Removing Jobs as Job #1

Have you noticed despite the never ending jobs crisis, Jobs are removed from the political dialog? The unemployed are no longer mentioned? Or if they are, we get absurd nonsense policy that will actually do the opposite? Ship more jobs overseas and lose jobs?

Paul Krugman calls out this sweeping the unemployed under the rug, in an op-ed, Against Learned Helplessness. Krugman calls for policies, that would actually work, to create jobs.

we could have W.P.A.-type programs putting the unemployed to work doing useful things like repairing roads — which would also, by raising incomes, make it easier for households to pay down debt. We could have a serious program of mortgage modification, reducing the debts of troubled homeowners. We could try to get inflation back up to the 4 percent rate that prevailed during Ronald Reagan’s second term, which would help to reduce the real burden of debt.

Right on Krugman and if only politicians would follow the call. What Krugman doesn't mention is the trade deficit or confronting China on currency manipulation, which once again, we get more inaction by Geithner on China:

The Obama administration on Friday declined to cite China for manipulating its currency to gain trade advantages against the United States but said the pace of the currency's rise against the dollar needs to be accelerated.

The Treasury Department noted that China has been allowing its currency to rise against the dollar since last June, but it said Beijing needs to make more rapid progress. America's trade deficit with China hit a record high last year.

The department's finding came in a report it must submit to Congress every six months determining whether other countries are manipulating their currencies. American manufacturers have been pushing for China to be cited. That could result in penalty tariffs on Chinese imports.

U.S. manufacturers believe China's currency is undervalued against the dollar by as much as 40 percent. This makes Chinese goods cheaper in the U.S. market and American products more expensive in China.

Perhaps the learned helplessness is beyond the corrupt politicians and global elites but with the American people.

Since when did we stop demanding jobs? Demand they stop offshore outsourcing, stop creating more bad trade deals and start investing and manufacturing in the United States? Despite the Obama administration abandoning the unemployed, should the general public? We have no choice in the upcoming Presidential election in this regard, beyond protesting in the streets.

The spin and apathy is so pathetic, even Made in America is under attack and few blink an eye, on Memorial Day.

Yet, some are aware that the United States needs manufacturing to really generate some good jobs and upstate New York is attempting a comeback:

The effort in the Hudson Valley represents something new: an unusual partnership between government and private enterprise. And because it is no mere government bailout of a flagging industry and focuses on high-tech, future-oriented products, this initiative has potentially greater staying power.

If it succeeds, what's happening in upstate New York could help the whole country meet one of its most difficult challenges: re-creating the kinds of secure, long-term middle-class jobs that have long been the foundation of American prosperity.

Unless such a revitalization takes place, most economists agree, millions of people will face a more volatile and less prosperous future. And as consumers' ability to spend erodes, so will the prospects for corporate America.

It also will be extremely difficult for the country to deal with government deficits and the soaring cost of such fundamental programs as Social Security and Medicare.

While a WPA is a worthy goal, and the public works from the Great Depression are proof positive it works, we need more than that. We need to make things again and structure the economy, in particular reform trade to be Buy American and Hire America. to get the economy of scale required to put America back on the right course.



Corporations are not really interested in your plan

The WPA worked at a time when manufacturing was in the hands of a local company. These companies might export their products but they almost certainly did not have overseas subsidiaries that competed with their US operations. If the government wanted to create jobs, it could provide incentives to corporations to do so, and create rival structures of its own if corporations weren't willing to do so. People on the right still think we live in that era, when companies created jobs for Americans. On that theory, if you want jobs to be created, you need to work through corporations, feeding them endless tax breaks while all the time they are engaged in the modern corporate practice of global labor arbitrage.

Even medium to small size companies in the US now engage in this practice. How many one-product manufacturers and machine tool companies, hardly multinational names, have moved their operations abroad?. We have several right around my neighborhood, including Radio Flyer, which used to make kiddie wagons out of one plant only, and 10 years ago moved everything to China. The plant stands idle other than for the corporate executive offices.

We have to wake up to the fact that it is no longer possible to create jobs in any country by relying on the corporate structure. Corporations of most any size now can play the global labor arbitrage game. They have no allegiance to their community or their country. They always talk like they do, because part of the arbitrage game is to play state against state, and city against city, for any jobs that can still be done in America. But even here, the number of jobs at a Chrysler plant these days, for example, are a fraction of what was necessary 25 years ago, the pay runs about $8 - $11 an hour, and the benefits are non-existent and fobbed off on the government and taxpayers.

