Graduates outnumber new jobs by 70 percent

Re: "U.S. employers added 165k jobs in April," May 3

Recovery? What recovery?

Before waxing rhapsodic over the latest figures showing 165,000 newly created jobs, a little perspective is appropriate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy produced fewer than 2.1 million net new jobs over the past 12-month period, an average slightly above April's official estimate.

To understand just how pitifully weak that is, consider that during the 2012-13 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award over 3.6 million degrees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That's 70 percent greater than the past year's net new jobs number.

Some of these degrees will be conferred on foreign nationals who will return to their home countries or on people already employed. Some degree recipients will go on to postgraduate education and some never intended to enter the workforce.

Nonetheless, his comparison of annual graduation and job totals leaves no doubt that the pace of job creation lags seriously behind the demand created by the number of degree recipients alone, let alone to accommodate the huge numbers of people who drop out of college each year or who have never matriculated beyond high school.

Bob Foys


U.S. not welcome in Syria

Re: "Obama's blink on Syria could bring peril to allies," May 1

I find Michael Barone's concerns about Syria very interesting. I presume he is an American citizen, as I am. Does Barone think that Americans would welcome arrogant intrusions on their home turf?

Is he aware of the domestic realities we have neglected in this country in favor of cruel (and expensive) meddling abroad?

I quote the late Will Rogers, who had an honest soul: "Not only Nicaragua, Mexico and China, but in Europe, the American goes where he isn't welcome."

R. Jones


This is a dark period in American history

In the last 75 years, our melting pot stew has changed to a dinner plate with separate sections as we become separated by seemingly immutable differences. Being an American is no longer a standard to which all aspire. Our politics are no longer driven by what we know is the direction our society must follow for the good of all, but more and more by "What's in it for me?"

Now we are being asked to give away our precious liberties in order to be more communal and safe. Freedom is mere rhetoric bandied about in speeches and editorials, not practiced.

No matter how venal some actions of our governmental bodies have been in individual circumstances, we stand at the pinnacle of nations in our ethical dealings with the rest of the world.We have contributed more blood and treasure to other societies for their betterment, without demanding reparations,than any other culture in history. Sometimes we have been a bit ham-handed, but always the spirit behind the action was giving, not taking.

We are now descending into a dark period of our history. These years will be a nadir of our heritage. Hopefully someone will once again find a way to bring us back to a semblance of what was so shiningly promised in our Declaration of Independence 237 years ago.

James M. Blass

Mechanicsville, Md.