From now on, until the elections of 2012, every post will be lead by the following statement: Nothing proposed or examined here will be changed so long as there are Republican majorities in the House of Representatives and less than 60 Democratic Senators in the Senate.
The Republicans…Tea Party or otherwise…all work for the Party—not the People–and the Republican Party is now like the old Fascist parties of the 1930s. They say that they are allied with the People, but that is propaganda. In the thirties, they only led countries to war. In the 2000s we have already been lied into war by Republicans.
Everything they say must be considered a lie until it is proved…by independent means…to be true. They work for global corporations and the very rich. They have proven it repeatedly. They forced tax cuts for the rich before they would grant unemployment benefits to devastated people, out of work for more than a year. Never forget that.
Therefore, to save the people of this country, the goal of any American who makes less than $380,000 a year taxable income (the top 1%) must be the following: Number one: Elect one (1) Democratic President; elect sixty (60): Democratic Senators; elect two hundred and twenty (220) Democratic House Members. Goal: 1-60-220.
The Republicans do not want jobs. They want to create legislation that will create the greatest amount of economic space between the top 1% who are now spending millions on politics and the average worker.
Karl Rove’s Crossroads fund has amassed over $200 million for an attack on congressmen in districts where there are a high percentage of sheep, as, for example, there are in Alabama and Georgia. Rove’s plan is to target the fringes of the Democratic Party to knock off vulnerable Congessional seats in places where the ignorance of the people is so high that he can make the Independents vote for the rich and against themselves.
He and others like the Koch Family Fund, Phil Anschutz, William Mellon Scaife, the owners of Target, Fedex, Home Depot, Menard’s….all these rich owners of corporations want their personal taxes to go down…even more than the pittance that they pay now. The only way that can happen is to eliminate expensive government operations, like Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.
The Koch’s Tea Party ( supported by the Cato Institute, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity…and now more unnamed groups) has had great success in doing this…telling the public that they want to cut the deficit to “save the country” when all they really want to do is cut the deficit so that the rich will never have to pay more than their current 18% of income. That’s their actual tax bill. Millionaires and billionaires pay 18%…or less, depending on how rich you are. The richer you are the less you pay under current rates.
The biggest current lie is this: jobs are not being created because there are too many “job killing” regulations that prevent corporations from making a profit. Of course that is an out-and-out lie. It is not even subject to interpretation. Here is a categorically true statement: Regulations are necessary, protect the People, and do NOT cause the loss of jobs…quite the contrary.
But, before any discussion of “job killing” regulations, let’s examine the “job killing” effects of lack of regulation. The first is the current Bush Second Great Depression. And it is a Depression. A Recession lasts for less than two years.
The Bush Second Great Depression has already lasted for more than two years and it shows no signs of relenting. We have become our grandparents, with young people growing up with college educations and no jobs to go to, with elderly dying for lack of care, poor children going hungry, people selling off anything of value to raise money while the very rich spend more and more on luxuries.
As an example of how the rich are doing, let’s just take yachts, those enduring symbols of excess profit. In May of this year alone, the sales of yachts over 46 feet in length increased by $200 million and that was a whopping 160% year-over-year increase. So, how do you think the rich are doing these days?
Lack of regulation brought us wild speculation leading to a financial crash for most Americans, a loss of 40% of the average family’s net worth, and trillions on trillions of equity the country’s net worth. Lack of regulation, lack regulatory supervision has polluted our rivers and the Gulf of Mexico, killed miners and blown the tops off mountains while killing many people from ecoli and other problems that could have been solved with simple regulatory fixes…having enough regulators and having them actually go out and making inspections.
Death, financial disaster and personal deprivation have been the results of lack of regulation.
But regulations can create jobs. If you add air pollution controls to any production situation, you have obvious jobs in construction, design, environmental remediation scientists, and manufacturing. Because studies have shown (e.g., Goodstein, 1999) that costs directly related to environmental remediation add no more than 2% to a product cost, it is clear that the jobs involved are of greater value than the costs.
Furthermore, of the roughly 2 million jobs that change hands each year because of a variety of circumstances (prior to the Bush Second Great Depression of 2008-2011) many surveys have been conducted to determine what the causes were. As a result of those studies, the generally accepted number forced out of work because of environmental regulations was 3,000 or a little more than one-tenth of one-percent.
When you create regulations that say that 20% of all energy generation has to be alternative by 2020 or some such date, then companies have be started to research the current technology. Companies have to find the best and most efficient methods, sell them to customers who are will to try them in return for a tax incentive and then expand the products based on what they learn. Those things all create jobs.
In conditions such as those we face today, when lack of any economic activity depresses the job market and the resulting lack of incomes restrains consumer spending and that, in turn, causes more unemployment, then upgrading the infrastructure becomes a good investment because it can be done at much lower costs than would normally be possible. Bridges do need to be strengthened after a time.