Face it: corporations are the enemy of job creation in America. This is certainly true in manufacturing and is now spreading directly into service industries. The only places that will be unable to participate in global labor arbitrage are certain store-front service providers, like restaurants, nail salons,and health clinics. That's where the jobs are. Oh yes, there is Washington D.C., home to the government/military job complex, but even here the expansion is coming to an end - the debt capacity of the US government is beginning to recede, not expand.

Your WPA recommendation is a good idea because it gets around the corporate model, but if government is the only source of job creation in the future, we cease to have a capitalist system (actually, maybe that has already happened, since over 20% of all disposable income now comes from the government).

If we want to get back to the happy days of corporate job creation, we need to wait until the global labor arbitrage game plays itself out. But by then, you and I will be trying to feed our families on salaries of $5,000 year, just like the Chinese "middle class."

corporate personhood

You are so right Numerian, But there are some proposals out there to change the definition of a corporation to include loyalty to the U.S. and U.S. national interest. But even Mom and Pop are manufacturing in China these days. To make things worse, China now has know how, in other words, they are delivering better and faster for Mom & Pop than U.S. small manufacturing is.

Horizon Project, Ralph Gomory and others have talked about changing the definition of business entity C corp. extensively..

but since corporations own/run D.C. I don't know how that's possible.

Share this post

I did on facebook will soon do so with my distribution list. It's all about the jobs.

Imagine what would happen if 10 million of the 15 million members of the current workforce were put to work?

There would be more tax revenues, more spending, saving, etc.  The chart below is just U-3.  If you took U-6 and added up all of thethose who wanted work but couldn't find it, there would be may be 16 - 17 million new workers.  Use the Hudson Valley project for the infrastructure defects that must be fixed and you can put a lot of people to work in real jobs.

Why not now?  If not now, will be ever be able to pull it off.


unemployment report out on Friday

Remember, the labor participation rate is at lows not seen since women stayed at home and believe me, those dropping out are not doing so because they are wanting to be homemakers.

Right now we have GOP arguing over the debt ceiling, out to attack social safety nets. This should be issue #1 for 2012.

We need a few articles on getting the corruption money out of DC. It's so corrupt at this point, elections are a joke, an illusion. That's why we have no programs and the economy sure is slowing down and I'm wondering if we're heading to another double dip, I may have to whip out those NBER definitions for recession and depression again.

Regardless, the economy has sucked for over a decade, in reality, the housing bubble just covered up the offshore outsourcing, labor arbitraging mess.

No Politician Seems Afraid of the Unemployed

It is excruciatingly clear that almost nobody in politics really cares about the unemployed, especially the long term unemployed who are so desperate and so unwanted by employers right now.

What is not clear to me is why. After all, if we take the unemployed and underemployed plus their immediate relatives, we must be talking about close to 100 million voters who are or may be being personally affected by unemployment.

How many relatives in the next 5 years (the minimum amount of time it will take to return to full employment) will be stuck taking in their unemployed/underemployed parent/child/sister/brother/cousin, etc., when they are finally flat broke and all but homeless?

Do the long term unemployed and their relatives truly not know what awaits? If not, I would think they'll know soon enough.

The president and Congress are completely silent about the prospects of the long term unemployed. If I were a Republican running in 2012, I'd sure attack Obama about this a hundred times a day. Frankly I wish the Republicans would start howling and pointing fingers now, it might actually help us unemployed.

It is crazy, disturbing and inexplicable that in this age of the Internet and 24/7 news coverage, I'd say more than 95%+ of the country is unaware of the true situation concerning unemployment.

And I count the unemployed among the ignorant too. Heaven only knows how few of the 99ers even realize there's a current bill (HR 589) that would give them another 14 weeks of benefits. [There were two bills about adding extra weeks in 2010 that hardly anyone seemed to know about, either.] Do even 10% of the people who would be eligible for HR 589 know about it? -- I doubt it. That's one reason it hasn't passed.

you would be amazed when a good post on EP

is either picked up on or more unfortunately rewritten without credit in the MSM. But scream from the rooftops we should beecause the jobs crisis is so bad, it's literally pulling down the rest of the economy, never mind it's obscene.

You're right and on top of it, we have absolutely inane agenda items going on, mostly by crazy GOP and based on their corporate and special interest donor requests.

Follow the money!

The unemployed do not give campaign contributions (bribes), only the wealthy do.

jobs in political dialogue

Actually Jobs is back in the political dialog? Just this week the Republicans put forth their "A Plan for America's Job Creators" proposal. From the "roll out" news conference, I gather the core of the plan is tax "relief" for the "poor" exploited corporations.
Talk about Orwellian!

Massive unemployment means increased profits...

Massive unemployment means increased profits and increased campaign contributions. Our corrupt politicians have their hands in this, and only public funding of campaigns will reverse it.

Our trashed economy was due — 100% — to campaign cash changing hands. Absolutely *NOTHING* will fix our system without getting to the root: political corruption. Politicians sharing in the booty by taking campaign bribes, and then rolling over to the industry that wants in the taxpayer's pockets. The recent "crisis commission" blamed everyone except the nation's board of directors -- our CONGRESS -- even when the politicians are 100% to blame.

The key problem is the way we finance elections. There are only two kinds of money: public and private. Private money got us here and nothing will change until we get these legal bribes out of politics. But a fix is vigorously opposed by the political elite that benefit from the existing corruption.

Nothing else matters, regardless of your issue. Nothing is going to change until we have public funding of campaigns. Politicians spend taxpayer dollars because they ARE PAID to spend taxpayer dollars, and robbing the SSI fund and Medicare (as just two examples) gives them the cash needed to attract campaign dollars.

Our problem is NOT government, and it is not R’s or D’s. It *IS* that government is owned by CEOs and corporate interests that want in the taxpayer’s pockets. The 2010 elections were funded by just 1% of Americans, when they should be financed by 100% of taxpayers. And at $5 per taxpayer it would be a bargain. Even at 100 times that.

CEOs want short-term profits to increase their already massive salaries, and are willing to share those profits with the politicians that made it all happen. Thus NAFTA and other laws are passed that enable outsourcing to countries with wage scales one-tenth ours. Or are repealed (like Glass-Seagall) to enable the Fat Cat bankers to rip off the public. And all while deregulation crashes our country, China and India flourish.

In addition to public funding of campaigns, politicians must also (a) be put on a pay-for-performance basis, where if deficits or pork barrel and special interest spending go up, their pay goes down, and (b) they must put their own wealth in a blind trust that blocks political insider trading (which today is rampant). They must also get their health care from Medicare and their retirement from Social Security, and receive it only when they reach 67 or 69 or whatever age the rest of us qualify.

As a former CEO my company would not have survived if I had an employee or board of directors who took money on the side and gave away company assets in return. Our country can’t survive this corruption either.

So the voters change nothing. We elect a new group of politicians and the Fat Cats simply re-direct their bribes as we continue down our spiral. But the problem is that all of these changes must be made by the foxes themselves (congress).

The public's choices are simple: a 100% turnover of politicians until the above fixes are made, or a national revolution is inevitable. And all because our politicians refuse to stop the bribery they benefit from, and the public refused to stop it.

If politicians are going to be beholden to their funders, those funders should be the taxpayers. We MUST demand that our senators and representative pass the bill at:

Jack Lohman …

The scum in government don't care about the public. The ones

in positions of power are just taking as much as they can and the rest are just following orders. The few who have a conscience and try to blow the whistle get burned.

The off-shoring of jobs is a short sighted quest for profits at best, or at worst, a plan to minimize the power of the middle class in order to protect the power of the ruling elite. Surely, the last thing that the rulers want is for people to realize that they have been enslaved and demand a restoration of our rights to control government and ensure liberty and justice.

Unfortunately, instead of teaching how the Framers intended for us to secure liberty and justice, every school day, the children say a prayer to GOTUS, the giver of liberty and justice, and then, they see a multitude of TV shows where heroic government crime fighters always pursue justice. As a result, most people believe that justice is magically secured if we just beg and plead hard enough, much like the feudal reign which the Framers sought to eliminate.

If you want to know how we were supposed to be able to control the government and secure liberty and justice, see Why Does the Government Ignore Our Wishes? at and don’t miss my short speech at

If you take a look, you’ll learn why those in government and those who can illegally influence them get away with violating our rights, abusing their power, and committing horrible crimes. My article on torture includes a link to the U.S. Supreme Court case which explains how one of our stolen rights makes the difference between justice and injustice, between freedom and slavery.

WARNING: Do not look at this if you cannot deal with reality. It may cause anger, headaches, insomnia, dizziness, difficulty in reciting the pledge of allegiance, a.k.a. the prayer to GOTUS, and result in the awareness that you are not free.