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What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 4/4

The first thing to learn is that the “tax cuts under President G. W. Bush did not spur investment.

“Job growth during the Bush years was one-seventh that of the Clinton years. Nixon and Ford did better than Bush on jobs. Wages fell during the last administration (Bush’s last four years in office). Average incomes fell. The number of Americans in poverty, as officially measured, hit a 16-year high last year of 43.6 million, though a National Academy of Sciences study says that the real poverty figure is closer to 51 million. Food banks are swamped. Foreclosure signs are everywhere. Americans and their governments are drowning in debt.” Source: Tax.com

Meanwhile, the GOP and their supporters such as conservative talk radio hosts like Dennis Prager continue to repeat the myth and the lie that increasing taxes on the wealthiest American will cause job losses in the United States.

To discover the truth, one must learn where the wealthiest Americans put their money.

Professor G. William Domhoff of UC Santa Cruz says, “In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers)… However, for purposes of studying the wealth distribution, economists define wealth in terms of marketable assets, such as real estate, stocks, and bonds.” Source: Who Rules America?

Since when did investments in real estate, stocks and bonds create jobs? To create a job, a product must be produced and people  must buy that product be it dinner at a local restaurant, clothing at a retail store such as Target or Costco, gasoline to fill a car’s tank, buying groceries so families may eat, buying laptops, iPads, flat screen TVs, DVDs, taking vacations, etc.

In fact, capital investment for new and improved products and services that creates jobs mostly comes from the profits of established businesses and large corporations with money to reinvest. Development money represented about 30% of the economy while 70% of the driving force of economic growth comes from consumer spending, which means when retired teachers spend their monthly check from retirement funds such as CalSTRS, they are supporting and creating jobs.

At 6:02 PM on February 26, 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau’s U.S. & World Population Clocks reported that the U.S. population was 313,087,369 people.

The wealthiest one percent of Americans equals 3.1 million people that control 34.6% of the nation’s privately held wealth, which is mostly invested in real estate, stocks and bonds. The next 19% (59.5 million people) has 50.5% of the wealth.  That leaves 250 million people with 15% of the wealth supporting most of the jobs in the United States.

After all, who buys more gasoline, drives more cars, eats more food, takes more medication, wears more clothes, uses more electricity and natural gas for heating and cooling homes, watches more TVs, uses more computers, logs onto the Internet in larger numbers, etc?

SELECT ONE ANSWER

A. The wealthy 1% equaling 3.1 million people

B. The next wealthiest 19% equaling 59.5 million people

C. The 250 million people earning and spending 15% of the total wealth in America

Remember, individuals and families do not become wealthy spending money on consumer items. Wealth is invested and saved and sits somewhere growing more wealth. Most jobs are created by people that spend money on consumer items.

The fact is that retired public and private sector workers do more to support and create jobs than the one percent of America’s wealthiest that gained the most tax breaks under President G. W. Bush and are still benefiting from those tax cuts.

Did you you know that there are more than 27 million small businesses in the US and that between 60 and 80% of all new jobs created in America can be attributed to small businesses. Source: Get Busy Media.com

However, where did the money come from to start those small businesses? It wasn’t from the wealthy with their money invested in real estate, stocks and bonds.

In fact, in an average ten-year period, 71% of small businesses fail (more than 50% fail in the first five years). Knowing that fact, do you believe the wealthy 1% will invest money in such risky ventures, which explains why the wealthy invests their money in real estate, stocks and bonds—not small businesses with a high risk of failure. Source: Small Biz Trends.com

In fact, Peter Delevett writing for Silicon Valley.com reported, “The trends suggest venture firms are increasingly shying away from companies in the “seed” stage of life. During the second quarter of 2010, for instance, the U.S. venture industry’s average seed investment was $6.8 million, according to the National Venture Capital Association. The following quarter, that number had fallen to $3.5 million.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says, “Job openings result from the relationship between the population, labor force, and demand for goods and services… In addition, changes in the demand for goods and services influence which industries expand or contract. Industries respond by hiring the workers necessary to produce goods and provide services.”

It is also worth noting “that President Obama and Democrats created more jobs in 2012 than George W. Bush did in his eight year reign of economic malfeasance.” Source: Politicus USA.com

Therefore, it is a myth, a lie, that keeping taxes low for the richest Americans creates jobs. Instead, those that have regular jobs and retired Americans are the ones that support and create jobs by spending most or all of what they earn.

In addition, according to seven recent experiments, “The ‘upper class,’ as defined by the study, were more likely to break the law while driving, take candy from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to increase their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work, researchers reported today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Source: Elizabeth Lopatto writing for Bloomberg

If these seven studies are true, why do we reward the wealthiest one to twenty percent with lower taxes when, at most, they only support 100,000 jobs, which is due to consumer spending—not job creation. In fact, the wealthy tend to hoard money while the rest of us spend it on food, clothing, gasoline, etc.

Return to What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column.

 

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What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 3/4

My goal in Part Two was to show what caused the national debt, why it keeps growing larger and who bears the most responsibility of that debt.

Now I will return to the CalSTRS “Retired Educator Winter 2012″ newsletter, which said, “Statewide, CalSTRS benefit recipients (I’m one of them, and there are more than 200,000) received $6.03 billion in payments in 2006.  The economic ripple effect in the form of job creation as those benefits were spent totaled $9.22 billion, according to a 2007 study by the Applied Research Center at California State University, Sacramento.”

None of this was borrowed money. Educators paid a percentage of their gross earnings into CalSTRS during their working years as I did. This money was invested and earned interest, which was more than $30 billion for 2011. This money does not contribute to the national debt.

