The President needs to get serious about jobs

Arianna Huffington

This pet peeve is from the Friday, February 19, 2010 broadcast of Left, Right & Center on KCRW-89.9FM.

The one thing that's for certain is we can not afford a repeat of the health care fiasco when it comes to jobs. That's where the President needs to get serious. He needs to move beyond the baby steps that he's been taking and recognize how deep the crisis is, how structural the unemployment rates are and how necessary it is to have some real serious programs in place—both infrastructure building and payroll tax holidays—literally to throw everything at the problem the way we did with Wall Street. If he doesn't do that, I think both the country and his electoral prospects are in real danger.

Comments

Welcome to Pet Peeves Arianna. It's very good to have you here.

I'm a big fan of Obama and I have to agree with you that the jobs issue is most vital.

Could you also please explain what you mean when you say the unemployment rates are "structural"? Thanks

I just wonder how

I just wonder how construction jobs are going to help the econemy when you are using tax payer dollars to provide those jobs.

That's why you're not an

That's why you're not an economist, MV.  Our economy is driven largely by consumer confidence. When people are unemployed, they of course stop buying things. But when lots of people are unemployed, then the employed people stop buying things too, because they get nervous about the precariousness of their own positions in life. This creates a negative feedback loop which tends to amplify the original problem, causing more layoffs, which further contracts the economy and so on.

Creating jobs with government funds can stop that downward spiral. The people getting those jobs start spending money again. The people they buy from start buying more from their suppliers. Everyone starts feeling better about where the economy is heading, so they all start spending a little more money. Soon businesses start hiring again. Now we have a positive feedback loop leading to economic growth. 

This is a little simplistic, but you get the idea.

The thing is SQ you use Tax

The thing is SQ you use Tax dollars to pay the workers they give a percantage back. You use the tax dollars to buy the materials to which you get tax dollars back if that company makes a profit. You get the taxes from the company back. However even with all this you are getting your ass kicked on 50 percent of the taxes. The government is losing 50 percent. Not to mentiont he construction jobs are not sustainable jobs. What happens when the country can no longer provide those jobs. Unemployment goes up. For every job created I read 200,000.00 dollars to create that job.

 

The econemy is in the shit. Worse then anyone is letting on. The money the government has spent is not working and sooner or later we have to pay that back then what? No one is creating jobs except those government construction jobs. You will have fly by night construction companies popping up all over the place and then they will disapear taking the money with them. How I know this I have seen it happen right here in this state.

First of all, it's not just

First of all, it's not just construction that's getting funded. And the construction that is getting funded tends to be infrastructure improvements that should probably be funded anyway. But I digress. 

I realize that only a fraction of the money payed out to create those jobs comes back in direct tax revenue. However, as I tried to explain before, the increase in employment and related increase in spending by those employed people has a stimulative effect on the economy. Everyone starts feeling more secure and better about their prospects, so consumer confidence rises. Now, not only are the recipients of government stimulus funds spending money, but everyone else starts spending a little more as well. This can most definitely spur economic growth and lead to the creation of more jobs all around.

You can't expect overnight miracles. Job growth always lags behind economic growth. The government has just gotten started spending those funds, but even with what they've done to date things are getting better. 

Ya SQ but the government is

Ya SQ but the government is giving that money to them to spend. So what is the point of it?Hey SQ why don't you come and join our political forums and drive the righties nuts they need it. http://otpoliticalposts.forumotion.com/forum.htm

You're still missing my

You're still missing my point, MV. It's like a halo effect. You have a group of people—lets call them Group-A—who are essentially getting money from the government to do infrastructure work. And yes, only a small portion of that money flows back to the government through direct taxes on those funds. But then you have Group-B, who are the friends, family and acquaintances of Group-A. They aren't getting any government funding, but when they see the Group-A people working, they start feeling better about the economy and their own prospects, so they start spending a little more. Now you have money that didn't come from the government also pouring into the economy. And the Group-C people—which are all the businesses that Group-A and Group-B people are buying from—start feeling a little better about their own prospects, so they start buying more from their suppliers to increase their inventory. And as things continue to improve, these businesses start hiring again.

