By Grant Lawrence
"The situation we face could not be more serious," President Obama says.I agree with the President that the situation is terrible. Unfortunately, I don't think Mr. Obama's remedy is going to save the economy.
The people need jobs. They not only need jobs but they need jobs at some sort of living wage. They can throw all the money they want at the local and state governments and give more tax rebates. But in the end, it is just throwing money at the problem.
So what is the problem?
The problem is that for the last couple of decades the US and other economic powerhouse nations have been following an economic strategy called Globalization. Mainly it involved encouraging the largest corporations to move their manufacturing and other business activities out of the wealthy economies where the cost of labor, taxes, and regulations are higher and to set up shop in countries where those costs are much less.
It all sounds good. But one thing the economic experts and those singing the praises of Globalization forgot. The consumers in the economic powerhouse countries needed jobs and they needed disposable income to buy the goods and services of the world's corporations. If the consumers of the wealthy nations were no longer wealthy enough to buy the goods and services of the multinationals then the bubble would burst. For over a decade, the economy continued to grow thanks to credit. But when the Banks ran into trouble and consumers could no longer borrow, disaster struck.
So now back to the solution.
President Obama needs to nationalize the banks and to get credit moving again. With all of the money Obama is throwing at the banks, the people should own them. This will get people consuming again and help to create more jobs. President Obama also needs to follow a strategy of creating a massive jobs program.
– a Jobs programs, in the spirit of the New Deal, to hire people to do what they do best, including art, letters, drama, dance, music, scientific research, university teaching and the work of the non-profit sector — including for community organizations....
As recommended by James K. Galbraith, an economist at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of “The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too.”
Finally, the President needs to abandon the strategy of unregulated globalization (sometimes called free trade). Instead there should be consideration given to tariffs on goods produced in countries that engage in unfair competition, unfair or inhumane labor practices, and operate in environmentally unsound ways. Also regulations should be placed on manufacturers and industry that sell a certain percentage of their products in a country and then should be mandated to employ a certain percentage of their workforce in that country.
Desperate times call for a real change in economic policies and government mandates. President Obama promised us that change. But so far, his economic stimulus package is pretty much more of the same old globalist agenda approved by the banksters for the benefit of the banksters and the corporate criminal class.