As the growing recession drags on, there is a new martyr of the minute for those who are caught now (but only at private companies) bathing in government dollars. AIG and its cohorts may have created the most sensational recent example of poor use of taxpayer funds, yet overlooked in the national media dialog is how many old ideas concerning government spending have been reinvented to represent different concepts in this time of crisis.
In the most recent stimulus bill- the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009- a massive $787 billion dollars in spending was unleashed from the public coffers in a very expedited manor. The president challenged the congress to oppose the bill, saying âoewhat we canâ(TM)t do is drag our feet or allow the same partisan differences to get in our way.â The public demands action to our growing economic problems, and the modern media made sure Obamaâ(TM)s version of the story was soon clear to the American public.
The narrative about the economy has always had a few sides. Universities around the nation have for a long time incubated a non-decisive discourse on the economy. Two schools of thought have been debated back and forth in academia: Adam Smithâ(TM)s model touting the greater benefits of the free market vs. John Maynard Keynesâ(TM)s economic model that stipulates that government spending is the best way to get through an economic crises.
With our current federal policy the Democratically Controlled government has declared a winner between the two, and the mainstream media seems happy to report that this decision will apparently allow the nation to put this nasty recession thing behind us. You canâ(TM)t blame them though- it makes good sense on the surface for the media to come to this conclusion. If the current nationally agreed upon model is a Keynesian one of government spending, then who better to do the job-if you go by the past century of the American narrative-than the Democrats. One of the old favorite Republican adages is to call the Democrats âoetax and spend librals.â
Nowadays Obama is proud to boast the Democratic Partyâ(TM)s credentials are spenders of the publicâ(TM)s coin. FDR and his legacy of spending during the Depression is heeded as the new best old way to do things. But the new Democratic Party canâ(TM)t get support for the same projects Roosevelt did; they needed new ideas to capture the heart of the nation. So where did the Democratic Party look for these new ideas? The same place they kept their old ones.
One big part of the conversation is so called âoeGreen Collared Jobsâ that are to be created by the millions due to government spending contained in the stimulus package. Suddenly the subject of saving the environment became less about losing jobs (from private corporations that are negatively affected by environmental regulation) to making them through new government spending on environmental projects. In the age where Keynes is king, the idea that subsidized industries are less efficient than private ones that are affected by free market forces is all of a sudden a good thing.
Yet there is an important question the media never asked during the passage of the important bill. What mechanisms or provisions are in the legislation to guarantee that the jobs created by its passing will be American ones? On Obamaâ(TM)s website it states that he plans to âoehelp create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.â
The problem is that the wind-turbines, solar farms and clean coal factories that Obama professes to be enamored with can be full of parts made in China. In fact, we all know it would be cheaper to build the bits there and put the final product together here. That is what America is good at nowadays. The website never specifies that the 5 million jobs be American ones.
But jobs installing wind-turbines and putting together Chinese made solar panels are not the kind of jobs the Obama Administration wants many in the American public to see as the âoegreen collared jobsâ created. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told the American people that Obamaâ(TM)s environmentally friendly energy policies will create "thousands, millions of new jobs in America."
Why would she not promise this considering that American workers who used to make cars, houses and many other products would naturally want a piece of the action in the factories making essential parts of the new Green Industry? When millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the past year, it seems very logical for the government spending Obamaâ(TM)s Administration requested from Congress to be used for the direct benefit of these American citizens. And yet not a single major media outlet demanded this provision from our representatives.
No major media outlets has asked for quotas on spending bills that stipulate what percentage of parts needed to be produced for use in the new Green Industry are to be made in America. Everyone seems to prefer looking forward to better days when all this government spending makes news on the economy move back to its own section of the daily paper where it belongs.