Jun 20, 2011
The economy stalled badly last month. Economists spoke openly of their fears of a double-dip recession.
Of course, for some 27 million workers who are still without a regular job after 3 years of recession, there is no “dip,” there is only one long catastrophic plunge. New jobs created in May were reportedly 54,000, a tiny number, invisible to the millions who are desperate for work.
In May, in the state of Michigan, home of the alleged recovery of the auto industry, the private sector eliminated 31,000 more jobs than it created. And this is the month when hiring would normally pick up, as companies look for temporary help to fill in for vacations.
Across the country, young people cannot find the summer jobs they depend on.
For four years, Democrats and Republicans alike have been claiming that their bailouts, tax breaks for the rich, and other proposals will “create jobs.” Of course no actual jobs have appeared! But the politicians have no chance to continue in office if they don’t at least pretend.
But when it comes to taking care of the high rollers, the politicians don’t pretend. They deliver – and they don’t wait four years.
What happened to the enormous commercial and investment banks that wheeled and dealed with worthless mortgage securities? They wheeled and dealed until the whole pyramid started to collapse in March 2007, collapsed utterly in September 2008, and sucked the last strength from the consumer economy. But what happened to these big crooks?
First under Bush the Republican, then under Obama the Democrat, the government classified these crooks and liars as “too big to fail” and showered them with 600 trillion dollars in bailout funds and no-interest loans. Their executives took the money – and continued merrily on their way. Executive pay is up, dividends up, speculation up, profits up – but no jobs.
Yes, companies were given investment credits – which they used to reduce their tax bill.
The biggest businesses, the high, the connected, the bailed-out, are sitting on their mountains of bailout cash – gambling on mergers, gambling on the stock market, gambling on speculation in raw materials, oil, copper, minerals, gambling on food futures, wheat, corn, rice, cocoa.
Their gambling hurts us twice. They take money out of the productive jobs-creating economy. And they drive up prices with their endless bidding wars – the reason our food and gas costs more.
All of this proves one thing – there is money in this economy, floods of money – dammed up at the top. It could be used to create jobs for people who don’t have them.
The big corporations will say they don’t need to hire, they don’t need more production. Such an enormous lie! Our society’s infrastructure is riddled with holes like Swiss cheese. Immense production is necessary for installation and repair of water, sewer, and electrical systems, for rebuilding roads, public schools, and other facilities.
But, if corporations continue refusing to produce these things, then make them share out the work that is available. Share it out, among all those who are able to work, cutting no one’s pay, paying the new hires a decent living wage. There will be more than enough “consumer demand” to make the economy run again, once people are back to work and all workers have regular pay.
The CEOs and their politicians will say it’s impossible. But what is really impossible? Men went to the moon a long time ago.
What’s truly impossible is to believe that politicians and CEOs will make things get better – if we just wait. No! It’s impossible to keep waiting on promises! It’s impossible to let them continue to have their way.