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illustration of people demonstrating with slogan: we all need jobs
The Republicans would prefer to change the subject from the latest appalling proof that Mitt Romney is fundamentally unfit to be even within the same zip code as the Oval Office. They would much prefer that everyone focus on unemployment. Because we are nice people, let's accommodate them. Because this election very quickly is moving past the question of who will be president next year, and now is more about control of next year's Congress. This election also has become about reframing false political narratives, for the benefit of Democrats, the nation, the world, and the very concept of truth, going forward.

The Republicans have no credibility on deficits. The Republicans have no credibility on national security. For decades, both have been all but ceded as Republican strengths, despite plenty of evidence that they shouldn't be. On those issues, Democrats have often played on the Republican home field, to the detriment of everyone. The Republicans would like for the same dynamic to pertain on the economy and unemployment. At the end of last week, while President Obama was enjoying the early indications of what we now know is a substantial post-Convention bounce, Republicans rejoiced at the release of a lousy jobs report. They were sure that would deflate what they deluded themselves into believing was but a temporary Obama polling bubble. It's the economy, stupid—Republicans rejoiced. And it is the economy. And unemployment still will be one of the key issues in this election, up and down the ballot. But not in the way Republicans think.

President Obama and the Democrats have tried to pass jobs bills. The Republicans killed the American Jobs Act. The Republicans killed the jobs bill that would have repaired our badly crumbling national infrastructure. The Republicans killed the jobs bill that would have given tax cuts to small businesses that create jobs. They're even holding up a bill specifically designed to create jobs for military veterans. The Republicans don't care about creating jobs. Republicans do care about playing politics over jobs, obstructing bills that would actually create jobs so they can exploit the lack of jobs for political gain.

Last Sunday, in the wake of that Convention bounce and that lousy jobs report, the New York Times did us all the great service of providing a case study in how false narratives are framed and propagated, even by supposed journalists working for one of the best traditional media outlets. The culprit was Jackie Calmes, but the lesson is much larger than one person's incompetence or dishonesty. This exemplifies what is so wrong with our national political conversation:

With both parties’ conventions now concluded, what is clear is that each played to type — Republicans as the party of business, Democrats of the worker. For President Obama, however, the week here captured his tricky balancing act: a four-year struggle to show that pro-worker does not mean antibusiness.
Of course, the basic facts prove otherwise, and the only reason anyone could be said to be playing to type is because people like Calmes are typecasting rather than reporting. President Obama's record on business is clear:
The U.S. economy may not be recovering as fast as President Obama likes, but at least he can make one claim: The stock market has done better under his watch than with any other recent president.

Since Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20 2009, all three major U.S. stock indexes are up more than 60 percent. The Nasdaq Composite alone has soared a whopping 105 percent.

And of course those numbers reflect the recovery from the economic meltdown President Obama inherited, and the Fed also gets some credit, but that meltdown occurred under those supposedly pro-business Republicans.
Even so, the market has performed better during Obama's 43 1/2 months in office than in any of the five prior administrations. In fact, the S&P 500 has outperformed most of the major world indexes during his presidency.
(Continue reading below the fold.)

Calmes would seem to be mistaken:

U.S. farmers are heading for their most profitable year on record despite the worst drought in half a century as high grain prices and payouts from a federal crop insurance program compensate for a smaller harvest.
The standard political narrative that Democrats are bad for business would seem to be flat wrong:
The Fortune 500 generated a total of $824.5 billion in earnings last year, up 16.4% over 2010. That beats the previous record of $785 billion, set in 2006 during a roaring economy. The 2011 profits are outsized based on two key historical metrics. They represent 7% of total sales, vs. an average of 5.14% over the 58-year history of the Fortune 500. Companies are also garnering exceptional returns on their capital. The 500 achieved a return-on-equity of 14.3%, far above the historical norm of 12%.
Calmes does include some of the positive economic news, but she buries it amidst more right-wing propaganda, where it can barely be found. But even worse is how she promotes the standard political narrative that what's best for business is best for workers, that job growth is tied to political success, and that the reason we don't have job growth is because businesses are over-regulated and over-taxed.

Calmes:

The challenge for the campaign was to counter Republican attacks at their Tampa, Fla., convention depicting Mr. Obama as the enemy of job creators when unemployment persists, while energizing his liberal base in the convention hall and beyond. The delicate juggling was most evident on Wednesday, during the brief daily window of network television coverage.
Why that is a challenge, Calmes never explains. Because she seems to be tacitly accepting and promoting the Republican narrative, both that Obama is the enemy and that businesses are job creators rather than profit-making enterprises that don't care whether or not they create jobs, just so they create profits— and in many cases make profits by destroying jobs. You know, the way Bain Capital has done. Under Mitt Romney. The same Mitt Romney who would most benefit if anyone took seriously this dishonest and perhaps deliberately calculated Calmes' narrative.

