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# My 10-Year-Old's Jobs Program

Posted: 09/08/11 05:57 PM ET

I like to help my children with their homework, whenever I have time. (And since January, I've had more time.) It's great to help them -- I know all the answers, and I never have to take the exams.

Last night, we tried something different. They helped me with my homework. A math problem:

"We are spending \$159,000,000,000.00 on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year. If we ended the wars, brought the troops home, took that money, and created decent jobs paying \$30,000 apiece in the United States, then how many jobs would we create?"

Skye, the 16-year-old, took out her phone, clicked on the calculator app, and gave the answer:

"5,300,000 jobs."

Correct.

I asked the 12-year-old, Star, and the 10-year-old, Sage. Both gave me the right answer:

"5,300,000 jobs."

Then I asked the 6-year-old twins, Storm and Stone. Storm said "thirty hundred and five." Stone agreed.

OK, so we have a jobs program that a 10-year-old can understand. But, admittedly, not a six-year-old.

And what would that jobs program do to the unemployment rate? The math is a little more complicated, but the answer is that it would drop the unemployment rate from 9 percent to 5.5 percent. Immediately.

It's actually better than that, because money that is spent hiring Americans, in America, then circulates in America. Economists tell us that every new job like that creates as many as five other jobs -- the employee then pays his rent, the landlord then goes to the restaurant, the waiter then gets his hair cut, and so on. Unemployment, goodbye.

As opposed to spending our money in Iraq, on Iraq. Have you ever been in the desert when it rains? The water runs through the sand so fast that 15 minutes after the rain is over, it's as though it never rained at all.

That's what happens to our tax dollars spent in Iraq. The term "bottomless pit" is an understatement.

And what would all those employees do? Well, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky has figured that out. She has introduced a bill to hire 2.2 million people, and her bill breaks down this way:

• The School Improvement Corps would create 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs by funding positions created by public school districts to do needed school rehabilitation improvements.
• The Park Improvement Corps would create 100,000 jobs for youth between the ages of 16 and 25 through new funding to the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service's Public Lands Corps Act. Young people would work on conservation projects on public lands include restoration and rehabilitation of natural, cultural, and historic resources.
• The Student Jobs Corps would create 250,000 more part-time, work study jobs for eligible college students through new funding for the Federal Work Study Program.
• The Neighborhood Heroes Corps would hire 300,000 teachers, 40,000 new police officers, and 12,000 firefighters.
• The Health Corps would hire at least 40,000 health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and health care workers to expand access in underserved rural and urban areas.
• The Child Care Corps would create 100,000 jobs in early childhood care and education through additional funding for Early Head Start.
• The Community Corps would hire 750,000 individuals to do necessary work in our communities, including housing rehab, weatherization, recycling, and rural conservation.

Or, alternatively, we can have all those millions of people, our fellow Americans, do nothing all day, as they lose their jobs, lose their homes, and slide slowly into poverty and bankruptcy.

And I'll tell you one thing for sure: more corporate welfare will not create jobs. In the past ten years, we have crammed trillions of dollars into the pockets of Big Business, through bailouts, tax breaks, subsidies, no-bid government contracts, grants, cheap mining and drilling licenses, etc., etc. Do you know how many jobs in America the private sector has created during that time?

Zero.

Actually, less than zero. There are around one million fewer private sector jobs today than there were ten years ago.

We keep handing our money over to the rich, in the vain hope that they will give some of it back. That hasn't worked, and it won't work.

So which do you prefer: war or jobs -- jobs for all Americans? I want jobs.

We want jobs. Jobs, health and peace.

Courage,

Alan Grayson

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wakingnightmare
I called u a liar because u lied, simple
06:29 PM on 09/12/2011
CMontalvo.

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1 hour ago (5:11 PM)
First, I'll acknowledg­e that those meany, greedy corporatio­ns do what their owners (sharehold­ers...poss­ibly you if you own an equity mutual fund) want them to do: maximize profits. If they thought they could make more profit repatriati­ng jobs that cost more but would increase sales, they'd do it. They're not...

