• holly1,

    Do you actually believe that the minimum wage and union pay is what sank this economy? Free trade is sinking this Country.

    Do you realize that during the most prosperous time in this Country's existance, the Unions were the strongest? More taxes were being paid and people had the money to purchase more, so there were more business open.
    The problem is not that the pay is too high, it is that the companies are "allowed" to bring the products back in that they make overseas, free. This Country needs to go back to some of it's protectionist policies.
    We will never be able to compete with labor costs overseas, unless you feel that people can support themselves here for dollars a day. There is no OSHA, EPA, liability, or any of the other worker protections in place over there. Companies want absolutely no operating costs, so to drop our pay to equal what is paid over there, will tank our our way of life. If you haven't already noticed, it is happening now.
    How will it help to be able to lower wages to where everyone is not making enough to even owe taxes? As it is now, most people just have enough to cover the basics, and those less fortunate, are on some sort of public aid, in which they can barely cover the basics. No wages, no taxes paid, more at the top will have to cover the shortfall and then will bitch about how unfair it is.
    Do you see prices going down even though the poverty level in this Country is skyrocketing?
    No way is lower wages the answer to a problem this big.

    October 11, 2010 at 11:04 a.m.

  • mike

    One has to blame the loss of industrial and manufacturing jobs as the real cause of our economic problems. This was caused in part by the government raising the minimum wage every few years which in fact does not help the poor that much because the cost of everything goes up along with the minimum wages. A 25 cent hamburger now costs over a dollar because of higher costs at every level of production and processing and shipping the food to Mac Donald's. Raising the minimum wage helps only the government by increasing tax revenues.

    Another reason these jobs were lost was in part due to the big unions driving up wages to a level that made our products to expensive to compete in over-seas markets and their products far cheaper than ours here. This resulted in the simple fact that now we make almost nothing here anymore. We import almost all of the durable goods we consume now.

    The way to get these jobs back is to get the bloated labor costs back down to a competitive level with the rest of the world. We are now seeing a major correction in the housing market with around a 29% drop in values nationally, wages and prices of goods need to also undergo a correction as well. This would also make it more profitable to manufacture durable goods here again and compete better in the global economy.

    To go along with these things we as consumers need to also support these changes with buying American made products more because the job we save may be our own!!!

    By lowering labor costs the price of everything would also fall. Yes we would make less money but with everything costing less the end result would be more jobs making all the products here again instead of importing it all.

    The costs of health care and education would also fall which would allow property taxes to go down as well. Putting more money in the pockets of homeowners and tenants because rents would also go down. If we brought back our industrial sector's productivity to full power we would also see a drop in social program costs (Entitlements) due to all the people hired from the welfare roles to fill those new industrial/ manufacturing jobs. This would have a 2 fold effect by lowering costs to the government and raising income taxes paid by all the new workers.

    The only way out of this economic mess is to bring home all the lost jobs. Now is as good a time as any to do this because housing values have already corrected and may even go lower if the mess gets worse.

    A complete overhaul and simplification of the tax codes is needed along with this. SIN taxes and Gas taxes only hurt the poor by taking money from them instead of it being spent on worthwhile things.

    October 11, 2010 at 4:49 a.m.

  • Legion357
    No,I mentioned light rail in a previous post and the example was to describe my long term position and how difficult it would be to get anyone to agree to all of the variables....poor analogy;I guess.

    The NJ project wasn't even mentioned in the article  I blogged about but it one that has been discussed recently because it just needs to be's not brand new but it was stopped.
    I am not familiar with the construction industry (nor do I pretend to be) ,so I don't know which would be better.........The environment issue came up because of traffic jams and idle time but that's too long to explain....Another blog.

    October 9, 2010 at 4:26 p.m.

  • Now you are straying off topic yourself Mike. Bringing the environment in to the discussion.

    So, if the tunnel is built, is it going to be a extension of the subway network? Or for automobiles?

    October 9, 2010 at 4:12 p.m.

  • Repeat my last comment.

    October 9, 2010 at 4:02 p.m.

  • Mike,

    I sense a some sarcasm

    Let's get this straight, I agree that the infrastructure is in need of repair, I to remember the collapse of the MN bridge.