Defining businesses as job creators may be the most essential aspect of the Republican disinformation campaign. Sure, some businesses create jobs, but businesses aren't in business to create jobs, and the facts on that are also readily available, if people like Calmes actually cared to report facts honestly. Because if creating jobs was as simple as keeping businesses highly profitable, those record profits businesses have been making would have resulted in the creation of lots of jobs. Instead, those record profits have created this:

At present, cash accounts for more than 6 per cent of the assets on the balance sheets of US non-financial companies. That is the highest in at least six decades, and represents the fruit of record high profit margins. Companies cut costs through redundancies during the post-Lehman economic swoon, while negligible interest rates reduced their borrowing costs. As a result, US corporate profits are higher, as a share of gross domestic product, than at any time since 1950.

But as uncertainty persists, groups are reluctant to repay that cash to shareholders by buying back stock or – particularly – paying dividends. The pay-out ratio (the proportion of earnings that go in dividends) for the S&P 500 index is at its lowest since 1900.

Record corporate profits. The largest piles of cash in six decades. The lowest dividend pay-out ratio in more than a century. Lagging job creation. Maybe businesses aren't, by definition, job creators. Maybe further greasing the skids for businesses isn't the way to create jobs. Maybe if corporate success meant the creation of jobs we would be seeing lots of jobs created. Which we aren't. But we are seeing this:
Profits at big U.S. companies broke records last year, and so did pay for CEOs.

The head of a typical public company made $9.6 million in 2011, according to an analysis by The Associated Press using data from Equilar, an executive pay research firm.

That was up more than 6 percent from the previous year, and is the second year in a row of increases. The figure is also the highest since the AP began tracking executive compensation in 2006.

Record corporate profits. The largest piles of cash in six decades. The lowest dividend pay-out ratio in more than a century. Record CEO pay. Lagging job creation. Maybe businesses aren't, by definition, job creators. Maybe further greasing the skids for businesses isn't the way to create jobs. Maybe if corporate success meant the creation of jobs we would be seeing lots of jobs created. Which we aren't. But I repeat myself. Because the facts bear repeating.

Maybe there is something fundamentally wrong with the narrative about job creation that is promoted by the Republicans and their propagandists, such as Calmes. Or maybe we're missing one final element of the Republican narrative that will make it all work. Like taxes. Like that the real problem is that these record profits and this record CEO pay and these alpine mounds of cash are getting so gobbled up by high taxes that there just isn't enough left for job creation. Or maybe not:

The world's super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy.

James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has conducted groundbreaking new research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to construct an alarming picture that shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system.

I'm guessing $32,000,000,000,000 could create a lot of jobs, if the accumulation of staggering amounts of wealth by a very small number of people actually had anything to do with job creation. Which it clearly doesn't. Record corporate profits. The largest piles of cash in six decades. The lowest dividend pay-out ratio in more than a century. Record CEO pay. A staggering $32,000,000,000,000 squirreled away somewhere so it can't be taxed. So where are the jobs? And wouldn't it be nice just once to hear reporters ask that question of Republican leaders? Like maybe asking the Republican presidential nominee, like maybe at one of the televised debates?

The Republican answer to pretty much any economic situation is to cut taxes. High inflation? Cut taxes. High unemployment? Cut taxes. Economy in danger of over-heating? Cut taxes. Economy imploding? Cut taxes. So maybe someone ought to ask Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republicans how exactly cutting taxes is supposed to create jobs. What is the mechanism? What is the rationale? If corporations are making record profits, if they're sitting on mountains of cash, if CEOs are making record pay, and if a staggering $32,000,000,000,000 is sitting somewhere already untaxed, then how is lowering taxes going to create jobs? The ostensible job creators are doing awfully damn well, but they're not creating anywhere close to enough jobs. Maybe that's because the ostensible job creators aren't actually interested in creating jobs.

Remember how President Bill Clinton raised taxes, without getting a single supporting vote from Congressional Republicans? Remember the economic boom that followed, with near full employment and low inflation? Remember how the Lesser Bush cut taxes and cut regulations and produced the worst economic crash since the Great Depression? That's the honest economic narrative. Cutting taxes doesn't create jobs. Allowing the wealthy to accumulate more wealth doesn't create jobs. And in case the Republicans trot out their other tired and dishonest rationale, the problem isn't over-regulation, either:

Labor Department data show that only a tiny percentage of companies that experience large layoffs cite government regulation as the reason. Since Barack Obama took office, just two-tenths of 1 percent of layoffs have been due to government regulation, the data show.

Businesses frequently complain about regulation, but there is little evidence that it is any worse now than in the past or that it is costing significant numbers of jobs. Most economists believe there is a simpler explanation: Companies aren't hiring because there isn't enough consumer demand.

