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AdLib On November - 17 - 2009

800px-FEMA_-_29783_-_Workers_unemployed_by_the_freeze_in_CaliforniaThe stock market is over 10,000. Banks are declaring billions in profits. Just one problem. There ain’t no jobs!

It is not unusual for jobs to be the last thing that comes back from a recovery…but this is not your grandparent’s recovery. Is it even a recovery at all?

In the Depression, when money was poured into infrastructure and the war, it created jobs. But how many jobs were created by pouring TARP money into banks, especially when instead of lending it back out to small businesses and consumers, they kept in for themselves to be able to declare billions in profits.

That’s not saying that TARP was a total mistake, money did need to be lent to the financial sector to stabilize the economy before it collapsed like Lou Dobbs’ career. But there were no requirements on what the banks had to do with the money so here we are, with credit still terribly hard to come by, businesses not being able to afford to retain workers, let alone hire new ones… and banks declaring billions in profits.

So we have unemployment increasing while the financial world is enjoying a “recovery”.  A corporate version of Robin Hood.

It’s too late now but when the decisions about TARP 2 were in process, there were some voices saying, “Give the money to consumers instead!”. Some folks proposed giving a million to every citizen…obviously, these were not people who had lost their jobs as accountants or if they did, it was well deserved.

However, what could have been done is to have the government, as they do with the SBA, directly loan money to businesses at low rates. The government gets interest, small business gets credit and loans and can afford to keep their employees and even add employees if other businesses getting credit helps their business come back.

The same should have been done on the mortgage front, just as Freddie and Fannie backed loans, the government could have backed mortgage refinancing through them to keep people in homes and reduce crushing mortgage expenses…which would translate into more cash available for spending, on necessities at the least and non-necessities at best. Juicing the economy substantially.

As Congress weighs a new Stimulus bill to boost employment, my suggestion is that they also consider what was neglected by TARP, heavily funding perhaps SBA or some government entity provide low interest loans to a wide array of small businesses. That’s money that returns a profit to taxpayers and will be spent, not horded as the banks have done. And ultimately, makes money available to small businesses which can employ more workers.

If we want jobs and a solid economy in the short and long term, the approach should be holistic and forward looking, putting taxpayer money where taxpayers get a good deal, small businesses are fortified and jobs are sustained and increased.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

172 Responses so far.

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  1. bitohistory says:

    Lot of news on the jobs front in my mail box today.
    I have been writing and talking about this tax for a long time. I felt it was one way to pay for health care but I will accept this way to pay for jobs.

    “House Democratic leaders are considering imposing a new tax on stock transactions to fund a jobs bill,” The Hill reports. The idea, which has been pushed by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), “is attractive because it’s very small, likely 0.25 percent of each trade.” Though “Small- and medium-sized investors would hardly notice a transaction tax,” major trading firms “may see it as a significant threat to their profits.”

  2. bitohistory says:

    Anyone familiar with this “new Stimulus/jobs” bill? I haven’t heard that it was close to a bill?
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h1-v8_4uEROQtVLibsQgS2nWDN9A
    Of course Eric Cantor had to make a snide comment about it.

    “We say it’s about time, I say you’ve got to be kidding me,” said Cantor.
    “Sometimes it is difficult for us to take the other side seriously, but if they are serious we welcome this news,” he added, urging Pelosi to work with Republicans to craft the bill.

    Bet you they (GOP) will find some way to fight it.

  3. Kalima says:

    An now a word or two from our ultimate expert on the economy giving tips to Warren Buffet on how to improve it or rather tell this man, who did make money without her expert advise many years ago, how to answer questions in an interview that will satisfy her superior knowledge on this matter. Can heads grow so large that one can’t scratch their ears anymore?

    Can egos inflate to the size of the moon?

    It seems that they can and do.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/memo-to-warren-buffett-pu_b_359899.html

  4. PepeLepew says:

    E’cat.
    I lived on Ortega Street in the Sunset for 5 months when I was in a post-grad summer program at San Francisco State in the 80s. It was one of the funnest summers of my life!

    • escribacat says:

      I lived in SF for years. Spent two years 12th and Moraga Street. (Moraga, Noriega, Ortega…)

      • PepeLepew says:

        That’s Inner Inner Sunset. I’m not sure, but I think the cross street was 32nd. It was about a mile-and-a-half bike ride to SFSU.

        PS, I remember it was foggy almost every morning, but I had class until noon every day, and usually the sun came out in the afternoon, so I’d ride my bike down to the beach and hang out and get stoned and read a lot of Steinbeck …

  5. bitohistory says:

    I commented earlier about “A Green Bank” If you would like to listen to the segment it was on “talk of the nation today
    http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=120502566&m=120502561
    It begins at around 18 min. in.
    They name of the group is “Coalition for a Green Bank”
    Actually the whole program is good.

  6. javaz says:

    In the mid-70’s, I worked direct for Chrysler for a couple years.
    Even back then they were outsourcing to Mexico.

    I worked for Borg and Beck briefly, doing clutches, and they were outsourcing to Brazil and ended up closing that plant entirely!

    I asked it back then, and ask it again.

    Why do corporations outsource, taking away jobs from the very people who buy their products?
    Even Henry Ford, for being a real conservative SOB and not a very nice man, understood the importance of hiring workers and paying them a good wage so that his employees could buy his cars!

    • AdLib says:

      The sad fact is that for corporations today, there is only one thing that matters, the upcoming quarterly numbers.

      As we’ve witnessed, the future doesn’t matter to corporations, the banks knew they were driving the economy off a cliff but all they cared about was making as much as they could each quarter before the crash.

      That’s why corporate capitalism is and IMO, always will be a ticking time bomb of financial diasters. They see it as their benefit to kill the golden goose if it means they can get one more morsel of gold today.

  7. javaz says:

    And even more good news!!!!

    http://www.alternet.org/rss/breaking_news/98032/capital_flows_to_us_surge_despite_dollar_weakness/

    “Foreign investment in US bonds and other long term investments, including from China, rose beyond expectations despite concerns over the weakness of the dollar, official data showed Tuesday.”

    It’s turning out to be a Happy Tuesday!

    • AdLib says:

      Except for trolls!

      Once the Dow hit 10,000, even though I don’t think we’re in a true recovery, I smiled at the trolls jabbering on right after Obama was elected and crowing every time the market went down that it was all Obama’s fault (and that the Dow would drop to 4,000 or less).

      Kinda odd they’re not talking about the Dow anymore, huh?

      • KQuark says:

        Of course the DJIA is important to the real economy but that does not fit the anti-Wall Street populist meme. It’s important because securities are a big part of investment portfolios and are used to collateralize business loans big and small.

        • bitohistory says:

          KQ, was that not part of the last two crashes? There wasn’t enough capital behind those portfolios? Are securities “secure”?

          • KQuark says:

            That’s why the crashes occurred for sure because loans were made on bloated assets. But the fact is the crashes actually outpaced the real lose in market capital. Even with real estate prices dropping and a rise in foreclosures it still represented about a 20-25% drop in valuation while the market dropped about 65%. Sure the derivatives took a steeper crash but they were never real in the first place.

            The new reality is that banks are making more responsible loans now on capital that is much more properly valued then it was. Sure there is still the problem of derivatives but even those are based on more fundamentally sound loans.

  8. KQuark says:

    There are three pillars to a viable economic future. Healthcare Reform, Education Reform and removing our reliance on foreign energy by investing in green energy. I don’t want to sound tone deaf to the unemployed now but the only way we will ever generate good paying jobs in the future again is to make progress in these three areas.

    • AdLib says:

      I would add a 4th, financial reform and regulation in banking\Wall Street practices including more equitable pay between employees and those at the top.

    • BigDogMom says:

      They are all interconnected to our economy, getting healthcare cost under control is a big one.

      Why the big corporations don’t support reform, is something I just don’t get. Reform and competition should reduce their overhead costs, thus boosting their profits.

      Bringing back manufacturing jobs is a big one for me, but that means “UNIONS”…the bane of the big corporations.

  9. javaz says:

    More good news!!!

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/11/c_street_house_no_longer_tax_exempt.php?ref=fpa

    “Residents of the C Street Christian fellowship house will no longer benefit from a loophole that had allowed the house’s owners to avoid paying property taxes.”

    Alleluia!

  10. KQuark says:

    Maybe what I said earlier about the conspiracy against Obama based on his heritage is not so woo woo after all.

    From Washington times editor.

