Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupy Nashville Arrests, take 2

I woke up this morning to hear that 29 individuals were arrested last night for peacefully protesting in a public location. The government of Tennessee will say that they weren't arrested for protesting, but instead for violating a curfew imposed on this one location. Of course this curfew had only been instated that day and was obviously instated to stop or at least curtail the protest.

The US Constitution and the Tennessee Constitution both guarantee the right to free speech and the right to peacefully assemble. The state of Tennessee violated both of these rights for the individuals arrested. Tonight there were more arrests.

The information I have received via live video streams from the Occupy Nashville web site says that around 30 more people were arrested tonight. The Tennessee Highway Patrol officers conducting the arrests refused to give out their names when asked, had their badges covered, and refused to give out their badge numbers. One of the individuals arrested was apparently a reporter for a local news paper who was there covering the protest, he had his press credentials and showed them to the patrolmen, he was still taken into custody. Another reporter who questioned the arrest was also threatened with arrest. The first reporter was told that his press credentials didn't matter because he was not on public property which in fact is not the case.

Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press were stomped on tonight by the state of Tennessee. I have not been an active supporter of the Occupy movement simply because I won't be part of a group unless I know exactly what they stand for and the Occupy groups have been purposefully vague. I do, however, actively support the exercise of the rights guaranteed to all of us by our Constitution. We have to stand up against this type of oppression, we have to stand up against this type of governmental disenfranchisement. If you are a resident of the state of Tennessee please contact your state representative and senator and strongly voice your disapproval with the actions that have been taken by the state against these protesters. You can find contact information for your state legislators here;

Contact information for Governor Haslam can be found here;

You can contact the Tennessee Highway Patrol as well;

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How to take our country back...

All around the country, in fact all around the world, people have joined the individuals in New York who are part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I hesitate to call it a movement because "movement" implies something is going in one direction or another while the Occupy Wall Street groups seems to be headed in 10 or 15 different directions at once. So if any of them are looking to stand up for something instead of just being angry at something I am offering my assistance by proposing that everyone support a three step process for taking our country back.

Step one, End corporate personhood. Corporate personhood is a legal concept, technically (and I am not making this up) a "legal fiction", that states that corporations are people and have the same rights as people in out country. Yes I agree, this is completely ridiculous but it is true. In 1886 the US Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people and are entitled to the rights you and I are. So when a case came before the Supreme Court charging that laws against corporations funding or supporting political campaigns were unconstitutional the Supreme Court had to look at the earlier court's ruling and agree. If corporations are people then they should be able to support political campaigns just like anyone else. I am dismayed by this ruling but I can see why the Justices ruled the way they did. So now we need to fix the problem set up by the Supreme Court back in 1886 and the only way to do this is a constitutional amendment. This amendment would state that only individuals are granted rights under the US constitution and that no organization is entitled to the rights provided for in the constitution. Step one complete.

Step two, Reform campaign financing. I'm not talking doing something minor here, I am talking a major overhaul.

*Only registered voters will be allowed to donate to political campaigns. No corporations, no unions, no political action committees, no civic groups, not even political parties. If you can't vote then you can't donate.

*Individuals can only donate to candidates they can vote for. I live in Tennessee, I can see no reason why I should be able to donate to the campaign of a candidate running for the governor's office in Idaho.

*The maximum donation is $500 per election cycle per candidate. This would allow everyone to donate up to $500 per candidate in every election they can vote for. Heck they could donate $500 each to two candidates running against each other if they want to, but only $500 per candidate per election cycle.

These changes would go a long way to making each of our votes count and would take the influence of big money out of campaigns and out of running our government. The wealthy would still have their say, but they wouldn't be able to shout over everyone else with their money.

Step three, End all lobbying. We must eliminate the system of citizenship by proxy that is currently transforming our nation from a democratic republic to an oligarchy. Each of us has one vote we should each also have one voice. You could contact your elected representatives as often as you want, you could encourage others to contact their representatives as well, but no one could speak for anyone but themselves. A CEO should not be able to spend any more time with the President or a senator than I can, if nothing else we should be equal in political representation and the CEO should not be able to hire people to speak for his or her interests. One vote, one voice.

