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The following letter was sent to President Barack Obama prior to his presentation of the National Jobs Plan in his presidential address.
Dear Mr. President:
As you prepare to present your Jobs Plan to the nation on Thursday, I hope you will find the recommendations I have developed, useful. I am owner of a large business, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for economic development in southern states under president Jimmy Carter, former Coordinator for Education under Florida governor Reubin Askew, president of The Harvest Institute, a think tank, policy and educational organization that advocates for Black America, and I am author of four best selling books on Black history, problems, and solutions.
In the job producing recommendations I offer to you for our country, I have applied the principles I proposed in my book, PowerNomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America, a book I wrote to help Black America become more economically self-sufficient and competitive as a group. Black America is a significant population segment within the country. The entire United States would benefit if Blacks could increase their economic strength. The actual unemployment rate for Blacks in America is over 50 percent. The total number of people unemployed in the United States is more than 25 million. For Blacks to survive and prosper, the nation’s economy must turn around and produce more jobs. The national plan that I offer today can immediately produce businesses, jobs, tax revenue, and wealth building opportunities. This plan is based on PowerNomics® principles and does not bow to Republicans, Democrats, liberals or conservatives. It is offered to strengthen our nation. It is based in realities, not political correctness. It is designed so that the funds from recommendations that generate revenues can be used to finance the recommendations that require funding.
This plan incorporates recommendations in the areas of URBANIZATION, PUBLIC WORKS, DEFICIT REDUCTION, FOREIGN POLICY, and IMMIGRATION. All recommendations would require hiring millions of workers in both the private and public sectors and would make America a more competitive, economically stable, and safer nation.
According to Harvest Institute research, which was validated by the PEW Foundation, the most economically depressed areas and dangerous places to live are the large urban inner cities which have a majority Black population and a Hispanic minority population such as Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland, Baltimore, St. Louis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Newark.
The extraordinarily high unemployment rates in urban centers are structural and a drag on the national economy. Mainstream businesses and industries abandoned urban inner cities forty years ago but seventy percent of Black Americans presently live in and around these cities which are burdened by poverty, crime, high unemployment, dysfunctional schools, limited number of businesses, deteriorated infrastructure, declining social and medical services, and hopelessness.
Urban Revitalization Recommendations
Urban job policy should be founded on the concept that businesses create jobs and government policy should help residents build industries with businesses they can own, operate and work in. Just as following World War II, America crafted and funded a Marshall Plan to rebuild war-torn Europe and a Point Four Plan to rebuild bombed-out Japan, the recommendations below urge a similar rebuilding effort for America.
1.Establish a Revitalization Development Fund that can be used for economic development in our most economically distressed urban inner-cities. The funds could be used to finance building businesses, industries, and helping residents to become stakeholders – owners and workers. Community pride, jobs and economic well-being will follow. Revenue generated from other recommendations in this plan can be used to finance the Revitalization Development Fund.
- Make Revitalization Development Funds accessible to aspiring entrepreneurs in these communities through established community banks in the largest urban areas through low interest, long term, subordinatable, revolving loans. The banks would be stewards of the allocated funds, evaluating, dispensing funds to, and monitoring projects.
- Use Revitalization Funds to attract major manufacturing corporations to faltering urban areas, especially those who moved their operations overseas to Third World countries in the 1960s and 1970s. Manufacturing provides jobs and additional business opportunities.
2.Appoint an Urban Czar of Business and Trade who functions as a liaison between the federal government, the urban governments and the Revitalization Development Fund. Strong productive cites are so fundamental to the economic strength of the entire county that this position should have the rank of a United States government department head and report directly to the president.
PUBLIC WORKS JOBS
A person can only do three things to earn a living – work, seek public or family assistance, or steal. If a public job provides a needed service, it is just as important as a private sector job. Consequently, all levels of government should be obliged to create jobs for tasks that are necessary for the nation’s well being, to increase the number of workers who can provide for their families and buy consumer goods. A modern day New Deal type program with updated versions of the Works Progress America (WPA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Kennedy’s Peace Corps could be designed and implemented to reduce unemployment, stimulate the economy, and restore public confidence.
Public Works Recommendations
1.Establish a National Infrastructure Revitalization Project to upgrade water and waste disposal systems, repairs streets, highways in urban areas as well as dams and bridges in rural areas. Many sewage deposal plants are inadequate and impede business and industrial growth. Water pipes that carry drinking water in urban areas are crumbling and creating health hazards.
These needs are critical and could directly employ thousands of workers.
2.Establish a Mobile Disaster Corps, like the Peace Corps, under Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to provide supportive assistance to communities impacted by the increasing number of man-made disasters such as oil spills, and climatic generated natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, forest fires, floods, and earthquakes. Unemployed youth, from college graduates to inner-city residents, could be employed, trained and temporarily dispatched to work in disaster areas. This program could aid people in distressed areas, offer jobs to the unemployed, and address the realities of climate change.
President Bill Clinton left the White House with a $5 billion surplus. President George Bush ignited an economic downturn that evaporated the surplus when he invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and changed the income tax code to award nearly seven trillion dollars to the wealthy. The Bush tax cuts and wars created a $4 trillion to $5 trillion dollar budget deficit.
