The term “jobless growth” has been thrown around quite a bit in the last year to describe an increase in GDP and other economic indicators, but little growth in jobs. How can this be? If the country’s product continues to grow, and stocks continue their increase, how can there be so little hiring?
I see two things happening: 1) Many people have gained employment who were unemployed long enough to fall off job-seeker status. 2) A look at the earnings (salary, benefits, and bonuses) of top management of publicly traded companies shows most have increased their income, some with record setting incomes for the company or industry, even if they signed pink-slips in the past year.
U.S. republicans demanded extending the Bush tax cuts for the countries richest people saying they’d put the money into job creation, but the opposite has happened. The same republicans also argued the U.S. government can’t create jobs, but the government employs hundreds of thousands of workers (jobs), directly increased hiring the past year, indirectly increased hiring through hiring contractors for new work, and the government buys vast amount of materials to repair roads and other infrastructure which was produced by working people. Luckily for us, a large amount of stimulus funds remain to continue government-led job creation.
A very recent example is the situation in Wisconsin where Governor Walker (R) called a special legislative session after being sworn in. they passed drastic tax cuts for corporations. Soon afterwards, the governor and state republicans forced legislation to cut salaries, benefits, and bargaining rights of citizens paid 1,000% less than the leaders of the corporations which were just gifted tax breaks. When democratic senators left the state in an attempt to thwart that legislation, the governor threatened layoffs even though these public workers accepted every fiscal demand from the governor. Clearly, saving the state money wasn’t Governor Walker’s idea, nor was it to save or create jobs. His plan was to gift his rich donors at the expense of public employees, state jobs, and the union members who didn’t support him in his race for governor.
Governor Walker had no problem laying off people (losing jobs) to give his supporters, who are paid millions of dollars every year even without promise from their companies to increase hiring. Regardless of which party people associate with, they need to start voting the interest of their communities and not only the richest people in our nation who donate a large amount of the tax-cut money they save to continue secrative PACs and organizations to continue their gravy train.
One of the greatest tools republican donorship has is Fox News. When the Bush tax cuts for earners over $250k were up for vote, Fox news anchor Gretchen Carlson of “Fox and Friends” said “$250k is just above the poverty line for many people.” Is it really? During the protests in Wisconsin, Gretchen and Fox’s Bill O’Reilly complained about the annual average salary plus benefits of $51k was part of the “lavish salaries and lifestyle enjoyed by Wisconsin teachers.”
How can Fox News make people believe that $250k (salary only, benefits not included) is just above the poverty line, and show great concern for these “poor people” just hanging on by a thread, then 2 months later make the same viewers believe Wisconsin teachers live lavishly on a combined salary AND benefits of $51k? It has to do with people listening to sound bites fed to them in the present without stepping back to think about the picture as a whole.
I’m asking you and everyone else to pause, step back, and think about the entire picture before forming decisions, and then keep reevaluating those decisions. Don’t stop thinking or become a drone for the sound bites you hear. Don’t take what I say without looking into other news sources either. Never rely on any one news source. Look around and take it all in.
If most of the economic growth goes to the richest, and those people and corporations don’t create the jobs they never promised to create when they received all this money, then our economy will have fewer people able to buy what Americans make, and we’ll continue to buy the cheapest products from other countries. A vote against the lower and middle classes is a vote against the United States.