Why jobs? First, the courageous path is not firing 2000 workers but ensuring more workers are hired. For every state or corporate worker fired, from 20-100 families hunker down and go into bunker mentality. What do I mean by “hunker down and go into bunker mentality”? Each family reacts to the news of a friend or coworker’s firing by believing that THEY could be without a job next. So they and their whole family cancel vacations, defer purchases, and avoid any discretionary spending. As a result, restaurants close, companies fold, and the “recovery” is in fact an illusion where the robber barons batten at the trough – Goldman Sachs trumpeted “profits” are a great example.
On the other hand, every new hire is a new consumer, and a circle of family and friends who feel secure enough to plan for the future, go out for dinner occasionally, and dare to buy new sheets or other goods.
If both government, the elite nonprofits like Harvard, and business had the “courage to hire” we might well see a real recovery. Hey – Where is Harry Hopkins, the WPA, and a vision of economic inclusion when we need them anyway?
And why housing? Economic security breeds jobs, consumers who consume, and costs less. The 3000+ families now housed in motels and hotels at $89 – $125 a day are costing millions and many of these families are working folks who lost housing when the same banks we taxpayers bailed out with expensive borrowed money foreclosed on rental properties and evicted families on the edge.
As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said:
True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
The current consolidation of wealth in this country, and use of cuts to balance budgets means that economic security is vanishing for more and more citizens, many of whom will look for a quick fix at the expense of their own freedoms.
Where is the courage to hire and to house?