Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Tag: Economics

Outrage with No Truth

I bought my mother a couple of economic books. I wanted her to understand just what is going on with the nation’s economy. She said they were too dry to read. Instead, she asked me to pick up Laura Ingram’s new book for her, which is a switch because she normally reads Bill O’Reilly. At least she hasn’t discover Ann Coulter and when she does, she will not get the book from me. Someone else will have to feed her right-wing, free from the truth book habit.

I don’t know why I bother torturing myself in this manner. Life is just easier all around if I don’t talk to her. My mother is like a lot of Americans out there today. She’s mad that the economy is in the toilet. Two of her children are suffering because of the bad economy. And, my mother is blaming the government, which is exactly what Fox News wants her to believe. Even my own father, who is normally very reasonable, blames Obama for the economy. He believes that Obama signed TARP into law. Even when I pointed it out to him that, no, Pop, that was Bush; he looked at me like I was speaking another language. When the truth is staring us in the face, we still don’t want to see it.

And, that’s the whole problem.

We don’t bother actually looking at facts and figures ourselves. We trust the wrong news media – one run by a man who decides what gets covered and what doesn’t. Yes, economic books can be dry, but why wouldn’t you want to take the time to read one to find out what all of this on the news means? Why wouldn’t you want to be able to understand how the world works without being told by someone else? Right or left, if you don’t really understand the issue, then you can’t figure out the bias and you don’t really understand what’s going on.

I know that I harp on this a lot, but it just drives me absolutely crazy.

Jobless Recovery

To understand why we are having a jobless recovery, you must understand economics.  Unfortunately, most people in this country do not really understand economics.  So, here’s a very brief explanation.

Our economy is consumption driven – the old supply and demand.  Let’s say I own a widget factory and I make one widget a day – 5 widgets a week.  I send my widgets to the marketplace and every week, I sell all of my widgets.  But, one week, I notice that there are still 5 people in line wanting to buy my widgets.  If I could make more widgets, I’m certain that I could sell all of them, as well.

So, I return to my factory, and hire a person to help me make widgets.  I pay him an hourly wage that pretty much leaves me with most of the profit – this is MY factory and these are MY widgets and if he was bright, he could start his own widget factory.  This is America after all.

Now,  because there are two people building them, I can make and sell ten widgets a week.  Some time goes by and word gets out that I make the best widgets.  Now, I notice that there are three people standing in line when my widgets are sold out.  So, instead of hiring someone new, I make my one and only employee a salary employee (which means I don’t have to pay him overtime) and I make him work longer hours to make those extra three widgets.  Since I don’t have to pay him overtime, I’m still making an enormous profit.

This is how companies work.  This is capitalism, admittedly, at its very basic level, but you get the idea.

If the economy falters and I stop selling 13 widgets a week, I’ll cut my employee’s job.

If I discover that I can outsource widget making to China or Taiwan, bye bye employee.

And, guess what, if the government cuts my taxes, I’m not going to use that money to build another factory (creating new jobs) or hire employees in my old one, I’m going to keep it.  I deserve it.  I came up with this idea for a company and I built it.  And, that’s why giving tax breaks to the richest in this country, isn’t going to create jobs.

If there is not consumption on the bottom and middle rungs of our country, there is no reason for companies to hire.  Cutting the taxes of the rich does not cause jobs to magically appear.  It just makes the rich, richer.  And, because that revenue needs to be made up in some manner, it makes the poor, poorer.  Cutting things like health care for the poor to give tax breaks to the rich is absolutely the most despicable thing we could do in this country.  Cutting school lunches for poor kids or the breakfasts before school, where this might be their only decent meal – and give a 10% tax break to the rich who can afford to pay their taxes under the guise that this will create jobs is irresponsible and ridiculous.  But, that’s what the Republicans are selling you – a tax break for those at the top who don’t need one.

Are there people in this country that don’t pay any money in taxes?  Yes, yes there are and if the Republicans have their way, more of them will be rich than poor.

Quick Thoughts

Here’s some quick thoughts:

  1. The border between Israel and Pakistan should go back to the 1967 measurement.
  2. We should cut the $3 billion in aid to Pakistan TODAY.  Enough is enough.  They aren’t our friends and we should not be supporting their army.  $3 billion could do a lot of good in our OWN country.
  3. Speaking of domestic spending, our infrastructure is in need of a trillion dollars in repair.  If we concentrate on home projects, maybe we can get the economy back on track.
  4. Obama didn’t cause the economic crisis.  The stimulus has been helping the economy, but companies are making record high profits and not hiring people.  That’s (part) of the reason the recovery is so slow.
  5. Social Security can be saved and it isn’t broke.  Republicans want you to think the system is broke.  Fact is the surplus is in Treasury Bonds which are all coming due.  If people paid in on the whole salary, it would go a long way to pushing up Social Security’s solvency.  There’s more to it, but don’t be fooled by the doomsayers.
  6. We need to stop covering non-news in this country, but it won’t happen because crap sells.  I don’t care if the man sent an indecent picture of himself, as long as it wasn’t to a child.  I don’t care if the woman doesn’t really understand the ride of Paul Revere.  Neither of these things will bring jobs to our country. Covering this crap is just taking away from the real issues.
  7. And, finally, attacking gays and lesbians is NOT going to improve the economy.  It won’t fix Social Security.  GOP stop bringing it up.  We pay taxes, we serve in the military and we love our country.  We SHOULD NOT be treated unequally.  And, YOU should be more worried about what needs to be fixed that with whom I am sleeping.

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