Like every Republican excuse for cutting taxes, cutting regulation is just more factually dishonest false narrative:
We asked experts, and most told us that while there is relatively little scholarship on the issue, the evidence so far is that the overall effect on jobs is minimal. Regulations do destroy some jobs, but they also create others. Mostly, they just shift jobs within the economy.

“The effects on jobs are negligible. They’re not job-creating or job-destroying on average,” said Richard Morgenstern, who served in the EPA from the Reagan to Clinton years and is now at Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan think tank.

Cutting taxes doesn't create jobs. Cutting regulations doesn't create jobs. The Republican proposals to cut taxes and regulations won't create jobs. But you know what would create jobs and create a full economic recovery? Keynesian stimulus would create jobs and create a full economic recovery. Government spending specifically focused on direct job creation. That was how the Great Depression was resolved. That was how President Obama stopped the economic freefall he inherited from the anti-tax, anti-regulation Republican Bush administration, which was such a friend of business that it created the worst economic collapse, both for businesses and jobs, since the Great Depression.

Republicans want to blame President Obama for high unemployment, but their solution clearly doesn't work. And they do know that it doesn't work. Because they don't really care whether or not it works. Republicans don't care about creating jobs, they only care about allowing fewer and fewer people to accumulate more and more wealth and power. And the media won't call it class warfare, but they will call it class warfare when anyone calls attention to it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republicans don't want to create jobs (42+ / 0-)

    They want to create wealth.  The Republican platform even explicitly admits this.  Most references in it to the economy talk about creating wealth, not jobs.  But then, I guess that's why they think cutting some millionaire's taxes is more important than helping that new college graduate pay off his loans and get a job.

    All your vote are belong to us.

    by Harkov311 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:05:15 PM PDT

    •  For themselves, it must be added (9+ / 0-)

      Nothing wrong with created wealth to be shared equitably by all. But of course that's not what they want. In fact, I'd take my objection further and say that they don't even want to create wealth. They merely want to take it, reallocate it from where it is (and usually rightfully so), to themselves, by doing little more than gaming the system to their advantage. Sure, they might create a few jobs in the process and trickle down a few crumbs of "wealth", but that's incidental to their goal and an unavoidable "loss" in their quest for ever more wealth acquisition.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:10:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (7+ / 0-)

        Georgetown Steel created wealth. The steel they made was more valuable than the raw materials, so there was new wealth.

        Bleeding them dry with a "special dividend" that left them in debt, and sticking the PBGC with the pensions -- that was redistribution.

        The economy truly is divided into the "makers and takers".

        •  That story should be front and center (7+ / 0-)

          in advertising and discussion. Excellent reduction of the story to 3 concise paragraphs.
          The message should be that nobody begrudges Romney of his success in business, only the way he obtained it- by borrowing heavily to pay himself and his partners up front before the businesses were turned around or not. Between 22-30% of Bain's acquisitions failed, often with huge human negative consequences not shared by Romney, the Bain Boys and investors.
          Do we want a president who would "run the country like a business"? Like that?

    •  Screw the planet (4+ / 0-)

      Gimme money.

      They're like a particularly virulent virus. I haven't had my dose of Prozac or medical marijuana yet today and am wondering if there's a cure for what ails humanity.

      "Prozac." As if I could afford a doctor visit and a prescription in Romney's Amercia.

      See androids fighting, Brad and Janet. Mitt and Aaaane..

      by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:41:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans have no credibility? Seriously?!? (5+ / 0-)

    Republicans have TONS of credibility, on TONS of issues, if not ALL of them...in the febrile imaginations and fatuous utterances of a significant percentage of the establishment media, and of course of virtually 100% of Republicans.

    They demand satisfaction! Spitballs at dawn! Huzzah!

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:06:33 PM PDT

  •  I would like to see Mr. Clinton's "Zee-Ro" (15+ / 0-)

    become this year's "awesome."

  •  This is very, very important (10+ / 0-)
    The U.S. economy may not be recovering as fast as President Obama likes, but at least he can make one claim: The stock market has done better under his watch than with any other recent president.
    Since Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20 2009, all three major U.S. stock indexes are up more than 60 percent. The Nasdaq Composite alone has soared a whopping 105 percent.
    if you're heavily invested in the stock market.

    Pretending that this is a good thing for the 99% is picking a side in the class war and penning propaganda.

    I miss Turkana Boy.

    "How dare you call someone a warmonger just because he's paid to sell war?"

    by JesseCW on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:10:54 PM PDT

  •  Obama should visit Paul Ryan's district, (16+ / 0-)

    WI-01, where Ryan is running (simultaneously with his vp campaign) for reelection to Congress.

    Rob Zerban is the Dem candidate for Wi-01 running against Ryan, a swing district that voted for Obama in 2008, and which is rated R+1.  It should be in play.

