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My Turn: How to end long-term unemployment in America

Completely unnecessary
LTD Associates/Mother Jones

The Bureau of Labor Statistics told us in November that 10.9 million Americans were unemployed.
Not good.
But, wait a minute . . . it gets worse.
Some economists estimate that the total number of Americans who are unemployed or underemployed exceeds 20 million.
I’m not talking about the statistic.
I’m saying that what is absurd is that the richest nation in the world refuses to create enough jobs for its people.
How is it that the men and women who lead this nation refuse to come up with an economically viable, long-term solution to this completely unnecessary situation?
Are they just too lazy to do the work or don’t they care enough to assess the nation’s needs for products and services and to then find ways to design, develop, produce, and deliver those products and services?
Either way, why should the politicians who run this country get away with this travesty?
After all, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize that if our so-called leaders had the political courage to switch the national priority from playing self-serving political games to creating millions of new jobs, we could end long-term unemployment in America.
The federal government would ask each state to objectively evaluate its educational, energy, environmental, health care, infrastructure, security, and transportation needs and develop strategies to design, develop, produce, and deliver the products and services required to meet those needs.
California, for example might need to earthquake-proof thousands of commercial and residential properties while New York might need to replace antiquated water treatment facilities in selected communities while Michigan might need to weatherproof thousands of commercial buildings and homes while Connecticut might need to rebuild hundreds of crumbling bridges while Florida might need to build a statewide high-speed rail system while Illinois might need to rebuild hundreds of crumbling K-12 schools and on and on it would go.
How many millions of jobs could be created throughout fifty states?
Millions more jobs than we have now . . . perhaps as many as 20 million or more.
I know what you’re thinking: Davy, are you out of your ever-lovin mind? How on earth could we ever hope to pay for all those projects?
Think a $1.6 trillion down payment might help?
According to Citizens for Tax Justice, nearly 300 Fortune 500 corporations – Apple, Coca-Cola, GE, IBM, Microsoft, and too many other familiar entities to list here – are sitting on $1.6 trillion in U.S. dollars in foreign profits to avoid having to pay U.S. taxes.
What if Congress and the White House told those corporations that they could bring all that money back to the U.S. and pay no taxes whatsoever . . . so long as they invested the entire amount in the new national priority I’ve outlined here?
Big corporations would save tons of money on taxes and could be guaranteed to get their money back over time in treasury-backed securities, plus interest.
And, millions of Americans would be back on the job . . . paying income taxes, Medicare taxes, social security taxes and sales taxes, while buying homes, cars, groceries, clothing, computers, furniture, televisions and more, subsequently creating millions more jobs for millions more taxpaying Americans.
Who could ask for anything more?

Comments? Questions? Contact the author at: or Tweet: @DavyZJones

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