Welcome to the new normal, it’s called high unemployment…and high underemployment. The hollowing out of the nation by Wall Street and Corporate America has progressed to a new level and it’s one that many Americans haven’t realized as yet.

Anyone who is looking forward to the time when major corporations will start hiring Americans for good paying jobs again in big numbers, are among those who don’t know what the “new normal” is for corporations.

There is no job recovery coming, at least not from the corporate world. The stock market could hit 20,000 and it won’t translate into many well paying jobs because a new dynamic has been adopted by corporations and proven effective. Corporations have learned how to operate by employing fewer Americans to work as full time employees and are enjoying record profits as a result. What corporate CEO would be interested in changing that?

This is not doom and gloom so hang in there and you’ll see some suggestions for solving this situation but before a problem can be solved, as they say in AA, you first have to admit you have a problem. And like an alcoholic, America, in general, is in denial. Corporations have been transferring the wealth of the Middle Class to themselves for decades. Simply put, they don’t want a Middle Class possessing the assets that could, and in their minds, should be theirs. A society of haves and have-nots insures a low cost of labor and an inordinate amount of power in society and government in the hands of the few who have enormous wealth.

Americans want to believe in the American Dream which corporations and their political arm, the GOP, preach about like evangelists. However, the biggest threat to it has been and continues to be the very same corporations and political party that hide their American-Dream-destroying policies behind their banners and balloons celebrating it.

This concerted effort by corporations to reduce American jobs isn’t new, it’s just been accelerated thanks to the economic collapse of 2008 that they helped cause…like being hit by a car then watching the driver rush over to you just to take your wallet before speeding away.

Over the past decades, as corporate greed chipped away at unions, pensions, health care, 40 hour work weeks, raises and upward mobility, the central pillar of the employment relationship was being chipped away at as well. That is, corporations were avidly seeking ways to shrink the costs of having so many full time Middle Class Americans as their employees. It’s not that corporations were unprofitable, it’s that the salaries, bonuses and stock options for top executives at those corporations became far richer when each quarter’s profits were greater than the previous quarter’s and hopefully exceeded expectations.

So, there first came a cocktail of corporate employment that gradually blended full time employees, part-time employees,  temporary employees and consultants.  The great thing about all of these categories of workers that aren’t full time employees is that they cost much less than full time employees, chiefly because health insurance is not part of the arrangement. Also, the more fragile, limited and/or temporary the employment relationship is, the more insecure the employee feels and the more leverage the employer has on freezing or reducing wages  (the “You can be replaced” arrangement).

Going into greed overdrive in the 2000’s, there was a corporate race to outsource employment around the world to countries with impoverished people who would work as virtual slaves for them, being paid a miniscule fraction of what a full time American worker would cost. Thus, the cost to corporations of providing humane working conditions and providing living wages disappeared.

According to the the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. multinational corporations, which employ a fifth of all American workers, cut their work forces in the U.S. by 2.9 million during the 2000s while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. In contrast, in the 1990s, they added 4.4 million jobs in the U.S. and 2.7 million abroad.

ThinkProgress created the following graphic based on this info:

ThinkProgress’ insightful article also provides this graph based on responses from major corporations at their 2009 Strategic Outsourcing Conference, convened by these corporations to discuss how to send American jobs overseas in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crash:

So even before the financial crash that many of these same corporations participated in causing, corporations were bent on eliminating full time American jobs wherever and whenever possible. Then comes the crash and an economic slowdown does in fact take place. Corporations slash jobs as is typical in such times. Before too long, Wall Street and the major corporations recover but oddly, American jobs don’t reappear. Wall Street and corporations begin making record profits and yet oddly…American jobs don’t reappear.

Or maybe not so oddly if one simply refers to what corporations have been openly saying for some time…their plan is to keep reducing American jobs, never increasing them.

So, as usual, the numbers, facts and actual statements by the principal parties involved prove the GOP to once again be engaged in another dishonest scheme in the name of class warfare, to defraud Americans in order to further shift their wealth to the top 1%.

If corporations have made clear through their literal statements, their indisputable practices and track records and their sitting on $2.5 trillion right now that is doing nothing but staying in a bank, that they will not add American jobs if it is at all avoidable, the GOP’s representations for their policies can only be seen for the scams that they clearly are.

