The path to creating millions of jobs is so easy and obvious. Hire people to modernize the infrastructure and to retrofit buildings to be energy efficient. Millions would be paying income taxes instead of receiving unemployment or food stamps. The companies that supply the materials and steel would also be hiring and paying taxes, and the companies that supply them … and the companies that supply them. And when we are finished, the payoff to the economy from a modern infrastructure and energy efficiency will be enormous. Anyone who tells you we can’t or shouldn’t do this is up to no good.
Millions Of Jobs Need Doing, Millions Unemployed
We have millions of people unemployed at the same time as we have millions of jobs that need to be done. Connect the dots! It is so easy!
Dot: No net job gains since 2000. 8 million jobs lost in the recession. Never mind jobs for the 86,000 new people entering the labor force every month…
Dot: According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE),
“congested highways, overflowing sewers, and corroding bridges” were creating a “looming crisis that jeopardizes our nation’s prosperity and our quality of life.”
Dot: From a recent NY Times story on our country’s water systems,
Today, a significant water line bursts on average every two minutes somewhere in the country, according to a New York Times analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data.
. . . State and federal studies indicate that thousands of water and sewer systems may be too old to function properly.
[. . .] “There’s a lot of evidence that people are getting sick,” he added. “But because everything is out of sight, no one really understands how bad things have become.”
Connect the dots.
Ten million jobs needed. Ten million jobs that need doing.
Connect the dots. We need a National Rebuild America Project! It would employ millions, it would get people and businesses back in the economy, paying taxes, buying things, and not receiving the badly-needed help of unemployment, food stamps, etc.
Jobs Fix Deficits
Jobs fix deficits. How hard is that to understand? We have a deficit of jobs. People who are not working are not paying income taxes, and are instead likely receiving unemployment, food stamps or other assistance. In any event they are certainly not contributing to the economy by making things or buying things. Jobs fix deficits.
There wold be an enormous economic payoff from investing in a National Rebuild America Project. I mean an economic payoff beyond getting people back to work, paying taxes, buying things and beyond getting people off of government assistance.
Imagine an economy with a fully modernized infrastructure providing the nourishing soil for new and existing businesses. Imagine our economy with energy efficiency freeing up resources to apply to other areas. Imagine our economy with everyone working. Imagine our economy with companies able to compete in world markets with the very latest and most efficient foundation undergirding their efforts.
They say we can’t invest in modernizing our infrastructure or in energy efficiency because this would be “government spending.” They say we can’t afford to do this kind of work. They say we instead need to cut back and pay off the deficit instead. As if laying off teachers helps the economy!
Where did all of this “deficit emergency” nonsense come from? We had a huge budget surplus when Bush took office. The debt was projected to be paid off entirely in ten years. So Bush gets elected, Greenspan says we’re paying off the debt “too fast” and they gave the rich a huge tax cut, and doubled military spending! It’s not hard to see where the deficit came from. (No, seriously, click through and see the charts, it’s not hard.)
So we shifted to a huge deficit instead and Bush said this was “incredibly positive news” because it will force the country into a debt crisis that they can propagandize to force cuts in things government does for We, the People.
Hey people, figure it out, we do not have a debt emergency, we have a manufactured crisis that is being used to scare people into giving up the benefits of democracy.
Has To Be Done Anyway
This is work that has to be done anyway! Once again, our infrastructure is falling apart, our companies are not competitive, our energy inefficiency is costing us dearly. This work has been put off for a long time. Every day we wait, it just becomes a more expensive problem. Funny how this is the way conservatives describe the debt, when in reality is the problem with delaying investment in modernization.
So why not do it now, when people really need the work? We have been deferring the maintenance of our infrastructure since the big Reagan tax cuts for the rich. The roads, bridges, dams, airports, rail, energy grid and the rest are in bad shape. This is slowing our economy. This is hurting people and costing money and time. This is costing our businesses in their international competitiveness.
Your Homework Assignment
OK, here is your homework: Big Ideas To Get America Working: Rebuild Our Infrastructure.
This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
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