    Pruden: Obama lacks “blood impulse” for what America “is about” due to “Kenyan father,” “mother attracted to men of the Third World”

  11. javaz says:

    Good news!

    http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/after-china-turbine-controversy-group-plans-american-plant/

    “Two companies that encountered political backlash for their plans to use Chinese-made wind turbines to build a giant wind farm in west Texas have announced plans to build a new turbine factory

    • AdLib says:

      This is what we need to be doing to turn job losses around, investing in manufacturing and setting up green technology. I know the Stimulus did provide funds for this but we should be pursuing it like this country did the race to the moon.

      If we can invent the best green technology, the world will be beating a path to our door…getting there in hybrids of course.

    • bitohistory says:

      Javaz, There is a company that manufactures photovoltaic systems in Tucson. They needed a new plant. Where did they build it? Germany. When I asked them why, they said we have more customers in Germany! What, no sun in AZ? (NY has more solar collectors than AZ)

      • javaz says:

        In Tempe, Arizona where I used to work, they’ve designated almost an entire floor to train engineers from India.

        It’s very sad and very angering.

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          What always burnt me was they didn’t provide the tools necessary in India to do the job right, and we were having to rewrite requirements to make their testing easier. And then I had people there working in the same file I was overwrite my work during my off shift and nobody saw the problem.

          They don’t want to think about the amount of time devoted to babysitting those people and reworking the effort multiple times because they didn’t provide them with the right tools or the full understanding of what was needed or expected.

          I see them every time I go to the credit union, and I’m not mad at them for my loss of a job, but it irks me when I think of Brand H and how much they’re losing out. But I also worked a little at a Brand C division and they’re in trouble too.

          • escribacat says:

            Monk--In my last company, we worked with a group of Russians. After a shake-up, the entire Russian company was dismissed and we THREW AWAY EVERYTHING they had done. Everything! The UIs were a mess, the core processor was a mess, and even the QA department hadn’t actually tested anything but had written endless pages of test scripts that were little more than lists of screens and fields. I could go on about that experience! They were not dumb — they were highly educated professionals. But the language and management and cultural problems were overwhelming.

            So then what does the company do? They hire a company in the Ukraine.

            And yes, in case you were wondering, we all eventually got laid off when we were years late with our delivery.

    • KQuark says:

      Cool. That’s the idiocy of our business people. The one industry we can compete in is wind turbine technology and they would rather outsource it to China.

    • bitohistory says:

      Heard toay on NPR that Schummer and some major progressives are attempting to pass a bill setting up what they call “a green bank” to help finance green companies and jobs. Odds?

  12. FeloniousMonk says:

    Escribacat: I think some of those over there are having blind loyalty to Arianna no matter what. It is sad because there are good people among them, even if we disagree on where it is going. But I also think that few over there even read the article anymore. The title is just the “outline” for where to start the battle from for the left and right. So why should they care about AH?

    I tried really hard last night to stay out of it, but finally decided to put in a voice of sanity, only to get attacked. That was really sad. I was not letting my bias interfere with having things calm down. Unfortunately…

    • AdLib says:

      I think you’re right on the money about people skimming the article just to have enough to start writing comments.

      It is all about diving in the mix there, HuffPo is often just a muddy mosh pit for people to knock each other by throwing their insults and opinions around.

      That’s the “sport” over there for far too many and those making thoughtful or witty-but-pertinent points are just disregarded as amateurs…because that’s not what the game’s all about there in the minds of many.

      Huffy’s not about thoughtful discussion or debate, it’s too often just an immature game of blog-style dodge ball.

      • javaz says:

        I had to visit after reading everything , and even couldn’t help but leave a comment, but funny thing was for the brief time I was there, someone posted that they had no idea what the article was about and was just there to visit friends.
        Coincidence?
        I don’t think so.

        Oh, I just love being watched so closely by those that wish they were here!!!!

    • escribacat says:

      That’s a good point. Perhaps it’s silly to look for actual reasons. I also suspect that, at least later on, a significant portion of the commenters are so loaded, they don’t particularly know or care what they are posting.

      • javaz says:

        LOL!
        :)

        It’s more a of a social chat room than anything else, but there’s nothing wrong with that!

        • PepeLepew says:

          I confess that the troll-free social chat late at night still attracts me…
          … It’s just people being silly in the wee hours.

          • escribacat says:

            I confess that the whole thing still attracts me! But that doesn’t stop me from whining about it!! :)

          • BigDogMom says:

            It does get silly late at night and some of the posts are so witty, you can’t help it. Sometimes I’ll be laughing so hard, my sides would ache.