Steps 2 and 3 require that step one happen first but if we the people could yell and scream loud enough that these three things happened we the people would be in charge of our government once again.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The anti Federal Reserve cult

I have been involved in a discussion with a few individuals in the Ron Paul anti-Federal Reserve cult the past few days. I call it a cult because these people have completely drank the kool-aid. They believe exactly what they have been told and completely ignore any factual information that might cause them to question their beliefs. They try to proselytize and bring others into their cult by screaming about conspiracy theories and completely ignoring facts. They talk about the Fed being run by a secret cabal of mysterious individuals who don't have to answer to anyone. They scream about all of the harm the Fed has done while ignoring the Fed's positive accomplishments. They are cultists and Ron Paul is their prophet and supposed savior.

To be honest I am not the Fed's biggest supporter, I think Alan Greenspan helped to put our economy into the crisis situation it is in now with his complete faith in the Chicago School of Economics. But the mistakes of Alan Grenspan, large as they may be, are no reason to destroy an organization that has allowed us to not suffer through the wild swings of inflation and deflation that our country endured before the Fed existed. The Fed also brought us through the transition away from the gold standard which had we stayed on it would have destroyed the middle class in the US with the fairly constant supply of gold versus the quickly increasing US population after World War II. The Fed is far from perfect and could use a bit of restructuring, as could all of our economic institutions, but to claim that it is solely responsible for everything from our current economic woes to the murder of of US House of Representatives member Louis McFadden, to the Great Depression is not a sign of political involvement, it is a sign of insanity. To those Ron Paul supporters who may be reading this, think about your vote, I worry that Ron Paul, if elected, could become the economic version of Jim Jones.

Friday, October 21, 2011

super-micro economics

If you have read much of my blog you know that I talk about economics a lot. A whole heck of a lot. This post is about micro-economics, micro to the point of just being about me.

The economy is tough right now and boy am I feeling it. I am currently unemployed but making a small amount of money by selling a few nice vintage items online (come check it out and buy some stuff at my etsy store!) so things aren't quite as bad as they could be but they aren't good either. You see me and my husband have a house, but my husband is also working on his PhD in another city. I am here so we can keep the house and also to be close to our families and this means we are paying for 2 places to live, 2 electric bills, 2 water bills, etc. My husband is still working on weekends (this kind of blows since the weekends are the only time we can see each other) and gets a very small stipend from the school he is attending, but we are well below the poverty level as a household, so if you ever thought I was some well off guy just blabbering about things I don't understand, trust me, I understand things.

So if anyone knows of a part time job let me know, I can't sell plasma unless some rules are changed so that's out of the question, but I sure can pump out some articles if you need anything written :-)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Decline of America

Recently the Christian Science Monitor published an article detailing the decline in the standard of living in the United States. Income levels have been dropping, disposable income is vanishing, total wealth is on the decline with falling real estate values and the less than stellar performance of the stock market in the past few years. When I was young parents just assumed that their children would lead better lives than they had. Now many parents wonder how their children will make it which adds to the stress these parents endure wondering how they are going to make it as well. In all of this pain there is one bright spot. At least it is bright if you are in the top few percent of income earners in our country. You see while poverty and despair extends its grip all around you have seen your income go up. Corporate bonuses keep being handed out and huge donations keep getting paid to the politicians who will protect and enhance the wealth of the richest Americans no matter what the cost to most Americans.

We now have presidential candidates promoting tax plans that will shift even more of the tax burden onto the poor and middle class while saving the wealthy millions each year, that's not a typo, the wealthiest Americans would save millions if the 9-9-9 plane were to pass. We have seen the effects of "trickle down economics" and yet we allow our elected officials to keep passing laws that only benefit the wealthy and the corporations they profit from. We have allowed our country to get into this shape, easy and cheap credit allowed us to spend like we were wealthier than we were and as long as we could make the minimum payment we felt rich and saw no reason to change things. We were fooling ourselves and when it came time to pay up we realized we couldn't, we had given just a few people in our country control over our money and what control we didn't give them they bought themselves.

