Paul Krugman shows the 2009 economic stimulus was not enough. We've shown as have many others, tax cuts for the rich do not create jobs. Yet, many criticized the $787 Billion Stimulus bill as spending, loaded with political favors and misdirected funds. For example, 84% of the green jobs went offshore and build America bonds were yet another gift for Goldman Sachs.
The problem with the original stimulus wasn't that it wasn't big enough. It was not smart enough. What we need is true domestic stimulus. If you're going to spend our money to stimulate our economy, stop shipping our dough to China instead.
Is this possible? Can one stop the offshore outsourcing of jobs, especially jobs created with our hard earned taxpayer dollars? Is there anything that can be done which actually goes to American workers? Why yes there is. First and foremost, all stimulus funding should have two mandatory requirements, Buy American and Hire America. If a government is enacting Keynesian economic stimulus, they must keep that spending within the domestic economy they wish to stimulate. The last thing America's workers need is stimulating China's economy and generating more jobs for them.
We also know there has been no job growth since 1990 in any occupational category that can be offshore outsourced.
So, instead of austerity versus spending, how about some large economic structural changes? For example, we know the China trade deficit has a lot to do with their currency manipulation. We know NAFTA style trade agreements have cost millions of jobs. We know that multinational corporations move jobs, plants, manufacturing offshore.
Why not address the real problems instead of this never ending banter which does not? After all, it's only America on the line at this point.
It's all well and good to propose WPA, and copy the New Deal era CCC. Considering the 25.2% unemployment rate for teens, a CCC sounds like an outstanding idea. Yet when there are 8 million illegal workers taking jobs that could be done by America's teens, and Democrats refuse to enact and enforce requirements of U.S. citizenship, for Stimulus jobs, what's the point? Yet another jobs program for Mexico's worker overflow?
Infrastructure jobs are great. They are an investment in America's future, needed for America's safety, to improve business conditions, and will provide much needed jobs. But they do nothing when infrastructure projects are handed to Chinese companies:
First, in February, ABC News reported that almost every Americana-themed trinket sold in the Smithsonian Institute is made in China. Then news hit that San Francisco is importing its new Bay Bridge from China. Then came the New York Times dispatch about the Big Apple awarding Chinese state-subsidized firms huge taxpayer-funded contracts to "renovate the subway system, refurbish the Alexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem River and build a new Metro-North train platform near Yankee Stadium."
Astounding as all of that is, it was quickly topped by news last week reminding us that the new Martin Luther King monument in Washington was designed by a Chinese government sculptor and assembled by low-wage Chinese workers.
Further, since consumers are 70% of GDP, all eyes look to the U.S. middle class as consumers, even when talking about income inequality. That's a fundamental problem. There needs to be a shift to look at America's middle class as producers, not just some hapless group of credit card crazed shoppers.
How about a recall of all CEOs who ship jobs offshore? The AAM has a great idea. Why not at least kick these Benedict Arnolds out of the White House.
How about a domestic tax on any corporation who offshore outsourced and a tax credit for any business who brings back jobs which were offshore outsourced previously? After all, that is the original point of the corporate tax code, to use incentives to generate economic good behavior in the national interest, not to enable more tax havens and double dutch loopholes.
Ever hear these ideas presented by D.C. political leadership? Of course not, their corporate donors won't let them.
Projected effects of stimulus are represented as GDP multipliers. One needs a multiplier greater than 1 for that act to be effective in comparison to doing nothing. A multiplier is how much more economic output will occur for every $1 of additional spending.
For example, U.S. manufacturing has a strong multiplier effect:
Every dollar in final sales of manufactured products supports $1.40 in output from other sectors of the economy. Manufacturing has the largest multiplier of all sectors, with only information; agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; and construction coming close. The wholesale and retail trade sectors have the lowest multipliers. Wholesale and retail trade sectors generate only 55 cents and 58 cents,
The Buy American requirement is estimated to increase jobs in U.S. manufacturing by 33%. Just a 1% increase by Americans to buy goods made in America results in 200,000 new jobs.
Of the CBO multiplier estimates, the two strongest are government purchases and infrastructure spending. That said, government purchase, infrastructure GDP multipliers have wide variance, from 1 to 2.5. May we suggest it is only by buy American, or domestically produced goods, that one can get an economic output multiplier on the higher side.
One might notice the insanity of Democrats versus Republicans on hiring U.S. citizens, preferred, and permanent residents. Democrats rail against offshore outsourcing, while the 2009 Stimulus was littered with loopholes to ship jobs overseas. Republicans decry illegal workers, all the way enabling more foreign guest workers in order to fire Americans and take their jobs. Literally Obama is trying to import foreigner workers to displace American professional and technical workers, all under the guise of a manufacturing program. Global labor arbitrage is worker displacement, whether that replacement worker is sitting in Wyoming or Bangalore India is unskilled labor or skilled.
Bottom line, a labor market is supposed to be a domestic labor market and Americans need those jobs. Does it make sense to use America's taxpayer money, money straight from their pockets, to create jobs.....for peoples of other nations? In terms of economic stimulus and multipliers, with an official 9.1% unemployment rate, and some estimates of over 29 million Americans out of work, desperate for a job, no, it does not.
Mandatory Hire America and Buy American requiements will be attacked from special interest groups with a vengeance. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, per their offshore outsourcing multinational corporate agenda, with scream that's protectionist. The left will declare, that's racist, to not create jobs for undocumented immigrants. The right will shout that's anti-business, for curtailing offshore outsourcing and the so called cheaper supply chain. At this point, can America afford more policy that doesn't add up, doesn't make any economic sense that even someone with a 2nd grade education can figure out?
America cannot afford some things, it's true, and the number one thing the United States cannot afford is our corrupt political system landscape and unbelievable lies on what does what to the U.S. economy. We simply must end economic creationism, lobbyist white paper spin and policy agendas declared to do the opposite of their real intent.
We need mandatory hire America and buy American in any bill.