The Myth of Job Creation

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This is an old article but a relevant one.

The headlines from the last presidential debate focused on President Obama challenging Mitt Romney on issue after issue. There was a less noticed, but no less remarkable, moment when Mr. Obama agreed with Mr. Romney on something — and both were entirely wrong.

The exchange began with a question about the offshoring of American jobs. Part of Mr. Obama’s answer was that federal investments in education, science and research would help to ensure that companies invest and hire in the United States. Mr. Romney interrupted. “Government does not create jobs,” he said. “Government does not create jobs.”

It was a decidedly crabbed response to a seemingly uncontroversial observation, and yet Mr. Obama took the bait. He said his political opponents had long harped on “this notion that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer. That’s not what I believe.” He went on to praise free enterprise and to say that government’s role is to create the conditions for everyone to have a fair shot at success.

So, they agree. Government does not create jobs.

Except that it does, millions of them — including teachers, police officers, firefighters, soldiers, sailors, astronauts, epidemiologists, antiterrorism agents, park rangers, diplomats, governors (Mr. Romney’s old job) and congressmen (like Paul Ryan).

First, the basics. At last count, government at all levels — federal, state and local — employed 22 million Americans, with the largest segment working in public education. Is that too many? No. Since the late 1980s, the number of public-sector workers has averaged about 7.3 for every 100 people. With the loss of 569,000 government jobs since June 2009, that ratio now stands at about 7 per 100.

Public-sector job loss means trouble for everyone. Government jobs are crucial to education, public health and safety, environmental protection, defense, homeland security and myriad other functions that the private sector cannot fulfill. They are also critical for private-sector job growth in two fundamental ways. First, the government gets its supplies from private-sector companies, which is why Republican senators like John McCain have been frantically warning about the dire effects on job creation if Congress moves ahead with planned military spending cuts. (Republicans insisted upon the cuts as part of their ill-advised showdown over the debt ceiling.) Second, government spending on supplies and salaries reverberates strongly through the economy, increasing demand and with it, employment.

That means the economy suffers when government cuts back. A report by the Economic Policy Institute examined the effect of recent cutbacks at the state and local level — including direct loss of government jobs and indirect loss of suppliers’ jobs; the jobs that should have been added to keep up with population growth; and the reduction in purchasing power from other cutbacks. If not for state and local budget austerity, the report found, the economy would have 2.3 million more jobs today, half of which would be in the private sector.

The government does not create jobs? It most certainly does. And at this time of state budgetary hardship, a dose of federal fiscal aid to states and localities could create more jobs, in both the public and private sectors.

From NYT Opinion

Posted by The NON-Conformist


So Much Is Being Said, But Nothing Is Coming Out

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As usual lips are moving  but nothing is coming out. It’s time for real citizens to stand up for justice. It’s time for the two-headed snake to be cut off. That’s a fanciful idea since so much of our government has been embedded and doubled down upon. The best organization of late has been the Tea Party aka tea baggers; the group that came together against the Repugnant party. It wanted and did get rid of establishment Repub politicians. Their record is quite impressive, they have elected around 60 or so officials to office. On the other hand Occupy Wall Street is a group that started with a roaring fire, now it looks like a flame. The difference between the two is that it’s one thing to voice your grievances but on the other hand you have to get involved in the process. You have to become a part of it. I think MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan is understanding this first hand. He’s leaving his show, as he puts it, to “put into practice what he has talked about on TV.”

Another issue has to deal with definitions. Repubs are most apt at this game. Romney can make a comment that police and firefighters aren’t big government, and have peons like Scott Walker defend his statement. What sector do police and firefighters fall under: the public sector. Repubs can change the narrative to fit their description. The President can say the private sector is doing fine, which I believe for the most part, and it’s considered a gaffe. You have to ask yourself, what is the private sector? It is a quandary to define because of so many government kick backs and contracts. That muddies the definition a bit but the private sector has to do with no state control  and run by individuals for profit.  Corporations as well as banks are doing well, they have plenty of reserves that count into the trillions, while we as individuals fight to stay afloat.

It’s time for individuals to stop fighting against their own interests and to start fighting for them, even it means someone else may get a bigger piece of the pie. Is it fair to rig elections to benefit one group over another? Also it’s time for economists to stop being swayed by political affiliation. The country is more moderate than anything else. Right- wing radio has done more to fatten the pockets of the host and divide the country more than anything. The filth they espouse is insulting. The left-wing could be better. I’m tired of the whining, is CNN is the new upstart?

The problem is America is programmed Left or Right. The electorate has to get smarter, we have to stop mixing politics with religion. As much as it bothers me to bring up this outdated document, people need to follow it( the Constitution that is). We as whole need to get rid of the Electoral College. It made sense during its inception, the world was the size of a BB bullet not a beach ball.  Look at how politicians only go to states that they can win and throw the others away with no mention. The system is fucked up and till we acknowledge that, we will continue to go in circles. The system is rigged to benefit soulless creatures who feed on the small, they have convinced themselves they are doing the will of their God for the good of the people.

The NON-Conformist

Wisconsin Labor Battle Revisited

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Private sector employees have increasingly been paying higher insurance premiums while foregoing significant wage increases; often, these increases have barely kept pace with cost of living increases. Conservatives have argued in favor of requiring public sector employees to pay the same respective share towards their benefit packages as private sector employees, and are using this opportunity as a golden one to cripple organized labor – a stalwart of Democratic support. Conservatives contend that government contributions to public employees’ benefits have bloated government budgets and are causing future spending to spiral out of control. The insidious point that isn’t always kept in mind is that private sector unions have had their effectiveness eroded as well. There have been several movements to prevent private unions from automatically collecting dues from employees’ paychecks, under the guise of “paycheck protection” schemes that were promoted to benefit employees.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has had a history of using “slash & burn” tactics in taking aggressive steps to trim budgets, although he hasn’t explicitly focused on unions. There is no incentive for Walker to take an alternative approach in order to avoid controversy or sidestep the potential backlash of union sympathizers, because since 2003 in Wisconsin, Walker has prevailed and progressed despite the outrage of his actions. The question that some of Walker’s opponents in WI have asked is whether his actions are determined to restore Wisconsin to fiscal balance or part of a grander (national?) scheme to weaken unions by first eradicating their collective bargaining power then attempting to decimate Democratic support by affecting the voting electorate through changes in registration laws and redistricting. There are staunch advocates of Walker’s plans when discussions focus on his vision to restore the great state of Wisconsin to its longstanding position of fiscal responsibility; however, when viewed in light of how much WI Republicans wish to return to power as well as undermine President Obama, the nature of his motivation seem a great deal more nefarious.

Keenan Walker

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