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Letters to the Editor

Job creation

September 16, 2011

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To the editor:

We often hear the argument that taxes must not be raised because this will reduce employment. The obverse is, of course, that keeping taxes low will increase employment.

This argument worked before the arrival of the global economy. Now, however, investment  goes wherever it will bring the most profit, that is, where labor is cheap and/or raw materials are available onsite. As we all know, most manufactured goods sold in the United States are made in China, while inquiries to phone companies are answered by operators in India.

The argument that raising taxes will reduce employment here is contrary to the nature of the free, unregulated market. According to an economics and labor expert, U.S. manufacturing jobs declined from 50 percent of GDP in 1950 to 30 percent in 1970 and 11.7 percent in 2010. Our wealthy citizens and corporations are not only importing parts and goods from China but even building factories there — while the Chinese government sometimes subsidizes production for Chinese jobs. Yet, according to the same article, “each new  manufacturing job (in the U.S.) generates five others in the economy.” (Louis Uchitelle, New York Sunday Times, Sept. 11). Surely we must aim at creating more manufacturing jobs in the United States.   

Comments

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes that's easier said than done.

labmonkey 3 years, 3 months ago

It is frustrating sometimes, but it can be done. Usually my motto is, "if it is made in China, I don't need it."

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Buying american does not necessarily create jobs for americans. Shopping Wal-Mart it is said is like shopping americans out of jobs. Due to its' cozy relationship with the communist chinese government. Isn't it odd that so many worship Wal-Mart and the Walton Family.

BTW the Walton family are huge supporters of Sam Brownback. The Walton foundation would love to shut down YOUR public schools in favor of for profit charter schools backed with YOUR tax dollars.

Corp america wages war against good wages for USA workers and would like to see YOUR wages reduced which includes the Walton Family of billionaires. In spite of the fact YOUR wages made them billionaires.

Kendall Simmons 3 years, 3 months ago

Come this November, I'll have not shopped at WalMart (or Sam's Club) for 8 years...and I don't miss it at all.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Let's take a look at how corp america steals from consumers employed or not. And steals from the USA government. Corp america is the most reliable source for laying off USA workers in favor of employing those abroad.

Corp america is consistently the most reliable source of fraud....

Scores Charged In Massive HealthCare Fraud ( this past week = thanks Obama) http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/07/us-usa-health-fraud-idUSTRE78669920110907

Billions in HCA Medicare,Medicaid and Tricare Fraud (Thanks to the Sen Bill Frist family) http://www.laweekly.com/2003-01-16/news/the-bad-doctor/

Paying More Getting Less How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you? http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

Medical Insurance Industry Revolving Door http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/bill_moyers_michael_winship_in.html#more

Hands OFF Our Medicare http://www.healthcare-now.org/

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

How many times today have you spammed this award-winning website with this same drivel, merrill?

Getaroom 3 years, 3 months ago

So long as you post, the drivel continues to run on and on and on... What would you be without Merrill to bounce off of crackless one that you are?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Now back to jobs.

The USA government put an estimated 11 million USA workers out of jobs under Bush/Cheney. It has been said often corp america took those jobs abroad and will never return. Those special tax breaks truly keep americans out of work.

Considering the Bush/Cheney government put an estimated 11 million out of work it is quite logical that the OBama/Biden goverment must create new industry thus new jobs for the nation.

Yes even if many of these jobs are USA government jobs = bringing tax dollars home.

Did anyone realize that recently the Brownback admin provided the AMC corp with $47 million in tax incentives to locate from KCMO to JOCO. Between the Mars Candy 9 million and AMC $47 million = $56 million in tax dollar incentives. If the KCMO taxpayers decide to retaliate in some fashion how many jobs will Kansas lose? This nasty way of doing business cost KCMO downtown an estimated 400 jobs.

Brownback STILL represents facism as he did in Washington D.C. = can we say dumb economics!

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Would you rather Kansas workers be unemployed until they can find jobs you approve of?

rtwngr 3 years, 3 months ago

Merrill, your argument for government jobs fails the smell test. Government jobs do not create wealth so they are dependent on those that fund government, namely the taxpayer. So when we create more government jobs it has to be done one of two ways. Raise taxes or borrow more money. You see, the reason your argument is obtuse is because you have to increase the size of government to employ more people in government jobs. This is behavior has put us exactly where we are now. In debt over our heads with a train wreck waiting down the track.

