Thursday, December 23, 2010

This is not a recovery. It’s a continuing jobs emergency and it demands action.

I borrowed the title from Robert Reich because it just seem to fit the mood I was in, as I started to write this, and I had just read Robert's blog.

We now have over 15 million unemployed. plus another 1.3 million who have given up looking for work. U6 has been 16.5% to 17.3% for the last year or so. And we no longer have the infrastructure to replace those jobs, that infrastructure must be rebuilt. Tax breaks for the wealthy to build the factories that manufacture solar panels and wind turbines, start up incentives for installers, and incentives for the consumer to buy. But thats only a few million jobs, but its a start.

Just in the NYC area alone; mass transit connections from NJ to NYC, thru to Queens and Brooklyn, a southerly and a northerly route, 4 tunnels. High speed rail from Bangor Maine thru DC, a southerly route and a northern route to the west coast, link up to Chicago. Thats another few million jobs.

The CCC and the WPA was not just about infrastructure building as in bridges and roads and National parks. There was an educational component, getting high school degrees, building the buildings that became teachers schools, building new college campuses to be filled by the new teachers, and once the actual infrastructure for a University system was in place, filling them with students. Over the last 30 years financial services as a percent of GDP has risen from 10% to 22%, and it took University faculty to crank out the MBA's and such that made this possible. Our university system needs to be rebuilt, refocusing on science and emerging technologies and not how to scam the SEC.

6 tax brackets are just not cutting it, there is too much of a difference between someone who makes 250k and 2.7 million annually. 20 tax brackets would far better describe the arc that is an effective progressive tax. Think of it this way, do 6 pixels describe a curve on your computer very well? And wouldn't 20 pixels do a much better job? In the 1980's Reagan gave the wealthiest a 60% tax cut, and doubled payroll taxes. He also defunded Federal programs in schools - putting the burden on municipal tax systems to make up the difference. Federally mandated school programs used to be funded by the Feds, now its something on the order of 26% Federal funding. A 70% percent top individual rate can be used to pay for all these investments .. investments in the future of our country.

GNP in 1934 was 11%, 1935-9%, 1936-13.9%, thats what recovery looks like.

From 1933 to 1936 unemployment dropped from 25% to 14%, not a bad start to recovery. (Full employment did not come until the run up to WW2, and then there was an acute labor shortage by 1942.)

GNP in 1936 exceeded that of 1929. (103 billion compared to 96 billion.) Thats what recovery looks like.

In 1936 Chevy set a record for selling sedans, Louis Armstrong seta record for selling records.

Right now half the individuals in this country make 27k or less.......
Whats in your wallet?

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