Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why Are Governments Still Debating Tax Cuts Instead of How to Create Jobs?

Listening to some of the debates in the United States over the economy and how to fix it, tax cuts and who is wealthy enough to receive them, appears to monopolize the conversation.

And the Republican Senators have vowed to block legislative action on every issue being considered, until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved.
All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, vowing to prevent a vote on "any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers."
They are referring to an increase in taxes as "job killing". Maybe they haven't been following the news, but the Bush Tax Cuts have already killed jobs. Thousands and thousands of them. The priority now should be how to bring them back to life.

I was watching Anderson Cooper's 360, and he had one expert discussing the situation. I had fallen asleep and only caught a bit of it, but she was the first person who actually made sense.

She suggested that it was wrong to determine economic recovery based on Wall Street and the stock market. She said that to really address the situation, you had to focus on the middle.

How was the average citizen coping?

And she's right. Throughout the meltdown, the emphasis has been on keeping corporations fed, but we have since learned, that the corporations did not keep up their end of the bargain. They kept all the largess for themselves.

And there are even more promised tax cuts in the U.S. and Canada, despite the fact that big business continues to focus research on how to eliminate jobs to increase their profit margin, including outsourcing and automated check outs.

Tax breaks should be tied directly to job creation, not just on some abstract promise of job creation, that never materializes. The only new jobs are low wage, with no, or few benefits. Good union jobs that have proven to create a strong economy, are disappearing, much to our peril.

Obama met this week with Wal-Mart's Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke, as part of an outreach to U.S. businesses. Is he hoping that the pampered will share the wealth, without having to legislate their doing so? Is he hoping that he may find the heart of the beast?

Unfortunately, even if he did get through to them, the Republicans have guaranteed that they don't have to listen to the President. They've got their back. They refuse to work until the wealthiest citizens are given more money.

Armine Yalnizyan with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, in reaching out to Canada's wealthiest citizens (in line for billions more from Harper and the boys in January), said recently that:
Bill Gates urges billionaires to step up their philanthropy, Warren Buffett questions why he is taxed more lightly than his housekeeper, and Google execs emulate Henry Ford by paying their workers more, in the middle of a recession.
That's a good start, but unfortunately represents a very small segment of the corporate population.

We need to put an emphasis on creating good jobs, with a decent wage, reasonable working hours and benefits. There must be a time out from corporatism, that has not produced the promised "trickle down", only a splurge up.

Canadians are now being forced to work longer hours, sometimes with two or more jobs, and for parties that focus on "family values", how valuable is it for parents to be forced to spend even more time away from their children?

Who suffers?

And parents who are forced to work so much harder, cannot give their best to their families. They are simply too tired.

Who suffers?

Misguided tax-cuts have become a destructive force, that threatens our domestic security. We are engaged in an expensive and unwinnable war. We are buying enormous amounts of military hardware, with no plan to raise revenue to pay for it.

Our government just keeps whipping out the plastic, while promising that we will bear the burden of it all.

There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.


  1. There will be no HELP from Wal-Mart.

    Go to Google Videos and look up:
    Wal-Mart: High cost of low prices.

    Los Angeles Times Review:

    'Wal-Mart' seen through the eyes of the disaffected; Former employees who once believed in the retail giant are the soul of an engrossing and saddening documentary.

    "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" is an engrossing, muckraking documentary about the retail giant that's been called "the world's largest, richest and probably meanest corporation." But if you're expecting an angry diatribe, you're going to be disappointed.

    Instead, the predominant feeling coming off the screen in the latest film from director Robert Greenwald ("Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," "Uncovered: The War on Iraq") is a kind of baffled disenchantment and sadness.

    That's because Greenwald has shrewdly chosen not to go with classic talking head types like economists, academics and journalists. Instead he talked to current and former Wal-Mart employees, including several with a dozen or more years with the company. The story they tell is not a happy one.

    Typical of these is Jim Bill Lynn, a nine-year company man who was a global services operations manager, charged with making sure that factories in Latin America that supplied Wal-Mart with its legendarily inexpensive clothing were operated under humane conditions.

    Someone who "believed in the mission" with a passion and "bled Wal-Mart blue," Lynn was so distraught to discover how dreadful factory conditions actually were that he went back to his hotel room and cried. He expected the company to correct the numerous abuses, and when they did not he was crushed once again.

  2. The Two Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke
    Elizabeth Warren, Amelia Warren Tyagi

    Warren, a law professor at Harvard (The Fragile Middle Class) and her daughter Tyagi, a former McKinsey consultant, have joined forces here to argue here that the two-parent middle-class working family is on the brink of financial disaster. The number of families declaring bankruptcy or receiving a foreclosure against their house has shot up dramatically. Presenting carefully researched economic data to support their arguments, the authors contend that, contrary to popular myth, families aren't in trouble because they're squandering their second income on luxuries. On the contrary, both incomes are almost entirely committed to necessities, such as home and car payments, health insurance and children's education costs. When an unforeseen event such as serious illness, job loss or divorce occurs, families have no discretionary income to fall back on. The authors recommend a number of useful societal solutions to get families out of this trap, such as legally prohibiting credit card companies from charging grossly unfair interest rates and exposing banks that employ a loan-to-own strategy that steers minority customers to higher mortgage rates with an eye to future foreclosures. Warren and Tyagi point out that families buy homes they cannot afford in order to live in a neighborhood with better schools. Their proposed solution, however-to institute a public school voucher system with wider choice-is less carefully thought out. Overall, however, this is a needed examination of an emerging social problem.

    Review book for free:

    or watch video:
    Elizabeth Warren - The Two Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke