Comments about ‘Letter: Solving unemployment through work programs’

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Published: Monday, Dec. 3 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

The letter offers a variation on FDR's efforts to solve the unemployment problem of the Great Depression.

Here's another suggestion that takes advantage of two economic realities:

First, this nation has a staggering amount of neglected infrastructure. Our national and state highways, bridges, airports, canals, ports, levies, etc., are crumbling. Infrastructure is essential to the economy, and we have neglected ours for decades.

It is short-sighted to the point of madness to believe that being cheap with our infrastructure is wise public policy. This work has to be done. There is no avoiding these responsibilities.

Interest rates for government bonds are so low right now that money is available at zero interest, and in some places, negative interest. The bond market is willing to essentially pay governments to hold their money.

A powerful, effective, and fast way to stimulate employment would be to take advantage of these historically low bond rates and get busy rebuilding infrastructure. Middle class employment would go up sharply, and vital work would be done that our nation desperately needs.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Are we mad? Have we forgotten already that Obama added over $5 trillion to the deficit in his first term?

Give a 2nd year tax credit to any business who hires someone who is receiving welfare. Make that tax credit equal to 50% of one year's welfare payments. At the end of the 2nd year, the government would have saved 150% of what it would have had to pay the welfare recipient and it would have received income tax revenue because that person would be paying income taxes instead of taking government welfare.

That welfare recipient would be back in the workforce. The employer would have received an incentive to expand his business. The government would have received immediate relief from paying welfare and it would have received more than enough in income tax revenue to pay for the 2nd year credit to the employer.

Revoke credits if the business abused the program. Refuse future welfare if the employee abused the program.

The goal is to get people working. The goal is to expand the tax base. The goal is to reduce Federal involvement.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

So we should punish businesses for not hiring people they can't afford by taking the money
(they don't have) anyway and starting yet another graft filled big government program to pay people high wages they haven't earned? If Mr. Neale wants socialism, which this program is, I think the shortest way for him to find it to move to a country that already has it. In short time he will find that it is no solution.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with requiring work from welfare recipients, but to blame the businesses for not hiring them, and to guarantee high wages is crazy. Higher wages are earned by being a good employee and by improving personal productiveness.

If the writer feels he is not paid what he wants or deserves, find a better employer and be a better employee. That is how freedom works.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Mike Richards, are you mad?

Please do some research and learn that much of that $5 trillion did not originate with Obama. Where did it come from? From policies set in place by his predecessors all the way back to St. Ronald the Reagan. A whole lot of it comes directly from policies instituted by President Cheney and his little buddy.

Although this letter is a bit over the top, similar ideas might be something worth considering.

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

It looks great on paper Mr. Neale. But the real world often presents mixed results. Sort of a CCC and/or WPA for 2012.

I recently visited Mark Keppel High School. It is a part of the Alhambra School District in LA County. Many of the original buildings were a WPA project in 1939. The plaques stating so are still displayed in several buildings. Many WPA projects are still serving citizens of this Republic.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

No Old Man,

Reagan gets credit for 1.7 trillion in 8 years
Bush 1 gets credit for 1.4 trillion in 4 years

You conveniently forgot Clinton at 2.5 trillion in 8 years but he also emptied the SS trust fund

Bush 2 gets credit for 5.0 trillion in 8 years
Obama does in fact have to own his debt of 5.6 trillion in less than 4 years

Now you will say BO inherited a bad economy, but so did Reagan, and Bush 2, so if that is an excuse no more bashing them.

But if you still want to play the victim card for Obama, look at the expanded social programs and unaffordable health care costs he is saddling the future presidents and our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. with. Either way, he is a disaster to the economy for generations to come.

Deep Space 9, Ut

I am not sure if this letter was being sarcastic or not.

You can't mandate employment any more than you can mandates prosperity.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Christian, you are completely missing the boat. For a president to undo policies set in place by previous presidents is almost impossible. The Bush tax cuts to the wealthy are just one example.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

No amount of re-writing history will change the FACT that Obama is responsible for more than $5 trillion dollars in additional deficit spending between 2009 and the election of 2012. He was the only person in America who could execute the laws where that spending took place. He was sitting the in the Oval Office. HE, and he alone, was the chief executive officer of the United States. He cannot blame Bush. Bush did not execute those laws. He cannot blame Reagan. Reagan did not execute those laws. He can only blame himself. If he didn't want to spend the money, he could have refused; just like he refused to act on illegal immigrants; just like he refuse to uphold the marriage act; just like he refused to allow drilling for oil in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

He is the President. The buck stops at the Oval Office. No amount of finger pointing will ever convince anyone that someone other than Obama was President when that money was spent.

