Posted 2 years ago on May 9, 2012, 11:57 p.m. EST by francismjenkins
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Over 40,000 factories have closed since 2000 (loss of nearly 6 million jobs, if we include the manufacturing multiplier, the losses total between 15 and 18 million jobs), not because the products they were producing became obsolete, but rather because they couldn't compete against third world sweat shops that use child labor (I mean, who could possibly compete against such a thing)? We need a value added tax, like every other developed nation on earth, to help our manufacturers, and here's an idea to reopen many of the factories we've lost. Studies have shown employee owned companies are more productive compared to their conventional counterparts (and they survive longer). Why not have a stimulus plan that provides funding to reopen these factories under an employee ownership model? No more worries about finding shovel ready projects, no more worries about how big the multiplier will be (whether the Keynesian multiplier exists or not, we "know" the manufacturing multiplier exists), and the best part is, these would be permanent jobs (not temporary stimulus jobs).
We need to create something like 16 or 17 million jobs to normalize unemployment levels. That's a huge undertaking, but this idea could potentially get us half way home (I don't assume that we could recapture all those lost jobs, but recapturing half of those jobs is feasible).
With a few other measures, we could truly reverse our fortunes. We need to expand our public university systems, we need to heavily invest in alternative energy (and a new electrical grid), something like 70,000 of our bridges are in need of repair or replacement, etc.
We could also aggressively hit the demand side with a homeowner and student loan bailout plan. This is obviously more controversial (not that everything I listed above isn't controversial, but the idea of forgiving debt just drives conservatives crazy, unless of course it's big banks we're bailing out, then conservatives will be stumbling all over themselves trying to scare us into believing the sky will fall if we don't bail out their bankster buddies ... but I digress).
Our debt needs some TLC as well, but the time for austerity is not in the middle of a recession. We could just let the Bush tax cuts expire, there's plenty of fat we could cut from the military budget (by closing unneeded overseas bases), we could pass the Buffet rule, we could restore the middle class tax cuts, provided we had a value added tax to replace the revenue, and anyway, the easiest way to lower our debt to GNP ratio, is to increase GNP.