Long Time Gone: Trickle Down Reps

Crystal BallLong term unemployment isn’t merely an economic concept — it’s 17,000 people in Nevada.  17,000 who will see the rug pulled because the Congress of the United States of America couldn’t agree to an extension.  [LVSun] December 28th is the not-so-magic cut off date.

Nevada is still sitting toward the top of the scale in the U1 unemployment calculation (U-1, persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force) at 5.6%.  [BLS]  The District of Columbia has a 5.7% rate, California has a 5.2%, Georgia 5.0%, Illinois 5.2%, New Jersey 5.5%, and Mississippi 5.0%.

Nevada is still Number 1 in the U3 Lists — the unemployment number generally published — at 9.7%, and our U6 rate (U-6, total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers) is 18.1%.

Given this situation one might think Nevada’s representatives in Congress would be enthusiastic about jobs and bills to create jobs.  However, from Representative Joe Heck (R-NV3) we get a dose of good old fashioned Trickle Down Hoaxsterism:

“Job creation and turning our economy around is my top priority in Congress. As a former small business owner, I know what it takes to run a business, make a payroll and create jobs. Since coming to Congress, I have focused on introducing and supporting legislation that will create an environment that allows the private sector to thrive and create jobs. While there have been positive economic signs lately, we cannot turn our attention away from this critical issue.”  [Heck]

Note the emphasis — “introducing and supporting legislation that will create an environment that allows the private sector to thrive and create jobs” —  the statement is classic Trickling.  What we’ve witnessed since the monstrous collapse of the financial sector in 2007-2008 is that a “thriving” financial sector doesn’t necessarily mean job creation.

It’s not unusual for the financial sector to recover more quickly than the rest of the economy, it is unusual for business analysts to see the gap quite so quickly, as they did in October 2009:

“What’s different in this recovery is the extent to which the leading indicators are soaring ahead of the lagging ones. Wall Street cheered on Oct. 22 when the Conference Board’s measure of the economic outlook for the next three to six months rose a greater-than-expected 1%. But the same report saw the gauge of lagging indicators fall 0.3%. The worry is that if workers continue to lose their jobs and the ability to spend, the tentative recovery could morph into another downturn.” [Business Week]

While the total pessimists weren’t seeing the “W” shaped lagging indicators as as the calendar moved on, but Main Street still hasn’t recovered to the extent that it is driving “job creation.”  And, contrary to the self-congratulatory ruminations of the 1%, it’s Main Street, not Wall Street that creates jobs.

Heaven knows the “Quantitative Easing” from the Federal Reserve which has funneled some $29 trillion in liquidity into Wall Street over the past five years hasn’t created “an environment that allows the private sector to thrive and create jobs.”   Wall Street’s recovery hasn’t boosted Main Street’s economy.   Instead, an economist’s presentation to a Pennsylvania business event sounded a more somber note in late 2013:

“Economists say the recession is over but if you don’t have your job back, things are crummy and staying crummy,” Dr. Siegfried said. “Not only is the growth slow, relatively more and more is going to the elite of society, the higher income people.  “If you look at the real wages of people, their average income has been stagnant.”  [Times Trib]

Instead of a repudiation of the Trickle Down hoax and a recognition of the fact that Wall Street has recovered nicely and Main Street is still struggling with income stagnation and slow growth, we get this paean to Trickle Down from Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV2):

“Washington has tied the hands of small business owners and job creators with onerous regulations and backward fiscal policies that have stalled the economy, slowed innovation and destroyed jobs. We need common sense, pro-growth policies to give small businesses and entrepreneurs renewed confidence in our economy and to remove Washington as the roadblock to job creation.”

So, we might ask, if the QE fiscal policy from the Federal Reserve has amply rewarded  Wall Street institutions as they recover, how is this a “backward fiscal policy” stalling the economy?  The Financial Sector is not stalling, it’s not even coughing.   This morning the DJIA is sitting pretty at 15,928.32, a far cry from the 4,827.44 from April 2009.  A 230% improvement.

And, those “onerous regulations?”  This is campaign rhetoric not economic theory.  Unpopular regulations, such as those imposed in the wake of the Enron Debacle (Sarbanes Oxley) and after the financial sector casino collapse of 2008 (Dodd Frank) the real targets of conservative wrath — have precious little to do with Main Street commercial enterprises.

In short, those Nevadans believing that the Trickle Down pieties from Representatives Heck and Amodei will do anything toward the reduction of long term unemployment in Nevada are star gazing into the magic crystals of the Austerity for You Prosperity for Me Wall Street casino crowd.

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