Government jobs: Isn’t the second word more important than the first?

In the gaffe fest that was Friday between Mitt Romney and President Obama, there was one thing that stood out to me – in this lackluster, sort of, maybe, it might be recovery of the economy – isn’t the word JOBS still the most important?

Seems to me that Speaker John Boehner has an almost Tourettes like tendency to cite Jobs Jobs Jobs! as the #1 focus of his congressional GOP members (it’s not, they have taken more votes impacting women’s access to affordable healthcare and attempts to further restrict access to abortion facilities, but I they do).

The latest buzzword though, is private sector for public sector. The private business job market vs the government job market. Again, in my limited ability to understand such things, I focus on that J-word.

Obama’s gaffe was in stating, correctly, that the private sector is doing fine – WHEN COMPARED TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR – in new job creation. He said it poorly of course but that was the larger point.

Romney’s gaffe – which got much less attention – was in stating that Obama wanted more teachers, firefighters & police and that with the voters of Wisconsin keeping Scott Walker in office earlier in the week, they had sent a message to the President that the American People don’t WANT that! They don’t want to GROW government (even if it means new jobs? Yeah, that)

And all I could think was – but aren’t teachers American People? Aren’t firefighters American People? Aren’t police officers American People?

What, exactly, do you expect them to do with themselves Mr Romney? Those are very specialized fields. Teachers get specific degrees in college and then go through internships and credentialing to become – well, teachers! If the public sector (government) doesn’t give them jobs, who will?

What about all the training that firefighters go through? Graduates of the police academy? What are they supposed to do if there are no jobs? Or, if local governments continue to cut more and more jobs as you seem to think is totally OK?

Those are not minimum wage salaries they lose you know. When they go on unemployment and state funded food aid to feed their families it is more because it’s a percentage of a much higher salary. No, they aren’t in the 1% but they also aren’t the working poor. That’s a HUGE loss of wages to the economy. They have to tighten everything up and not spend anything non essential.

And all that tuition they spent? Useless is it? That training is wasted? Because who will hire them now? They have go through some kind of new skillset?

Meanwhile who is teaching our kids? How’s that classroom size problem working out? Oh, right, you think that’s all overrated! Of course you do. Your kids never spent a day in public school so they didn’t know what it was like to be a room of 30+ second graders with one stressed out teacher. Whose job you don’t value.

If one of your houses catches fire, fine! You’ve got more! Ok, that was flippant but really? We know you are planning on making La Jolla one of your home towns in the near future. One of your sons already lives out here. Have you been here when wildfire season hits? Do you know how much this county depends on firefighters and air tankers to save lives and property?

Do you know how much ANY community would rather have MORE police than LESS? Yeah, it’s annoying when they pull you over but damn it was nice to know they were around a couple of years ago when there was a prowler attacking women as they pulled into their garages in the evening. They caught him too – running away after being literally caught in the act thanks to their stepped up patrols.

My point is – I don’t care WHO is paying for those teachers, firefighters and police – they are there for the benefit of the public. The Public Good. That’s not socialism – it’s basic government services that we’ve NEVER seen threatened at this level before. And guess what? I would rather see the government pay them wages than support them through welfare, unemployment and medicaid. Because then THEY keep on spending their money at the same level and THAT translates to more demand for PRIVATE enterprise goods and services.

And those people IN those dreaded government jobs are just that – people. Like you and me. With jobs that pay their bills and feed their families. I don’t care WHO creates the jobs Mr Romney – I just want to see more. And if private industry is sitting on their hands and scared – fine – let the government do what it is supposed to do and has ALWAYS done in economic downturns – let it create jobs!

Under every other recession – with GOP Presidents – the federal government stimulated the job market by opening up public works funds and bailing out the states to keep teachers, firefighters and policemen employed. And it WORKED! And each time the resulting boost in tax revenue to thanks to the increase in jobs and then the increase in overall economic production refilled the federal funds.





Just put people back to work.



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