Deficit Reduction Recommendations
1.Ignore the anti-tax, anti-government mantra of conservatives and Republicans who want to eliminate governments, increase the power and authority of corporations, and represent the wealthiest 1% of the population.
2.Rescind the Bush Tax cuts, close non-essential corporate loop-holes, and raise taxes on the wealthy rather than cutting basic entitlement programs for those who can least afford economic and medical losses. Reversing Bush tax cuts would restore trillions of dollars into the United States Treasury within a ten year period.
Provide Tax Relief to Consumers to Promote Spending
- It is consumer demand for products and services that creates jobs in businesses. Today consumers are not spending money. Companies are not hiring because of lowered consumer demand for their products. We could stimulate spending by changing the federal income tax code to allow consumers to deduct interest paid on credit cards, student loans, and state sales taxes.
- Enact Repatriation Policies that require major American corporations who have used off-shore banking to shift $1.2 trillion dollars in profits to tax havens around the world like Panama, the Cayman Islands, and Singapore, back to this country. Tax the corporations that comply at a maximum rate of no more than 10 percent, without penalties, if they declare the funds and deposit them in American financial institutions by a date certain.
World War II era military expansion policies have cost our treasury trillions of dollars. Financial commitments America made to rebuild Europe with a Marshall Plan and Japan with a Point Four Plan, are financial commitments that remain intact and have spread to an endless number of other countries. The role our nation has assumed of super cop and military interventionist has depleted our treasury, sapped our resources and hampered our ability to care adequately for our own people, including the ability to stimulate job creation when necessary. Every rocket fired into Libya costs a million dollars; the fighting in Afghanistan costs $10 billion dollars a month. Yet, the nation receives no quantifiable returns.
Foreign Policy Recommendations
1.Institute a Foreign Policy of Reciprocity to correct the problem that America receives no material or financial benefit for its military expenditures in nation building. Requiring Reciprocity means that before the United States sends its military into a country to benefit that country, the country must agree to reciprocate by giving the United States tangible or monetary resources equal to our investment and involvement. If applied to Iraqi, Libya, or Afghanistan, for instance, Reciprocity would mean that we should have received trillions of dollars of oil, or other assets, in exchange for the trillions we have invested in ten years of military action.
Negotiating a tangible exchange of resources in advance of military conflicts has numerous advantages. Reciprocity would create new areas of employment directly and indirectly. If Libya, and Afghanistan, for instance, paid us in oil, just creating the infrastructure to handle that oil would employ thousands of workers and business to build underground oil storage facilities, operate oil haulers, build and operate new oil refineries. The cost of gasoline could drop. Low cost oil could reduce the cost of energy and the price of consumer goods would also drop.
2.Close most of the 700 military bases the United States operates and funds around the world that are no longer necessary for our security and use the savings to revitalize our urban cities and national infrastructure.
3.Institute new trade policies that stimulate businesses and jobs in the United States. End current policies that provide incentives for manufacturers and producers to locate outside of the country and outsource jobs. Existing trade policies have caused this nation to lose its dominance in automobile manufacturing, electronics, clothing and textiles, footwear, toys, seafood, and other areas of manufacturing. These losses represent lost jobs, income, wealth, businesses, and international power.
4.Institute new anti-dumping trade policies to stop other nations, especially Third World countries, from dumping surplus products into our market places.
5.Institute a national public relations campaign to ‘Buy American made products first.’
Unchecked illegal immigration across our southern and northern borders supplies cheap labor but exacts a high socioeconomic cost. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) estimates that as of 2009, there were 20 million illegal immigrants in the country and that as many as 5,000 cross the borders every day. The cheap labor they provide drives down wages of native low-skilled workers, displaces natives from jobs, increases welfare, public assistance costs, and criminal rolls. The United States allows illegal immigrants access to unearned benefits such as social security, reduced education costs, and participation in affirmative action programs. Their numbers are so great that cities are often forced to suffer overcrowding or build new schools, add more public transportation, and absorb more medical costs. Hospitals, especially emergency rooms, are overwhelmed by the sheer number of illegal immigrants they must treat and the complexity of their medical issues. This compromises the over-all quality of medical care. CIS estimates the net annual cost of illegal immigrants is between $67 billion and $87 billion. The National Academy of Sciences says that in addition to the estimated $166 billion and $226 billion a year in direct costs to American taxpayers, illegal immigrants also displace Americans in the job market.
The following recommendations aim to protect the security of this country while preserving its jobs, wealth, businesses, health and culture.
1. Halt the uncontrolled flow of illegal aliens and create jobs for Americans by hiring thousands of border patrols.
2. Cease rewarding illegal immigrants with preferential status and unearned benefits such as
affirmative action, job preferences, social security, free medical care, and free college tuition.
3.Charge illegal immigrants a naturalization fee which would be used to finance the Urban Redevelopment Fund.
I hope these recommendations are helpful to you. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish further information.
Dr. Claud Anderson, President