    I am not against making needed repairs and if those repairs stimulate the economy in a state or two all the better.

    The proposed Tunnel project is a brand new construction project.

    Don't you think the $8.7 Billion would be better spent on repairing the infrastructure that actually needs to be repaired, like the next bridge that might collapse, rather than building a brand spanking new piece of infrastructure that will require maintenance?

    Will not all the employees hired to repair existing infrastructure have the same economic impact as the ones hired to build new infrastructure?

    October 9, 2010 at 4:01 p.m.

  • legion357

    It's a losing proposition for me because I am long term and most are short term.
    A "what have you done for me ,lately".......i.e. I remember seeing a sign inside a L-train car that said that this car saved the City of Chicago x amounts of carbon pollution and relieved the city of x amount of automobiles and related problems(wear & tear on roads,accidents,traffic jams) and the calculated a figure.....People,normally look at a figure,get out a calculator,say it's not worth the money but they never include all the variables.

    October 9, 2010 at 3:50 p.m.

  • I get it.
    I am well aware of the Ground Zero project failures (about (9years in the making)where the private sector gypped the tax payers with cost overruns and Boston Tunnel failures but that means we punt on this 3 to 4 million job projects because of those failures.

    You made my point....The journalist were talking about several of these projects like the MN where the bridges collapsed  a few years back..I remember reading about a high number of bridges needing repair in Texas....You went to find a negative response but that is the way it goes...I doubt we will undertake any projects..Just continue to kick the can down the road...That $8 billion today will be maybe $12 billion 4 years from now.....Delay,put off, and ignore;that will just add to the debt.

     I get it.... small incremental positive increases, in private sector jobs are not good enough,so we will sit ideally by until the 112th congress is seated to repeal all the regulations the Obama administration imposed on them and dole out tax cut after tax cut and make drastic cuts to the entitlements THEN our economy will take off.....People will start spending and the middle class will be strong because healthcare will be repealed AND the Corps. will trickle down the GAINS,proportionately.

    October 9, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.

  • But I guess it is all good, the WPA did help rebuild La Bahia and also built all those concrete picnic tables in Riverside Park way back when.

    October 9, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.

  • Shallow? No just the way it is. The project will help America as a whole, and a few states in particular.

    True the infrastructure needs repair and upgrades. I guess you can look at the construction of this tunnel as a upgrade that will relieve traffic over the Hudson River bridge, but it is a NEW project, it will not repair any older infrastructure that really needs repair besides Penn station. And IMO Penn station could wait until after bridges that are in dire need of repair are ...repaired.

    "6,000 jobs and taken 22,000 vehicles off the highway" for only $8.7 Billion initially. That's a real bang for the bucks.

    October 9, 2010 at 3:11 p.m.

  • Why are we $2 trillion behind on infrastructure maintenance and repairs? Didn't we elect these jackasses to look after that for us?

    Now we've gone and thrown another trillion dollars or more down a rathole called "stimulus." How are we ever going to crawl out of this deep hole with crap like that going on?

    October 9, 2010 at 3:04 p.m.

  • Legion357

    That's shallow because that is a very populous portion of the United States.
    That is not the only project that will be completed..There is some high sped rail coming.
    We are stuck on stagnant and have been for a long time.

    It's going to take a strong middle class to pull us out.
    The rich are using the cheap money to buy back their company stock.

    It's called a last gasp boost because NO ONE ELSE IS SPENDING.

    According to the engineers we need $2 trillion worth of upgrades or repairs..Pay me NOW when it is cheap or PAY me later when it crumbles injures or kills at at much higher cost.

    October 9, 2010 at 2:23 p.m.

  • Yeah Mike I couldn't resist. But seriously, the tunnel project you mentioned will be a boost for lower New York State, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and not have much if any impact anywhere else.

    Remind me again about the Boston tunnel project? How did that work out?

    October 9, 2010 at 2:11 p.m.

  • born2Tbe
    The blog will get out of hand as it aways does.
    The other day I wrote one about firefighters letting a home burn;a poster mentioned Obamacare...One day i wrote about my Medicare letter ;that same poster wrote about Obamacare,..I wrote about a book I read called "Too Big to fail" then they tried to make it about Fannie & Freedie,Barney Franks etc.

