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Everyone agrees that America desperately needs to boost its job creation, yet Congress and the president have failed to implement any legislation that will do so. It is predicted that the recently agreed-upon authorization to raise the debt ceiling will kill jobs, as it takes a sharp bite out of almost every government program.

From The Hill:

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), for instance, warned Monday that the domestic cuts will kill at least 323,000 jobs in 2012 alone...Irons, of EPI, warned that an additional 1.5 million jobs would be lost next year if Congress doesn't extend [the payroll tax holiday and federal unemployment benefits].

States have also taken a weed whacker to their budgets, hitting a wide range of job sectors with their indiscriminate cuts. As this chart at ThinkProgress.org illustrates, states that have made the most severe cuts to spending have experienced the greatest job losses.

We know how Republican Speaker John Boehner and his colleagues feel about the clear relationship between jobs and spending cuts:

"In the last two years, under President Obama, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs. If some of those jobs are lost so be it. We're broke."

Clearly, that is not how most Americans--especially the unemployed--feel about job losses. So what would you propose to get job creation back on track?

Despite being assured repeatedly that rich people are "job creators" and that heaping tax cuts on them will result in jobs raining down on the American people, we have yet to witness the fruits of those cuts. But the CEOs certainly have, with many companies continuing to report huge annual profits.

Instead of job creation, we are seeing job cuts and more demands that employees accept steep reductions in their total compensation package in exchange for the privilege of working at highly profitable companies such as Verizon. Soon, we'll be asked to pay for the privilege of having a job.

We have seen Republicans and the Tea Party continually lionize CEOs, yet demonize the worker. Never mind the fact that without workers, no one would need CEOs (except Mitt Romney, who accepts donations from CEOs of fictional companies). What we are not seeing is a job-creating plan or any numbers from Republicans on how many jobs their "job creators" (aka rich fat cats) are going to create and a timeline for when they are going to create them.

Suggestions on ways the government can create jobs typically involve recreating the FDR magic, such as having the government increase spending for infrastructure projects and new construction. It is a great fantasy, but with the insane, job-killing Republicans in Congress determined to prohibit any new spending and insisting on even more spending cuts, they are unlikely to give the FDR routine another showing.

In 1997, France took measures to limit the work week to 35 hours, which did lead to a slight uptick in job creation. While the measure remains popular among unions and many workers, businesses and French conservatives have never been enthusiastic about it, and it has been relaxed several times in the intervening years. Today, France has an unemployment rate of 9.6%, evidence that the law alone was not enough to fix the unemployment problem.

Assuming Republicans cannot be brought to see the light of reason regarding stimulus spending, what measures would you propose for creating jobs? Limiting hours? Tax breaks for creating jobs? Or must we simply wait for the Baby Boom generation to retire (assuming they will be allowed to after this Congress and administration get through with "entitlement" reform) and then everyone can join the healthcare sector to attend to their medical needs (assuming Republicans have not succeeded in killing Medicare, leaving the elderly to die and--as Scrooge would say--"decrease the surplus population")?

UPDATE:

On Saturday, Kossack TexanJane shared an interesting proposal from Chris Matthews on how to get Republicans to invest in infrastructure, which most agree would be one of the easiest ways to create jobs.

Essentially, you do whatever you can to focus media attention on unsafe bridges and roads in your area that are in desperate need of repair. Take pictures, write letters, etc. You make our crumbling infrastructure into a hot issue that Congress cannot afford politically to ignore. I think it's a great idea and perhaps we at Kos could work together and with other liberal groups to organize an effort like this.

Originally posted to CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One Step: removal of tax breaks for outsourcing (16+ / 0-)

    I even faintly recall someone making a campaign promise about that...

    Obama is "a good man" to many democrats like Bush was "a good man" to republicans.

    by The Dead Man on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:17:11 PM PDT

    •  What exactly are these tax breaks? (3+ / 0-)

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:26:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep- agree (3+ / 0-)

      We need to do everything possible to keep jobs here - both manufacturing and services..

      And removing the tax breaks is a step but I don't think that is the only reason they do it...

