Economy Still Stumbling [Updated]
Unemployment in many states is still on the rise. We saw a short glimmer of hope over the holiday season but now we’re back to further and further declines in the economy.
The stock market is improving though, but so what? The stock market doesn’t provide jobs for Americans. In fact, it’s time we quit considering the stock market when remarking on the state of America’s economy. For Americans the things that mean anything when considering the country’s economy is jobs, pay, benefits, and pensions. Also included in evaluating the economy is the state of our social safety net, not the stock market.
All these things affect the economy of Americans. The stock market does not. I know, I know, there many people (one hundredth of of one percent of Americans) who actually make any reasonable money off the stock market but that in no way reflects the state of America’s economy.
This simple difference explains why we haven’t dug ourselves out of the Bush years yet. We’re putting our resources and attention in the wrong things. Did we learn nothing during the last Great Depression? The conservatives are telling us that it was the second world war that got us out of the last Great Depression. Well, now we’re in two and a half wars. Our economy should be the best it’s ever been, right? Well, no, not really. Wars don’t cure depressions. Job do. The stock market doesn’t cure depressions, jobs and benefits and pay do. So when are we going to start addressing these problems?
Want to fix the economy? Here’s how:
- Stop with the tax give-aways to the billionaires and multi-national corporations. Put taxes back where they were before Reagan began the destruction of our economy,
- Increase the minimum wage to a living wage and keep it there,
- Require all major corporations and all multi-national corporations provide substantial pensions to all workers, full time and part time,
- Stop the Social Security tax give-away for billionaires. Expect billionaires to pay the same percentage of tax for Social Security that you and I do,
- Temporarily create government jobs for Americans (no tax dollars spent on non-American incentives, you know, the bill the Republicans opposed), and
- Fix our broken trade policies, get out of NAFTA, GAT, WTO, and all the rest of the trade agreements that are destroying our manufacturing jobs. In other words, protect American jobs.
The nice thing is these don’t have to be done all at once but the more that we enact, the faster our economy will improve.
Now if you see these points brought up over and over in the blogisphere, they must not be rocket science, so why hasn’t our government thought of them? They have, but the big businesses controlling both parties are preventing us from stopping the rape and pillage of America’s economy. Remember, someone is making out like bandits while the rest of us suffer, and those bandits donate to make and break our politicians.
Get involved! Get active. Participate on our political process. Run for the local dog catcher or school board. That does make a difference.
[Update: ] Check out this post at Open Left for an good example of what the economy really means.