Who Are the Job Creators? Not Who Boehner Would Have You Believe.
The current refrain from the Republican Party is that raising taxes on the most wealthy Americans will be hurting the ‘job creators.’ This reasoning seems to hinge on the belief that the wealthy, given money, will put it back into the economy and generate growth. This is just another rephrasing of the debunked trickle-down economic theory they’ve been pushing since wealth inequity started spiraling out of control in the 80’s under Raeganomics.
The other misleading spin on the Republican corporate profit protection strategy is to mislabel the primary subjects of revenue increase as ‘small business’ and ‘middle class’ American families. Unless you can consider Koch Industries a small business, and Darrell Issa a part of the middle class, this argument doesn’t hold any more water than the ice cube in Boehners glass of scotch.
For two years, prior to becoming Speaker of the House, John Boehner repeatedly put the burden on Nancy Pelosi to answer the question, “where are the jobs?” Since taking that position himself, rather than assuming the responsibility he assigned to Speaker Pelosi, Boehner has simply shifted the target of his incessant whining to President Obama. “Where are the jobs?” Boehner seems to think that corporations and the financial elite need just a little more incentive, and a few more tax breaks, with some deregulation thrown in for good measure, and they’ll start putting America back to work.
There are several reasons why this plan is beyond irresponsible, and, in fact, downright ridiculous.
The only responsibility corporations have is to make a profit. They have zero responsibility for job creation, or the economic health of the country. That is not their role. In fact, if they choose to accept this as their role, they will be violating the responsibility they have to their shareholders. Their job is to keep labor costs low and profits high. This is why they outsource jobs and move production to countries where they have already successfully compromised the economy and created a desperate, and therefore cheap, workforce. You won’t see any major job creation from the private sector until their plan to break the American economy down, and disenfranchise the labor force, is complete.
A healthy economy with a well paid labor force is anathema to the desires of the corporations and financial institutions that are being protected by the debt ceiling debate scam that is going on. To think that fixing the American economy is in their best interest is a foolish mistake. If the Republicans are successful in forcing a default, or even threaten it to the point of damaging America’s credit rating, it will only benefit their corporate constituents. They are all protected by the tax haven loopholes that the Republicans are fighting to protect. They won’t be saddled with the burden. It will be the American workers that get pinched. By breaking the American economy, the wealthy will be able to afford more for less. More of your labor, and more of your natural resources, and all at bargain prices.
The real job creators are the American people. The people’s need for infrastructure, alternative energy sources, adequately staffed schools, and access to health care are the basis for employment that will create secure jobs for American workers. The corporate model of creating products based on profit potential, rather than need, does not provide lasting job security. Trinkets and toys, pet rocks and hoola hoops, may be products that make someone wealthy, for a time, but they’re not what you can base an economy on; especially if you’re only taxing the grunts making the Hoola Hoops rather than the owner of the company making all the profits.
The other part of the corporate model, which is to capitalize on human needs by holding services hostage for profit, like the American health insurance industry, is equally as detrimental to both society as well as the economy. Why would anyone put the health of a nations future in the hands of those that can’t see beyond the next quarter profits?
We already know what the wealthiest corporations and financial institutions did with the bail-out money they extorted from the American people. They kept it. They moved jobs overseas, they foreclosed on your homes, they put you out of work, and they took home the largest bonuses they’ve ever had. What could possibly make Boehner think that anything would be different this time around? Boehner is asking us to believe that these corporations, given the chance, will act in the best interest of the American people rather than according to their mandate, legal responsibility, historical track record, and fundamental character. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen.
However, with what is referred to as an election season -within the never ending election season that is American politics- coming up, the revenues from corporate benefactors are apparently worth selling out the American people. And, unfortunately, the Republicans are actually in what may be a win-win situation regarding this. Obama is already bent over into his favorite negotiating stance, so, even if an agreement is reached it will still keep the bulk of the burden on the American people. Republicans, on the other hand, have already been allowed to push things so far in favor of the special interests they represent that any concessions made will be little more than symbolic. In the end, it will be the real working class, the 99% of us that don’t own a politician, that pay the price.
Why are the Republicans pushing to put more power and profit potential in the hands of those they are protecting from regulation and taxation? Their plan takes more money out of the economy, and robs the American people of control over the services they fund with their tax dollars. Republicans want to give those services to corporations to profit from, and use the American people’s tax dollars to pay for the debt that the wealthy created. In other words, one way or another, under the Republican plan, all the money, and the profits from our needed services, end up in the hands of their corporate masters.
They already hold health care hostage; do we really want every road to be a toll road, every school to have high tuitions, and police and fire protection to only be available to those that pay up?
Privatization of these crucial services will only ensure that they suffer the same consequences that the rest of the predatory capitalist system is suffering; it will be profits before people, and the unsustainability of the failed theory of infinite growth within a finite system. Those things that are the most fundamentally important for human survival, are simply not meant to be ‘for profit.’
The real job creators are the American people. The roads, bridges, high-speed rail, and public transportation needs are what will put Americans to work in secure positions. Well paid, and well educated, teachers are what will ensure growth for coming generations. Accessibility to health care will create jobs as well as a healthy work force. The retention of natural resources will ensure low production costs to achieve the necessary goals.
Since the 1980’s, during the same period that corporate profits, deregulation, CEO salaries, and wealth inequity proliferated, American infrastructure, education, health care, and standard of living has decreased. The roads are crumbling, the rail system is an embarrassment, public transportation is all but non-existent, and your high school graduate is fortunate if they can read at an eighth grade level. Did the Republican prescriptions fail? No, this is success. These are the only results that their policies can bring; a cheap, desperate, labor pool.
Unless Americans want more of the same they are going to have to take responsibility for their own economy. Handing it over to banksters and profiteers will not make your world better, it will only continue to get worse. Continuing the same policies will only ensure more of the same outcomes. It is time for the American people to become the job creators.