      They say corporations are hoarding cash, using it to buy other companies, rather than investing in jobs. How bout an accumulated earnings tax? That is a tax on money that is hoarded, used to buy other companies, or sent overseas rather than invested in America?

      The infrastructure bank is a good idea...And rebuilding our neighborhoods, cleaning up our lakes and rivers, and more.

      So would extending unemployment benefits up to 2 yrs again plus doubling the food stamp program...

      And The diary I once wrote here.

      Lobbying reform would do a lot too..

      With regard to manufacturing, I am very opposed to all the free trade deals (NAFTA, CAFTA, KFT).

      How about a VAT based on where the value to a product is added?  If it is added in the U.S, a low tax. But if value is added overseas, a high tax.

      A VAT in general helps exports and discourages imports because exports aren't subject to it but imports are. So most European countries have a VAT. But it would need to be structured to help shield lower income people from it such as offsetting it with income tax reductions and that would include refundable credits.

      Any Democrat on his or her worst day is better than any Republican on his or her best day.

      by joedemocrat on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:34:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Raise taxes on corporations (8+ / 0-)

    and high income individuals.   Right now it is too cheap to suck money out of companies, but with higher taxes the incentive would be to grow them.

  •  2 Things (12+ / 0-)
    1. Provide single-payer, universal health care.
    2. Stop threatening to mess around with Social Security.

    These two things will help Americans take risks knowing we have a safety net in place if a business fails.

    •  How would single payer healthcare (2+ / 0-)

      create jobs? I like the idea, but if it saves money and reduces duplication in paperwork, could it also result in jobs lost?

      (Not challenging you, just sincerely asking.)

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:27:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Ranted About Single Payer 24/7 (10+ / 0-)

        when we were debating the health care bill. If I am a small company. Heck if I am GM and I have to compete against a company in say the UK, Japan, or Germany that has single payer, that is an expense those companies don't pay. But here in the US I have to build those costs into the price of whatever I sell. I am at a competitive (and price) disadvantage from the start. IMHO that is how single payer should have been sold.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:30:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it should have (4+ / 0-)
          I have to build those costs into the price of whatever I sell. I am at a competitive (and price) disadvantage from the start.

          Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

          by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:31:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good idea (3+ / 0-)

          I do recall hearing something like that mentioned. I agree that removing the burden of healthcare from employers would definitely free up more revenue for job creation and possibly even encourage people to create companies if they no longer have to look at each prospective employee as another person to insure.

          Of course, that would require significantly increasing Medicare expenditures and more taxes on employers and the rich to afford those increases. I do think it would generate savings but not likely enough to pay for itself.

          So, how do you get to that point, when you have people in Congress and elsewhere screaming that the Affordability Act is a socialist piece of legislation with "death panels"?

          How do get single payer healthcare? You would think the Republicans would be on board with removing this burden from the businesses that they love so much. Except, they don't actually care if people have any healthcare coverage and don't think businesses or the government should help people obtain it.

          We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

          by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:36:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately, being a retired engineer... (12+ / 0-)

    ...and public employee, I'd look towards infrastrucure improvements. We've all sen the ASCE lists of deficient roads, bridges, sewers, etc. Problem is, the Republicans have poleaxed that for the next year or so, and we'd have to retake the House and beef up the Democratic majority in the Senate, or at least seek to oust McConnell and DeMint from the Senate. Oh, and we'd also have to reelect Obama, too...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:20:42 PM PDT

  •  What did FDR do in the New Deal that would (6+ / 0-)

    not work today?

  •  Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Infrastructure (9+ / 0-)

    Not just jobs now, but prosperity in the future. Transportation = trade, Energy = production and security, repair & maintenance = safety (remember that bridge in Minneapolis?).

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:23:29 PM PDT

  •  1) lower the retirement age by 2 years; (8+ / 0-)

    2) infrastructure;
    3) infrastructure;
    4) infrastructure;
    5) infrastructure;
    6) you're getting the idea....

    I'm one of those lucky homos in a bi-national relationship - at the age of 49, all I had to do was give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my aging, diabetic mother, my family & friends and move to the Netherlands. Easy peasey!

    by aggieric on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:25:28 PM PDT

    •  But to invest in infrastructure... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, JeffW

      you have to get Congress to agree to new spending.