“Presently­, our economy is in a low-level Nash equilibriu­m where consumers are reluctant to spend because corporatio­ns are reluctant to hire; while corporatio­ns are reluctant to hire because consumers are reluctant to spend. Unfortunat­ely, simply offering consumers some tax relief, or trying to create hiring incentives in a vacuum, will not change this equilibriu­m because it does not address the underlying problem. Consumers are reluctant to spend because they continue to be overburden­ed by debt, with a significan­t proportion of mortgages underwater­, fiscal policy that leans toward austerity, and monetary policy that distorts financial markets in a way that encourages further misallocat­ion of capital while at the same time starving savers of any interest earnings at all.

We can't simply shift to a high-level equilibriu­m (consumers spend because employers hire, employers hire because consumers spend) until the balance sheet problem is addressed. This requires debt restructur­ing and mortgage restructur­ing.

That help?
Nice plagerism there chief http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=21147 trying to pass this off as your own words.
06:00 PM on 09/09/2011
Alright huffpoians; Alan Greysons plan- take money from Iraq, and create 5.3 million jobs, you are going to lose efficiency from deadweight loss, so lets peg the number to closer to four million. Then- magic, unemployment is now slightly above the natural rate. How? Why? When? He gives us this vague " Economists tell us that every new job like that creates as many as five other jobs -- the employee then pays his rent, the landlord then goes to the restaurant, the waiter then gets his hair cut, and so on. " Which economists? When faced with customers the restaurant owner will hire more workers- but couldnt he just raise his prices instead? How did he possibly come to that number (5.5)?

Graphs matter. Numbers matter. Facts matter. Rhetoric is important, but its probably not going to expand the economy, which is what most people want.
03:17 PM on 09/15/2011
Economic growth depends on making the US the top place to invest and employ. No Government, No corporation, and No individual is going to make that wish come true. It's going to take systemic change, hard work, and good luck.............and not the kind of 'race to the bottom' that Republicans are proposing. The idea of making pollution, corruption, and tax free 'black market' activities the way to the future somehow reminds me of the recent past, and that was not pleasant or productive.
homer winslow
Truth in Beauty, Beauty in Truth
04:34 PM on 09/09/2011
Yeah, but the repubs would rather those 5,300,000 people go into the armed services and fight for oil, I mean America.
This comment has been removed due to violations of our [Guidelines]
Gestas
Mountain Man
12:41 PM on 09/09/2011
Conservative economic mythology has destroyed the American Middle Class....
03:18 PM on 09/15/2011
Eggscellent observation!
Vendetta101
Pitchfork..check,Torches..check
11:03 AM on 09/09/2011
So you are saying that Bush's plan of one tax break per war didn't work?
03:19 PM on 09/15/2011
Hey, hold on there! Blackwater and Halliburton made plenty of money off of those wars.
10:25 AM on 09/09/2011
Didn't the "stimulus" create jobs at a rate of something like several million dollars per job?
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AnthropologistAmongApes
Gnothi Seauton
11:56 AM on 09/09/2011
Nearly 40% of that was for tax breaks, not job creation. So the cost of each job has a 40% premium attached to it just to get republicans to accept the other 60% of actual stimulus.
01:01 PM on 09/09/2011
That still makes them come at a 7-digit price tag...
04:04 PM on 09/11/2011
There are now over \$2.5 million LESS Americans working than when Obama took office.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Paul Burke
Author of Journey Home
10:21 AM on 09/09/2011
I love this man!!!!
10:02 AM on 09/09/2011
While I appreciate (and agree with) what you're saying, I don't think it serves the conversation to inflate outcomes. \$159b won't create 5.3m jobs because hiring a worker for \$30k doesn't cost \$30k. You have administrative costs, accounting, human resources and benefits to deal with. Ending the war would also drop demand in the defense sector, so we'd lose some jobs there.

That said, we should still do it. I'd predict something more along the lines of a 0.5-1% drop in unemployment, but that is a worthwhile goal.
Tom in FTL
I am always for the working person
09:42 AM on 09/09/2011
You are needed in politics. Run for President....
sfdcubfan
Vegan ASPCA Supporter
12:23 PM on 09/09/2011
Feingold/Grayson 2012!!!!!
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frank day
Obama cares about all of U.S.
09:09 AM on 09/09/2011
One of the few sane voices speaking for the average American.

