Re: Slowly but Surely?
As I see it, the crumbling infrastructure and decay of buildings, etc is all a symptom of greater economic woes. In the US we have long seen other symptoms. Americans put in longer hours than any other Western country. In fact, of the countries that track such things, only Japan works more than the US... and not by very much. Europians work considerably fewer hours and get more vacation time to boot.
Originally Posted by Frankiarmz
Also, in the US "two wage earner" families have become the defacto standard. I'm not talking about those women that prefer to work, I'm referring to the fact that dual incomes have become necessary just to make ends meet. This wasn't the case until about 40 years ago. This is a major decline in the US standard of living, with IMO huge negative implications to children and the basic concept of the nuclear family. We tend to worry about all the social issues that negatively impact children, but IM none of them hold a candle to the problem created when both parents get home at 6:30 and are too exhausted to deal with their kids. What a disaster.
I appreciate the comments about rebuilding the infrastructure but do not see how this creates sustainable job growth, which to me is the issue. That's why I argue for investment in technologies that relate directly to manufacturing. As Frank points out, that is the area where we are doing poorly. If we get that back on track, and grow the US economy... then tax revenues will increase and we will be able to afford to rebuild the infrastructure. If we put money into infrastructure, we will end up with a nice new infrastructure.... along with debt, no new jobs, and no improvement in our ability to compete in the world market.
Re: Slowly but Surely?
Yes, but how do you regulate or guarantee that invested dollars in any U.S. company is going to stay here and actually create jobs? While I do agree with your thoughts, my experience simply has not proven that such investments help U.S. workers.
Perhaps I live in the worst "corporate" area of the country, but I have seen a lot of "investment" by both local and state governments and all of it left the country on the very first opportunity.
Case 1. The place I once worked, accepted $10 Million from the state of NY in 2001. On the same day that Gov. Potacki (sp?) was handing the first payment of that sum over to our CEO, the company laid off over 130 employees... mostly over the age of 45 and in that process it didn't follow any of the rules defined by the Federal "Older Workers Protection Act".
Within two month of that date, that same CEO announced that several products were moving overseas. We lost two of our plant's product lines...one went to Naroda, India and the other to Shanghii, China. Nobody gave the money back and nobody went to jail.
Case 2. The largest employer in our area was at the top of thier game during the "Tech Boom". It was expanding facilities and building new plants here in the U.S.. Many of these new plants were really being competed for by several communities. Bonds were taken on by the winning municipalities for new streets, sewer, highway rennovation. All to accomodate the new facilities and to meet the demands of this new employer who would be hiring hundreds of new employers in these communities.
When the "bust" hit, this company just walked away, abandoning several facilities and laying off hundreds. In many cases, the promise of hiring had yet to be fulfilled and of course all that went away.
Certainly, no one should blame them for that, as certainly they were in "survival" mode and things got really bad. But, within a couple of years things picked up tremendously and the company's stock went up dramatically. But instead of renewing their plans with these communities, they took it all to China. Investing over $5 Billion in the first part of that venture; and since then, those investments have continued.
All of that infrastructure work then became the burden to the taxpayers of those communities. Not only didn't they get those jobs, but they become even more impoverished.
So, what is going to ensure that U.S. taxpayer money is going to be invested, NOT in greedy corporations who may profiteer from it, but in companies that will employ U.S. workers?
How do we grow jobs in a profitable way for American workers and how do prevent corporate and Wall Street greed from stealing us blind as they have in the past? Likewise, when are we going to make it a matter of "National Security" to employ American workers first... buy American machinery first... and realize that no U.S. company run by U.S. executives should be able to profiteer by off-shoring the jobs that were once held by American workers. Neither should they be allowed to profit by simply changing their headquarter's address to some foriegn country! Just like you and me, corportations have a responsibility to pay taxes to the country that has enriched them. I think it is far past the time when U.S. corporations get a patriotic backbone, and when our politicians and all of our citizens look at the practice of "off-shoring" and "tax avoidance" via change to a foreign corporate address, as a matter akin to treason!
I realize that my point of view is somewhat limited in certain matters. It is what it is because of what I've seen and what the realities are where I live. But, I've tried my best to read and listen and not just at the local news and the visiting radicals. I look at national and international news from many sources, not just Fox News and the radical pundits and self-centered fear mongers who are in it for no other reason than their own popularity ratings. There are a lot of so-called "leaders" out there that are thriving on making you and me fearful.
