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Eight ways to help get America back to work

John Heckers //February 8, 2012//

Eight ways to help get America back to work

John Heckers //February 8, 2012//

The current unemployment situation in our country is a national scandal and is having international repercussions. Here are a few ideas to get America working again

1). Education. Many of the people who have been laid off will never go back to work at a job similar to the one they lost for one simple reason: Many jobs have been eliminated through automation or offshored. (More on that here.) Rather than continuing to pay out eternal unemployment, let’s spend some money to re-educate those workers flexible enough to learn a new vocation (and pay them better than unemployment for learning). Almost everyone would prefer to learn a new vocation/trade than to collect the paltry, insufficient sum that is paid by unemployment.

2). Train Americans and stop importing labor. In certain tech sectors we have twice the number of jobs as we do qualified workers. We are importing foreign workers. This makes absolutely no sense when, for a small percentage of our national revenue, we could create our own qualified workers who are already Americans.

3). Taxes. The wealthy and mega-corporations are NOT “job creators.” My little company has created more jobs and paid more taxes in the past year than places like GE or Bank of America. It is time the wealthy, bankers and mega-corporations paid their fair share of taxes. Close off tax subsidies and loopholes for the wealthy and corporations, and institute the “Buffett Rule” on those making over $1M/annum. Reduce the deficit with both cuts AND new revenues. It is the only thing that makes sense.

4). Tax all income, whether from investments or labor, the same way. Please don’t give me the hooey that investment income gets “taxed twice.” The only thing that gets taxed at income rates is the initial investment. It is not right that the interest or dividends get taxed at a much lower rate and there is no Social Security or Medicare Tax paid on this income. Taxing all income the same way would go a very long way to cutting the deficit and maintaining essential services, including our military.

5). Stop rewarding companies for offshoring. Companies that offshore their workers are directly harming America in many ways. Why do they get tax rewards? The decision to offshore should be one that has real and painful consequences in the tax code, as well as in the P.R. arena.

6). Help our companies (especially small business) more. Tax breaks, and real ones, for companies that create real jobs, pay a living wage and offer good health insurance to their employees should be immediately instituted. Make companies under 50 exempt from most government regulations (and extend this to states, counties and municipalities by federal law). A small employers’ payroll tax holiday would help. Make it easier to borrow for working capital through the SBA. And put an end to absurd municipal taxes like the Denver Occupational Privilege Tax for companies under 50 people. We’re rewarding the wrong people in America – those who offshore and lay-off and otherwise cost American jobs. Decisions shouldn’t be made on who bribes what politician. This hurts us all!

7). No rewards for failure. Laying people off is a failure on the part of executives and ownership. Yet there are often large monetary incentives for executives who make that decision. This should be immediately made illegal. We shouldn’t be rewarding executives with multi-million dollar bonuses for throwing middle class and working class Americans on the street. And, yes, there is class warfare here and has been for some time. It was started (and is being prosecuted) by the 2 percent of Americans who own most of the assets and wealth in America. It’s past time to fight back!

8). Fine and/or imprison employers who hire undocumented workers. The undocumented worker problem would solve itself if we a). had a guest worker program to allow those who pick the crops and pack the meat to come here temporarily and legally and b). if we sent employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers to prison or slapped them with real fines. This would assure that those who are not here legally don’t take American jobs.

Nothing will assure an economic recovery, but these steps will go a very long way to helping.

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