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Archive for September 27th, 2012|Daily archive page

NO JOBS UNDER OBAMA–OR ROMNEY: PART ONE (OF FOUR)

In Business, Law, Politics on September 27, 2012 at 12:00 am

Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama say they want to create jobs.

Obama is a Democrat and Romney is a Republican–but they both offer the same solution, with only slight variations.

President Barack Obama promises to lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 28% to give businesses more money to hire.

He has also pledged to put $3 billion into job retraining to help 22 million workers.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney would cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% as a part of a plan to create 20 million jobs in the next 4 years.

He supports job retraining, but would ship the burden to states and private companies.

In short, they offer only carrots–in the form of bribes to mega-rich corporations.

But there are no sticks–in the form of sanctions–for corporations that refuse to create jobs.

Almost certainly, corporations receiving those tax cuts will spend that money on:

  • buying up competing businesses;
  • opening plants overseas; and/or
  • further enriching their CEOs and other executives.

Yet, when they do, none of their top executives will face punishment for, in effect, receiving money under false pretenses.

There will be no penalties for employers who throw hard-working Americans into the street–just so they can collect their salaries for themselves.

So what is the point of retraining Americans for jobs that employers refuse to create?

Furthermore, a carrots-only policy ignores a fundamental truth about human nature, brilliantly articulated more than 500 years ago by Niccolo Machiavelli, the father of political science.

In his book, The Discourses, Machiavelli wrote in detail about the most effective ways to preserve liberty within a republic.  As in the following:

All those who have written upon civil institutions demonstrate…that whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it. 

If their evil disposition remains concealed for a time, it must be attributed to some unknown reason; and we must assume that it lacked occasion to show itself.  But time, which has been said to be the father of all truth, does not fail to bring it to light.

Thus, it isn’t enough to assume and hope that powerful, self-interested men will behave responsibly toward their fellow citizens.  It’s essential to have sanctionos–punishments–for those who don’t.

So, regardless of who wins the election, the 12.5 million Americans whom the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists as unemployed will not be any better off.

But America can end this national disaster–and disgrace.

A policy based only on concessions–such as endless tax breaks for hugely profitable corporations–is a policy of appeasement.

And appeasement only whets the appetite of those appeased for even greater concessions.

It is past time to hold wealthy and powerful corporations accountable for their socially and financially irresponsible acts.

This solution can be summed up in three words: Employers Responsibility Act (ERA).

If passed by Congress and vigorously enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and Labor, an ERA would ensure full-time, permanent and productive employment for millions of capable, job-seeking Americans.

And it would achieve this without raising taxes or creating controversial government “make work” programs.

Such legislation would legally require employers to demonstrate as much initiative for hiring as job-seekers are now expected to show in searching for work.

An Employers Responsibility Act would simultaneously address the following evils for which employers are directly responsible:

  • The loss of jobs within the United States owing to companies’ moving their operations abroad—solely to pay substandard wages to their new employees.
  • The mass firings of employees which usually accompany corporate mergers or acquisitions.
  • The widespread victimization of part-time employees, who are not legally protected against such threats as racial discrimination, sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions.
  • The refusal of many employers to create better than menial, low-wage jobs.
  • The widespread employer practice of extorting “economic incentives” from cities or states in return for moving to or remaining in those areas. 
  • Such “incentives” usually absolve employers from complying with laws protecting the environment and/or workers’ rights.
  • The refusal of many employers to provide medical and pension  benefits—usually for part-time employees, and, increasingly, for full-time, permanent ones as well.
  • Rising crime rates, due to rising unemployment.

Among its provisions:

(1) American companies that close plants in the United States and open others abroad would be forbidden to sell products made in those foreign plants within the United States.

This would protect both American and foreign workers from employers seeking to profit at their expense. American workers would be ensured of continued employment. And foreign laborers would be protected against substandard wages and working conditions.

Companies found violating this provision would be subject to Federal criminal prosecution. Guilty verdicts would result in heavy fines and lengthy imprisonment for their owners and top managers.

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