To the Editor:
In the ongoing debate about job creation, much misinformation is being bandied about in an effort to confuse us and advance a conservative agenda.
Some try to convince us that economic growth will generate jobs. But the fact is that the gross domestic product has grown for seven consecutive quarters since the official end of the recession in the second quarter of 2009. However, there has been no increase in jobs during this period. Economic growth has not generated jobs.
Some say there are plenty of traditional jobs if you just look for them. People are unemployed because they’re too lazy to go out and seek work. But the fact is that in May 2011 there were 4.7 unemployed people for every one job opening. That number has not gone below 4.3 in 29 months, while from 2001 through 2008 it never went above 3. This shows that the jobs just aren’t there to look for.
Some claim that if we cut taxes on big corporations and the wealthy, they’ll use the extra cash to create jobs. But the fact is that corporations are sitting on more than $80 billion, and big banks are holding $2.6 trillion that they’re not lending. They aren’t using the reserves they already have to create jobs, so do we really think that if they had more money from tax breaks they would suddenly have a change of heart?
Some argue that proposed new free trade agreements with Korea, Panama, and Colombia will produce economic growth and create jobs. But the fact is that the effect of NAFTA and other free trade treaties already in force has been to shift thousands of American jobs to Mexico and other developing countries. Why would we believe empty promises of jobs when the actual results have been just the opposite?
The claims are belied by the facts. Which will we believe?