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Why unemployment is ignored by Washington…

An interesting exchange with Larry Summers, the shithead who advises the Messiah on issues of unemployment:

summerssmallWhite House officials express confidence in the steps taken, saying the stimulus is spending money and creating jobs ahead of schedule, and forestalling far higher unemployment. They say they opted against direct jobs programs not for political reasons but because they thought such efforts would not produce long-term value. And they have not pushed the private-sector job-sharing idea — being promoted by Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) — because they want to build real demand for workers, not just spread work among more people.

“I think we got the Recovery Act right,” Larry Summers, the president’s chief economic adviser, said in an interview. “The primary objective of our policy is having more work done, more product produced and more people earning more income. It may be desirable to have a given amount of work shared among more people. But that’s not as desirable as expanding the total amount of work.”

Why would it be a concern of Larry Summers whether the problem of unemployment is solved by sharing the available work – and the available time off – or creating “real demand” for more work? As long as people were able to pay their bills and were satisfied with their real standard of living, why would Washington have a preference?

We’re glad you asked that question.

If, from Washington’s perspective, the problem of unemployment was a problem of people being evicted from their homes and going hungry, one would imagine any solution which dampened this pain would be considered by a democratically elected government responsive to those who placed it in power.

After all, the point is the well being of those who elected you, and by whose sufferance you remained in power.

But, suppose that government had its own agenda, the pursuit of which compelled it to feign concern with the condition of its constituents, but which, as a practical matter, stood in contradiction to the interests of its constituents. Suppose, in other words, that government saw it in its own interest that unemployment must be solved by creating more work, rather than sharing the available work – and the available time off from work.

As we have noted, a good deal of the artificial stimulus at work in the economy, which has produced the most recent uptick in economic activity, was nothing more than rapidly rising expenditures on military expansion.

That military expansion costs money which is being borrowed at an astounding rate. To service that newly acquired debt requires increasing tax revenues, which, if it not to be raised by increasing taxes, must be realized through increased economic activity.

Sharing work does not increase economic activity, it reduces it. If economic activity is falling, then tax revenues are falling, and debt becomes more difficult to service. If it falls fast enough and far enough, the accelerated military buildup cannot be maintained.

So to preserve his quiet military buildup, the Messiah and his henchmen have to get the economy growing and employment rising. And, any proposal to reduce work time must be avoided at all costs.

h/t Tom Walker

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