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President Obama's speech to Congress tonight was designed to sell both the American people, and a reluctant legislative branch, on a series of modest proposals designed to alleviate our ongoing national unemployment crisis.

While a campaign on behalf of stimulative measures to create jobs is unquestionably worth a try, it will be extremely difficult to convince this Congress to go along with any new legislation other than cutting taxes for the rich, taking away entitlements from everyone, continuing to slash non-military discretionary spending, and granting big corporations more items from their regulatory wish list. That's just where Congress is right now.

Personally, I've had enough of this Congress. The only thing exciting about the legislative branch these days are the protesters swarming around the public events held by its members. I really don't want to hear about how much more they think we should all hand over to big corporations and the wealthy so that our overlords can create a bunch of low-wage jobs in other countries.

So let's forget about Congress for a moment. Instead, let's put our heads together and come up with a comprehensive list of the ways the executive branch can create jobs, and otherwise improve the economy, without Congress doing anything at all. Post your ideas, or links to any ideas you have seen elsewhere, in the comments. If you are either not registered or would simply prefer to use a less public submission form, then send in your ideas here.

If we can put together a solid list of workable ideas, I will turn them into a petition on the new White House engagement tool We The People. From that point, if we can hit the relatively low threshold of 5,000 signatures, then the White House will review our proposals and issue an official response. While what the executive branch can do on its own is undoubtedly limited, and while our ability to convince the executive branch to take any actions we suggest is also likely limited, this path feels a lot more hopeful than either debating messaging or trying to convince Eric Cantor to do the right thing.

The executive branch is already in the process of trying to find ways to take action on jobs without Congress. In June, the White House Council on Jobs released a series of recommendations on how to increase employment without new legislation. Just last week, President Obama directed "several federal agencies to identify 'high-impact, job-creating infrastructure projects' that can be expedited now, without congressional approval." Additionally, last year Robert Kuttner discussed how high-road contracting and tougher enforcement of labor laws could improve many existing jobs without Congress doing anything at all. Earlier this week, former White House advisor Jared Bernstein endorsed Kutnner's ideas.

In summary, there are real ideas on how to create jobs and otherwise improve the economy without Congress, the executive branch is actively looking for these ideas, and now the White House has an avenue where we can submit such ideas and receive an official response. So, let's find as many of these ideas as we can and see what we can do to make them happen.

Post whatever ideas you can find in the comments or, if you would rather, send them in through this form.

Originally posted to Chris Bowers on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 03:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is an excellent idea (24+ / 0-)

    Aside from the potential policy impact, if the WH was spending more time justifying things like high road contracting instead of trade deals and tax cuts, they would be making the case the good jobs are central to our nation's economic health.  

    Robert Reich laid it out for us the other day.

    THE 5 percent of Americans with the highest incomes now account for 37 percent of all consumer purchases, according to the latest research from Moody’s Analytics. That should come as no surprise. Our society has become more and more unequal.

    When so much income goes to the top, the middle class doesn’t have enough purchasing power to keep the economy going without sinking ever more deeply into debt — which, as we’ve seen, ends badly. An economy so dependent on the spending of a few is also prone to great booms and busts. The rich splurge and speculate when their savings are doing well. But when the values of their assets tumble, they pull back. That can lead to wild gyrations. Sound familiar?

    The economy won’t really bounce back until America’s surge toward inequality is reversed.

    We can't let our legitimate frustration with Republican unwillingness to enact needed legislation blind us to options that (while less effective) don't require that.

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

    by David Kaib on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 03:37:53 PM PDT

    •  Well he is right about that (0+ / 0-)

      but he been completely and utterly clueless about globalization for over 20 years.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:59:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Move all U.S. soldiers to U.S. bases. (46+ / 0-)

    Then they'd spend money here instead of abroad.

    Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers, though.

    by expatjourno on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:31:36 PM PDT

    •  A corollary to this: (32+ / 0-)

      any bases overseas left open as indispensable must have all services fulfilled by US personnel.  No more having the mess staff run by a contractor using migrants from the developing world.  Not only will this save us money, it will also save us from the embarrassment of the contracting companies' egregious behavior towards the migrant workers, particularly in the Middle East.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:43:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama could go Eisenhower (55+ / 0-)

      Use the defense budget to pay for domestic transportation repairs, since the troops need highways and bridges.  How are we going to move equipment around the country to meet defense needs if our bridges are crumbling?

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe. --Meteor Blades

      by Dallasdoc on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:47:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's a good good idea. eom (5+ / 0-)

        Vote GOP in 2012; let's prove the Mayans right!

        by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:53:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, while we haven't been attacked in the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tbirchard

        continental United States since 1814, you never know when it could happen.

        Don't tell me what I can't do! I'll tread on you if I feel like it...

        by doc2 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:02:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway (14+ / 0-)

          System with this rationale.  Obama can't even repair it for the same reason?

          And 9/11 survivors might disagree with your premise.

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe. --Meteor Blades

          by Dallasdoc on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:06:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think it works. (0+ / 0-)

            Eisenhower was building a grid that didn't exist. In an era where people were completely terrified over thermonuclear war. The concept just doesn't make sense today. That being said, maybe people are that stupid, maybe it could be a good foil.

            Don't tell me what I can't do! I'll tread on you if I feel like it...

            by doc2 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:33:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, the plans were evidently being developed (7+ / 0-)

              long before Eisenhower. The enabling legislation was passed in 1921. And it was necessary because the private sector came up with a disorganized mess of roads. The government was needed to coordinate and plan an actual system. Funny that.

              New book on the interstate system was discussed on Science Friday.

              Conservation! Because the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.

              by ohiolibrarian on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:07:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Interstates built by Act of Congress. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                flight2q, FarWestGirl
                The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (Public Law 84-627), was enacted on June 29, 1956, when Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law. With an original authorization of 25 billion dollars for the construction of 41,000 miles (66,000 km) of the Interstate Highway System supposedly over a 20-year period, it was the largest public works project in American history through that time.[1]
                http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 09:11:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That was the legislation that funded earlier plans (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  flight2q, FarWestGirl
                  Initial federal planning for a nationwide highway system began in 1921 when the Bureau of Public Roads asked the Army to provide a list of roads it considered necessary for national defense. This resulted in the Pershing Map.[3] Later that decade, highways such as the New York parkway system were built as part of local or state highway systems.

                  (bolding is mine)

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                  Conservation! Because the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.

                  by ohiolibrarian on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 09:38:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Nope. And why it matters... (0+ / 0-)

                    Sorry to quibble over a seemingly small point, but that point happens to be the focus of the whole diary.

                    The diary solicits ideas for what the Pres can do on his own authority, without Congressional action.

                    The example of Eisenhower building the interstate highway system is not appropriate to this diary because, though Eisenhower advocated building the interstates, it actually got done in the usual way: Congress passed laws and appropriated the money, and Ike just signed the bills passed by Congress:

                    (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                    (2) http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                    Some commenters on this diary have suggested that Obama use his Constitutional commander-in-chief authority to divert military spending already authorized by Congress from its intended uses (e.g., expensive weapons programs) and into a new program that would hire people into the "military" for essentially civilian purposes (e.g., rebuilding bridges). The Supreme Court  might or might not find that a proper exercise of commander-in-chief authority; for now let's leave it at, "that would be highly controversial." But what is not controversial is the impropriety of invoking Ike as precedent--Ike did it with Congress (hmmm, I wonder if anybody took pictures?), not without.

                    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                    by HeyMikey on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:29:30 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  The interstate system is still called (6+ / 0-)

              The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.

              The concept makes as much sense as it made in an era where the primary threat had nothing to do with moving man and materials around via wheeled motor vehicle.  It's not like the system was built so we could mobilize for a Ruskie invasion of freaking Astoria, OR.  

              It was built so, ie. we could safely transport enriched uranium plutonium from areas of mining to areas of  production to areas of weapons manufacture.  Such needs still exist today.  

              And 'people' have nothing to do with it.  Obama could do this if he wanted.  He has that power over the DOD, and if he says 'we need to rebuild the bridges between St. Louis and Illinois to better serve Scott Air Force Base, and we're going to use DOD money to do it' the people a. couldn't prevent it and b. would love it.

              •  But it just isn't true. We don't rely too (0+ / 0-)

                heavily on our roads for military logistics. It sounds like a real stretch; there has got to be a more rational sounding reason to redo the highways.

                Don't tell me what I can't do! I'll tread on you if I feel like it...

                by doc2 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:38:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We rely on our roads (5+ / 0-)

                  for military logistics every bit as much as we did when the system was built.  Nobody is saying to "redo" the highways, and if an Administration can't find a way to "sell" bridge and highway repair in the name of defense and disaster preparedness with the tangential benefit of safety for the general populace, then they get an "F" in politics.

                  •  Indeed, military logistics means everyday road use (0+ / 0-)

                    Military logistics isn't just loading tanks and crates of ammo onto flatbed rail cars on their way to the front lines. It also includes maintenance, readiness, training, construction and regular duty rotations. It's the bus that takes recruits to training camp, either from across the country or from the nearest airport. It's the catering truck loading up the airplane that flies them to their overseas assignment. It's the carload of enlisted men going off-base for lunch now and then. It's the logging truck on the way to the mill that sells lumber or every-so-much paper to the services.

                    It's whatever it takes to support our uniformed men and women. It's whatever infrastructure it takes to stitch the country into an effective fighting force.

                    Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

                    by chimpy on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:35:56 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Why argue this so vociferously? (6+ / 0-)

                  It's just a classic brainstorming process, fer cryin' out loud.  The brainstormers don't decide what will work, they just come up with ideas - good, bad, crazy, brilliant.

                  Then, it's up to others to decide if any given idea will work.

                  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 Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 01:08:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  He's pre-defending Obama's refusal to do it. n/t (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dallasdoc, aggieric, supercereal

                    Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers, though.

                    by expatjourno on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 05:16:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Doesn't matter. Off topic. (0+ / 0-)

                      The diary is about what the Pres can do on his own authority, without Congress.

                      The interstates got built with Ike's advocacy, but in the usual way: Congress passed bills to authorize construction and appropriate the money, and Ike signed the bills passed by Congress. See my other comment here: http://www.dailykos.com/...

                      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                      by HeyMikey on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:35:59 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I was gonna say . . . (4+ / 0-)

            and then I thought maybe Manhattan is an island and we're splitting hairs . . . and then I thought about Oklahoma City and well, that's an attack.  Oh, and I seem to recall a need to move stuff around the country in about 1860 or so . . .

            Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

            by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:35:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly the unexpected thing the al qaeda fleet (4+ / 0-)

          would try.

          As Eisenhower learned from Germany, having a developed road system enabled them to shift forces quickly and as necessary. The Romans 2300 years ago knew the same thing. Security & Good Roads go together.

          In times of dramatic climate change and nuclear power plants, there might well be needs, as part of our national security, to be able to shift people and materials quickly.


          "Whatever you do, don't mention The War." Basil Fawlty, while mentally impaired.

          by Jim P on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:30:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, given that they first infiltrate before (0+ / 0-)

            attacking, we'd be improving those same roads that they will use "to shift people and materials quickly". Perhaps we shouldn't be so quick to fix all those roads...

            Don't tell me what I can't do! I'll tread on you if I feel like it...

            by doc2 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:34:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The reference to the al qaeda fleet (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              expatjourno

              was a tip off that using the military against terrorists is not a real thing.

              The reference to climate disasters, man-made disasters, nuclear accidents, was not a joke.


              "Whatever you do, don't mention The War." Basil Fawlty, while mentally impaired.

              by Jim P on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:46:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I just don't think that building new (0+ / 0-)

                roads is the best thing we can do with our time. What if we made half the unemployed into government-paid comedians, with their task being to come up with some jokes to help the rest of us cheer up?

                Don't tell me what I can't do! I'll tread on you if I feel like it...

                by doc2 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:58:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Re you saying (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HeyMikey, aggieric, expatjourno, Dallasdoc

              'maybe we shouldn't rebuild the infrastructure because Al Qaeda may use that infrastructure to get to their place of attack.'  

              If so, that's one of the most absurd things I have heard anywhere.  

              I can imagine the scenario.....

              "Sorry Governor, there will be a delay in those troops getting to the site of the search and rescue as we had to disembark the personnel carriers and bring the National Guard troops across the bridge by foot.  The bridge was set to be strengthened a few years ago, but they decided not to do it because we thought a few potholes would discourage Al Qaeda from delivering a fertilizer bomb.  Hope not too many lives are lost because of this."

        •  You mean since September 11, 2001. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc

          Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers, though.

          by expatjourno on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 05:15:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  i really like that idea. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, owl06, expatjourno

        something that needs to be done in the interest of national security and more efficient military. and also generates a lot of jobs.

      •  I can't recommend this enough. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, expatjourno, flight2q

        Bring the troops home, use the war money for infrastructure.

        Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

        by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:36:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In order for this to gain wide spread support... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey

        There would have to be a tinge of underlying racism. Something that hints at the possibility of Mexico invading with an army of illegal anchor babies.

        Then you'd have every asshole in the country ready to go.

        We lose if we choose to forget; the lives of men, and money spent.

        by DeanDemocrat on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:01:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Or if not (just) roads, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aggieric, Dallasdoc, flight2q

        the same rationale could apply to the electric grid, or high speed internet build out: national security.

        The winner of every Republican debate is Barack Obama. - plf515, DKos 2011

        by CoyoteMarti on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 11:07:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Solar power = national security (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, prgsvmama26, CoyoteMarti

          Less dependence on oil imports that fund terrorism.

          Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers, though.

          by expatjourno on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 05:19:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Speaking of national security, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CoyoteMarti, Dallasdoc

          this is one of the most bloated systems in our national budget.

          Use some of that money for internet build out and anything else that can be classified as a national security interest.  For example, review of all pipelines carrying flammable materiel for safety/structural integrity as well as vulnerability to attack.

          Does Obama have a modicum of control over all governmental agencies?  Couldn't he instruct the FDA or any other agency to adjust their budgets to increase the number of new hires?  

          Couldn't he instruct/encourage them all to spend their building funds on retrofit/weatherization/energy efficiency?

          Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

          by Gustogirl on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:36:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I wanted to say something snarky here about... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      air conditioning - like they'd spend their money on air conditioners, fans, beer and other coolants - but I don't want to give Ron Paul any more face-time.

      URGENT! Lest we forget: "We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike" - Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

      by va dare on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:14:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another Military Idea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc

      One idea that I've been thinking about for some time is - The possibility of offering more incentives for people to join the armed forces. As of now, I think that some people view the military job route as "less than palatable," and so if we could increase the job's appeal somehow - such as through giving more options/benefits, etc., then we could build up our military's numbers and offer more jobs to people. Of course, I'm no expert on the military, and that's my weakness here, but I feel like this idea has some merit.

      My question though is - Have we reached some limit (ever) in getting people to join the military? Is there any established limit on how many people can join the military? Why couldn't this new influx of military actually help folks who are suffering - such as the flood victims, or being prepared for earthquakes, or dealing with oil spills, or terrorist attacks, etc. I know that we have Reserves, who help during these kinds of situations too, but why not build up our emergency response groups?