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Basically that person resurfacing the highway is a government worker indirectly. That job wouldn't exist if the government didn't hire the company for which he works. Yes, the libertarians think that businesses that haul their goods over the road would pick up from the government to keep roads repaired, and they might actually do that, but then they would pass the cost to their customers, so you would be paying anyway. The libertarians would like you to believe that if no one paid taxes everything would be rosy. That private organizations would take over, but how much are they going to charge for police and fire services? How much are they going to charge for you to travel their highway? How will you be protected from companies dumping poison into the rivers? All these private enterprises will have to make a profit, the government doesn't have to.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

That's all true.

On the other hand, though, there is a certain amount of competition in the private sector that doesn't exist in government.

So there's a tendency for government to become bureaucratic and inefficient.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"So there's a tendency for government to become bureaucratic and inefficient."

All bureaucracies, government or otherwise, tend towards "inefficiency," but somewhat ironically, they all exist because they are the most efficient way to deal with the tasks they have been assigned.

jafs 3 years, 3 months ago

But without competition, that tendency seems stronger in government than in the private sector.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

The worst "private" bureaucracies are monopolies/duopolies, so no real competition there, either.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 3 months ago

Now that I have discovered right wing political operatives are working on this blog I am starting to appreciate the information merrill provides.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

Given the current state of our economy, increasing taxes of any kind on anyone would be the most foolish thing for government at any level to do. Unfortunately, there are some in our society who want to increase taxes on those they consider to be "rich" simply because they are spiteful toward anyone who has enjoyed financial success in the private sector. The fact that in most cases those who have enjoyed such success have also created boatloads of jobs along the way appears to be lost on such people.

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, Cato, boatloads of jobs in China and India just don't count. Huge tax cuts to companies who create jobs in the US. Increased taxes to companies who create jobs somewhere else. Let them just move out of the US. Don't allow their products to be sold in US. Let's see how long they would whine about taxes then.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm not talking about jobs in China and India, whiner.

Bob Forer 3 years, 3 months ago

Cato,

Why did you have to end your comment with a derogatory comment? Its very childish, and it detracts from your comment.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

Tomatohead derides whiners, but is herself one. That's why.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"I'm not talking about jobs in China and India,"

Of course not-- acknowledgment of reality isn't convenient to your ideological narrative.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

No, I wasn't talking about jobs in China and India, Bozo. That must be hard for some of you to understand.

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Since you are obviously a rich businessman, could you give us some examples of over-regulation that you have encountered in your business. Are you wanting to throw your waste into the river? Are you wanting to use lead paint? What is your business? Are you wanting to do insider trading? Please quit talking like a politician and give us specifics about what problems you have had building your business.

SnakeFist 3 years, 3 months ago

Oh great, a society based on maximizing profit, i.e., greed, in which everything is for sale, morality is reduced to just another factor in a cost-benefit analysis, and human life is valued solely for its productive capacity.

"We can trust property rights to protect us from pollution, fraud, theft and other misdeeds. The government has proven it is too inept and corrupt to be trusted."

And business is not inept and corrupt? Have you not heard of Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco? Adam Smith's "invisible hand" might have worked when businesses were small and you could speak directly with the owner (i.e., the guy with the profit motive), rather than some minimum wage college kid who couldn't care less whether you're satisfied or not. In fact, Smith's "invisible hand" has become nothing more than an "invisible penis" for screwing the consumer and the worker in the name of maximizing profits for a very few at the very top.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Libertarian/capitalist fundamentalists like LO can only see things in black and white terms. Capitalism is incapable of failure (as long as it fits perfectly their textbook definitions) and everything that government has ever done and ever will do is a complete failure.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Just because I distill your religion down to its essence doesn't mean you don't say it-- over and over and over again.

SnakeFist 3 years, 3 months ago

"What would you rather have? Starvation? Poverty?"

Because that or unmitigated greed are my only options? Now who's creating straw men?

"But the vast majority of us like living in prosperity."

The vast majority of us also like breathing clean air and drinking clean water - both of which are public goods - and no private business is going to take responsibility for externalities like pollution unless government makes them do so.

You didn't tell us how Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and all of the other corrupt businesses fit into your utopian vision of unfettered capitalism.

SnakeFist 3 years, 3 months ago

Corporations are not creations of government. Corporations are creations of people within a system established by a government of the people. You apparently want a form of pure capitalism that hasn't existed since man put up his spear and left his cave - and absurdly equate that with prosperity.

Your idea that the average person, with no knowledge of safe polution levels, should set regulatory standards is ridiculous. Its even more absurd given that you think any scientific research into safe levels, if conducted at all, should be financed privately, i.e., by the very corporations you assert are adversely influencing regulations now.

You're too funny, Liberty_Belle. Your views are so extreme they're off the map - which means no one (but you and few like-minded loons) is ever going to go there.

