PROPOSAL FOR SUSTAINABLE AMERICAN RECOVERY
“GREAT RECESSION 2008-_____”
The purpose of this petition is to repeal the NAFTA agreement as the first step in returning jobs to America. This country is in an emergency crisis situation with only 3.2 million jobs available, while there are 26 million unemployed...
PROPOSAL FOR SUSTAINABLE AMERICAN RECOVERY
“GREAT RECESSION 2008-_____”
The purpose of this petition is to repeal the NAFTA agreement as the first step in returning jobs to America. This country is in an emergency crisis situation with only 3.2 million jobs available, while there are 26 million unemployed Americans. This information was clearly reported by Senator Tom Harkin in a speech on the floor of the senate just prior to passage of the long awaited unemployment extension bill HR4213. The actual unemployment rate is 17% of the civilian labor force.
It is my position that the NAFTA agreement, signed into law in 1993, allowed manufacturers to shut down factories in our nation and build them right across the borders of Canada and Mexico. As a result, millions of our jobs have been transplanted onto foreign soil in the process. America has been bleeding jobs off our shores and across our borders long enough and repealing the NAFTA agreement is the first step in the healing process for our nation.
The time has come in American politics where the voice of the average American worker is not heard in the halls of Congress. The middle class worker finds no advocate on the floor of the Senate chamber or even in the House of Representatives. This congress has been cavalier in the way it handles any business that may help American workers, such as:
Closing tax loopholes that benefit companies for sending American jobs overseas
Taxing the big oil companies that have shown record profits and got tax refunds
Not only is our Congress not interested in plugging the drain that is responsible for sending our jobs away, they stand aside and allow tax loopholes to continue sending our jobs across our borders elsewhere. Furthermore, our Congress wants to raise our taxes, while giving big oil companies tax refunds.
Americans today find themselves in an emergency crisis situation that is bigger than Katrina, the oil slick in the gulf and Haiti combined. We are still in what has been called the “Great Recession”, whether anyone chooses to admit to our situation. A recession is not over when there are over 26 million unemployed workers in America today, with an actual unemployment rate of 17%. Yes, that is right, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has lied to us about the real numbers, imagine that!!!
The 111th Congress has chosen to simply ignore the situation in regard to the actual number of unemployed workers in relation to the number of actual jobs available in America. We have all heard the 5:1 ratio; however, the actual ratio is more like 8:1. By the end of July, there will be a total of over 7 million Americans left behind without any benefits. Less than half this figure is related to the new exhaustees that have lost their benefits after only 6 months.
In response to the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt enacted short term and long term programs to alleviate immediate suffering and to strengthen the economy. FDR’s new deal had a tendency toward "Keynesian" economic policies of revitalizing a mass-consumption based economy by revitalizing the masses ability to consume.
English economist John Maynard Keynes sought both to explain why depressions occurred and what might be done to prevent them. Simply put, he thought government should use its massive financial power (taxing and spending) as a sort of ballast to stabilize the economy. Depressions, then, should be attacked with increased government spending at the bottom of the income pyramid. This position is the opposite of "trickle down." Keynesian economists call this "counter-cyclical demand management," believing that the government's massive financial impact can be used as a counterweight to current market forces.
The extension of benefits to unemployed American workers in a time of crisis is an example of Keynesian economics at its best. Consumer demand would, of course, increase as a result of all unemployed Americans having benefits. The Great Depression lasted a span of at least 10 years, until the start of WWII. Comparatively, the Great Recession has lasted for 2 years and it will probably take several more years of sustained recovery efforts until this recession is truly behind us.
Today, we find ourselves in a situation where there is no sustained recovery effort to help pull the country out of this recession. Part of FDR’s new deal was the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). These programs were set up and employed 8 to 10 million Americans building infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, electrical power grid, buildings, and dams. I realize Congress has passed the recovery act, however, this act has not provided the 10 to 20 million jobs that are required to get this country back on a sustainable path of recovery. In fact, this program is reminiscent of the “trickle down” approach taken by Herbert Hoover, who lost the election to FDR in 1932. Hoover actually resisted calls for government intervention on behalf of individuals during the period just prior to the election.
Today, I am proposing that the Obama administration take a look at lessons learned in the past administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. That Mr. Obama takes a stance on the issue of recovery in this national emergency and call on Congress to enact measures similar to the Works Progress Administration and finally extend benefits to all unemployed American workers until the “actual” unemployment rate is brought below 7%. These measures would be implemented for at least 1 year and then phased out as manufacturing jobs return to America.
The new legislation before the senate should certainly include the American workers whose benefits ran out after 99 weeks. These are proud American citizens who want jobs; there simply are not enough jobs to go around, since there are only 3.2 million jobs available for the 26 million workers who need a job. In fact, HR 4213 will provide benefits to less than half the American citizens who need those benefits today. 26 million are unemployed, while less than 6 million have benefits, even with the benefit provisions of HR 4213.
The 111th Congress should also enact legislation to build infrastructure, such as telecom, roads, bridges, dams and improvements to the electrical power grid in the northeast. According to Keynesian Economics, this is the time to invest in the American economy to assist in pulling the country out of the deep hole we were in at the end of the Bush administration. The recovery act appeared to help, however, not near enough to create the millions of jobs we need to bring ourselves out of this situation. Repealing the NAFTA agreement would also help in creating jobs here at home.
Furthermore, put an end to the tax loopholes that benefit American corporations for shutting down factories and building them in China, Mexico or anywhere else in the world. Enact new legislation that would make it illegal to shut down factories, just to build them somewhere else. Finally, raise taxes on foreign goods to stem the flow from foreign sources and force American corporations to invest back into America, not because they love this country, because they have no choice in order to stay in business. These American corporations will not invest back into this country, unless they are forced to do so, no incentives will do the trick. They have invested in China and Mexico ever since the NAFTA agreement and other free trade agreements were signed into law, sending our jobs away over the last 15+ years. These corporations have saved countless billions in taxes and haven't had the EPA looking over their shoulder all this time.
I am a jobless Veteran American Professional and I am simply fed up with the lethargic governmental response to a national emergency. I love this country and I am proud to be an American and I want this country to succeed in taking care of the people who are suffering in the grip of this recession. Many have already died, as the rate of suicide has increased by a staggering percentage.
America is fighting two foreign wars with a volunteer military, while the mothers and fathers of these soldiers still suffer at home with no relief in sight. Here again, Congress can spend taxpayer dollars to fund these wars, while leaving dear old mom and dad to fend for themselves.
TIME FOR ACTION
The Obama administration should act now before the country falls back into a worse recession. Economists claim that we are headed for a double dipped recession, which just tells me that the recession is not over and will be twice as long as it has been. Let’s wake up here folks, and quit ignoring a festering situation that will result in an even longer Great Recession and longer recovery.