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miércoles, agosto 10, 2011

Rant: The Jobs!! Part II

Yesterday I had a blogsplosion. I erupted at the idiots in both parties and the media who claimed that the deficit was oh so very important. And who, at the same time, said that jobs, well they’re going to pivot to jobs (what a reptilian metaphor) someday once the flashing, beeping red-alert about the so-called national deficit emergency (NDE) has been extinguished. And who would slay this debt dragon? The legislation set up its own blue ribbon collection (BRC) of very well dressed, very nicely coifed people, all of whom flunked Econ. Deck chairs, meet the Titanic. And if the BRC fail? Ah. Then the NDE will be “solved” automatically on the backs and on the kitchen tables and hospital beds of the poorest Americans. This stick (is it really some else’s carrot?) assures that the BRC will work and negotiate and compromise and fix the NDE. What a pathetic, cynical joke. Repeating it is enough to make me explode (again). What kind of moron thought of this?

Today, after I calmed down a little bit (thank you PBR), I watched philosophically as the Stock Market fell 519.98 points to 10,719.79, reflecting my view, and the assessment of investors that the US economy was not in very good hands and that NDE wasn’t the big problem du jour. Nope. Nor was Europe the big problem de hoy. No. The big problem, the obvious, enormous, peanut breathed problem filling the entire room is that the economy is contracting, and Congress and the President are clearly taking steps to make it, wait for it, contract even faster. I suspect that Warren Buffet’s AAAAAAA rating of the US economy might need some serious revision. Maybe the President’s Economic Advisers should be given a D in macroeconomics. I also suspect that investors (many of whom passed Econ 101) know that the light at the end of this particular tunnel is really the looming double dip depression freight train highballing this way at full throttle. In fact, they probably know that the train is accelerating and is now way ahead of schedule for the next station stop because it’s not the NDE that’s the problem, it’s the lack of jobs. They know that there are no jobs. And they know that the Government is moving to contract the economy so that there will be even fewer jobs. And they know that persistent, long term unemployment is going to become a continued fact of life impoverishing the United States. Why? Because nobody in Government is moving to do what? To create jobs. They’re on a fool’s errand about NDE, something that is almost totally irrelevant. I hear my voice rising, I can tell that frogs and toads are again going to start leaping out of my mouth and that I’m going to make even great use of the 12-letter M curse. I know. I know. This is, after all, a “family blog.” Let me just repeat my point clearly and unemotionally and slowly: it’s jobs that are needed and the Government is taking steps that contract the economy and actually make there be fewer jobs.

I don’t want to obscure this next point by again dramatically setting my hair on fire and screaming curses and spinning my head all the way around as I did yesterday. No. I want to try to remain calm. Controlled. Analytical. Credible, if you will. While the commentators and bipartisan politicians are explaining how the BRC will fix the NDE, maybe you’ve noticed that there’s an important question that’s not being asked of them. That question is this:

“Let’s leave out the fuzzy math and talk about the concepts for a second. Assuming that the NDE is “fixed” by dramatic reductions in Government spending (or increased revenue or both), leading to a contraction in the size of Government, how exactly will fixing the NDE lead to more jobs? Can you explain to me how that will happen?”

Nothing said in response to this question will make any sense. I guarantee it. Why? Because ending the NDE will not create jobs. Not a single one. It will contract the economy and the result will be even fewer jobs. You think 9.2% official unemployment is high? Hah. You ain’t seen nothing yet. If the Government were trying to set a world record for unemployment stats, these policies are the very ones they should continue to follow.

I know. I know. It’s so dismal. It’s so depressing. There’s no hope here, no change. It’s a disaster. Don’t you feel like Chicken Little? There’s nothing that can be done. Wrong. There is something.

The President and the Congress have to pivot (their word, not mine) and say in words or substance,

“This isn’t working. We’re not doing what we need to do to grow the economy and to create jobs. And now we’re going to do it, even though we were embarked on a different course before now.”

Are they going to say that this week? Not likely. But that’s not the end of this either. Maybe you and I should be going all out to demand that they pass a real jobs bill, one with a real stimulus, one that will really bring jobs back. Maybe this is something worth fighting about. I think it is.

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