Pocketbook Patriotism Insurance Program

This is an extract of a political point as the second part of The Seed of Individualism Was an Appleseed. I decided to pull this out & expand it because of the just-recent Unemployment & Job-Creation report.

Unsigned Contract

For years and generations, we have paid our dues as citizens. We paid our taxes to build an eco-system of infrastructure to support our businesses and, ultimately, each other. We have court systems (80% of which is used by business), we have transit systems, communications systems, utility systems, banking systems — all built from our taxes, our contribution to the whole, for the good of all of us by supporting business.

We the people have allowed our elected officials to codify benefits (the infrastructures, tax breaks, loop holes, etc.) for business because it’s from business the jobs come.  Keeping businesses happy and healthy will result in their producing jobs, which keeps the economy (the rest of us) happy and healthy. The idea behind reducing taxes (for instance) on businesses is that the money they save will go toward hiring people.

It’s a type of insurance program or health-maintenance program — an ecosystem of interdependencies.

It’s been a program unmonitored for whether jobs are being created. We working people, as a nation, have been paying into it with no strings, no assurances, no protections, no controls, no way to recuperate our money if companies renege on the deal by either cutting or not producing jobs.

We were promised … or led to believe.

It’s an insurance payment that isn’t paying back when we need it. “Them with the jobs” need to live up to their contract. Shareholders need also to understand that their investment was an investment in an insurance contract, for which they bear the risk, not the working people.  Companies need to feel the squeeze just as we humans are, because that’s where the squeeze should be happening based on the social (or political) contract inherent in the benefits bestowed.

The Trick in the Trickle

“Trickle Down” — we’re heaping on the benefits and getting a trickle of return. Good enough … UNTIL we need the insurance program to pay out; good enough UNTIL, not only are we not getting jobs from this political contract, but now politicians are cutting the things we put in place to support the common social good.

Those things cost money that is not in the system because there are no jobs, revenue from people working (taxes) and a robust economy (people spending money and greasing the machine) from a healthy, working system that must all work together for it to work at all.

From Think Progress:

Florida Republicans this weekend also [reduced] their state’s unemployment benefits, sending a bill to Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) for his signature:

A bill that would establish some of the deepest and most far-reaching cuts in unemployment benefits in the nation is heading for the desk of Gov. Rick Scott … The legislation would cut maximum state benefits to 23 weeks from 26 when the jobless rate is 10.5 percent or higher. If lower, the maximum would decline on a sliding scale until bottoming at 12 weeks if the jobless rate was 5 percent or less.

Why aren’t we, who are supposed to be working, not seeing return on investment?  It’s not called “trickle-down” for no reason.  Judging by the word “trickle,” there wasn’t a great expectation of return on investment to begin with!  Yet what we’re seeing is less than a trickle.  We’re seeing droplets here and there.

Where are the funds represented by our economic support?

There’s a reservoir up there that isn’t being tapped. The cure for unemployment & even the deficit is jobs, not crippling cuts.  Given the benefits institutionalized for “them with the jobs” (big business), it’s really, really time for them to live up to their part of the bargain. The spigot that governs the flow needs to be opened for less trickle and more volume.

The Business of Business Is to Make Money

It adds up to ‘duh’ that business create jobs, and they put people to work by hiring. It’s a natural function of how things work. Mechanical, operational, necessary. Yet I wonder: are we expecting machinery to either have a conscience or to be guided by one?  Without controls or contracts, are we relying on faith in something morally good within business process?

Is this what we mean, in part, by the term “free market”?  Let the machinery crank and govern itself with inherent goodness, jobs will naturally appear.  Like a tree bearing fruit or a bee making honey.

Could it possibly be the perspective of a political philosophy that businesses “create jobs” for the good of the nation and its collective welfare … out of the goodness of their hearts and patriotic responsibility?

Behind business operations are humans, infusing business operations with a full complement of machinations rooted in selfishness and short-sightedness.  Judging alone by the substance of political “discourse” about jobs and the economy, to what degree do we see anything resembling actual concern for humans at the ground level?

We are expecting derived, secondary good from the primary aim of making  money &, ultimately, profits.  That is what trickle-down means. It’s a hope that from greed, good might arise.

The free market is powered by greed, not good will or social or national responsibility.  Any force — whether in policy or philosophy — that ignores or doesn’t see that does not have the good of the country in mind, but rather the good of corporate  pocket books.

We don’t need to worry about defense of marriage and other issues that bear on the moral character of a nation when that character has been usurped by a greater evil: one without heart, conscience, or responsibility; one fed by profits at all cost, resulting in the the true erosion of a nation.

Pocketbook patriotism.

6 Responses

  1. Making work ~the Slacktivist

    Saying we “can’t afford” to put people back to work because of budget deficits is like trying to save money by quitting your job to cut down on the cost of commuting.


  2. the Bush tax cuts were justified, in part, by the claim that equity had overshadowed efficiency in tax policy decisions. Taxes on the wealthy and the inefficiencies that come with them were much too high, it was argued, and lowering taxes would cause output to go up enough to lift all boats substantially. Accordingly, the lower end of the income distribution would fare much better after income trickled down than it would under redistributive policy.

    The claim that there is a tradeoff between equity and efficiency was a key part of the argument for tax cuts for the wealthy, but the tradeoff didn’t materialize. We sacrificed equity for the false promise of efficiency and growth, and society is now more unequal than at any time since the early part of the last century.

    ~ Why America Should Spread the Wealth


  3. Once you realize that trickle-down economics does not work, you will see the excessive tax cuts for the rich for what they are — a simple upward distribution of income, rather than a way to make us all richer, as we are told.

    ~Ha-Joon Change, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

  4. Let’s say these doodads are buggy whips. These Job Creators have realized that there will be next to no demand for your product, as excellent as it is. If there is no demand, you will not sell enough doodads/buggy whips/8-track players/top hat blockers/mustache wax/Victrolas/bustles/spats/etc. to turn a profit. Even the most ardent supply side enthusiast eventually gets to the point in their defense where the success of an innovative idea or a business funded by supply-siders is dependent upon demand for the business’ product or service.

    As Brin points out, we have had a chance to test supply side (trickle-down, laissez-faire economics, voodoo economics, horse and sparrow, Reaganomics, top-down, whatever synonym you like best) economics for over thirty years. The idea and practice actually predates the Reagan administration, of course, but that was when supply-siders perfected their messaging and gained a lot of converts, and when top tax rates were slashed (from around 70% to 28% under Reagan).

    Karl Marx, Trickle-Down Economics, ARITHMETIC And You

  5. .

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