Tom Toles by Tom Toles

Tom Toles

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  1. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, almost 3 years ago

    Is this the laser focus on jobs we were promised?
    20% of bridges in the USA need repair, and of those, 20% have one component, that if it fails, will make the bridge unsafe for use.
    The power grid has already been shown to be vulnerable, and that is without terrorists attacking it. There are unfunded plans to address these problems but no will to act on them.
    US CEOs and the Military say our young people still in school do not have the skill sets necessary to perform the high tech jobs needed for business to function and the military to defend us, but we are firing teachers nationwide and increasing the size of classrooms.
    Then there’s my personal favorite idea of a national water pipeline to pipe water from flooded areas or desalination plants along the coast to drought striken areas in order to prevent crop loss, enable more efficient fire fighting in forests, and prevent damage from floods along rivers and lakes.
    How many of you can come up with some other job ideas for the job creators and the government to create?
    Respectfully,
    C.

  2. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, almost 3 years ago

    There is no unemployment problem among people at the top. Profits are good. The unemployment rate among college grads is well under 4%. Unions are all but dead. There is no threat of working class revolt. With the minimum wage lower (relative to prices) than it has been in 50 years, high unemployment means an abundance of part-time (benefitless) workers at low wages. The only disadvantage is a dearth of customers with money to spend: but the solution to that is easy: produce high-end luxury goods for the folks who are doing well.

    A rising tide raises all boats they say, but the tide has been rising for a dozen years (with a couple years ebb, 2008-2010) and while the big boats have been lifted, the rest have been swamped.

    Raising the minimum wage is problematic. Some employers make hiring and staffing decisions based on it. When labor costs more, they can afford less of it. Some jobs are intended for teenagers after school, not for struggles family bread-winners. Part-time, low-wage jobs have their place.

    But the bill of goods sold to the American people long ago was this business of the rising tide. Or trickle-down economics. Increases productivity result in improvements for everyone! The more the few benefit, the more everyone benefits. The reality has been quite different. If the minimum wage of 1960 had risen relative to inflation, it would now stand close to $11. If the minimum wage had risen relative to productivity, it would now stand at $21. All the benefits of increased productivity have gone to a (relatively) few people, while everyone else have seen income stagnate or decrease, job security decrease, and healthcare costs skyrocket. There is no doubt that those who do not have college degrees are actually worse off than a few decades ago, and their children now have a much much harder time getting college degrees.

    The simple fact of the matter is that the national wealth have been moving, for thirty years, from the hands of the many to the hands of the few. There has been a huge redistribution of wealth in this country, and it has been accomplished (at least in part) by government policies determined largely by the GOP since the time of Reagan.

    I do not believe this was ever the intention of rank-and-file Republicans, but the unintended consequences of policies that looked “fair” to them, but failed to take into account larger realities. And those who really command the affairs of the country are not, at present, hurting enough to actually want to do anything about it. Inequality is necessary and good in its place. But when it gets out of hand and becomes to extreme, when the rising tide swamps all but a few boats, it is not a tide, but a flood, and a destructive one at that.

    Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, October 18, 1785:
    “But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property … [ One ] means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.”

  3. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, almost 3 years ago

    Just a little info on minimum wage workers: 88% are over 20, 36% are over 40, their average age is 35, about 56% are women, and 28% of those women have children at home. Most of them work full-time. On average, the minimum age worker earns half of her family’s income. How many people reading this would like to try to live on less than $15,000 a year?

  4. Enoki

    Enoki said, almost 3 years ago

    Thank you Mr. Obama!

  5. ARodney

    ARodney said, almost 3 years ago

    This is the first time in U.S. history that the response to a recession was austerity. It doesn’t work, and no one ever thought it would. We need more government spending, and we need the middle class to earn more so that they can buy stuff. The GOP thought austerity would hurt Obama, and hurting America in order to hurt Obama is the only plan they’ve got in their playbook.

  6. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, almost 3 years ago

    @Doughfoot

    I enjoyed your comment, Doughfoot… particularly the letter from Jefferson to Madison (are you familiar with the Jefferson Hour? http://www.jeffersonhour.com/ )
    The only point of disagreement I have is your statement that the unemployment rate among college grads is under 4%. The numbers vary… Daily Finance says 18%, Time says 40% are underemployed, other levels of unemployment listed by professional degree, ranged from 6% to 14%. Though I did also see numbers as low as 3.3 to 3.9 on some articles, they were the minority. The articles also warned of the debt graduates were going to be paying for their degrees, money that will not go to spending on homes, cars, and other luxuries for which tax revenue is gathered and other jobs created…. though mostly overseas.
    As the magazines and websites are in argument with one another, I will not dispute your figures further.
    And as already stated, I truly enjoyed reading your eloquently, intelligently, and very thoughtfully written comments.
    Thank you,
    Sincerely,
    C.

