Monthly Archives: October 2012

No jobs here. Well, unless you count that 10%…


Hard-Working Americans Are What Create Jobs, Not Government  | Mitt Romney for President

Mitt's Plan to Create 12 Million New Jobs | Mitt Romney for President

Again, and again, the far right and Romney have made the argument that government does not create jobs.  The center right via Obama has joined him, as recently as the 2nd partial presidential debate on October 16, when Obama was again “accused” of believing that government creates jobs, Peter, er, Obama answered, “That’s not what I believe. I believe that the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity.”

Are you ready for this?  Are you sitting down?  Brace yourself.  This is yet another lie.  Shocking, I know.  Stop and think about this and you will realize just what a foolish lie it is.  First, it is being stated by two men who either currently do or recently have held jobs created by the government.  ACK!

But, on a more serious note, what other jobs does the government create?  Before we get into that, let’s have a little reminder, we are the government.  The people who make up the government are us.  The money that funds the government is ours.  The money that the government spends comes back into our economy.  And, guess what, each job that the government does, in fact, create is taxed thus creating a full job cycle.

So, what other jobs does the government create?  Directly?

In fact, when taken in total, the Brookings Institute while analyzing the July unemployment report noted that government employment is lower over the last 4 years than between 2001 and 2007.  In fact:

Between 2001 and 2007, the average ratio of government employment to population was 9.7 percent. Had that share remained steady, government employment would have been more than 23.6 million in June 2012 as compared to its actual level of 21.9 million. That is, employment would be 1.7 million jobs higher today if the share had remained constant, and the unemployment rate would be 7.1 percent instead of the current rate of 8.2 percent

(As a side note, that’s touches on another lie that the far right has been spreading.  The government is actually smaller under Obama than it was under Bush.  The only area that it has grown is in the military and defense, which the war hawks ought to love.  I’ll let you look that one up for yourselves, since that’s not really the issue at hand today.)

So, those are the direct jobs.  But, there is more to the story, of course.  There are the indirect jobs.  There are the construction jobs for roads.  There are the government contractors in the food services, the security services, the building and automotive maintenance, the computer suppliers, both hardware and software, the clothing suppliers, the pest control services, etc.  There are so many that it literally takes a book just to list all the varieties.  Then, to list all of the various companies that count on those connections requires a fairly large database.

This is not an insubstantial job creating force in our economy, so the claim that government does not create jobs is simply foolish.  These are not companies that are “sucking at the government teat”.  These are companies that are providing services and for which they are being compensated.  Is there waste and abuse?  Absolutely.  Should we root that out?  Absolutely.  Is it as widespread and deep as many would have you believe?  Highly unlikely, with one exception.  In the military-congressional complex.  When the military is literally telling congress to stop giving them so much money, and congress continues to pile it on, well, something is rotten in Denmark.

From there though, we have a tertiary affect that is not to be discounted.  Anyone that was paying attention when the discussions of base closings comes up remembers.  Anyone who is paying attention when our elected officials are wooing new large businesses into the area with tax breaks and other incentives will have noticed.  If you live somewhere with a major sports team, or likely even a minor league team.  These are the businesses who grow around having as customers those people who are directly or indirectly employed by the government.  A military base in the area will support restaurants, gun shops, bars, grocery stores, gas stations, and hundreds of other businesses in the area, simply because the people who are stationed there will be patrons to those businesses.

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Labor is the United States


A – “Labor is the United States. The men and women, who with their minds, their hearts and hands, create the wealth that is shared in this country — they are America.”

B – “Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

C – “Industrial harmony, expressing these mutual interests, can best be achieved in a climate of free collective bargaining, with minimal government intervention except by mediation and conciliation”

D – “We believe that, to the widest possible extent consistent with the public interest, management and labor should determine wage rates and conditions of employment through free collective bargaining.”

E – “We demand an end to the Project Labor Agreements; and we call for repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act, which costs the taxpayers billions of dollars annually in artificially high wages on government projects. We support the right of States to enact Right-to-Work laws and encourage them to do so to promote greater economic liberty. Ultimately, we support the enactment of a National Right-to-Work law to promote worker freedom and to promote greater economic liberty.”

F – “We reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental principle of fairness in labor relations, including the legal right of unions to organize workers and to represent them through collective bargaining consistent with state laws and free from unnecessary government involvement.”

That’s right, kiddies.  One of these things is not like the others.  Which is it?  Actually it’s a trick question.  There are two answers.  We’ll come back to that in a minute.

I find it very interesting how poorly informed people are.  I was having a discussion with a Republican friend of mine yesterday, and he brought up politics.  During the course of the conversation, I asked him why he was a Republican.  His response was, “Basic beliefs”.  I asked him what that meant, and pointed out that 50 years ago, the Republican party supported Unions.  He claimed that I was misinformed.  Very interesting, no?

