5 Worst So-Called Job Creation Ideas From the GOP
Washington, nearly a year after the 2010 election that was supposedly all about jobs, finally seems to have woken up to the fact that the economy is still in the dumps and Americans are sort of angry about it.
Make that very angry. And with Republicans in charge of at least part of Congress as well as many state governments, they know they're about to take some of the blame for the continuing lack of any policy ideas on job creation--recent polls show only 24 percent of the country approves of how they're doing their jobs. Not to mention the GOP primary field is loaded with contenders claiming they have the magic solution to the jobs problem.
So what is this masterful GOP jobs agenda? You won't be shocked to hear that it's more of the same—more deregulation, more tax cuts, more whining about deficits. “House Republicans are planning votes for almost every week this fall in an effort to repeal environmental and labor requirements on business that they say have hampered job growth,” says the Washington Post.
But since you're about to be hearing these same ideas, with minor variations, over and over again, we thought we'd count down the five worst ideas, and arm you with some reasons why they're so very bad.
Labor Day seems to be the locus for all of these “jobs agendas” -- Obama's promised his after Labor Day, and GOP presidential candidates seem to be gearing up for that date as well.
But they seem to have missed the point of the holiday; that is, if their agendas are to be believed. The House GOP has taken aim at organized labor as well as Obama's National Labor Relations Board, and we know that right-wing governors around the country have been slashing public sector union jobs as part of their misguided austerity agenda.
The Republican party would like nothing more than to break organized labor completely; introducing an agenda around Labor Day would just be a nasty little bonus.
The Washington Post reports that Eric Cantor plans to try to overrule an NLRB ruling that keeps airline manufacturer Boeing from transferring its assembly line to South Carolina from Washington State, where union workers have gone on strike four times since 1989 over things like excessive overtime, safety precautions and health care benefits. South Carolina is a so-called “right-to-work” state where the workers would be nonunion (and paid less).
As Josh Eidelson wrote:
“It’s the latest round in a decades-long labor struggle. At stake: Do workers at Boeing get to shape their own future, and Boeing’s? Or do they just have to embrace—or rather, submit to—the corporation’s plan?”
Union workers make more money, have more job security and better benefits, and thus contribute more to the economy. While no one is denying that South Carolina's workers need jobs, the GOP's siding with Boeing isn't about its deep desire to employ South Carolinians. It's about corporations' ability to be able to pack up and move to wherever the labor costs (read: people) are cheapest, with little regard for the employees left behind. That's hardly a jobs agenda.
Then, on the House's agenda this winter, attacks on a rule proposed by the NLRB that would streamline the elections process for unions, cutting down on the endless delays that all too often stop an organizing drive in its tracks. This proposal was one of the quiet ways in which the Obama NLRB was doing its job—protecting workers against the powerful companies they work for. Cantor and his crew want to go back to the days when corporations can endlessly delay union elections while spending money on anti-union propaganda.