Written by Frank Li
Labor Day just passed by. Let's focus on jobs. Here are my three succinct positions:
Jobs: High unemployment is merely a symptom, not a root cause.
Darn jobs: The more we try to fix the symptom, without addressing the root cause, the worse the symptom will become, overall.
Steve Jobs: It is the entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs that have made America truly great, by creating not only millions of real jobs, but also some brand new industries.
How bad is the jobs situation in America today? Here is a good article: Will the Real Unemployment Rate Please Stand Up? Here is a chart from it:
Want to read more? Here are two interesting articles:
2. Darn jobs
Most, if not all, American politicians worry about their own jobs only, nothing else, such as Americans' jobs. Because of that, they keep trying to fix the so called "jobs problem," a symptom, without even attempting to identify the root cause. Since, as in all politics, the appearance is more important for election/re-election than the reality, the easiest way for them to appear to address the jobs problem is to keep throwing money at it. After all, it's not their money, anyway! Three examples:
Unemployment Isn't the Fed's Only Job. Yes, even the Federal Reserve has been targeting the unemployment rate to lower it to 6.5%. With the economy growing at around 2% per year for the foreseeable future, we are not even able to accommodate the population growth (which has a lot to do with illegal immigration). As a result, the only way to achieve 6.5% is via the reduction of the participation rate. The Fed is surely aware of that, but is pretending not to know, even as millions of Americans have left the job market in frustration! In short, the Fed serves the politicians, not America, in this particular instance, at least!
U.S. Cuts Take Increasing Toll on Job Growth. In this article, the authors cry: "The number of federal workers forced to work shorter hours soared this summer - to 199,000 in July, from 55,000 a year earlier - in a sign of the problems that federal budget policy is causing for the economy." For these authors, no cut of any government expense should practically be done, in the name of job creation or job preservation, if nothing else! They are intoxicated in a happy family syndrome: you pretend to be working, while the government pretends to be paying you, all at taxpayers' expenses, though - but who cares!
What We Need Now: A National Economic Strategy For Better Jobs. The only thing correct in the entire article by Professor Reich is the title! Yes, we need more, and better, (full-time) jobs for those Americans still willing to work. However, the only real strategy to create a lot of good jobs for the long haul is to restore manufacturing, which requires a more pro-business environment (e.g. less regulations and less unions), which requires political reforms! In other words, we must restore the U.S. as a republic with full-blown capitalism and a limited version of affordable democracy (The Coming Demise of America)!
Bottom line: Capitalism is the key to prosperity and, yes, jobs. Democracy, as we practice it today, is a luxury America can no longer afford!
Here is a talking point argument endlessly repeated by many liberals: because more than 60% of America's economy is supported by consumers, businesses should hire as many employees as they can and pay them as well as they can, because employees are consumers after all. The economy will improve with increased consumption.
What a communistic idea based on circular reasoning! According to Wikipedia,
Circular reasoning (also known as paradoxical thinking or circular logic), is a logical fallacy in which "the reasoner begins with what he or she is trying to end up with". The individual components of a circular argument will sometimes be logically valid because if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true, and will not lack relevance. Circular logic cannot prove a conclusion because, if the conclusion is doubted, the premise which leads to it will also be doubted.
What the liberals fail to understand, or refuse to acknowledge, is that [most] businesses are not charities. Business is to make money, making it existential to control costs, including employee expenses. Unfortunately, the current American administration is working furiously in the wrong direction, adding huge new costs such as various regulations, Obamascare, and extended unemployment benefits to businesses.
Very importantly, having consumers who are incapable of paying bills is worse than having no consumers! Any doubt? Just look at the recent U.S. meltdown due to subprime mortgages! Buyers who do not pay must be avoided at all costs!
Americans must understand that, without major political reforms as I suggested, the best days for America are gone, for good! Anybody who tells you otherwise is dreaming or simply lying!
Here are two outcomes for America, really:
30% will fail to thrive, while 70% will be successful like they were in the 1990s. This is the best outcome we can hope for and will be possible only if we reform our political system as I suggested in my book ("Saving America, Chinese Style").
100% will be poor. This will undoubtedly occur if we stay the course.
3. Steve Jobs
America has been great largely because it has been the "Land of Opportunity", allowing folks like Steve Jobs and many other self-made men (America: A Nation of Self-Made Men (and Women)!) to be great!
These great individuals are uniquely American, as America has produced more of them over the past 200 years than everywhere else on earth, combined! They worked hard, obtained fantastic results, and were richly and fairly rewarded (Top 10 American Misconceptions about Capitalism)! They created not only millions of real jobs, but even some brand new industries, leaving America's competitors in our dust ...
Unfortunately for America, these American giants are now being demonized as the top 1%, all the while America is being converted from the "Land of Opportunity" to the "Land of Entitlement" ...
Capitalism supports democracy! Promote democracy by destroying capitalism? You will end up having neither!
America was not built in one day, nor will it go down in one day!
America has been declining steeply for the past decade, at least, with no end in sight! High unemployment is merely a symptom. Unless we identify the root case, there will be no real solution!
What's the root cause? Democracy, as we practice it today! It kills capitalism, jobs, and ultimately America!
What's the real solution? Restoring America, via political reforms, to be a republic with full-blown capitalism and a limited version of affordable democracy! For more, read my book: "Saving America, Chinese Style"!