In fact, it’s adding insult to economic injury to methodically re-brand those who have made it clear they don’t want to employ Americans as “Job Creators”. This is not a coincidence, the Corporate/GOP PR machine loves using the Atwater/Rove tactic of calling things the opposite of what they are (calling the NAACP racist for decrying their racism, calling any attempt to block or reverse their class warfare against 98% of Americans, “Class Warfare” by Democrats, etc.). George Orwell’s “1984” isn’t fiction to them, it’s a how-to book.

We hear time and again, echoed by the corporate media/news outlets, that the reasonable and alternative path the GOP suggests to bring back American jobs is to cut taxes for corporations, let them bring money back into the US from overseas (where they’ve stashed it to avoid paying taxes on it) for free or with next to no taxation, reduce regulations on oil companies, Wall Street, etc. Even though these news stations and papers have all the facts in their possession that appear above, even though they know it is Corporate America’s position NOT to grow American employment instead of employment in other countries…they present these conceits unchallenged as if passing along a party’s propaganda without comment is what a responsible or impartial news entity does.

And then there’s my personal favorite of these manipulations, the biggest and most cynical lie, that corporations aren’t hiring or investing in the US economy because of “uncertainty”. If you don’t have your

GOP-to-English dictionary handy, here’s the translation: 

GOP to Plain English Dictionary

 

un·cer·tain·ty/ˌənˈsərtntē/Noun

1. The state of not having all laws and taxes unfairly favor the wealthy and corporations over all Americans. “Job Creators aren’t creating jobs because of uncertainty.”

2. A false claim that can’t be disproved as a cause for corporate economic decisions or that can be claimed no matter how many concessions are made to corporate greed: “We gave them 10 years of Bush Tax Cuts, decades of stagnant employee wages, tax credits for shipping jobs overseas, pork barrel bonanzas, no-bid contracts, trillions of dollars worth of tax loopholes, subsidies to help them pay the expenses of their own billion dollar profits business and cut the deficit as they wanted but the reason corporations aren’t hiring is because of uncertainty.” 

As we all know, the American economy has always been certain in every decade except this one. In the 1960’s, there were no leadership, economic or social conflicts to make things uncertain, nor in the 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s or the 2000’s. No market bubbles, no boom and bust, no attacks or wars, nothing but stable economic times for all. If only we could return to the halcyon days of Gerry Ford’s Whip Inflation Now (WIN) buttons, corporations would be hiring Americans like mad.

With things as they are, any further laws that give corporations one penny more than they are getting right now, unless it mandates hiring American workers at decent wages, is nothing other than continuing the greatest transfer of wealth in American history from the many to the few.

As the saying goes, if you don’t know you’re in a war, you’ve already lost.

There is a preponderance of economic and historical evidence to prove that no matter how much money Wall Street and corporations have, no matter how you cut their taxes or give them subsidies and no matter how high the economic indicators or the Dow Jones Industrial Index go, they simply will not create anywhere near the amount of decent-paying jobs Americans need to sustain a middle class.

However, there are other directions to go to create those jobs. Here are a few suggestions circulating around the White House, the web and others that come to mind (please feel free to suggest your own as well) that could turn things around to one degree or another:

1. A New WPA/An Infrastructure Bank 

Boehner says he got 98% of what he wanted in the Debt Ceiling deal and with the global market crash and US credit rating downgrade that followed his brilliant economic planning, he probably got the remaining 2%. Okay, we’ve tried it their way again and again, Bush Tax cuts, deregulation and now budget cutting in the middle of a jobs recession.  It would be an exercise in futility to try and pass another stimulus bill with Tea Baggers controlling The House  but if Obama’s support for an Infrastructure Bank was brought to fruition, which would not add to the deficit but reduce it as a revenue generating service, a new WPA program could be fired up across the nation and good paying jobs, repairing this nation, could be generated swiftly.