      If we assume the moronic Republicans are not likely to let that happen, what then?

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:28:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then your question is merely academic. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        I'm one of those lucky homos in a bi-national relationship - at the age of 49, all I had to do was give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my aging, diabetic mother, my family & friends and move to the Netherlands. Easy peasey!

        by aggieric on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:54:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd like it not to be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AgavePup

          I've actually seen a few proposals in the thread that wouldn't require new spending or taxes. I'd rather the question be realistic (as in, what we can do with the situation we have) rather than simply assuming there is nothing we can do.

          One does conclude, however, that getting Republicans out of congress must be a priority.

          We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

          by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:58:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  How does this create jobs? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Horace Boothroyd III, JeffW

      Ending the wars is a good idea because it removes a lot of wasteful spending.

      But, it will bring a lot of troops home who will need jobs, and it will result in a lot of revenue loss for defense contractors, in turn leading to layoffs in that sector.

      If republicans insist--and the president goes along with it as he has been verbally--that the most important thing is to cut deficits, and they refuse to allow the money saved to go toward anything other than paying down the deficit--how do you get to job creation?

      I think it's a huge dilemma.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:31:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You didn't see #2.?? Plenty of jobs there. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle

        and btw, regarding:

        it will result in a lot of revenue loss for defense contractors

        Lets call the "defense contractors" what they are:

        War profiteering war contractors...

        •  I did see #2 (0+ / 0-)

          But #2 assumes you have a Congress that is going to let infrastructure spending go through, and we do not.

          I am not crazy about defense contractors no matter what they are called, but ending the wars would nevertheless lead to job losses in these industries. I'm certainly not suggesting we need to support jobs in these industries, but how do you get Congress to let the money be used elsewhere, like investing in green jobs?

          We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

          by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:48:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You asked me what I would do... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brooke In Seattle

            not within the parameters of what congress or the president will do.

            They apparently are working their darnedest to NOT create jobs and IMO are intractable at this point.

            If you are asking how to fight the intractable president and Congress...I say we vote them all out.

            ...'cause my ideas to end the wars and rebuild the infrastructure are good ideas and I don't think the Congress or the President will do either.

            •  Well, the diary does point out (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              trinityfly

              the problem with suggesting an FDR approach (ie, investing in infrastructure).

              I have seen some solutions that would not require new spending or tax increases, but the most effective one is obviously voting out Congress.

              It doesn't look like we'll have an opportunity for a better president until 2016.

              We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

              by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:00:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Less military spending = more $ for infrastructure (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Food Gas Lodging, trinityfly
  •  My plan (5+ / 0-)

    Roll back the Bush tax cuts to create more revenue to finance a real stimulus package.  Insure that stimulus had an emphasis on jobs.

    Then I'd start educating the public as to why rolling back the Reagan tax cuts will strengthen the middle and working class.  Given enough time, it can be done, but it needs the political will.  Which is something that is missing Washington.  

  •  Two things that will get instant results (4+ / 0-)

    Return Welfare to a safety net.

    Lower the retirement age.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:28:45 PM PDT

  •  Educate the voters that they need to get rid of (4+ / 0-)

    these current repubs.  As long as they are in Congress, no jobs will be created because they won't allow it.

    •  I agree with that one. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett

      I see a lot of good suggestions here, but every single one of them would receive so much opposition from republicans and republican wannabes (blue dog democrats) that they would never see the light of day.

      Seems to me the only option is to get rid of all of them next election.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:38:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can't be done in time for the next election (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CatM

        While I hope that people realize the R's haven't done shit and throw out all they possibly can in 2012, I think this voter education thing is going to take years upon years.  The Rightwing has had 40 years to build their propaganda infrastructure and the not-Rightwing has no such media advantage currently.

        •  I think you're right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett

          but I think the education is already happening. Polls consistently show that younger people have far more liberal views than the elderly and that they are largely more tolerant of the differences between people.