SnakeFist 3 years, 3 months ago

"Why are you against economic growth?"

I'm not, but, unlike you, I don't equate economic growth with happiness and I'm not willing to sacrifice quality of life, e.g., clean air and water, in order to produce more material crap.

Get your head out of the history books, read some law, ethics, and economics, and then we can have an intelligent discussion.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

The corp tax break = no profit dollars acquired abroad are taxed unless brought back to the USA which = keep those USA jobs supporting communist china.

If taxpayers are providing the tax dollars then let's hire americans with our tax dollars to bring tax dollars back to the community instead of:

Here’s what happens. And this is a good example of where the news media hasn’t done a good job. I have tons of news clips that say, oh, this new shopping mall is coming or a new Wal-Mart or a new Cabela’s store, and thanks to tax increment financing, this store is going to be built. Well, what is tax increment financing? I’ll tell you what it is. You go to the store with your goods, you pay for it at Wal-Mart, and there’s a very good chance that that store has made a deal with the government that the sales taxes you are required to pay, that government requires you to pay, never go to the government. Instead, those sales taxes are kept by Wal-Mart and used to pay the cost of the store. And typically in those deals, the store is tax exempt, just like a church.

Now, there are two ways that it’s important to think about this. One is, that means your kid’s schools, your police department, your library, your parks are not getting that money. And you’ll notice we keep saying we’re starved for money. We’re twice as wealthy as we were in 1980, but we’ve got to close hospitals, and we’ve got to close schools, and we don’t have money for all sorts of things like after-school programs, even though we’re twice as wealthy. The second thing to think about is, imagine that you own Amy Goodman’s or Juan’s department store across the street. You suddenly have to compete with people whom the government is giving a huge leg up on. You think you would go broke after a while? Well, in fact, you will.

And I tell about a man named Jim Weaknecht who owned a little store in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. He sold fishing tackle, hunting gear, stuff like that. And the way he made his living in his little tiny store, enough that he was able to have his wife stay at home and raise their three kids full time, was by charging less than a company called Cabela’s. Well, then Cabela’s came to town. This little city of 4,000 people made a deal to give Cabela’s $36 million to build a store. That’s more than the city budget for that town for ten years. It’s $8,000 for every man, woman, and child in that town to have this store. And even though he charged lower prices, he was pretty quickly run out of business.

That’s not market capitalism, which is what Ronald Reagan said he was going to bring us. He said, you know, government’s the problem, we need markets as a solution. Well, that’s not the market. That’s corporate socialism. And what we’ve gotten is corporate socialism for the politically connected rich—not all the rich, the politically connected rich—and market capitalism for everybody else.

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

"Would you rather Kansas workers be unemployed until they can find jobs you approve of?"

I would rather our politicians would not give away $56 million tax dollars! While at the same time laying off 100's of state workers. Or Kansas teachers losing their jobs. Or cutting off the art industry that was creating jobs.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

"merrill (anonymous) says… It is the responsibility of the government to create new industry and new jobs! " Changed your mind, have you?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

The absurd squabble over the debt ceiling and the national debt is distracting, destructive, and almost entirely beside the point. The budget deficit is not the most pressing economic problem facing the United States—not by a long stretch. Whatever comes of these negotiations, it will not address the jobs deficit, and it will not improve the lives of the overwhelming majority of U.S. families. Indeed, it is likely to make things worse.

Let’s be clear: the Republican approach to the economy and the budget is deeply misguided, wrong-headed, mean-spirited, and irresponsible. Their approach is as familiar as it is appalling: more tax cuts for the rich; more tax cuts for corporations; and cuts in social programs, including Medicare and Social Security. This tack is unconscionable. It is also bad economic policy, that is, it will not promote growth and it will not create jobs. Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman is exactly correct when he concludes that “the G.O.P... has gone off the deep end.”

President Obama’s approach is less troubling for sure, and clearly preferable to the appalling Republican strategy. But this is a very low bar. President Obama has, unfortunately, embraced the faulty premise that deficit reduction should be a top priority. As a result, the President is prepared to make substantial spending cuts at precisely the wrong moment—when the economy needs demand, and people need help. And, alas, Mr. Obama has demonstrated a disturbing willingness to pursue cuts in Medicare and Social Security.

An intelligent response to this crisis has to reflect an understanding of its causes. Cutting spending during a recession is like blood-letting an anemic patient, or invading Iraq in an attempt to disempower Osama Bin Laden.

Our best hope on this issue is that the President and Congress will be forced to “kick the can down the road.” We can only hope that whenever we re-encounter the can, saner heads will prevail—or, more to the point, that the balance of political forces will have changed enough that we won’t have to endure a repeat performance.

