Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where are the jobs?

The big news in the business world today is that American business had profits of an annualized rate of $1.66 TRILLION between July and September of this year. That is a record. Those are the biggest profits ever recorded by American businesses. And yet these same American businesses are constantly whining that the Obama Administration doesn't love them and that they have created an environment that is hostile to business. Personally, I wouldn't mind a share of that hostility!

It was also announced today that the economy grew faster during that same period than was previously reported. The growth rate was 2.5% instead of 2%. That's nothing to shout about, but it is a clear indication that, thanks to government assistance that pulled it out of a deep, deep hole, the economy is moving in the right direction. We've now had five consecutive quarters when the GDP grew.

So why hasn't this good news for business translated into more job creation? While some jobs are being created, the unemployment rate stubbornly stands at around 9.6%. Businesses are just sitting on their profits, giving bonuses to upper management, and rewarding their shareholders, while at the same time doing little or nothing to put people back to work. Simultaneously, they are complaining, bitching, and griping about the "anti-business" president and giving money to his foes who are trying to bring him down. Talk about ingrates!

Since Obama came into office, American taxpayers have bailed out General Motors and Chrysler and have given hundreds of billions of dollars to mortgage and insurance companies that were on the ropes. Tax cuts have been given to businesses that were supposed to pass this money along by expanding their businesses and hiring new workers. An economy that was teetering on the edge of Armageddon has been brought back from the brink and stabilized. So where are the jobs, Mr. Businessmen?

Republicans never tire of telling us that all we need to do is make the Bush tax cuts for the very, very wealthy permanent and that will create jobs. Well, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy have been in effect for ten years, and, during most of those years - the years of the Bush presidency - there was negative job creation. Though that has turned around in the last two years, the hole was so deep that it is taking a while to climb out. But, according to Republican orthodoxy, there never should have been a hole, because those tax cuts for the rich should have magically created all kinds of jobs!

In this time of the highest profits in recorded history when the very rich have had the benefit of the lower "job creating" taxes for ten years, it is high time we asked those people and their Republican allies, "WHERE ARE THE JOBS???"

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