      Have you asked your congress-people to support legislation that combats bullying?

      by Curiosity on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:52:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ending the wars would help (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Curiosity, llbear

        I don't know how attractive the military career option will be for a lot of folks (who wouldn't join otherwise) as long as multiple deployments in Afghanistan or other prospective hellholes is a reasonable consideration.  

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe. --Meteor Blades

        by Dallasdoc on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:58:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How much leeway does the President (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Curiosity, HeyMikey

        have in developing Pentagon policy?

        I'd say that a sort of civilian conservation, um, group, that any American could join for X weeks/year, in exchange for participating in TriCare (with payments, like the deficit-neutral Medicare for All plan) , would be a pretty fantastic thing for the economy, and hence job-creation. (And healthcare for all ...)

        But something tells me that the president can't just wave a wand ...

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:03:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What about an executive order? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GussieFN, HeyMikey

          Could he state that all military personnel would receive XYZ if they joined/stayed with the military for so many years/months? Can he do that with executive orders? I think most Americans would approve of helping military people and families, right?

          Have you asked your congress-people to support legislation that combats bullying?

          by Curiosity on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:11:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sadly, I have absolutely no clue (0+ / 0-)

            what powers reside solely in the presidency. So not only am I ignorant about a basic fact of my government, but I'm cluttering up a perfect good threat with nonsense!

            I've long wondered if the military isn't the key to recovery, though. I'd sign up for a civilian service for a month a year, and work my ass off, for healthcare for my family. Or expand the Army Corps of Engineers like crazy, and have 'em build high-speed rail everywhere, and solar-panels! (And ponies.)

            "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

            by GussieFN on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:16:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Why (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        prgsvmama26

        the hell do you want more military?

        As it is they are sucking the country dry with their 1.2 trillion dollar annual budget.

        •  Jobs are jobs (0+ / 0-)

          Well - To put it simply - A new military job is a new job. Why should we limit the possibility of creating more jobs? Even though I don't "love" the idea of creating more military bases - We could still create more jobs his way, and like I was saying before - I would advocate that these kinds of jobs would be meant for improving our emergency response or dealing with other domestic needs, such as improving infrastructure, including roads, bridges, etc.

          Have you asked your congress-people to support legislation that combats bullying?

          by Curiosity on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:37:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The military is now downsizing. (0+ / 0-)

        Promotions in the Army and Marines are frozen. People are being discharged - without benefits - because they should have never been allowed to join in the first place, and, to a lesser degree, because they haven't handled their combat experiences very well [and that doesn't include those with PTS].

        Bring them all home NOW. There is no longer any excuse.

        by llbear on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 12:13:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Time to end the occupation of Germany (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno

      anyway. They can afford to protect themselves and we don't need to watch the Soviet Union any more.

  •  It was perhaps pushed over in the speech, but... (0+ / 0-)
  •  Parliament. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    owl06

    Perry is to Bachmann as Bachmann is to Palin.

    by monkeybox on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:34:02 PM PDT

  •  from Brad Delong (10+ / 0-)

    Economics Professor at Berkeley:

        Apply a full-court press to the Federal Reserve to get it to target nominal GDP to close the spending gap, for it is fear of risk that nobody will spend to buy what you make and confidence that your purchasing power is safe in cash that is holding back businesses from spending money to hire people.

        Apply a full-court press to the Federal Reserve to get it to engage in more quantitative easing--into taking more risk onto its own balance sheet, for it is an unwillingness on the part of Wall Street to hold the risk currently out there that is making it very difficult for a wide range of risky spending projects to get financing.

        Quantitative easing does not have to be done by the Fed: the Treasury can use residual TARP authority to take tail risk onto its own books as well, and should be doing so as much as possible.

        Expansion does not require that the federal government spend: using Treasury (and Fed!) money to grease the financing of infrastructure and other investments by states would pay enormous dividends.

        For the Treasury Secretary to announce that a weak dollar is in America's interest right now would not only boost exports, but it would immediately lead to a shift in monetary policy in Europe toward a much more expansionary profile--which would be good for the world.

    None of these is first-best. All of these are likely to do some good. All should be tried.

    •  The problem with this strategy is that the Euro is (0+ / 0-)

      not a viable alternative at present. For better or worse, the US dollar is here to stay.

      •  he didn't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zapus, TheOpinionGuy

        propose getting rid of the dollar.

        not sure I understand your comment.

        •  I just meant that for the dollar to go down, some (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          other currency would probably need to go up. If the Euro goes belly up, it will take a while for the Mark to take up the slack.

          I actually don't think the Germans will allow the Euro to go away, so it may work in a longer run strategy to let the dollar go down a bit.

          •  there are many currencies (0+ / 0-)

            the dollar could go down against lots of other currencies.

            moreover, the dollar could go down relative to goods and services ("inflation") which would help, as Delong pointed out.

          •  I dunno about that. Just yesterday, the (0+ / 0-)

            German Constitutional Court gave Merkel setback, by ruling that Germany cannot pool financial resources to cover debt from other Euro zone countries.  Article is here.  So, at this point at least, one of Germany's possible ways to "save" the Euro is off limits.

            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 Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 01:26:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Use the customs service to suppress Chinese... (4+ / 0-)

    ...imports until China revalues its currency.

    Barack Obama: So morally bankrupt that he thinks people who tortured other people to death should get a pass. Likes to prosecute whistleblowers, though.

    by expatjourno on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:38:06 PM PDT

  •  Put solar panels on the White House. (6+ / 0-)

    How will this create jobs?  Simple.  Imitation.  People will want solar panels because the President has them. This may sound silly but I don't think it is.  I think it would actually have a measurable effect.

    •  They've Got the Set Carter Had Now--I Don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      owl06

      think they want to send the message it would send Republicans.

      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 Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:44:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WH solar panels have been in the works for years. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah, Noor B, HeyMikey

        Obama pledged to have them installed by last Earth Day, but there were some problems so it was delayed.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

        "The Energy Department remains on the path to complete the White House solar demonstration project, in keeping with our commitment, and we look forward to sharing more information -- including additional details on the timing of this project -- after the competitive procurement process is completed," wrote Ramamoorthy Ramesh, director of the SunShot Initiative and Solar Energy Technologies Program at DOE.

        The date of the solar panel installation might not be decided until September or later, according to Brad Johnson of ThinkProgress.

        The future isn't what it used to be. ~George Carlin
        48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

        by Eileen B on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:10:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  President Obama can lift the hiring freeze (13+ / 0-)

    on Federal workers and life their pay freeze.  Jobs and money.  What could be better?

  •  I've posted this idea before on here. (36+ / 0-)

    It would cost the federal budget almost nothing, and either put the GOP on the wrong side of patriotism or bring jobs to the US.

    It starts with a simple, two-word message:

    BUY AMERICAN.

    If the progressive movement and Democrats in Congress would get behind that simple, two-word message, we could win the middle, create more American jobs, and take back our national symbology from the right-wing flag-waving morons who think that patriotism is all about proving that America has a bigger dick than the other nations of the world.

    It would cost $0 in federal dollars for Democrats in Congress to propose and support a bill requiring all product packaging to include some sort of country-of-origin marking and/or barcode, indicating to the consumer before he or she buys something whether or not it was made by fellow Americans, or made overseas for pennies on the dollar.

    Then, it's all about a consumer consciousness campaign... making it the patriotic choice for Americans to spend a little more to buy American-made products—which will tend to be of higher-quality than foreign-made ones for many consumer goods—because it'll put their fellow Americans to work and improve the economy as a whole.

    If Democrats make "BUY AMERICAN" a campaign slogan, then Republicans will either be pissed off about it—meaning they'll be against buying American, which isn't likely to play well in Peoria—or they'll hop on board, which means both parties tangibly supporting American manufacturing and thus helping our economy rebuild its ability to build.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:43:23 PM PDT

    •  I LOVE This... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noor B, lcrp, chimpy, phonegery

      What about using social media to try and get this to go viral?

    •  Given that (12+ / 0-)

      I'm starting my own cottage fiber arts studio, I absolutely support this idea.  I want to buy American-made textiles, yarns, tools and other supplies for my projects.  Do you have any idea how distressing it is to look at every bolt end in the store and see Made In China stamped next to the fiber content?

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:53:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absoutely!!! (0+ / 0-)

      Wolverines and Badgers and Buckeyes - Oh My! Be Afraid Kochroaches. Be very afraid.

      by mrsgoo on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:55:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Geeky hobby (3+ / 0-)

      About six months ago I began to bookmark pages that were touting "Made in America" as a selling point. I also try to jot down what I see in ads, especially locally, the ads I see that are using it as a selling point. "Buy Locally" has its own column.

      The number has increased significantly in my cursory study.

      I've also noted changes in some of the software companies I use. New this year, for those of us who subscribe or are certified to use their product, the benefit of talking to support "Based in the USA". I've been working with these software companies for over a decade and that's the first time I've seen that.

      Wisconsin, reclaiming its State motto: Forward!

      by One bite at a time on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:05:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the benefits and the optics of this are brilliant. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noor B
    •  i already make every effort i can to buy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noor B

      american - it's really just common sense.

      buying american food is easy.  buying clothing of any kind that is made in america is not.  perhaps an awareness campaign could be undertaken where, online and in catalogues, things that are made in america are clearly noted.  it would certainly help.

      Vote GOP in 2012; let's prove the Mayans right!

      by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:13:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We'd all be naked (0+ / 0-)

      Because no clothes are made in the U.S. anymore, sadly.

      •  No, you wouldn't, if (0+ / 0-)

        you bought fabric woven in the US and commissioned a dressmaker/tailor to make your clothes right in your own community.

        Mind you, finding the fabric is a bit of a challenge, but there is still some.  All bolt ends must list country of origin, so it's easy to find the information in the stores.  There aren't many mills left in the US, but there are a few, particularly for woolens.

        "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

        by Noor B on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:03:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I went to a store in Asheville NC (0+ / 0-)

          that has ALL American made products including lots of clothing.  It was expensive, but I have a great bag I got made by Americans with American materials.  I wish I could remember the name of the place. They do have a website and he told me his in store and online sales are BOOMING.  People want to help.  I try to go to small local shops in a historic shopping district in my area as often as I can.  I buy my kids Easter candy there, made by a local.  I go to the local small toy seller rather than the corporate giant Toys R Us.  Everyone can do a little bit.  

    •  My daughter would love this! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rona

      She's in college, but she dreams of opening a "Made in America" store when she graduates.  I'll have to send her this link...

      Beta testers wanted: get a free copy of ORGANIZE!

      by AnotherMassachusettsLiberal on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:56:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Simple things like buying jewelry (0+ / 0-)

        from a local crafter who makes her own beads or sources them from other local crafters.  You could buy stuff at Walmart made in China, but why when you could provide so much more to our economy.  My teen dd wants to start a bead and yarn shop in a local historic district in our area.  She is always looking at local sources for both.

    •  Make posters/campaign a la (0+ / 0-)

      Rosy the Riveter or Uncle Sam, you know, WWII style.

      Then what would the gop do?  Attack us for being patriotic?

      Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

      by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:59:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Allowed by WTO? (0+ / 0-)

      Remember, we're talking about what Obama can do without Congress. Presumably our current WTO obligations are pursuant to treaties ratified by Congress. Would it require an Act of Congress to withdraw from those treaties? I don't know.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 09:17:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to recommend this twice (0+ / 0-)

      if I could.  It makes so much sense.

      "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance." Samuel Johnson

      by Rona on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:52:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some of my ideas (6+ / 0-)

    1. To get more construction Jobs in private sector, ease up the loan procurement in banks so people can borrow money for construction.

    2. Make it easier for very small businesses to get loans from SBA so they can grow their business.

    3. Must do something about the housing situation ASAP.

    4. Give tax incentive to homeowners to improve their homes, not just energy related but other improvements as well.

    •  one thing jerry brown did the last time he was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      governor was to ease regulations on recycling construction and other materials.  you could then use recycled flooring, plumbing etc.  it was ecological and also lowered the cost of building and created a whole new area of endeavor in salvaged materials.

      i see cob housing as a very exciting thing.  if building codes were changed, cob and straw bale housing would make a big contribution to the housing situation.

      Vote GOP in 2012; let's prove the Mayans right!

      by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:17:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One other thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noor B

      Give tax rebate for homeowners who want to remove (abate) asbestos and lead from their homes. That could create a lot of jobs.

      •  Yeah, and send them over here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citizen31

        to remove this thing I discovered the other day which looks like a pipe wrapped in asbestos tape.

        Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

        by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:58:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If I could get a loan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citizen31, Rona

      I would snatch up 12-15 foreclosed homes and start renting them tomorrow.  

      That would give me a job, my brother part time work, create a new customer for an accountant, give the local title company a bunch of closings, and pump several thousand dollars into the local hardware store and lumber yard, not to mention help the property values all over town.

  •  If I were an Englishman, I'd say, "capital idea, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chimpy, delphine, Jane Lew

    capital."

    O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant." --Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

    by Wildthumb on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:44:34 PM PDT

  •  help police keep jobs by commiting crimes? n/t (7+ / 0-)
  •  I mean if they shut down Government (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladypockt, phonegery

    we will have to get organized in our communities, collect taxes locally, finance our schools locally, hire teachers, fire fighters, basically create our own government jobs to support our communities.

    Obviously, this would throw us back into the middle ages. You would also have to arm militias. If you think this to the end,

    it comes down to winning the Civil War against the South again.

    The US is a deeply divided country. Very important to overcome this, because America can only lose over this. This nation has to come to its senses.

  •  Cut my taxes. Oh oh and cut my regulations too (5+ / 0-)

    No seriously cut my taxes, and only my taxes, to -1372%.  I have all sorts of things I want to buy and not to mention I really want to bathe in hundred dollar bills too.

    Also I don't want to be 'required' to drive on the right or stop at red lights.  I would really like those regulations to be lifted.

    I have fresh new ideas!

  •  Trouble is... (4+ / 0-)

    we've run slap up against the long and ongoing paradigm of making our economy more efficient.  That is, producing the same or greater amounts of goods and services with less labor (i.e. "productivity").   I am old enough to remember when gas-stations all had attendents to pump your gas: no-one was allowed to pump their own gas.  Nearly all elevators had "operators".  There were redcaps to handle carry-on luggage at trains and airports.  Milkmen brought the milk and often groceries were delivered by a guy on a bicycle.  The DIY era begun in the 60's and 70's was driven by there not being enough folks willing to do these things.   We maybe need to rethink how we live.  

  •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

    0 will do what been laid out by his corp. masters. Good  Luck

  •  This is too easy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    va dare
    Crowdsource action: submit your ideas for creating jobs without Congress

    Start a business and hire people.  That's all there is to it and anyone can play.  Don't like how the fat cats are running corporate America?  Show 'em how its done.

    Be the Corporate Mogul you want the world to have!  (Apologies to Ghandi.)

    •  Entrepreneurs can't create demand. NT (6+ / 0-)

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:53:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, then, there's the rub. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noor B

        Or at least one of them.