    And it would really rub it in if Obama visited there and campaigned shoulder to shoulder with Rob Zerban talking about how Ryan has done so damn little for the economy and how he and Mitt Romney would have let GM go down.  Visit with the blue collar workers who lost their jobs because of Bush and let them voice their complaints.  Print up some Obama-Zerban bumper stickers.  

    The way Romney is suffering right now, there's a real possibility that Obama will have substantial coattails.  The Republicans must be worrying about it.  Make that fucker Ryan worry about it, too!  He knows he's not going to be veep, so we should make him worry he's going to lose his cushy congressional seat, too, maybe force him into a few visits to his home district to shore up his support.

    Even if we don't win WI-01 after all that, it would embarrass the Republicans to put them on the defensive so publicly at this late date -- their own Veep candidate scrambling to protect his old job as a life preserver!  How demoralizing.  And it would scare the bejeezus out of the other Republicans running for reelection and probably force a few to publicly renounce Romney.  It could start a general rout.

  •  91% of Americans are employed. (8+ / 0-)

    So the myth of staggering unemployment does not mean that much personally to that many. Things have only (and steadily) improved since President Obama took his oath of office, not one month of lowered employment.

    Presidents don't give out jobs, but can stimulate employment when the House and Senate work with him. No one is wondering what happened there, the House conspired to fail in the President's name. Well-documented noncooperation that held a million of us out of the workforce. By now, we'd be seeing improved roads and bridges and families and tax bases.

    Corporate America is over-filthy-wealthy and not hiring, but that has to change after Nov 6th no matter who wins. Stability is what they say they want, so there's the date.

    I fully expect an advertisement showing how job-killing Bain has been conducting itself. The supposed 90,000 jobs at Staples are underemployment, you cannot buy a house or tuition as a cashier or stock person. Romney can't have it both ways, criticizing underemployment AND bragging on his own "job creation."

    PLEASE, David Axelrod, show the Illinois plant acquired by BAIN that is outsourcing its own employees by making them train their Chinese replacements. That IS Bain, that IS the wounding of the American workforce, that IS today in the world of Myth Romney economics.

    skipping over damaged area

    by Says Who on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:21:13 PM PDT

    •  Wait, what? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, ringer, caul

      That isn't how unemployment is calculated.

      There aren't 91% of Americans working because unemployment is 8.something%. It doesn't work like that.

      The number of employed Americans of working age is lower than it has ever been. See "employment-population ratio" or read some of Meteor Blades explanations of how it is calculated.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:04:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not only are 91% of Americans not... (7+ / 0-)

      ...employed, but not even 91% of the working-age population is employed.

      The current employment-to-population ratio is 58.3%.

      Currently, of the people in the labor force, 12,544,000 are out of work (seasonally adjusted).

      Another 8 million are working part-time jobs because they can't get a full-time job or their hours were cut (directly or view furloughs).

      Another 6.975 million are not in the labor force but would like to have a job.

      Total: 27.5 million Americans who would like full-time work  are either unemployed or underemployed.

      That works out to an un/underemployment rate of 17.8%.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:53:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wish I said the work force, not Americans. (0+ / 0-)

      There are so many ways to calculate, miscalculate, and/or distort the numbers for political messaging.

      But my point is that 8% and 4% are mathematically similar, although politically explosively dissimilar, and that the employed, the unemployable, and the would-be employers who refuse to employ are not stricken dead with the 8% level. As it  is claimed to be SO unacceptable, it is nonetheless accepted. The horror aspect of that number has diminished. I think Americans blame business more than they do the White House.

      What strikes me though, is that entrepreneurship hasn't taken hold in these bad times as it did in the good times. Dot-coms and evolved ventures were not the perceived risk they are today. Creativity itself seems to be on hold.

      Personally, I will be employing before I am employed.
      In fact, I'm taking a break just to write to you. You will be my customers one day. √

      skipping over damaged area

      by Says Who on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 10:08:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stimulus, improved oversight on banks, more stable (4+ / 0-)

    administrative actions locally and internationally.  These all had to happen to recover from a really, really bad set of $hit that went down in 2008.  

    If we assume Obama wins in November, it's a perfect storm working against the republican brand.  US GDP is poised for 3-4% growth right about the time Obama's second terms is up.  The dems have reclaimed nearly all of the issues from the republicans - foreign policy, terrorism, and - soon - the economy.  The biggest question will be who runs for the Dems, but their record will be pretty hard to attack.

  •  Let's point out Romney's craptastic MA record (11+ / 0-)

    on jobs too.
    The state fell from #37 to #47 under his "leadership."
    The only states lower had been hit by Hurricane Katrina.

    Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

    by Icicle68 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:27:17 PM PDT

  •  Authentic frontier gibberish (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, sethtriggs

    Oh Gabby, we need you now.

    It is silly season.