Airport runways need to be lengthened and smoothed out, rail track beds need to be made safe and natural areas need to be reclaimed from floods or natural disasters. Public buildings fall into disrepair, as do sewer and water systems. All these things can be done during a Depression, costing much less than otherwise while putting people back to work in order to restore the economy.
Safety and environmental regulations create the need for these jobs. It simply happens that today when we need that work done, we also have a Depression and many unemployed available to do it at bargain prices.
In 1990, the Clean Air Act came into being and in 1995, the first five-year report on its effectiveness was released. The Republicans cried “job-killer” in those days too, when they were trying anything to get at President Clinton who was creating a powerhouse economic engine. But the studies showed, that because of other mining industry policies such as cyclical layoffs and reductions from advances in technology, only a maximum of 1,000 jobs over several years over several states could be attributed to cleaner air…which by 1995, it was…substantially cleaner.
The interesting part is that in 1995, the textile industry, simply looking for cheaper labor in Asia, moved 200,000 jobs abroad, nothing of the decision having had to do with anything other than cheaper labor. That is not to say that environmental regulations, or other regulations, do not have an impact on workers. But millions of jobs? No. And not only is it not the case…because Republicans know it is not the case, they are lying.
When those situations happen where workers are laid off, as happened in the mid-1990s in the forest industries in the Northwest, long-term, relevant new occupations were offered, and the training offered, to those loggers and timber workers who had lost their jobs. Again, it was no a huge number, but the point was that the situations were improved and the workers achieved a similar income after free and paid training from higher skilled jobs.
What about the current claims by the Republicans that, for example, the Dodd-Frank bill will be a job-killer? Well, we checked with Politifact and they don’t think so. While they say that the claim may “barely be true” that some jobs will be lost because the new regulations may cause some poorly managed firms to lose jobs or some other adamant financial firms will not get into areas regulated by Dodd-Frank, job loss is not the point.
The point of Dodd-Frank, according to Politifact’s research is that Wall Street experts feel that it is necessary in order to prevent then next loss of jobs, which, when compared to 2008’s losses, could be in the range of 500,000 without Dodd-Frank.
When Politifact examines the claims about health care reform costing around a million jobs, the story is different. They rate the Republican claims and those of the small-business organization NFIB—false. CBO says that there will be a small job loss, but not because people will be laid off but because a significant number of people will quit work as a result of no longer needing health insurance.
Second, the NFIB comment, they admitted to Politifact in an interview, was based on their own version of what the legislation would be, not the legislation that was passed. So they made up the legislation and then said it (their version) would create 1.2 million in job losses, which were in reality people who—now that they had a guarantee of health insurance—would simply quit work.
Of course, even if some people do quit work because they are only working for health insurance, it is highly unlikely that it would be a million people. And even if that did happen, it is improbable in a Depression that many of these people would quit their jobs if doing so meant a reduction in their standard of living. So it would not affect the economy except to create more job openings…the exact opposite result of what the Republicans are predicting.
There are some very clear instances of where regulations are hugely important and add to the ability of businessmen to start up or to expand. In the case of mountaintop mining, the mining company comes in and blows the top off the mountain. And what happens? If it is done in accordance with regulations, probably no severe consequences to the landscape will occur. If the company does not adhere to the regulations, then a variety of consequences may occur. Debris may get into the water table. Damage may be caused to homes or schools. This may result in lawsuits and injunctions which will impede progress and restrict profitability.
We know the real reasons why the Republican Party is so assiduously and relentlessly hammering on the idea of regulations. Even though it is obvious to everyone that regulations don’t enter into the equation of job development, the Republicans are concerned with doing something for their supporters.
The Koch Family, the founders of Cato, of Americans For Prosperity and of FreedomWorks…in other words…the funders and leaders of the Tea Party…are also the largest polluters in the country. Their chemical plants and oil refineries are among the largest and worst polluters in the U.S. They have paid numerous fines for pollution of air or water that have been as much as $20 to $30 million at a time. They have been found guilty of dumping millions of gallons of polluted material into the Mississuppi River and of literally stealing oil from Native American reservations. They are bad guys.
To make themselves seem more human, they have given money to Public Broadcasting, to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, and to Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital. But they have also given hundreds of millions to try to destroy, literally destroy, the American Middle Class.
They support politicians who advocate ending Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They have funded the effort to restrain job growth and created the Republican selling point that regulations are job killers. They have funded the takeovers of the state of Wisconsin by the Fascists, and Ohio and Florida and Michigan and New Jersey.
In each of those states, when their candidates and their legislatures came to power they all did the same thing. They abolished collective bargaining and threw the unions out. They laid off teachers, cops, firemen and nurses. They stole the pensions from these people and decreased their annual incomes by as much as $4,800. If the workers had not agreed to these terms, the Governors threatened mass layoffs. All this was done to break up the unions and to give huge tax breaks to Republican businessmen who had helped the Kochs fund these campaigns.
Regulations are not what is holding up jobs. Jobs are being withheld by people like the Kochs and people on Wall Street so that they can go back to gambling with people’s bank deposits and making huge profits for themselves.