Ruth Zalph: Policies not creating jobs

December 22, 2013 

Thank you for publishing the excellent Dec. 9 Point of View article “Federal job program would fix economy” by professor William Darity Jr. on the government and fixing the economy. I agree wholeheartedly with his “cure,” enforcing the 1978 Humphrey-Hawkins Act and increasing the minimum wage.

The Great Depression was the impetus for Roosevelt’s Works Project Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, which brought full employment and helped pull us out of the abyss. Our nation’s leaders seem to have forgotten these factsfive years ago as we slumped into the worst recession since the 1920s and 1930s. Their answer to creating jobs was a trickle-down economics policy of aiding corporations through incentives, subsidies, tax breaks and global trade agreements, which greatly increased the profits of multi-national corporations but created few jobs in the U.S.

Unless blind, we see that this economic policy does not work. As the cost of living increases and wages stay stagnant, the disparity between the rich and poor increases and the middle class shrinks, as does tax revenue. People hear that “austerity” is the cure to our budget crisis. The only thing that austerity increases is unrest, nonviolent and violent demonstrations, corruption and crime. When will our leaders ever learn?

Ruth Zalph

Chapel Hill

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