        But neither can government create sustainable demand via more deficit spending, assuming it can create demand at all (i.e. the last round of stimulus doesn't seem to have had much effect).  Without sustainable demand, well, things won't be sustainable.  I assume we want a sustainable solution, no?

        But back to my original point.  If people don't like that today's corporations are moving jobs to cheaper labor markets, why don't they literally start their own businesses and buy up the old means of production that has just been vacated and rehire the workers back into the same jobs they had for years?  Show those greedy corporate types how to compete right here in America?

        There's still plenty of demand out there.  People still want food, clothes, entertainment, a new house with a swimming pool and a tennis court, a new car, a video game system, a home theater system, etc, etc, etc.  The demand hasn't changed as far as I can see.  People still want these things.

        So why won't this work?  Or will it work?  You all tell me.

        Signed,

        BlueHunter (Devil's Advocate)

        •  I hope it works. (0+ / 0-)

          I hope people want a well-made bag that has been thoughtfully designed to hold electronic toys and still be organized and stylish (i.e., your damn keys don't fall to the bottom of your purse so you're desperately scrabbling for them as you wangle the damn grocery cart out to the parking lot), and doesn't look like everybody else's.  I hope women will be willing to spend a bit more for a cotton dress that's nicely detailed, slips over the head, skims the body and just looks flattering, not trendy, a dress that will hold up for ten years.  

          A big part of the issue, especially for clothing and accessories, is to educate consumers that they can get things that are comfortable, hard-wearing, stylish without subscribing to a fake label-obsessed snobbery, and crafted with care and attention to detail.  That's what I'm working on creating, and I really hope it takes off.  But that can only happen if people decide they don't need a closet full of fashion, just a solid, versatile wardrobe that won't look dated in ten months and will last for years.

          "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

          by Noor B on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:57:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Three total misses. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Michael James, flight2q

          1.

          But neither can government create sustainable demand via more deficit spending...I assume we want a sustainable solution, no?

          No. Long-term, the economy will take care of itself. We only need government to provide a temporary boost through the rough part.

          Look at the chart here, comparing the current employment recession to every other one since WWII. Two things jump out: (a) The economy always recovers. (b) The current recession is the worst, by a long shot, since the Great Depression. Long-term we'll be OK with the government in its traditional, limited role; short-to-medium term we most assuredly will not.

          2.

          assuming it can create demand at all (i.e. the last round of stimulus doesn't seem to have had much effect).

          Wrong. The CBO says:
          As of June, the agency says, between 1.0 and 2.9 million more people are working because of the Recovery Act. And that figure actually seems to understate the impact.

          Not only did more people find jobs; more people who had jobs worked additional hours. Throwing those additional hours into the mix, CBO determined that the Recovery Act's net impact was the equivalent of between 1.4 and 4.0 million additional full-time jobs.

          The Obama Administration had predicted the Recovery Act would create 3.5 million jobs, which is towards the upper boundary of the CBO's estimates but certainly within its range. It's also roughly consistent with projections from other authorities.


          Krugman and other prominent economists said at the time the stimulus was being debated that it was too small. Events have proven them right. It created or saved the predicted number of jobs, but the private economy was losing more jobs than the politicians were predicting. The politicians simply did not listen to the economists. And, rather obviously, they still aren't. The proposals in Obama's speech tonight are too little, too late; even if adopted by Congress (yeah, right) they'll bring only anemic job growth, then be criticized for not creating more jobs. Instead of $500 million, we need more like $1.5 trillion, and it needs to be targeted at programs that deliver more jobs per $.

          3.

          There's still plenty of demand out there.  People still want food, clothes, entertainment, a new house with a swimming pool and a tennis court, a new car, a video game system, a home theater system, etc, etc, etc.  The demand hasn't changed as far as I can see.  People still want these things.

          So why won't this work?


          Corporate cash on hand is at a 55-year high: http://community.nasdaq.com/...

          Banks and US private companies are sitting on $9 trillion in idle cash: http://www.workinglife.org/...

          How is it that you know about all this demand that supposedly exists, and the people charged with investing $9 trillion of the S&P 500's money to take best advantage of economic conditions seem to have missed it?

          Paul Krugman:

          [I]it’s widely understood that corporations are already sitting on large amounts of cash that they aren’t investing in their own businesses. In fact, that idle cash has become a major conservative talking point, with right-wingers claiming that businesses are failing to invest because of political uncertainty. That’s almost surely false: the evidence strongly says that the real reason businesses are sitting on cash is lack of consumer demand.

          How is it that the Nobel Economics committee gave the prize to him, and not to you?

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:37:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Link for CBO stimulus-jobs figures. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            flight2q

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:39:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Heh, I wouldn't exactly say misses ... (0+ / 0-)

            but I understand where you are coming from.

            No. Long-term, the economy will take care of itself. We only need government to provide a temporary boost through the rough part.

            I can agree with Keynes in the proposition that government spending can stimulate demand, but I argue that the effect is completely artificial and cannot be sustained indefinitely via deficit spending.  Feel free to disagree, I suppose, but I consider it self-evident that the government cannot spend indefinitely in a deficit manner without consequence.  We cannot run up an infinite amount of debt.

            Since the stimulative effect of the deficit spending is artificial, once the stimulus is removed the level of demand drops to its natural level and the economic output drops right along with it.

            So when you say that long-term the economy will take care of itself, I can agree in the sense that it will always seek a level of economic output consistent with the current level of demand.

            However this is not the sense that you seemed to be assuming.  You seemed to be assuming that the economy could continue to produce at the artificially high level of demand created by the government's deficit spending.  This is clearly incorrect as evidenced by the chart of past recessions you provided above.

            I argue that as the artificially created demand declines, as will be inevitable without continuous deficit spending, that the economic output must likewise decline to match and this decline is what we are commonly referring to as a recession.  A more proper term might be "the level of economic output which is consistent with the natural level of demand".

            Which brings us to the need to be more precise about aht constitutes "demand".  My formulation of demand above is part of the story but not the whole story as we now see.

            I was using a definition of demand which merely accounted for what people "want".  It is self-evident that people still "want" things.  Just walk down the street and ask every homeowner you see if they "want" to keep their home.  Heck, even ask them if they "want" an even better one.  I bet you can predict what they will say.

            So "wanting" something is a necessary but insufficient definition of demand in this context.  Obviously people also require the means (i.e. the required funds) to actually purchase that which they want.  It is this latter part that my previous discussion neglected as was pointed out by others below.

            So how does government spending artificially stimulate demand?  By in effect giving people free money.  How many people do you know that wouldn't take some portion of a free windfall and spend it on something that they "want" or more likely "need"?  It is this additional spending that correlates to what Keynes and Krugman are referring to as "consumer demand"

            But the free windfall doesn't last forever, and eventually people must go back to living within their natural means.  And this is what causes the recessions, IMHO, and why we can government spend ourselves out of a recession in any sustainable way.

            Instead of $500 million, we need more like $1.5 trillion, and it needs to be targeted at programs that deliver more jobs per $.

            Heh, fine.  The stimulus "worked" but it simply wasn't big enough to artificially stimulate things back to the previous levels of output.  This doesn't change the fact that artificially boosting the economic output is an unsustainable approach.  Eventually the spending will have to be shut down and when it is the economic output will drop right back into a recession/depression.

            We can't keep operating like this because it simply keeps piling up more and more debt.  This is no different than someone artificially living outside of their means by racking up more and more unsecured debt.  Eventually the bubble will burst.

            the evidence strongly says that the real reason businesses are sitting on cash is lack of consumer demand

            Given the revised means based / spending based definition of demand described above, I completely agree with Krugman.  A lack of consumer spending (i.e. demand) is causing corporations to reduce production, thereby reducing the GDP, and causing the corporations to build up a glut of cash.

            This is completely consistent with everything I have said above.

            How is it that the Nobel Economics committee gave the prize to him, and not to you?

            The answer is quite simple.  The Nobel Economics Committee has not yet had a chance to review my research!  :)

            But seriously, this is just an example of argumentum ad verecundiam.  In other words, just because Krugman won some prize and you happen to agree with Krugman, it does not logically follow that you (or he) are correct in this case.

            Also, none of this addresses my original question, though.  But thanks for an interesting tangent.

            So back to my original question, if the existing corporate overlords are just greedy bastards for moving their operations oversees, why doesn't someone less greedy simply start up the same business right here in the US using the same factories and workers that have always been here and try to compete for the business?

            I believe that there is a simple and obvious answer here but I want to learn what other people think.

            •  Correction (0+ / 0-)
              why we can government spend ourselves out of a recession ...

              Should have been: why we can't government spend ourselves out of a recession ...

              •  You continue to miss the obvious. (0+ / 0-)
                I argue that the effect is completely artificial and cannot be sustained indefinitely via deficit spending.  Feel free to disagree, I suppose, but I consider it self-evident that the government cannot spend indefinitely in a deficit manner without consequence.  We cannot run up an infinite amount of debt.

                Totally missing the point. OF COURSE NOBODY thinks we can increase debt infinitely. That's why I said we'll be fine with the government in its traditional, limited role for the long term. We just need to borrow to get us through the short term. As Keynes said, "In the long run, we're all dead."

                Since the stimulative effect of the deficit spending is artificial, once the stimulus is removed the level of demand drops to its natural level and the economic output drops right along with it...You seemed to be assuming that the economy could continue to produce at the artificially high level of demand created by the government's deficit spending....I argue that as the artificially created demand declines, as will be inevitable without continuous deficit spending, that the economic output must likewise decline to match

                You speak as if "natural" demand is at some constant level. It isn't. With the business cycle it naturally has drastic ups and downs. "Artificial" smoothing of the natural ups and downs is not only acceptable, it's desirable. We need to "artificially" get people through the bottom, and the "natural" upturn will come.

                Give a snowball an "artificial" push from the top of the hill, and "natural" forces will take over from there.

                So how does government spending artificially stimulate demand?  By in effect giving people free money.  How many people do you know that wouldn't take some portion of a free windfall and spend it on something that they "want" or more likely "need"?  It is this additional spending that correlates to what Keynes and Krugman are referring to as "consumer demand"...But the free windfall doesn't last forever, and eventually people must go back to living within their natural means. And this is what causes the recessions, IMHO

                Got data? Can you cite ANY extended period of history where ANY government ran a balanced budget and freed itself of the business cycle? ANY?

                 Is there ANY respectable economist who thinks that if we had no public debt and ran a balanced budget every year, the business cycle would end? ANY?

                We can't keep operating like this because it simply keeps piling up more and more debt.  This is no different than someone artificially living outside of their means by racking up more and more unsecured debt.

                Totally agree. Krugman totally agrees. Krugman was mad as hell (and so was I, FWIW) that Dubya was running up huge debts when the economy was doing relatively well, BECAUSE the accumulated debt would prevent us from borrowing and spending when the inevitable downturn came.

                if the existing corporate overlords are just greedy bastards for moving their operations oversees, why doesn't someone less greedy simply start up the same business right here in the US using the same factories and workers that have always been here and try to compete for the business?
                I believe that there is a simple and obvious answer here but I want to learn what other people think

                You're confusing two different things:

                (1) Labor cost/productivity. Jobs are moving overseas mostly because labor is cheaper and somewhat because regulations are laxer. There are two ways to combat this: (a) "Race to the bottom"--USA slashes wages, enviro protections, etc. (b) Boost US productivity; you pay a US worker more, but you get more production per worker-hour; Germany is a good example of how to make (b) work. Actually, there's also (c) put a price on carbon emissions, which would favor production of goods close to natural resources, but I expect that effect would be marginal.

                (2) The business cycle. Reducing labor cost and increasing productivity is a fairly continuous, incremental process. But driving that process a little faster does nothing about the fact that due to the business cycle, demand is subject to wild up-and-down swings. In other words, the "natural" business cycle "naturally" produces periodic mismatches between supply and demand. And right now we're in a whopper of a mismatch.

                (By the way, Krugman has also argued persuasively that the bank problems that made this particular recession so deep are due to too little bank regulation, not too much. Another instance in which "natural" is not good.)

                Presumably you are trying to demonstrate that "buy American, stop jobs from going overseas" is not the way to fix this recession. I actually agree with you about that--because raising the price of manufactured goods means that, with any given level of purchasing power (i.e., demand), fewer of those goods can be purchased. But your conclusion, "therefore government spending can't fix the recession" does not follow.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:08:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HeyMikey
                  You're confusing two different things:

                  You're too kind.  I am likely confused about a great many things.  :)

                  Presumably you are trying to demonstrate that "buy American, stop jobs from going overseas" is not the way to fix this recession. I actually agree with you about that--because raising the price of manufactured goods means that, with any given level of purchasing power (i.e., demand), fewer of those goods can be purchased.

                  Exactly.  This is about as good a summary of the point as any.  Another implication of this is that the higher prices for manufactured goods, for a given level of purchasing power, has the effect of lowering the overall standard of living for everyone (assuming that "the amount of stuff you can afford" is a reasonable proxy for "standard of living").

                  But your conclusion, "therefore government spending can't fix the recession" does not follow.

                  I guess we may have a small point of contention around the term "fix the recession".  You, Keynes, and Krugman seem to believe that "fix the recession" simply equates to "boosting economic output" so that GDP goes back up.  If that is the definition we are aiming for then fine.  I certainly agree that government spending can, indeed, artificially raise GDP as discussed above.  So on that point I think we are all in agreement.

                  I am arguing that such a fix is not really a fix because it is not sustainable in its own right.  Now you are assuming that some business cycle is going to come along and replace the artificial demand we have created with a real economically driven demand.  I suppose that may happen, or it may not.  I understand that you and Keynes and Krugman are simply trying to "fill in the troughs" and want to "bank the surplus" during good times to help smooth out the curve.

                  You are arguing that the ups and downs in the GDP are purely a result of what you are calling business cycles.

                  I am arguing that artificially boosting GDP via government spending will inevitably lead to a later downturn in GDP as the GDP returns to the level consistent with the demand from true market forces.  So I guess I am actually positing an alternative explanation for the cause of the current recession.

                  You say this recession is caused by a downturn on a business cycle.

                  I am saying it is a natural consequence, indeed a foreseeable consequence, of all the deficit spending we have been doing for decades.  I am arguing that the current recession is a result of the government induced artificial GDP bubble having burst.  I also recognize that you, and Keynes, and Krugman likely wouldn't agree.

                  So a more accurate statement on my part would be that more deficit spending won't fix the "economic problem" (as opposed to "the recession" in the sense that you, Keynes, and Krugman mean it).  I am saying that more deficit spending will only delay the inevitable GDP decline for some period of time.  And in that sense it won't have fixed anything long-term.  It will have only run up even more debt.

                  But hey, I'm just an average schmoe posting on a blog.  What do I know?  :)

                  Thanks for the primer on Keynesian Macroeconomics.  It helped me to untangle some of my "confusion".

                  •  I'm just a blog schmoe, too. Welcome to the club. (0+ / 0-)

                    But I still think there are some things to be sorted out.

