Hey, here's a radical idea: How about we actual do something to put, oh, about 3 million of our unemployed people back to work?
I'm not talking about new trade agreements or greasing the patent process. I mean actually doing something like creating jobs.
Now that the Very Serious People have beaten the deficit issue to death and left the world's economy teetering on the brink, how 'bout we give common sense a try? Cuz you know, maybe contractionary policies aren't expansionary, after all.
Yeah, I know. There's the little problem of dealing with Congress, and probably with more than a few folks associated with the White House. That's why we need to keep the argument short and sweet.
I'll sum it up in one sentence below the doohickey:
Create a national jobs program by simply returning tax rates on the wealthy to somewhere near where they were in the '60s.
A while back, Robert Reich wrote:
If the rich were taxed at the same rates they were half a century ago, they’d be paying in over $350 billion more this year alone ...
$350 billion. A year.
If half that amount was used to fund jobs, at an average expense of $60,000 per job (including payroll taxes, benefits, workman's comp, etc.) you could create more than 2.9 million jobs. Use the other $175 billion to purchase materials.
And what do you have these newly employed people do? How about a national solar power initiative? (Or wind power; I ain't picky.) So at the same time we're putting people back to work and fueling the national aggregate demand to keep the economy from going into freefall, we're decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels.
It's a stark choice: Raise taxes on the richest Americans and put 3 million less-fortunate Americans back to work. The rich still get to be rich, and our unemployment level drops below 7% for the first time in nearly three years.
Or ... take your chances with the status quo.
In a real democracy, you can guess what the logical choice would be. In today's America, I'm afraid you know how far a proposal like this would go. Could it even find a single sponsor in both houses of Congress?