Saturday, April 6, 2013

Joblessness rising, joblessness everywhere...and 21-32 trillion dollars hidden in tax-evading bank accounts

(Image is in the public domain, courtesy of Barts.com. Retrieved from the article "7.7% unemployment inaccurately depicts real jobless rate," Examiner.com, December 8, 2012.)

As of April 2013, the Labor Force Participation Rate in America, i.e., the percentage of working age adults who are working, or looking for work, is at its lowest point since 1979.  In March 2013, nearly half-a-million Americans gave up looking for work in our perpetually pathetic job market. (See "U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate Lowest Since 1979")

Across America, 26 million Americans would like a full-time job but can’t find one (see http://njfac.org/).

Across the 17-member European Union, unemployment has hit a record 12%. Spain and Greece each have an unemployment rate of about 26%. (See article here)

According to the International Labour Organization (a United Nations agency) global unemployment is expected to rise to over 200 million people in 2013. (USA Today, January 22, 2013).

Meanwhile, according to recent financial data analysis by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ( in collaboration with the BBC, The Guardian, the Washington Post, and other news outlets), “offshore financial secrecy has spread aggressively around the globe, allowing the wealthy and the well-connected to dodge taxes and fueling corruption and economic woes in rich and poor nations alike.” Additionally, James S. Henry, board member of the Tax Justice Network and former chief economist of McKinsey & Company, “estimates that wealthy individuals (including many Americans) have $21 trillion to $32 trillion in private financial wealth tucked away in offshore havens — roughly equivalent to the size of the U.S. and Japanese economies combined.” (See "Secret Files Expose Offshore's Global Impact")

So, on the one hand, we have mass global unemployment, debt, poverty, hunger, and hopelessness and, on the other hand, we have an army of lawyers, lobbyists, accountants, bankers, and extraordinarily wealthy individuals stashing away 21 to 32 trillion dollars in secret & tax-evading bank accounts. Of course, not all rich people break the law and/or hide money.  In fact, those that play by the rules are inevitably required to pay more taxes, to help make up for taxes not collected on the money that resides in the hidden accounts.

Whenever someone suggests the creation of a new WPA and/or CCC to alleviate unemployment, there is a chorus of boos from the political right, telling us that we can't afford it. For example, in September of 2012, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have created a new CCC-type program for unemployed veterans because, supposedly, we can’t afford it. (See "GOP Senators Block Veterans Jobs Bill" Associated Press, Sept. 20, 2012).

But the argument that our country, or our world, can't afford large public works programs, and that we can't afford to improve our deteriorating infrastructure is simply not true. The money exists...it's just being hoarded and hidden from our view.


     

2 comments:

  1. With a weak economy, this is not surprising. Expect the worst in the future if the government don't handle this problem right.

    economic expert

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, and I agree. I see no light at the end of this tunnel.

      Delete