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Myth – Government can’t create jobs

I think it is funny and sad that conservatives will continue to believe nonsense even when they know it is … well, nonsense. One of their favorite pieces of circular logic is that the government simply can’t create jobs. All jobs (real jobs) are created by the private sector. Government jobs aren’t real because the money comes from taxes, which comes from us, the taxpayer. See? Yeah, I don’t understand it either.

It seems to me that if you are working for the IRS or the State Department, you have a job. You are spending your salary and you are contributing to our GDP by buying things. If you work for Blackwater, a private company which depends on government contracts, you are adding to our economy. If you are an employee of a company that supplies stuff to Blackwater, aren’t you still contributing to the GDP? It is crazy to think that somehow this job is different that a “regular” private sector job. The whole idea is that government jobs are somehow completely different from private sector is beyond me.

By |2012-05-09T23:19:10-04:00May 9th, 2012|Economy|7 Comments

What is wrong with us?

In the United States, we believe in equality. We like to believe that everybody has a chance at the American dream. We love to hear rags to riches stories. Whether it is Cinderella or the Prince of Persia or even Bill Gates, we’d all like to believe that we can be sitting at the head of that huge boardroom table. Yet, at the same time, we allow a system to exist where corporations get breaks that the rest of us don’t. We justify this dichotomy by saying, “well, they create jobs.” For some reason, this small phrase “justifies” our allowing corporations to get every break imaginable. They are allowed to consistently thwart our rules and regulations and yet we still defend them. Does this mean we’re schizophrenic or just insane?

More from Arianna:

You want Exhibit A of two sets of rules? According to the White House, in 2004, the last year data on this was compiled, U.S. multinational corporations paid roughly $16 billion in taxes on $700 billion in foreign active earnings — putting their tax rate at around 2.3 percent. Know many middle class Americans getting off that easy at tax time?

In December 2008, the Government Accounting Office reported that 83 of the 100 largest publicly-traded companies in the country — including AT&T, Chevron, IBM, American Express, GE, Boeing, Dow, and AIG — had subsidiaries in tax havens — or, as the corporate class comically calls them, “financial privacy jurisdictions.”

Even more egregiously, of those 83 companies, 74 received government contracts in 2007. GM, for instance, got more than $517 million from the government — i.e. the taxpayers — that year, while shielding profits in tax-friendly places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. And Boeing, which received over $23 billion in federal contracts that year, had 38 subsidiaries in tax havens, including six in Bermuda. (more…)

By |2010-06-03T07:38:10-04:00June 3rd, 2010|Business, Taxes|Comments Off on What is wrong with us?

Obama is on the right track

In my opinion, there are lots of reasons to love the Rachel Maddow Show.  Maddow is really the only true progressive on the air today. I put Keith Olbermann in a category of populist more than progressive.

At any rate, her look at President-elect Barack Obama‘s speech on the economy is truly progressive. She compares Barack Obama’s vision to Ronald Reagan’s. Ronald Reagan proclaimed that the government was the problem. This has been the dominant etiology of the United States and economic political thought for almost 30 years. Now, in this crisis, Barack Obama is stating that the government is the only agency that has the ability to fix this problem.

Some spending conservatives (blue dog Democrats and fiscal conservative Republicans) are trying to argue that spending cuts and tax cuts are what we need.  Here’s the problem — manufacturing is down because demand for American products is down. American consumers are not buying. American businesses are shedding jobs. Remember we lost over a half a million jobs in November. December’s job numbers are expected to be the same. Tax cuts are not going to stimulate buying. Tax cuts are not going to stimulate enough job growth. Targeted government spending will get businesses to begin to hire here at home to cover these government contracts. Businesses will then in turn have to buy supplies in order to do business which would stimulate more the economy. Individuals hired at a “fair” rate will then be able to spend money again stimulating the economy.

I believe that Barack Obama is on the right track. I’m just hoping that his powers of persuasion will be enough to pull Congress along with him.

By |2009-01-08T23:35:23-04:00January 8th, 2009|Economy, Media, Obama administration|Comments Off on Obama is on the right track
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