Tea Party supporters often scream about wanting their country back, I'm not sure what country they are talking about. A country with less regulation that ignores its poorest citizens and works only to make the rich richer while everyone else, the people that do the work and spend their hard earned money so the wealthy can be wealthy, get left behind? Well that is the country we have now, so that can't be what they are talking about. Maybe they are talking about the country that placed high tax rates on the wealthy, had a "war on poverty" created safety net programs instead of killing them so the government could save money and pass those savings onto the wealthy. The country that had strong unions which helped make sure that the workers in this country got paid a fair wage. The country that passed regulations to protect the health and safety of its people and knew that the business community was smart enough to deal with these regulations and still make a profit. The country that was prosperous and saw increasing income levels across all economic classes. If this is the country they wan't to get back, because this is the ACTUAL country that we used to have, the I will stand with the Tea Party supporters. Sadly the Tea Party people want the country that the wealthy have dreamed up in the fantasy world they live in and that so many in this country have bought, hook, line and sinker. This country never really existed in the US until now, but it bears a strong resemblance to a lot of third world countries where the rich have ben getting richer for years.

The wealthy love poor people. Poor people will work for less money and complain less for fear of loosing their jobs. Poor people make the wealthy wealthier and they hope to expand the population of the poor in the US. The wealthy will bring jobs back to the US when we are willing to work in the conditions and for the wages that people in places like China and India deal with. The Tea Party didn't take the country back but, with the permission of most of America, the wealthy took it away from us.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A question for the average American revisited

Recently I asked which was more dangerous to the average American, radical Islamists or radical capitalists. So far no one has responded and so I thought that this might need a bit more explanation.

On September 11th, 2001 the United States was attacked by terrorists who murdered nearly 3000 people in one day. Our nation's reaction was incredible. We, for a period of time, were unified in support for each other and in our outrage at the small number of unthinkably horrible people who had committed and planned this insane attack on our country.

A 2009 study found that around 45,000 Americans die every year from a lack of health insurance. There have been several attempts over the years to create a universal health care program in the United States. These programs have been defeated by the efforts of those who profit hugely off our current system, the health insurance industry, the pharmaceuticals industry, for profit hospitals, etc. What if all of the 45,000 people who die every year from a lack of affordable health care all died on the same day at the same location? Now we don't know about their deaths unless we know an individual who dies from a lack of health care personally, and then we might know of 1 or 2 people a year who's deaths are related to an inability to receive care for a condition that could be treated if they were able to afford the treatment. But if all 45,000 died on the same day, at the same time, in the same place while cameras rolled and the news media reported on their deaths, I believe we would have a man hunt for those who profited by denying these people the care that they needed the next day and by the next week we would have universal health care in this country. No one would be talking about socialism, everyone would be talking about the injustice that had killed these 45,000 people.

On 9/11 thousands of people lost their jobs as the places where they worked were destroyed by mad men in airplanes. Since then millions have lost their jobs as our economy has been destroyed by mad men in corner offices. If all of those jobs had been lost on one day. If the pink slips had all been handed out to every last one of the currently unemployed at the same time and from the same place how would things be different? Would the people responsible for the rise in unemployment still be receiving huge bonuses and sitting in their offices on Capitol Hill or would they be locked away in jail?

We are a nation that responds selflessly to an emergency as long as the emergency can be viewed in its entirety in the time it takes to watch the evening news. But we have death and suffering going on around us every day. Each day the body count is small, but cumulatively it eclipses any earthquake or hurricane or terrorist attack our nation has ever endured. We will spend billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and more time than we could ever imagine to hunt down an enemy that does great damage in one swift and horrible moment. But extend the time frame of the disaster and we can't find it in us to overcome our own selfishness to rail against our attacker. I believe the radical capitalists are fully aware of this phenomenon, lets hope our nation's outside enemies never figure this out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rick Santorum, my favorite republican presidential candidate.