2. Tax Credits to Businesses for Hiring Americans/Revoking Tax Credits for Outsourcing Jobs Overseas

Currently, US tax law pays corporations to move American jobs to other countries. In a jobs recession, these tax loopholes need to be closed permanently. Even if the GOP can’t find or be pressured into finding that crumb of patriotism or compassion needed to agree to closing those loopholes, maybe they can be convinced into giving businesses more tax cuts?  Pres. Obama has proposed such a tax credit for hiring those who have been in the military which is good but why not provide it for all Americans? For the many reasons stated above, I doubt corporations would find it as appealing as hiring more people in their sweatshops elsewhere in the world but for small and local businesses, it could be very effective.

3. Enhanced SBA Loans for New Businesses

A real job engine for this nation may be the growth of new businesses and industries that create and innovate. The consumer side of the economy is shaky so startups will need to be able to develop and sustain themselves for a while which is where the SBA could come in. This isn’t a giveaway nor should standards be loosened to allow fraud or exploitation, it could be an enhanced loan program that offers greater and more loans and delays repayment for a period deemed sufficient for the consumer economy to have recovered sufficiently. These would be loans that are repaid with interest so this would represent increased revenue to the US, not debt. The self-sustaining aspect of this is that as new and viable businesses are supported, they are creating good paying jobs across the nation that are helping to build that very consumer base they need to flourish. The SBA could even set up a networking between companies it lends to so they can find opportunities to work together to support and sustain each other.

4. Leverage the Bush Tax Cuts Expiration into Killing Loopholes for the Wealthy and Corporations

A natural instinct for Democrats is to insist on finally killing the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy. Of course, this would feel to Republicans like having their tea bags cut off but in reality, how much of a win would it be to increase the tax rate the wealthy and corporations are technically supposed to pay but in reality, like Exxon and GE, they could still continue to pay no taxes because of loopholes, subsidies and tax credits? The GOP whines about the tax burden on the wealthy but as recent statistics show, those wealthy people who can’t avoid paying their taxes as others do, only pay on average 18% in federal income tax. So, put aside the gross number and focus on the net. If Obama and the Dems do so, they can paint the GOP into a real corner. They could even propose lowering rates slightly from where they are, below the Bush rates in exchange for removing the loopholes and tax credits for the wealthy and corporations.  Even if the top tax rate was lowered to 29%, GE and Exxon would go from paying zero to 29% of profits. The average wealthy person would go from paying 18% to 29%. The huge boost in revenues would allow for funding the social programs the Deficit Deal might otherwise cut, reducing the deficit and providing revenues for infrastructure repair and other job creation programs (assuming that in 2013, when the Bush Tax Cuts would expire anyway, the Dems re-take the House and keep The Senate and White House).

As all of the above reflects, it seems likely that the only sizable Middle Class job creation that there can or will be, won’t ever come from major corporations again, it can only come in this era from government and small and startup businesses that aren’t the committed adversaries of The Middle Class that major corporations have shown themselves to be.

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jjgravitas
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jjgravitas

We need a new “-ism” for this. It seems to help when one can boil an amorphous problem down to a single word. For example, all this seemed to take us over while we were spending all our national capital in this fight against the “terrorism” that we were “terrified” would destroy us. Which, ironically reminds me of a quote by a famous Democrat: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” No surprise that phrase wasn’t passed around during the Bush administration. Republican rule only thrives in an atmosphere of fear and panic.
Another great POV for AdLib. Eat the rich!

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bito
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Help wanted:

VanJones68 profile

VanJones68 Are you progressive, creative, ambitious & want to make a difference? Apply for the #AmericanDream Fellowship.
http://t.co/5NESkmt #1u #p2

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Jenuwin
Admin

Excellent article Ad Lib! Now I am off to look for job and will keep ya posted as to how it goes!

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Chernynkaya
Member

I wish you the best! Go get ’em.

My 20 year-old step daughter just spent 8 hours standing in line to apply for a minimum wage temp job, and one she’d worked at before. Of course, it was for Knott’s Berry Farms’ Halloween Haunt, so I guess you can check that off your list. 😉

(Oh, she got the job!)

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Jenuwin
Admin

Darn, I was on my way there!

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Emerald1943
Member

Cher, that’s good news! She’s definitely in the minority.
Wow! To think we would be excited about her getting a minimum wage temp job for Halloween!! What a strange situation! What’s wrong with this picture??