            There’s nothing wrong in the social chatting, especially if you have built up relationships with some of them over a long period of time.

            • PepeLepew says:

              This afternoon, HP was an absolute trollfest. The whole thing smacked of an organized effort. I *hate* that. No fun. Nothing being accomplished. No ideas being exchanged. Just non-stop nastiness.

            • BigDogMom says:

              I saw that, when it became too much of a consorted effort by the trolls I left.

              But I was still polite and thanked everyone!

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          Think of how “social” chat rooms are changing how we deal with people. If we do not maintain the ability to communicate clearly and without hostility, then how do we deal with each other in public? I’m afraid when the “attitudes” of the chat rooms spill out into the real world we are all in deep trouble.

          And the “socialization” seems to be either self reinforcement or the “yes the did” “no they didn’t” gradeschool level of arguements.

          Oh, well, they say we are “evolving”.

          • escribacat says:

            I agree — it seems more like driving to me. It’s anonymous and so you can cut people off and flip off whomever you want — usually with no consequences.

            • BigDogMom says:

              Beep the horn, smile and then wave like you know them, freaks them out every time.

            • escribacat says:

              javaz--If you ask me, you are lucky the security guards were there! One man’s clunker is another man’s castle after all! (especially one with a gun rack).

            • javaz says:

              We sort of had an experience once and smiling and mouthing I’m sorry didn’t go over real well.
              We were waiting at the bank drive-thru and my husband’s foot slipped off the brake and we tapped this beatup clunker, and we both waved and said sorry, and the guy got out of his beater-pickup and he was a big guy, and he wanted to punch my husband’s lights out.
              That was scary, but the tellers saw everything and a security guard ran out.
              Sheesh.
              We didn’t even have a smudge or scratch on our bumper from his rusted out POS.
              Unreal.
              Then again, his back window was loaded with gun right stickers and Bush/Cheney stickers!
              LOL

            • escribacat says:

              LOL. I’ll remember that.

          • javaz says:

            The anger infiltrated the Internet long ago.
            It’s so easy being anonymous and being able to let the anger and rage out.
            Imho, that’s why social networking sites such as HP have such hostility.
            Besides AH being a Republican in liberal disguise for the money, I can’t bear to go to HP much anymore.
            There’s far too much anger and when the anger and vile attacks occur within the liberal bloggers, well, I’d rather call PPOV my home.
            I love this site and all the members because we are civil to each other when we disagree and we still have fun!

          • BigDogMom says:

            Monk, that’s why I had to step away from HP for a while. I was back today, but not with the vengence I once had.

            I was very polite to the nasty trolls today, saying please and thank you…kinda of thru them off balance.

            • escribacat says:

              LOL. Now that might be a new tactic! When I was 18, I got my first job in SF and it was in a dodgy part of town. I used to eat my lunch in a little square and street people would come and harrass me. I started saying, “Have you heard the word of the lord?” They scampered off fast!

            • escribacat says:

              Monk--LOL!! (I had a peephole put in so I don’t answer to the missionaries).

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              You mean like when you’ve made the mistake of opening the front door only to discover 2 “missionaries” there you turn around in a slightly lilting voice and say, “Oh, Brucie, there are two nice cute young men at the door, shall I let them in?” and see if they run for it?

              I’m an evil sort. hahaha.

            • escribacat says:

              Pepe--This was south of market — Mission Street. I used to live in the Tenderloin though..and the Iinner Sunset, and the Mission, and Noe Valley, and ….lots of other places :)

            • BigDogMom says:

              @javaz..why, yes it is….

              Bless your little heart..

              Gets them everytime, I’ve started doing this lately a lot, it used to be F’you or F’off…this tatic seems to work better!

            • PepeLepew says:

              The Tenderloin?
              I lived in the Sunset District briefly a lifetime ago…

            • escribacat says:

              BDM--LOL!

            • javaz says:

              What’s the famous southern saying?
              Even when stabbing someone in the back -- something like --

              “Well, bless her heart.”

              Is that it?

            • BigDogMom says:

              My Mother always said, “Smile like you own the world, be as sweet as honey, they’ll either think your crazy and leave you alone or you just might meet someone nice.”

              Southern Belle wisdom from a women who could cut a person down while smiling, and the person would walk away agreeing with her!

              I do this all the time in the very wealthy community that I live in, these people here are quite rude, so I smile and say thankyou for not holden that door darling!

