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Working people are the Job Creators

In the last couple of days, I have been very disappointed in the decline of our collective American IQ.  There have been new and former commenters who actually believe that Republican shit about the Job Creators.

Of course, the right leaning voters aren’t the only ones who have lost their ability to think critically.  There are plenty of people on the left who have developed latent idiocy.  They’re the ones who are running around screaming how narcissistic, ruthless and incompetent Obama is while at the same time screaming even louder that Bill Clinton is worse even while they admit that most Americans did better under his administration and still think very highly of him.  Oh, and they tend to ignore all of the evidence that says that Obama is waaaaaay to the right of Clinton on just about everything.  So, you know, perspective and all that.

But back to the right leaners who seem to think that the regular people, such as themselves, are not worthy.  I don’t know why they feel they are not worthy.  Maybe it has something to do with them being a tad more religious and believing in original sin or something equally 4th century. Jesus certainly never thought that average working people were not worthy.  But whatever.  For some reason, they seem to be primed to accept that working people are not as good as people who have scads of wealth.

Let’s just put aside the fact that you don’t need to be fabulously wealthy to be successful.  And you don’t necessarily  get rich from working hard.  Sometimes, contentment is enough.  As long as you have  a relatively nice place to live, food to eat, can pay all your bills and can save for the future, you’re doing ok and life is pretty damn good.  That is independent of wealth.  I have theory called it “niche theory” but I won’t go into it here.

Anyway, leaving aside the philosophical aspect, there is a straightforward reason why the real job creators are average working people.  And when I say working people, I mean anyone not living on their investments.  That means drop outs to professionals. I’m not an economist and I’ve only taken a couple of econ courses but none of this is over your head.  It’s all common sense.   Here’s how it works: you get money from work or a benefit that you worked for.  With that money, you can buy things.  And the more things you can buy, the more things need to be created for you to buy.  And the more need for things to be created, in either goods or services, the more people need to be hired to create those goods and services.

Note that all this depends on there being money priming the pump.  There must be a release of money into the system that gets the whole ball rolling.  That money can come from either the private or public sector.  There is no good or bad money.  Public sector money is just as virtuous as private sector money in priming the pump.  The money goes into the hands of working people and those working people pass that money into the hands of other working people.

Let me stop here and say a few words about the Government.  Wealthy people make The Government sound like some big, unresponsive, evil thing.  But the government is whoever you elected to office.  They’re supposed to spend money in the way that YOU direct them to.  So, if you elect a lot of people who want to spend money in Iraq and Afghanistan, that’s what they’ll do.  If you elect people who want to give all our disposable tax money to bankers who wrecked the economy, that’s what they’ll do.  If you don’t want the treasury to run out of money to fund highways, schools, high speed internet infrastructure and all of the other stuff that makes this country a potentially nice place to live, stop voting for the people who are giving away your tax money to other wealthy people.  It’s YOUR government and you have a right to say what things are important to you to fund.  If Government is not working for you, get rid of the people who aren’t listening to what you want.  We don’t have to live in a banana republic.

Our little Depression is in part being caused by the lack of money in the system going to working people.  Without money, there can be no demand for goods and services.  So, when you see the term “lack of demand”, that’s what it means.  People ain’t got no jobs, people ain’t got no money.  Giving people jobs and money will put money back into the system and will help generate demand.  It has nothing to do with how hard you are working.  You can work very hard for no money at all.  Lots of people do that as interns and volunteers.  They do it so their skills don’t rot while they’re waiting for the job market to improve. But working hard for no money tends to not help the economy.

Last week, Paul Krugman brought up obsolescence as another source of demand.  When your car breaks down and you can’t get to work, somehow, you will find some money, somewhere, god knows how at this point, to buy another one.  So, at some point, Americans will have to go back into debt to buy new things and that will stimulate demand and hopefully trigger more hiring.

