Jobs deficit harmful; TVA worth recalling
Date posted: March 23, 2013
Re: Ongoing budget debate
Some people assert that government should balance their budget as we citizens do. I find that funny as I have borrowed more than government has. National debt is about 100 percent of GDP while my debt after I bought a house in the seventies was 200 percent of my annual salary, my GDP.
Should I have balanced my budget by cutting spending? There is no way I could do that and fulfill my responsibilities. Increasing my income was the only moral option. After two job changes, increasing inflation, and 15 years, I had increased my income so my debt was reduced by 50 percent to only 100 percent of my income. Our government should develop more jobs to increase income and fulfill their moral responsibility.
We do not have a deficit problem, but a jobs deficit that is injuring our people. Returning taxes to previous levels is a partial solution to debt but the real answer is new work; building infrastructure leading to increased production of permanent jobs. The best historical example is the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). A government created finance corporation issued credit to build and operate a series of dams and power plants.
The Army Corps of Engineers designed the project and TVA hired contractors that used that credit to obtain the needed equipment and materials and employ construction workers. As the individual projects were completed, they created water for irrigation for farms that had never existed and cheap power for new factories. That cheap water and power increased competition to prevent inflation. Wyoming’s economy also benefited from ensuing rural electrification projects. Increased employment lowered government costs while increasing revenues. I’d be willing to bet that unemployed workers from all over America found work on those TVA and related projects.
I am saddened that Congress has lost its vision, its ability to create. The Army Corps of Engineers has had a project on the shelf since the 1950s that could accomplish the same things as TVA. It’s called the North American Water and Power Authority.
It could create millions of jobs for decades and solve the most pressing water and power problems of three nations for even longer.