In fact, California’s economy gained $6.71 for every single dollar committed to pensions by employees, employers and taxpayers and each dollar also generated 44 cents in government revenues.

Furthermore, according to the Pensionomics: Measuring the Economic Impact of State and Local Pension Plans, these pensions support 2.5 million jobs and $358.6 billion in economic activity.


Does this sound as if the wealthy are funding the start up of small businesses?

For example, in 2006 in California, 976,233 state residents received a total of $23.52 billion in pension benefits from state and local pension plans… The average pension benefit received was $2,008 per month or $24,097 per year… Retiree expenditures stemming from state and local pension plan benefits supported 205,221 jobs in the state. The total income to state residents supported by pension expenditures was $15.1 billion.”  Source: Pensionomics – National Institute on Retirement Security (and this was just public sector pensions)

Then, according to Retirement USA, one in five private-sector workers is covered by a traditional pension while 55% of people 65 or older rely on Social Security for half or more of their income—the median income for older households with Social Security and pension and annuity income was $32,105 in 2008, not including earnings from work.

In addition, CalSTRS ended 2011 with net assets of $155.34 billion and that money isn’t sitting around gathering dust. Those billions are invested and earning money. To earn money off those investments, means someone else made money too and this generated jobs.

The CalSTRS newsletter says 53% of those billions were invested in Global Equities, which is a category of mutual funds in which investments may be made in stocks of corporations throughout the world. A portion of the fund’s assets are usually committed to American markets, although the major portions are held in equities of developing countries

In addition, 17.6% of CalSTRS funds were in Fixed Income accounts, 14.8% in Private Equities, 12.1% in Real Estate, etc.  When CalSTRS earns money from those investments, that means those investments also earned money for businesses and created jobs for Americans and for the citizens of other countries depending on where the money was invested.

However, where do the wealthy that benefited from the Bush tax cut keep most of their money?

Continued on March 2, 2012 in What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column.

 

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What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 2/4

It is a tragedy how fast most Americans forget the root causes of the current financial challenges in America.

Three lawmakers, all Republicans, introduced the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to the U.S. Senate.  During the debate in the House or Representatives, a democrat from Michigan argued that the bill would result in banks becoming “too big to fail” (sound familiar). At first, most democrats were against the bill but eventually, due to compromises, the effort of corporate lobbyists and deal making, many democrats were won over to vote for it.

Keep in mind that the Republicans won a majority position in both houses of Congress in the elections of 1994, and controlled both houses until 2006—except the Senate for most of 2001 and 2002, when the Democrats held the majority in that one House of Congress.

Therefore, in 1999, Republicans were the majority in both houses of congress. When the final Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act passed in the Senate, the vote was 90 to 8 (92%) and in the House 362 to 57 (86.3%)

Even if President Clinton had wanted to veto it, which he didn’t, he wouldn’t have succeeded since a two-thirds majority vote (66%) in both Houses of Congress is required to override a presidential veto. Since the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act arrived at the White House for President Clinton to sign with more than a two-thirds majority vote in favor, there wasn’t much he could have done if he had wanted to.

Then, during the Bush years (2001 – 2009), the United States launched three expensive wars: The Iraq War—based on false claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction—the war in Afghanistan, which was mostly neglected under Bush, and the global war on terrorism.

Due to these wars and the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the national debt exploded.

I’m sort of going off topic with this paragraph, but I saw “Act of Valor,” which is about the Navy Seals and the CIA fighting the global war on terror. I recommend “Act of Valor”. The acting may be a bit stiff but that is not the point. The realism makes this movie worth watching. This is no Rambo or Mission Impossible. “Act of Valor” is closer to the reality and what America’s Navy Seals face as they fight to protect America. Politicians and corporate lobbyists might be corrupt and greedy for power and money, but America’s men and women mostly from the working class serve in the military out of patriotism.

Back on topic—President G. W. Bush, with help from the GOP majority in both Houses of Congress, lowered taxes for the wealthiest Americans (the lowest rate in almost 80 years—the last time the rate was this low was before the Great Depression and experts say this contributed to that economic collapse).

On February 9, 2012, the official debt of the US government had reached $15.4 trillion—an increase of $5.9 trillion since President Obama moved into the White House. While the GOP blames Obama for that debt during an election year, we must not lose focus on how much Obama inherited when he was elected president.

According to the Huffington Post, lowering taxes for the wealthy costs the U.S. Treasure $11.6 million every hour.

Total, the cost of the Bush tax cut for the top 5% of income earners since 2001 is more than one trillion dollars, which is about $100 billion annually. Source: Cost of Tax Cuts.com

Interest from the national debt, which President Obama inherited from Presidents Reagan, H. W. Bush and G. W. Bush is about $400 billion annually. Source: US Debt Clock.org

On top of that $500 billion annually, the wars G. W. Bush started has cost more than $1.3 trillion since 2001—that’s another $130 billion. Source: Cost of War.com

However, the cost was more than just money. According to the Congressional Budget Office, since combat is being financed with borrowed money, the price tag for these wars is not over, and if Bush had not gone to war over false claims of weapons of mass destruction  in Iraq, 4,482 Americans would not have been killed; more than 32,000 would not have been wounded (medical care for these wounded combat veterans will costs hundreds of millions in the decades to come); about 114,000 Iraqi civilians would still be alive and Iraq has cost more than $800 billion so far.

In addition, CalSTRS probably would still be funded close to 100%, as it was in 2001, for future obligations to its 856,360 members, while the 429,600 active members paid about $3 billion dollars into the retirement fund in 2011—money taken from monthly paychecks of working educators.

Continued on March 1, 2012 in What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column.

 

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