I have friends in other countries and I know that there's a lot of concern in our world, about where my country is going and where it's been. While certainly there is much to be proud of, there is also many things to be ashamed of too.
I have a simple vision of economics... in our free interprise system we can all make money; some of us will just be able to make "a living" because of our circumstances (education, age, race, sex, personality, political awareness, and quite simply "opportunity"). Other's unfortunately cannot make a living, regardless of ambition or willingness; and of course, there's far too many who get by quite well, simply from working nothing more than the system itself.
So while I realize that none of us are equal in our earnings abilities, nor should we be; but some among us are in a position to steal from the rest of us. There is a matter of fairness in the job market and in human value. There is also only so much money in the world at any particular point in time. If one individual is making scandously more than others... well then, I'm sorry, but they are stealing it! Should any CEO makes a hundred times or more, than their average employee? Should any manager make tens of thousands more than the people they manage? Should anyone, anywhere get a bonus for screwing up the company and should anyone ever, be paid a bonus when the company they are running has done terribly.
Lots of us complain about "welfare", as those who are too lazy to work. And surely there is some truth's to that. But everyone who takes "assistance" is NOT lazy, nor are they "milking" the system. I can only offer pity, if you've never been in need or known someone who is in need. Instead of being angry about those poor folks, you should be in alarm over those who are sucking $billions out of your company, your retirement fund, your investments, or your state and local governments; and especially so when they are doing that in the process of sending or keeping our jobs in some foreign country.
Last edited by CWSmith; 11-07-2010 at 12:51 AM.
Reason: errors, deletions, additions
Re: Slowly but Surely?
Right now there is no reason for businesses or individuals to invest their wealth in jobs here in the USA. Would it be possible to encourage such an investment by doing what other countries do, impose heavy tarrifs and import limits? Every time I hear an economist or politician talk about free trade and open markets, it reminds me that only our markets are truly open for all to trade freely! The choice is simple, bite the bullet now and legislate to "encourage" a return to the USA or continue to see businesses, jobs and American dollars leave.
Originally Posted by CWSmith
Does anyone remember what happened when President Bush tried to save our steel industry and limit foreign imports? Global bullies quickly made it clear that open markets and free trade are meaningless catch phrases. China, europe, vietnam, sri lanka and the rest of the countires that supply us with clothing and most of our consumer goods are not our friends. The corporate leaders who picked up and took their jobs out of the USA , are not our friends. We should be able to have some impact on our destiny, but we need our legislators to work for us and not the folks who wine and dine them.
Last edited by Frankiarmz; 11-06-2010 at 11:26 PM.
Re: Slowly but Surely?
A CEOs job is to maximize the profitability of his Company. That's why Obama stimuli, or republican tax cuts, have had and will continue to have no effect on stimulating job recovery. Companies will take the money and use it to maximize their return.
Originally Posted by CWSmith
You have to change the rules of the game to make domestic production more profitable than outsourcing. Or the money is wasted.
Obama stimuli gets spent. Unfortunately, it gets spent on imported goods. Result? No US jobs.
Republican policy promotes tax cuts for corporate America. The invest in expansion of their business so as to maximize their return. That means, outsourced production. Result? No US jobs.
BOTH parties are not getting it done.
NEITHER, and the Tea Party as well for that matter, is addressing CHANGING THE RULES of the game to make domestic production economically favorable.
Plenty can be done in this respect. Import duties and restrictions are necessary. US payroll taxes should be assessed on every single job outsourced by a US company. No goods should be allowed to be imported that aren't manufactured in accordance with the same minimum wage, environmental and occupational safety requirements that US made goods operate under. It can go on an on. Do some of these things and you change the landscape so that China doesn't look so good.
THe US government finds it very difficult to have a direct interest in private corporations. It can be done, but it literally takes an act of Congress (ala GM). But what they CAN do is sponsor and promote development of technology that gives domestic manufacturing an advantage. They CAN develop domestic alternate energy that will give US industry an advantage. They CAN undo the watering down of the "Buy America Act" and get back to forcing government agencies (the largest single consumer by far in the entire world) to buy ONLY USA MADE. They CAN toughen up State Department technology export rules. There are many more steps as well, you get the idea.
Change the rules of the game, and industry will take care of the rest. Government handouts will NOT be needed.
We The People have a responsibility in this too. Buy American. Yes, it will cost more. Accept that sacrifices must be made. THere will be a payoff in the end.
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