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It’s a Start

September 9, 2011

I echo the President’s sentiments to Congress:

“PASS THIS JOBS BILL.”

That being said, let’s be frank, it will only be a jump start. There are 15 million unemployed and 10 million underemployed people in America. To get to pre-recession, pre-2008 levels of unemployment, the economy needs to create 400,000 jobs a month. In August, the private sector, “the market” as republican talking heads refer to it, created zero such opportunities in August.

Yes, that is a dreadful comparison.

There in lies the President’s problem. He relies too greatly on the “good will” of the market. Mr. President, the corporations of this country are not good faith partners. If the market intended to be a part of the solution – with some estimated $2.5 trillion in profits being sidelined in their bank accounts and while they are benefiting from the lowest tax rates since the 1940s – they would have done so.

We need to be clear, there is no shortage of money – there is a shortage of conscience and will. Mainly because the consciences we are appealing to are singularly focused on increasing their own bottom line.

The political reality of our current crisis is this: though the public will probably get behind the President’s “American Jobs Act”, it will probably gain little to no traction. Yes, there are things that may garner bi-partisan support. Republicans will have problems being against things like trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea (something that already wanted to do); it will be hard to deny the viability of tax cuts for small businesses – but I suspect they’ll find a reason. They must find a reason. Why, because they have hunkered down for a long road to the White House, which they desperately want to regain. They lose significant chances of that giving President Obama any traction – any victory. Moreover passing this bill would mean seperation from a “Tea Party” base loathe to concede any ground in their fanatical mission to cut federal spending.

But, this is a start. I’m fully supportive of President Obama’s plan, mainly because it is a real plan aimed at reducing the gorilla in the room called unemployment. But the President aimed low. Tax cuts for the middle class. Tax breaks for small businesses.  Some infrastructure, but all aimed narrowly at what convention deems as doable…conceivably. But the numbers of unemployed and underemployed, and discouraged and disenfranchised demand FDR type solutions. A PWA (Public Works Administration), a CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), a TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority). These government created entities – these government created jobs immediately put to work the millions of people that the 1920’s depression left out in the cold.

Last night, our President before a divide congress gave us a start, a small step towards recovery. But you can’t climb an Everest until you start.

“Human progress is neither automatic or inevitable…Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – Martin Luther King

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One Comment leave one →
  1. pdcasteel permalink
    September 9, 2011 6:25 PM

    Excellent post. I usually have words to share. Words that offer balance. Words that beg reason. I have nothing to add. It’s nice reading a blog that weighs ideas and actions carefully. You shared facts and made clear from which perspective you write.

    I can’t imagine this generation will see a program like the PWA. We will have to wait for a different zeitgeist.

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