    I was just sharing some thoughts by a couple of journalist

    I just tought it would be one last gasp effort to have another WWII project like the Hover dam,the interstates etc......Our bridges and roads are in dire need of repair.

    The social problems,corruption,healthcare can be discussed on another blog.  

    October 9, 2010 at 2:10 p.m.

  • legion357
    I sense a some sarcasm

    October 9, 2010 at 2 p.m.

  • Mike,

    Your blog is about jobs and what will get the economy moving and I was just pointing out a scenerio that will not help, no matter how many jobs are produced.
    We need all of the money spent here in America, taxes paid on that money, and products bought HERE. Hispanic Americans (those who have made America their only home) are not what I was referring to. Stop getting so touchy about the situation.
    Hiring people who do not keep the money here is out-sourcing.

    October 9, 2010 at 1:47 p.m.

  • "Those people" with their $2 Trillion cash surplus....the government should step in and MAKE them spend it all....and borrow even more!

    I know how, let's raise "those peoples" taxes so high it will be cheaper for them to spend their cash surplus than to have it as, well a surplus! Brilliant!

    October 9, 2010 at 1:34 p.m.

  • "Those jobs twill (sic) be prive (sic) sector jobs in partnership with gov."

    Why a partnership with the government - WTH is that?

    jbj - I'm afraid you are dead on, there are undercurrents now in the economy because the cleansing of default has not been allowed to happen. A giant house of cards has been kept standing with bailing wire and chewing gum - the day of reckoning has been postponed but not put off.

    Corporations are hoarding their retained earnings as they did during the Great Depression. FDR taxed these retained earnings and the economy took a nose dive. Now the Fed is hell bent on monetizing the debt, this is one reason the stock market is going up because interest rate on government securities is going down.

    October 9, 2010 at 1:29 p.m.

  • Jbj
    First it is not a theory;it's it a economic fact but others can judge by the example I supplied.

    Our economic can only prosper with a STRONG MIDDLE CLASS,that middle class is not consuming.As the man said"people aren't buying and companies aren't hiring.....yea,I can come up witih a personal story to say the opposite but we need BIG infastructure jobs to make an impact..seed example I provided.

    I have noticed those on the right never mention OUTSCOURCING and those same companies want tax breaks.

    October 9, 2010 at 1:25 p.m.

  • There is nothing outdated about facts, Mike.

    Nancy Pelosi's economic theory makes about as much sense as taking water in a bucket from the deep end to the shallow end of a swimming pool to raise the level. Maybe this is why the government efforts have not been as efficient as one would have expected.

    There may be some big businesses with money hoarded. Small businesses are not in that position. I recently saw a local business with a temporary wall up and asked if they were expanding. The owner said, "yes, we had just added the extra space, but when this recession started, we did not want to buy the extra equipment and hire the extra help." Walk through the mall. Look at the businesses that have closed in this town. People used to work there. But we are not hurting like other areas are.

    Many business owners have lost faith in our government's efforts.

    October 9, 2010 at 1:08 p.m.

  • Jbj
    Those jobs twill be prive sector jobs in partnership with gov.
    Taxes are the lowest they have been since Truman,materials are cheap but people are not buying goods,we have trade deficits galore and those people have about $2 trillion in cash surplus..those are outdated talking points ,you are using.

    October 9, 2010 at 12:44 p.m.

  • Mike, this subject seemed to be about getting people to work. I did not realize how narrow you wanted it to be.

    The private job market is broken, we can let the government provide more jobs but it is like a very expensive bandaid. We need the private sector. If you want a list of ways the government can provide more jobs you won't get that from me.

    History has shown that lowering costs to people who own businesses works. It works best, and it works quickly, but those in charge are not buying into that. I don't know of another way to get those who own businesses to hire.

    Tax cuts for the "rich" may not work but it is proven that to raise costs to those who hire produces fewer jobs. So which road do you want to take?

    October 9, 2010 at 12:31 p.m.

  • Better than a New Jersey tunnel how about putting all 15 million unemployed to work digging a canal across the entire United States along our southern border. This would bypass the Panama Canal, generate another source of revenue for the government and it would be like a big fence blocking illegal immigration - killing two birds with one stone.