Some good ideas and some bad ideas about the economic crisis, economic policy, and the federal budget:

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2011/0811koechlin.html

  • The Logic of a Recession: What happened to all of the jobs?

*Burdening Our Grandchildren? Why a Smart Deficit is a Gift to Future Generations

*Appendix: The National Debt is not like your credit card debt

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2011/0811koechlin.html

beatrice 3 years, 3 months ago

We have the lowest income taxes in decades. Where are the jobs?

Trickle Down Economics do not work! Since we didn't cut spending, all we have to show for our lower taxes that greatly benefit the wealthy is a massive national debt. We have been driving up the debt since Ronald Reagan.

Bob Forer 3 years, 3 months ago

"We can trust property rights to protect us from pollution, fraud, theft and other misdeeds. The government has proven it is too inept and corrupt to be trusted."

Now that is outrageously funny.

SnakeFirst is spot on. And that is why we have government regulation. To temper the insatiable greed of powerful corporations and the super wealthy. I am not suggesting that all regulation is wise and that all regulation works, but absent regulation, we are left with catastrophes like the sub-prime lending crisis, which would have never happened without Bush's deregulation of the financial markets.

bevy 3 years, 3 months ago

Liberty, can you please explain to me which of the water is mine? Which of the air is mine? How do I keep my air and water separate from my neighbor's air and water? If my neighbor decides he doesn't care about pollution, and his air and water flow over and pollute mine - where does that leave me?

Your assertion that environmental issues will be solved by "property rights" is flawed. No one person owns the atmosphere.

SnakeFist 3 years, 3 months ago

So your point is that if I think there's too much pollution in the water or air then I can forgo purchasing it and thereby force businesses to provide cleaner water and air? How long will I have to go without water and air before they give in and the free market corrects itself?

As any sane person will tell you, some things are too important to be left to the greedy whims of the free market, which is one of the reasons we created government.

Jimo 3 years, 3 months ago

"The argument that raising taxes will reduce employment here is contrary to the nature of the free, unregulated market."

I suppose that depends on what you do with the tax revenues. Waste them on military adventures and you get nothing for your trouble. Invest them in research, infrastructure, and education and they pay dividends for generations.

Build a bridge to move people and goods across the Mississippi and you boost economic growth. Leave cash in the hands of a "job creator" to construct a naked statute that pisses champagne (true story) and you destroy growth.

SnakeFist 3 years, 3 months ago

Question: "Which of the air is mine?"

Liberty_Belle's answer: "The air that you purchase or is on your property, of course."

Wow. That is the dumbest answer ever.

In Liberty_Belle's free-market utopia, you'll either be purchasing air or corralling it on your property. Who wants to buy a ticket for that ride?

jayhawxrok 3 years, 3 months ago

None of the right wing now whining about spending took issue with Bush's unwillingness to budget for either war or NCLB or his gift to Big Pharm. None of them challenged his infringement on states rights with the Rx bill specifically prohibiting states from joining together to bargain for better rates. None of them objected to the billions in our cash team Bush "lost" in Iraq. None of them complained about the $800 billion in pork that got by on his watch because he never once vetoed a spending bill. They applauded his loosening of banking regs, among them allowing the debt to net capital ratio to go from 12:1 to 40:1 even though that's assinine by any standard. None of them countered his denials of the recession and few squealed when he handed out bailout money with no strings attached and CEOs got bonuses for running their companies into the ground and 401k holders took it in the shorts. None of them complained we gained a lousy 1.1 million jobs in his entire 8 years as President just as none will admit more private sector jobs were created under Obama in 2010 alone than all those 8 years combined.

Just as none of them will admit Big Oil neither needs or wants subsidies. And none will admit that for every dollar in tax cuts to the rich we get back a lousy 32 cents in economic growth while every dollar in payroll tax holiday to the middle class gets us $1.24 in economic growth.

We're not over-regulated, not by a long shot. Every time the Reps deregulate an industry, it tanks within a few years and they all blame the Dem elected to clean up their mess. The housing crisis is no different than Reagan's S & L fiasco, except nobody called him or GHWB a socialist when the feds took over more than 740 institutions.

I work in a chemical manufacturing plant, commute more than 50 miles a day for wages Lawrence just doesn't have, and there's nothing we produce or in our waste I want to see in our ground water or air. I don't want our air to look like TX's air or Bejing's. Deregulate and that's exactly what the greedy bastards will do, pollute, pollute, pollute and if you think mining is unsafe now, wait until those bozos don't have to comply with any safety regs.

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