By John Lawrence and Frank Thomas/ Will Blog For Food / June 6, 2011
Obama seems to be counting on the fact that the economy will recover on its own after the initial stimulus package. It’s starting to look like this was a bad bet. The Republicans of course have their job creation plan in place: lower taxes especially on the rich, less government spending and more deregulation or, in other words, the continuation of the transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich. However, this is precisely what has ruined the economy.
As Robert Reich, Bernie Sanders, Paul Krugman and others have been saying repeatedly, the government has to spend more to create jobs and raise the money to do so by a variety of mechanisms like a financial transaction tax, doing away with subsidies for oil and agriculture, closing tax loopholes for corporations, raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires etc.
Obama is in the weak position of not having an ideological counter to the Republican ideology. The Democrats need to develop an ideological position based on Keynesian economics to counter the Republicans. Obama’s “Republican lite” philosophy will probably result in his losing the next election if the economy continues to sputter and stagnate. His position seems to be the Republican position only not quite as severe. What is needed is a complete repudiation of trickle down economics, union busting, the “small government” mantra, and the wealthy as “job creators.” The Democrats need an ideological consistency to counter the Republicans who are extremely ideologically consistent.
Most of the jobs being created are temp jobs and lousy jobs at less than a living wage. The Democrats are not addressing this and they need to. The Democrats need to state loudly and clearly that the government needs to be the job creator of last resort. If private enterprise cannot create the jobs to provide for a full employment economy, then government must step in and fund infrastructure repair projects and even a WPA style work program. We need to get over the notion that the only legitimate government job creation program is in the military.
Obama’s Administration and the Republicans are either brain mute or unwilling (out of fear of increasing America’s indebtedness now with CONSTRUCTIVE PUBLIC DEBT financed investments ) to recognize the deeply structural character of our nation’s declining rate of job generation shown in Frank’s 30 year trend summary (The U.S. Ongoing Structural Unemployment Calamity ).
For the remainder of this article and its graphs, go here.