The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

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

Take the Hoarded Money—Create Jobs!

Jan 23, 2012

Politicians and other professional liars drown us in numbers, trying to convince us that the economy is getting better.

They say it’s recovering, because housing sales are up. Yes, but why are the selling prices going down? Because banks are dumping their toxic mortgages as fast as they can. The dumping is lowering prices, undercutting still more those homeowners trying to sell their homes. Going deeper underwater is not a recovery!

They say it’s recovering, because the unemployment rate is getting better. But why is the number getting better? Because the workers who long ago exhausted their benefits are now dropping off the charts. So many are discouraged that they don’t look for work every month. The government doesn’t count these workers–sweeps them aside like they aren’t there anymore.

In the two months before Christmas, only 300,000 more people found work–temporary work for the holiday season. But what about the 24 million workers who need work NOW? At that rate, it would take more than 13 years to employ 24 million–even if Christmas came every two months!

The politicians tell us to elect them either because they are businessmen, or, because they will give tax breaks to help businessmen, whom they call “job creators.” Only in the mouths of liars hired to sell the idea that down is up and up is down! Businessmen as a group have laid off 6.3 million workers since the beginning of 2008. Job eliminators!

But maybe the “job creators” simply lost too much money and couldn’t pay workers to keep working? Just the opposite! While laying off millions of workers, the corporations, banks and investment funds were stockpiling billions in cash. Too much cash to count.

Today the “private equity” investment funds as a group have over half a trillion dollars in unspent cash hoards. And corporate giants as a group hold more than two trillion more dollars, stashed away unspent. The banks as a group have many trillions more, gifted to them by the government bailouts. The capitalists call this “dry powder”–money laying in storage.

In storage, when 24 million workers need work! In storage, when society’s basic infrastructure–housing, schools, utilities, roads–is falling to pieces.

The capitalists say it’s their money. But, no. Money represents a social product. It can be a social tool. Value is created by the daily work of millions, using machinery and materials worked up by earlier millions. Money represents accumulated social value.

Society needs that money, now. It must be put to work–regardless of the claims of a few greedy hoarders.

Those many trillions of dollars could provide jobs for everyone who wants to work. If the demand for goods isn’t enough at first to employ everyone for a full 40 hours, then the work can be shared out, while everyone gets a full check to live on. The bosses have jammed three people’s jobs into one, already. Every job can be slowed down, made safer, unwound back to three jobs.

Those several trillions of “dry powder” could be taken and used by society to provide a decent improved standard of living. Houses could be well fixed up, medical care could be well provided, students could be well educated, public services could be well restored. Needed work of all sorts could be done and done well–if those hoarded trillions were put to intelligent use, invested in real work.

The resources exist. The housing that is now vacant, the office buildings now standing empty “for lease,” the factories now chained shut, the equipment and tooling now idle–and yes, the money now hoarded up. Everything is right here at hand, all that society needs to hum and come to life again, and promote the general welfare.

The workers who have produced society’s store of “dry powder” have a right to reclaim it, and put it to work, doing the work that needs doing.