a lot of hard-working Americans, and having a daily, difficult, personal reminder of that could serve your whole staff well. After all, government is one of the few areas in which job opportunities are growing, and that seems a little odd when everyone else is suffering.
Call if you can.
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