This is my first post for AOL Real Estate. I am honored to be part of the new AOL.
But if this is AOL Real Estate, why then am I writing about jobs? Because employment growth is key to ending the real estate depression (yes, depression) we have all been suffering through for more than a year. The key to real estate recovery is more jobs, simple as that. And unfortunately, according to my friends who attended this week's White House Jobs Summit, we can expect little to no real help on jobs from the Obama Administration.
This White House event was a sham, a photo op meant solely to influence public opinion without actually doing anything, according to attendees. This can be seen, for example, in the coverage by USA Today, which proudly quoted statements by the President about what had been accomplished in the sessions, yet USA Today said their interview took place two hours before the event even started.
How could Obama know in advance what would be accomplished?
According to people who were there (and spoke to me anonymously because they want to be invited back) the President reportedly made no real connection with people in the room. He knew at least half of them personally, yet addressed them in the small space reading from a teleprompter. In the private breakout sessions he breezed through, Obama said there was no federal money to help jobs, not much anyway. That's hardly what he said in his public remarks, which were much more upbeat.
Which position is the truth?
Nobody I talked to from the meeting came away with a sense of optimism, that anything of substance had been accomplished or even set in motion. They felt used.
This doesn't bode well for a real housing recovery that can be sustained after the first-time home buyer tax credits finally expire next year.
And it may seem a small point, but why did the Administration invite all these leaders to meet for six hours (it was scheduled from 11:30-5:30 and ended on-time) yet offer them no breaks and nothing to eat or drink, not even a bottle of water? Attendees are treated better than that each weekend in the Avoiding Foreclosure seminars down at the Holiday Inn. Couldn't Obama have hired a couple of caterers?
That would have been two jobs down, 10 million to go.
By Robert X. Cringely
Dec 11th 2009 @ 10:00AM
Rec'd via email...