Spring semester is quickly coming to an end and graduation is a little over a month away for St. John’s seniors. Students will put their knowledge to the test as they prepare to enter the real world. But is the real world ready for them? Our country’s economy has come face-to-face with the threat of a recession.
The Labor Department estimates that the nation lost 63,000 jobs in February. This was the second month of continuous declines. In January, 22,000 jobs were cut.Job losses were widespread, with large cuts coming from construction, manufacturing, retail and many professional and business services.
In an attempt to smooth over this rough patch as rapidly as possible, the Federal Reserve announced earlier this week that it would inject about $200 billion into the nation’s banking system this month by offering banks one-month loans at low rates. This will, in return, allow them to pledge mortgage-backed bonds and even riskier assets as collateral, according to a recent New York Times article.
While Wall Street fluctuates, the United States may already be in a recession. So, what will this mean for St. Johns students? To begin with, students have always been told that college is a great investment because it increases one’s chances of having a secure future with many benefits. However, no one really talks about the “what ifs.”
St. John’s students have been trained and disciplined to work hard and this allows them to be prepared for critical times such as this. It is important for students to be optimistic and continue to achieve their goals since having a negative attitude will only limit one’s drive toward gaining success. In many ways, college life, it has been said, is a microcosm of the real world.
President Bush appeared before television cameras on Friday afternoon and predicted that the economy would improve this summer from the $168 billion stimulus package of tax rebates and temporary tax cuts that Congress recently passed.
With his shaky history on alleviating damage, it is difficult to believe him this time around. The data speaks for itself: 63,000 jobs were cut last month alone. Those who do have jobs may be benefiting from wage increases, but with the rise in the cost of energy, gas, oil, transit fare, and even food prices, they really aren’t noticing a difference in their lifestyle. There is no substitute for the truth; signs of recession are everywhere.
This does little to comfort students working hard to ensure themselves a successful future. It only enhances fears of entering the employment world. The most depressing thing is that we have worked so hard all these years, but our rewards may be delayed.
With the approach of the 2008 presidential election, there may be hope on the horizon. All of the candidates have made a substantial effort to distance themselves from the current president. With any luck, the new commander-in-chief will bring a new strategy for solving the nation’s economic woes.