The mid-west has been called the back bone of the Nation. That area was home to industries such as US Steel, Bethlehem Steel, virtually all of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. Also mining industries thrived all along the Appellations and the railroads were in their hay day. The whole area was the blue collar job center of America. People from all over the country moved to the northern states because that was where the work was.
Those cities throughout the mid-west began their slow decline in the 1950s and early 1960s when foreign competition became more dependable for delivery, quality and of course cost. Cities such as Allentown, PA, Gary, IN, Youngstown, OH and Detroit, MI among many others became evidence of the rust belt and some became not much more than ghost towns and gangland crime havens.
Rust belt cities still exist much to the memory of their former glory. Their residents go through the motions of living because that is what they have always done. Be sure though, those motions of living are more deliberate now than when those cities thrived when the industries that gave them the reason to be were still in their city. Without industry the people's pay has declined because available work is more service sector and many that remain there are greatly underemployed as a result. These rust belt cities have been virtually abandoned, given upon by industry due to fair trade and globalization. Government too has abandoned those folks, we the people and ignored just the same as the industries that once employed them.
Why then is all this of interest here to the people in West Michigan? It is because that bit of history is similar to the current events happening in Washington and in Lansing. Government is attempting to take the lead in bring employment to the people in the rust belt, the former job center of America. Like so many campaign promises government is displaying the next latest great Stimulus Package and the 2011 Budget as being the purveyor of jobs. According to all accounts people will have work because of the Stimulus plans as it is proposed.
In reality, what can the government do for the taxpaying voters, for we the people? Not much!
For one government does not create jobs, free enterprise creates jobs. Investment by small and large business make jobs and jobs create more money for people to spend. Secondly, more money for workers to spend helps to grow the economy because of improved buying power. Thirdly, a growing economy allows for business expansion which creates even more jobs and more worker financial well being.
So then where does government belong in all that? Government has the responsibility to provide for an infrastructure and a political climate for free enterprise to function. Then government must get out of the way and let the private sector thrive, expand and make money. Business exists for one reason; to make money. That entire premise is contrary to progressive beliefs. Those who support in big government and more social program doctrines believe businesses exist to provide jobs. Because all the social programs are in place in their progressive world government would be correct to tax that profit money. The money would then go to pay for more social programs and by government standards, create jobs Instead of allowing business to run its business and use that profit for reinvestment and wage increases and perhaps even hiring more employees, grow the US economy.
Sound familiar? That is President Obama and Governor Granholm's approach to job creation. They share a liberal progressive belief, as do the Democratic Leadership in Congress that government will provide for the people. All that need be done is to tax those with wealth and create jobs for those who do not have them.
Problem is along with that belief is people are to give up certain rights of free choice and basic liberties as guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. "The Left doesn't want to govern, it wants to rule.... The Left is not about principles. It is about itself. It is about power. Now that President Obama has been politically weakened, look for the mask to come back on. The words of sweet reason, the entreaties to 'make a deal,' and feigned affection will now make a surprise reappearance. When the Left cannot rule, it will try to govern. Until the next time" said columnist Richard Fernandez. With that government is now going to focus upon job creation and putting Americans back to work.
There is however still a flirtation by the Democratic Leaders for tax increases to be levied upon everyone, including small business. Part of the revised Stimulus Bill that was presented Thursday, February 11 by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) was for $15 billion with $13 billion of that being planned for Social Security, FICA tax abatement to small business who in 2010 hire those that have been unemployed. That sounds like a great gesture. But has it occurred to anyone else that the tax money that is to be used for the business share of Social Security Tax is going to be paid by the government with other borrowed money that will have increased the deficit further. "The fatal attraction of government is that it allows busybodies to impose decisions on others without paying any price themselves. That enables them to act as if there were no price, even when there are ruinous prices, paid by others."*
Now, with a weak economy that is still on life support and job growth being near strangling stagnation for government to use borrowed, soon to be taxed in order to repay, money to pay FICA taxes, is that really a Stimulus Bill? Businesses are not growing and creating more jobs because the economy is too uncertain. Job creation becomes with the FICA tax incentive is secondary when a company will still create unnecessary labor burden and excess inventory for those businesses. "The White House is predicting growth of 95,000 jobs per month in 2010, but not even the Associated Press buys that. The AP notes the obvious: companies are unlikely to hire workers just to receive a tax break.' Besides, after hiding the loss of over 800,000 additional jobs in 2009, who can trust any figures that these elitists produce?"** Where is all the help for the rust belt's jobless? Where are the $13 billion worth of jobs when there is no economy to support them?
Again, what can the government do for the taxpaying voters, for we the people that are unemployed? Not Much!
* Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and columnist for Townhall.com
** Mark Alexander, the Patriot Post, February 12, 2010