You have to love Rick Santorum, if you google his name you will get a good laugh. He tried to blame the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests on the acceptance of the private relationships of consenting adult gay men. He compared same sex marriage to bestiality and pedophilia. He is an incredible idiot, but he is an honest idiot willing to say exactly what he thinks no matter how stupid it makes him look. Last night at the Republican presidential debate he got even more honest.

During a discussion on how the US should deal with China on issues like the trade debt and China's manipulation of their currency the phrase "trade war" was tossed around several times. Some of the candidates discussed how to avoid it, some seem to support starting a trade war with China. Rick Santorum had this to say;

"I want to go to war with China and make America the most attractive place in the world to do business."

That's an interesting thought. You see what has made China such an attractive place to do business are things like ridiculously low wages for the workers in China. A lack of labor regulations to protect workers from things like being forced to work excessive hours or to keep children from working in factories, or to make sure that conditions are safe for workers also makes China an attractive place to do business. China's lax environmental regulations mean that the country has been turned into an environmental basket case where in many areas it isn't safe to drink the water or even breathe the air, which of course also makes China a wonderfully attractive place to do business. Apparently Rick Santorum thinks it would be great if the US was just as attractive of a place to do business. I bet some of the other candidates wouldn't disagree with him on this. At least Santorum is honest about it.

A question for the average American

A few posts back I asked a question to all of my Christian friends, today I ask a question to a wider audience, the average American.

What is a greater threat to the average American, radical Islamists or radical capitalists? Before you answer think about this second question, how many radical Islamists are in our government writing and voting on laws that will effect all of us as either elected officials or lobbyists? How many radical capitalists are in our government as either elected officials or lobbyists writing or voting on laws that will effect all of us?

Feel free to answer by leaving a comment below.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day and I feel it is one of the more important days of the year when it comes to moving forward on full equality for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

You have probably seen pools in which people are asked if they support gay rights. Quite often the question about gay rights is followed up by a second question, "Do you know anyone personally who is gay or lesbian?" This second question is the one that interests me the most. As you would expect those who answer "yes" to the second question are much more likely to answer "yes" to the first question as well. That makes perfectly good sense. What makes no sense at all is the fact that people still answer no when asked if they know anyone who is gay or lesbian.

There might be one or two old hermits who live in remote areas of the Rocky Mountains and who only eat what they can find and who refuse to ever talk to another human being period who could say that they don't know anyone who is gay or lesbian, but they aren't going to be answering the phone to take one of these surveys! Lets face it, everyone knows someone who is gay or lesbian. We are your friends, your family, your doctors, your convenience store clerks,your lawyers, your burger flippers, your teachers, your neighbors, sometimes we are even your florists and hairdressers. Who we are is who everyone else in this country is, but some people still think they don't know anyone who is gay because no one has ever said to them "I'm gay". It is important that we in the LGBT community be open and honest about who we are, not just with our close friends and families, although we should start there, but also with the people where we work, the people where we go to church, the people where we shop, we should be open about who we are everywhere so that no one can believe any longer that they don't know anyone personally who is gay.

If we can get our society to this point then the fight for equality for LGBT people will be over. We will not win this battle with lobbying although there are plenty of groups who will claim it is the only way and take your money so they can prove themselves wrong. We will not win this battle by screaming slogans and carrying signs even though that can be quit a bit of fun. No, we will win this by showing that we are a diverse group of people no better or worse than any other group and no less deserving of equal rights. Oh yeah, a little help from the Courts wouldn't hurt too :-) The fact is that once people know us and realize that they have known us for years, they will have a hard time looking us in our eyes and saying we don't deserve the same rights as they do.

I understand that many of you think you can't come out. I thought that for a long time as well. All I can say is stay safe, do not risk your safety to come out of the closet, and secondly start working on getting yourself to the point where you can come out to as many people as possible. Life is much better when you aren't hiding, this I can promise you. I also believe that living as who we are as individuals makes all of our lives better as a group. No one has to come out today just because it sounds all "official" today, but if you are still in the closet on any level, think about what coming out will do for you and for everyone else and start moving towards that goal. You may not come out today, but it is as good of a day as any to start working on it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Herman Cain, out of touch with the people or just reality in general?

"Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself! It is not a person's fault because they succeeded, it is a person's fault if they failed. And so this is why I don't understand these demonstrations and what is it that they're looking for."

These words came from Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain, a man who is gaining in the polls and who has also recently said that no one in the United States is held back by racism. So, according to Mr. Cain if you are unemployed, if you are a single parent struggling to raise a family because your ex just disappeared on you one day, if you were born with a disability, none of this matters. Your financial difficulties all come from your personal laziness and lack of ambition.

To me this is insanity, but to Mr. Cain it makes perfect sense. You see the current system has worked for Mr. Cain and he believes that everyone has had the exact same opportunities as he has, has the exact same skill set that he has, and therefore they could have had the exact same level of success that he has if they had only worked hard. Aren't you all ashamed of yourselves now?

A few years back I worked for a gentleman in a small company that he owned. I was the very first person he hired for this company and it was undoubtedly very successful. He had also worked very hard to make his company successful, I do not deny this. You should also know that he came from a very wealthy family, was surrounded by business people growing up who offered encouragement and support. When his parents passed away they left him a considerable sum of money along with some real estate. Lets just say that his experiences growing up were remarkably different than mine.

I grew up in a blue collar, middle class family. My father worked in a factory and my mother was a waitress for most of her life. I was surrounded by people who worked exceptionally hard, some worked several jobs, and many who still had a hard time making ends meet. I can't relate to my former employer's childhood any better than he can relate to my childhood, but at the same time I don't think the opportunities made him less of a person than me.

One night I was at a restaurant enjoying a meal with my husband, my boss, and his husband as well. Yes we did have a few things in common. My boss had a few drinks and as the night progressed he wound up insulting me, my husband, my mother, my brother, and a few of my friends. He was angry and screaming these insults, our crime in his mind? Not being wealthy like him. You see my family's struggles with medical bills, in his mind, came from us being to lazy to work hard enough so that we earned enough money that medical bills wouldn't be a problem. By the way, my brother was blind from birth and had had two kidney transplants and a liver/kidney transplant. My brother had graduated from college and wanted nothing more than to get a job, but having a job would have made him lose his health insurance coverage which was provided by our father's employer. Of course to my former boss my brother just hadn't worked hard enough and should have been willing to risk going a few years without health insurance so he could get a job and contribute to society. Everyone else was insulted for the same general reasons, we were all lazy and had no reason to complain because we were simply living the life we had chosen for ourselves. He also claimed that all homeless people choose to be homeless so they can live of of the hard work of others.

To my boss, and I am guessing to Herman Cain, everyone's value as a person is directly related to the value of their bank accounts. They seem to think that it is the natural state of things for everyone to be millionaires like they are. Does Herman Cain not realize that if it wasn't for the low wage workers at the pizza chain he used to be CEO of he wouldn't be as wealthy as he is today? If he paid all of the cooks and counter help a real living wage the price of the pizza would have been so expensive that no one would have bought it. Does he not realize that it was the money of the middle class customers of his pizza chain that made him wealthy? I have no doubt that Herman Cain worked very hard as CEO of this company, but his work would have been for nothing if it wasn't for the poor and middle class who bought the company's products and staffed the company's locations. If we were all millionaires our economy would crumble and cease to function, we can not all be rich, plain and simple.

Of course the wealthy, every single last one of them, owe their wealth to the labor and spending of the poor and middle class. Our work and our money is more important to their wealth than their own hard work and good luck. We can't all be rich but the wealthy owe us for their wealth and they should be paying their fair share in our society. If they don't they may find themselves learning what it is like to live our lives. You see we can't all be rich, that is simply not possible, but we can all be poor. The way things are going that seems to be the most likely outcome as the wealthy destroy our economy with their self aggrandizing ideas about being self made and their apparent belief that they have the right to be wealthy.