                    F'rinstance, you're equating "fixing" GDP growth with "fixing" unemployment. They're not at all the same. US GDP is already fixed--it has been growing steadily since 2009, but jobs obviously haven't.

                    “Between the second quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2010, real national income in the U.S. increased by $528 billion. Pre-tax corporate profits by themselves had increased by $464 billion while aggregate real wages and salaries rose by only $7 billion or only .1%. Over this six quarter period, corporate profits captured 88% of the growth in real national income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for only slightly more than 1% of the growth in real national income."

                    http://thinkprogress.org/...
                    As I linked above, corporate cash-on-hand is at a 55-year high. The growth in GDP has simply been accumulating in corporate bank accounts.

                    As far as deficit spending leading to future GDP declines (or lower GDP growth), three points:

                    (1) All deficit spending is not created equal. F'rinstance, if a business borrows and spends the money on upgrading its equipment, that makes the business more efficient and competitive, thus more profitable; thus the debt was actually a net gain. But if the business borrows and spends the money on a yacht for its CEO, that increases the likelihood that the business will go bankrupt; thus the debt was a net loss. Dubya's tax cuts bought a lot of CEO yachts; Spending now to, say, prevent teacher layoffs will make us more productive in the future, thus should be a net GDP gain. The GOP's current position, "keeping low taxes is more important than spending on ordinary people," is equivalent to saying, "we need to keep buying more CEO yachts worse than we need to keep educating our kids."

                    (2) While GDP growth is important, it is not the god on whose altar everything else should be sacrificed. While I am emphatically not a communist or what most folks think of as a socialist, there does come a point where slicing the pie equitably is more important than growing a bigger pie. We are now past that point. Our current pie is plenty big enough, but sliced very inequitably. And more importantly, our pie is still growing, but only the already-big slices are getting bigger.

                    (3) At some point having a lot of unemployed, uneducated, unhealthy people becomes itself a drag on GDP. At best they become untapped resources; at worst they become liabilities (e.g., crime goes up; a cycle of poverty takes hold on succeeding generations).

                    You say this recession is caused by a downturn on a business cycle.

                    I am saying it is a natural consequence, indeed a foreseeable consequence, of all the deficit spending we have been doing for decades.  I am arguing that the current recession is a result of the government induced artificial GDP bubble having burst.


                    1. I repeat: can you, anywhere in history, find any example of any government policy that has gotten rid of the business cycle?

                    2. Here's Krugman in 2002, warning that Dubya and Greenspan were inflating a bound-to-burst housing bubble to conceal the fact that tax cuts for the rich were not stimulating the economy:
                    http://www.nytimes.com/... I had a similar Krugman link from 2005 but can't put my finger on it just now.

                    Krugman has also pointed out that our current debt is somewhat high by historical levels, but not outrageously so. F'rinstance, we finished WWII with a higher debt as % of GDP, but then we spent a lot of money on the GI Bill, the interstate highway system, of course the Cold War military, had a top tax rate of 90% (proving Ike was a socialist tyrant, I suppose)...and had a very prosperous 1950s and 1960s, despite productivity of course being significantly lower than now.

                    Krugman has also pointed out that our structural deficit for the next several decades is almost all healthcare. If we brought our per-person healthcare costs into line with the rest of the developed world, then we essentially wouldn't have a long-term deficit.

                    So yes, while of course it's entirely possible for a country to borrow itself into oblivion (e.g., Greece) we haven't done that...yet. We are still in a position to use our resources intelligently and have a good outcome. Obama's speech last night points in the right direction, but even if it were 100% enacted it would not go far enough, and the odds are most of it will not be enacted.

                    In other words, our main problem is not economic, it's political.

                    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                    by HeyMikey on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 12:12:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Greece didn't borrow itself into oblivion either (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      HeyMikey

                      People should have a look at where Greece was when this hole economic mess got started. I'm talking about stats. What was their debt to GDP?

                      There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                      by upstate NY on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 12:22:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You may be right. More? NT (0+ / 0-)

                        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                        by HeyMikey on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 01:01:40 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I've written a ton of diaries on this (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          HeyMikey

                          Greece is just the first they are going to take down. Coming: Italy, Spain, Portugal... the euro will not survive this. Austerity will destroy economies and then they'll blame the country for not living up to promises.

                          There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                          by upstate NY on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:06:08 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  for one thing ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, elfling

          the stimulus did work just as  promised. It created several million jobs. Unfortunately, it was like a 10-ft ladder in a 15-ft hole ... it got us up, but not enough to get out of the hole.  Really, you should do some research and not just parrot RW talking points.

          Also, you seem unable to understand how government funded programs work. For instance, the construction industry. When the government provides money to build a road or bridge, it is a temporary job, but it is a job. And at the end of it you have a road or bridge. In the meantime, the worker gets to eat and pay the mortgage. Then, since bridges and roads constantly wear out and need repair and replacement, the worker is likely to be hired for a different job and then another one. And of course, it is largely the same in the private sector.

          It is similar if a research program is funded or any other government program. This has worked for many decades in hundreds of countries. I don't know why it seems mysterious to you.

          As for entrepreneurs, if they don't have enough customers with income, it doesn't matter if people want their product or not--they won't be able to buy it. And the business will fail.

          Conservation! Because the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.

          by ohiolibrarian on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:54:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK, fair point. (0+ / 0-)
            As for entrepreneurs, if they don't have enough customers with income, it doesn't matter if people want their product or not--they won't be able to buy it. And the business will fail.

            Agreed.  My original statement neglected the very important component which is the means to purchase.  I stand corrected.

    •  Ever started a business? It costs money. (0+ / 0-)

      You have to have money to start, to set up, to buy inventory, to hire.  It's not just having an idea.  (Former business owner).

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

      by SottoVoce on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:14:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, there is a startup cost involved. (0+ / 0-)

        That is what business loans are for and the government is going out of its way to lend that money.  Case in point: Solyndra borrowed $535M.  Now things didn't work out so well for them, but they are just one company.  Others can surely succeed where they failed, or at least succeed in some other endeavor.

        So I don't think start up money is the barrier to success here.

    •  Then buy local. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rona, prgsvmama26

      Local pharmacy, small clothing shops, local hardware store, nonchain restaurants, local coffee shops, local bank.   It means you may not be able to go to the closest store, but I've found local businesses for almost everything I buy.  The service is better and there's no cost added.  Local tech store was  the hardest to find, but I did find a local tech guy for repairs, etc.  

      It's a small gesture but once you get used to doing it, it's really easy to do whenever the option is available.  

      Now to add Buy American to the list of actions.      

      •  Yes. Farmers' Markets, the local hardware store, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        prgsvmama26, jofr

        the local used book store, local repair people and a family that does tech repairs out of their home.  These make my life a lot more pleasant and interesting.

        "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance." Samuel Johnson

        by Rona on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 09:00:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, a successful business like Gibson Guitars (0+ / 0-)

      ...then the feds come in and raid you for breaking laws that don't exist and tell you to move your business to Madagascar and your problems will go away.  

  •  Civil forfeiture auctions for Wall St crooks (6+ / 0-)

    I've not been a fan of its use against petty criminals, both for the civil rights issue of making themselves defend themselves without money the money to hire a lawyer, and for the financial issue of that not being where the money is, anyway.

    But, for Wall St mega-criminals, who've been selling out their companies and our country to finance their own lavish lifestyles, there might be a justification. When one gets caught stealing from his company's stockholders, or defrauding his customers, he gets a little slap on the wrist and then goes back to business. Even if he goes to jail, his family still gets to keep the ill-gotten loot. And, what loot! Those would be some auctions worth holding.

    Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

    by chimpy on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:52:11 PM PDT

    •  And then use that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimpy, Noor B

      dough to help people keep their houses, etc.

      Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

      by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:07:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Victim restitution & community service (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noor B

        If Congress completely wedges itself into uselessness with the GOP anti-tax pledge and election-year economic sabotage, then the executive needs to identify alternate sources of funds.

        As restitution and repair for the damage caused by rampant unregulated speculation, of private gains won against public risks, seize the funds and property of the worst offenders.

        As compensation for the ecological and safety hazards imposed on us all by a few mining and refining companies, raise fees and enforce penalties.

        Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

        by chimpy on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:17:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think it would be a good idea to open up a (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, dksbook, TheOpinionGuy, SottoVoce

    new NASA office, to study a particular thing, earth science, health or whatever. Put the office in the Midwest or the Southwest. Reopen the Florida Nasa as well.

    Another possibility would be to ask the states what do they need most? Give them parameters, but wide ones. Every state will get x amount of dollars to spend on hiring people for green energy jobs.

    Every state could get money to open a foreign language/math/science magnet school for gifted kids. Hire people from that state to work there.

    As long as each state gets the same amount, maybe factoring in for how much they have been underfunded in the past or hit by the recession, you could do a lot.

    I have read that in Texas they have poor water and housing near the border. Put in a good water cleaning plant. etc.

  •  Have the DOJ issue a 2 year moratorium (13+ / 0-)

    on approving mergers on anti-trust grounds.  Each merger results in thousands of employees being fired to finance the cost of the merger.

    How many thousands of workers will lose their jobs if AT&T buys a competing cell company for $39 Billion?

    That move won't create jobs, but it will save thousands of high paying tech jobs with solid multipliers.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:56:09 PM PDT

  •  I'd like to see Obama himself put HIS money (7+ / 0-)

    where his mouth is. Literally. I'd like him to dip into his personal bank account and invest directly in a few small businesses. Maybe even tie it into Michelle's Let's Move program or families of Veterans.

    Yes, the research for this kind of Presidential investment would have to be vetted to the extreme....but I think showing Americans that the President has confidence in the economy would have huge impact.

    Then, I'd like him to challenge the dumbass richie-rich Republicans to match his investments. Then, we can all obsess about which business turns a profit first. Competition can be a good thing!

    (Oh, and did I mention? I have a fabulous business idea.)

    The future isn't what it used to be. ~George Carlin
    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by Eileen B on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:56:11 PM PDT

  •  Encourage Consumers to Spend Money (0+ / 0-)

    If the 140 million Americans with jobs would spend just an average of $100 more each week, that would add $728 billion of demand to the economy over the next year, or 50% more than Obama's plan.  Unemployment would be reduced by 5 million.

    •  Sadly, (9+ / 0-)

      some of us don't have an extra $100 to spend every week.  Every red cent is accounted for and going out to cover living expenses as it is.

      Mind you, if I had it, I'd be eating out once a week, hiring someone to cut my lawn, take my car to be detailed, go to the hairdresser, going to a movie or a concert or play, taking a personal interest class, etc.  All small luxuries I've done without for at least a year and a half.  For a lot of us, it's not a lack of will but a lack of means.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:05:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like I said, "average of $100" (0+ / 0-)

        Hopefully, your neighbor or friend can spend $200 extra per week.  Or maybe you can spend $30.

        The point is to get everyone spending more because consumption spending is 70% of our economy and we have got to revive it or we are dead.

        •  Except we have been doing it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          on credit, so ... no. Our economy is too dependent on consumer spending.

          Conservation! Because the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.

          by ohiolibrarian on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:59:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right, if the U.S. were an export machine (0+ / 0-)

            like Germany or Japan or China, we wouldn't need to depend on consumer spending for economic growth and jobs.  But we are dependent on consumer spending for 70% of our economy, SO WE DON'T HAVE A CHOICE!

            We either increase consumer spending or we have 14 million, maybe more, unemployed forever.

            •  Or we change the basis of our economy ... (0+ / 0-)

              which I admit is a longer term project. People need the work now.

              Conservation! Because the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.

              by ohiolibrarian on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:55:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  To quote Keynes (0+ / 0-)

                In the long term, we are all dead.

                Most of today's unemployed will be long dead before we change the basis of our economy.

                •  It occurs to me that the economy ... the worldwide (0+ / 0-)

                  economic system may have changed whether we want it to or not and our role may be to adapt to it.

                  Conservation! Because the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.

                  by ohiolibrarian on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 11:07:06 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The Worldwide Economy has changed (0+ / 0-)

                    30 years ago, China, India, Vietnam, Brazil and other emerging economies were nothing.  Now they are huge.  Russia and eastern Europe were communist.  Now they are market economies.

                    No doubt,  other economies will rise in the future, but none of this poses a threat to the U.S. because they all need our consumers to buy their products.  Without our markets, they would sink back into the economic muck of poverty and destitution.

                    Of course, that may change too as they develop consumer demand in their home markets and import more products and services from us.  Then, we would be dependent on them.  But that is a manageable situation too if we are not stupid.

                    Of course, that is a big IF.

    •  That's the point of the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah, Noor B, ohiolibrarian

      payroll tax cut, isn't it?  They can't make us spend but folks sort of want to spend when they have it, if other stuff is going on around them.

      I.e., no, if I had an extra $100 I would want to keep it because it sucks out there.

      But if I saw that people were getting back to work on infrastructure, or the bank was helping my neighbor with his house, or I thought it would go to a project that would yield me a nice tax credit, I'd be more likely to spend it.

      These are all synergistic ideas.  We won't spend even if we have it, or we'll spend on debt which doesn't put more $$ into the economy, unless we see things are improving around us.

      If people weren't losing their houses, they might take that $100 and spend it on something manufactured instead of buying canned goods to eat in their cars.

      Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

      by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:12:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So far, payroll tax cut has had no effect (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noor B

        People are just hoarding the cash or using it to pay down debt.  Everyone is so afraid of the future of the economy that consumer spending has dried up when pent up demand should be making people buy more.

        What Obama should have proposed was tax incentives for consumer spending.  But apparently he thinks that is morally wrong since saving money is a virtue, except when it isn't.

  •  Diary #2 of 2: use the EPA. (15+ / 0-)
    the President doesn’t need Congress to use the EPA to clamp down on greenhouse emissions. That would get private utility companies and banks, both of which have a lot of cash on hand, to invest heavily in green energy jobs.

    Banks are sitting on $trillions. Corporate cash-on-hand is at a 55-year-high. Use CO2 regulation to move that cash into green jobs.

    Details: http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:57:03 PM PDT

    •  I agree with HeyMikey - in the name of ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      delphine, Noor B, HeyMikey

      imminent safety & health of citizens, BO could also, by executive order,  kick a lot of river clean-up / wastewater maintenance projects into higher gear. The framework is already out there (in planning districts and Soil/Water conservation offices). I look out onto our landscape here in southern Appalachia and I see years of work that needs to be done. Our streams and rivers are choked with trash that got caught up in organic storm debris that needs to be cleared, mulched and composted.  And this vista is sadly reproduced over thousands of waterway miles.

      URGENT! Lest we forget: "We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike" - Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

      by va dare on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:31:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Phased Reducuction # of H1B Visas (10+ / 0-)

    Everyone working in IT will tell you that microsoft is full of crap on this point. We use foreign nationals because they are cheaper and rarely complain.

    Their talents are almost never unique.

    But they work cheaper.

    One detail - it is possible that Microsoft has trouble finding local IT talent in Redmond Washington, but can easily get foreign nationals to relocate there. All the more reason they should expand into other states where local citizens need jobs.

