Obama misstep

Republican tactics lead to deminished wages fo...

Republican tactics lead to deminished wages for American middle class – American income gap grows (Photo credit: EN2008)

Yesterday Barack said that the private sector of the economy is doing well; he meant in comparison to the public sector, and now the GOP is running with that snippet of tape. The total economy is suffering because the GOP want to defeat Barack in November. The private sector is adding jobs while the public sector continues to shed jobs yielding a combined unemployment rate of 8.2%. If the GOP in Congress would allow the Federal government to aid the states during this recession, then the states would not be laying off so many public sector employees. Most of those layoffs are occurring in red states, states that became red or redder due to the TEA Party influence in the 2010 election.

If the employees being laid off were private sector employees, you can bet the GOP would be more amenable to providing assistance. If all the teachers, firemen and police officers were employed by private employers, rather than government, you could be sure of two things. If they were employed, they would be earning less and if their employers needed government assistance, they would get it.

Jobs, jobs, jobs

"Abortion is not Healthcare"

“Abortion is not Healthcare” (Photo credit: brunosan)

Jobs, jobs, jobs is the GOP mantra, at least in the House of Representatives. Yet if that is the case, why does the GOP spend so much time on abortion restrictions? Because they know that abortion restrictions please their base. They also know that the election in November will hinge in large part on the direction of the economy. Therefore, we can look for no actions on their part to stimulate job growth before November. A booming economy will help Barack‘s re-election, while continuing stagnation or slow growth will help Mitt Romney.

Capitalism doesn’t ensure equal results

Bill O'Reilly at the World Affairs Council of ...

Bill O’Reilly at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, September 30, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That is the title of an op-ed appearing in today’s newspaper authored by Bill O’Reilly. In it, Bill talks about growing up poor and then working his way up the economic ladder when most Americans were middle class. Bill, you are living in the past. The middle class in America is disappearing fast and we need a vibrant middle class to preserve our democracy. You talk about switching employers if you weren’t satisfied with your job. That’s not possible for most people in most lines of work. Before I was encouraged to retire, I worked at the local hospital as an x-ray tech. Although some doctors employ x-ray techs, jobs outside the hospital are scarce and its costs real money to move in the hopes of finding a job elsewhere. That is doubly and tripley true in today’s economy.

When you were growing up, the rich paid a much higher rate of taxation and still many prospered. Your dad and most Americans were willing to see others do well because they knew that hard work was rewarded in America. That is no longer true for many Americans. In some industries, only part-time work at low wages with no benefits is all that is available. If many of us including Occupy Wall Street are upset because the 1% are gaming the system, they are right and the 1% are gaming the system and destroying our democracy at the same time. Bill, open your eyes and look around you. It’s a different world from when you and I grew up.

Please see Bill O’Reilly challenge | Bill O’Reilly | Bill O’Reilly and taxes

Racial discrimination

Inner City Pressure

Inner City Pressure (Photo credit: shannonpatrick17)

Racial discrimination in the US is a chicken and egg situation; which came first, the chicken or the egg. Some of the majority believe that the poor/minorities do not deserve our help because the poor/minorities do not live up the ideals of American society. Some of the poor/minorities are lazy (unemployed) and others are criminals (drug dealers and/or gang members). What some of the majority are forgetting or do not understand is that jobs have disappeared from the inner-city ghettos where the poor/minorities are forced to live because they cannot afford anything better. Jobs have migrated to the suburbs and public transit is often inadequate to connect the inner-city job seeker to suburban job opportunities. The job seeker may need private transportation (a car) to gain a job, but he/she needs the job first to afford a car. A catch-22 situation.

Looking at the situation from the viewpoint of the poor/minorities, American society has let them down by providing fewer and fewer services due to policies begun in the 1980s. Education is poor and public transit for job holders and job seekers is inadequate. Without education and good paying jobs, what do we expect the poor/minorities to do? Life must go on. Unemployment/welfare benefits and crime may be the only sources of income for a growing number of Americans.

This is not a policing problem, where putting more of the poor/minorities in prison is the answer. As prisons are privatized, there is a profit motive to incarcerate more and more people. We should be spending our tax dollars on better schools, not more prisons. I believe that the answer to the problem of increasing poverty and crime is better education so that our poor/minorities can become productive members of society. And some portion of the better education must go to educate those of the majority who believe that the poor/minorities are solely or largely responsible for their own situations.

For additional information, I recommend When Work Disappears, The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson. I know that the situation of the poor/minorities in the US is a complicated subject with many factors affecting the outcome. Looking at it as a chicken and egg matter is a vast simplification, but I think that it does provide a valid insight that may be helpful in understanding the problem(s).

Catch 22

Logo of the Car Allowance Rebate System, a U.S...

Logo of the Car Allowance Rebate System, a U.S. government program in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the past few decades, jobs in central cities have moved to the suburbs or abroad. Public transit is slow and sometimes undependable. Minorities concentrated in ghettos in central cities and who lack transportation find it difficult or impossible to find suburban jobs. If they had jobs, they could buy used cars for transportation. Lacking cars, they cannot find and keep jobs. A catch 22.

Instead of spending tax money in a cash for clunkers program, our government could buy used cars for inner city job seekers so that they can land jobs. Get people off welfare and onto employment rolls. Possibly a program for private charities to adopt.