Restoring American Jobs

Today, Americans are doing everything they can to cut their spending and to save more. Considering the uncertainty of the times, no one could blame them. As a general rule, however, consumer spending accounts for approximately 70% of U.S. economic activity, and now consumers are economizing wherever they can. So this reaction causes great concern in the macroeconomic overview. Yet why should ordinary Americans assume the brunt of the current economic collapse that in essence was caused by the banking and financial institutions for which the taxpayers have already taken on a 700 billion dollar government obligation? It’s quite different when we are facing this national shock of major recession than the period following the 9/11 disasters when George Bush cheerily exhorted the public to “just go shopping.”We face the obstacles of a liquidity trap that, according to Wikipedia, means “a situation in monetary economics in which a country’s nominal interest rate has been lowered nearly or equal to zero to avoid a recession, but the liquidity in the market created by these low interest rates does not stimulate the economy.” In our monetary system, this means the Federal Reserve can stimulate the economy only by creating and injecting liquidity into the economy through banks as intermediaries. In our current circumstance, however, banks are unwilling to lend, so “the newly created liquidity is trapped behind unwilling lenders.”The problem stems from the recipients of taxpayer money using these resources for whatever they choose, with larger banks buying smaller banks outright while also tightening credit to ordinary Americans and withholding our money that was not even rightfully given them. On Feb. 6, 2009 the AP reports “the Bush administration overpaid tens of billions of dollars for stocks and other assets in its massive bailout last year of Wall Street banks and financial institutions, a new study by a government watchdog says. The Congressional Oversight Panel, in a report released today, said last year’s overpayments amounted to a taxpayer-financed $78 billion subsidy of the firms.” So even though we are facing massive layoffs with loss of health care benefits and homes due to foreclosures, the Wall Street bailout funds are not adequately and ethically reentering the economy, thereby compounding this recession.From the introduction of the financial bailout legislation, no accountability or transparency was built into the bill that Congress eventually passed. At the time, many individuals suggested employing the “Swedish model” that would reduce the “moral hazard” by requiring financial institutions that took the greatest risks to at least partially subsidize the bad debt and allow the state to recoup the money. This approach would have helped to reopen the credit markets to give the taxpayer some ownership, have some revenue returned and minimize the burden of the up to $700 billion in Wall Street bailout funds being spent. Without this accountability, Wall Street became the beneficiary of a huge corporate welfare program where the gamblers scored massive gains while millions lost their jobs and homes.Because I am a taxpayer who became partially a stakeholder in this financial bailout, I support the “Swedish model” and urge the Obama administration to halt this misuse of withholding taxpayers’ money from the general economy by the financial institutions to support the misconception of free markets and private ownership. The state must recoup this money from the bad debt that is at the core of this problem and utilize it to create jobs through socially responsible spending and minimizing the number of home foreclosures.Most of my independent enterprise focuses on career counseling to support laid off workers and assist them in making career changes consistent with the devastating impact of the economy.I have extensive activism experience extending back to the Vietnam War period. Consequently, many of my beliefs about job creation and the national economic recovery include the enormous cost of taxpayers’ money being spent on wars, national defense and the development of nuclear weapons. I am not a pacifist, but I have well-grounded opinions on the job outlook and the percentage of our tax money that goes to a select group of highly paid defense contractors and also the money-power group including business executives and the Wall Street investor class.As a progressive, I have broken my ties with the Democratic Party almost 20 years ago. Democrats simply use the progressive voting bloc to get elected, and then abruptly turn their backs on progressive democrats to fall in line with the Republicans to maintain the status quo. The primary difference between the two parties at this point is that the democrats have a smidgen of conscience while the Republicans care only about supporting the needs of capitalists. They never consider the needs of the vast majority who are the workers. We, the workers, need to be honest with ourselves and see that partial socialism including universal healthcare, decent education, the fairness doctrine in the media and preservation of the environment for the good of all people must be mandated at all levels of government.I also believe that we should end all foreign wars, cut the defense budget to a third of what we are now paying, close all the foreign bases and work for a nuclear weapons free world. We must convince Congress to resist the huge lobbying industry and establish strict guidelines for every taxpayer dollar spent to stem the current system and ensure spending that will bring us jobs, income and restored confidence.Now is the time to re-instate taxes on corporations and progressive taxation on the wealthy. Bankers appropriate substantial profits gained from the workers with little or no interest in distributing anything in return to working people as a reward for their industry. When the social benefits such as a single-payer national health plan receive absolutely no consideration in favor of serving the interests of the wealthy, we have seemingly forgotten or consented to forgo basic services that should be considered as constitutional rights. The rich don’t need that much money and are less likely to spend it as to increase their savings.Throughout the years, I have listened to the anger, frustration, hopes and fears of hard working, talented people who have also encountered layoffs, been fired or felt a strong need to resign from an unsatisfactory position. By listening to their concerns and offering suggestions for overall career direction or career change, I have come to believe that most people hold shared beliefs about equality and democracy. So instead of focusing on politics and political parties, we should proclaim our intentions as a ‘social movement’ and organize to implement a new agenda that cares about jobs, affordable energy, decent healthcare and restoring personal savings.