Today's Outrage: Companies Lack Courage

It is absurd that the U.S. unemployment rate reached a 26-year high of 9.5% in June. How can this country have 14.7 million people out of work?

The labor report out today shows that just about every sector -- including the government -- is cutting jobs. Fewer construction jobs, fewer manufacturing jobs, fewer retail jobs, fewer service jobs, etc.

I've read that as a nation, we've fired more people during the current recession than at any point since World War II. It becomes one of those vicious cycles, with each job cut leading to the next.

Consider Dow Chemical's ( DOW) decision to close some plants or Gannett's ( GCI) elimination of more than a thousand newspaper jobs. The next thing you know, Continental Airlines (CAL) ( CAL) is forcing hundreds of flight attendants to take "leave."

With fewer people flying, Continental cuts advertising spending and more newspaper jobs will go. And when unemployed consumers cut their spending, Dow Chemical may feel compelled to scale back production even more. And so on and so on.

It is the rare headline we see these days about companies creating jobs. So rare that it almost went unnoticed last week when General Electric ( GE) said it would build a research center near Detroit and create more than 1,000 jobs.

That should have been bigger news. Come on -- creating jobs in Detroit! As the auto industry shrinks, it's amazing that an industrial conglomerate like GE has the courage to fill the void.

We need more corporate courage.

Glenn Hall is the editor of TheStreet.com. Previously, he served as deputy editor and chief innovation officer at The Orange County Register and as a news manager at Bloomberg News in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Washington, D.C. As a reporter, he covered business and financial markets, worked in both print and television in the U.S. and Europe, and conducted in-depth investigative coverage at The Journal-Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work also has been published in a variety of newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and International Herald Tribune. Hall received a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University and a certificate in project and program management from Boston University.

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