Monday, September 13, 2010

Week of 09/13/2010

The REAL Stimulus - Employment
– by David Matthews 2

It should come to no big surprise that the economy isn’t faring too well. The so-called “recovery”, as so proclaimed by Wall Street and the White House, is just another house of cards falling back down.

And the so-called “experts” are all scratching their heads and wondering why this is so. After all, we gave over ONE TRILLION DOLLARS to Wall Street to kick start the economy, right?

That’s what President Obama and his people were saying was needed. And as soon as the money was handed out, all of those “experts” proclaimed that the economy was “on the mend” and that we’ve “come back from the brink”.

And they MIGHT have been right… if unemployment wasn’t still a problem.

What? WHAT?

How can this BE? We handed over ONE TRILLION DOLLARS of money that we didn’t even have to Big Corporate! They were supposed to use the money to create new jobs to replace the ones they either destroyed or shipped overseas. What did they expect the money to be used for… to fatten their profit margins?

Well, yes, that is EXACTLY what Big Corporate did with they money. They’re sitting on the money and letting it collect interest as they continue to operate like the October Surprise of 2008 never happened.

Oh, they’ll use the money to create jobs… eventually… but on THEIR timetables, not America’s. After all, they’re hearing from their best buds in the whole world… FoxNews and conservative/neo-conservative talk radio… that Obama is trying to destroy their businesses!

Needless to say, the fifteen million Americans out of work and struggling to make ends meet are on the losing end of the equation. Bankruptcies and foreclosures are still a looming threat, the loss of tax revenue is strangling state and local governments, and as the old saying goes, the beatings will continue until morale improves, which means that we are seemingly locked in an economic DEATH SPIRAL.

In other words, when the “experts” tell President Obama that we’ve “come back from the brink”, they were actually LYING to him. And then when he repeats that mantra to the masses, he comes off looking like just another Pollyanna politician. (Note: I’m actually giving Obama the benefit of doubt here. But breaks are hard to come by around here… much like jobs… so he shouldn’t waste what little trust he has left.)

So now that the news is starting to sink in that the economy WASN’T “fixed”, Obama’s so-called “experts” are now splitting hairs over what happened and what needs to be done next. Some say the “wrong people” were heard. Some say that they were too “timid” with the money, and that they actually needed to give away STILL MORE tax money that we don’t have.

Look, giving out ONE TRILLION DOLLARS for something that doesn’t involve military combat and the removal of an Iraqi leader is pretty much unprecedented. Calling it “tame” or “timid” is like saying the Titanic only took on “a little water”.

Okay, so obviously the glorious “summer of recovery” (that’s their catchphrase, not mine) turned out to be a dud. We got punked by Wall Street… AGAIN! No big surprise.

So… what now?

Well the same “experts” that came up with the idea of giving Big Corporate ONE TRILLION DOLLARS of money that we don’t have decided that we need a NEW stimulus package. And they decided that the best way to stimulate the economy is through… INFRASTRUCTURE!


Yes, apparently the same “experts” that falsely believed that big infrastructure projects “saved” the economy the last time around are at it again. They want BILLIONS to be spent on more road and bridge improvements.

Well I suppose that would work… provided that the projects were all built with the bodies of the fifteen million Americans out of work. Oh, and some are estimating that number to get as high as THIRTY-ONE MILLION by the end of the year.

At this point I have to seriously question the wisdom of these so-called “experts” that Obama is relying upon.

First, I object to the “official” definition of “creating jobs”, which according to the White House is now “create a new job or saved a current one”. We spent seven out of the eight years of the previous White House tenure operating under the “disproving a negative” theory when it came to national security. Why are the current “experts” (and I use that term loosely) so fixated on using the SAME dysfunctional logic when it comes to the economy? Technically EVERY job that is currently active is a “saved” job, and that doesn’t help the fifteen million - eventually going up to thirty-one million - that NEED a job.

Well the dirty little secret is that this bastardization of “job creation” is going on so they can justify spending billions on infrastructure projects, since failing to fund these projects could mean more layoffs as state and local governments would not have the money to fund them. So in their distorted mindsets, keeping already-employed highway crews busy with more projects is considered “job creation”.

