Quantcast

Web Letters | The Nation

The Jobs Solution > Letters

Web Letter

Rereading this article, I was struck by the idealized illustration run at its head. First, environmentally, do we actually approve of the belching smokestack? Second, the lineup of workers is all male, as is a hugely disproportionate amount of the "recovery" funding's orientation.

The situation does not reflect the very large number of people whose job picture would be a computer screen, or paperwork, or teaching.

In short, it looks like an illustration left over from an outdated socialist tract of the 1920s. This does not look like the present, much less the future. You can do better.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Apr 13 2009 - 4:01pm

Web Letter

The G20 meeting was a farce. Those "world leaders" were like passengers on the Titanic holding holding hands while the ship sank. As I have said, time and time again, it is the disposable income of higher wages that support Western markets. Without industries that support well-paying jobs, there are no Western markets. Seventy percent of the American market and two-thirds of Western Europe's market is supported by the disposable income of ordinary consumers (workers). Low-wage Asian countries cannot replace these markets, because of their low wages. Besides the destruction of their lives and the market, we are also seeing the destruction of major businesses and wealth. Business interest and the "investor class" do not realize these economic policies are destroying their own wealth.

It is very simple! No high-paying jobs, no disposable income, and there is no market. Western markets are not a bottomless pit where other countries can sell cheap goods. If ordinary people have low-paying jobs or no jobs, they cannot buy anything. The purpose of "free trade" or even "smart globalization" is to drive down wages by outsourcing industries and jobs to low-wage countries whose workers cannot buy the goods that they produce. To further drive down wages they import cheap "contract" labor from other countries. However, when jobs and industries are outsourced there is no jobs for anyone regardless of their legal status.

There are many excellent suggestions in this article, and while their is some mention of NAFTA as a problem, the major cure for this problem and"free trade" anarchy is tariffs. The "only" way you can keep jobs, industries, and a market in any country is behind a very high wall of tariffs. This is how countries are developed! It is how America became a fully developed country! Without tariffs there is no development, and nothing but "Free Trade" corporate rape of the world. The irony of this situation is, that without the markets supported by good jobs, corporate and individual wealth is destroyed. These idiots are committing economic suicide.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Apr 6 2009 - 1:34pm

Web Letter

The US has run a budget deficit nearly every year since 1791. Every dollar of the $7.1 trillion trade deficit has been recycled back into the US by buying Treasury debt. The United States has no intention of paying off its debt. As long as the US dollar is the reserve currency of the world, then nations that have a trade surplus with America must buy our debt or their currency exchange rate will not be competitive. One big disadvantage of this is that they finance our wars and outsized military as well as our domestic programs. There is no possibility of the US going bankrupt because we borrow no foreign currency. As long as the Fed can control the unwinding so that inflation and interest rates are in check, we will be fine.

Almost all of the investments by the Fed and Treasury are backed up with assets. Japan has twice as much debt as the US as a percentage of GDP and they don't seem to be doomed. American consumers have benefited from low-cost imports. Manufacturing peaked in 1979. Detroit would not be in so much trouble if the government had started raising gasoline taxes in the mid 1970s so we would have leapfrogged the SUV days--and we would have more efficient cars today.

The future of America lies in green technology and energy jobs. We can develop these kinds of technologies that we can export. We also need to overhaul our health system and greatly improve our education, exactly the path the president wants to go down.

If you look at the data, credit markets are thawing and leading indicators are improving. It is too early to know if you and Mr. Krugman are correct about the size of the stimulus. I am perfectly satisfied.

John M. Wilkins

Bradfordwoods, PA

Apr 5 2009 - 11:08am

Web Letter

How was our last best hope, personified by Barack Hussein Obama, so easily seduced by Wall street. What power does Summers and Geithner have so much sway? How does a seemingly rational person so easily turned down wall street. Car industry will pay us back, the global casino boys on wall street won't.

James L. Pinette

Caribou, Maine

Apr 5 2009 - 10:53am

Web Letter

What is America's Business Plan?

It seems to be:
1. outsource all jobs, even high-paying ones;
2. shut down the country's heavy industry and manufacturing sector;
3. blame Americans caught in layoffs for not "fmaking the right choices" for a career;
4. limit healthcare to only those in government and in corporations;
5. make higher education costs impossible to pay for, so that students either cannot go to college or, if they do, find themselves in debt for huge sums;
6. making the door smaller for Americans to have a good life;
7. bailing out banks while allowing small business and workers to sink.

We need a new American Business Plan, but where will it come from and how will it be set in motion, since our Congress is on the side of outsourcing, bank rescue at the expense of the worker, "free trade," where children in China make products for 10 cents a day.

We're in trouble, we lack a business plan for America, but we seem to have one for corporations and banks.

Patrick Jackson

Chapel Hill, NC

Apr 5 2009 - 8:59am

Web Letter

"The Jobs Solution" is a welcome assessment and prescription for action. As a GM retiree, I am particularly concerned about the threatening stance of the administration. They seem to have lost sight of their mission and appear to have devolved to union-busting. This article may serve to help bring them to their senses.

It is regrettable that the authors used a war image, especially since it is erroneous. As valiant an effort as it was, "we" did not win the war at Normandy. There were many "D Days," especially in the Pacific. Many nations contributed to victory. If the authors mean that a heavy casualty rate indicates the victor, then the laurel goes to the Soviet Union. They had designated "shock troops." A volunteer for that duty was promised a statue in his home town when he died. There are very many statues.

Before Tarawa, US Marines were given instructions about the care of their feet to take their minds off the fact that they would die the next day. They are our shock troops.

If anything, the reference to war is a reminder to our inexperienced leaders not to take this battle lightly.

Louis Ricker

Italy, TX

Apr 3 2009 - 12:07pm

Web Letter

Too many of the ideas currently being floated would punish job creation thru things like higher taxes or mandated healthcare expenses. Such things should only be phased in after a new or older, but struggling firm has several years of solid profitability.

Reward success, on jobs, don't punish it.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby , PA

Apr 3 2009 - 8:55am

Web Letter

Excellent article. There is however one measure that would immediately save millions of jobs and put over $ 1.5 trillion right into the economy: John Conyers HR 676, Medicare for All.

HR 676 would immediately help re-capitalize business, state and local government by taking over health insurance costs.

HR 676 would insure the under- and uninsured and in so doing reduce emergency room costs due to under treatment and cut in half bankruptcies due to medical bills, which currently are 50 percent of bankruptcies.

HR 676 Medicare for All would allow standardization of records, billings and treatments based on best practice, allowing us to reduce costs overall and to once again become competitive with all the other G7 nations that provide health insurance for their workers and populations. We now spend 60 percent to 80 percent more than our counterparts per GDP yet have over 100 million people, over 25 percent of the population, either under- or uninsured.

Perhaps the most important benefit and stimulus would be the reduction of stress and the confidence-building that HR 676 would initiate. It is a proven fact that this measure would increase people's propensity to spend and sense of well-being and this would help turn the economy around.

Michael McKinlay

Hercules, CA

Apr 2 2009 - 3:52pm

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.