The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Good jobs
– where are they?

Jul 19, 2004

Cheney, speaking for the Bush campaign in Michigan, touted the administration's economic plan. When asked about jobs, Cheney admitted that the lack of jobs was still a problem – BUT, he said, stick to the game plan, the game plan being tax cuts on top of tax cuts.

The Bush tax cuts have put more money in our hands, which sooner or later must create jobs – or so said Cheney.

More money in OUR hands? Not in this universe, this year – or any year! Whatever small rebates might have come our way from federal income taxes, they were more than eaten up by increases in the FICA and Medicare tax – not to mention the range of state and local taxes and fees that were increased to make up for what the federal government cut.

Of course money has been put in people's hands – but not in our hands. It was slid right into the pockets of the wealthy, and right into the coffers of the biggest corporations in the country.

So don't tell that lie.

And that's not Cheney's biggest lie. It's now almost three years since the last recession ended, but there's no sign that good jobs will soon be plentiful. Profits are booming – that's true – but the job situation is getting worse.

For one simple reason. Extra money in the hands of big corporations just encourages them to speculate, to buy up competing companies and close them down. It encourages them to search out lower-wage areas – in this country and elsewhere – in which to build new factories so they can close older ones. It has never led them to create new good-paying jobs.

This hasn't stopped John Kerry from unveiling HIS tax cut plan as a job-creation plan. He would reduce the overall tax rate for all corporations, including the very biggest. And he would include a "tax holiday" for some smaller corporations.

We need jobs, good paying jobs, while the two parties prepare to give more gifts to the corporations – and thus to the wealthy who own and control them.

For thirty years, the gap between the wealthiest people in this country – the billionaires and millionaires – and the working people of this country has continued to grow. This is nothing but another way of saying that we have watched jobs go out the window and wages be pushed down while the richest people in the society amassed still more riches – stolen from our labor.

Neither of the candidates has proposed or done anything that would change that fact.

What would it take to provide decent-paying jobs for everyone who wants to work?

For starters, make it illegal for any company that's producing profit to replace workers or cut out jobs. Make it illegal for corporations to cut jobs while their workplace puts out more work than before. Prohibit companies from closing a plant if they open up another one paying lower wages. Make it illegal for a company to keep a worker in a temporary status permanently. Prevent companies from classifying workers who put in 35 hours a week as "part-timers."

Why not? We're owed. Working people have invested our lives – as did our parents and their parents – in these companies and in this country. Our labor created the wealth. Let us benefit from it.