    Who could argue with that?

    See androids fighting, Brad and Janet. Mitt and Aaaane..

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:32:19 PM PDT

  •  yes, let's talk unemployment (7+ / 0-)

    The GOP tag team has been quite successful --- GOPers vote "NO" on basically ALL legislation to improve the economy, or disallow a vote -
    and Rmoney & GOP candidates campaign on a lousy economy!

    GOP House votes to repeal Obamacare - 33
    GOP House votes naming Post Offices - 60
    GOP House votes restricting women's rights - 67
    GOP House votes for American Jobs Act - 0

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:33:12 PM PDT

  •  Consumers create jobs; (8+ / 0-)

    home owners and other householders create jobs; families with children to raise and educate create jobs; people who like to live in a clean, safe environment create jobs, people who enjoy the arts and all forms of recreation create jobs, people who use the post office and public libraries and ride Amtrak create jobs, unless they are buried under a mountain of debt, underwrite tax holidays for the 1%, and have access to a declining share of the national income and wealth.

  •  Mixed bag here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    Excellent dissection of the false "party of business/party of labor" narrative. If anyone thinks labor - and particularly unions - are the enemy of robust business growth, take a look at Germany.

    But there are a couple of problems here. The Tax Justice Network study is a steaming pile of extrapolations. If we can assume this percentage of tax savings, and we assume this percentage of their money is invested in a certain way, and we assume we're talking about this many people, we can stack our assumptions this high.

    Puhleeze.

    My other problem here is the frequently repeated claim that this President has been so incredibly good for the stock market, 60%, etc.

    Don't get me wrong, this President has been good for corporate America. Stimulus, pulling back on carbon regs, payroll tax cut, not pushing Iran in to blocking the Straits of Hormuz.  We're far better off than we would be under a President McCain.

    However, the stock market in times of volatility - good or bad - is a study in psychology.  Give it a big bubble or a huge downward spiral, and it will massively overshoot.  Which is what it did in 2008.  

    Markets were depressed down to a very low level, which provides a big percentage increase when they recover. You could have elected a plate of eggplant parmegiana and seen a 35%-40% bounce.

    Which anyone who knows much about the market already knows, so you're not going to convince any of those people by crediting the Obama administration with being the Wizards of Wall Street.

    Its important to not stretch when making the broader arguments raised in this diary.  First, because it isn't neccessary - there are plenty of sound arguments that can be made. Second, because the skeptics and the trolls will focus on any one weak point and harp on that, ignoring the rest. Don't have a chink in your armor.

  •  Let's ask Wall Street what's acceptable first (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    We don't want to get ahead of ourselves.

    They do "own the place."

    See androids fighting, Brad and Janet. Mitt and Aaaane..

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:55:04 PM PDT

  •  I would like to know (9+ / 0-)

    just what those jobs everyone is talking about creating would actually be.

    I'm so sick of hearing about "job creation" without any real explanation as to what those jobs would be and how to get one if you aren't the son or daughter of the "job creator."

    Will there be jobs for high-school dropouts that pay a liveable wage? Will there be jobs for people over 50 with multiple degrees but who have -- for all intents and purposes -- aged out of the "work force"? Will there be jobs for the physically disabled? What about the mentally handicapped? Since so many people seem to think if a person doesn't work, he or she doesn't deserve to eat, what will those jobs be?

    There has been so much outsourcing and creative destruction that there aren't enough jobs to go around any longer unless someone invents a new industry such as happened during the early days of the Internet.

    It's not that potential employees aren't educated enough. It's that greedy corporations want to pay workers $2 per day (see Georgia CEO who thinks just that amount is sufficient for US workers because other countries get away with paying that amount) no matter how much education one has.

    What jobs do Republicans plan to create? For that matter, what jobs do Democrats plan to create? (And please don't tell me about "green jobs" unless you can tell me about some job descriptions and companies working to realistically fill them.)

    And what plans do either of them have for people who have been out of the work force for years, have bad credit scores with no hope of repairing them, and no references because they've been homeless or scraping by for years?

    What's the plan for non-perfect job seekers? To hell with them?

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:57:35 PM PDT

    •  Excellent comment. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, learn2Ctruth

      How did Supreme Court decision ACA help the 23 million still uncovered? Ask the 18,000 Doctors of PNHP -- they're not waiting, FORWARD now to pass H.R. 676, the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act .

      by divineorder on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:06:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  green economy and infrastructure (5+ / 0-)

      involve everything from high tech to design and planning and architecture to construction. construction more than anything. and there have been plenty of studies such as this one:

      http://thinkprogress.org/...

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:21:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Frankly most of the jobs that need to be filled... (5+ / 0-)

      ...are Public Sector.

