Why Can't We Be the Job Creators?

The Republicans always use the excuse that we have to give the rich huge tax cuts because they are the "job creators." Of course, the reality is that giving tax cuts to the rich is the very worst way of getting more money into the economy. The multiplier effect for tax cuts for the wealthy is the lowest of almost any stimulative program the government can try.

Plus, if they are creating jobs, it isn't here. The money is flowing out of the country and into developing markets at an incredible rate. Between 2002 and 2008, the Bush tax cuts equaled $1.3 trillion. The amount of money leaving the United States in the form of investment in developing countries in that same time period -- $1.9 trillion. It can be argued that all of the tax cuts to the rich went out of the country and then some (of course, it's a little more complicated than that but obviously a huge portion of the extra money went into investment abroad).

So, if jobs are being created through tax cuts it's probably in Shanghai or Mumbai. So, the Republican answer now is to give ... more tax cuts to the rich. They want to give $700 billion in tax cuts to the top bracket over the next ten years. I have a revolutionary idea instead.

How about instead of giving the money to the rich and hoping that they create jobs, we just create the jobs! Imagine what we could build and how much good we could do for the country if we used that extra $700 billion to actually hire people directly. Imagine how many jobs that could create.

It might be worth it if we just hired people to do what would otherwise be volunteer work. It might be worth it if we just built a whole new green energy sector. It might be worth it if we just hired an enormous number of teachers to give our kids the best education in the world. It might be worth it if we hired so many more cops to protect our streets or firemen to protect our neighborhoods. Or doctors to treat our sick. Or people to take care of the elderly or disabled. Or people to take care of our kids while we worked. Or people to build our bridges and our roads. Or just about anything else you can imagine.

Imagine. $700 billion set aside just to hire people. To hire Americans. Or we can go with the Republican plan of giving it all to the rich and hoping they create jobs at some point and hoping that those jobs are here in America. You be the judge.

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The way to prosperity.

I am an engineer and I work on very complex (even for engineering) problems on a regular basis.  There is something called the law of unexpected consequences that dominates.  Every variable that  you change to a new state that it has never had before will give you an unexpected outcome of some kind.  Often these outcomes are VERY VERY subtle until something dramatic happens.


For example,  Tax cuts that give money to the rich at the expense of the middle class or poor remove money from the mass produced market by reducing the volume of goods that can be sold to the poor and middle class.  Reducing mass produced items actually raises the prices on goods and suppresses growth.  


The way you protect yourself from the law of unexpected consequences is to be conservative in you approach to being liberal.  Rapid change should only occur when you are going back to a known state.  For example, if we could change the tax and spending to be the same as during Bill Clinton that may be a big move but its likely not dangerous because we have had exactly that mix before.


But if you make large changes that are new very bad things can happen.


The GOP always wants taxes to go lower but they must understand that taxes of $0 would be a very bad idea


Liberals want taxes to go up but they must understand that taxes of 100% would be a very bad idea.


What we need to do is get the historic data on distribution of wealth and find the distributions in history that have been associated with high growth and try and duplicate them.  If I honestly though the best growth was from the rich having all the money I would argue for it.  I think the best growth isn't for us to all have the same amount of money though.  The Steve Jobs types need to have the capital to start their dreams and keep that capital to buy Pixar and then Next so that they have the capital to come back and save Apple.  That wouldn't have happened with 100,000 poor people.


But if you want to spur growth I know the secret.


ENERGY.  All machines run on energy.  Even the machines that build machines run on energy.  The machines that mine the materials that are used in the machines that make machines run on energy.  If you have enough energy, you can mine all the stuff you want, either on earth or the solar system.


If America spend $1 Trillion dollars a year buying energy production at say $4 a watt we would eventually be much much much better off.


People who measure things will argue that more "money" can be made by doing other things.  But more THINGS can be made by spending massive amounts buying energy provided the rate of energy production per dollar is held constant at say $4-$8 per watt.


Our historical rate of 2% growth is pathetic, China is getting 8%+


Energy can fix that.

by donkeykong 2010-11-18 04:01AM | 0 recs
Let's get something straight

If I make more than 250,000.00 a year, I'm not being 'given' any money by anyone - it wasn't yours to begin with. It was mine.

And whether or not I hire people for my business, is a business decision that I get to make. Not you. You shouldn't say that we're 'giving money to the rich' ... when the government is just not taking the money that they already own.

That said. What projects, really need to be done? If the government wants to let the upper 2% taxcuts expire ... and go back to 2001 level taxes for the upper 2% - then, fine. It's not a question of spending that money immediately - the government is running in red ink and needs to stabilize its own finances.


But if there were projects to be funded from that. What are good ones? Here is my list.


1. Secure the Internet  - get the US Government in the business of keeping people from tethering devices to specific websites, and have them stop the silly practice of allowing cellphone companies to put modified or crippled web browsers into the cellphones. The US FCC regulates the wireless spectrum, and even though it's crowded - the speed of light is nearly infinite and the public owns that spectrum.  They lease it back out to cellphone companies and those companies love to pretend they own it and won't let you use anything but their stupid browser that points back to six lame websites, when you need to get to craigslist. I say get the FCC on board with this. It's like building a national superhighway - only we're making sure nobody can set up illegal toll roads.

2. Plant trees. Seriously. Everyone spend one day, maybe a month - with everyone they can - to plant and care for trees and saplings. Make sure they get at least one month to be able to get off the ground, and then let them grow by themselves. Believe it or not, this one simple idea actually re-forested a completely stripped and barren African country. It is a very simple thing to do, but we need to stop and realize that most of our cities now run their own micro climate. Don't believe in climate change? Watch your own weatherman for three or four nights in a week - and see what you find for the temperature readings around your city, and then just outside of the city. Concrete is making its own microclimate. Warming it up. Holds the heat longer.  This is serious business. And its simple.


3. The Energy Militia:  Get everyone together and sweep the community for places where energy is being thrown away. Look up at the lights, and arm them with compact flourescents - let them go in and change the stupid light bulbs.  Get them solar panels, and let them install them on the tops of buildings.  A community task force that sweeps through the neighborhood and city could do a lot of good. I've found that there are alot of businesses and places where people live and meet that are just burning electricity for no real reason.  And only the community would know it.


4. The food and Jobs drive. Sweep throught the community and feed the poor - but give them the snack they want in a seminar where they're going to learn how to do a job, any job. Find jobs in the area - maybe some relating to the above.  But more importantly, note that all of this is a repeating requirement - make it so they can learn how to do a job worth doing.   No such thing as a free lunch.  And let this kind of drive extend out to everyone.

by Trey Rentz 2010-11-18 11:33AM | 0 recs
RE: Let's get something straight

I agree with your points 2, 3, and 4.  Planting trees has worked in many past depressions dating back to about 1,000 A.D. with Chinese dynastic rulers.  During one deflationary period in China at this time period the ruler planted millions of trees.  This helped to stabilize the economy and decades later the Chinese used these trees to become a sea faring nation that greatly enhanced trade with India and Africa.  Roosevelt Created jobs this way as well by planting trees on National Parks through the Jobs Corps.

It makes good sense to spend heavily on Green Infrastructure that helps stabilize our energy consumption and dependence on foreign oil.  This should be a main national priority, the way going to the moon was putting all national efforts and agendas toward this one goal.

Feeding the transitional poor while offering them a seminar or job opportunity is also an innovative Idea.  I would expand this to any person who is receiving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and is not currently employed.  Offering the transitionally poor appropriate attire for an interview and work then also offer food could be a very good concept as well. 

by Joe Citizen 2010-11-23 11:33AM | 0 recs


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