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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/17/16

Back of the Envelope Calculation for Providing Millions of WPA-like Jobs with Helicopter Greenbacks

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Lincoln Greenbacks

A bigger tent for Democrats, to let in progressives, would require offering a PEACE TRUCE to all our government's opponents in the Middle East! It could be an OFFER of a deal: both sides would engage in a stand - still cease fire unless fired upon, with the U.S. enacting an embargo against our selling more weapons to parties in contested regions, while the opponents agree to cease sponsorship and encouragement of "terror" raids in the United States and Europe. Our bipartisan imperialists, like in Vietnam, first offended Wahabis in Saudi, then destroyed Iraq, the fault line of Sunni - Shia Islam, then mission crept all over the Middle East. It's TIME to STOP drone murdering among the 1.4 billion Muslims!

A second thing, the income starvation ongoing since the Crash of 2009 could be GREATLY EASED by creating "Helicopter Money," Greenbacks, and offering several million government WPA - like, CCC - like, JOBS, full time government jobs. at living wage, $15 / hr., targeted especially at inner city blacks, and the TEA PARTY blue collar whites of the industrial south, Appalachia and the Ozarks, as well as S. American immigrants and refugees. No less an authority than Ben Bernanke has several times pointed out publicly that this could be done without necessarily terrible consequences! Greenbacks aren't extracted by taxation from earned income! They don't add to the national debt! Also, it's a baseless TABOO that they automatically skyrocket an economy into hyperinflation! Government could experiment with them! Set a control: to raise CPI inflation from current 2% per year to 3% per year. When that's reached, stop the program. The dollar will weaken somewhat. That's good for American exporters, i.e., JOBS at home!

President Obama's stimulus package was based on a "model" which claimed that allocating money for job creation would automatically create private sector jobs and that for every consequent 1% increase in GDP there would be 1 million jobs created. It should be amazing to Americans of common sense that enormous sums of money are allocated to mitigating or solving problems on bases so weak. But establishment "economics" is often just that weak! The clearest example of cause in effect is that, in physics, in which one billiard ball in motion hits another and causes the other to move. Nothing in economics is ever nearly that clear! In particular, the claim that tax cuts will cause job increases should be seen by everybody as rubbish! When taxation on an income is cut, the only clear conclusion is that the recipient of the cut could now either hire some additional labor or keep the money for him or itself. Provided only that people in poverty, income insufficiency would take such government jobs, there is in this proposal a clear causal connection.

There's plenty of needed and valuable low-tech work like house -- by - house environmental adaptation, neighborhood reconstruction, clinic building, National Park backlogs, National Day Care and Pre-K Education, and civil defense anti-terror patrolling of grids. Here's a back of the envelope calculation: I want to produce 1 million jobs at living wages of $15/hr. for 35 hr. weeks with 4 weeks paid vacation. That's $15 x 35 = $525 x 52 = $27,300 x 1,000,000 = $27,300,000,000 ($Twenty seven billion, Three hundred million.) Let some pay be cash handed out and some electronically allocated by stewards -- managers who see to it that some necessities (e.g. rent) and family debt is paid down. Make that 10% for auditing to assure that people hired actually do the work plus stewardship, plus a transportation grant to get to and from worksites. That totals = $30,030,000, 000 ($Thirty billion, thirty million.) Now lets employ class based affirmative action for families, to provide 1 million jobs each, mainly for the most distressed diverse groups in America: 1. black urban poor Americans; 2. white, industrial "blue collar" Americans, and 3. rural American families. Let the program run for 3 years, $90,090,000, 000 ($Ninety billion, ninety million.)

Here's a comparison. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of January 2009, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama, appropriated $787 billion for recovery, 40% in tax cuts. The President's Council of Economic Advisors estimated it would create 3,375,000 jobs. Yet between Dec 2008 and June 2010, instead, 1.38 million jobs disappeared. (JackRasmus, Obama's Economy, pg. 38 -- 41.) Later the administration claimed that the Recovery Act saved 640,000 jobs (at a cost of $1.3 million per job, Rasmus, pg., 59.) Such programs are so expensive because if you insist on paying private enterprise to create jobs, you have to bribe it with tax cuts and other government subsidies. It's much cheaper to hire income starved family member workers directly and pay them directly!

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I could be Bernie Sanders older brother by similarity. I was born in Manhattan, 1940, he, about a year later, in Brooklyn. I too am a white male American. A retired college professor of philosophy. We both were born of Jewish parents. I was (more...)

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