Where Do We Get The Jobs Needed To Ignite The Economy?

Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw) – Guest Blogger


In light of the news yesterday that the economy created zero net new jobs in the month of August, I began to think of ways that jobs could be created.  I know a little thinking on my part is dangerous, but I came across an article that, in my opinion, really hit the nail on the head.  The article discusses a study by professors at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that suggests that more good paying jobs are created by the government when the money is put towards health care, education and clean energy and even tax cuts as opposed to runaway military spending.“Let’s say we want to create 29 million jobs in 10 years. That’s 2.9 million each year. Here’s one way to do it. Take $100 billion from the Department of Defense and move it into education. That creates 1.75 million jobs per year. Take another $50 billion and move it into healthcare spending. That’s an additional 400,000 jobs. Take another $100 billion and move it into clean energy. That’s another 550,000 jobs. And take another $62 billion and turn it into tax cuts, generating an additional 200,000 jobs. Now the military spending in the Department of Energy, the State Department, Homeland Security, and so forth have not been touched. And the Department of Defense has been cut back to about $388 billion, which is to say: more than it was getting 10 years ago when our country went collectively insane.” Firedoglake

When you take a look at those numbers it is hard not to sit up and take notice.  I realize that removing those billions from the military would cause shrieks in Congress, but the 2.9 million good paying jobs on an annual basis is something that citizens and Congress should both be interested in.  It would require a culture change in the military and at home.  But good things take hard work to achieve.

I do have a problem with the tax break portion of the equation cited by Mr. Swanson in the Firedoglake article.  I have not seen 200,000 jobs per year created by the Bush Tax cuts that Obama extended so I would have to be convinced by how targeted the tax cuts were and how the corporations would be required to provide evidence of the created jobs in order to take advantage of the tax breaks.  It seems obvious that the waste in military spending is out of control and if the country can rein in the contractors, the military can get more bang for their buck and the savings can be used to create jobs, not deeper pockets for corporate entities.

In order to get a better idea of where the figures used in the linked article come from and how realistic they are, here is a link to the full University of Massachusetts (Amherst) study.  UMass    I realize that it will be difficult to cut the waste out of the military spending, but I do not think we have a choice.  The government sector has already given up large numbers of jobs during the last few years due to the recession and the political push for austerity in important government programs.  It is time for America to get control of its military spending and contracting processes.  The economy needs these jobs and spending the money in non-military areas will create more jobs and save lives at the same time.

Do we really have another choice?

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty-Guest Blogger

29 thoughts on “Where Do We Get The Jobs Needed To Ignite The Economy?”

  1. After a Republican outcry Wednesday against the White House’s Sept. 7 choice for Obama’s televised address to a joint session of Congress, Obama moved it back a night. The original date had put it head to head with the televised Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library in California.

    I have read this many times and I keep hearing the boy of orange saying that they were going to vote at 6:30 p.m. when Obama asked to speak to congress…Say what? Most of people in America are eating dinner or preparing the same… Partisan Politics at its best….I just wonder if they have ever delayed a vote before?

  2. Roco, I don’t agree at all with your “private jobs + gov jobs = 1” arguement. It’s easily debunked libertarian-inspired bullcrap. Gov regulation can add jobs in both government and the private sector.

    We could stop using twitter and facebook. Start using the post office for all our communications.. they could use some more demand.

  3. raff: given their history, probably not. It is much more important to give welfare to the wealthy rather than the needy. After all, the wealthy are much more deserving, because they have proven their worthiness by getting rich. The poor are worthless because they don’t have jobs or work in low-paying jobs.

  4. Jay S., the model is already there. The government has a history of paying farmers to not grow crops. IIRC, there are many in congress on both sides of the aisle, especially those from rural districts, who have participated in that program.

  5. As so eloquently voiced by Grover Norquist, many on the Right want to “drown the federal government in the bathtub.” They believe that the federal government inhibits economic activity.

    I have a different view: Modern Darwinian capitalism constantly seeks ways to eliminate employees, even in good times. To produce all the goods and services the nation requires or wants, does not take the efforts of all those who seek jobs. I believe this is a permanent condition going forward. And I do not think that “new small businesses” can take up the slack. How many nail salons and dog grooming services do we need?

    I think that a significant fraction of the population will ultimately be On the Dole. The government could pay people to do nothing (welfare), or could pay people to do (say) infrastructure improvements. I prefer the latter.

  6. Is a “jobless recovery” a recovery for those who need a job? Nope, it is more of the same.

    Is it a recovery for those who have a job? Not really; it just reduces the chance that they will be laid off or outsourced, for a while.

    Who is it a recovery for then? For business. For business owners.
    The owners of the means of production, one might say.

  7. Creating “jobs” is the function of an “economy”, specifically one economic policy within the context of that “economy”.

    Just as rafflaw posted and commenters upstream all alluded to.

    But the “economy” can be as different as “communist economy”, “socialist economy”, “democratic economy”, or “dysfunctional economy”.

    Any economy becomes dysfunctional when its foundational precepts are violated, whether it be communist, socialist, or democratic.

    In that context “dysfunctional” does not mean “bleed over”, which is, when a communist, socialist, or democratic economy takes on or evolves aspects of one or more of the other types of economies (which is unavoidable).

    “Bleed over” does not mean those economies are dysfunctional.

    No, dysfunctional means much more than that, such as when a tumor has developed which threatens to destroy that entire economy, no matter what pure or hybrid version that economy is.

    When an economy has become dysfunctional it is best not to create any new jobs until that economy becomes functional once again.

    For example, take an economy that becomes a warmonger machine bound and determined to destroy the environment upon which that economy and the people within it requires for its very existence.

    A massive lack of jobs in that context is a good thing.

    For another example, take an economy that is based on being good to the people who that economy is sworn to serve, which is a case where job loss is not a good thing.

    Got good economy?

  8. I was listen to APM and it was suggested that the GOP and COC are working in tandem to not have any jobs created to make Obama look bad….Could businesses be that cold…You bet ya…

  9. rafflaw:

    Dabuh just posted this on another thread:

    Going Green is Helping the Country Go Broke

    Solyndra got over 500 million tax dollars from Obama

    Solyndra is the third U.S. solar manufacturer to fail in a month. SpectraWatt Inc., a Hopewell Junction, N.Y.-based company backed by units of Intel Corp. and Goldman Sachs, filed for bankruptcy protection Aug. 19, and Evergreen Solar of Marlboro, Mass., filed Chapter 11 four days earlier.


    ” A more accurate way to put this is that Senate Democrats won’t approve new funding for disasters unless they get the funding they want for corporations that make electric cars.


    conflicting experts?

    By the way, government doesnt create anything. The money is taken from the private sector to create those jobs. Give more money to the private sector and take away onerous regulations or scale them back and you will see jobs created.

    Every dollar spent on some government make work program is a dollar not spent by the private sector.

  10. Look this may sound overly simple, I try often to keep it simple…

    But to Create Jobs, you Create Work, and there’s plenty of Work to be done, fDR created 4 million jobs, by Creating Work in just 6 months…Obama doesn’t know from work and but that swine scum Larry Summers in Charge who did so much to flush America down the toilet to begin with, IE Brooksley Born and ballooning the derivatives market scam…

  11. I think the problem with military spending is that the MI Complex has deep roots in any Administration that comes down the pike and the same with Congress. The defense budget is of course bloated, but the fact that it never goes down indicates to me that there are other forces at work behind the scenes. I agree with you Raff, that the tax cuts are the least believable of the proposals.

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