Democrats & Liberals Archives

How to Invest in Jobs

We are in the midst of a tough depression. Now that high-flying Dubai is defaulting on its huge debt the depression may get worse. We need jobs. We must find a way to produce jobs. We must invest in jobs without increasing our out-of-control deficit. How do we do this?

We must get money somewhere. Why don't we get it from the financial people who brought about this calamity in the first place? We threw bailouts at them. They took the money and gave themselves bonuses. What are they doing for the rest of the country? Nothing. Actually, less than nothing. They take our money and use it for gambling. We, the hard-working people of the country are throwing our money away on high-stakes gamblers!

This is ridiculous. Many of us don't have enough to eat, are homeless and miserable. And these speculators make, and we help them make, billions. Worse, as Paul Krugman says, these financial "whizes" do nothing useful for our economy:

Should we use taxes to deter financial speculation? Yes, say top British officials, who oversee the City of London, one of the world’s two great banking centers. Other European governments agree — and they’re right.

This would be a bad thing if financial hyperactivity were productive. But after the debacle of the past two years, there’s broad agreement — I’m tempted to say, agreement on the part of almost everyone not on the financial industry’s payroll — with Mr. Turner’s assertion that a lot of what Wall Street and the City do is “socially useless.” And a transactions tax could generate substantial revenue, helping alleviate fears about government deficits. What’s not to like?

What these guys do is "socially useless." It will not hurt our economy a bit if we use a transaction tax to bring jobs to the unemployed these gamblers produced? As Krugman tells us an occasional investor will never know the difference. But the traders would feel the difference and maybe they would do less churning.

The stimulus created some jobs, but obviously, not enough. Congress is now considering many approaches to job creation. This time it should think big. We must invest a lot more than we did for the stimulus in order to get out of the depression.

The fairest way to obtain money to invest in jobs is to tax financial transactions.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 30, 2009 2:02 PM
Comments
Comment #291733

we need jobs, and quite frankly, the american ppl need a new frame of mind. everyone thinks it is just a slogan “made in america” or “by americans for americans”. it is not. it is time we buy american goods. and, tax the cheaper imports. make it an equal playing field.

have some american pride, and buy only american items. it will be difficult, since china has it’s stamp on everything. but pay the extra $5 on a package of underwear. it sounds simplistic, but it is just that simple.

employ an american - buy american.

Posted by: bluebuss at November 30, 2009 2:37 PM
Comment #291734

Regulation of financial industries is paramount. Regulation of every industry, in fact, I would say is necessary. However, we cannot simply take money from people that have it and redistribute it to people that don’t. Not only does that not work, not now not ever, it violates laws and contracts. The best way to create jobs is not to take money away from the rich. The government isn’t Robin Hood. The best way to create jobs is to rectify the mess we’ve been in since the “trickle-down economics” became the buzz-word du jour.
We need to put companies in our nation in a position to compete globally with corporations that use what amounts to slave labor, preferably with stern but easily understandable regulation and market forces rather than legislation. Slap a tax on the products that come from nations with lower standards of product quality, worker’s rights, human resources and environment regulations, then let consumers decide if they want to pay more for something made by children in malaysia or by men working 16 hours a day without overtime in China or a company that pumps enough sewage into the Pacific to cause an algal bloom the size of texas in Mexico.
Taking money away from someone and giving it to another, however, is never the answer. It only takes 5 minutes in any working atmosphere to understand why giving something for nothing is socially counter-productive.

Posted by: Doug at November 30, 2009 2:44 PM
Comment #291740

doug, you act like “trickle down” ever worked. did you not pay attention to either bush administration? it is not a robin hood mentality for the top 1% to pay their taxes. bush gave the tax break to “show the american ppl the power of compassionate conservatisim.” and his fathers trickle down effect slang for burden the working class and poor. but, combined, they did start 3 wars - and hey, that did get the military employment a boost. please.

i am for exposing the working conditions of the world. make a commercial, and show it on tyra or springer. hell, make a video game out of it. spread the word, save an american job.

Posted by: bluebuss at November 30, 2009 3:36 PM
Comment #291741

Ah, more Paul Krugman…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 30, 2009 3:51 PM
Comment #291744

Bluebuss did you read my post? Trickle down never worked: Still doesn’t. But arbitrarily taking money away from one group and handing it to another is not the answer either, whether or not anyone thinks they “deserve” it. I advocate buying american, in fact I advocate making american product an equal (or better) value as foreign product. We need to rely on the government to protect our interests as a people, as an economy, not as an individual.

Posted by: Doug at November 30, 2009 4:29 PM
Comment #291754

Perhaps some of those who were so delighted with all the bailouts are having second thoughts now. What did you expect…that congress would get it right? I imagine the same folks who are crying over the failed bailouts to bring back millions of jobs are the same ones who believe that this God-awful health care bill will succeed in solving our health care problems.

Lincoln was correct…you can fool some of the people all of the time.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 30, 2009 6:37 PM
Comment #291766

Paul while congress and the white house may be talking about jobs I doubt that much can or will be done to get corporate America to start hiring in this country anytime soon.
When I think about job creation I realize we are trying to get companies that have spent much time and money streamlining their business operations, using technologies to cut out jobs, sending jobs to low wages countries, and bringing in low wage workers to this country. Why would we think that all of a sudden these very same companies would be interested in creating more jobs? Especially when those that buy the goods made or services rendered by these companies are by and large deep in debt and unable to continue to buy these goods and services? The problem we have today is the thinking on capitol hill that if we cut taxes on business they will start hiring in this country. This may have worked at one time in our history but it won’t work now.

