I am not an economist. I don’t even play one on television. Occasionally, I am a dreamer.
We have 46 million people in poverty in this country. Millions are on food stamps. Machines and China are competing for our people’s jobs. Without question, the machines and China will win. How do we get out of this mess?
Below is a short, incomplete, and biased assessment of a few solutions proposed by our political parties.
The Greed Over Poverty (G.O.P) Party ;
Firing People = More Jobs Program – Cut funding to as many federal agencies as possible; this will simultaneously reduce costs and the number federal employees. Huh?
Let Em Die Program – Remove and/or destroy as many governmental programs that aid the unemployed, poor, sick and elderly . What?
I Got Mine Program – Disproportionately tax the least able to afford it. The neat thing about this tactic is that it aids in assuring the implementation of the above programs. Wow!
Remove All Regulations Program – Get rid of all regulation thus enabling corporations to hire slaves, and poison the Earth. The resultant corporate wealth would be protected by the I Got Mine Program. Makes sense to me.
Advantages – none to the unemployed – a bonanza to the wealthy and the razor-wire manufacturers
Disadvantages – some uncontained riots and difficulty in breathing the air, plus a few dead polar bears
The Democratic Party:
Extend Unemployment Benefits – extend benefits to the unemployed until benefits run out and then extend again until benefits run out ad infinitum. Warms the heart.
Build Bridges and Roads – hire big burly brutes to build bridges and roads. After completion this imporved infrastructure will employ one toll taker and three guys to fix potholes. But, we wil have great roadways and bridges to use in getting to the unemployment office.
Build Schools and Colleges – hire big burly brutes to build schools which, when completed, will employ many teachers, a few principals and a janitor. These schools will teach students skills that will no longer be needed once they graduate. However, degrees look nice on walls.
Build Clean Energy Projects – big burly brutes will build windmills and install Chinese made solar panels everywhere the wind blows and the sun shines. Once built we will have a cleaner environment, cheaper electric bills, and lots of unemployed burly brutes and a few dozen people cleaning the glass of the solar panels and tending the windmills.
Advantages – All the above programs will generate a plethora of funds that can be spent at Walmart on useless products made in China. We will have good roads for transporting foreign made goods to Walmart. We will have cleaner air for the rich and poor and perhaps less rioting in the near future.
Disadvantages – these are feel good, short term projects and provide little long term future employment
The Impossible Dream Party
Pass a Universal Health Care Bill
Build small hospitals and clinics across the country (perhaps 5000 or so) – big burly brutes would do the building
Staff these health facilities – with 100,000s of unemployed people who will be trained by 1000’s of educators to be orderlies, cooks, computer programmers, medical technicians, practical nurses, registered nurses, grief counselors, security personnel, readers of machines that blink and go beep, and any other of the multitude of jobs associated with medical care.
Mandate that all equipment and supplies used in these federal facilities must be made in the USA. This would include sheets, uniforms, thermometers; the machines that go “beep”, miles of plastic tubing, drugs, bed pans and all the other stuff we use to help sick people.
Advantages – provides permanent employment for a large segment of our population, provides better healthcare for us all. Caring and maintenance jobs cannot be outsourced. Taxes paid by employed people and the US corporations making supplies and equipment could sustain the program. Escalating costs of Medicare, and Medicaid would be drastically reduced.
Disadvantage – Just a dream