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Jobs, Fairness and the American Way

Posted by Tsach Gilboa on November 23, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Fairness and the American Way

With 25-40 million American looking for jobs and/or a full time job, the issue here is simple: Where are the jobs?

Taking the Republican premise of lower taxes to the “Job Creators” will result in the jobs at face value, the obvious issue and problem is: where are those jobs after 10 years of lower taxes?  It is peculiar that during the Clinton years with higher taxes for the upper brackets, 23 million jobs were created, the economy was booming and the federal government had a surplus, while under the Bush W. administration, taxes were cut, approximately 0 to 1 million jobs were created (depending on who you talk to) and we went into a financial meltdown and recession due to unregulated financial institutions that went Wild Wild West with our money, with disastrous results.

Yesterday NYC Mayor and billionaire Blumberg presented a solution to our economic problems.  Blumberg suggested that President Obama should declare that he will veto any attempt to renew the Bush tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire at the end of the year (another decade of those cuts for the top 5% will cost the US treasury 2 trillion dollars).  He went on to say that we should not worry about responsibility on this issue but that we should move forward from that point, and let bygones be bygones (kind of a reconciliation process without the apology and come the Jesus part).

Now, that kind of sounds like a good “Turn the other cheek” kind of a plan, doesn’t it? However, there is a small problem with it, and that is, accountability and consequences for ones actions, or more accurately, the lack there of.  After years of a rigged system that made sure wealth flowed up and did not trickle down, now we want to forget the recent past and the  sacrifice the majority of the US population made and start anew, leaving wealthy individuals and corporations, and specifically the financial investment and banking industry, that was the major cause of this crisis and misery, to enjoy the fruits of their poisonous actions with impunity. And what kind of a message does this send to young people who plan to get into the financial industry?

And lets not forget the contribution of our representatives in the congress and senate (sitting pretty with good pay and great health benefits and pensions) as well as the previous administration, and to a certain lesser extent, the current administration, to this crisis.  Agai, the issue is that without consequences and accountability there is no motivation to change–simple human nature –and the reason and need for a penal system, albeit a reformed and modified one from the current unfair and broken one we have.

To Mr. Blumberg, all I can say is, it is easy for the billionaire to call for forgetting the transgressions and corruptions of Wall Street investment bankers and others who participated and profited for years from a system rigged in their favor, at the expense of the middle and lower economic classes, although I applaud his efforts and contribution to  coming up with a fair solution.  To make it a fair solution, shared sacrifice as the guiding principle has to include the existing sacrifice of the middle and lower economic classes and the accountability of and payment by those who have profited from the current system, as the opening move to changing and improving the system to make it fair for all.  People should be rewarded for their hard work and contribution and given the opportunity to improve and join a prosperous again middle class and not just those who are connected and close to the troth. Government has an important, albeit limited, role to play in making our country competitive again as well as restoring it to being the world’s most coveted destination.  That requires and demands a big and bold jobs plan that will get Americans back to work and restore the US position as a manufacturer of goods and services for export to the rest of the world, in addition to, being the cradle of innovation  (The deficit, a worthy and important issue that MUST be resolved, needs to take a back seat to our critical unemployment and recession challenge).

To accomplish those goals requires specifically, revamping our education system to graduate the best and brightest, as well as all others, to be able to compete in this global economy, a revamped immigration policy that provides foreign graduates the ability and motivation to stay and contribute here in the US after they benefited from our higher education institutes, as well as, providing a path to citizenship to those who qualify, a fixed and improved infrastructure across the nation to facilitate commerce and innovation and a revamped tax system that does away with loopholes and provides for a fair sharing of the tax burden across the whole US population.

It is perplexing and sad to see the Washington DC debate still not focused on the critical issue of jobs and instead concentrating on the deficit, partisan politics and the usual social issues red herrings.

 


Categories: Age of Rudeness & Mediocrity

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