    It could be dug by detonating our excess supply of nuclear warheads especially when we dig through the Rocky Mountains - another problem solved. In addition it would be a great place to build boating and fishing facilities, along with water amusement parks, not to mention duck hunting, yeah duck hunting who wouldn't want that?

    Come on people it's time to think out of the box.

    October 9, 2010 at 11:41 a.m.

  • jbj said "I think the comments Republicans are making is because of the statement by Nancy Pelosi regarding unemployment and food stamps being a bang for the buck."

    In this case,Nancy Pelosi was right.

    It's simple economics'.... Every dollar that goes out for food stamps will get spent.... That's called circulating the dollar i.e... The food stamp money will go to the grocer, he in turn will pay his employees, vendors and taxes.

    "It's estimated that a $1 increase in food stamps creates $1.73 in stimulus. Infrastructure, another high-impact stimulus creates $1.59 for every dollar spent. Compare that to tax cuts which generate only $1.03 for every dollar returned to taxpayers
    The food stamp stimulus, while powerful, is temporary. But it's a spark that can ignite business - and put more food on the table during difficult times.

    Just like TARP but it's not something permanent....

    We could never think of just putting everyone on welfare because we would never be able to sustain the aftermath... Deflation.

    Stimulus equals temporary but necessary economic proposals...they should never be used(or even considered) in ordinary and prosperous times.

    October 9, 2010 at 11:36 a.m.

  • jbj

    This blog is not about illegal immigration or about people not willing to hire American Hispanics but the last time I looked ,they are human beings with equal rights under the 14th amendment... That's a problem between the contractors and the people they hire.. If you want go more into it, perhaps you and born2Bme can write some blogs.

    This infrastructure project would be around the New Jersey-New York tunnel project that would have been mostly funded by the stimulus money and the state of New Jersey. New Jersey's republican governor initially rejected the project but will now reconsider it.

    The private sector jobs had nine straight months of gains .The private sector added 64,0000 but 76,000 of the public-sector cuts were in local government, which diminished jobs at the fastest rate in almost 30 years. Another majority of lay-offs were among teachers, as 72,700 education positions were reported to have been eliminated.

    Not to worry, your Republican Party will continue to reject ways of improving this economy unless it includes tax cuts for the rich.

    A big project like that tunnel I mentioned will be great for the economy because the very likely scenario would go like this.... A one million dollar contract would be let to a construction company, that owner would use about half to buy lumber, concrete, and other building materials(money for American companies to pay their employees) the cities will get there permit fees, sanitation disposals, inspections etc..Now add that to about 100 more contractors and other industries that build around that... The contractor will play W2 wages which will deduct payroll taxes, if he pays contract labor he still will have to collect Social Security numbers for those he pays $600 or more; if he doesn't, he might have IRS problems...Then we have an illegal contractor violating our labor laws..An unpatriotic one at that.

    It's a conservative republican dream come true.... The public-sector(states &federal) are being laid off; those are the consumers that would likely spend....They don't spend,inventories stay on the shelves.

    Or we could just sit around them dwell on the social issues.

    October 9, 2010 at 11:16 a.m.

  • born2 I agree. I am sorry this problem with the illegal sitter is making its way into politics, this may people less eager to hire Hispanics for fear some may be illegal. But unemployed Americans should be the focus when it comes to hiring.

    I think the comments Republicans are making is because of the statement by Nancy Pelosi regarding unemployment and food stamps being a bang for the buck. I cannot imagine how some of these politicians can make such ignorant statements, both sides, of course. They should think first, their plan is not going to help and they just give the other side fodder. Sometimes I wonder if the opposing parties have some really good puppets.

    In this day and time, many people are living from paycheck to paycheck and praying that paycheck keeps coming. This is tough times.

    The housing market usually pulls us out of the sluggish economic times but with the foreclosures being frozen, it puts it on hold. Yes, we need to be sure not to unfairly foreclose, but this will give banks reason to stick their hands back out for more money.

    October 9, 2010 at 10:40 a.m.

  • This comment is not going to be popular, but it won't matter much if all the contractors hired for these infrastructure jobs, hires illegals or other immigrants, who send their money back to Mexico.
    We need to make sure that those that are hired are unemployed Americans.

    October 8, 2010 at 4:41 p.m.