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This will be a nearly jobless recovery.

Employers have trimmed the fat (well into the meat, in many cases) and will not rush to replace the displaced workers. Did the power go off and stay off? Did Walmart close its doors? Could you not buy a couch or a car or an oven?

Companies are still functioning, but doing it with fewer people. They will continue at this manning level for now, and possibly add positions later when sales show a need. They will be very cautious in adding employees. Impending health care reform is scaring them. Fines on companies and taxes on employees who do not have health care will be a deterrent for bringing on new staff.

Money is cheap to borrow, but harder to get, which it should be. Obviously, exact opposite rules applied during the last decade, when people who could never afford the "American dream" found many generous, unsound programs to lull them into a sense of ownership. These loans turned out to be sinkholes for most who were duped or steered into them, especially for those who went overboard with their newfound credit. They went in upside down and kept bringing debt on as fast as the ink dried on the papers for that new boat or camping trailer to park in front of their (ours, now) new home.

I will say that the military is taking similar steps to tighten up on its troops by raising the bar for current enlistees and career airmen, soldiers and sailors, reducing the "chaff" and dealing with shrinking budgets as well.

So, look sharp, act sharp, educate yourself and continue to be proud members of the best armed forces America has to offer.

Senior Master Sgt. David A. TilleyAli Al Salem, Kuwait


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