By Michael Collins
The Money Party is a very small group of enterprises and individuals who control almost all of the money and power in the United States. They use their money and power to make more money and gain more power. It’s not about Republicans versus Democrats. The Money Party is an equal opportunity employer. It has no permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests. Democrats are as welcome as Republicans to this party. It’s all good when you’re on the take and the take is legal. Economic Populist
Negative job growth for eleven years is the best evidence concerning our economic troubles. There were 135 million jobs in 2000 for a workforce of 144 million. Today, there are 139 million jobs for a workforce of 154 million. That represents negative job growth when you factor in population growth.
Job growth in this economy hit a dead calm in 2000 and is now moving backwards. If the issue isn’t raised, how can we address the phenomena?
What is the Money Party doing about Negative Job Growth?
The first recommendation calls for the federal government to “start living within [its] means.” How does that happen? Pass a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget and put the budget process in a “straight jacket” through fixed spending limits. We are told that this will “cut spending to immediately and substantially reduce deficits.” The Republicans fail to mention how many jobs will be created.
Their program makes rules on spending but, with one exception, it neglects to mention any specific programs that should be cut. Guess which program they mentioned? Their manifesto suggests that we must “control entitlement spending”. e.g., Social Security. How convenient. They cite the one program running a substantial surplus, the lifeline for seniors.
The Republican jobs program eliminates all those regulations they love to hate. Generating more jobs by eliminating regulations is laughable. Since 2001, rules and regulations for business (e.g., Wall Street) have been tossed overboard at a record pace. No new jobs were created during this period. The collapse of 2008 and the Great Recession that followed are the main effect of eliminating regulations.
It is no surprise that Republicans want big corporate tax breaks. Their corporate welfare proposals are the new “trickle down” economics. Just give the giant corporations one more round of tax breaks and, as if by magic, they will start creating jobs. They propose a 10 point reduction in the current corporate tax rate (from the current 35% to 25%. They claim that it would produce 5.3 million jobs. That’s 053 million jobs for each point taxes are cut. If the Republican’s plan to collect the proposed 25% rate, that’s actually an eight point increase over the 17% rates those corporations actually pay right now. By their own logic, their proposal will cause 4.24 million jobs to disappear (8 point increase times.53 million jobs per point). Mission accomplished!
The Democrats job plan continues their sleepwalking through history. Keep in mind that the Democrats controlled Congress from 2008 to 2010. They did a lot for jobs on Wall Street but not much for the rest of us.
The Democratic stimulus plan of 2009 produced some jobs. Nearly a third of the $800 billion proposal went to tax cuts. The remaining $500 million offered a modest program at a time of great crisis.
Current proposals by the party offer programs that are a fraction of their 2009 stimulus package. They are hardly adequate. They say closing corporate tax loopholes, moving toward a green economy, and fixing infrastructure (on the cheap) will do the trick. Democrats are also fixated on balancing the budget. They had legislative control for four years, with concurrent presidential control for the last two of those years. They could not or would not create the conditions necessary for job growth.
Both parties go on ad nauseum about job training and make the compulsory references to community colleges as the key element. Community colleges are outstanding resources. They need more funding. But the notion that there is a skills gap between the employees and available jobs was totally debunked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A recent BLS revision of its new jobs data showed that all those new jobs simply don’t exist.
Neither party addresses the ravages of free trade. They talk about export growth but forget the reciprocal, friendly free trade deals plus the import of skilled professionals that end jobs here while creating them over there.
The Money Party has done nothing about negative job growth. The party’s Republican and Democratic factions won’t even mention that this has gone on for eleven years.
How About a Job Growth Program for People
What work will they do?
Fixing the nation’s infrastructure is an excellent place to start. The American Society of Civil Engineers did a report care on the nation’s infrastructure. They found bridges ready to collapse, buildings unfit for use, and public transportation in a sorry state to name a few of the $2 trillion worth of repairs the nation needs. That project would create jobs and have a multiplier effect on the economy through greater efficiencies and opportunities as a result of the repair work.
Stop shipping jobs overseas and people will keep the jobs they have. Give up on free trade for them and a royal screwing for us. Think of people first and corporate convenience, control, and CEO bonuses last.
Brad DeLong at UC Berkeley developed a model that estimates a 1.67% increase in gross domestic product (GDP) for each point reduction in unemployment. There are other models but let’s use this one.
Take the official Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) unemployment rate of 9.1% and the 2010 GDP of $14.66 trillion. Reduce unemployment by 6 points and GDP increases 10% to $16.1 trillion.
Better yet, let’s use a more accurate representation of the job situation. BLS publishes an alternative unemployment statistic, U-6 (p. 26), showing 16.1% unemployment. U-6 includes: “Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.
If we reduce U-6 from 16% to 6%, that would increase GDP to $17.1 trillion.
Why is sustained negative job growth the problem that can’t be mentioned?
Why won’t they address it specifically?
A Crisis of Imagination or Venality?
The Money Party is short on imagination. It won’t allow its minions, the servants of power, to think outside the box of the status quo. The party is a one trick pony.
The party is also short on compassion or even the most elementary forms of common decency. It’s OK to see millions of people evicted, jobless, without health care, etc., as long as short term profits are maintained for those CEO bonuses and other enrichment for a tiny minority. It’s perfectly acceptable for this to go on despite available solutions. If you don’t look, it’s not there should be their motto.
It’s time for The Money Party to go, all of them. Living under their tired, inhumane rule has become intolerable.
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