Now, the people in the private sector would have you believe that they’re the only ones who can release the money.  This is not true.  It is true that they are sitting on obscene wads of cash but in my humble opinion, they are creating an artificial scarcity.  The money is there, they just don’t want you to have it.  That’s why they are laying off so many people, in some cases to the detriment of their own industries.  They have an agenda.  Their agenda is to make working people cry uncle and give up something important, like social security or medicare.  But those are benefits that working people worked hard for and I don’t think we should yield one nanometer.  To do so would allow the wealthy to commit fraud.  Back in the 80’s, we were told to pay extra in payroll taxes in order to retire comfortably. And then the wealthy borrowed from our trust fund to pay for their tax breaks.  Now, the time has come to pay the piper and they don’t want to give up their tax breaks to pay us back.  That’s what this is all about.  So, they’re going to make us feel unworthy of our own money in order for them to keep what they borrowed.

But there’s more to it than that.  Many of us younger working people got shorted on pensions and were forced to put most of our savings into 401Ks.  That gives the wealthy financial sector interest free loans that they can use to gamble at the global casino. Average working people get a small percentage of the winnings and bear all of the risk if the bets don’t pan out. The brokers and bankers take a huge cut and pay themselves handsomely with bonuses. Not only can they gamble with our money without restraint, anyone under the age of 59.5 years old can’t remove that money from their 401Ks without paying a steep penalty- the 10% excise tax.  That excise tax is on top of regular income taxes. If you make your living off of your capital gains, you pay a measly 15%.  If you’re an average working person and you want to use your 401K to start your own business, you could end up paying more than 40% on the money you withdraw.  Sure, it’s meant to discourage you from removing your money before retirement but if you haven’t got a job or prospect of one, this is a cruel and pointless tax.  Unless you are a broker, in which case, it’s a good thing that people can’t take their money out of the casino without a huge penalty.  More for you to play with.

So, the money that might have been used to fuel a recovery, for example having working people start their own businesses, is tied up in the stock market.  Working people *could* remove that money at any time and recirculate that money into the economy but the tax is so onerous that most people won’t do it until they’re desperate.  That’s a shame.  If I were the Democrats, I’d remove the excise tax on regular working people and let some of that money get released.  Yes, some people will have less to retire on but since the economy is going nowhere, the chances are good that they’re going to have to tap those funds at some point just to survive and pay their bills. Might as well use that money to make money and your own work. There are exemptions from the excise tax but they are too tight and serve no useful purpose at this point.  We need economic stimulus and as long as the government is not making the wealthy get off their asses to release the money they’re sitting on, we should have access to our own funds to do it.

Government stimulus is the other thing that would have a multiplier effect.  That can come in many forms, such as unemployment insurance and public sector jobs.  The more teachers, firemen, police officers, librarians, etc, who are able to buy goods and services, the more goods and services will be needed and the more people will be hired to fulfill those needs.  If you strangle public sector jobs, there will be fewer people demanding goods and services and the economy will stall.  The more the economy stalls, the less tax revenue the government is able to collect and the more the tax burden falls on the remaining working people who are still working or have money.

These are not terribly difficult concepts to understand but for some reason, a greater proportion of right leaning voters fail to understand them. They tend to listen to authority figures and not question them.  Apparently, wealth gives you more authority than being an average working person.  The right leaning voter should sit and think about why they think so little of their own capacity for knowing what is good for them.

The bottom line is YOU are the job creators, not some rich person who is playing a game of economic chicken.  At some point, those rich people will have to release the money they’re sitting on in order to not permanently damage their own ability to sell goods and services to regular working people.  We’re getting pretty close to that point.  But many of them are not thinking clearly.  They’re just in a selfish, greedy frenzy.  They’re going to take all they can because there is nothing to stop them.  And they’ve been very successful at screaming “TAXES!” to frighten right leaning voters to vote for their chosen mouthpieces and politicians.

Like I said, this is not terribly difficult to understand, so I can only guess that there is something that is preventing average right leaning Americans from understanding it.  I blame cable news.  ANY cable news.  And radio, especially talk radio.  And Facebook.  I wouldn’t use it.  I think those three things have a tendency to make people stupid because the wealthy are very good at using those outlets to spread deceptive messages.  They use your friends to spread them on Facebook.  Well, it all sounds so reasonable and who likes taxes?  But if you believe them, you’re only going to make the conditions for economic recovery that much more difficult to achieve.  That’s what they want.  They are using you to put pressure on the system so working people give up what they have worked so hard for.