          I have a lot of hope for the voting power of the newer generations. We may not have the television/newspaper media in our pocket, but that isn't really where young people go to figure out who they are these days.

          And I think the younger generation is growing up to be more worldly. Thanks to the Internet, they interact with people all over the world and have more exposure to other cultures than their grandparents appear to have had.

          We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

          by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:57:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Made in maintained in the USA (9+ / 0-)

    The Federal Government is the largest customer in the USA as such they wield a lot of power when buying goods and hiring people.  This is what they need to do;

    1.  80% of all product purchased must be made in the USA.

    2.  Final assembly of all products purchased must be made in the USA

    3.  All contractors and sub-contractors working on a government site or government project must be a US citizen

    4.  All support people must be US citizens (ie when the US government calls tech support they must talk to a US citizen, they cannot be routed to Costa Rica or India)

    5.  All products used by the DOD must be 100% made in the USA and sourced from US materials

    6  All products not made in the USA must be labeled as such and said label can be no less than 30% the size of the total packaging and in blaze orange.

    Americans need to buy products made in the USA, screw Wal-mart

    •  I want to rec this, except for one thing (3+ / 0-)

      I am okay with jobs going to non-citizens who legally reside in the United States.

      Many of them move here and work as they seek to become citizens. I like the diversity of people we have in this country, and I would hate to essentially close the borders to people coming from abroad and working here.

      I think the rest of your ideas are interesting, except that this type of "protectionism" could have ramifications on our ability to sell goods in other countries.

      I do not claim to be much of an expert on how a sharp drop in overseas sales would hurt businesses here.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:44:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like diversity too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kitsap River

        And if they are legally in this country they can work, they just can't work for the Fed.  I would relax the requirements but some visa programs in particular the H1 program is abused and used to displace US workers and depress wages.  As someone who works with the fed all the time I see time and time again foreign nationals doing work for the Fed as contractors and sub-contractors.  This is for both skilled and unskilled positions.  Again I don't begrudge these people as they are playing within the rules but I feel that when you must choose, you need to feed your child first, your cousin second and your neighbor third.  In other words we need to take care of our own first.

  •  Relegalize cannabis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    Open up a way to help revitalize farming, create farm jobs, create raw product management jobs, sell hemp fiber to American companies rather than importing it.

    (The legal cannabis smoking market will boost coffeeshops and such as well as trim HUGE fat out of police and judicial budgets while creating modeat tax revenues, so long as you can get the revenues approved by the GOP. I'm all in favor of growing it for free....)

    Republicans HATE America. Deal with it. / It's the PLUTONOMY, Stupid!

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:38:21 PM PDT

  •  I'd make the 32 hour week a reality (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, RosyFinch

    Employ MORE people, full timers work a day less, overtime becomes a memory.

    Of course paying real wages is part of that.....

    Republicans HATE America. Deal with it. / It's the PLUTONOMY, Stupid!

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:40:07 PM PDT

  •  Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, Brooke In Seattle

    Oh and also infrastructure.

  •  Lower the retirement age temporarily (4+ / 0-)

    to age 60.  Give those Pre-Seniors an opportunity to get off the job market, or open a job up for someone new.  Make it possible for them to re-enter the job market later without penalty if their expertise is required.
    Charge job outsourcing companies 2x the normal FICA for every foreign serf.  It'll still be cheaper to employ outside the country, but at least Social Security and medicare will be getting something out of it.  Make it more expensive for American companies to hire outside than inside the country.  
    And do something about the "temp" industry!

  •  You Keep Asking How We Deal w/ Congress Cat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, Nailbanger

    and the only solution I have is to "buy" them off. I mean that is why earmarks work. Why the massive transportation bills have all those "goodies" for everybody. We just give every district something so if they vote against the bill, they are voting against their own district. I hate you'd have to do something like that, but it is about the only thing I can think of.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:42:03 PM PDT

    •  I think Chris Matthews (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding

      suggested something in that spirit. Or maybe it was Keith Olbermann or even Lawrence O'Donnell.