    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany." - Ron Burgundy

    by malharden on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:57:40 PM PDT

  •  Jobs Plan (4+ / 0-)

    Fire Summers, Geitner and Benanke.  Then tell Obama that it's CCC and WPA time, or his job is next.  Tonight was too little, too late with much wasted in tax cuts.  Tax cuts and cutting the Social Safety Net (as he proposed) gets Obama nothing but my contempt.   I've got a job and only by increasing taxes and doing a massive spending plan, am I going to open my wallet.  Otherwise I'm waiting for the other shoe of this economy to drop and I'm not spending a dime because I'm too scared of the bleak future that's clearly coming.

    Obama:  Fire your economic team and replace them with Krugman and Reich.  Otherwise you are one and done and sadly so is the country!

  •  Why not create a national Volunteer Corps? (9+ / 0-)

    Massively expand Americorps for the vast amount of recent college grads who are graduating with no job prospects in this market. Create a "Volunteer Corps" for unemployed workers who are out of the Americorps age bracket. Pay them a stipend to live off of, and a bonus once they have complete their two years of service. Freeze student loan payments and and/or home foreclosures for the volunteers while they are in the program. Massively expand Teach for America so the the skilled unemployed who can't find work in their fields can use their knowledge to fill the teacher shortage in under served school districts.

    There's lots of work to be done, and lots of people desperate to do it. If that means raising taxes on filthy rich people to have the government pay them to do it, it only makes sense. What are currently doing (or not doing) is NOT working! Let's try to put some money in ordinary people's pockets for dedicating a year or two of their lives to service in their communities. When they have a little money to spend, they'll actually buy things, which will in turn spur businesses to make products to sell to them, which means hiring people to do it!

    It just makes sense, which is why it will probably never happen!

    Husband looking for work in NoVA/DC! Skilled in web content manag. & Photoshop. Please email me at adorgan@hotmail.com if you have any leads!

    by fille americaine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:58:04 PM PDT

    •  I don't know that there is a teacher shortage. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B, elfling

      Teachers are being laid off.  The shortage areas are areas that  require special training like for special ed., foreign languages, English as a Second Language, math. I think Teach for America is ok for the teachers involved, but is it still true that there are teacher shortages?

    •  Develop a federal or state arts-in-education (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Curiosity, La Musa

      program.  Pay a modest stipend, and send musicians, artists, actors, etc., into underserved schools.  Research shows that students who have arts in their educations do better in all subjects, and have higher graduation rates.  

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

      by SottoVoce on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:23:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Without Congress--how? NT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CoyoteMarti

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 09:21:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no teacher shortage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flight2q

      there is just no money to pay teachers, and quite a lot of certificated unemployed teachers.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:32:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Link energy efficiency. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SammyJames, Noor B, ladypockt, torrid wind

    Community colleges might try offering skill upgrade classes to tradesmen and contractors, for learning to make energy efficiency improvements.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 06:58:46 PM PDT

  •  Medicare for All (14+ / 0-)

    This would free up many people from jobs who are doing so to get health care. Mainly many of the older workers would leave their jobs, opening up jobs for younger workers. Also many people would then be free to open their own business', without worrying about how to pay for health care.

    Also this would expand jobs for medical care , since many more people would be able to get medical care.

  •  The Fed should get money to state and local gov'ts (5+ / 0-)

    to help prevent the massive job losses that will arise next spring as the funding runs out.  At the least, zero or almost zero loans should be made available, with plans for forgiveness if certain criteria are met.  For instance, a state could get money to continue EECBG programs, and if they are able to attain a designated decrease in fossil fuel energy use per capita in five years, then 50% is forgiven, or something similar.  The major difference between these loans and the stimulus grants is that the Fed should be in charge of distribution, such that they fund the necessary staff in the various administrative agencies who would be involved in determining the appropriate goals for forgiveness.  States should be involved and reimbursed if they choose to be the agency responsible for determining attainment, but the focus should be on getting the money out ASAP.  With the stimulus funds, the focus was moreso on making sure the funds were being spent appropriately.  With loans, the government has more protections from funding poor projects because the SLG agency would have the motivation to fund projects with a greater chance of success.

    •  Excellent! Fed can buy state & local bonds! But... (0+ / 0-)

      I suspect the problem is most state Constitutions require a balanced budget. Can they issue bonds without changing the state constitutions?

      I'd say, just call a special session of your state legislature and amend your state constitution. But with so many states in GOP hands, that ain't gonna happen. At least the blue states might take advantage of this.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 09:25:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Skip Payment Option (5+ / 0-)

    All Banks Will Offer A 31 Year Mortgage

    Without any application or qualifying, all banks will (because The Obeezy pressures them to do so in exchange for those low rate ~0% loans they get from The Fed) offer “Skip 12 Payments” and put the 12 payments at the end of your mortgage. No ding to your credit, just click the “Skip A Payment” box. Back in the day, banks used to offer this on credit cards – just “Skip A Payment”.
    The problem with the economy isn't the bankers. It is that no one has money to buy anything. Giving the bankers free money doesn't solve that.
    So with the totally optional choice, you can skip up to 12 payments. Interest continues to accrue. No Losers There.  In fact, the last thing investors who fund mortgages want is for people to prepay with the “no prepayment penalty”. There is no administrative overhead for this except a small programming job to modify mortgage payment software.
    With the 12 months of no payments, I think folks are likely to pay off credit card and student loan debt – i.e. send the money to the same freaking banks. Then they might qualify for the great low interest rates being offered but being hard to qualify for.
    But with a break from your mortgage payment, let’s speculate what else folks might do. Hire someone to paint, replace or clean their rugs, do some much needed tree pruning, install solar panels, install energy efficient windows, install insulation, hire someone to help so they can devote time to relax and/or get creative about their business? Pay for a SAT Prep Course for your kid. Travel to look at schools. Visit your parents. Travel to go to a wedding or funeral. Make a political donation. Start a savings fund for your kids’ college expenses. Hire someone to help you to give you time to expand your business. Pay your kids’ tuition. Get some medical or dental or vision care you need. Hire a trainer. Buy quality local food at a farmers’ market.
    I’m guessing very little of this money would be invested in schemes that create nothing of value.  I’m guessing it would be pretty much be “a job creator”.
    This would put a huge amount of cash into the economy and give folks some money to buy stuff.  And that’s what will get the economy going again.
    If it works, let folks choose to skip payments for another year on mortgages or credit cards or student loans and tack it on at the end with no penalty or credit dings.

    •  Interesting idea (0+ / 0-)

      The one potential problem would be if everyone did it, how would it affect bank cash flow? And would people get too much out of the habit of allocating money for the mortgage?

      Maybe let people skip 1 payment a year for up to n payments? That would be less disruptive and still be substantial.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:34:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't really like this idea, but I think (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, HeyMikey, elfling

    it would work. We already spend billions and employ tens of thousands of law enforcement and corrections officers combating the scourge of marijuana. Perhaps our mistake is not in making a harmless substance illegal, perhaps our mistake is in NOT making a lot more things illegal, thereby creating many new jobs. For instance, make butter (and butter substitutes, of course) illegal and think of all the new jobs - in addition to all the new cops, lawyers, prosecutors, etc. you'll also create thousands of openings for criminals in the newly created black market.

    If it works for pot, it can work for other things as well - it's time for us to think BIG.

    Don't tell me what I can't do! I'll tread on you if I feel like it...

    by doc2 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:00:44 PM PDT

    •  Hmm, on the other hand (3+ / 0-)

      we could make pot LEGAL and let people sell it like they do with liquor.  Tax the crap out of it, and let people open head shops without having to pretend they're for "tobacco".

      More taxes collected by states, more money for schools, etc., etc.

      Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

      by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:17:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're missing something big. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey

        One of the reasons it is illegal today is that there are literally millions of people whose job is associated with enforcing the drug laws in one way or another. Legalizing pot, they fear, would mean a big lose in jobs. So the cops and the rest of the system fight to keep pot illegal.

        Don't tell me what I can't do! I'll tread on you if I feel like it...

        by doc2 on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:37:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the "scourge of Marijuanna" (0+ / 0-)

      is about the same as the "scourge of butter" not to mention the "scourge of ice cream".

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:42:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Work for gay marriage in your state... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, delphine, elfling

    ...then sell your locale as a honeymoon destination to newly hitched gay couples. Mrs. labradog says Maryland should do this - celebrate your love light and your natural rights on the Eastern shore!

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:01:48 PM PDT

  •  common sense: tie tax cuts to job creation. (5+ / 0-)

    no tax breaks for executive bonuses. you want lower taxes? create a fucking job.

  •  Great idea - here are my recommendations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B

    1. I go along with expatjourno and close down 50% of our overseas military bases.  That will decrease need for taxes, so more capital is available for companies to create jobs.
    2. Pull out of Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Korea
    3. Stop unregulated free trade with China and other countries.  Make policies discouraging cheap ass products that quickly break, from being sold in places like Walmart. Go for U.S. made quality products.  For example - Gibson guitar has been in the news due to over zealous gov. inspectors looking for "illegal wood". Get the feds off Gibson's backs and encourage U.S. instrument makers to thrive versus importing cheezy instruments from the third world that don't hold a candle to Fender, Martin, or Gibson etc...
    4. Zero corporate taxes for companies residing in the U.S. and employing 100% U.S. citizens. Companies outsourcing jobs overseas and/or residing overseas as their primary headquarters will pay corporate taxes ranging from 20 to 40%, depending on how much of their business is "outsourced".
    5. Do not tax capital gains on stocks - that will cause the stock market to soar.
    6. Tax health insurance according to income and have national single payer NON-PROFIT health insurance. Model after Israeli health insurance. Allow private doctors to supplement the gov. insurance.
    7. Encourage people to retire by age 60 at latest, to free up jobs for the next generation.
    8. Encourage 4 day a week work week to make work more available. People would be less stressed out. Increase vacation to a minimum of 1 month for all full time American workers.  Close down between Christmas and New Years as extra holidays for Americans.
    9. Allow pipeline for gas to come from Canada to U.S.
    10. Construct new nuclear powerplants in the U.S.
    11. Build new hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes.
    12. Gov. should finance more doctors, nurses, dentists etc.. since we have a short supply of medical workers.
    13. Build more windmills.
    14. Build solar panels for most U.S. homes, whether they are houses or condos etc..
    15. Preserve land for close by farms and ranches so food doesn't have to be shipped as frequently across the country.
    16. Allow vouchers to be used for private schools so public schools have more competition and let the failing ones close down.
    17. Gov. should send deserving students to Colleges for free similar to Europe. The smartest/hardworking students would be rewarded with their free education. Other students could pay tuition at a much cheaper rate similar to 1950s to 1970s, if the gov. would finance education like they used to - this would ultimately create a lot of mobs.
    18. Open up more trade schools to train workers in various skills that the U.S. needs.
    19. Pay individuals lots of money if they come up with alternatives to oil for our energy needs. Don't let companies suppress innovation to protect their outdated industries.
    20. Legalize hemp and use it for many products, besides entertainment!

    •  These are all things the WH (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, CoyoteMarti, cogcitizen

      can do without Congress?

      Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

      by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:18:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  do without Congress? (0+ / 0-)

        I know I am stretching things a bit with this list, but Congress is mostly useless:

        1. They make too much money to understand average person's problems.
        2. Many have huge egos and are power mad and won't listen to any advice.
        3. Congress is gridlocked between tea partiers and socialists who want to spend more money than we have instead of making hard budget choices (i.e. either bring the troops home or raise taxes to pay for the wars and policing the entire world).

        I think Obama and whoever wins the next election needs to bring these issues directly to the American people so they will exert pressure on Congress to act on these issues.

        If Perry or someone like him becomes president, we are doomed....

    •  Most of this list is excellent. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Reality Bites Back, cogcitizen

      I disagree with numbers 5, 9, 10, 16.  #5,  capital gains should be taxed, once over a certain threshold.  #9, let's not talk about a natural gas pipeline, we've still got this tar sands pipeline issue and we don't need the distraction.  #10, after Fukushima, no way, no how.  #16, after subbing in my local school district, I have a really different view about why the schools fail -- it's not the schools, often it's the home culture that fails the kids before they even show up for pre-K.  

      But my quibbles aside, your list is largely very, very good and well thought-out.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:21:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Capital gains should be taxed - in fact (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noor B, ohiolibrarian, cogcitizen

        I would raise the capital gains tax rate for any investments that are not directly in a company with the intent of raising money for that company. So all the stocks bought for pure market gambling would be taxed at the same rate as earned income. Any stocks bought to actually give a company funds for operations would be taxed at a discounted rate.

        There is a clear distinction between investing in a company and playing the financial casino. That might also help to spark investments in new companies, and that actually would create more jobs.

        There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...
        I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? ~ Robert Kennedy

        by Reality Bites Back on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:37:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Couldn't you just make stocks work like healthcare (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cogcitizen

          Make it so that there is an opt in season during which you can buy/sell stocks. And if you wanna do something outside of that time slot you're charged through the ass?

          We lose if we choose to forget; the lives of men, and money spent.

          by DeanDemocrat on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:19:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  With<!--defang_OUT--> Congress? Focus, peopl (0+ / 0-)

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 09:27:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think it's better to make it directed towards (0+ / 0-)

            actually helping new companies looking for capital to get the funds they need, rather than arbitrary time windows that have no secondary effect except to spike the markets due to gambling trades rather than capital raising trades.

            There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...
            I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? ~ Robert Kennedy

            by Reality Bites Back on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 01:13:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I agree! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Reality Bites Back

          Yes, stop market gambling and encourage people to invest in real products that are useful to the market place rather than shuffling money from one fund to another.....

      •  re: capital gains & schools (0+ / 0-)

        The reason I put capital gains is I have a friend who lives off a very modest retirement - social security and small part-time income from time to time. He insists that small investors (not just the fat cats) would put their $$ into the stock market if they weren't taxed on the money. I understand we don't want rich people who get a primary source of their income from investments to pay less taxes than someone who actually works at a job for a living. You did mention a threshold - I would let some economic experts figure what a fair threshold is. We need to try some new ideas on getting people to invest more money into startups and companies, in general.

        When I went to school, kids would get kicked out for doing a fraction of the things kids can get away with in many school districts. I am talking like an old fart now!  But, I believe private schools put up with less B.S. from students. I don't mean to imply that schools should be so hard-ass, that they take away the spirit of students, but some of these schools are out of control. I do agree with you on the home culture failing schools. I have heard some horror stories from a few retired teachers who used to teach special ed.....

    •  Mindblowingly stupid (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      Shockwave
      4. Zero corporate taxes for companies residing in the U.S. and employing 100% U.S. citizens.

      So people with Green Cards need not apply for jobs?

      Ridiculous.

  •  Government clean energy (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, delphine, Noor B, SottoVoce, flight2q

    Direct all government agencies to use allocated maintenance funds to improve energy efficiency (jobs to produce and install energy saving products such as windows, insulation, efficient electric motors, HVAC systems - savings from reduced energy costs).   Expand existing directive to purchase high-fuel economy/hybrid/electric vehicles as fleet purchases come up.  