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bito
Member

A thoughtful post and combined with the many comments here on The @PlanetPOV (that was for the Google crawl 😉 ), I have read some of the best ideas compared to anywhere, anyone, including these two:

President Obama: Our Problems Are Eminently Solvable
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/08/president-obama-our-problems-are-eminently-solvable

Contract for the American Dream
http://s3.moveon.org/pdfs/moveoncontractad.pdf

I do disagree with raising the gas tax at this time because it is regressive on to many working people at this time and still like my idea of the introduction of investing in infrastructure bonds. They can be priced as little as 20 dollars to 20 million dollars to give everyone a chance to make an investment in the future. With close to 2 trillion dollars of investment money sitting on the sidelines, from Union Building Trades to School Teachers pensions, it would offer many to personally invest in the future.

Declare war on our crumbling infrastructure (see Sue’s post below) and sell them as like we have in the past as War Bonds.

Great Post, Sir! And Great comments Planeteers!

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foodchain
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foodchain

Hi Bito, I must need a vacation. I wish I felt my solutions would be effective. In many ways this is a very exciting time–a crescendo of thoughts, the disharmony before resolution, the dark before the dawn. If we can organize ourselves, we have enough will and numbers to change. I am more confident that our malcontents are closer to coming on board that the GOP’s

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Emerald1943
Member

Hi foodchain!

It is an exciting time! I’ve found myself on a roller coaster during this whole debt ceiling debate. After the bill was done last week, the havoc that it caused kept my head spinning. Democrats that I had long trusted came out strongly against the President and made it difficult to get to the truth of the matter. I felt much better after reading the agreement on the White House website and realizing that the deal really wasn’t all that bad. In fact, it was the best the President could have gotten under the circumstances.

Where I have problems now is with the President’s insistence on “bipartisanship”. I know…the repubs have the House, but I feel that he has not come out showing much passion, something that I think the American people would like to see. I don’t want him to lose his cool, but today, his speech was a bit of a downer. He let the baggers and S&P off the hook with barely a mention.

Meanwhile, Fox news continues to bash him 24/7 and there is no answer to their lies and distortions from the White House. It’s as if the voice of the LEFT has been effectively silenced. As Adlib mentioned earlier, even Andrea Mitchell asked a member of the Congressional Black Caucus “if the Democrats were now ready to compromise?”

Even MSNBC is getting into the Obama-bashing business!

I do agree that we are closer to unity within our party than the repubs. We just need to get control of the message and make sure we are all on the same page.

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agrippa
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agrippa

Adlib, that is a good article.

I do not see a good way out of this. A real and strong stimulus was not passed. And this deficit reduction business is wrong. This did happen before with FDR. That administration did pull back from “pump priming” in 1937, to ill effect. It boils down, I think, to an article of faith about deficits: they are always bad.
It is hard to go back to more stimulus now. We are kind of stuck right now.

I do not think that much of anything positive is politically possible right now; so I see years of economic stagnation. High unemployment and no growth: a lost decade.

Wall Street and multi national corporations do not care; manufacturing has been largely outsourced and for that reason alone there should not be much job growth.

It will take a long time for ordinary people to see all this. Most are too busy trying to provide for themselves and their family.

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ADONAI
Member

1.)Great article AL. The two graphs you threw in from Think Progress are worth a thousand words on their own.

2.)Maybe we should wake up from the American dream. Not everyone is gonna own a house with a white picket fence and a new car every 5 years. That America only ever existed on film. I’m not saying lower your expectations so much as adopt realistic ones. If you have a job you like, a place to stay, and money to live on, what more do you need? Who cares if you rent? Most Americans do. You wanna counteract a crooked, volatile housing market? Don’t even get involved. You can find a town house just as nice and you won’t owe your entire life to a bank. Just my opinion though.

3.)People. The people need to be ready to fight. We have laws and regulations on the books that could fix a lot of our problems, but there’s no force behind them. They either don’t go far enough or are weakly enforced. Your Congressman/woman isn’t gonna care until you care. Many of them, the good ones, desperately want you to care.

