Econ4.org, a new platform for discussing and promoting urgent structural changes needed for a healthy American economy, is now introducing a five part video series called The Bottom Line. The videos will cover Jobs, Housing, Healthcare, Regulation and The New Economy. In the first one, Jobs, they argue that tax cuts and spending cuts, far from stimulating job creation, are counterproductive. They make the case that government has a significant role to play in generating employment growth.
We are economists who think that the economy should serve people, the planet and the future.
Today one in every twelve Americans is unemployed. If you include people discouraged from looking for work, and those who have part-time jobs but want full-time work, it’s nearly one in six. This is a terrible waste of human resources, and it inflicts untold damage on human lives.
Some claim that we can solve the problem by cutting taxes for the top 1%. They believe that feeding the appetites of those who already have much will encourage them to invest more in our economy, with job creation as a by-product.
This trickle-down theory has been tried and it has failed. After 30 years of rising inequality, instead of a booming economy we have massive unemployment. Tax breaks for the 1% can no more solve our unemployment crisis than bailouts for big banks could solve our housing crisis.
Some claim that we cannot afford to sustain public spending on education, health care and public safety. They think that layoffs of teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters in the midst of a recession will help the economy.
They’ve got it backwards. The greatest need for public spending is precisely when unemployment is high and interest rates are low. Real solutions need to be based on sound economics.
We call for real job creation policies that channel the nation’s wealth into productive investment, not into offshore tax havens.
We canal for redirection of public spending toward education and energy efficiency, to generate more jobs per dollar than expenditures that bloat the military-industrial complex or subsidies that fatten oil company profits.
We call for requiring banks to lend to small businesses in return for access to Federal Reserve Bank funds at near-zero interest rates.
We call for a new construction and conservation corps that will guarantee employment in rebuilding infrastructure and restoring damaged lands, learning from the successful policies adopted during our last episode of mass unemployment, the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
We extend our support to all who are working to build an economy that provides productive jobs and living wages for everyone who wants to work.