  •  Make lanes on highways in need of repair, bike (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B

    lanes.  Massive bike lanes everywhere.  Young people can give older people trailer rides.  

    Bad bridges closed to cars open to bikes.

    . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

    by 88kathy on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:03:38 PM PDT

    •  Without Congress? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy

      Actually, I'm a big booster of bike & pedestrian infrastructure. But that requires $ allocated by Congress. This diary is asking what Obama can do without Congress.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 09:29:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Temporary Early Soc. Sec. Retirement!!! (5+ / 0-)

    We have folks in their 30s who through no fault of their own have been unemployed for 1+ years. Folks 55+ who aren't Warren Buffet??? Forget it, the vast majority  will never get  more than a minimum wage job. Temporarily lower the retirement age for SS to 55, Medicare to age 60, and remove millions of jobless from the economy. It will heal itself quickly.

    ". . the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die". RIP Teddy

    by Dave in AZ on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:03:58 PM PDT

  •  Diary #1 of 2: coin money, pay down debt. (4+ / 0-)
    "I realize this [jobs stimulus] bill has essentially no chance of becoming law with the GOP in control of the House and able to sustain filibusters in the Senate. Therefore I am putting Congress on notice that, effective immediately, I am invoking the coinage powers granted to the Executive under United States Code Title 31, Section 5112(k), pursuant to which I have instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to begin minting a new $50 billion coin at the rate of one per week. These coins will be deposited in the Treasury's account at the Federal Reserve. If this continues for a year, that will mean a total of $2.6 trillion in new money, which will balance the budget for the current year and begin to pay down our debt.

    "This course of action will also cause significant inflation if it continues for more than a few weeks or a few months. Thus I will stop minting these coins if Congress passes the new stimulus and tax package I am proposing.

    "But I want to be clear--though inflation would bring its own set of serious economic problems, they would be less dire than the stagnation and unemployment we now face.

    "The choice is up to the Republicans who have the votes to prevent any action in Congress. Your only excuse for doing so is your supposed concern for the debt. I will now take away that excuse at the rate of $50 billion a week, until you act.

    "If you fail to act until next November, you can explain that failure to the American people at the polls."

    More at this diary from a month ago: http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:04:11 PM PDT

  •  Pay in cash. If all of my customers paid in cash, (10+ / 0-)

    we would save 300+ bucks a month from fees paid to WallStreet. I could use that 300 bucks to go out to dinner, buy materials for a project, maybe even hire a gal friday once a week to watch the store. Extra bucks in peoples pockets create demand. Imagine how much extra money would end up in the economy from small businesses (and I mean small from your neighborhood bakery, auto repair, restaurant, all us small mom and pop businesses that pay those goddamn bankster fees everytime wants to use a debit/credit card to buy 2 bucks worth of sheeite).

    It does two things -

    1. puts money in the pocket of mom and pop businesses that will definately be spent since we're all hanging on by a thread.

    2. Starves the wallstreet banksters.

    Wolverines and Badgers and Buckeyes - Oh My! Be Afraid Kochroaches. Be very afraid.

    by mrsgoo on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:04:12 PM PDT

    •  Would you be willing to write a diary on this? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrsgoo, elfling

      I have been trying to increase my use of cash and decrease my use of credit cards for this very reason, but my understanding of the details is limited (as I have no business experience). I'd love to have details so that I can pitch this intelligently to friends.

      Please consider a diary on the small business perspective. You would do us all a great service.

      •  I should. It is amazing how many people do not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling

        realize that when you go into a business and use that card, it costs that business money. When somebody walks in and makes me swipe a card for 2 bucks worth of sheeite, it costs me about .30-40 cents. Ok, I will. Lord knows I know how much it costs us. I would think that if we had a LOT of people returning to cash and checks, the banksters heads would explode.

        Wolverines and Badgers and Buckeyes - Oh My! Be Afraid Kochroaches. Be very afraid.

        by mrsgoo on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 09:58:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is something I do locally (0+ / 0-)

      cash or checks instead of credit.

      The big chains can barely deal with checks any more, but the locals are fine with them, especially since I'm a regular customer.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:37:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Alvin Greene Dolls! (4+ / 0-)

    ...what?

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:04:24 PM PDT

  •  Creating Jobs without Congress (4+ / 0-)

    President declares a national emergency and declares a "War Against Joblessness"

    1. Uses executive orders to "temporarily" - not to exceed, say, 10 years - hire millions of unemployed to be assigned to public works projects and infrastructure area jobs  or even as loan to private industry, and so forth jobs while - and until - Congress belatedly authorizes... in their own sweet time.  

    Hint: Get the Congressional caucus in Congress, particularly the Senate Democratic members to "agree in principle" to this action, thereby choking off any adversarial reaction by the House of Representatives.

    2. Using similar powers, the President declares wars against: Ignorance (to promote education), aliens (to promote immigration reform and even NASA and space exploration), health hazards and pollution (reverting the demise of the air quality regulation improvements), and other "wars."  Just not military ones!

    3. President continues on his bully pulpit, in full FDR-like delightful ribbing campaign mode to encourage and prod Congress to tax the rich more, eliminate corporate tax loopholes, promote stimulus (maybe call it "True Investment in Our Future, " and so forth.  

    Hint: If the President can't call the repugnant party -- the rape-public-can party -- out for being treasonous, unpatriotic anti-American or just obstructionist, then he should at least qualify that the Dems in Congress are acting responsible, the fault lies elsewhere in Congress.

  •  what's up with high speed rail right now? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, torrid wind, ladypockt

    I thought it was supposed to be in the stimulus, but haven't heard anything about it lately.

    If you want to put people to work immediately, AND generate more economic activity between the states, we need a transportation network that rivals China.

  •  Let's start by protecting ONE job in particular -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SottoVoce, Curiosity

    The president's. I strongly urge even the most upset and disappointed Democrats and Independents to cast your vote for Barack Obama in 2012. He ain't perfect -- and NEITHER ARE YOU. Neither am I, so I don't hold a grudge against him for doing all of the things that I HOPED THAT HE WOULD DO -- like fighting for healthcare, gay rights, jobs, killing Bin Laden, et cetera.

    The next thing that we MUST do is we must just take over empty factories in this country. I'm quite serious. If you live in a community where, say, a plant that once belonged to MayTag or Ford or General Electric or any other such factory -- literally, get a bunch of your ex-co-workers together, drive, walk, or cycle there -- and reopen it. Figure out how to generate power to start the lights. IF there aren't any tools left, bring tools from home.

    Build stuff. Build anything. Just build whatever you can. This will, at least, make news in some places. And the more places where this happens, the bigger a snowball effect you'll have.

    Yes -- I'm talking about breaking the law by breaking and entering vacant buildings that nobody uses anymore. Do it. It just may save our most precious law -- The Constitution.

    - Sammy

    •  empty factories. deserted downtown spaces: (0+ / 0-)

      Subsidize communities who offer empty factory/warehouse buildings to artists to build lofts.  This gives work to all kinds of people in the refurbishment phase, then the buildings are put to use.  Where artists gather, restaurants, shops, etc., begin to sprout, and neighborhoods thrive.  These areas add to the desirability of neighborhoods in cities that can then attract businesses.  It's a positive cycle, which gives employment.

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

      by SottoVoce on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:31:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately I am not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, ladypockt

    familiar enough with what can be done without congress to give informed ideas.

    To the extent that money is already set aside within the different government agencies, target that money where it can create the most jobs.  Tie the projects to hiring the unemployed, as they did with the Great Lakes funds.

    More projects like the military housing solar project, which relies on inexpensive infrastructure loans (is this the infrastructure bank??)

    I mean, it's time for us to get creative regardless of what the WH does.

    Meantime LARGER incentives for energy efficiency.  I was all set to do some work when I could get $1500 tax credit - now it's too small to make enough of a dent so that I'd, you know, fix the heater at my house so I don't have to sit in front of a space heater all winter (thankfully I live in LA!!!).

    BTW, the WPA was established by Executive Order.  Unfortunately it needed congress to fund it . . .

    Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

    by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:05:39 PM PDT

    •  I'd love to see ideas that are very individual (0+ / 0-)

      what can YOU do in YOUR community?

      One above that is actually brilliant is to pay in cash when you can buying from a local business rather than using a credit card. Saves your local business a lot in processing fees.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:39:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hindsight is 20/20 (0+ / 0-)

    You know what would have boosted the economy IMMEDIATELY and would have given EVERYBODY in this country a JOB that was at least 16 years and older. The deficits would have been drastically declined, everybody would have been happy. The poor, the middle class and the rich.  The unemployment rate would probably be 0% IT would have only cost a probably less than 1% of the stimulus money spent.

    This plan would have been IMPOSSIBLE for Obama to do, but it nice to dream

    There are 300 million people living in the United States. Imagine every single living person in this country getting a 1 million dollar check from the government in 2009 when obama got into office. Can you guess where the economy would be right now? That would have had an INSTANT economic BOOM VERY QUICKLY cause that money would have been spent and circulated in the communities and that would have had a domino affect with other jobs.

    300 million that would have been needed and it would have been much less than 800 billion dollars in tax cuts and stimulus money for projects. Put money in peoples hands and they spend. Housing crisis could have been fixed cause folks would have used that money to pay off their mortgages, or catch up on them. Less foreclosures.

    Obama approval ratings would probably been damn near 80% right now. Everybody would have been happy.

    One can dream and say WHAT IF?

  •  Environmental Legislation (4+ / 0-)

    Create stringent environmental laws, including EPA ozone rules, designating methane and CO2 as falling under the purview of the Clean Air Act, and requiring fewer emissions and stricter rules about dumping.

    This will force companies that are sitting on cash right now to utilize capital in order to buy, install, and run cleaning operations, filtration systems, green energy, and carbon sequestration. It will also save lives and create better communities.

    The economic consequences of these laws are at their lowest during a recession, and the economic benefits are maximized. Capital that would otherwise be used to expand manufacturing or entrepreneurship during normal times is doing nothing right now, and putting it into circulation will create jobs.

    •  Good news! That law's already in place! (0+ / 0-)
      Supreme Court Upholds EPA's Authority to Regulate Carbon Dioxide

      WASHINGTON, DC, June 20, 2011 (ENS) - The U.S. Supreme Court today reaffirmed its finding that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant subject to control under the Clean Air Act and upheld the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the greenhouse gas.

      I wrote a diary about a week ago suggesting the President use the authority the Supreme Court has already given him to clamp down on CO2, which would have pretty much the effect you describe:
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:58:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  reform the tax code to discourage outsourcing. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SammyJames, ladypockt

    If nothing else, get the Republicans on record voting against tax reform, and voting for more outsourcing.

    •  Well, your solution is something that I've thought (0+ / 0-)

      about. And although this thread is supposed to be about more guerrilla tactics, like the kinds of off-kilter proposals that you read here, you're right --

      The right IS wrong. And getting them to show it in true Republican fashion is a good idea.

  •  Abandoned building inspectors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, ohiolibrarian

    Okay, I know, sounds stupid.
    With the downward spiral, there are hundreds of thousands of abandoned homes and small strip malls across the country. What happens is, when a dwelling that was occupied is abandoned, all too frequently the electricity and water cut-offs aren't coordinated, the pipes freeze and burst, and the damage is extensive, sometimes so costly to repair that the building can only be scheduled for demolition. That demolition, incidentally, is frequently a cost to the municipality, meaning tax dollars, as the owners can't be found since they, you know, abandoned it.
    Inspectors could coordinate electrical and water shut-off, evaluate the structure for protection against vandalism, rate usage value, etc. 'Rated' structures could also be added to a list provided to the local police, since one source of vandalism are semi-professionals, who strip copper wire and other valuables from structures for profit. Putting the structure 'on-notice' this way, helps ensure regular patrols, as well, since the list can be followed up.
    Centralizing this information, which is currently collected by individual municipalities, as their budgets allow for data collection, could also provide a way to 'bundle' real estate for resale, which, sold with stipulations, could ensure reinvestment in communities who need it, rather than empty lots.
    There might be a way to make these abandoned home inspectors cost neutral, since the demolition cost comes from local tax dollars.
    How many jobs would this create? Well, somebody would have to do the math, how many abandoned structures, how many assigned per inspector, cost to saving ratios. But there would need to be plenty of people, some training, supervision, administration. Lots of jobs.
    Plowing under hundreds of thousands of homes and small strip malls, paid for with tax dollars, is a big drain on local governments.

  •  Two simple ideas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, ladypockt

    1.  Create an additional $1,000 tax credit for the replacement of air conditioning units uner a 10 SEER.  AC units are almost all made in the US, and upgrading the efficiency of AC units in the South and West would significantly reduce energey consumption.

    2.  Eliminate double taxation of corporate income for companies that are at least 30% employee owned.  When a company makes money, it pays the corporate income tax.  When it then distributes dividends those are taxes at the recipient's rate.  One of the biggest problems right now is that employees are not sharing in the profits of the companies in which they work.  This plan would create an incentive for corporations to give their employees a share of the profits, and shouldn't be opposed by Republicans  

    I have longed believed that the best alternative to the modern corporation is to move to a model where employees own the companies that they work for.  I think people might be surprised at how significant the incentive I propose here might turn out to be, and the lost income wouldn't be all that much.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:09:19 PM PDT

  •  Create 600,000 jobs and saveing billions of dollar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, TheOpinionGuy, HeyMikey

    We could create 600,000 jobs and save gas consumers billions of dollars each year if we required gas stations to have gas attendents who properly capped gas caps and properly inflated every consumers tire.

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/...
    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/...
    http://www.costhelper.com/...
    http://www.dmv.org/...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...
    http://www.eia.gov/...
    http://www.bts.gov/...
    http://www.dol.gov/...
    http://www.seattlepi.com/...
    ^Properly inflated tires are shown to decrease the time needed to stop and are therefore safer then non-properly inflated tired. This means that making sure all tires are properly inflated will reduce accidents and deaths due to traffic incidences.
    ^Cost of 1gallone of gas is $3.65
    ^Americas Average MPG is 35 miles.
    ^The average optimal pressure is 40PSI.
    ^There are 200 million drivers in America.
    ^About 38% of cars have at least one tire 20% below optimal pressure meaning 76 million cars are 8psi below optimal level.
    ^About 27% of cars have at least one tire 25% below optimal pressure meaning 54 million cars are 10psi below optimal level.   
    ^For every 1 psi drop in pressure it reduces the tires lifespan by 1.78%, one tires lifespan is 45,000 miles, and people on average drive 13,500 miles per year. The average cost of a tire is around $55.
    ^^^^This means that over 4 billion is wasted in tire purchases a year.
    ^Fuel economy is reduces by 1% for every 3psi of under inflation, meaning 76 million car fuel economy are 3% less, and 54 million cars fuel economy are 3.5% less.
    ^Meaning 6 billion a year is wasted in fuel economy due to improperly inflated tires.
    http://www.getrichslowly.org/...
    Improperly sealed gas caps waste 147 million gallons a year, or around 600million dollars.
    ^Over 17(4+6.5x2(externalities for gas costs.) billion dollars a year would be saved
    ^It would cost only 12 billion to employ gas pumpers at a wage of 20,000 a year.
    ^ this means that making it illegal to pump your own gas and making it so every gas attendant checked your tire inflation and knew how to properly put on gas caps it would create over 600,000 decent paying jobs and save the economy a net of 5 billion dollars a year.

