Has anyone paused or stopped to consider how, exactly, Washington can create jobs? By that I mean, while perhaps well intentioned, how can the President or Congress force/encourage/cajole companies to hire new employees? I’m giving both the benefit of the doubt at present with the “well intentioned”.
The direct method is that Washington has the ability to create jobs through expansion of its own labor force. You can interpret that as new Federal civilian employees and the military. However well intentioned that concept might be, how can the nation sustain such a hiring blitz on the basis of reduced revenues and a lack of productivity in the private sector? The more optimistic of you might think that would have been a better use of the money used to stabilize the financial institutions and support any number of other programs used to support an idle labor force and it gets people at least working. The pessimistic among you will think this is just another way of increasing the size of government, increase the tax burden, or social engineering. So how many people could the Federal Government put to work? Well, a few actually. I’m sure there is a new program that needs administering or a new place with lots of sand or jungle that we haven’t fought over yet. They could even trickle money down to the States and Local Governments to drive them forward… for a while. The big stimulus is getting ready to run out of funding. When that happens, projects started or continued and people hired are going to be eliminated because recovery and sustainability has not been what or where it should be.
The indirect method is instituted by lowering the corporate tax rate or offering tax breaks to companies relieving part of the income tax burden as a means of generating hiring. Does it work? There is really no direct answer for that question. It can work low scale, but what happens after the tax breaks run out? Why would companies hire new employees with no prospects for sales or market for their products? According to the last numbers I saw, recession recovery is being done without hiring. Jobless recovery is the term used today. Technology is replacing some of those positions, others have been outsourced, and some just simply aren’t coming back. In this new paradigm of jobless recovery, the numbers are estimated at 2.2 million jobs lost that will never be recovered. Gone, ain’t coming back, wave good-bye. With the tax breaks option, the optimistic number of jobs that could be generated is in the range of 700,000 on the top, 250,000 on the bottom. The total number unemployed at present hovers around 10 million.
So in the interest of listening closely to what is being said, how precisely, is government or any politician going to create new jobs? And an even better question to ask is, what kind of jobs are going to be created if they can, in fact, accomplish this feat? Politicians and Presidential hopefuls like to cite their records on job creation. What they don’t tell you is what kind of jobs they are bringing in, since they don’t really create job one unless they hire someone themselves. They create environments or make conditions suitable to Corporate America to hire people. Basically, Government is willing to eat a loss of revenue across time to bring a large corporate monolith to your area, in addition to sweetening the pot with promises of cheap labor, why, corporate America is all ears. So again, what kind of job is it that is being fostered through tax incentive?
It’s true the economy is growing so it’s not all doom and gloom I suppose, but the growth is at the top of the economic scale. The Koch brothers each saw their earning increase by $15 billion each this year alone and we’re just into the 3rd quarter. Corporations have seen their profits grow, and the top earners come mostly from Wall Street. Millions and millions of dollars are pumped into political causes in an effort to maintain control and perpetuate economic growth at the top of the scale. And these people and corporations pay that money to ensure that the rules stay in place so that they continue to amass wealth.
Now can someone explain to me why it is that the people, all of these millions of people that are out of work and looking or trying to find work, are supposed to do more with less, but why can't the Koch brothers and corporate America do the same? Why can’t they take $7.5 billion and invest it in something viable to help America? Why can’t GE, or Glaxo, or pick-a-corporation reduce the size of their lobby budget they use to buy influence and use that money instead to inject growth in the American economy? Why can’t Exxon-Mobil take half the profit they’ll make per quarter and reduce fuel to an affordable level in an effort to help everyone and reduce the negative effects of recession, since we’re all in this, allegedly, together? They’re still making money hand over fist compared to the rest of us, how about giving the rest of us a chance just to make it at least.
Why not, indeed! There is nothing to be gained by Corporate America or the dandies of Wall Street or those on the Billionaire list to do any of that. They know that compliance and docility comes from having those you seek to control in a state of weakness; economic, nutritional, and educational. Which is why they pay the money they do to the lobbyists they hire in order to get the legislation passed that makes practically everything they do legal, or at least legitimate.
There is nothing legal or moral about starving, in a literal or figurative sense, millions of people into submission. You can color it, twist it, package it, or spin it any way you feel the need to. It doesn’t change the bottom line of what is. There have only been two other times in our history that so much was owned by so few. The aftermath of those times brought Federal regulations with one and a global depression with the other. Don’t you think that there was a really good reason that Woodrow Wilson instituted a progressive tax on the wealthy and that it was allowed to remain in place as long as it did until Reagan abolished it? That reason was that Wilson knew the dangers of concentrating so much wealth at the top.
Whether you agree or disagree with me, in whole or in part, we all know that something has to be done. It’s the how of it that is presently in contention. But I’ll leave you with this observation. As long as the bulk of capital remains located at the top, those with it will only use it to gain more and to enhance their control of everything they can. Until that money starts flowing down, in the form of loans for houses, cars, and durable goods that serves to put people to work, things will not change. Until the rules that allow money to be off-shored and that allow goods to be imported and take advantage of cheap labor in other markets, things will not change. Billions have been spent to foment the creation of those rules. Words and votes must be fomented to bring about their elimination. What we have to understand and grasp the concept of is, it is a better use of capital for millions of American workers to buy a house, a car, or furniture than it is for a couple of billionaires to buy a mansion for $35 million, a painting for $10 million, a Ferrari for $500,000, or Congress for a bunch of meals at five star restaurants or some plane rides around the country, or hiring the Congress member’s kid into their corporation with a do nothing job and a big salary.
It’s time we reasserted the notion that merely because you have money doesn’t give you title, benefit, or privilege beyond anyone else that may not have the assets you enjoy... That owning a successful business makes you good at business and a bit lucky, not a Demi-God of economic prowess... That with greatness comes greater responsibility and not just to yourself, but mankind as a whole... Because how is it you have been successful in the first place? What good is the product or gadget if there isn’t someone who purchases it? It's time Corporate America took stock of that second word in the title; America.