Job, Jobs, Where are the Jobs?
The talking point is simple. Average Americans are not spending money, and the economy is stalled, because they don't have much money. It's no use giving tax breaks and low interest rates to product manufacturers, because the people who would normally buy their products don't have money. People need jobs.
It is debatable whether the American public is responsible for 70% of domestic spending on goods and services, but by sheer number their spending potential is huge. They might make up 70% of domestic spending if they had money to spend, but they don't have good jobs.
Why not? Government policies over the past several decades, supply-side (trickle-down) tax policies and corporate globalization policies, have created a record wealth gap. A study by three Citigroup analysts indicates that the top 1% of Americans earn as much annual income as the bottom 60% and the top 1% possess as much wealth as the bottom 90% of Americans. The analysts concluded “economic growth [in the US] is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few.”  This is borne out by recent statistics showing that growth in domestic product sales have declined at discount stores and have grown in high-end stores and luxury products.
The government needs to set policies to put money in the pockets of average Americans, and I'm not talking about a $600 check; it needs to be tens of thousands per year, which simply put means temporarily creating jobs. The money for these jobs needs to come from the places that it is being hoarded: The richest 1% of Americans and transnational corporations who have benefited greatly from government policies over the past few decades.
After people have had government-sponsored jobs for several years, they will have the money to buy more products and services they need. This will create a market for private sector products and, in turn, support more jobs in the private sector. Eventually, the government can get out of business of job creation.
And yes, these jobs will require more government revenue in the near-term, but will also generate new revenues. In the long run, we'll be more likely able to pay down the US Government debt.
Agree? Let policy makers know:
Update: Listen to a professional, Bill Gross, founder and co-chief investment officer of the investment management firm Pimco. "America’s debt is not its biggest problem", Washington Post, August 10, 2011.
1. Can the Middle Class be Saved? Atlantic Monthly, September, 2011.