    Pencils aren't for eating. Trust me.

    by Hamtree on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:10:19 PM PDT

  •  Shorten work days to 7 hours, or 6 (7+ / 0-)

    We've seen charts/graphs and statistics showing how productivity has gone up dramatically over the last several years and of course it's been going up from the time 8 hours was enshrined as the normal workday. But working people, have, if anything, been pushed into working longer in recent years. From a high level vantage point, why is it that people shouldn't benefit from overall increased productivity? Why can't the norm become 7 hours (or even better, 6 hours, which divides evenly into 4 shifts per 24 hours).

    Looking further ahead, the reality is that we simply don't need everyone who could/wants to work to produce at full tilt to provide needed and wanted products and services. Yet, at the same time, people want to work, want to contribute, want to earn money. Reduce work hours, improve quality of lives and increase quantity of jobs. Obviously you can't take everyone currently working and cut their pay, so it would mean people need to make whatever they're making now, for fewer hours. Everyone below the very top percentiles have pretty much gone without raises for 30 years -- we're due.

    Everyone gets to sleep more, another thing that would benefit people's health and mood.

    This will seem like a completely unworkable or silly suggestion, but then, at one time we had child labor and 10-12-hour workdays as the norm. It's the type of idea that needs to gestate for awhile, and then it suddenly seems perfectly reasonable.

    Think about it.

  •  How about "WUN" buttons? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo

    Whip Unemployment Now = "WUN"

    People will see you with the button, and then give you a job because you had the idea of creating more jobs.

    It worked so well for Jerry Ford!

    Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

    by bobtmn on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:11:42 PM PDT

  •  A variant. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    We can USE congress, not wait for them.

    you guys ever heard of crocodile mile, or its clones? You know the ones, that you lay on the grass and connect the hose to and sliiide?

    We do that. BUT instead of a fake flap with an alligator on it, its a fake flap with what appears to be a pre-signed from Obama that would give infinite tax cuts to the rich. As they jumped for it one after another, they will each land in a giant vat vaguely reminiscent of the similar construct on Double Dare (game show.)

    Oh and there'd a guy with a trombone at the end, just playing those same two notes every time.

    How would this make jobs? Well thats the baeuty of it. If we just STOP these fools from destorying thigns more jobs WILL come! Thats the hwole prbolem, the right (primarily) is actively scuttling it.

    So while my idea wouldnt accomplish much (we could televise it though. great ad space.) it would be incredibly funny and would hinder the rightwingers ability to destroy jobs.

    It felt like rather a long time, but then long times get longer when you're standing around thinking about them. A curious thing, that. Long roads get longer too, if you're thinking about them, but what about long words? They don't change nearly as much

    by kamrom on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:11:55 PM PDT

    •  Okay, the REAL idea now. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Noor B, ladypockt

      I think that with the road infrastructures as they are, we should use the chance to get in realistic, good public transportation. Light rail, maglev trains, and bus stops that arent ridiculously out of the way.

      That would create a lot of jobs, on the level of the highway bill during the depression. and these jobs would continue indefinetly, as operators,maintenance workers, public relationships, and airport lobby-like vendors, not to mention the people actulally running the things!

      It will simultaneously reduce our dependance on foreign oil, add a substantial amount to our economy in an ongoing manner, promote new technology, and reduce the ridiculous amount of moeny people need to spend on cars.

      And thats not eve ngetting into the pollution.

      THAT is what we should be doing. And I am as certain as ive ever been about how well it would work out. We will come out ahead, i guarantee it.

      It felt like rather a long time, but then long times get longer when you're standing around thinking about them. A curious thing, that. Long roads get longer too, if you're thinking about them, but what about long words? They don't change nearly as much

      by kamrom on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:21:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Make big business follow the law (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, ladypockt

    Step up enforcement of all the health and safety regulations that have been ignored because big business whined that it was too expensive.  Many laws are still on the books, but have been ignored due to silent lobbying of the executive branch.

    The world doesn't work the way Republicans say it does, and we need to stop being afraid to challenge them on their BS.  Regulations are job creators.  No company is going to stop hiring because they have to follow regulations.  If there is demand for their product or service, they will continue to provide their products and services even if that means a slightly smaller divident for the investment banks and hedge fund managers that actually own all the shares of these companies.

    If we can't get their money through tax dollars, get it by making them invest their obscene amounts of profit on modernizing their business to protect workers and the public, or get it through fines.

  •  BOYCOTT NON-UNION AND BAD EMPLOYERS (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, PsychoSavannah, ladypockt, jofr

    More than just Wal-Mart; lets put some real pressure on them.  

    And if there is an industry where "good employers" that pay a fair wage, offer benefits... or if it's too small or unsteady a business, uses some sort of profit-sharing strategy to ensure everyone's efforts are equitable... CREATE THEM.

    It's tough to start a business - uncertainty that you'll attract customers is a big part of that - but if progressives rallied around the new businesses that are replacing old, bad actors, there is a better guarantee of profitability.

    Lets re-make the economy into one where the people own some of the capitol.

  •  Executive Order to Armed Forces to Hire (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, cacamp, ladypockt, HeyMikey

    The president should make a Commander-in-Chief order to the military to put a couple of those fancy future-oriented weapons/vehicle contracts on hold and instead HIRE AMERICANS TO DO WORK.

    This does not require any Congressional approval and will demonstrate that Obama is bending over backwards to help the unemployed in the face of the hurdles that the Republicans are putting in his way in terms of stimulative spending.

    The president--through the military--has access to over a half trillion dollars of authorized budget. Use some of it to get people working. I don't care what they do.

    Call them "engineer assistants" to the Army Corps of Engineers and have them tackle infrastructure, pick up trash along the roadside, plant a billion trees like the CCC. I DON'T CARE. JUST GIVE PEOPLE WORK AND A PAYCHECK.

  •  Prosecute all the financial crimes. (6+ / 0-)

    There are hundreds of billions of dollars worth of financial crimes that have gone unprosecuted.  Hire an army of prosecutors and forensic accountants, find the money, get it back, and throw the banksters in jail.

  •  How to save 7,000 lives and 8 billion dollars (7+ / 0-)

    If America switched to a oragn donation system that assumed that everyone would donate their organs upon their death and made it so that people who didn't want to donate their organs did the work to prevent their donations it would save 7,000 lives and 8 billion dollars a year, That money could be used to create jobs.

    http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/...
    http://www.infoplease.com/...
    http://www.womenshealth.gov/...
    ^Presumed consent for organ donations decrease the cost of each donation by 260,000 dollars for kidney transplant in Spain.
    Extrapolating to America just for kidneys means it would save America 4.5 billion dollars a year (18,000 kidneys)
    Extrapolating to American and for all organs that means that a presumed consent law in America would save the country 8 billion dollars (29,000 organs)
    ^In other countries the amount of organs for transplants increased by more than 800%.
    ^In Australia presumed consent has resulted in supply of organs almost keeping up with demand
    ^Each year over 6,600 people die in America because they cannot find an organ transplant. If we extrapolate the data from other counties with presumed consent it will save all around 7,000 lives and be able to provide everyone on the waiting list with an organ.

    Pencils aren't for eating. Trust me.

    by Hamtree on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:17:01 PM PDT

  •  There is a ton of money for contractors (6+ / 0-)

    in the wars efforts.  Why not redirect some of that money (and I have seen some indication of solar panels on bases) to other energy ideas on bases- wind power, heat pumps,  But above all, make sure that Americans are given the jobs.

    There are some monies - like for that ridiculously expensive embassy in Iraq - why not make it energy efficient with American goods.

    It is time to redeploy troops in foreign countries like Germany to someplace more sensible.  Bringing those down to a reasonable size should be our first task and the savings could be used to refit the National Guards for things like hurricane rescues and bridge creations and levee building.  During the war, the US stripped the equipment from the National Guard and now is the time (using the money from closing or pairing down bases overseas) to refit and rebuild and that equipment is made here in the US iirc.

    We have a generation of leaders – Merkel, Sarkozy, Obama, Cameron – who don't seem to have the faintest idea of what they're doing. Politics is now nothing more than people saying hopeful things with their fingers crossed... - David Hare

    by glitterscale on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:19:29 PM PDT

    •  yes, and stop paying contractors (4+ / 0-)

      ten time more to do things soldiers have always done, from peeling potatos to walking guard to protecting VIPs and embassies.

      Right now Hillary Clinton and the State Dept have a private and very expensive army of armed contractors doing what soldiers have always done.

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:50:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An immediate rejection of every merger. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, ladypockt

    Mergers cost jobs, period.  

    In fact, the administration could probably also take steps to force the oil companies to open up many of the refineries they closed down after all the oil company mergers.  Not only would this create jobs, it would decrease help reduce the artificially high price of gasoline.  

    The administration could/should also identify companies that have been allowed to merge in the past but are starting to take on monopolistic tendencies.  I have no idea how we can keep claiming to be a capitalistic economy while making markets less and less competitive.  

  •  Idea from North Dokato (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stivo, torrid wind, Noor B, cacamp, flight2q

    North Dokato has a state bank where the state govnerment keeps its money and which the govenrment borrows from and loans money out. If all states coppied North Dokatos policy it woulld save the country 40 billion dollars a year, this money could be used to create jobs

    http://www.economicpopulist.org/...
    http://www.examiner.com/...
    ^North Dakotas state controlled bank returned 60 million dollars or $100 per person this year to the state’s general fund.
    ^The state owned bank is where the state and local governments deposit their money and is the financial entity that the governments borrow from. This means that the governments do not have to borrow from private banks, saving the government money.
    ^Also because the state bank can loan out money it allows North Dakota to essentially print money, which helps in it a liquidy trap and a demand caused recession.
    ^If every state had a state bank it would save over 40 billion dollars a year.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...
    ^If every state enacted a state Partnership bank similar to North Dakotas it would create over 500,000 jobs over a 3-5 year period.
    ^Not only that it would lower debt costs for governments and increase government revenue, expand small businesses, and over loan financing in tough economic times.

    Pencils aren't for eating. Trust me.

    by Hamtree on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:20:01 PM PDT

  •  Humphrey–Hawkins Full Employment Act (7+ / 0-)

    still the Law of the Land. http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    The Act explicitly instructs the nation to strive toward four ultimate goals: full employment, growth in production, price stability, and balance of trade and budget...

    ...In brief, the Act:
    Explicitly states that the federal government will rely primarily on private enterprise to achieve the four goals.
    Instructs the government to take reasonable means to balance the budget.

    Instructs the government to establish a balance of trade, i.e., to avoid trade surpluses or deficits.

    Mandates the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve to establish a monetary policy that maintains long-run growth, minimizes inflation, and promotes price stability.

    ...Requires the Chairman of the Federal Reserve to connect the monetary policy with the Presidential economic policy.

    ...If private enterprise appears not to be meeting these goals, the Act expressly allows the government to create a "reservoir of public employment." These jobs are required to be in the lower ranges of skill and pay to minimize competition with the private sector.

    As jamess posted awhile back, the logic of the law boils down to...

    well, in the first place QE1 and QE2 should have gone directly as a loan to ordinary citizens, and not bankers...

    QE3 should go directly to main street.


    "Whatever you do, don't mention The War." Basil Fawlty, while mentally impaired.

    by Jim P on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:20:54 PM PDT

    •  Nice catch. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, jamess, elfling

      I'd never heard of this.  Interesting that no one has tried to nullify it, which of course means it can be enforced right now.  And if the Republicans squawk -- which you know they will -- we can just sit back and sweetly ask them why they can't follow the law as passed by Congress and signed by the Executive?  Hoist that law and order crowd on their own petard.  

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

      by Noor B on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:40:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jamess caught it, I repeat it. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess, Noor B, elfling

        It is sort of mind-boggling that right this moment the President could order the Fed to print up enough money to put at least a large swath of the public on a payroll, doing something useful about.

        I guess it's the new pragmatism, where anything the law permits and which would actually benefit ordinary people is just instantly off the table. Before it's even explored.


        "Whatever you do, don't mention The War." Basil Fawlty, while mentally impaired.

        by Jim P on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:44:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Provide a $6-7 per hour direct subsidy for each (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B, danthrax

    new employe hired.  Employers must first commit to hiring employees on their own.  E.g.  McDonald's commits to hiring 30,000 employees.  After 30,000 have been hired, all new hires thereafter get the direct hourly credit.  You could run this as a reverse auction for both large and small businesses on a state-by-state basis.   The more an employer agrees to hire on their own, the better chance they get of being one of the chosen employers for the direct government subsidy.

  •  Hire ourselves to improve our communities (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladypockt, mrsgoo

    Create community microboards (probably have to be financed by some Soros types) that have projects submitted to them (cleaning up vacant lots, fixing schools, tutoring/aiding in schools, etc) and the board pays unemployed people min. wage to do these jobs 10-20 hrs per week --

    1) preserves dignity
    2) puts something on your resume

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:31:47 PM PDT

    •  Community Projects and Community Organizing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flight2q

      I just started to work on a post about this.  Grants and Loans for some communities are available.  The USDA is the main source in my rural area, but funding may be available from many agencies.  They have expanded Farmer's Markets in our small rural communities, opened local health centers, and provided services to many of my rural county residents.   I live near a Corp. of Engineers lake...believe me, they could hire lots of minimum wage employees to clean up trash, cut dead timber for fire wood and many other jobs around the lake.  My private community has a lake access that never is cleaned, except by our community.   We have homeless people and all sorts of people come mess up our lake access, leaving trash and cans all over.   There are so many jobs undone and empty houses around that it makes me angry.  Why aren't the people able to find work?  Big business only invests in projects where they can make a large profit.  We have given big business too much control of our government.  There are bridges, HSR, and new technologies that our country need to invest in to keep our competitive edge in a global market.  We need to invest in America, and that starts with our local communities.

  •  Stop spending federal dollars (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladypockt, danthrax

    ...tracking down and prosecuting cannabis users.  Not only will we save enforcement dollars, but folks planting cannabis (now that the feds are out of the picture) will spend on fertilizer, etc and those formerly taken OUT of the work force and place in jail cells will be productive.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:34:00 PM PDT

  •  Every company in U.S. hire one American (0+ / 0-)

    there is a website too, name escapes me, but a modest proposal me thinks.

  •  Forgive student loans. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danthrax

    If we can bail out Wall Street and the auto industry and large banks, why can't we bail out young college graduates who are struggling with huge college loan debts that prevent them from financing a modest home or purchasing a car or otherwise spending their earnings on consumer goods?  If they are lucky enough to have a job, a significant percentage of their earnings is going towards repayment instead of stimulus spending.  I don't know all the details, but it seems to me that college loan lending practices during the Bush years became skewed towards banks and against those students who needed to borrow money in order to finance their educations.  

  •  Require All Federal Purchases (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo

    down to pens and toilet seats be of products made in the USA by union labor.

