With Health Care Out Of The Way, Let's Talk About Jobs

This morning, after becoming MyDD's newest front page poster, I began thinking about what subject my first post should cover.

My mind quickly turned to jobs, because I believe jobs is the defining issue of the 2010 midterm elections.

I live in a state where unemployment has exceeded the national average for the past 29 months [Adams, Tony (2010-3-19). Georgia unemployment rate inches higher to 10.5 percent in February. Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved on 2010-3-24.].  In the African-American community, the jobless rate is even worse [Jeffers, Wainwright (2010-2-11). Black unemployment nearly twice that of whites. WALB-TV. Retrieved on 2010-3-24.].

Georgia is electing a new governor this fall, and I've been asking our gubernatorial candidates the following question:

"What is your plan to put Georgians back to work?"

Due diligence from Democrats across the nation should go towards answering that question.

What is your plan to put Americans back to work?

I believe Democrats nationwide can blunt the criticisms of Republicans by pivoting quickly to a jobs platform. While GOP attorneys general are filing lawsuits [Pierog, Karen (2010-3-22).  States launch lawsuits against healthcare planReuters.  Retrieved on 2010-3-24.]; while Members of Congress like Georgia's own Jack Kingston are signing pledges to repeal the new health care law, Democrats can be talking about jobs, jobs, jobs.

Jobs is the defining issue of the 2010 midterm elections.

So what's the plan?

How are we going to get Americans back to work?

With health care out of the way, let's talk about jobs.

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I think healthcare reform will have a positive impact on the jobs scene

This from Ga. Congressman David Scott - regarding the impact of reform


An examination of trends in health spending over the past 50 years shows that if health reform measures proposed by previous presidents had been enacted and slowed the growth in spending by as little as 1.0 or 1.5 percentage points annually, spending trends in the U.S. would have been closer to those seen in other major industrialized countries and fewer adverse health consequences and economic burdens would have been borne by American families, businesses, and government


Looking specifically at Georgia, and in general across the US - the fastest way to kickstart job growth has already been mainlined - small employers can now offer jobs to candidates , and safely include healthcare as part of the package. That's huge. Many people see their job in terms of salary and benefits - and it gives small business a leg up in offering a package to an employee.


And then, I would add that the fact that in the bill they also included in the fine print a plan to help make it easier for kids to pay for college.  This helps us to employ out of the college labor pool a bit more readily - we don't have to compete as hard for the same labor.


To me, small business is the best way to get the jobs market kick started. I ignore guys like - whoever his name is - that are going to try to start up a dog and pony show about healthcare reform. It's a done deal.  What's really going on there, is that they are trying to kick start the republican party itself - the GOP was handed their ass in this last battle and the dems showed they could govern.


What happens next is pretty simple to my mind. We should throw our weight behind the SBIR Reauthorization bill and get SBIR back on track.  Small business employs 70 percent of the scientists and engineers out there - and the effect of India outsourcing on large sectors of that labor pool is stunning.  This would drive the innovation we need to become energy independent. 

There isn't much that I can see from the executive in this regard - Obama has basically saved the financial system from a serious, serious crash - and the financial system is working. The banks are not lending money, but that will change when they can work the toxic assets off their balance sheets (IE commercial real estate) but they are basically operating properly enough. They will lend again when they feel safe.  Housing is up.  The jobs will follow if and when small business wakes up and starts employing - a small business can heft up 200 percent of their payroll in two weeks - if they have the purchase orders and a good tight invoicing schedule to follow.

I have no clue what will go on in Georgia, Andre - between Sonny and whomever he wants to fight. But he's got money. The GOP has alot of cash from lobbyists still - the lobbyists want people to think the GOP is still a political party. They even split up all their money and tried to wash it and hand it back to the party in this whole 'fire pelosi' thing.


In the end, the best way to deal with the elections is a full court press. After all, healthcare reform isn't actually done yet.


We still need to pass Grayson's bill. And the package of changes. Finish it so that small business can get an immediate buy in and watch what happens.


My 2 c.


by Trey Rentz 2010-03-24 01:34PM | 0 recs
Climate Change

Replacing oil and coal with nuclear, solar, and wind, and retrofitting older buildings, would create almost 2 million jobs. Let's pass the clean energy bill already.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-24 01:46PM | 0 recs
RE: Climate Change

Nuclear power is extremely expensive, and it would be at least 5-7 years before any new plants are built. The other things you mentioned could start creating jobs this year without the downsides of nuclear power.

by desmoinesdem 2010-03-24 08:31PM | 0 recs
RE: Climate Change

I think you're conflating your opposition to nuclear power with the timeline of jobs creation.

All new installations create jobs immediately. There is a laborous permitting and design process that must be undertaken. Construction jobs, while the most visible, aren't always the biggest source of the labor.

The number of jobs created over time by megawatt or dollar spent isn't uniform and can be quite foggy, allowing proponents and detractors to tell their side of the tale.

There are reasons to oppose nuclear. But jobs creation isn't really one of them.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-24 11:45PM | 0 recs
RE: Climate Change

I'll actually grant desmoinesdem's point on nuclear and jobs... With the current licensing process, it takes way too long to start construction on a new nuclear plants. We can shorten the 5-7 to 1-2, but that's still not an answer to the immediate economic problem Andre raised. Now, carbon and energy, that's another story, and she and I will disagree, but for jobs, she makes a good point.

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-25 02:21AM | 0 recs
RE: Climate Change

No, I agree that it is unlikely nuclear power would create as many jobs as quickly as other alternate forms of energy. And I concede that we need jobs now, or there may not be any democrats in power to make the right decisions on energy.

