The Spark

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

Editorial:
Stimulating Profits, Destroying Jobs

Oct 12, 2009

The Obama administration says its stimulus plan is working and the economy is recovering. According to Vice President Joe Biden, “we’ve created... we think over a million jobs.

A million jobs? Even if that were true, the government admits that four-and-a-half million people lost their jobs this year. And that comes on top of the three million people who lost their jobs in 2008.

Moreover, in September, 53,000 government jobs were cut, as well. No, the government isn’t creating jobs, as Biden boasts, it is destroying them.

Sure, the Obama administration provided money for some new construction projects and “green job” programs. But that money went straight to private contractors, middle men, who keep most of it for themselves. Only corporate profits have been stimulated.

The other government bailout programs are even worse.

Obama continued Bush’s program to prop up the banks and big financial companies that triggered the economic crisis with their mad speculative binges. Following in Bush’s footsteps, Obama handed over trillions of government dollars that these companies used to pick up where they left off and rake in even more money through speculation and predatory lending.

The companies that finance housing have already gotten over a trillion dollars in direct aid from both the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve – according to recent Senate testimony by Edward J. DeMarco, the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The government handed the auto giants, GM and Chrysler, 70 billion dollars in taxpayer money. With its “cash for clunkers” deal, the government allowed the auto companies to clear their inventory without resorting to price cuts.

The government is making sure that other corporate sectors get higher profits as well. The new 634-billion-dollar defense budget has plenty of big fat profits for the defense contractors. The new health care reform working its way through Congress aims at forcing an estimated 30 million more people to buy an expensive insurance policy that will not provide much actual health care – fake insurance – but will foster even higher profits for big business.

No, the Obama administration is stimulating profits, not jobs.

If there is a justification for government, it is to ensure that society meets the needs of the population. And when the capitalists, a tiny minority, create chaos and disaster in their drive for profits, government – if it were true to its mandate – should set it right and call the capitalists to account.

We live in a society in which bridges collapse, dams break, roads crumble, raw sewage flows into our harbors and rivers, school roofs leak, and hospitals are so unsanitary and understaffed they transmit infections that kill nearly 100,000 people a year.

For just a small fraction of the money the government is now handing over to big business, all the unemployed could be put to work producing and building things that are absolutely vital for the well-being of the population and society as a whole.

Instead of doing that, the government handed 750 billion dollars over to the banks, a trillion more to buy up toxic speculative securities, 640 billion dollars to the military and military contractors, countless billions toward construction company profits, and on and on.

Don’t come back telling us, Mister Biden, that you created a million jobs. If you had really done that, you wouldn’t have to keep saying it. People could see it with their own eyes.

Instead, what people do see is that you and your government have taken our tax dollars and given it to big business.