      Our job growth has been lop-sided. Too much so-called "profit-creating" and not nearly enough what one might call "whole economy supporting", those functions that stabilize the Private Sector and set it up for future growth.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:56:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, Republican enforced austerity is at the root (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        learn2Ctruth, Brooke In Seattle

        of the missing jobs.  Imagine of those 500,000 public sector jobs that have been lost since the start of the start of the recession were filled?  Imagine all the other jobs that would be created by those public sector employees as they buy goods and services in their communities?  Instead, European-style austerity keeps our unemployment rate high while our infrastructure crumbles.

    •  This is why FDR had to create jobs like those that (3+ / 0-)

      built post offices, schools, dams. etc. The government stimulates by creating the jobs that begin putting money into workers hands so that they spend ... so the dollar multiplies its usefulness and is taxable as it passes through every hand... In the end the taxpayer ends up with superior infrastructure and a better country while healing the fractured economy that has pushed everyone into the dark to preyed on by the vampires.

      Green jobs could have to do with energy but also with improving the energy footprint of every public building and private home so they use less energy. The stimulus could have to do with rewiring our energy network to reduce losses from bad or out of date wiring. The stimulus could have to do with rewiring every public and private home for electricity and internet. WE have improved things considerably over the decades since many homes were built. {I actually watched a home go up behind me that had huge gaps in the wall and I have recently read in fine homebuilding about the value of sealing gaps even in sheetrock} Solar power should be something we help people to install. We need to do something as a country about our water systems. Water is presious and the need is growing. Recharging aquifers, water treatment plants, revisiting water reservoirs to improve them, studies and implementation help on water usage by farmers, ...

      The ideas are there but for some reason the tea baggers have lost thier courage and ability to see that we are all truly in this together.Clinging to what they have and ignoring that it could easily slip away from them too. Even the top 1% can lose this zero sum game. Honestly we could as a nation evaluate where we get the products we buy. Buying local reduces our energy footprint.  There are many solutions but none of them was going to get by  recalcitrant republicans. I have hopes of a democratic congress and senate which would be a real slap down of the reps.

      How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 03:38:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unemployment is a feature, not a bug... (10+ / 0-)

    for the GOP.  We talk about the War on Women, but they've been fighting another one, the War on Wages.

    This bunch has been trying to bust unions, and fight or eliminate minimum wages, because poverty wages are "good" for business. Of course, high unemployment is the ultimate means to depress wages. What a raise in this economy? Forget it. It's no surprise that they'd fight tooth and nail to stop anything that would reduce the unemployment rate.

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:01:10 PM PDT

  •  The republicans blaming President Obama (7+ / 0-)

    for not creating enough jobs is like Lucy blaming Charlie Brown for not kicking the football.

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:03:59 PM PDT

  •  They lie well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Laurence Lewis

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:05:13 PM PDT

  •  maybe if the gop (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    tried using a wee gee board they could find an issue to attack obama about, or maybe not.

  •  It is time to lay the blame (8+ / 0-)

    for the high unemployment rate exactly where it belongs - at the feet of the Republicans. It is time that they be held responsible:

    - For voting down the American Jobs Act and other jobs bills that would have reduced the unemployment rate well below 8%

    - They say uncertainty is a problem - they created major uncertainty when they held the full faith and credit of the US Government hostage during the debt ceiling crisis that they created

    - They then blame the Democrats for the cuts in defense spending resulting from that deal, even though it is a deal they forced! Furthermore, they decry the losses of jobs that cuts in this form of government spending will cause!  Are they claiming only military government spending creates jobs? It doesn't pass the laugh test.

    - They created more uncertainty by voting down extension of middle class tax cuts

    - They say they are just ensuring that taxes aren't raised on the wealthy, which they claim would hurt the economy at this time. However, they don't mind the added cuts to domestic programs that are otherwise required, and don't think that this will hurt anything.  In fact, the current House passed bill on the sequester removes the military cuts and doubles other cuts!

    - They are against QEIII.  Ryan is giving speeches on it saying it is "debasing the currency". Krugman has explained in "End This Depression Now" how US debt is still the most trusted in the world, and why all of Ryan's and others prediction of inflation fail time after time.

    -They are preventing fixes to infrastructure that would put people back to work, at bargain basement borrowing rates. We will not have this opportunity again.

    Here is what they are really about: In the short term, they are betting against the US.  They are praying for more bad jobs reports, and doing everything they can to ensure them by speaking out against and voting down jobs bills, and speaking out against the Fed. They rejoice in any crisis -such as that in the Middle East, all in the cause of shameful self interest, the country be damned.

    In the long term, they simply want to bankrupt the country so that we have to abandon Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.  If Mitt Romney and more teabaggers get elected, they will finish this job that Reagan and the Bushes started. They will blast a hole so deep that there will be no chance of recovery. Why do they want to impoverish seniors and increase misery in general?  Because these programs do not fit with their ideology - their successes disprove that ideology.

