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July 9th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #901 'Lost in the economic woods'

Reporter's Note: I worked in New York a bit this week, while the president labored away in Washington.

Dear Mr. President,

Something funny happened while I was on a run in Central Park early this morning. I had worked my way from the south end almost all the way up to the north, passing dozens of other runners, cyclists, dog walkers, and the occasional roller blader, when I saw a young, portly guy staggering down from a little side path with a mountain bike. He was sweating like a man under indictment. “Excuse me,” he said, huffing and puffing. “How do I get out of this park?”

I felt bad for him, because he was clearly exhausted and whatever plans he had for a fun bike ride had clearly not played out. Still, it was kind of funny to imagine that he truly felt lost in a vast expanse of trees, rocks, grass and trails, even though he was smack in the middle of a massive city. He looked, quite honestly, like I would expect a guy to look who was staggering from the wilderness after living 22 days on nothing but stream water and a Snickers bar.

Which brings me to the unemployment rate. I know that the news to end the week was not good for the nation, and not good for you. It’s hard to make the case that the economy is getting better when it seems like, no matter which trail you try, we seem to remain lost in the thicket month after month. Surely you must feel at times like that guy in the park, just hoping to find someone who knows a way out. The difference is, I can’t help you. And I’m not sure anyone else can either. I know that politicians always talk about what they will do to spur the economy, or fix the economy, or repair the economy, or stimulate the economy; and I’m sure that what you do matters to some extent. But I also think sometimes the weeds grow up and make it very hard to find our way, and then we must simply keep peddling.

Hope your weekend is going well. I’m back in DC, so if you want to call, I’m around.

Regards,
Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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