      Whoever it was suggested that Democrats photograph crumbling infrastructure and unsafe bridges in Republican districts and bring the local media's attention to the safety issues surrounding the infrastructure problems and do whatever they can to raise awareness and drive a demand for infrastructure repairs that gets the attention of the Republican Congressmen, who will then have to agree to infrastructure spending.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:52:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well That Would Be How I'd Pressure Them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CatM

        have Obama head into each district and point out they need this infrastructure and this or that person is standing in the way. I live in Southern Illinois, just over the MO border. The main bridge is literally falling down. I mean literally. I am willing if the government came up with the $600M needed we could some of the blue dogs and Republicans from MO to vote for it.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:56:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I would create corporate tax cuts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, CatM

    directly tied to the number of domestic jobs added to their current staffing levels, for new jobs created in the range of $35k-100k a year, and dependent upon keeping a certain percentage of jobs throughout the company above 35k a year and in the country, excluding workers who were not citizens, but using H1B work visas.

    So your company would, for instance, qualify if > 50% of your total workforce was located domestically, composed of citizens, and making at least 35k/yr.  At that point, give some cut on corporate taxes for each new domestic worker added above the $35k/yr level, such that you're effectively partially subsidizing well-paying domestic jobs.  

    Republicans should love it, after, all, because it's their favorite - tax cuts for corporations.  Dems because it's tied to direct domestic, living wage job creation.

    Corporations get to pretend that they're doing it to be a 'good corporate citizen' (haha) by creating new domestic jobs, while getting cheaper labor through gov't subsidies.

    •  What about salary maximums? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ezekial 23 20, Kitsap River

      I think we do need salary minimums, and I am for a reduced work week. At my last place of employment, I was simply expected to work as many hours as needed to meet my deadlines and I was not provided adequate staff to assist. As a result, I worked at least 9 to 10 hours a day and most weekends. During certain times of year, I worked 80 hours a week. None of the overtime was compensated.

      I could have refused to do it, but I likely would have been fired. I was once told by someone in management that my employer's theory was that it was like weight lifting--you give employees as much work as they can handle, and when they say they can't handle anymore, you pile on additional weight.

      Of course, that company has a relatively high turnover rate and a reputation as being a terrible place to work. Despite high unemployment, I simply quit and decided to become an independent contractor. I was afraid that the work was going to kill me.

      Anyway, I think there are many abusive employers like that and weakening unions will result in a growing number of them.  I think all employees should unionize, and I think the law should prohibit employers from not compensating employees for overtime and it should be compensated at 200%.

      If they did that, I think they'd hire more workers since they are spending the money anyway.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:07:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I put in 35-100k, but really all the numbers (0+ / 0-)

        I selected were fairly arbitrary, and could be monkeyed around with to a degree.  I don't know if 50% domestic is really doable either, but I certainly wouldn't grant such breaks to any company that merely keeps management in the states, and outsources all the actual labor.

        •  Oh! I thought those were minimums (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ezekial 23 20

          I agree that outsourcing is a serious problem and companies should be rewarded for keeping jobs at home. Too bad we couldn't come up with a global system where different countries agree to produce different products for global distribution so that there is less overlap. Of course, maybe the lack of competition would be bad for the consumer, I don't know.

          We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

          by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:59:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A Government Job Matching Agency. (3+ / 0-)

    Modelled after an aspect of Germany's Hartz IV reforms, I would set up a government agency where the resumes of all employers would be submitted upon layoff. The agency would then match the skills in these resumes to job openings at other companies, and arrange for an interview with this person and the target company whenever a match is found.

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 04:55:01 PM PDT

  •  And btw, tipped and recced for the EXACT sort of (6+ / 0-)

    dialogue we SHOULD be having on this site, rather than all the wasted hot air tossing insults back and forth.

    A direct brainstorming diary on ideas that could potentially be passed along to our various Congresscritters.

    I'm going to repost to Labour and Unions, since, of course, Jobs is on topic.

    •  Agreed. I Love The MSNBC Commercial (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ezekial 23 20, Brooke In Seattle

      with Rachel where she said that our previous generations knew they were building infrastructure that their children and children's children would benefit from. Maybe that message only works with hippie liberals like myself, but I'd like to think it would also work with moderates and independents.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:06:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't have kids, but I'd like to build a world (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding

        in which we don't drive every other mammal above the size of a shrew extinct along with us, and leave vast dead zones in the sea for millenia.

