Lessons Not Learned

The Obama administration has proven to everyone’s satisfaction what Pancho Villa predicted several months ago. 

On November 10, 2008 Pancho Villa wrote an essay on the lessons we should have learned from our own history. The essay titled “History Lesson 101/ Economics 101” can be found here http://hubpages.com/hub/historylesson .

Without creating something of value any economic stimulus advanced by the administration will surely fail every time.  There is a good reason for this.

The essay was written with the age old premise in mind that says: Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach a man to fish and he eats the rest of his life.

The essay calls for government spending as a way of recovering from the depression. However, government spending should only take place when something of value is created and/or produced.

Today, the administration is again thinking “economic stimulus”.  Handing out money just for the sake of handing out money does not work. 

The reason is simple; free money creates nothing of value.  The only way to get the economy started again is for the government to spend, spend, spend but only on items of value.

For this essay let us define value.  Value is defined as something that is durable and enhances and adds to our society.

FDR put together a plan to recover from the great depression of the 1930’s.  With great courage and vision FDR put together a plan to build a system of highways that connected all the contiguous states.

His administration proposed and passed the WPA (Works Progress Administration). This agency awarded hundreds of contracts to increase and/or restore the infrastructure of the nation and in the process created hundreds of jobs. 

The ripple effect was enormous. Not only were there jobs building highways and other projects but those companies had to have suppliers.  Furthermore all those workers had to buy new shoes and clothes. They had to be fed so new cafe’s opened up. 

Our present administration was handed a recovery program put together by the Bush administration.  Well over one trillion ($1,000,000,000,000.00) dollars have been spent and not one job has been created.

The TARP program, as it is called, does nothing more than put large sums of money into the hands of executives that are at best incompetent and at worst criminals. This money is being used to fund huge salaries and bonuses instead of creating jobs.  

If President Obama is really serious about the economy then I suggest he look to the past to see where our future lies. 

The President should put together a task force of vision to make recommendations as to where this country needs to be in five to eight years. 

He should then create a government agency or add the task to an existing cabinet member to oversee the awarding of contracts and implementation of projects.

I have said it before and I will say it again. The great bailout program was not designed to create jobs nor was it designed to stimulate the economy. The bailout was designed to payback those that contributed to the fortunes of George W. Bush, most congresspersons and by extension Barack Obama.

 The proof is in the pudding. Of all those companies receiving bailout money how many have created new jobs with that money?  NONE!  Of all those companies receiving bailout money how many made sizeable donations to political campaigns? THEY ALL DID!  Of all those companies receiving bailout money how many contributed to the fund to pay for the inaugural balls?  THEY ALL DID!

We don’t need to give more money to politicians.  We need to create jobs.  Job creation will stimulate the economy not the other way around.  It’s really very simple.  Working people spend money and the more they work the more they spend. The more they spend the more other jobs are created. 

We, the Federal Government, can give money to large corporations and to the wealthy elite until the printing presses run out of ink.  That is not going to create jobs. 

When President Obama was Candidate Obama he had some really great ideas on how to create jobs and begin repairing some of the environmental damage we have done to this earth. 

Candidate Obama spoke of government loans for wind farms, grants for research and development in extracting fresh water from the ocean, grants for research and development into how we can best recycle waste material.  Also technology advancements in the medical area were mentioned a lot. I for one would love to carry a credit card sized medical file for each of my family members. 

Where are the advances in keeping all medical records on computer?  Why has no company applied to the SBA or some other federal agency for money to begin this worthwhile project? 

Did you know that Medicare spends millions on electric wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, commode chairs and various other pieces of durable medical equipment and no where in their record keeping is the serial number of these valuable items recorded? Electric wheelchairs cost thousands of dollars.  Yet when the patient for whom the chair was purchased dies or no longer need the chair, some family member usually sells the wheelchair for pennies on the dollar?

If you get a prescription filled at Walmart you can go to any Walmart in the United States and get a refill.  They enter your name or prescription number into their computer and there you are; all your information at their disposal with just a $4.00 purchase.  Take the serial number off an electric wheelchair that costs thousands of dollars and no one with Medicare can tell you who the chair was purchased for or even if it was a Medicare purchase.

My point is that there are thousands of jobs out there just waiting to happen if only the government would create favorable conditions. 

At this point in the administrations time in office there should be hundreds if not thousands of contracts waiting to be funded.  The sad truth is that we gave up all our money to fund the obscene salaries and bonuses of company executives. The idea of creating jobs to stimulate the economy has yet to materialize.   

President Obama, I voted for you.  I want you to succeed. I know you cannot be everything to everyone.   If you have a little too much on your plate, just ask us, the American citizens, for a little help. We will be glad to help out.  I for one would be more than willing to volunteer my time and efforts to help you make this the great country it once was.

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