The stimulus worked but was not enough. Here is the result:
This is known as “the scariest jobs chart,” from Calculated Risk.
The number of Americans willing and able to work but who cannot find a job hasn’t stopped growing since the start of 2008. All told, about 22 million Americans are now jobless. Add in those who are working part-time who’d rather be working full time, and we’re up to 25 million.
And because most families depend on two paychecks, the practical impact is almost double.
The DC and business elite don’t feel it. They explain the problem by blaming the people they put out of work, saying the unemployed are just lazy, and unemployment checks keep them from looking for work. They’re doing just fine and taking good care of each other.
Frank Sobatka describes one of the main reasons for the problem:
Frank’s right. Our choice is to manufacture or borrow (until we can’t.) Other countries are being smart on trade. Why aren’t we? We really, really need an industrial policy to guide us back to growth. We can build a new economy from old roots. I mean, what were we thinking? We turned our companies into buy-sell commodities with our country and people as “costs.” So we ended up caught in a machine that grinds us up. This has led to and attitude that citizens are an infestation, if you feed them they breed, like “the help” — you have to make them work, certainly no longer as the people in charge.
We thought moving a factory was “trade,” when it is really about evading democracy’s protections of We, the People. We didn’t see that Wall Street was at war with the real economy and We, the People, paying out $140 billion for bonuses but zero for America’s future. We thought getting back to “normal” was an option. But really, It’s The Economic Paradigm, Stupid!
Here’s another part of the problem: Tax cuts are theft. Our investment in infrastructure created the conditions that enable commerce to prosper – the bounty of democracy. In return we ask those who benefit most from the enterprise we enabled to share the return on our investment with all of us – through good wages, benefits and taxes.
What Can We Do?
Here are parts of the solution: We need a democracy tariff at the border to stop greedy employers from stepping around the wage, safety and environmental protections that We, the People fought to build. We need to tax the wealthy and Wall Street to pay to fix up the infrastructure and public structures that enabled their wealth. Tax Cuts Leave Nothing Behind — Infrastructure Investment Leaves Behind Infrastructure. Not only that, Tax Cuts Caused The Deficits, Therefore…
P.S. if you have time, please click the links.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF. Sign up here for the CAF daily summary.