Jobs and Welfare: How Republicans Get it Completely Wrong

jobsWhen it comes to the Republican party, I don’t think it’s any secret that I don’t believe they live in the same reality as the rest of us.  In fact, as time goes on, they seem to actually be believing their own propaganda.

Election night 2012 was a perfect example of this.  Watching Karl Rove sit there on Fox News, seemingly in denial over the fact that President Obama had just won re-election despite the fact that nearly every credible poll out there said he was headed for an easy victory.  The only people saying Romney had a chance were extremely partisan right-wing polls and Fox News.  Watching Rove that night, it seemed as if he had bought into his own fabricated lies.

You see this kind of denial of reality when it comes to the Republican ideology behind jobs and welfare.

When it comes to “job creation,” basically all Republicans say is, “Let the free market decide, trickle-down economics is the answer.”

And even though it’s indisputable that since the dawn of trickle-down economics the rich have become richer than ever while the poor and middle class continue to fall further and further behind – they still cling to this believe that “tax cuts create jobs.”  Even though facts and reality overwhelmingly show that the two aren’t at all related.

If higher tax rates killed jobs, then our worst decades as a country would have come during the 50’s and 60’s when we had much higher taxes.  But they weren’t.  In fact, the 50’s and 60’s is a period of our history when this country thrived.

If tax cuts meant more (and better paying) jobs, then the middle class should be flourishing right now – but they’re not.

Of course Republicans blame this on President Obama.  After all, it’s his fault the rich (who continue to set records for how much wealth they possess) aren’t creating jobs.  Even though the theory of “trickle-down economics” essentially dictates the more the wealthy have, the better it will be for the rest of us.  It seems like he’s done a great job at ensuring the rich stay rich.  It’s these “job creators” who aren’t doing their part.

Which leads me into welfare.  Republicans also strongly oppose welfare.  They see welfare benefits as a reason for someone not to work.  As if welfare benefits provide some lavish life of luxury.

Now, they’re right when they say some Americans abuse the system.  I don’t think anyone is denying that.  But those who abuse our welfare programs represent the vast minority of those on welfare, not the majority.  Most people on these programs would love to have a job that paid enough to provide for their family.

But that’s the problem – not enough of those jobs exist.

Then let’s not forget the fact that millions of people working full-time jobs are on welfare because those jobs don’t pay enough to support their families.

It’s not that people don’t want to work, it’s that these “job creators” continue to cut jobs, pay and benefits so that they can continue to fatten their pockets and increase their revenue.

When you see a report showing that a company’s sales and stocks went up, but that company is eliminating jobs anyway, that means they’re just forcing the ones they didn’t layoff to do more work for probably the same amount of pay.

That’s the problem. 

Companies aren’t going to create jobs “just because.”  In fact, they’re going to do everything they can to eliminate jobs (or pay as little as possible) in an attempt to keep as much for themselves as possible.  That’s why trickle-down economics makes absolutely no sense.  It’s built on this idea that the rich will create jobs simply because they have a lot of money.

Except, they have a lot of money now.  They’re not looking for ways to give it away, they’re looking for ways to keep even more of it for themselves.

When someone says, “Let the market dictate wages,” what they’re essentially saying is, “Let’s let the company pay the least amount someone will take to do that job.”

If a company is paying someone $50,000 per year to do a job that should be getting paid $80,000, as long as there are workers willing to take $50,000 to do that job, that’s what the company is going to pay.  Even if the job being done should come with a much higher salary.

Which, again, is the problem.

We have too many workers wanting jobs and too many greedy corporations not creating them.  And if they do create them, they’re driving down wages because there’s more demand than supply.  They know they don’t have to offer someone $60,000 for a job because they can hire someone who’s extremely desperate for a job at a salary of $40,000.

And again, you could say tax cuts might fix this problem,  except we’ve been cutting taxes for over 30 years.  The rich are richer than they’ve ever been, yet this pattern continues.

Don’t even start with, “America’s corporate tax rate is one of the highest in the world.”  That’s such a weak argument.  Tax loopholes have made it so that the effective tax rate most corporations pay is much lower than the actual tax rate they should be paying.

It’s why Republicans get both of these situations completely wrong.  Cutting taxes has nothing to do with job creation.  And cutting welfare benefits doesn’t suddenly make people want to work – because they’ve been wanting to work.

Demand creates jobs, and that’s one area Republicans never address.  They continue to perpetuate the con of trickle-down economics as this promise of economic prosperity – a promise that never delivers.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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