        •  I Don't Have Any Kids Either (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ezekial 23 20, CatM, RosyFinch

          but I feel exactly like you do. Heck another suggestion I was going to throw out here is to put solar panels on every government building and state university. It would be a huge, huge investment at the start, but over time it would pay for itself. I mean I looked at solar panels for my house and they are not "cheap." A huge initial investment. One I didn't want to have to pay off. But alas, that is shortsighted thinking.

          When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

          by webranding on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:14:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow! I had that thought about public schools! (3+ / 0-)

            I have been thinking about that for years regarding public schools.

            If the federal government could fund a program for schools to install solar panels, the schools could save on electricity and this could lead to less need to increase property taxes.

            If they produced extra electricity, such as in the summer or when school is not in session, this could be sold to the electric company.

            It would have so many benefits...less dependence on oil, less pollution, paying for itself...

            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

            by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:21:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly. And I Didn't Say This Above (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CatM, Ezekial 23 20, RosyFinch

              but that additional power could be sold of course and then the schools could pay back the Federal government and the money could be invested in another project.

              When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

              by webranding on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:29:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Great idea! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ezekial 23 20

                Maybe to minimize the initial outlay, it could be a rolling program.

                In other words, first we found the poorest school districts in the country. Then, one half of the money saved or earned from selling extra power gets reinvested in the school and the other half goes into a fund to support the next round of solar installations!

                I love this idea. :)

                We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

                by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:37:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks. I was tired of Meta. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ezekial 23 20

      I like that even though this isn't on the rec list, it's very active and stimulating a lot of conversation.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:08:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We should pass the ideas along (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ezekial 23 20, Food Gas Lodging

      Maybe tomorrow,  I will put a list of the best ones together and ask people to vote on them and then I could the top 10 choices together and send them to the president and maybe we could get volunteers to send them to their state's senators and/or their representatives.

      I think they ignore mail that doesn't come from constituents, unfortunately.

      I think we should also create a list of suggestions for state governors.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:48:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tariffs - protect key industries (3+ / 0-)

    Revoke free trade deals and sign fair trade deals.  Protect certain industries where other countries do the same.

  •  Yes to infrastructure (4+ / 0-)

    specifically build more internet accessibility, rails, trains, bikepaths, health clinics, levies, solar farms, local traffic roads, and schools.

    Listen! I will vote for Obama, and every Democrat I can vote for, in 2012!

    by Food Gas Lodging on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:10:57 PM PDT

  •  Move Efficiencies to Side of Worker (4+ / 0-)

    Businesses have been continuing to try to shift training costs onto the worker (by preferring to poach trained people instead of creating entry level jobs).  Businesses have also been continuing to insist that people invest a lot of time, money, and work in job interviews (cover letters, separate tailored resume for each employer web site, pro resume polishing and interview skills, dry cleaned suits, travel to 2-3 interviews,  thank you notes and follow-up communiques. Yet for all this work, the chance of getting each job you "invest" in goes down and down.

    No one blames businesses for increasing efficiency on their side by building up job databases, making false postings to build up reserve candidates, or exploiting social networking to crowd-source human resources. I can't remember the last time a recruiter contacted me to ask about my skills instead of trying to shake me down for all my friends.

    All of the above assumes the worker comes hat-in-hand to the employer, and they are lucky to be given a job. I believe our whole national mentality should change to realize employment is an equal exchange of labor/production/service for pay.

    Then we should enact on that mentality by shifting efficiencies to the worker. Get businesses to buy into centralized job boards and encourage them to post their entry level jobs. Create incentives for hiring the unemployed - especially the long term unemployed - and create penalties for poaching (to pressure businesses to start training their own again). Discourage business from writing over-specialized job descriptions. Deal with eht ensuing deluge of qualified applicants by lowering screening barriers.