Sometimes an individual can fail and it not be their own fault, but if our country fails it will be the fault of those who think they have succeeded.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Occupy Nashville

On Thursday afternoon I attended a demonstration that was part of a growing number of protests across the country inspired by the individuals camped out in the financial district in New York. I went out of a sense of curiosity as much as anything else. I had heard the media reports stating that the Occupy protesters were a rather motley group with no particular focus and supporting ideals that could be considered in conflict with each other and the dynamic of this fascinated me.

Today I heard a new narrative coming from a few different sources. They were talking about how the wide net thrown out by the Occupiers would allow the movement to grow larger and quicker than if it the groups had a limited number of ideals and issued it supported. Let me tell you what I saw here in Nashville.

The protest I attended was the second location of the day where the Occupy forces demonstrated. I have to admit it was a bit odd. The turn out was quite large for Nashville and the crowd was pretty diverse. There were old and young hippies, there were anarchist punks, there were Ron Paul supporters, and there were a few people that have been at every protest I have seen in Nashville no matter what the reason behind the protest. I may have been the odd man out as I didn't fit in with any of these groups.

The protest was fairly disorganized but I'm OK with that, heck, I have organized a really disorganized protest before. What struck me as less than ideal was a slight feeling of unease that some of these disparate groups seem to hold towards each other. I need to firmly state that this feeling was very slight, there was no indication that anyone was being driven away by anyone else, but still, the feeling was there.

Then tonight I visited the Facebook page for Occupy Nashville and the unease seemed a bit more palpable. Individuals called for the group to coalesce around eliminating the Federal Reserve and others complained about these calls. Some said that the group needed to decide if it stood for freedom or equity as it couldn't stand for both. Others were already saying that Occupy Nashville might not be the group for them.

I am not saying that this movement is doomed to fail or simply waste away, but I do think that they need to realize that simple anger alone isn't enough to build a movement. Bringing focus will cause some people to leave, there can be no doubt about this, but it will give those that stay behind more to work for instead of just having something to rail against. We need the anger being expressed and we need the anger to grow, but if Occupy is to succeed it must not allow that anger to be aimed inward.

I know what I would like to see Occupy take on as its primary goals, but my casual observations didn't lead me to believe that there would be a lot of support for rational business regulation and tax policy aimed at benefiting the largest number of people. I heard a few conspiracy theories but not a lot of thoughtful discourse on how to cut through the propaganda being broadcast by the business community that has brainwashed our country over the past few decades.

I am excited about this movement, it is at least not apathetic, and I hope it grows and prospers and most importantly I hope it becomes exceptionally effective. I will be watching Occupy closely, in the media and in person as I hope it becomes something I can support. At the moment though I just don't feel that I can support ending the Fed or starting drum circles as I can't see how either one will put anyone back to work.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Umm... Wow, Thank you, I really don't know what to say!

The 2011 Best of Nashville edition of the Nashville Scene just came out and surprisingly enough my little cardboard box on the sidewalk of the blogosphere came in second place only after the Nashville Scene's own blog for best political blog. Now you can tell all of your friends that this crazy, lefty, blog from George Oeser is kind of legitimate which is nothing I ever though would have happened.

But just remember, in all of this virtual celebration, real people are trying to convince us that what is in their best interest is what is in our best interest, people are being discriminated against for things totally out of their control, people right here in the US, heck, lots of them right here in Nashville, are hungry when we have more than enough food to go around. Fixing all of that is up to us, so lets get to work.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Business will not and can not save us.

Forgive me, some of what you are about to read I have written before. I felt the need to consolidate it though as I think it will make more sense if presented all at once.

We hear, on a regular basis, that the private sector has to pull us out of the economic mess we are in. This, I am afraid, is a massive load of fly covered, warm, stinking, crap. Let's take a look as to why business can't save us.

Businesses exist to make a profit, plain and simple. Businesses do not exist to create or provide jobs. Businesses do not exist to promote the health of the economy. Businesses exist for one reason and one reason only, to make a profit. Sure, some businesses claim they exist for other reasons but if they aren't making a profit they go away pretty quickly, so, businesses exist to make a profit. Now that we have that out of the way let's take a look at what that means today.