    It is time for the President and VP, in the debates, and surrogates like Bill Clinton, in speeches across the country, to hang the blame for the economy around the Republicans' necks. This does not make the President look weak - we need to trust the American People to understand exactly what is going on - and they do.  We need to keep the Presidency and the Senate, retake the House, and implement policies that will put us on a sustainable path that benefits all Americans, not just the privileged few.  

    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by orrg1 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:30:04 PM PDT

  •  The New York Times Sucks. It's the worst paper (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kaliope

    in the United States, using the gap between reputation and performance as a measure. Not one thing on their news pages can be taken at face value. They don't report facts, they communicate attitude. Their reporters have consistently lied and misinformed over the years to promote some agenda or other. (The right wing idiot covering Kerry's campaign is now reporting on the society pages.) They do far more harm than rags like the NY Post or Daily News, simply by virtue of their no longer deserved reputation. The day they publish their last issue will be a good day for journalism in America.

    Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

    by LongTom on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 02:39:11 PM PDT

  •  the republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, learn2Ctruth

    don't talk to anyone they yell at everyone about everything.

  •  Large corporations won't hire until (5+ / 0-)

    Large corporations won't hire until they get what they want. What to them is a favorable tax and regulatory environment. The same thing happened in the 1930's. Large corporations sitting on huge piles of money while ordinary people suffered. The same thing is happening today.

    In the 1930's large corporations claimed President Roosevelt was hindering an economic recovery with his socialist agenda. Large corporations and their republican minions claim to know what's best for the US and government should let them run the economy. We are hearing the same nonsense today.

    Laissez-faire free market economics doesn't work because large corporations and ultra wealthy investors use their economic power in a politically advantagous way to close off the economy. Since the 1970's they have used their clout to move manufacturing offshore and prevent correct thinking political leadership from creating incentives to move maunfacturing back to the US. The expansion during the Reagan and Clinton years was mostly in the service sector. Now, thanks to 8 years of republican rule from 2000-2008 many of those service sector jobs have disappeared.

    The republican claim to know how to sustain an economic recovery is hollow. During the Eisenhower years after World War 2 they were unable to sustain a recovery even with big spending on the cold war. It wasn't until Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Carter created the proper regulatory, tax, and monetary policies that the setting for the recoveries of the 1980's and 1990's happened. And look what that got Carter. A decent man was treated very shabbily. Instead of building on those policies the republicans pissed it all alway during the Bush 2 years.

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering.

    by harris stein on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 03:08:53 PM PDT

  •  Alternative view FDR (0+ / 0-)

    I myself am dubious about the claim that the Great Depression was resolved by Federal job creation. I am not the only one to believe that WW II and the reworking it demanded of the economy, plus the destruction of European infrastructure, provided the conditions that actually returned us to economic health. And Krugman is not only not the last word on the subject, he's not even the last Nobelist economic word. Here, for instance, is another take (if you have access to academic databases, you can call up the entire article): http://newsroom.ucla.edu/...

    •  keep trolling (3+ / 0-)

      the economy was recovering well before we entered the war, and the war spending itself was keynesian, although war should not be necessary to spur federal spending.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:27:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and btw (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      learn2Ctruth

      linking to a hoover institute economist is not exactly krugman or stiglitz.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:29:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why is it (0+ / 0-)

        that anything that even vaguely suggests disagreement must be the work of a troll? Give me a break!

        On the substance, of course a trained economist such as yourself (you are a trained economist, aren't you?) must be aware that there is a great deal of disagreement as to the causes and cures of the Great Depression. But you, of course, have nailed the thing so completely that it is not necessary that you say even one word in defense of your position. It is enough that you point out that the link (to something from UCLA, not to Hoover, which is at Stanford—do try to keep up) is to (gasp!) someone who is neither Stiglitz nor Krugman. The endorsement by yet another Nobel-winning economist, that's of no interest.

        I return you now to the very insular world which encases you.

  •  Can we dispense with the myth that Republicans (7+ / 0-)

    wish for job creation to occur under any circumstances? Their obstruction is not merely for political gain or out of indifference. They serve the owner/renter class and high unemployment results in lower wages, reduced benefits, more debt and an increasingly docile labor/consumer pool. Yes, it reduces demand which is largely offset by exports, on one hand, and is a consideration of a long term investment strategy not characteristic of today's fixation upon the quarterly report. If businesses of intrinsic-value-that-actually-make-stuff can be weakened by softened demand, then the Bain-like vultures out there have their meat to feed upon. There are public assets to target for privitization/profit that are more accessible during a panic.
    Without an existential threat on the stage any longer the existence of a middle class is, to their minds, superfluous; they don't even much like to use the phrase anymore or have a clue how to define it.