4.)Trade deals. I see these have already been touched on. They have to be rewritten. There is no free trade here, and definitely no fair trade. The deals should be weighted to favor the American worker. Not a faceless multinational company.

5.)Nationalize the manufacturing industry. Buy all the factories and machines and give them to the public. Americans WILL put Americans back to work. We own the products, we own the machines making them. People will work again, our economy will get back the giant chunk we cut away from it, and we get ALL the profits.

6.)China. China’s currency manipulation(which I admittedly know very little about) is what brings American companies to them. Not only is labor cheap but profits are larger and production cheaper as well. But that will change soon. I say we ignore China for now. They will fuck themselves up in due time. Remember the Great Depression? Well, good luck with that China.

7.)Taking away corporate tax incentives will only make them more inclined to seek labor elsewhere. Corporations are legally bound to make profits. Maybe they should change that for starters. But that won’t really matter if we assume control of the manufacturing base. My goal is to either have corporations conform or leave the country. We’ll sign some deals with them but it will ALL be on our terms.

But since the ideas people are proposing here will require a momentous period we haven’t seen in this country in decades, I figure we’ll just talk about taxes for awhile and pretend that’s solving the problem.

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choicelady
Member

Adonai – NO do NOT nationalize manufacturing. Centralized control from the government is another form of corporatism as inefficient and lousy at long term thinking as private corporations.

Decentralize and let working people employed at ALL plants become the owners AND managers. It has been proven over and over that the 11,000 companies with this form of operation are THE most profitable in America and have the greatest stability. It’s not artisanal bakeries – it’s Southwest Airlines. It’s WinCo and HighLow groceries. It’s Sleep Train mattress stores. Big or small, these grow, stay here, invest in their people, pay decently, and keep money in the communities.

All of the suggestions AL has are excellent, but this is never mentioned. We PAY companies when they go OUT of business by letting them do an accelerated depreciation. Been the “cash cow” for decades. But if employees want to buy them – it’s full market value. Well nope – if you write down a firm to value it at $4.98, that’s the SALE price, buster. So we need to change that so that companies have one of two choices – sell at fair value OR write down, but not both. If you write down (and I’d argue that’s stupid – rewarding a business with our tax money for failing) then that IS the value and the price of the firm.

TAx laws matter. They change every calculation. AL I would disagree that ALL outsourcing is inevitable. It’s not. Canada reversed its outsourcing by noting that keeping local supplies local was VASTLY more efficient, and they don’t subsidize the runaways. We need to stop doing that. Divert the Overseas Investment Corporation money that pays companies to relocate to keep companies here. WORLD of difference. Some will still go – but not on our dime. And most will stay because without the subsidy, the profit’s not there.

But mark my words – if the next president is Rick Perry or worse, NONE of this will happen, MORE jobs will float away, and we will become their dream nation – a Christian Banana Republic.

Canada – here I come.

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agrippa
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agrippa

Adonai, I noticed your number 6. China will have serious troubles of their own down the road.

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ADONAI
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Indeed agrippa. I think the new government realizes this too but I don’t think they have the time to get the consensus they need to really address it.

I don’t wan tot see another country suffer an economic crash but it will seriously hamper their ability to “overtake us economically” as many think they will.

Which I still don’t get. Not only are we worth more than China, we’re worth more than them and every other country combined.

China has solvency problems coming down the road. Today and for decades to come we are the very best bet for creditors and investors.

From a purely credit standpoint, defaulting would not have killed us. many.MANY people would have suffered but we would have gotten back on course. Creditors would come back because we are still the best bet plus we would then be free of debt. China’s debt will eat them up. Especially when their sizable elderly population retires.

But that’s just one of many opinions I’ve read on the future of all this. it seems to make the most sense though.

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bito
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Adoni the US economy is far from “worth more than them and every other country combined” and China does not have major sovereign social security or health care program for everyone including the elderly. They also don’t have a currency that is openly traded on the world markets. They set the value of the Yuan, not the markets or bond holders.
Agreed, the US economy is close to 2-1/2 times larger and they are very dependent on the health of the US and others for their exports, but they do have a controlled economy and their solvency on the world market being questioned doesn’t exist.