Many people are waiting for businesses to start creating jobs so that we can begin pulling ourselves out the economic hole we are in. This isn't going to happen. Businesses hate hiring, employees cut into profit margins as labor tends to be the largest expense for almost any business that involves more than 2 people working for the company. Hiring is a last resort for companies, they would rather push their current employees to produce more or install robots or other machinery than to hire additional workers. Businesses only hire when demand for their goods and services exceeds the company's ability to meet the demand and they can safely recoup the expense of additional employees by meeting the excessive demand.

But there is a problem inherent in this system. Demand is linked to income. If you lose your job your ability to spend is going to drop and you will not be adding to the demand side of the equation. So while it is in a company's best interest to keep its workforce as small as possible this leads to a serious problem for the economy as a whole. On top of this it is in a business' best interest to stockpile cash so that in a downturn it can continue to hang on in hopes that things will turn around. Of course taking this cash out of the economy makes less cash available to the people who generate the demand for a company's goods and services, and the people who generate that demand are quite often the same people the company laid off to help reduce its costs. So while we are waiting for the business community to save us they are simply acting in their own best interests which also happens to be one of the worst things that could happen to the economy as a whole.

The first economist to recognize this inherent contradiction of capitalism was Karl Marx. Being one of Karl Marx's theories would on its own make the idea dismiss-able to many people in our country, except some pretty well known economists are starting to pay attention to this theory. Economist Nouriel Roubini is one of these economists. Dr. Roubini predicted the current global financial crisis 4 years ago and his prediction seems to be pretty darn spot on. So now he is recognizing one of the biggest challenges we face, what makes the most sense for business makes the least sense for our economy.

So what do we do? President Obama has proposed that we put people back to work by repairing and improving our nation's infrastructure. This would involve raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for the program and then giving this money to the companies who will do the work so that they can hire individuals to actually perform the work which will create the jobs and provide the pay checks we need to jump-start demand and get us all back to work. But there is a flaw in this concept. If the government channels the money through businesses the businesses will do exactly what they are supposed to do and maximize their profits. How will they do this? By hiring as few people as they possibly can which puts a bit of a kink in this jobs program. Business will be doing exactly what it should do but it won't be doing as much as possible to use the tax payer dollars it will be receiving to create jobs.

We have a demand problem in this country which is caused by a lack of jobs and the fear and uncertainty unemployment causes in the poor and middle class who are the primary consumers in our economy. The wealthy have been called "job creators" recently when they do almost nothing to create jobs, it is the spending of the poor and middle class who create the demand we need to force businesses into hiring, the poor and the middle class create jobs, the wealthy just profit off their labor.

Some will say that the reason businesses aren't hiring is because they are over burdened with taxes and regulations. This is simply not true. Lets say we eliminated all taxes and regulations on businesses of all types in the US. This would save these businesses a tremendous amount of money, there is no doubt about that. But if you ran a business today and suddenly had a mass of cash dropped on you would you A. save that money and wait for things to get better? or B. go out and start hiring new employees when you don't need them because there is little or no demand for your good and services? Taxes and regulations aren't keeping any businesses from hiring, they just try to blame the lay offs and lack of hiring on them in hopes that it will save them some money and increase their profits, profits they won't waste by hiring additional workers.

So, it won't be the business community that pulls us out of this hole, in fact it would go against their best interests to really help our current economic situation. We can start off by increasing taxes on the wealthy, but instead of turning that money over to a collection of companies the government should do the work itself and hire the workers needed to do the work itself. This will make our country a better place to do business because of improved infrastructure and create the maximum number of jobs which will also help out the business community.

Getting our economy back on track is something that the private sector simply can not do at this point and there is no other organization that can tackle a problem of this size besides the government. The private sector has brainwashed the country into thinking that only the private sector can get things done. It is time we realized there are things the private sector simply can not do. If we don't come to this realization and act on it the private sector's self serving attempt at mind control will back fire on them. I just hope it isn't too late already.