    Soldiers' uniforms, printers, TVs, computers, etc.  Oh?  We don't have a clothing industry, don't manufacture electronics in the USA, and can only afford Chinese-made writing implements and plumbing furnishings because American such are too expensive?

    Then I guess that means budget cuts will reduce spending and lower the deficit.

    [Only moderate snark intended.]

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:49:30 PM PDT

  •  I heard someone on the radio today, suggest (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Curiosity, CoyoteMarti


    Inspecting every container, and package,

    entering through a US Port -- not just a selected sampling.


    Hire extra workers to do this.  Pay them

    by charging an "import inspection fee" to the originating Country.


    Such fees would also have the added benefit of leveling the outsourcing playing field, by making cheap imports, more expensive, to make it back to US markets.


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:50:23 PM PDT

  •  Massively accelerate the military's investment in (4+ / 0-)

    future technologies that benefit all of society, like alternative energy infrastructure (beyond the current solar panel roof project) and transportation. Have every base off grid with wind turbines and solar plants that can also supplement and back up civilian infrastructure if necessary.

    With hundreds of billions of untouchable dollars under the executive branch, the military could invest billions in domestically developed and manufactured technologies, and then use domestic labor to implement these ideas at home and even abroad.

    Also, in the name of national security, many key transportation hubs and energy grids could be upgraded with the latest domestic technologies, and can be designated as critical strategic routes where military funds could be used for civil infrastructure improvement.

    The executive branch could also replace most of their older, less efficient fleet vehicles with brand new all electric or hybrid vehicles from the big 3, and would enjoy long term savings while creating economies of scale for new technologies as well. This could also apply to boats and aircraft.

    All the old vehicles could be recycled, retrofitted, refurbished and sold to the public at a discount for people taking even more polluting and inefficient cars off the road.

    There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...
    I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? ~ Robert Kennedy

    by Reality Bites Back on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:51:08 PM PDT

    •  Especially in the name of national security (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Reality Bites Back

      see how much the military could be involved in the energy transmission grid and broadband.

      The winner of every Republican debate is Barack Obama. - plf515, DKos 2011

      by CoyoteMarti on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 11:25:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly - especially because the military budget (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CoyoteMarti

        is $700+ billion, and relatively untouchable. Over $1+ trillion if you count all defense related spending.

        What if $100+ billion was redirected to building infrastructure that justifiably enhanced the military, benefited the general public, and created economies of scale for new technologies thereby giving life to whole new future industries.

        There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...
        I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? ~ Robert Kennedy

        by Reality Bites Back on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 12:46:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  On-the-Job Training (OJT) program (0+ / 0-)

    This may be the "Georgia" program mentioned, but it is really important to structure this effectively. Some old OJT programs were not as useful. I am familiar with an ARRA program that was liked by employers and successfully reemployed people.

    A good OJT program benefits both the employer and the employee by partially covering a new employee for a limited time during initial training. Good programs:

    1. Cover jobs that pay a minimum amount (living wage or substantially over minimum wage). I saw jobs covered that ranged from $11 or $12/hr to $100,000/year. This is usually not primarily an entry level program--it's helpful for experienced (read: older) workers.

    2. Employers must continue to employ the employee for a minimum period or return the subsidy.

    3. The employee should be generally qualified for the position, but have a demonstrable need for specific training (technical or procedures) to get up to speed.

    Because the training is tied directly to an actual honest-to-goodness job, it prevents the problem of spending a year or two training and then ... finding that there are no jobs in what you just trained for.

    Conservation! Because the cheapest energy is the energy you don't use.

    by ohiolibrarian on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:52:21 PM PDT

  •  Summing up so far (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Curiosity, flight2q, Chris Bowers

    Some of the ideas rising to the top (based on recs):

    Infrastructure projects (various funding, including the very popular "go Eisenhower" option whereby we have the military budget pay for infrastructure

    Mortgages:  mortgage holidays.  Make it easier to refinance - ease credit restrictions.  Use HAMP funds for their actual purpose.

    Energy Efficiency - raise energy standards so businesses have to spend.  Give higher tax incentives for energy efficiency improvement projects.  

    Sue the fuck out of and/or arrest and seize the funds of criminal banks and corporations.  Use those funds to put people to work, or to help people keep their homes, or for direct restitution where a link can be made

    Buy American

    legalize pot (okay that was mine)

    Move soldiers to stateside bases

    Give tax breaks to corporations that hire us and raise taxes on corporations that outsource

    I probably missed a ton of ideas.  Just trying to recap so perhaps we can coalesce around a few ideas that we can get into petition form and get them signed for the WH site.

    Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

    by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 07:56:15 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Curiosity

      the majority of these require legislation.

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

      by David Kaib on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:00:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not according to the people (5+ / 0-)

        who proposed them.

        You don't need legislation to direct the military to build infrastructure.

        HAMP already exists so you don't have to pass legislation to make it work.  You don't need legislation to ask banks to provide mortgage holidays or lower the credit score for low interest loan qualification.  

        You don't need to pass legislation to sue banks and corporations for mortgage and other fraud

        If the President can decide not to enforce clean air standards (a debatable issue in itself), he can certain decide to enforce them.  You don't need legislation for the EPA to tighten standards.

        So where's the majority of peoples' ideas that require legislation?

        Why is it that a 3% tax increase for the wealthy is considered "socialism" and an 8% wage cut for the middle class is "doing your part"? MartyM

        by delphine on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:14:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  On the military infrastructure idea (0+ / 0-)

          Your idea dovetails nicely with mine above (LINK). The idea being - That by building up our military (whereby they would repair and build roads, etc, we would also be creating more jobs, and we could get more people to join the military through offering a few more benefits/incentives/tax cuts via some executive order).

          Have you asked your congress-people to support legislation that combats bullying?

          by Curiosity on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 08:58:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  There's Gold in Them Thar Asteroids (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/... so now all those rich Billionaires and US corporations have a great reason to fund Space Colonization to the tune of at least a Trillion Dollors and all the jobs that goes with it.

  •  Create 'The People's Brand' - make it licensable (0+ / 0-)

    At one time I had big crowdsourcing plans to put something like this together, but didn't have the financing to launch such a huge endeavor.

    Basically, I think people need to create their own brand through crowdsourcing.    They vote on what is important.

    Then, that brand and mark become licensable.

    That mark appears on products everywhere, if that product adheres to the rules set forth by the 'crowd'.

    Then, we educate the market to purchase only products and services that have that mark.

  •  Don't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, flight2q

    work. Pay no taxes. Eat the Rich.

  •  Give small savers back their interest rates. (0+ / 0-)

    That used to be the money I could spend!

  •  Forget about high speed rail, (0+ / 0-)

    let's work on getting this country's slow speed rail system back and running.  Let's make sure our canal system is operative.  Let's restore our ports.  Focus on the kind of systems we will need when the energy crunch really hits home hard.

  •  Metamars' Stimulus Plan (0+ / 0-)

    If you don't make it here, you can't sell it here. It's also called protectionism.

    Exceptions could be made for products with other advanced countries that have similar wage rate and environmental regulations. (Unfortunately, it's not that simple because our high level foreign competitors may outsource part of their production. So, we also need to hire massive amounts of bean counters to know how much of a tariff we have to apply for such competitors.)

  •  while they're at it... (0+ / 0-)

    and hopefully this isn't too off topic, but they could stop taxing unemployment.

  •  Demand no-more-tax-break tax reform. (0+ / 0-)

    If the activist base were simply united on one thing instead of divided we could together ask him to propose to simplify the tax code to a breath taking level. No more tax breaks that only a few get. Period. What if the base demanded something of the Dems this time and then put up a great long term fight to take back the Supreme Court? With our demand?

    A demand that everyone gets all the tax advantages and shelters that those in the next bracket below the top, those earning 250, 000. No one gets any more potential tax benefits similar to what they are now. Create something based on that makes sure that all those advantages would be usable by Americans in any tax bracket. And no tax bracket could pay less than the top of the bracket underneath them.

    Offer half a dozen ways anyone can move their tax money around and no more. Everyone gets the same options. A level playing field. Likewise any tax advantages available to a $100,000,000 small business at this time becomes the limit and a half dozen plans or options available to any size business become all there are. This too would give most companies much more leverage over their taxes than they may now have. While the big ones must pay close to the max.

     We should also have some direct democracy by allowing persons, not corporations, to say where some portion of their tax money goes (which would be around Congress). While the GE's and Billionaires paying nothing or next to it quickly bear their fair share. Assume a year for them to batten down the hatches before it hits.

     The point to demand the government provide an extremely flat playing field small businesses and to all households on taxation. Businesses existing and new would compete directly with the Monoliths who would need to calibrate their current values to real values. Those that were properly managed would do fine with much more money and resources. Those living off the corporate dole would break down. And households would have about five times more ways to manage their taxes while the wealthiest give up dozens of shelters and such to pay some new taxes on other kinds of investment up to their fair share. 39% at the top? That's not too shabby for anyone making good money.

    Yes, this would put many tax advisers out of work for some time, but many more would be able to use that expertise as there would be new jobs there too with all kinds of common folk now wanting some expertise for their new found potential windfalls.

  •  Playing off of DallasDoc's suggestion re: (0+ / 0-)

    the DOD and infrastructure repair, (and having just read about the massive power outage in SoCal) what about putting the DOD/Corps of Engineers in charge of developing and implementing a national power grid, too?

    Not sure how it would work but it's an 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 Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 02:08:38 AM PDT

  •  more access to capital is key... (0+ / 0-)

    along with better rates for savers, and competition for banks, so I propose the following suggestions:

    1. Allow people to close (and take out the money) any small IRA's, 401k's, or retirement accounts of $10,000.00 or less without paying taxes or penalties, also, mandate a period for these accounts to be closed without the account holders being charged "termination fees" by the IRA fiduciaries.

    This will free up lots of pocket money for people to use as they see fit.

    2. Encourage through the tax code person to person lending, and as an inducement, charge a cheap flat rate, or no tax at all on personal loans for a couple years.

    For example, you loan $10,000.00 to your cousin, a successful business owner, to purchase a piece of capital equipment, they can't get the loan from the bank, you make a better interest rate than you would in your savings account, and the equipment purchase stimulates the economy.

    3. Encourage through the tax code private mortgage lending under strict guidelines. Secured by a first deed of trust, no more than 100% of sale price or appraised value, whichever is lower, interest rate under 8%, etc.

    This would put pressure on the banks to actually start lending, and help different real estate markets stabilize. It would also create jobs, because house purchases put lots of people to work, Realtors, Title Agents, Home Inspectors, Contractors, Home Depot Employees, etc.

    3. Offer increased tax breaks on all 2011 and 2012 hires for each Full Time Equivalent Job.

    4 IE: payroll taxes, county, state, and federal fees.

  •  Crowdsourcing Invention on Quirky (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flight2q

    There is an invention site called Quirky where they crowd source invention. It is a nice model because they share revenue all along the process of bringing an idea to market. You could come up with a great idea, or just think of a name or color for a product and get some money from sales of the product. They've had some nice success with products like the Pivot Power, a power strip that flexes to fit those big power adapters. Anyway, this is a simple way for people to maybe pick up some extra income, but it is also a cool model for innovation. It would be great to see this sort of effort put towards green energy ideas, or large scale efforts instead of just consumer products. Tap more minds and share the wealth from the results.

  •  Use the Defense funds for power grid upgrade (0+ / 0-)

    It can certainly be argued that or power grid is susceptible to attack.  Use the ample defense funds to upgrade our power grid with diversified solar and wind farms and a smart power distribution network.  Plenty of constructions jobs, plenty of high tech jobs.  

    Plus the added benefit of domestic power generation and mitigating climate change.

  •  Enable Faster Home Purchases (0+ / 0-)

    which would help the construction industry.  The way to do this would be to change policy of the federal agencies that back mortgages so that those who have been foreclosed on or forced to sell short could buy a new, smaller house and get a new mortgage on the house without waiting several years. Maybe this could be done as a policy change without legislation.   As I understand it, currently,  many foreclosures and short sales result in having to wait 1-3 years or more to get a new mortgage and the requirement of making a large downpayment. People who have lost unaffordable housing are probably pretty good bets to make payments on a mortgage they could actually afford.  Perhaps one safeguard would be to say that there could be no borrowing against the equity in the new home for a period of 10 years to prevent homes from going underwater again.

    "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance." Samuel Johnson

    by Rona on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:12:55 AM PDT

  •  Here's what Alan Grayson said on this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rona, flight2q

       End the wars, and bring the troops home.
        Direct the Attorney General to prosecute foreclosure fraud and other white-collar crimes vigorously.
        Determine that China is a “currency manipulator” , and impose trade sanctions on China, to offset Chinese manipulation of the exchange rate.
        Accelerate the award and performance of infrastructure projects and competitive grants to the full extent of FY11 appropriations now, instead of the usual end-of-September orgy of contract awards 11 months from now, to accelerate the spending of appropriated funds in order to create jobs.
        Employ Government control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to: (a) finance and refinance loans at lower rates, and (b) temporarily eliminate the down payment requirement — if you can make the monthly payments on the house, then you can own it. (This is, in effect, how FHA mortgages have worked for years, but only at the low end of the market.)

    More here and here

  •  Sell federal bonds for specific roads, bridges, (0+ / 0-)

    energy, water, rail, parks, and school projects.  Can the federal government use existing authority to sell "earmarked" or special-purpose bonds?  I don't know (sorry).  But if it can, it should.  States sell special-purpose bonds frequently. We could call the new federal bonds Prosperity Bonds or Recovery Bonds, sort of like the Liberty Bonds sold in WWI.  Ordinary citizens could vote for jobs with their wallets by purchasing bonds.  And there would be an added bonus of a return on investment in the long run when the bonds mature.

    "Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance." Samuel Johnson

    by Rona on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:46:59 AM PDT

  •  Examine All Emergency Legislation Clauses (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flight2q

    The Obama administration should take a hard look at all emergency legislation that gives the president emergency powers.  

    Use these to hire new "emergency personnel" and to temporarily reassign workers doing things that republicans want done to things that will boost job growth and specific sectors of the economy.  Second, redirect both these and military funds from spending in red districts to facilitation of job creation in blue or purple districts to make it easier for blue constituencies to create new jobs within the private sector.

    Go right up to the line so that republicans will want to impeach Obama for creating jobs against their wishes.  This will help draw a sharp contrast between Obama and republicans giving voters the chance to chose between jobs and economic growth under Obama and economic stagnation, recession, and unemployment under republicans.

    The most rabid republicans will be happy because it will further get government out of their lives, by reducing sending in red districts.

  •  so this will not create new jobs (0+ / 0-)

    And, as a preface, I really like this article and this approach.  

    But I am wondering if as a community we can  do a bit more to help people get the jobs that are out there?

    1.  Are there any Daily Kos members who are career counseslors, resume experts, etc who would consider donating say an hour a week/or a month...to some of our job-seekers?

    2. Any way to list jobs from people on the Kos who are hiring -- sorry if I missed this as I searched?

    Best/S

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