Deep down inside, you know there is something wrong but you can’t put your finger on it and you’re just frustrated and angry.  That’s just where they want you.  They want you to take it out on other working people.  If you do that, they win.  Because they are not the job creators, they are the economy destroyers and your future masters.

They are not nice people.  They’ve already destroyed the economy once and they’ll do it again until you stop them.  Why would you want to be like them?  They are greedy, selfish, cruel.  they lie, they are careless.  They don’t care about you and they certainly don’t want you in their club.  They take great delight in making you turn on other working people, people who are more deserving of your respect.  They know that when people are under stress, they’ll take short term solutions to relieve that stress and they know how to make you turn on your friends and family.

That’s what’s going on here.  If you buy into it, you’re making it easy for them to screw you and everyone you know.  So, drop the “commie!” bullshit. It’s meaningless and shows a profound lack of understanding about communism or socialism. That doesn’t mean you have to vote for Obama.  Just wake the f^&* up and realize what’s going on here.  The more you listen to the bad guys, the longer this economic recovery is going to take.

Wednesday: Ignorance and Want

While my fellow unemployed colleagues in the research and development industry sit on top of our degrees, publications and patents, waiting to see if the Republicans and Obama will stop playing a game of political chicken with our unemployment checks so we can, oh, I don’t know, fill our crack pipes and watch cable on our flat screen TVs while we replace our spring houses and root cellars with a brand new french door refrigerators (True, I *did* buy one last summer, but only because I thought it would be a good idea to update the appliances in case I had to sell my house), I ran across this in a post from Paul Krugman about the plutocrats:

One of the disadvantages of being very wealthy may be that you end up surrounded by sycophants, who will never, ever tell you what a fool you’re making of yourself. That’s the only way I can make sense of the farcical behavior of the wealthy described in this new report from Max Abelson:

“Cooperman, 68, said in an interview that he can’t walk through the dining room of St. Andrews Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida, without being thanked for speaking up. At least four people expressed their gratitude on Dec. 5 while he was eating an egg-white omelet, he said.

“You’ll get more out of me,” the billionaire said, “if you treat me with respect.””

and this blurb at Corrente from some supernatural being called a “job creator”:

“It’s simply a fact [by which we mean, “completely an ideological construct”] that pretty much all the private- sector jobs in America are created by the decisions of ‘the 1 percent’ to hire and invest,” [Robert Rosenkranz, CEO of Wilmington, Delaware-based Delphi Financial Group Inc.], 69, said in an e- mail. “Since their confidence in the future more than any other factor will drive those decisions, it makes little sense to undermine their confidence by vilifying them.”

It’s such a relief to me that none of them are worried about getting sick with cancer. You don’t know what a burden has been lifted from my mind to know that having obscene gobs of money guarantees immortality.

Because I spent the summer of 2010 in the lab producing a cancer protein. Never done it before. In order to make me a more attractive employee to the job creators who ran my company so they wouldn’t sever me from my livelihood, I decided to go back into the lab after 20 years and learn molecular biology and crystallography. It was hard, let me tell you, not that I didn’t enjoy it. I had to learn how to pipette 2 µL drops onto a cover slip and then pipette 2 µL smack down on top of them and make them perfectly spherical. I had to learn to ferment ecoli. I had to learn how to culture insect cells. I had to learn how to purify protein and then choose the correct conditions for crystallizing it. Then I had to fish fragile microscopic crystals out of those 2 µL drops with an equally microscopic nylon loop and freeze them so that they could be diffracted at a synchrotron. Then I had to learn how to place amino acids into the electron density of the data that came back so I could construct a model of that protein. I learned all of that in a matter of a few months. Then, just for fun, I started to design drugs for that protein.

My lab partner and I did this on a protein for oncology that had not been reported in the crystallographic literature. This was a protein that our company had tried to outsource to a company in China but they had no success in producing or crystallizing it in over a year of having the contract. My lab partner ordered the constructs and we did the whole thing start to finish, gene to structure, in 5 months. In many aspects of the project, she was as much a novice as I was. We did this on top of the work we were already assigned for other proteins. The structure that we solved was being used before I left to design drugs to combat a serious cancer for which there is no cure.

And it was some job creator’s bright idea to lay both of us off in January of 2011. We were 2 of 90 at our site who lost our jobs that day, and only 2 of over 100,000 research professionals who have lost our jobs since 2007.

The 1% are not like you and me. They’re different. They have a very strange definition of success. And they need confidence before they make hiring decisions. So I can only assume that the finance and investment class people who decided that I and my lab partner were too expensive to keep on the books, are confident that in the future they will need fewer discoveries, like the structural elucidation of cancer proteins from a crack team of two who with dedication and hard work churned out in 5 months what couldn’t be outsourced in 18.

Keep them in your thoughts this Christmas Season. This is their success and these their creatures:

Ignorance and Want

“‘Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask,’ said
Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit’s robe,’ but I see
something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding
from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw.’ ‘It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it,’ was
the Spirit’s sorrowful reply. ‘Look here.’From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children;
wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt
down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.‘Oh, Man. look here. Look, look, down here.’ exclaimed the Ghost.They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling,
wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where
graceful youth should have filled their features out, and
touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled
hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and
pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat
enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No
change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any
grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has
monsters half so horrible and dread.Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him
in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but
the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie
of such enormous magnitude.‘Spirit. are they yours.’ Scrooge could say no more.‘They are Man’s,’ said the Spirit, looking down upon
them. ‘And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers.
This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both,
and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy,
for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the
writing be erased. Deny it.’ cried the Spirit, stretching out
its hand towards the city. ‘Slander those who tell it ye.
Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse.
And abide the end.’ ‘Have they no refuge or resource.’ cried Scrooge.‘Are there no prisons.’ said the Spirit, turning on him
for the last time with his own words. ‘Are there no workhouses.'”– A Christmas Carol, Stave 3: The Second of the Three Spirits

Kill this Meme: Job Creators

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard a lot nonsense about ‘job creators’.  It’s popping up in clips from Fox News and vomiting forth from the mouths of Republican operatives and politicians.  The meme goes like this: unless we learn to lower our voices and make sacrifices and burnt offerings of pleasing aroma to the “job creators”, they will not bestow the blessings of what Jane Austen would call “a living” on us.

What kind of focus group tested nonsense is this?  The term “job creator” smacks me of having a quasi religious undertone.  The religious frequently refer to God as their ‘creator’.  Is Heavenly Father and Lord far behind?

The religious aspect of the ‘job creator’ meme also carries with it into the business world the wrathful, jealous god characteristics.  “Don’t piss us off or we’ll smite you and make you poor.  Continue to cut our taxes and you will be rewarded with eternal prosperity.  The cardinal sin is disobedience to our will.  The choice is up to you.”

This is bullshit.  Business people are business people, not immortals.  They need people to help them make money.  Making money is what they do.  They can either pay you for your expertise to help them make money or not.  Mostly not, these days.  But that’s not always going to work in their favor.  People *will* adapt.  They’ll either learn to live with less, in which case the demi-gods will be raking in less money, or they’ll learn to compete, or they’ll band together to throw the old gods out and install some new ones.  There’s no reason for any of us to put up with sociopathic megalomaniacs who are constantly zapping us with economic lightening bolts.  F^(* that S^*#.

These people need to read some Phillip Pullman.  Whoa!  Wasn’t it Phillip Pullman who recently dubbed them the “feral elite”?  If that doesn’t describe them, I don’t know what does.  They think they have the power and the glory and have no allegiance to any country.  Fine with me.  I keep saying that the best thing we could do for the world would be to direct their private jets to the Cayman Islands, impose a blockade, bust their internet connection down to some slllllooooooowwwww DSL, jam their satellite and let them live out the rest of their days with their money.

And now we have their minions at Standard and Poors downgrading out credit.  Apparently, we are not humble enough.  We are not giving enough of ourselves, our livelihoods, our childrens’ college funds.  No, now we have to bow and scrape to the S&P and beg forgiveness for having the audacity to want to keep the decades and decades of payroll taxes we set aside for our retirements that do not add to the deficit.  If we just gave it to them, they would hallow us once more with their blessings.

No, just, no.

I know theft and fraud when I see it and I’m not going to beg for my life just so they don’t take more obscene cash than they already have.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

Hillary for President in 2012.  Accept no faux-Democrat substitutes.