Sunday, October 17, 2010

Jobs Hypocrisy, Back To Square One In Iraq And Afpakistan

Maureen Dowd
Jill Lawrence
Nicholas Kristoff
"We're now into an era of what might you might call Darwinian conservatism -- a fend-for-yourself philosophy advanced by people who are skeptical about federal help, at least for others." - Jill Lawrence
"So far neither party has offered a comprehensive antidote to our economic pain. The Democrats have fallen short, and the cynics leading the G.O.P. haven’t so much as tried. We shouldn’t be surprised that this year even a state as seemingly well-mannered as Connecticut has produced a senatorial candidate best known for marching into a wrestling ring to gratuitously kick a man in the groin." - Frank Rich
"Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint." - Alexander Hamilton

Jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs
is what this election is all about, if you believe what every politician campaigning this year is saying. And it is all bullshit, rhetoric trying to get your vote. Because neither side can provide jobs or stimulate the economy so that the private sector will flourish. That's going to take a few more years, if at all...

The only thing that government can do is just what has been done - it can bail out private companies or it can fund programs to keep federal, state, and local government and school employees from losing their jobs. All of the negative nabobs keep saying that the tarp and stimulus didn't work, but they are wrong. The programs did exactly what they were designed to do, and we have made a profit in the process.

The money we gave to GM and Chrysler helped revive their markets, the cash for clunkers program worked very well to stimulate car buying, and they have a better designed, more popular group of cars that are selling well. The tarp money we lent Wall Street saved some firms, and even AIG looks like it will be able to pay back all $180 billion, with some interest.

Stimulus money went to save the jobs of those that would have been laid off this year - from the police department, the fire department, other government agencies, as well as local schoolteachers. Where it didn't go so well was in state and local construction projects, areas where they always procrastinate and fool around. The bad news is that without any more stimulus money coming into the states and your local cities, they will have to lay off a lot more personnel because the money normally saved for a rainy day is all gone. Colorado had to find a way to balance a $29 billion deficit this year, and next year it will be twice as worse. Colorado Springs sold its fleet of helicopters, response time from police and fire departments are twice as long, and if you have a handicapped or child with special needs, good luck to you, try moving to another place that still can fund their programs. Unless we legalize marijuana and turn our mega-churches into brothels, we may not have a city government two years from now.

Democrats have talked about more federal jobs program. Republicans have offered no ideas al all other than limiting federal government and laying off more workers. Tea party advocates haven't a clue because the Constitution hasn't told them how to create any jobs. Banks may be recovering, but they don't want to give out any small business loans. The SBA only will loan you $35,000. Many larger businesses have had to make do with a leaner work force and don't want to rehire now that they have a larger profit margin. Too bad, because its only with the creation of more small businesses, and the return of mom-and-pop storefronts, which make up the bulk of new hiring, will our economy begin to grow.

It may well be that we will have a globally repressed economy that may never recover past our previous levels. Resources and water are beginning to run out, and our manufacturing bases are vanishing. Natural disasters in the next few years will be intense, especially when next year's monsoons hit India and Pakistan. If drought continues a few hundred miles to the West in Russia, we will see a world-wide shortage in wheat and rice, well over a billion people will starve, maybe to their deaths.

Sorry, didn't mean to get so gloomy, but I wanted to contrast it to the stupid reasons we have given for going to war. Instead of invading Afghanistan and fighting and killing, what if we had used our military and went in and built roads and schools and hospitals? If we got rid of the land-mines and turned those areas into farmlands? Fighting all of the taliban groups was never our job, weren't we after al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden?...

It looks like all of Petraeus's work in Iraq has just gone to hell, if the report that the Sunni Awakening groups have pulled out of government coalitions and gone back to supporting al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Guess it did not help when Nuri al-Maliki kept arresting and putting the Sunnis in jail, as well as kicking their leaders out of their government jobs. Oh, well, better luck next time, and there will be a next time if we have a Republican majority followed by a president as hawkish and dumb as Sarah or Newt, or even John McCain...

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