Of course that same revenue could have been generated through the normal economic cycle if those billions were spent on ACTUAL job creation, where those fifteen-to-thirty-one million Americans would be able to once again contribute to the tax coffers. The only difference is that it would take some time before that could happen.

Second, spending billions on further infrastructure projects does absolutely NOTHING to alleviate the current economic death spiral. The U$$ Titanic is still sinking, and the Obama White House is seemingly fixated on keeping the decks waxed and the brass shined.

What good is re-paving a stretch of road when there won’t be as many vehicles driving on it? Why expand current highways when the traffic capacity is going DOWN instead of up because more and more people are being laid off?

Well that’s the other dirty little secret behind this… because it keeps the union workers employed now instead of having them wait through the normal economic process. Gotta keep your base happy, right?

Unfortunately the matter only gets worse as time progresses. Statistically speaking, the longer a person is unemployed, the more they are considered “unemployable”. When their benefits run out, they disappear from the system altogether. So every time you hear “unemployment claims drop”, that doesn’t mean that people are being EMPLOYED. It means they are removed from the system. They cease to exist! Already ABANDONED by the private sector, they are now ABANDONED by the United States! They are essentially refugees in their own country!

That is unacceptable.

Ideally, any new “stimulus package” would involve IRS Auditors and a Brinks truck showing up at EVERY financial institution that received previous stimulus money and having to PROVE that it was invested on actual JOB CREATION, or else they have to give it back. Unfortunately, the current White House people are just as obsessed with appeasing Wall Street as their predecessors were, so there’s no chance it could ever happen.

But let’s get brutally honest here… ANY kind of meaningful stimulus program from this point out should be focused on three things: Jobs, Jobs, and JOBS!

And here I have the simplest of solutions for job creation that the White House could enact… instead of wasting money on Big Corporate and HOPING they do the right thing - which they have clearly demonstrated they are incapable of doing… they should borrow a page from FDR’s playbook and hire those unemployed people DIRECTLY!

Think about this: the same money that was handed over to Big Corporate on the “promise” of creating jobs could have employed ALL FIFTEEN MILLION unemployed Americans with a job paying $66,000 a year before taxes. (That’s basic math. Get a calculator and figure it out yourself if you don’t believe me!) Fifteen million Americans suddenly employed again, suddenly contributing to the tax system again, suddenly adding to consumer growth. That would have turned the economy around in a matter of MONTHS, not in the DECADES that the so-called “experts” now predict.

So how about taking the people who have been unemployed for at least a year and giving THEM a job? It would give them employment experience, access to employee benefits, and it would take them OFF the state programs while at the same time they would again be contributing to the economy besides for essentials.

And it’s not like there isn’t work that needs to be done! Auditing the Federal Reserve is a nice herculean task to fulfill. Same with evaluating how the previous stimulus programs were spent. Plenty of opportunities there for office workers, administrators, paperwork handlers. There is also currently a glut of office spaces in America - which is a part of the failing economy that the media HASN’T picked up on yet - so there is no shortage of places where an interim “US Jobs” office can be set up to do these thing. That would also stave off the next phase of the real estate crunch.

Oh, wait… that makes too much sense, doesn’t it?

Of course Big Corporate’s friends in the conservative and neo-conservative circles are throwing temper tantrums over public sector jobs already. They certainly don’t want to see the economy recover while Obama and company are in charge, and they would rather have all of that “free money” go into THEIR corporate coffers than invested in someone’s payroll. They currently thrive off our misery, but, make mo mistake, if they were in charge they would just as quickly abandon the rest of the U$$ Titanic and leave us to sink in misery and despair. That’s what they did before Obama was elected, and there is no reason in the world why they wouldn’t be willing to do it again in a heartbeat.

The problem comes down to one of focus. Do Obama and company REALLY want to fix the economy? Do they REALLY want those fifteen-to-thirty-one MILLION Americans back-to-work? Or do they just want the attention to the problem to go away and let those people suffer and die in misery and destitution? As long as the Obama White House is busy listening to their so-called “experts” instead of the people that PUT them in office, they have shown that they have no indication of caring about the sinking ship called our economy.

1 comment:

Chuck Doswell said...

Another excellent post, D2!! You've once again gone to the heart, and shown the BS for what it is.