With Republicans' refusal to reason, Obama must act
Experts predicted tens of thousands. What happened? Let me count the ways! Governments across the United States laid off hundreds of thousands of employees. But they don't count, according to Republican presidential candidates who have said, "Governments haven't created even one job!"
The Obama stimulus package of $800 billion should have been spent on infrastructure building or remediation. However, one-third went to tax cuts. Instead of a multiplier effect construction would have caused, we have people keeping their tax cuts for a rainy day.
Businesses have found they can get employees to do twice the work at half the pay. So productivity is way up. Businesses are hiring "temps" for which they pay no fringe benefits. By using advanced technology, some jobs will never return. Since the government is not taking the lead in job creation or retraining programs, many businesses are afraid of a double dip recession and are not willing to make new full-time hires.
The Republicans demand that to raise the debt ceiling they want all spending cuts and no revenue enhancements. Our economy is two-thirds driven by U.S. consumer spending, but with income of the middle class flat in the last 20 years and jobs being exported, it's amazing we have any job or spending growth.
Most new jobs are created by small businesses, which is defined as a business having less than 500 employees. Since the Great Recession these entities have found it difficult to get banking lines of credit to succeed.
Metaphorically, our economy is like an engine that has little or no gas in the tank, which is spending, and it is coasting to a halt. This basic economics is lacking in the education of Republicans in the Senate and House. We will all pay the consequences unless the president uses the 14th amendment remedy. We can only hope!
Statistics on women are misinterpreted
There is no factual or statistical justification for the notion that "women earn just 78 cents for every dollar a man earns doing the same job," to quote a July 11 News editorial and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's website.
The source of this 78 percent number, a 2002 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, was based on the weekly earnings sample of approximately 15,000 households. In that year there were 100 million full-time workers in the United States, so it is patently obvious that no "same job" comparisons can be made from this sample, and in fact the BLS specifically cautioned against such comparisons.
It would not be surprising to learn that in aggregate, women earn less than men since women are more likely to choose to leave the workplace after marriage (often to re-enter later), impacting their work experience and seniority. Also, according to the BLS, men work longer hours than women. However, if it somehow were the case that men were being paid at hourly wages 22 percent higher than those of comparably skilled and experienced women in the same job, every business would be falling over each other to hire women to dramatically boost their bottom line.
Explore wind turbines to produce hydrogen
The recent controversy concerning gas exploration and fracking in Western New York has raised some concern.
Western New York has two abundant natural resources, wind and water. With the unreliability of a constant wind (to provide a steady source of electricity to the power grid), why not use wind turbines for manufacturing?
Specifically, use them to manufacture hydrogen, which is extracted from water. The electrolysis process uses a significant amount of electricity and coal-fired electric would be counterproductive.
Wind turbines could be used solely for the manufacture of hydrogen. If there is no wind for a period of time the process could continue when the wind resumes.
Hydrogen fuel cells for autos could be manufactured in Western New York, creating jobs. The prospect might be worth looking into.
It's time for leaders to prove their mettle
Luckily, you've caught the disease in its very early stages. The doctor presents you with two choices.
First, you can enter chemotherapy. The road to recovery, the doctor tells you, will be harsh. You'll suffer extreme nausea. You'll hardly be able to swallow from the ulcers you develop in your mouth. In short, you'll go through hell in an attempt to beat the disease. But because you caught the disease after the first symptoms appeared, you have a high chance at a full recovery.
The doctor also offers a second alternative. He's worked out a deal that allows you to rid yourself of the disease instantly. No pain. No suffering. No hell. All you have to do is agree to give the disease to your 2-year-old grandson.
Soon we will see who in our government is the coward, which of our elected officials will give the disease to their children, our children, and grandchildren in order to save themselves. It's time for a true test of character in Washington!
Programs won't solve the problems of cities
Columnist Douglas Turner's July 11 piece, "National policy needed for resegregated cities," discusses the plight of inner cities and blames President Obama for "throwing cities under the bus." He refers to attempts by white Americans to solve urban blight with "half-hearted programs."
Saving our cities dates back to President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty." Thus a blitz of government programs would solve the problems of drug use, illegitimate children and dismal high school graduation rates.
Head Start has spent $7 billion in federal money to give young children an early start on education. According to Time magazine the program has failed miserably, but some still applaud the program since it created jobs for favorites of local politicians.
Few can disparage the concept of saving our cities. But simply throwing money at the problem does not work. I do not pretend to know the solution.
But the great Albert Einstein once said, to do the same thing over and over and expect different results is a form of insanity.
Joseph H. Gusky