See? You get this ripple effect. The influence of the stimulus funds spreads out from those who get it to those who don't, increasing consumer confidence as it moves. If you put in enough stimulus funding to pass the tipping point, the economy will naturally expand and heal itself. As the economy starts to move again, the government will begin to recoup the money it payed out. And if it's done right, then as the government funded jobs go away, the job market will have picked up enough that those people can find jobs elsewhere. That way you don't have another downturn.

Of course, you can't half-ass it. You need to put in enough money over enough time to pass that tipping point and jump-start the system.

I understand what you are

I understand what you are saying SQ But the government still has to spend that money. The taxes you get from it is negligible at best. Let's just say for arguments sake you are correct. Then we would need a full scale World War to make it work.

Most economists would

Most economists would disagree with your calculations.

hmmm

All I know is when the taxes were CUT on the upper class, the IRS reported colecting MORE money in taxes than the year before. I always wondered why that was? Perhaps there was less of a reason to 'hide' money in a tax shelter, allowed them to let more of their money to use in their businesses, hiring more employees and towards R&D to continue making things better for all. Ergo, LOWERING taxes across the board, led to collecting MORE hard currency in taxes. Therefore, lowering taxes would help RAISE money for the Government to use while keeping money in the citizens of the country. Sounds screwy, but it worked and was foreseen to work.

That seems like a completely

That seems like a completely different issue, Walter, but sure... if you want to go there...

Based on your logic, the government should stop charging taxes all together and then they'd get tons of money! Oh wait... how does that work? 

I am well aware that if we collect too much in taxes it can damage the economy. But I'm also aware that if we collect too little then it can likewise cause serious damage to our society. It is a balance and lowering taxes across the board isn't always the right answer. Just like raising taxes across the board isn't. For that matter, there may not be just one right answer! 

For one thing, the tax system cannot be defined by one simple number. There are many different variables that can be manipulated. Each one can have a different effect on economic growth, government revenue, long-term stability and social wellbeing. 

So well I would never support all our money going to Uncle Sam, I also know that many of the tax policies championed by the right are based in personal greed, rather than the betterment of our society. They are intended to protect the pockets of a tiny minority at the expense of the larger population. 

My Take

The government can throw all the money it wants at this depression but it won't end until the people have confidence that they're going to have a job come next month.

People's confidence will only be restored by:

1. A significant reduction in outsourcing, which isn't happening anytime soon as companies like Hershey are still farming out jobs out to Mexico.

2. Reigning in undocumented workers taking not only jobs but benefits that should be provided to ONLY citizens. The politicians don't have the balls to stand up to these thieves or the liberal nut jobs will go ape $hit.

3. Confidence will be restored when we see our elected officials spend money wisely.  No more lavish parties, private jets, multi million dollar parties at the White House, or stupid eff'ing health care "reforms" that we clearly can't afford.

 

1. A significant reduction in

1. A significant reduction in outsourcing, which isn't happening anytime soon as companies like Hershey are still farming out jobs out to Mexico.

 

That is not going to happen until we get rid of the oppressive taxes or Obama builds a fence to keep workers in the United States.

2. Reigning in undocumented workers taking not only jobs but benefits that should be provided to ONLY citizens. The politicians don't have the balls to stand up to these thieves or the liberal nut jobs will go ape $hit.

Then you would be taking away votes from democrats.

 

3. Confidence will be restored when we see our elected officials spend money wisely.  No more lavish parties, private jets, multi million dollar parties at the White House, or stupid eff'ing health care "reforms" that we clearly can't afford.

I hate to say this but neither party is going to do this. Especially the democrats. But then again TGIX thinks the democrats are doing a great and wonderful job.

 

Stick a fork in us, we're done.

There are many people out there who think that the clowns in government have the ability to get us out of the mess we are in at present.  Not going to happen folks. There are too many of those at the top getting rich due our loss and pain.  The hole we are in will only get deeper and they will get richer and richer.  Eventually we will become a third world country and they will still be rich. Do you really think they give a shit?  They are selling us out and have been for many years.  They continue to lie, telling us that "things" are getting better but, it's obvious to my wallet, that it isn't. 

Here's a news flash for you my friends; Our leaders will not fix this countries problems because they're insulated by all their millions but, most importantly, they don't know how.  The only thing that will change our dire situation is....a revolution.