Right now the US economy is stuck in a vicious circle. Potential employers are not expanding production, so they are not hiring, because demand for their products and services is low. Demand for their products and services is low, because so many people are unemployed, and far too many of those that are do not make enough to support their families, let alone consume additional goods and services. So many people are unemployed and underemployed, because potential employers are not expanding production, so they are not hiring. Recovery demands more and better jobs.
In President Obama’s first term, the fiscal stimulus and the auto-industry rescue of 2009 created and preserved millions of jobs. But the stimulus ended years ago, replaced with temporary measures that have been insufficient to propel the economy forward. Health care reform in 2010 was a major step in the effort to support the middle class, but its broad effects will be felt only in the years and decades to come.
In recent years, the administration and Congress have been consumed with deficit reduction, which is antithetical to job creation because it curbs government spending when the economy is weak. Unless Mr. Obama can shift policy away from premature austerity and toward ways to bolster demand and foster investment, job growth will remain sluggish and unemployment high.
What has been missing for years is a forceful labor agenda — one that calls for more jobs, but also has as its goal rising wages coupled with robust hiring.
Mr. Obama can take an important step in that direction by placing his next labor secretary at the center of his economic team. The first-term labor secretary, Hilda Solis, was largely sidelined, a reflection of the administration’s focus on the recovery of Wall Street, not Main Street. Some of the names that have been floated for the job — including Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan — show that Mr. Obama is seeking someone of high stature, but any secretary’s ability to be a transformative force will depend on the president’s support… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <NY Times>
Photo credit: A Taxing Matter
Note the differences between recoveries from the great Republican Depression, and the Republican Recession. So fall all the income growth has gone to the super-rich while the rest of us are losing. That is why me need programs similar to those instituted by Roosevelt in the 1930s to get people working, give them money to spend, thus creating demand for more products and services to provide potential employers the incentive to increase production. That will, in turn, increase tax revenue for the government to eliminate the deficit.