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ADONAI
Member

bito, The only people questioning our solvency is us.

Don’t see anyone turning our money down. We still have a top tier credit rating.

China just doesn’t have the debt and deficit issues we do. Yet. They will though.

And if China collapsed, the world would move on. If America collapsed, the world stops spinning. Too big to fail.

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SueInCa
Member

Adlib
Your number 1 is near and dear to my heart. As you drive around even your local areas all you have to do is look around and see the crumbling infrastucture. What is escaping a lot of peoples’ attention is not only the security threat this proposes but the potential for major man made disasters.

I bet a lot of people would be surprised to learn that if a major earthquake struck in the right area in Northern Ca, the potential for the south to lose their water supply would be catastrophic. The delta levees are so fragile that a good earthquake would cause the levees to break, allowing the salt water from the SF bay to flood the region. Not to mention the tragic loss of crops that feed the nation. Things are so precarious that the ranchers in this area are patrolling their own levees and shoring them up as well as they can.

Our ports are not protected which allows for greater possibility of shipping containers entering with WMD’s, deadly viruses or any number of security risks.

Bridges are crumbling, sanitation/sewage plants infrastructure is crumbling. There are water treatment plants all over the country with aging and crumbling pipes. One breakage could cause flooding of a nearby city up to 10 feet or more.

Dams are aging and the proverbial chewing gum in the break analogy is probably not far from the truth.

Other countries are far ahead of us in speed/bullet trains. How much more convenient is it to take the train from London to Paris? And how has that opened new worlds to a lot of people?

America was once the leader in industrial revolution then we forgot Alexander Hamilton’s 11 point plan and slowly have faded into the abyss. There is still time to change that but not until our leaders start thinking seriously about main street and not just paying lip service to it.

If you want to read more about our infrastructure, Dr. Stephen Flynn has a great book: The Edge of Disaster. He is the current president of the Center For National Policy.

http://www.centerfornationalpolicy.org/ht/d/Items/cat_id/16640/sortby/date/direction/des/paginateItems/5/paginateItemsPage/1/pid/16477

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Chernynkaya
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AdLib, what a terrific post. Really first-rate! In addition to those proposals, there are a couple of others that I’d like to see, and that might be possible. (Actually, I could probably think of more, but for now I’ll just stick to those at least in the realm of the possible.)

—Aid to state and local governments: Most states have made huge cuts and those cuts effect local municipalities too. The debt deal will make that aspect worse. Even modest help from Washington could help states according to Moody’s.

“States could maybe rescind some of the budget cuts they’ve already made, rehire some of the workers who’ve been laid off. And by 2013, state revenues will already be recovering.” With the expiration of the stimulus, states lost significant federal matching dollars for Medicaid, for instance. “In an ideal world, you could provide the Medicaid match in the short run and make whatever structural changes” to save money down the road, says Chad Stone, chief economist for the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

—Maybe the Free Trade deals: Labor unions say that such free-trade deals will take jobs away from Americans. I think they are probably right, but some economists say that the failure to pass the trade agreement is simply driving business — and jobs — to other countries. The White House claims they will create some 70,000 jobs. So I don’t know, but think we need to think about this.

—Surface Transportation Funding: This was an idea I heard Ray LaHood talk about when interviewed about the FAA debacle. He said that highway jobs are the fastest and easiest way to create jobs immediately. A bill reauthorizing spending on surface transportation — which would help build roads, highways, and the like — is set to expire in September. The House GOP wants to slash federal spending to 35 percent less than Fiscal 2009 levels, but Barbara Boxer has a two-year plan to spend $55 billion a year. Boxer’s proposal would require revenue beyond what’s in the Highway Trust Fund, which receives money from the gas tax,and I’d like to see the gas tax increase just a few cents to make up that difference. I know people hate the gas tax, but often when it’s explained as just pennies, it might be acceptable. I mean, couldn’t we say, “For only two more cents a gallon, we can create thousands of jobs.”

And this is not a job-creation suggestion, but Chris Matthews actually came up with a good idea about how to sell the Infrastructure Bank.