  7. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, almost 3 years ago

    “Everyone in America is standing in the welfare line waiting for their handout because they don’t have employable skills”
    Some are there because their jobs moved to another state or country and they couldn’t leave a house they couldn’t sell. Some lost their pensions when the banks responsible for them mishandled them. Others lost their jobs because they were close to retirement or had health problems and ‘reasons’ were found to release them from employment before the cost of a pension or higher insurance premiums cut into profits. The examples are endless.
    ^
    “How many of those minimum wage earners are drug addicts?” Fewer than the ones working without healthcare to pay for doctor visits and medicines for them and their families.
    ^
    “How many of them spend most of their income on booze and cigs?” Fewer than those who spend it on food, clothes, & school materials for their children.
    ^
    “How many didn’t make it through high school because they were ‘smarter’ than their teachers?” Not as many as the ones who were too hungry to concentrate; the ones to bullied to care; the ones in overcrowded classrooms with little or no supplies; the ones with uncaring teacher and/or parents who told them how worthless and stupid they were; the ones who saw their parents working two jobs and barely surviving and wondered, why bother trying.
    “How many are happy they have a job?” All of them who were hired by companies offering a living wage with a real opportunity for advancement and a shot at the American dream. All of them who didn’t have to take that job as a desperate grasp to survive after losing everything they had for reasons over which they had no control.
    “How many of them are getting an education so they can get a better job?” More than you might imagine, IF they have time, money to afford classes and books, childcare if they need it, healthcare if they need it, and only ONE job that leaves them time to do homework.
    “How many are African-Americans?” How many are white? How many are latino or asian? How many are over 35?

  8. ahab

    ahab GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    Doughfoot,R.T. and T.M., very nice posts ! Thanks!

  9. ahab

    ahab GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    @ARodney

    I agree with you and David. The goal of the GOP is based on demonizing those who are voiceless, and then sabotaging Obama’s policies,appointments,and any national economic recovery efforts.

  10. Enoki

    Enoki said, almost 3 years ago

    @Respectful Troll

    Let’s start by ridding ourselves of excessive government regulation. For example we could be deconstructing buildings in decaying, failed cities like Detroit for reuse except the costs due entirely to government regulations makes it prohibitively expensive. Instead this potential source of cheap building material rots and creates a bigger enviromental mess due to enviromental regulation, OSHA regulation, building code regulations, and a plethoria of other excessive government intrusion into the market.
    No, I am not talking about removing all regulation just reducing the load to a sensible and managable level.
    .
    Desalination isn’t cost effective without very cheap power. That requires nuclear at a minimum. Solar and wind won’t cut it.
    On forest fires we need to resume good forest management including a degree of logging and other use rather than prohibiting all use as is prevalent today due to idiot enviromental regulation. That is the major source of the problems within national forests today.
    .
    In education we should set rigiorous standards and maintain them even if it means many children do not graduate from high school. Better to have child with a real 8th grade education than one with a high school diploma and a 6th grade one as often happens today.
    .
    Infrastructure will take care of itself when the economy is in good shape and producing wealth. That will result in funding that allows infrastructure to be maintained and built as industry and the public make a demand for it. Fixing it without having the underlying economic strength is a waste of money. “If we build it they will come” is a fantasy.
    For what was squandered, yes squandered, on the stimulus we could have had a national program to build 50+ large nuclear power plants that would have massively increased our power available for very low per KWH costs. That would have lowered energy costs, placated the Gorebal Warming crowd, and given us the initial means to move to hydrogen as a portable fuel for vehicles and abandon the idiot electric car failed concept.
    Clean cheap energy would give us more options for expanding the economy along with sensible reductions in government regulation.

  11. Night-Gaunt49

    Night-Gaunt49 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    Oh they have employable skills, but the few jobs that are out there most of them are low wage service work. And some have more than one job if it is part time. And that could be temporary. After 6 months our govt automatically stops counting them. Even when they are still looking. And every job no matter how short term, poorly paid part time is counted like it was a full time well paying job. So I would say our unemployment and working poor would make our true picture closer to 15% or higher.

  12. Night-Gaunt49

    Night-Gaunt49 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    Nailed it. They can’t afford to allow the idea that people can’t control their destinies. It undermines much of their hatred of those who have become poor in this invisible Depression. Going since 2001.

  13. Radish

    Radish GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    If you don’t want people to call you a troll,
    stop acting like one.

  14. Night-Gaunt49

    Night-Gaunt49 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    @ARodney

    “Trickle Down” as its detractors called started first in 1920 to 1929. Reagan brought it back and GHW Bush called it “voodoo” economics, then promptly carried it on when he became president.

    Austerity is good during rich times, bad during lean times. In lean times it can lead to violence in the streets and instigation of police-states.

  15. Night-Gaunt49

    Night-Gaunt49 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    @Enoki

    Nuclear energy is an albatross. Costs far more than they promised. So dangerous no private insurance company will cover them. Only the govt covers nuclear power plants. We should exhaust solar and wind first before nuclear is considered. And also improve our use of energy which very wasteful.

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