Friday, February 04, 2011

Some thoughts on the recovery-

I had a thought today that had to do with a recent news story that was explaining how there were several thousand people who have been out of work for so long, they've stopped looking for work and are no longer counted in the unemployment statistics. I don't have any first hand knowledge of this, but I'm guessing that if you don't continue to show up at the state unemployment offices and do something there, they stop counting you in the list of unemployed.
I've also read stories of companies that laid people off are doing quite well in other locations- in essence, shipping their jobs off shore. Some of these companies have taken Government Bailout money (in the form of reduced taxes) without putting workers back on the payroll.
I wondered why all this money was being directed to the Recovery and wasn't working well as compared to the great depression and the WPA. I was also curious to wonder why there was no concerted effort , like the WPA, happening now.
I found this site :
http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/default.aspx
and there's a very cool interactive map which shows all the projects funded by the Recovery program. I have to be honest when I say any projects In my location did not result in any new jobs being created. I could be generous and say that for a few examples it at least kept the company and their employees working.
This is part of the problem- the government has decided to filter the recovery money through companies and the companies are not hiring workers or re-hiring workers, instead, they are using the tax breaks and grant money to move their business elsewhere. The money meant to put Americans back to work is not doing the job.
During the depression, the Government created jobs, but the money went directly from the Government to the employees to work on a variety of projects, from building to documenting
what life was like in the US. We have fabulous collections of art, photography, and writings as well as hundreds of bridges, public works projects, dams and roads that all were paid for by a government wanting to put the money in the pockets of Americans.
I'm not seeing that scope of work in the current projects. Are you?

3 Comments:

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Dijanne Cevaal said...

Hi Barba- and yes i read soemthing interesting recently that the government and WPA directly paid artists to be involved in art projects as they were considered to be an important part of the recovery- a kind of wholistic view of society - all we see is sports stars getting paid more and more and ridiculous b rate celebs being splashed money by ever hungrier celeb mags....

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Gloria said...

Yes, if you don't qualify for unemployment, they don't count you in the umemployment stats any longer. You can usually add 5 or 6% to the numbers you hear on news to get the "actual" umemployed.
The recovery money did help the states (even a Wisconsin Rep Senator slipped and admitted this on TV).
But, as you stated, most companies filtered the money elsewhere..we should have had Public Works jobs primarily. I follow politics closely (drives my family nuts).
I try to check out both sides and research the facts behind what they are saying to the public. You would be amazed at how many outright lies are being told by the Republican leaders right now...and I'm a Republican myself so I'm very ashamed of them.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger Gloria said...

Also, something else that makes me very sad is that so many of our US companies are multinational now and there CEOs are saying they don't have the "national patriotic" feeling toward any one country so much now.
However, they do spend millions lobbying Washington to keep free trade going and to not enforce the agreements that make it fair to the US as well as the other countries. NAFTA, signed by President Clinton, was the start of all this. It was supported by both parties...wonder if they all regret it now?
Today, both parties are beholding to corporations. I wish we could do away with private funding of elections. That would end most the problems we are having with the political corruption here in our country that affects jobs.
Republicans (Reagan and Bush) did away with most Govt oversight of Bank and Wall Street financial transactions...and we got the great recession in return. Unfortuately people tend to be greedy and they don't worry about others unless they are held accountable. The new Finance Reform Bill (too weak) has new limits on speculator commodities such as oil...these limitations were to be implemented in Jan of this year. They are still not implemented on Wall Street as of today. That is why gas prices have gone up so high...there is plenty of it available..just costs a lot more thanks to speculators on Wall Street.
Republicans also stopped funding for enforcement of this reform after they took over the House in January. I'm still waiting for arrests to be made associated with the financil melt down that started in 2008.
I'm a Republican who is totally ticked off at my party...they have gone too far toward Libertarian views...which is almost no government.
Well, there goes our highways, bridges,schools, workers rights, public warning systems, food and buiding safety inspections, minimum wage, workplace safety, fire and police protection,... just about everything we depend upon and scream about when we don't have them.
The constitution states the Gov't is repsonsible for the "welfare of our citizens". The argument between Repubs and Dems is how we define these words.
Over past 20 plus years, the rich continue to get richer and the middle class is shrinking and sinking into the poverty level of income. There is proof of this...a measuring system that is used nationally to compare incomes of citizens over the years..name of this system escapes me for now.
I think I will be changing political party soon. However, I also think I have more access to certain information and more of a voice to stop this madness in my party as a Republican...though I will probably never vote as one again. "Shame, Shame"!
Ok, now you know why I drive my family "nuts". Just wish more people would check out the facts and try to learn more as you are doing. Then they could make an informed decision.
We take time to thoroughly check out houses, cars, furniture, and some other things before we buy them. After we buy them, we may notice and examine problems with those same items... and then we either repair or replace them. Why don't we do the same with the people who controll our country?
My last word is this: I spent over 20 years in the US military protecting regular folks rights to make choices and have some freedom...I think they can spend the little time needed each day or week to get all the facts that will help them keep those freedoms and choices. Anyone who depends on just one cable news channel or newspaper to keep them informed is as ignorant, or maybe even more so, as they would have been if they had not had any news at all.

 

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