Take pictures of the bridges
Name the Districts where they are located
Name the elected Congress-people from those Districts
Ask them point-blank if the safety of their constituents, and of their own
families, is truly a priority for them
Consult local engineers as to how best to repair the unsafe bridges
Contact local media outlets – newspapers and television – to print the
pictures and do high profile stories on the safety issues and need for repairs

In other words – force members of Congress to say “Yea” or “Nay” that they are willing to let school buses filled with children continue traveling on these bridges.

“Yea” or “Nay” whether a catastrophe is more acceptable than FIXING the dang things.

The publicity will rile up all Americans to say that such a catastrophe is NOT acceptable.

Take it to the very people who are driving on those bridges. The people will demand that funds be made available to get to work doing what we all know needs to be done.
And jobs in all these places will be immediate.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/06/1003859/-Chris-Matthewss-Great-Idea

Again, just want to say this is such an excellent post!

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Emerald1943
Member

Cher, we can always count on you to come up with some sensible suggestions! I particularly like going out and looking at the condition of the roads and bridges an easy one. Almost everyone has a cell phone with built-in camera. We should use them!

And while we are on the subject of outsourcing and cheap goods coming back into America, I received a very disturbing email from Change.org concerning those sweatshops where brand-name clothing is made and the horrible conditions forced upon the slave labor they hire.
———————————————————-
“Thousands of Change.org members have already spoken out against abuses at what’s
becoming known as the “rape factory” in Jordan.

“We only went to Jordan to earn money to help our families; we had no idea that
factory managers would rape so many of us young girls,” said a young woman who goes
by the name Nazma to protect her identity.

Nazma is one of the dozens of Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi young women who have been
sexually assaulted by supervisors at Classic Factory in northern Jordan, which makes
clothes for American brands like Walmart, Target, and Macy’s.

Leading up to next week’s trial against a Classic supervisor charged with rape —
the first such trial — managers are escalating abuses. Supervisors are locking
victims and witnesses in the factory, threatening and intimidating them to ensure
they will not testify.

And although the Jordanian government promised that Anil Santha, the manager accused
of rape, would not be allowed to return before the trial, he’s back on the factory
floor.

Despite global outcry over Classic’s abuses and the tactics they’re using to dodge
justice, international customers like Walmart, Target, and Macy’s are still buying
Classic clothing.

Given the critical situation on the ground, Classic Factory workers, consumers, and
human rights organizations, are urgently calling on these high-profile companies to
immediately condemn human rights abuses and force change.

Click here to sign the petition now:
http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-walmart-to-stop-rape-and-torture-of-young-women-in-its-factories?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&alert_id=jqdQiEVsPJ_NKGIdTqvUV

Target and Macy’s have claimed that they are investigating conditions at the
factory, but they’re deferring to the Jordanian Ministry of Economy and Labor —
which claims there is no evidence of sexual abuse.

Instead, conditions are getting worse. In addition to imprisoning women inside the
factory, managers are removing all the males workers — in some cases even deporting
them — cutting the staff to older male supervisors and vulnerable young women.

At Classic’s urging, the government also arrested the leader of an outside human
rights NGO and took his passport to prevent him from intervening to protect the
women at the factory.

“All we can do is cry,” Nazma said. “We ask the people who buy our garments, please
end this abuse and torture we face. We should be able to work without fear of sexual
assault.”

Now is a critical moment for action. Outside pressure and attention can ensure that
victims and witnesses are freed and can testify against their rapists — and that
Classic Factory reforms its policies and practices.

Otherwise, the manager and supervisors will continue to imprison, assault, and rape
girls and women with renewed impunity.

Sign now to urge Walmart, Target, and Macy’s to force Classic Factory to free
imprisoned victims and witnesses — and end its human rights abuses against women:”

http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-walmart-to-stop-rape-and-torture-of-young-women-in-its-factories?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&alert_id=jqdQiEVsPJ_NKGIdTqvUV

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This is kinda’ off topic, but it isn’t really. This is just a prime example of US corporations’ abuse of foreign workers, the end result of outsourcing American jobs. This is a part of the myth that globalization is so wonderful for all those poor people over there! We all know these things are happening…we just need to get our heads out of the sand!