      • FeloniousMonk says:

        Reminds me a lot of that mechanical robot game of a few years ago where the objective was to “knock their block off”. No other purpose, nothing gained.

        Frankly, the negativity, including that which it invokes in me, is more than a little disturbing.

        I may not agree with everyone here all the time, but we are all civil. (contrary to what one troll may have reported)

        • escribacat says:

          I’ve found I rarely get angry over there any more…but a few things do push my buttons. Michelle-bashing is one thing I cannot stand. And, yes, despite being a lib, I get really annoyed at the ‘evil Americans’ speeches from non-Americans. I once got so pissed off at a Canadian poster who obviously hates Americans, I made a complete ass out of myself, posting multiple retorts and following him around to other comments he made with new insults that I thought up. :) Other posters piled on me — “What the f#ck is your problem?” It was too much to explain what he had said over there and blah blah blah. Oh well. I learned something from that I hope.

        • bitohistory says:

          Whack a Mole?

  13. bitohistory says:

    There are a some things that the average person can do to help the economy. Maybe not fix everything in the global fixture, but perhaps a small help in your community. I am not trying to sound like the “chamber of commerce” just helping your community.
    Many local governments are having budget problems. Local budgets often depend on a regressive sales tax. I propose by doing the simple thing of buying locally. Use the small business that you have been meaning to try anyway. Don’t be purchasing on the internet (to save the sales tax). Use a local bookstore not the chain, the local hardware not Home Depot. The local grocer not the national store. The local craftsman, artisan….. Keep you money in your locale, not shipped away to some large bank and invested elsewhere. Join a local credit union for the same reason( and avoid so many fees)
    These few things will help your community, your schools, your neighbors jobs and homes. Think about where your monies go.

  14. KQuark says:

    Now let me put my woo woo hat on for a moment. We need to understand that it’s conservatives who dominate the ownership of businesses big and small. Conservative business leaders always have theirs so they can do what they can to manipulate the economy. They propped up Bush’s economy as long as they could even though eight years under Bush the real economy was never that good. Now since their conservative leaders have given them the green light to try and make the Obama administration fail I’m sure they won’t mind holding the economy hostage for a few years.

    • BigDogMom says:

      With “my” WooWoo hat on, what the Conservatives/Big Business are doing right now and I see it in my own profession…is driving down wages. What I can charge for my services, have now been cut in half. So in order to compete, I have to cut my rate….

      Right now you have a glut of unemployed people willing to do just about anything and take any job at the lowest possible wage just to have something coming in…this is Big Businesses ideal situation…

      I swear, there’s going to be a workers revolt one day and it ain’t going to be pretty.

      Big Corp. Moguls are already preparing for it, the private security business is up two fold since last year, they are scared shit-less…

      • javaz says:

        Hi BDM!

        I’ve been reading a lot about a “workers revolt” or “tax revolt” and even read O’Reilly and Beck are going out on a tour -- and that O’Reilly predicted that Nancy Pelosi will be bobbing up and down in the Boston Harbor.

        http://thinkprogress.org/2009/11/16/oreilly-drown-pelosi/

        My question is -what type of revolt are people afraid of, exactly?
        Are they -- whoever they are -- expecting riots?

        • KQuark says:

          I don’t even see the two in the same light. A “workers revolt” is something I would support because it’s against the very corporations that enslave us.

          A “tax revolt” is fucking ridiculous because we pay some of the lowest taxes now in the western world.

          Workers of the world unite!

          ” width=”175″ height=”200″ alt=”dftt” />

          Of course too many workers are like Joe the plumber and have delusions of grandeur so that will never happen.

      • KQuark says:

        Keeping wages low is all part of the plan as well and they certainly did that during the Bush administration.

        Not to mention that most wage increases that employees would get from corporations have gone to the healthcare industry as well.

        • bitohistory says:

          A family member “bragged” to me about how much money he was making from a big multinational.(non-union) I just shook my head. I told him I was making as much (with bennies) working union in the ’80s. Shameful.

        • BigDogMom says:

          Yes, the average wage increase was last year 3%, average co-pay for employee insurance went up 5-10%…nothing like a negative increase…but people are putting up with it in order to keep a job.

    • javaz says:

      I agree with you 100%.

      The corporate elite who run things want President Obama to fail.

      It’s not hard to imagine that the corporate masters set McCain up to lose, because they understood the mess Bush Jr. left behind.


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