We need to double the unemployment benefits and include health insurance as part of the unemployment benefit package as well as lengthen the time one may stay on unemployment. Education costs and changing the unemployment laws to allow for one to go to school while one is unemployed should be part of the jobs package as well. Further when one is unemployed and pays on an existing debt such as a credit card or mortgage on an upside down loan the card issuers/mortgage holder must them match dollar for dollar what the unemployed person is paying. The costs of this jobs bill would come from additional taxes on those in the top 1% and those investing in stocks and well as corporations that have outsourced jobs to communist dictators and slave laborers.The matching funds can come from the same financial service companies that have caused this latest financial debacle. With mark to market accounting they can leverage their bailout money 30 to 1 so they should be able to afford to help out the unemployed instead of consolidating and putting people out of work.
If it is one thing the rich hate it is to think that someone somewhere is doing nothing and yet earning a living while the rich are paying for it. These high earners and investors will insist,nay demand that jobs be created to put these people back to work, and after all who does the corporate CEO and our congress listen to if not their investors and donors?

Posted by: j2t2 at November 30, 2009 9:46 PM
Comment #291778

Unfortunately shock capitalism or socialism doesn’t work either.

Gradualism, as frustrating as it may be, is much more prudent in financial systems.

Posted by: gergle at November 30, 2009 11:51 PM
Comment #291794

I work for an American company that makes American made products and creates jobs for Americans while half the workforce are not originally from this country because most Americans are too proud to work for $10.00 an hour. I agree that my company should be receiving tax breaks for creating jobs here. Here’s what I don’t agree with a company saying they are an Amreican company just because their headquarters are here but all of their manufacturing facilities are in slave countries. They should be taxed to level the playing field for companies that actually manufacture in this country. We are constantly asked to make less profit so we can compete with countries like China whose workers make .09 an hour and a bowl of rice.

Just because we do business with the mass merchants and big box retailers of this country who constantly extort money by creating policies to levy fines when you miss a specific date doesn’t mean its right. Because they don’t want to carry inventory doesn’t mean we should bear that burden. We have to absorb all those costs so they can make billions in profit while not paying a fair wage or even offering health care to their workers. How is that justifialble in this day and age and why do you still want to shop at a company like that? Because they know they are the only option in this depressed economy.

Here’s my take on this. Tax those companies doing business in China so we can compete fairly in the open market. Tell them if they bring back manufacturing jobs to American soil then they will receive a tax break based in the number of jobs they create. Ask our wonderful politicians why they haven’t taken a pay cut. Imagine if they all took at the least a 1% decrease in pay how much money would be saved. I’m not just talking federal politicians I’m talking state and local levels across the board. If the American people have been constantly asked to tighten our belts why should we not DEMAND they do the same. This country has been and always will be driven by manufacturing. You can’t sell people goods made overseas if there are no jobs here. At some point the whole system will collapse and then the global economy won’t be worth a hill of beans

Posted by: Victor R Romano at December 1, 2009 7:38 AM
Comment #291863

Victor,

While I agree there are bad tax policies out there, and that a pay cut would certainly be symbolic. I do think tax policy is being looked at, and in reality the amount saved by cutting political salaries would not be substantial.

Posted by: gergle at December 2, 2009 1:16 AM
Comment #292270

I used to work for a company that has 2.1 million Manufacturing sqft. They make a product that competed with a true American company that was founded here in the US and really made American Products. Well this company I worked for also claimed to be Made in the US and instead all of their Manufacturing machines were built and manufactured in Japan, their Raw materials were shipped from Japan, and all of their parts were shipped from Japan. We assembled the products and put a Made in USA sticker on them. When hard economic times hit Japan the parent company asked us the US company to purchase more and more items even though we really did not have the sales to justify these purchases. The Parent company forced us to reduce our localized spending on shipping boxes, janitor services, layoffs etc., so we could send more money to the parent company to prop them up…since Japan typically has a no-layoff policy. Then Japan was coming out of their recession…and we had practically put the American Company Talon out of business, Japan decided to move their operations to Guatemala, Brazil,El Salvador,Chile and Mexico. They started mass layoff’s here in the US. They justified these moves to be more in sync with the jean and clothing markets that were moving to these areas. Hundreds of thousands of jobs ere being lost from manufacturing facilities and flooding to Central America because labor was cheaper; and this move is even continuing today. I know for a fact that my company got HUGE tax breaks from Central America Countries for moving their operations. I know for a fact that they had less environmental restrictions enforced, for both my company and the clothing facilities that also moved. So now 95% of all fabric and 85% of all clothing we currently buy is assembled in Central America. Now this is happening with the electronic businesses and others. There is just not that many manufacturing jobs to be had in the US anymore. We have turned into a buying society..not a MAKING society. We really do not export many assemble items anymore. We mostly export resources…Wood, coal, food, etc. We supply 90% of the world’s food supply so hey lets us cut down on CO2 emissions… stifle the farmers and what other small piece of manufacturing we now have let…that will create jobs I’m sure.

Posted by: Sherrie at December 8, 2009 1:13 PM
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