I live out of your state but I will support you.
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NY Guy
Don't blame me, I didn't vote for him
09:06 AM on 09/09/2011
What about the cost to get the soldiers home? What about the cost for the military when they are home? Does he think that every soldier will now just leave the armed forces? What about the cost to support these countries after we leave? His simple math is assuming that the cost will go to zero and that is just wrong.
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Organic-Guy
Organic Gardener, Carpenter, Philosopher, Agitator
10:27 AM on 09/09/2011
Obviously this is a black box diagram not meant to be taken litterally. The obvious point is we spend way too much money on the wrong things. While building bridges, water systems and municiple buildings in Iraq and Afghanistan we could be building them here, especially now after all of this year's natural disasters, which aren't over yet. Our national guard troops are working overseas on projects we needed them here in Vermont for. What business does some one from Fairlee Vermont have guarding a bank in Afghanistan when they need help up here in Vermont? It will take years to put these wars to bed if we start today so why not start today? Orchardist know that the best time to plant an apple tree is ten years ago and the next best time is today! We need a total reset of our priorities and today would be a great day to start. Just the lifting of everyone's spirits from hearing that we're bringing these wars to an end once and for all would go a long way towards getting our economy and our country back on track towards a brighter future.
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SmileAndActNice
Utilitarianism, the -ism that works.
10:34 AM on 09/09/2011
A soldier stationed at one of our over 200 legacy WWII bases in Germany spends his pay in Germany. Where it enriches the German economy. Simply moving him back home and stationing him here would put that money in our economy.

Those 200+ useless bases are on land, much of it prime real estate. We could make a nice pile of cash selling it. Cause WWII is over and we don't need 200+ bases in Germany to stop WWIII.

Same goes for the 100+ bases left over in Japan. But more so for the profit from selling it as Japan has the most expensive real estate in the world.

Then there are the over 200 overseas golf courses maintained by the pentagon. Selling them will, again, make a lot of money and not hurt our defensive readiness one bit. As well as save us the maintenence costs in the future.

Military bases and resorts in countries that are no threat to us are the kinds of Government assets that are perfect for selling off in tight times because they give us money now and dumping them *saves* rather than costs, future money. Part of the Clinton surplus came from quietly starting to shut down these WOMBATS ( wastes of money, brains, and time ).

And why is it our job to "support" nasty mean dictators over there? The arab spring is tossing down our puppets and you want to what, stomp those people down and install new ones?
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zanzig
11:27 AM on 09/09/2011
"Those 200+ useless bases are on land, much of it prime real estate. We could make a nice pile of cash selling it."

I don't think America owns the land; I'm pretty sure you only lease it from the German and Japanese governments. You'll just have to return it to them when you leave.
08:45 AM on 09/09/2011
President Obama has adopted many republican proposals and by far the most ridiculous is the idea that by giving tax cuts to corporate America they will suddenly decide to give up speculating on wall street and start investing in America. Once this administration decided not to prosecute wall street and the criminal banksters there is no incentive that will make them give up their scams. The president's love affair with his wars has made him willing to cut medicare and medicaid in order not to have to make anything motr than token cuts to the pentagon's budget which means that we are moving further to the right and the idea of a progressive America has lost ground under this president. The icing on the cake for the right wing is the president's promotion of free trade deals that studies have shown will cost America between 150,000 and 200,000 jobs which will be outsourced overseas.
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thinkingwomanmillstone
great, green, globs of greasy grimey GOPerspeak.
08:02 AM on 09/09/2011
The bottom line is that the republican leaders don't want to solve any of the country's problems because their own bottom lines are benefitting from the panic and hate. It's a total PR spin that they are in the slightest bit concerned for the welfare of the country....they want a wealthfare state. The larger the gap between the haves and the have nots, the less they have to rub elbows with the lower class....unless they accidentally pass while at a country club social event....it's hard to train good servants these days. Money is the republican measure of a man...not his contribution to society.
HUFFPOST PUNDIT
JimR
07:22 AM on 09/09/2011
And what' would be your plan for actually getting the Schakowsky plan passed by the Republican House and in the Senate, where Republicans can successfully filibuster?

Oh, you don't have a plan for that. I bet even your kids can see that plan would be DOA.
TheBaffler
a long the riverrun
08:21 AM on 09/09/2011
Ah, so we should just keep implementing plans that please conservatives, even though they don't work. Thank for always delivering the defeatist, conservadem view.