    Seriously, most people can do most jobs. And respect for difference and diversity begins with realizing that everyone is a good fit AND a bad fit in their own ways, and at different times. It's the organization that needs to learn to accommodate people. The current hiring manager/human resources approach is just about exercising gatekeeper status, and it's the first opportunity for bias and prejudice to play out.

    Let's just drop those barriers. Redeploy human resources to resolving internal matters. Hire people in bulk, on a rolling basis. Businesses are already doing this when they outsource or use temp agencies to do their screening. They really don't have to go through a three month vetting process for every single candidate.

    Moreover, the last two decades of "team-based" organization have made it very difficult for people to deal with the individualistic job market. How to convince an employer you're special when you were trained to blend into the crowd - without taking credit or going off to fly your own kite. If businesses want to deal with people as "teams" shouldn't that carry over to the employment process as well? Maybe job seekers can be grouped according to very broad skill categories, or according to weeks unemployed - and business can agree to hire in lots. Let the "superstars" emerge later in their careers.

    Perhaps this reduction of control in who gets to work where seems shocking, but the controls that are being exercised now are very costly - especially on the side of the worker - and mostly unnecessary. If the Obama administration can do anything to move the efficiencies to the side of the worker, I believe it will make a vast difference in the employment landscape.

    Ps. Oh - and stop giving corporate welfare. It doesn't trickle down, and without it corporations will be forced to hire people to make money for them.

    Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

    by breakingranks on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:18:11 PM PDT

  •  jobs programs, subsidizes jobs (3+ / 0-)

    1. Infrastructure work. What we have is crumbling and inefficient. Repair and grow more public options (light rail, trains, bike routes etc). Fast rural internet (help small business). Green energy- solar, wind and geothermal installation.

    2. Subsidized public school teaching positions by providing the money to hire more teachers at schools so that the teacher-student ratio is 1- 10 to 15. Government pays these teachers directly so it is not on the school budget. Small grants given for schools to have portable classrooms to handle the additional classes. Provide paid (subsidized) classroom assistants and tutors from the skilled unemployed to help them keep active.

    3. Offer training and grants for long term unemployed to begin their own business. Guarantee them minimum income to cover basic needs (food, housing, utilities, internet if it applies) for first 5 years so they don't have to panic if their first attempts fail. After that, the support weans away or retirement kicks in. They'll either succeed, have a better economy to find work in or retire.

    4. Offer 'Galt' grants. This is a person outlining a modest amount of money that they need in order to NOT need further government assistance (barring other acts of deity). For example- $50,000 will relocate them to family willing to help them on a new course. Or (what would help me) pays off the mortgage so that they can live on minimum or part-time work. People have creative solutions, so why not help them? I do expect a cap on these grants (say $250,000) and an expectation that people do not take further assistance for some number of years (unless, say- natural disaster throws them in a bind).

    5. Art grants (like the WPA had). There just isn't enough beauty in our architecture and buildings. Or even just re-painting under-served neighborhoods. People need more cheering up there. Heck, provide maintenance for these people & include them in the work (sort of like the sweat equity required in habitat for humanity homes).

    6. Tax the shit out of top earners. As long as there are people without enough, willing to work for it, there should not be excessive income. There is no excuse for poverty in this country. NONE. There should be a basic threshold of adequate living- food, shelter, healthcare, communication, education- for everyone. Everyone should have access to it (they need not take it- but they're on their own if they don't), and until that happens, there should be a cap on wealth. Yeah, I mean take it. No, you don't get to have 5 houses. No, you don't get to have a billion dollars. Not until EVERYONE has access to adequate living. After that- you can make the moon, just as long as everyone has adequate access to decent living.
    By adequate- I don't mean comfortable. TV? no. Internet- basic access. Car? Depends on transport options in your area- but expect a Yugo. Hamburger, not steak. There should be incentive to do better, but not punishment for bad luck or being born on the wrong side of the tracks.
    I draw the analogy of Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone gets the same serving on a small plate. And until everyone has their first serving, NO ONE gets seconds.