But I think if you are going to look at jobs, you have to look at jobs created over the lifetime of the project per dollar spent or per megawatt generated.


by NoFortunateSon 2010-03-25 04:37PM | 0 recs
RE: Climate Change

We already have far more Nuclear reactors than any other country int he world. we have 104, France is second with 54.

It was the final question on Jeopardy a few weeks ago.


by jeopardy 2010-03-25 12:24AM | 0 recs
RE: Climate Change

Well I sure hope so, because we use 25% of the entire world's energy!  I think we use like 5 or 6 times as much energy as France.

by Steve M 2010-03-25 01:04AM | 0 recs
RE: Climate Change

So we have twice as many nuclear reactors as France but five times the population and Lord only knows how much more industry. So, these numbers compare... how, exactly?

by Nathan Empsall 2010-03-25 02:19AM | 0 recs
mostly just an

interesting factoid.

Yes, as a percentage, France, Japan, and some other countries get more of their power from nuclear.

Although I'm not sure that we should be striving for the most, especially since we have better prospects for wind, solar, and hydroelectric than those countries.

Mostly, I was just surprised that we had so many. I doubt it is generally well known that we have about twice as many as the next country.

by jeopardy 2010-03-25 12:19PM | 0 recs
RE: mostly just an

Japan and France are also more energy efficient than we are. While we will never reach their levels (some has to do with geography and life-styles) there certainly is a lot of savings to be had if we just conserved electricity.

And yes, I do doubt it's well known. It is something to keep aware of. Thanks.

by vecky 2010-03-25 12:35PM | 0 recs
Stability, investment and fair tax policy for small business

Until small businesses which create the bulk of jobs in this country feel secure about the economy, they wont start hiring. Its going to take the housing market to significantly rebound, for banks to begin sufficiently and safely lending money to spur business growth and employment. Government cannot create jobs, only business can. Certainly supporting growth in nuclear, solar, wind and hydroelectric industry is a positive and government incentive's and tax breaks will assist in that role. A payroll tax holiday for the remained of the year would go along way towards incentivising jobs growth. Double the R&D tax credit will keep more money in the hands of companies who can use it to expand and hire. Reduce the capital gains tax on small business equity investments. Improve SBA loan practices making it possible for small business to be better able to secure loans. These are just a few things we can do to stimulate job growth particularly with small business.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-03-24 02:26PM | 0 recs
Health Care Reform is out of the way?

We've got health insurance reform, which may pay for itself if the numbers hold up, but what about health CARE reform?  When do we try to reign in the ever-growing costs of providing health-care due to high pharma costs, medical equipment with thousands of patents (meaning gouging on prices), and the whole nasty concept of for-profit health care?

Until we address these items, insurance companies will continue have to raise rates in order to pay for the actual health care services they cover.


by Flynnieous 2010-03-24 02:31PM | 0 recs
RE: Health Care Reform is out of the way?

yeah, "health care out of the way?"


are you kidding me?


here's the newest piece of information:

Gap in health care law's protection for children Obama administration scrambles to fix gap in health care law's protection for children

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hours after President Barack Obama signed historic health care legislation, a potential problem emerged. Administration officials are now scrambling to fix a gap in highly touted benefits for children.

Obama made better coverage for children a centerpiece of his health care remake, but it turns out the letter of the law provided a less-than-complete guarantee that kids with health problems would not be shut out of coverage.

Under the new law, insurance companies still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the main congressional panels that wrote the bill Obama signed into law Tuesday.

However, if a child is accepted for coverage, or is already covered, the insurer cannot exclude payment for treating a particular illness, as sometimes happens now. For example, if a child has asthma, the insurance company cannot write a policy that excludes that condition from coverage. The new safeguard will be in place later this year."




Obviously, there's still a lot of work to do with health care and health insurance reform...

by jeopardy 2010-03-24 03:17PM | 0 recs
There is a short term jobs problem

and a more serious long term jobs problem.

With >20% of GDP devoted to health care, there is very little room for long term jobs growth.  It is hard to be competitive in the global economy with that kind of "tax" burden on any manufactring or service sector output; specially if that tax is on top of relatively high salaries (compared to the rest of the world)

Thus, the only job creation that can happen is via outputs that cannot be outsourced easily ~ firefighters, nurses, school teachers etc., and wherein skilled professional cannot be imported.

by Ravi Verma 2010-03-24 02:51PM | 0 recs
RE: There is a short term jobs problem

Well we have a nursing shortage and one way to spur people going into nursing is to provide incentives. Many cant pay the cost of the education. Perhaps providing significant education tax credits or grant to nursing students? As for teachers and firefighters, we dont have a shortage of those, so where would they go? In fact there are far more teachers than jobs. Those arent the kinds of jobs that are going to spur growth and security. We need to seen an explosion in green technology and manufacturing, employing not just the folks who are skilled in the manufacturing processes but in the R&D.

by BuckeyeBlogger 2010-03-24 03:03PM | 0 recs
RE: There is a short term jobs problem

The only significant green jobs you can hope for are for the installers.... because you cannot offshore that job. 


The "producers" (including both the manuf., and the R&D) are quickly moving offshore (because it is cheaper there, there is more capital/talent, blah blah).

by Ravi Verma 2010-03-24 06:13PM | 0 recs
Adminstrative Initialtives

Break up the bids and open the process, across the entire government.



by Judeling 2010-03-24 04:38PM | 0 recs

They could sell their organs (other than brains) for transplantation or animal feed.

by QTG 2010-03-24 05:16PM | 0 recs

One is all for jobs, but let's try to do it democratically.  Let's have more mass participation.  If businesses are set up, let them be run by their employees, and let their workers unionize.  Let us patronize all businesses, not just a privileged few.  And, let the American people collectively be the nation's biggest shareholder by setting up a new Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a la FDR. 

by demjim 2010-03-25 10:34AM | 0 recs


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