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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Syria, War and What Our Government Should Be Doing (guest quote)

"While all eyes are on Syria and America’s response, the real economy in which most Americans live is sputtering. More than four years after the recession officially ended, 11.5 million Americans are unemployed, many of them for years. Nearly 7 million have given up looking for work. The share of the population working or seeking a job is nearly the lowest in thirty years. The unemployment rate among high-school dropouts is 11 percent; for blacks, 12.6 percent. And the median wage keeps dropping, adjusted for inflation.

A decent society would put people to work -- even if this required more government spending on roads, bridges, ports, pipes, parks and education. And we can afford it. Deficit hawks in both parties don’t want you to know this but the deficit as a proportion of the total economy is shrinking fast: It’s on track to be only 4 percent by the end of this month, when the fiscal year ends. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts it will be only 3.4 percent in the fiscal year starting October 1. What does this mean? Consider that the average ratio of the deficit to the GDP over the past 30 years has been 3.3 percent. So the deficit is barely a problem at all. (We’re still projected to have large deficits starting 10 years from now because of all the aging boomers needing health care.) 

 A decent society would also lift the minimum wage and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (a wage subsidy) so no family with a full-time worker has to live in poverty." -- Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator.

A "decent society" would have leaders in government who would do the right thing for their country, their own political party be damned, so if/when the nation had the worst economy in 80 years, since the Great Depression, and also had collapsing infrastructure, literally, they'd pass a jobs/infrastructure/projects bill.

That's what a "decent society" would do.
Links:  Robert Reich

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