Spending more money for government jobs will increase the deficit. A 3rd grader knows that spending money will not reduce the deficit.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

I think this is an awesome letter. Maybe it's not completely workable (for one thing, what do you do with folks who are disabled), but I love the idea of thinking outside the box like this. Well done!
I rather like Mike Richards' tax credit idea too. The problem with it is that the amount of money businesses would receive in that tax credit would be so small, I'm not sure it would incentivize much hiring. I'm not sure what you mean by 'welfare' because there are many different kinds of help people can get, but none of it's in any sense lucrative.

Everett, 00

This is brilliant!
I can't see why one Conservatives could possibly be against this!
Imagine, FORCING the Unemployed to work?

No more Free-loading!
A Tea-Party dream come true.

Isn't that what they complain about daily?

Ironically, this also makes them more Socialist than even "I" can imagine.

BTW - My Granpfather worked the CWD during the depression,
That FDR, what a Socialist whack - building the greatest infrastruture the World has ever seen, and transforming America from a backwards argicultrual farming nation, into the greatest industrial nation in the world! Socialism - phrewy!

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I must be mad. I cannot recall a single instance where the size of the national debt has had any detrimental effect on the growth, the power, the welfare and happiness of people, business, religion, science or the price of eggs.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Ultra Bob" you said that you "cannot recall a single instance where the size of the national debt has had any detrimental effect on the growth, the power, the welfare and happiness of people, business, religion, science or the price of eggs." Go back to your history book and read about what happened in the 1930's in Germany.

The German national debt was effecting all aspects of life. It was so bad that if you went out to eat you paied before you ate, otherwise the price would go up as you ate. The price of eggs skyrocketed, people were miserable, businesses suffered because the german dollar was worthless. The only way the german economy could grow was to go to war.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Redshirt 1701.

Now I’m really mad, all this time I’ve thought we were talking about the American national debt.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Mike Richards --- Obama is the ONLY person who can cut spending.

You seem to have forgotten that there are 535 or so others who actually control the spending. Have you forgotten Congress?

Living in a fantasy world must be so much fun!

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Congress does not execute any law. That role is reserved for the President. Congress passes legislation. That legislation becomes law when the President signs it or when he allows it to become law without his signature or when Congress over-rides his veto. Even after the legislation becomes la, ONLY. The President can enforce that law. Congress has no authority to enforce anything. Enforcement is a duty reserved for the President.

Obama is solely responsible for the $5Trillion that e spend during his first term. No one except him had Constitutional authority to write the checks. Congress has no authority to write checks. The court has no authority to write checks. Only the President has that authority.

He can complain. He can mislead. He can pretend that Bush is responsible, but he and he alone spends the money.

He has no intention of stopping poverty in America. Everything that he has done has been geared to put people on welfare, not to get them off welfare. Public sector jobs will never decrease his deficit. There is no money in the treasury to buy an ice-cream cone, much less hire anyone to do anything at government expense.

Ogden, UT

Sally: I love Obama because I can get health care even though I'm unemployed.

Jane: Why are you unemployed?

Sally: I got laid of because by employer can't afford to pay for Obamacare.

Mr. Bean
Ogden, UT

@one old man: "Please do some research and learn that much of that $5 trillion did not originate with Obama."

If it happened on Obama's watch then it belongs to Obama. Stop acting like a typical Democrat blaming others for situations that happened on your watch. If a president can't turn an economy around in a term (and Obama didn't) he shouldn't be president in the first place.

Ogden, UT

@Ultra Bob:

"I must be mad."

If you're a democrat I would have to agree.

"I cannot recall a single instance where the size of the national debt has had any detrimental effect on the growth, the power, the welfare and happiness of people, business, religion, science or the price of eggs."

The national debt has little or no effect on the things you list. The problem with the national debt spiraling out of control (as it is) is simply the trashing of the entire American economy... which may take decades to recover from.


Mr. Neale (and Mr. Samuelsen) must not have lived through the Cold War, during which the Soviet people pretended to work for the USSR and the USSR pretended to pay them. It doesn't work. (And don't forget this bit: absolute power corrupts absolutely.)

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