Let’s have a brief example lesson in economics as it relates to a hypothetic small community of people. For this example: assume the community has a labor force of 100 people in total, with some indeterminant amount of children living with these 100 persons/families. Assume there’s 5% unemployment (so 5 folks are out of work) and collecting unemployment, paid by taxes upon those who are working and those who are unemployed based on previous work they did. There some mix of production/manufacturing, services, retail, & other industries in the little community. The incomes range among full-time employed persons from 80,000 annually to 20,000 annually, depending on their job. Everyone pays a graduated structure of tax based on their ability to pay and all the normal basic services one would associate with a community are provided through this tax funding so that quality of life is good and most of the residents are pleased with their community. Everyone earns, spends, supports other business, and supports the community through taxes to keep the system prosperous, balanced & eventually the community begins to attract some more people to grow their size over time. Things are generally going well.
However, a few years later, the largest business in town decides that it has to cut wages to workers or else it will move out of town, because it got a better offer (tax free business for 10+ years) & the owner wants to keep more of his money to himself. So, reluctantly the workers agree to take a pay cut to keep the factory for a while longer, but the workers that made about 30,000 annually are now making 25,000 annually & had increases in benefit costs too. The growing size of the community is requiring them to build a bigger school, which means tax rates must increase, so that means it will be harder for those workers to survive on the higher taxes. In turn, they are spending less at other businesses, which is causing some to consider closing or limiting their employees to only part-time hours and no benefits. In turn, they don’t have the ability to maintain their families as well, and some have to seek help from public agencies to afford their basic needs, which places another demand upon the community to raise taxes again.
In this brief example, we saw a community generally in balance, with most aspects of it working cohesively, fairly, and fruitfully to everyone’s general benefit, but alas eventually one large decision by the largest area firm caused rippling effects that cost the area much more than it would save any one person. What’s more, if the firm completely leaves and is not replaced by other firms, then not only will the community shrink but so will its ability to function as a community.
Now, imagine this example playing out on a much larger scale across and entire country, with lots of big firms doing the same thing that the firm did in my example or worse, leaving altogether, and then also taking it 1 step further, lobbying to have laws passed that prevent tax increases to the business or granting large write-offs to the wealthier of the firms managers and owners, based on their income. So that eventually the community’s leaders have to turn to the rest of the people and ask from them to do with less and to help them less, thereby causing more poverty, more suffering, and causing people to want to leave the community entirely. However, if this is going on all over the country, then moving elsewhere is not any better than being where they are, or maybe they have no way of getting there to try and improve their lives.
Folks, this is a microcosm and a reality of what has happened and what is happening right now in our country. It is the sad life and future or demise of America. It is what happens when a few individuals want to put their own importance & their own wealth/greed & power over the health of the community or the country. We are a nation of individuals, but we are also part of a community, like it or not. You can’t be both on an island as an individual and pretend you’re still part of a community when it comes to realizing how you affect the community. It’s this split-personality mindset of how people regard themselves and their communities that is part of why things are the way they have become and we didn’t try to stop it sooner.
However, if we don’t speak up now, it is about to get much measureably worse and if you didn’t feel it before, then boy are you in for some rude times ahead.
This is why I will exclaim now and forever more that economic health is always about jobs, if people have them, we all function better as a society, than when so many are without. Why are we letting the whining demands & selfishness of so few rule the day, when it comes to bringing our communities, our countries back into balance? Why do we buy the half-truths and lies of those who want us to believe that major cuts are the only way to save ourselves from bigger problems. It is like curing the cancer patient by cutting away all of the body that might become cancerous only to kill the patient in the process.
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The reality is, by cutting jobs, public, private, or otherwise, we are further disrupting the balance and removing even more revenue from the tax base of the federal, state, and local governments. Whether you like public employees or not, they pay taxes, they give back part of what they earn in taxes every year and in benefit costs in most cases. The same is said of private workers as well. It is all a cycle like the natural cycle that brings our lands regular nurturing precipitation. Without it, there’s draught and loss, with it, there’s bounty and fertile lands to grow more prosperous. It IS that simple folks. I don’t care what your politics are, we are in this together, get used to it, or else get ready for some really ugly stuff to hit the fan everywhere. Can we avoid self-destruction, because that’s where we’re going right now. Stand up to these bullies, these fools who are driving this crazy train, and say firmly ENOUGH! NO MORE! It is what those who’ve been oppressed for decades in the Middle East & North Africa are doing right now and it is time we also took a stand (albeit without the violence certainly), but with the same firmness that says to those who’ve had the lion’s share and gravy train for a long time that the party is over. They want to tell the rest of us that very same thing, but it is they who are out of line and making our country and communities malfunction as bad as they have. These are facts, not suppositions, not conjecture, not some particular political whim, but the reality of what is to come if we don’t all get on board and hold those accountable who’ve been able to wiggle away from it all this time, while our communities have been slowly dying a horrid demise.