By Henry McRandall
Right-wing propagandists and other delusional, semi-literate dimwits are fond of proclaiming that “governments don’t create jobs. Only the private sector can create jobs.”
Governments do, of course, create jobs. In every country of the world, a large portion of the working population is employed not in the private sector but in the public sector. They work in health care and education and social services and law enforcement and firefighting and national defense and food inspection and many, many other areas too numerous to mention. And there is not a one of these important jobs that rightly belongs in the private sector. In fact, there are many functions now performed by the private sector — for huge profits and at low rank-and-file wages, of course — that should rightly and urgently be returned to the public sector — to government.
All that having been said, however, a consumer economy — like the U.S. or Canada — must also be able to rely on the private sector to do its share of the heavy lifting when it comes to job creation. But there’s the rub! The private sector — the corporations — in both the U.S. and Canada has long since ceased creating jobs in North America in anywhere near the numbers needed to restore any semblance of prosperity.
The question is: Why?
Amerikkkan corporations are currently sitting on combined cash reserves of almost four TRILLION dollars. (One corporation alone, Apple Inc., is sitting on $100 billion in cash reserves.) And Canadian corporations are sitting on $500 billion in cash reserves. And they are all steadfastly refusing to invest any of that money to create the quality, high-wage jobs that are so desperately needed across the continent.
For over 30 years now, the right-wing socioeconomic elite — the Top One Percent — the millionaires, mega-millionaires, billionaires and mega-billionaires — along with their puppet political prostitutes and their captive corporate mass media — have been peddling the malevolent myth that if governments stop regulating corporations and start throwing vast amounts of money at their pampered owners, that all this money will be invested and everyone will be better off. And for over 30 years, the puppet political prostitutes have worshipped at the feet of Mammon and transferred massive amounts of wealth from the Other 99 Percent to the Top One Percent, giddily nodding their silent consent to the perpetuation of this sad pack of fairy tales.
Whether you choose to call it Reaganomics or Thatchernomics or Mulroneynomics, or trickle-down economics, or supply-side economics or neoliberalism/neoconservatism — it has never been anything but a pack of sleazy lies.
Effective tax rates for corporations and the wealthy — in both the U.S. and Canada — have fallen so low that they are not only the lowest in the industrialized world, they are the lowest effective tax rates in North American history.
The economies of both the U.S. and Canada are in their worst shape — despite government and mainstream media lies — since the Great Depression of the Dirty Thirties. And job creation — in both countries — is also at its lowest level since the Great Depression.
Where are all these investments and all these quality, high-paying jobs that the super-rich and their corporations were supposed to create if governments would only pamper them a little more?
They’re nowhere! It’s all been one massive scam, the highlight of which has been the most massive embezzlement — and the most massive redistribution of wealth from the Other 99 Percent to the Top One Percent — in the 500-year history of corporate capitalism.
What is perhaps most morally repugnant about this economic state of affairs, however, is that these corporations — because of their current all-time-record cash reserves and extremely low taxation — are now in a position where they could end the current recession/depression across the U.S. and Canada almost instantly — if they chose to do so.
Even at a cost of $500,000 per job (the actual cost would probably be much, much lower), the $4.5 TRILLION U.S. and Canadian corporations are idly sitting on would be enough to create eight million quality jobs in the U.S. — and one million quality jobs in Canada — within a matter of months. And the economic spinoff effects would be sufficient to put at least another nine million Americans and Canadians back to work.
Almost instantly, there would be full employment across both the U.S. and Canada. And there would be mass prosperity once again.
Why won’t they do it? And if they won’t do it voluntarily, the governments of the U.S. and Canada should force them to do so!
If only the rich had the will to act …
By Henry McRandall