Our president recently said there was a risk of the country slipping into another Great Depression. For all of you who decided to pretend that it wasn’t happening, I ask that you open your eyes.
Closing your eyes and hoping our struggling economy fixes itself will not help any of us. Our economy will not be fixed with greater taxes. Creating more government jobs only takes money from one person and passes it around to others. It doesn’t bring any new money into the state.
More shopping with borrowed money spent from your savings account won’t fix the economy. Looking around at the malls you’d think that we’re doing well, but it only hides the fact that retirement savings accounts are being spent.
Los Angeles County is already experiencing real depression-era type unemployment. You’ll hear that we have a current unemployment rate of 12.6 percent two years after our market crash. But remember that it was 16.3 percent by the end of 1931, two years after the Great Depression started. To hide the real unemployment rate today, we calculate the unemployment rate differently then we did in 1931. If you use the U6 number we are now at 17 percent. The Great Depression took four years to take hold and unemployment reached 25.2 percent.
As the great depression went on, people had savings accounts that slowly disappeared. They sold off possessions as well. If you read the newspapers from that time, the market went up and down repeatedly. People often claimed opportunity was just around the corner. Those who were working eventually lost jobs when no one was able to purchase their products. What we need right now are real jobs.
Today, California is the eighth largest economy in the world, and the largest single economy in the United States. To put things into perspective, the European Union’s bailout of Greece, Ireland, and proposed Spain and Portugal is smaller than a possible California bailout would be. You don’t seem to hear much about this in the press since it doesn’t keep people watching the idiot box, but it’s something that will take all of us to stop from happening.
We all need to go home and have real conversations with our families about the facts. We need to figure out how to live financially responsible lives. That means we need to spend wisely, invest, and truly understand the consequences of our voting decisions. Throw out the idea that we can spend our way out of this, and start investing in companies that make things we can sell to other countries. In the end, we need to get back to making stuff. Making stuff is stinky and might cause pollution. But the choice is that or be homeless.
We all need to accept that the idea of a “Green Economy” will not create enough jobs to keep us living in the lifestyle that our parents had. Every kind of manufacturing job in California has gone down ever since the green fever took hold. According to the California Employment Development Department report published Nov. 19, 2010, we lost another 11,300 manufacturing jobs. Almost 40 percent of the unemployed have been that way longer than six months. The top-growing employer in L.A. County was our government. That is very bad. Manufacturing with less pollution is a good thing. The problem we have learned is it is stupid to limit pollution here in California, while allowing products made creating 10 times the pollution next door to share the same shelves.
China doesn’t even have an Environmental Protection Agency to force companies to be green. If you think they’re looking at becoming a green economy, just think about their record on human rights. No one really tracks emissions in Asia. They think we’re idiots. The math is simple. Four billion Asians are burning everything they can find as fast as they can burn it to make you an iPhone and a Prius.
Now all the Asians want iPhone’s and a big screen TV in their 3,000-square-foot home as well. As millions in Asia are manufacturing with no EPA restrictions, more pollution is being created than ever before. To put it into perspective, if all 300 million Americans were beamed off the planet by aliens, it would have less than 5 percent total impact on global population. So when I hear our lofty dream of reducing American pollution by 10 percent over the next 10 years, I’m left realizing that this is less than a 3 percent change, which is an almost insignificant amount.
Forget talks about a double-dip recession; we’re still taking in water. For a drowning person, taking in less water slower is not the same as breathing air. This is a California problem, and has little to do with George Bush or Obama. We borrow, tax and spend money the way the Democratic Party of our one-party state desires. The State Assembly and Senate have been Democratically controlled for the last 14 years.
In exchange for that tiny percent reduction in global emissions over the next 10 years, we encourage Asia to pollute more and faster while we allow our people to become homeless and the state to go broke? Is it really worth it?
David Alsabery is wondering if the smoke from the factories in Asia will cause global warming in California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org