Thanks, Cher! You wrote a great comment, one that I intend to follow up on.

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HelenWheels
Member

Most excellent article, AdLib. Wow, very impressive indeed, and right on the money. I like that you did include solutions. I wonder, however, if any of those are possible before disaster hits. Remember, we also have deal with corporations having more power as never before. And then there is the problem with privatising prisons for cheap labor, a really huge story that the corporate-controlled MSM will never report. Things like prison privatization happen at the secretive ALEC meeting every year. Amy Goodman had a feature on this the other day.

THIS is what we are up against – the fact that our gov’t and corporate collusion is not even secretive anymore. They don’t have to be. They have been sanctioned by the SCOTUS:

“Hundreds of state legislators from all 50 states have gathered in New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC. Critics say the Washington-based organization plays a key role in helping corporations secretly draft model pro-business legislation that has been used by state lawmakers across the country. Unlike many other organizations, ALEC’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on model legislation. In recent months, ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in drafting bills to attack workers’ rights, roll back environmental regulations, privatize education, deregulate major industries, and passing voter ID laws. Nonetheless, this year’s annual ALEC meeting boasts the largest attendance in five years, with nearly 2,000 guests in attendance. We go to New Orleans to speak with Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. Last month, her organization released 800 model bills approved by companies and lawmakers at recent ALEC meetings.” [includes rush transcript]

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/secretive_corporate_legislative_group_alec_holds

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jkkFL
Guest

In the midst of all this doom and gloom, I found one tiny victory for the US worker..
The backlash against outsourcing customer service reps has finally turned the trend.
Companies who outsourced those jobs are bringing them back to the US due to customer outrage and outright refusal to talk to “Peggy” in Siberia. 😉
The US call center industry has grown by 200% in the first two quarters, and it’s growth is projected to increase thru the end of the year.
(This does Not include telemarketing- which is another worm entirely.)

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Emerald1943
Member

WOW! Great, Adlib!

A huge thorn in my side has been this outsourcing issue for quite some time, especially after I found out about the very lucrative tax benefits that big corporations get to ship our jobs to overseas sweatshops.

I believe it was Ed Schultz on MSNBC who brought this into the open back some time ago. He stated that over 58,000 manufacturing PLANTS had closed in the recent past. That would mean hundreds of thousands of jobs cut from beneath American workers with nothing there to replace those losses.

This should have been a wake-up call…those jobs ARE NOT COMING BACK! Why would any self-respecting big corporation want to give up all their tax advantages and opportunities to fatten their bottom line by hiring foreigners at pennies-on-the-dollar wages?

I, for one, don’t believe these greedy corporations should be enticed to “please, please…bring the money/jobs back to the US!” Cut out their loopholes and tax expenditures immediately! Hit them where they have hit us…in the pocketbook!

It should be plain and simple to voters in this country…it is IMPERATIVE that the Democrats win back the House and keep the Senate and the White House in 2012. Otherwise, we will neither see fairness in our taxes nor will we see jobs created for the middle class. Democrats MUST keep that message front and center in the debates that will follow. We MUST control the message! The rethugs’ continuing their favorite talking point “We can’t tax the job creators”, easily debunked with articles like this, should be shown for the corporate buy-out of our lawmakers that it is.

Could it be that the debt ceiling battle has awakened the sleeping giant? We can only hope so!

ADDENDUM: Something I forgot to mention…In looking into outsourcing a few days ago, I was surprised to see that there are many new firms out there that specialize in advising corporations on HOW to outsource! To me, this is totally unpatriotic, given the current state of unemployment in this country!

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jkkFL
Guest

and..Tax the hell out of the goods they are importing, as a result of outsourcing.

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Emerald1943
Member

Amen, jkk! Amen!! This is perhaps the ONLY thing from Trump that I would agree with…tax the cheap Chinese junk coming over here!

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jkkFL
Guest

Em- I was not referring to Chinese made products , per se;
I was referring to taxing American companies who outsource… companies like Nike who took manufacturing overseas and can bring the product back unpunished.
(and I would disagree with Anything Trump said- even if I agreed with it! 🙂

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Abbyrose86
Member

Excellent article ad lib. Thanks for writing it.

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