The national unemployment rate has slowly improved; but there are still millions of long term unemployed and underemployed who need full time work, preferably with benefits.
Some factors behind the high number of unemployed or underemployed are:
Computer related automation: self check out in stores, self serve at gas pumps, ATMs, online banking and shopping, internet access to newspapers, books, movies etc., email replacing postal mail, and factory automation. The latest automation is the installation of smart meters by electric and water utilities, resulting in thousands of meter readers losing their jobs.
The housing bust of recent years left millions of independent construction workers, plumbers, electricians, realtors, and mortgage brokers under or unemployed.
Millions of foreclosures and reduced property values have resulted in lower property tax collections with resultant layoffs of 600,000 government workers.
Most large box stores hire mostly part-time workers. Walmart since 2005 hires mostly part time workers. Currently over 700,000 part time Walmart employees are not provided with health care coverage, but are given information on how to apply for food stamps and medicaid.
This burdens states with high medicaid and food stamp enrollments. 40% of the individuals on food stamps are part -time workers. Another 40% are low income seniors, children, and the disabled. Walmart has the highest number of employees on public assistance in 17 states, with workers earning an estimated 12.4% less than retail workers as a whole.
The big box stores, Walmart; etc, avoid taxes by forming Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT's) to which the stores pay "rent". REIT law allows the "rent" to be paid back yearly in dividends to owners and top management. Thus four of the Walmart heirs are now worth over 20,000 million each. The 6 heirs have a net worth greater than the bottom 30% of the country. Walmart stores since their start have received billions in various taxpayer subsidies around the country. This corporate welfare impacts local and state budgets causing reduced government services and the layoff of government employees.
The main reason for high unemployment is we have stopped producing much of what we consume. US corporations have been moving jobs overseas at a lightning fast pace. 40,000 US manufacturing plants closed from 2001 to 2008.
We have now experienced 11 years of Bush tax cuts and corporate tax loopholes/subsidies. What have been the results, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics during Bush's eight years there were a lose of 653,000 private sector jobs and a gain of 1.662 million government jobs. That's right, Republican rule brought a huge increase in government jobs and a significant loss of private and manufacturing jobs. Between 2008 and 2010, 30 big corporations spent more lobbying Washington than they paid in taxes. Corporations like Verizon, Wells Fargo, Boeing, General Electric, Duke Energy, Honeywell, and Fedex. And between January 2008 and February 2010 a total of 8.75 million jobs were lost during all of that lobbying. Eleven years of tax cuts and corporate loopholes which encouraged outsourcing, with resultant huge U.S. job losses, should be proof enough that tax cuts for the wealthy result not in jobs but job cuts.
The fact is consumer demand accounts for around 70% of our economy. The huge majority of jobs have been and are "created" by ordinary middle class citizens when they spend their paychecks. The best friend of industry is a well paid worker. The fact that most Americans are close to broke means less demand for goods and services, and thus businesses have less need to hire employees.
The most recent report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the stimulus package created as many as 3.3 million jobs and without those jobs unemployment would have risen by .5 to 1.6%. If we begin counting from one year into each president's tenure the number of manufacturing jobs created under Barack Obama is 157,368 manufacturing jobs per year while in office. This is far more than the last five presidents, with Clinton having the second best record of 37,143 manufacturing jobs per year and George W. Bush the worst with a decrease of 434,143 manufacturing jobs per year while in office. More stimulus spending, not less, will put people back to work rebuilding our decaying infrastructure, creating energy independence, and seeding the resurgence of research and manufacturing in the U.S.
We need a new Deal like FDR inspired in the 1930's and 40's. Instead of giving tax cuts to billionaires he kept taxes high for those making over 2 million in today's dollars. He channeled the money directly to the working class. The Civilian Conservation Corps hired young men to plant trees, maintain our forests, and fight pollution. The PWA and the WPA put many thousands to work building bridges, buildings, roads, and infrastructure.
Roosevelt's programs worked. His economic stimulus programs put money in the pockets of the people, and their purchases created consumer demand, which led entrepreneurs to start businesses. These businesses hired workers who were well paid because 35% of America was unionized. The New Deal ushered in what has been called the Golden Age of the middle class from 1940 to 1980. We can again revitalize the American middle class with progressive policies which support a strong and growing middle class, but we must elect progressive politicians who will fight for the middle class.
To create more job growth in the U.S. I will work to:
End corporate subsidies and tax evasion. Florida needs to implement combined reporting which effectively allows states to tax the percentage of an out-of-state subsidiaries profits that can be be attributed to a firms in-state operations.
End the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $200,000 and channel the increased money into clean energy independence projects.
Obama has started the tariff war with large tariffs on the dumping of Chinese steel and tires, but there are other areas needing Congressional approval where China taxes US exports at 25 percent and the US taxes China imports at only 2.5 percent.
End China's policy of devaluing its currency. President Reagan did this with the Plaza Accord in 1985 with Japan.
End corporate tax loopholes and set the corporate tax rate at 28%. If corporations are "people" they can pay the same rate as the average "person".
Invest in infrastructure, clean energy and education. Create jobs building bridges, railways, mass transit, electric and fuel cell cars, clean energy projects like wind, geothermal, conservation, and solar. Expand universal broadband and expand educational access with a focus on early childhood and post high school educational learning.opportunities with industry providing online and onsite training targeted to their needs.
Encourage bank lending to small business by allowing private equity funds to invest in troubled banks.
Cut bureaucratic red tape and excessive fees/taxes at all levels of government.
Simplify the tax code for all businesses- large and small.
Eliminate all corporate loopholes which encourage the moving of jobs overseas
Work with business, government, and educational leaders to identify potential businesses desired on the Treasure Coast (such as research, tourism, and agriculture) and then recruit those businesses.
Employ thousands and keep our nation physically healthy by investing in prevention, community clinics, early childhood screenings in the schools, nutritional education and exercise from kindergarten through high school, and drug treatment as opposed to costly imprisonment for nonviolent drug crimes.
I support a financial transaction tax of one half of one percent which would generate 175 to 350 billion dollars to fund many of the above job creation proposals.