If Politics is Toxic Now, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Capture.JPGIf politics is toxic now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. During the reign of St. Ronnie of Reagan, I used to think, “You know, politicians talk some serious shit these days.” But, Reagan was a kindly grandpa compared to the current lot. He may have done a lot of things that the country still suffers from, but he also managed to do some good. And the reason was that Congressional leaders were reasonable people who understood you had to drop the posturing and downright hatefulness at the end of the day and go play a round of golf with the other side.

Flash forward to Newt Gingrich, infant terrible of the right-wing. He came to office with an agenda to shake things up, but not in a good way. He paid the price with a short term, but went on to become the right’s idea of a one man intelligentsia — at least until Ted Cruz came along.

But Newt begat Tom DeLay who wasn’t called “The Hammer” for nothing. Since then there have been a long line of “leaders” from both parties with a penchant for spending a lot of time talking about what assholes the opposing party is instead of cooperating.

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Only Other People With Jobs Create Jobs

Sinking Your Teeth Into a Job

Here’s a dirty little secret: Rich people, Congress, corporations, and especially Presidents don’t create jobs. Other people with jobs create jobs.

The right knocks Obama for poor job creation, though Paul Ryan and others of his ilk tend to forget George the Missing’s was worse and they all played big parts in making it so. The knocks may even be deserved, who knows?

There is no way to count jobs accurately, especially given the many variables involved. At best, we only get a gross picture.We could do just about as well tracking the amount of lettuce sold at Safeway. But, we are spectacularly unable to know whether political policies are responsible.

If the number shows Obama created 20,000 jobs and HP carries through with its threat to lay off 20,000 people, is that a gain or loss? How do we know if world economic conditions caused the change, Obama slipped some policy successes past a uniformly useless Congress, or Meg Whitman simply got a wild hair up her ass?

If it were simply a matter of tax rates, or even spending, we wouldn’t have a problem. Corporations sat on record profits over the last 4 years, yet they haven’t been hiring robustly. They even got huge corporate welfare to sweeten the pot. The 1 percenters didn’t create jobs. They simply reinvested huge sums of money in companies already fat with cash and not hiring. Then, they reaped the benefits of even more money coming back to them – even though most can’t spend the money coming in. There are only so many 28-room summer cottages you need.

Congress is perhaps the least efficient job creator, though the loudest complainers. Bogged down in internecine warfare over everything, Congress doesn’t seem to do anything except blame each other, do everything in their power to create conditions to blame each other, and accept money from corporations and rich people with huge amounts of money to maintain the status quo.

Even if all these people, social classes, and institutions ignored their own self-interests and busted their asses to improve things, the world is an interconnected place these days – especially economically. Even if we pulled off an economic miracle the likes of which the world has never seen, but the rest of the world sits idle, there will be few jobs. That’s because, say it with me, “The only way to create jobs is other people with jobs.” The days of America pulling the world’s ass out of the multi-trillion dollar economic fire are over.

Obama did some successful and not so successful things, especially since he was dealing with an unprecedented problems. Economists disagree on the verdict and partisan politicians and a divided electorate are ready to lie and come to blows over it.

Romyan are a cipher at this point. They haven’t tried yet and the policies they advocate are either ghosty, untried, or impossible to attribute as successes or failures. The only sure thing is that whatever they do will cease being what they promise on Day 1. The world is a place of constant change and policy changes with it regardless of campaign promises.

There are legitimate arguments – plus an overwhelming number of illegitimate ones – for and against both candidates. The only sure outcome is that people will go back to work when they go back to work and there is little of substance anyone can control in that calculus. Mrs. Chicken, meet Mr. Egg.

…and that means this Labor Day is a monumental buzz kill.

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