Monday, March 07, 2011

Ripple Out Economics

This is a refreshing find among the usual dismal daily news. A real liberal solution to unemployment. Disdaining the rush to jump on the ill-advised austerity train wreck, a "liberal think tank is calling on Congress to embrace a $382 billion stimulus plan to lower unemployment." The projected gains are impressive.
Officials with Demos told reporters on a conference call that their new stimulus plan would create 8.2 million government jobs over two years while lowering unemployment from 8.9 percent to 4.5 percent.
This looks like a great plan to me. While the GOP claim that the ARRA stimulus spending was a failure is entirely false, it was always clear that the plan relied too much on invisible tax breaks and preserving existing jobs. Which surely helped but what the White House, and the nation, needed was a highly visible job creation program with easily perceptible results, that put more of the unemployed back to work. From the summary, the Demos plan makes sense, economically and politically:
There is, in fact, a far less expensive way to create jobs than the strategies adopted so far to combat the Great Recession. This alternative approach doesn’t require us to wait for the economy to recover in order to put people back to work. It puts people back to work as a way of nourishing the recovery. It’s a strategy for producing a job-led recovery rather than the jobless recovery we have been experiencing so far.

The recovery strategy described in this report is conceptually simple: Create jobs for the unemployed directly and immediately in public employment programs that produce useful goods and services for the public’s benefit. What this does for the unemployed is obvious. They get decent work while they wait for the recession to run its course. But in addition to this direct job creation effect, the strategy can simultaneously deliver a fiscal stimulus to the economy that is comparable in its indirect job creation effect to the types of stimulus spending included in programs like the ARRA.
Now if we could just convince our self-absorbed, wussy Dems in Congress to run with it, instead of kowtowing to the false GOP deficit fearmongering, we'd be getting somewhere.

It would be an easy sell. Cheaper than the cost of the tax cuts for billionaires and would put money directly into the little guy's pocket. Those tens of millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans would spend their paychecks with joy and gratitude. We can call it "ripple out economics."

It's not like the hippies haven't been saying this for the last two years. Create a real jobs program, a counterproposal that stands in clear contrast to the "job killing" agenda of the GOP and dare the Republicans to vote against it in the House. Push it through with the majority in the Senate. Do that and 2012 could be the biggest Democratic landslide election in the history of the United States.

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Blogger Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Sigh... Yes the wussy Dems in Congress (and the White House) are driving me insane.

So good to see you posting regularly in my Limerick-Offs. Thanks!
Mad Kane

6:18:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Hey Mad. Loving the limerick offs. So much fun with so many joining in. Thrilled I've been catching the emails in time to play lately.

9:12:00 PM  

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