Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Or, Do I Repeat Myself Again?

“This is like deja vu all over again.” Yogi Berra was correct.  “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” Good idea. Seems that, rather than a fork in the road, we’ve got massive speed bumps. Who actually cares about more jobs for American workers, anyway? Is the hubbub just another rerun of the smoke and mirrors gig?  I’m beginning to think so.  Rather than being a low-information-voter, I think that I’ve been way-too naive. I actually believed that the movers and shakers in the business, economic and political world were actually searching for ways to put more Americans back to work. I think I’ve been duped. Most don’t give a rat’s ass about the situation.

If the politicians were dedicated to ‘job creation’ then why does the unemployment rate continue to rise? Remember the GOP 2010 election theme?  JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! Who besides me fell for that? And how does John Boehner still talk about ‘job creation’ with a straight face? Or, does he put job creation in the same category as ‘creationism’? You know- Faith.

“Amen! We believe!”

Say, what about the Democrats? Where are their ‘jobs bills’?

‘But wait!,’ a faithful Democrat might answer, “Remember, we passed the largest stimulus package in history.  So there.”

Indeed you did, but what did it stimulate? Where was the jobs-component? Or is that begging the question?

It is clear that the Republican Plan is AWOL.  The cheer leaders showed, but the team never got to the field.

The Democratic Plan was a bust. Strikingly shocking is this bit of data from Wikipedia: According to a March 2009 Industry Survey of and by the National Association of Business Economists [NABE], 70.6% of their economists who had reviewed the fiscal stimulus enacted in February 2009 projected it would have modest to strong impact in shortening the recession, with 29.4% anticipating little or no impact. Seven of ten economists were wrong.

And we naive citizens wonder why things aren’t working so smoothly…

Perhaps the next line from that article is even more revealing: The aspects of the stimulus expected by the NABE to have the greatest effectiveness were physical infrastructure, unemployment benefits expansion, and personal tax-rate cuts.

Gulp. Huh? What the…?

Excuse me, but which of these three elements was the jobs-creator?

It goes on- One year after the stimulus, several independent macroeconomic firms including Moody’s and IHS Global Insight estimated that the stimulus saved or created 1.6 to 1.8 million jobs and forecasted a total impact of 2.5 million jobs saved by the time the stimulus is completed. The Congressional Budget Office considered these estimates conservative. The CBO estimated according to its model 2.1 million jobs saved in the last quarter of 2009, boosting the economy by up to 3.5 percent and lowering the unemployment rate by up to 2.1 percent. The CBO projected that the package would have an even greater impact in 2010.

Well, that didn’t work out too very well, now did it?

But wait! There’s more- The CBO also revised its assessment of the long-term impact of the bill. After 2014, the stimulus is estimated to decrease output by zero to 0.2%. The stimulus is not expected to have a negative impact on employment in any period of time.

WTF!   “The stimulus is estimated to decrease output by zero…not expected to have a negative impact on employment.”

WTF!  But, I repeat myself.

So then, the effect of a stimulus program on job creation is ZERO?

Perhaps the GOP ‘plan’ was the better of the two in the long run. At least “faith and hope” didn’t add to the debt.

I’d like to amend Yogi Berra’s famous line to this: When you come to the fork in the road make a u-turn.

Maybe even more wise was Yogi’s caution, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.”

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10 thoughts on “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Or, Do I Repeat Myself Again?

  1. Depending on which statistics you use, the Bush tax cuts cost more, per job, than the Obama stimulus cost per job (a figure which is widely misquoted and misleading anyway).

    The figure of $278,000 per job attributed to the Obama stimulus counts things towards the job cost which shouldn’t be counted.

    Using the same calculations per job, the Bush Tax cuts, per job, cost either $329,220 per job, or the higher figure used recently, of $500,000 per job, while another uses the figure $800,000 per job.

    Here are some sources for the comparitive analysis of why continuing the Bush tax cuts are job destroying, not job creating, whichever figure you use:

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2010/09/so-how-did-the-bush-tax-cuts-work-out-for-the-economy.html
    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/bush_tax_cuts1.pdf
    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/170105-senate-gop-hopes-to-spring-trap-on-taxes

    There is no indication, no reliable statistics, which support the Republican mantra that tax cuts create jobs or grow the economy. There is recently a lot of talk that China has a more favorable business environment. Sure – they produce unsafe, contaminated products because of a lack of effective regulation; they pay slave wages where people commit suicide to escape their horrible conditions; they are favorable to business because a dictatorial government represses their population and exploits them to benefit a relative few. Is that OUR idea of a good thing? I don’t think so; let us not be like China in those respects.

    1. There is no indication, no reliable statistics, which support the Republican mantra that tax cuts create jobs or grow the economy.

      Of course. Smoke and mirrors but the LIV don’t know that.

  2. Funny how jobs has seem to have fallen out of the budget debate.

    Actually, the budget debate is between a right wing budget and a further right wing budget with the Congressional Progressives Caucus’s People’s Budget being left out of the media coverage.

    It’s funny how Republicans’ worst nightmare looks like a progressive dream: Putting millions of Americans back to work and Subsidizing jobs by taxing the corporations that have so far failed to hire. Add in that It’s depressing that with a Democrat in the White House and Democrats in charge of at least one house of Congress, that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid funding should even be an issue.

    These programs are consistently immensely popular—even when the public thinks they could be administered better, 88 percent think Medicare has been good for the country, followed by 87 percent for Social Security and even 77 percent for Medicaid, the program that provides health services for the poor. A study published in the NY TInes on 7 July confirms with research what public opinion already believes—that Medicaid provides concrete benefits for its recipients Gina Kolata–First Study of Its Kind Shows Benefits of Providing Medical Insurance to Poor).

    1. First Study of Its Kind Shows Benefits of Providing Medical Insurance to Poor).

      …which, of course, is exactly why every GOP candidate wants to slash the Obama health care program. Any questions?

  3. “Seven of ten economists were wrong.” The previous quote confirms a often used definition of economics, that is, economics is the dismal science.

  4. Ah, but economics is one of the three modern greats (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) which is a modern alternative to Classics (known as Greats).

  5. Wrong.

    First, the CBO stated several months ago that without the stimulus package, the unemployment rate would have been between 10.3 and 11.5%.

    Second, there is no doubt decreases of between 1 and 2% in the unemployment rate did occur.

    Third, a lot of Repugs seem to forget that about 40% of ARRA wasn’t spending–it was tax cuts for low- and middle-income taxpayers.

    This is not to say ARRA was perfect; it wasn’t for several reasons. One reason is that it was too small. Another reason is that many states elected to use ARRA monies for purposes other than job creation.

    Don’t fall for the GOP rhetoric. The Repugs certainly know spending on local communities produces jobs. That’s why they crawl through broken glass to make sure the latest defense contract goes to their district or that new prison is located in their state.

    1. Yes, it was too small, but it was the best that the US would come up with given the right wing’s tendency to dislike any spending that doesn’t go to their constituencies.

      Unfortunately, the masses do not have the monetary resources of the Koch Bros or Rupert Murdoch.

      I’m hoping Murdoch’s fall is a sign of better times to come.

      1. He’s under public scrutiny, but the Murdochs aren’t down and out yet; they’re still around.

        I hope it was a joke but there was speculation that if Murdoch has to divest a few things to give the appearance of reorganization to address the problems with his holdings, he might sell Fox News to the Koch Brothers.

        The Republican theme of accountability and personal responsibility is once again shown to be lip service only, and not serious, by the Murdoch questioning in the UK yesterday.

  6. Than you all for moving this conversation forward while I was away for the past two days.

    about 40% of ARRA wasn’t spending–it was tax cuts for low- and middle-income taxpayers….about 40% of ARRA wasn’t spending–it was tax cuts for low- and middle-income taxpayers.

    Yes it was but ‘most’ voters didn’t know that and fall for the GOP propaganda. We are an easily duped electorate. Of course our cousins in the U.K. have apparently been even more duped through the shenanigans of Murdoch & Co. ‘All’ we have here in the U.S. is FoxNews, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and of course the 24/7 radio babble-a-thon.

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