    I am much too liberal to be a Democrat.

    by WiseFerret on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:19:47 PM PDT

    •  I Love Your Ideas. I Really Like The Art Grants (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WiseFerret, CatM

      My little town is kind of "progressive." We do things that are "different." Five years ago we voted to raise our taxes .... I kid you not to buy some run down buildings, tear them down, and build parks (also a food pantry). We got local artists (and they were paid) to paint murals. Do sculptures for the parks. It is actually kind of "cool."

      We do a lot of stuff like that. When I wrote it up here once, and we also just voted to raise our taxes again to build a new $60M high school people were stunned. Cause in the same election we voted 63% to raise our property taxes we voted 57% for McCain (and I live in freaking Illinois).

      Our mayor told a city council meeting that all of us like "nice" things. Nobody disagreed. But "nice" things cost money. One of the smarter things I've heard him say.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:27:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in seattle. (4+ / 0-)

    I don't have a wide angle camera large enough to take a picture  of the crumbling infrastructure here.

    This comment may not be reproduced or excerpted on other sites without my express written permission.

    by psilocynic on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:23:19 PM PDT

  •  90% tax rate for all unearned income unless there (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, Ezekial 23 20, Kitsap River

    is a reinvestment in a real company that employs over 100 American workers and stays in the country for over 25 years.  Tax bracket then would be set at a 35% on unearned income rate if compliant.  

    No more government contracts for goods and services from non-American companies.  Keep our tax dollars here, working for us.  

    Just a thought.

    "You can't always get what you want; but if you try sometimes...." - Rolling Stones

    by LamontCranston on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:38:16 PM PDT

    •  There Is Something Else That Could Be Done (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CatM

      along those lines. Most people don't realize this, but Al Gore did something amazing as VP. Heck he wrote a book about it called Reinventing Government. He basically reworked the entire government procurement process, which was a total cluster fuck.

      One change was to ensure a set amount of government contracts would go to what are known as 8A firms. Or what are really just women or minority owned companies.

      I'd argue that percentage should be greatly expanded. Help small businesses and get more dollars away from AT&T and GE and into the hands of the small business down the road from you that won't ship jobs overseas.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:44:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another New Deal - only 50 times the size. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, Gooserock

    We'll call it...oh...The Big Deal.

    I didn't care for math, but when I first understood the concept of finding the slope of a curve at a point, I wanted to grab the first girl I saw and kiss her with wild abandon, just like in that WW II photo.

    by dov12348 on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:41:45 PM PDT

    •  Probably Only Needs to Be the Size of WW2 + (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ezekial 23 20, dov12348

      GI Bill + Marshall Plan. I think that would be at most 2-3 New Deals, maybe closer to 1.5.

      Last time I tried to look it up I couldn't find any concise figures.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:52:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd Be Thrown Out of the Party for Saying. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, RosyFinch

    But it's all stuff the Democratic Party itself passed and proved before.

    That's why they'd throw me out for bringing it up.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 05:51:44 PM PDT

  •  Wisconsin-inspired Job Creation Idea (0+ / 0-)

    Recall Republicans wherever possible. The Koch brothers and other conservative rich guys would funnel in lots of money. States would see increased ad revenues, it would create jobs for pollsters and canvassers, the media attention and "Tea Party" visitors would lead to hotel rentals and a slight boost for the service industry.

    Of course, it would cost governments a bit, and I'm not sure if the state's additional revenues would exceed the additional costs.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 06:16:58 PM PDT

  •  Back to Block Grants (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging

    One thing that will hold infrastructure investment back is all the Congressional wrangling about which State gets the project. Congress people will be busy obstructing projects that benefit other states unless they are sure their constituents get (more than) their fair share of the gravy.

    Perhaps it would be better to start with how the money will be portioned out between the states. Then create a list of acceptable infrastructure projects to choose from and/or wrangle over.

    Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

    by breakingranks on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 06:17:14 PM PDT

  •  Let's buy from local businesses and pay cash (0+ / 0-)

    Support the stores and companies here in town.
    Pay cash (don't let the big banks collect their 3% off credit card transactions.

    Sustainability is about maintaining a balance of: abundance in the environment, wealth in the economy, and trust in society. RichRandal found on dailyKos March 29, 2007

    by RosyFinch on Tue Aug 09, 2011 at 06:17:16 PM PDT

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