Let’s see … hmmm … Who might be the most obvious example one could come up with?  Oh, that’s right!!!  Ronald Wilson Reagan

  • Elected to the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild in 1941
  • Elected 3rd Vice-President of the Screen Actors Guild in 1946
  • Elected President of the Screen Actors Guild in 1947 – 1952 and again in 1959

Now, I am not endorsing Reagan.  We also know that he used this position to feed the FBI with people he believed to be Communists or sympathizers.  (For which, the FBI in return spied on his children.  What a guy!!)

Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Republicans removed the right of the public union employees to collectively bargain.  Reagan never even attempted that.  His objection, even when he broke the PATCO strike, was against their right to strike.  Still a foul, but not even in the same league.  It took away their strongest tool, but it did not remove their rights!  These Republicans are a horse of a whole other color.  They are pushing to actually take rights away.

And, they are succeeding!!

There are ways in which even I will acknowledge that perhaps some unions have gained too much.  SOME.  However, if the conservatives are to be taken at their word, then there should be no one to blame for that.  (Yes, I realize the lunacy in that!)  Why is that?  Well, quite simply, it means that the system is working the way that they claim they want it to.  Two parties entered into a negotiation.  Each party had something to offer to the other.  At the end of the negotiation, a deal was struck.

So, in reality what we have here are spoiled grapes, no?  The children made the rules, and then when they lost the game, they want to whine about it, and retroactively change the rules.

As I have said before, and I will likely say again, to be anti-union is to, by definition, be against the people.

So, back to our game.

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Eye of the Beholder


Art

Beauty

Goodness

Pornography

What do these things have in common?  Like so many other things, they only have value in the eye of the beholder.  Further than that though, they only have meaning in the eye of the beholder.  The infamous “I know it when I see it” is often as good as any other explanation, though reams, nay tons (literally) have been written on each subject.  Careers have been made on their study.  Theories expounded.  (Some of which I am more partial to than others, because they make more sense to me.  However, that may just as well be my own bias as their validity, no?)

American political campaigns at a national level drag on far too long.  To the point where they are exhausting for all involved – the electorate, the candidates, the campaign staff, the media, and even the political junkies.  But, what is even worse, is that there is so much misinformation out there, and it isn’t serving any real purpose.

Let’s face a brutal fact here, shall we?  Most people are not looking for information or opinions with an open mind.  They are not gathering information in order to then reach a conclusion.  This is not a scientific process.  No, rather this is, for the vast majority of people, a religious process.  They are, at best, looking for validation.  They are looking for someone to agree with them.  They’re looking for someone that the next time they are having an argument/discussion with another someone of the “opposite” political persuasion, they will be able to cite as part of their arsenal.  Someone to use as part of their, “But, George Will says,” or “But, as Thomas Jefferson said”, if they bother to cite sources at all.

If people were looking for facts with an open mind, then we would have a very different election cycle.  The conversation would be a very different one.  We would not, for example, hear repeatedly about how in debt we are to China when the actual indebtedness to China is approximately 7% of the overall debt (as of July 2012).  This is, in the big picture, a tiny fraction.  However, to hear those on the right tell it, China owns our souls.  We owe Japan almost as much ($1.12 trillion versus $1.15 trillion) and yet that is not all over the news.  We do not hear Romney talking about how he’d cut programs based on, “Is it valuable enough to borrow money from Japan to pay for?”  That is what we call misdirection.

We hear talk about cutting funding to PBS.  Really?  Because cutting 0.012% of the federal budget on a service that is invaluable to much of the country will really make a difference.  This sounds like no big deal to people who live in major markets.  In larger markets, this would be no big deal.  To Sesame Street productions, this would really not directly be a hit.  But, for smaller markets, this will mean an end to this service.  But, that’s that 47% Romney doesn’t care about, right?  Oh, no.  That was just an inelegant statement.  He didn’t really mean that.  Again, in the eye of the beholder.

Let me just put this out there bluntly.  If you really believe that Romney did not mean that he didn’t care about that 47%, you are simply either a fool or you are being intentionally blind.  You decide which it is.  The man said what he meant, in a private conversation, amongst people he thought were “safe” and it got out.  Then he was embarrassed and he’s got to try to back pedal on it.  Those are, again, facts.  You do not misspeak those words that badly.  This was not a slip of the lip where he said one or two words in error, or in the wrong order.  This was 1 minute out of a much longer speech.

Following the Vice-presidential debate all of the far right “news” sources (Fox, Daily Caller, etc) are trying to push the line, as Britt Hume put it, that “I thought it was rude. And I have a feeling it will come across to an awful lot of people as rude. It looked like a cranky old man to some extent, debating a polite young man.”  They are trying to push the angle the Ryan won the debate.  Hume himself though points out that if you pay attention to facts, “If you read the transcript, you might conclude that the vice president had a very strong debate, that he had a lot to say, that he was strongly critical of Gov. Romney and his program, that he held his own.”

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