    I just flushed my Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Whaddya know, trickle down theory actually works somewhere.

    by cal2010 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 03:18:28 PM PDT

  •  A Villiage or Hermitage? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, learn2Ctruth

    I'm one of those who believe that no President can, on her/his own, create jobs.  So, MY concern during periods of difficult times is: How do we assist the unemployed while they look for work?  It's THEN that I think that the Presidency matters, because s/he can set the tone for empathetic policies.  

    Our current choices? Which man and which party wants to look out for the unemployed and their families as we climb out of economic toilet? Obama and Democrats.  

  •  Corporate profits? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Maybe they were smart to retain those earnings:

    "Earnings Outlook in U.S. Dims as Global Economy Slows"

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    •  or maybe you should stop trolling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ringer, learn2Ctruth

      they're sitting on more cash than they'll ever need. and of you understood the first thing about economics you would know that creating jobs builds the economy, while sitting on cash doesn't. you also would undestand that european austerity has devastated europe's economy, which is why we have this global slowdown.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:25:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the advice (0+ / 0-)

        Useless, because you can't tell the difference between a troll and a disagreement. My impression is that your economic understanding is on about the same plane.

        So, creating jobs builds the economy. Cash parked in company coffers does little. Now, why don't those companies expand and create some jobs?

        Could it be because they think that in current circumstances there will be no one to buy their products, as they watch their order books shrink? Or that they have no clear idea what it is that governments and banks are going to do in the near future? Or that they have little information on how their taxes are going to be assessed? Or that they are still wondering how Obamacare will affect their bottom lines?

        Must be that they don't understand the first things about economics, either. They probably just don't have your years of business experience.

        BTW, there is little European austerity outside of Greece, Spain, and Ireland. As the ECB has pointed out, EU expenditures overall (a couple of dozen countries) are up steadily. Europe's economy has not been devastated. But it is certainly heading towards rocky reefs, as a result of wildly out of control spending in a few countries, now hoping for the proverbial free lunch. So you've got the cart where the horses ought to be. But lets not let facts get in the way.

        •  keep trolling with the right wing rhetoric (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          weinerschnauzer

          which you do consistently.

          very good- no one will buy. we have a demand crisis. gee- how do you solve a demand crisis? government stimulus.

          and nice try with the spam on obamacare, which, btw, will reduce the deficit.

          and you clearly know nothing about european austerity, because it brought down sarkozy, crushed the tories in their council elections, and brought down the dutch government.

          keep trolling.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 08:13:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mr. Lewis (0+ / 0-)

            With all respect due—you probably shouldn't put up a diary for comment and then run away jeering, "Troll!, Right-wing rhetoric." Surprisingly, that's not much of a substantive response. You should also try looking up terms like, "spam."

            European austerity: You, not me, said that "european austerity has devastated europe's economy."

            It may be that the threat of 'austerity' has had political consequences, but nothing that could remotely be characterized as "the European economy" is now devastated. Might I recommend a subscription to the Economist?

            •  right (0+ / 0-)

              tell that to the record unemployed, or to the people of even the wealthiest nations, who are so pleased that they're bringing own governments. you either don't know what you're talking about or are being deliberately dishonest. either way, you are repeating right wing dogma. you are a troll.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 10:27:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Dishonesty (0+ / 0-)

                cuts two ways. You are possibly the only person I have read who characterizes Europe's economy overall as devastated. Certainly the Estonians don't, nor any of the recently arrived members of the EU who have seen their own prospects rise. And you may remember the Germans; I don't believe their economy is devastated. In fact, it is becoming obvious that you made the mistake of writing something about which you have almost no information whatsoever beyond vague generalities. But rather than own up to your misstatement, you can do no better than moan "Troll!" Really pitiful. And, not incidentally, wrong.

  •  T&R'd, bookmarked for community edu. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    Great talking points for canvassers.

  •  We all need jobs? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    Not really -- the old white billionaires creating the most misery in this country don't actually need jobs. They work purely because they enjoy making the rest of us needy.

  •  Wall Street Rewards the President (0+ / 0-)

    Remember he bailed them out big time and now they are giving him the vote of confidence he extended to them with a lot of money.  I understand that ultimately 7.7 trillion dollars was dumped into the world economy starting with our own Wall Street first in line.  The financial crisis was so much more terrible than first thought that I have to give Obama a pass on his move to keep the world liquid ($ flowing) enough to survive.  Other things are not so good like the level of regulation for the Wall Street bongo-boys and girls who brought us the toxic shock of a lifetime.

  •  Wow! GREAT diary. (0+ / 0-)

    My eyes glazed over half way through but I've been drinking.  Nice job.

    "Waiting her for Everyman, don't ask me if he'll show...maybe, I don't know." "You might think that it's (Earth) beautiful, if you didn't know. You might think that it's turning, but it's turning so slow." Both from Jackson Browne

    by rainmanjr on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:44:24 AM PDT

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