Early on, our nation made the strategic decision to outpace all others in military superiority. With a military budget that now exceeds all other nations combined, America declared and exercised our right to quickly defend the sovereignty of our allies from over 1,000 U.S. bases that extend our dominance throughout the world. We pursued our goal with such steadfastness that we are now the sole super power on earth. Our military influence has created a worldwide economic bastion that has allowed all nations to far surpass the economic output that could have been produced had not such a peaceful expectation existed.
While this exertion of power created great peacetime dividends for this country, it also created unexpected results, the birth of multinational corporations, or “borderless nations”. Our strategy of military dominance created a much safer, stable world that lessoned the risk of U.S. based companies investing abroad. With risks lessened, businesses could more easily justify moving traditional industries overseas. Unprecedented peace allowed multinational corporations to gut factory towns like Detroit, Youngstown, and Pittsburgh.
While our manufacturing strength was slowly eroded from our shores, our citizenry was lulled into the belief that our future was sound by the successively reassuring waves of the savings and loan bubble, the stock market bubble, the internet bubble, and finally, the Wall Street derivatives bubble. By the time the suds cleared, our nation was left without a significant means of traditional production. While we were being seduced into the belief that our country was financially sound, many of the trade secrets, core skills and financial wealth of corporations had been shifted to other countries.
Meanwhile, our citizens believed that the bubble value of our homes and stock market portfolios would support our needs to consume. Instead, when the bubbles finally stopped popping, we found that our consumer debt was of historic proportions and that our federal, state, and local governments had ballooned to consume bubble inflated tax revenues and were awash in deficits. We now have the unenviable position of being the greatest debtor nation that has ever existed.
While it will be painful for all to reverse this trend that threatens to quickly topple America from its century of hegemony, acting decisively with the right prescriptive tools, we can decide that our nation will not endure a decade of languishing high unemployment. However, if we are to escape the fate of our grandparents, government must partner with American business to create historic advances in innovation and productivity.
A partnered solution that can accelerate our country toward full employment is my voucher plan. It replaces extended unemployment payments with hiring vouchers. Small businesses can hire voucher employees at their unemployment rate. In return, voucher employees can work twenty five hours per week and receive the same pay they would have received through unemployment. The federal government can then reimburse employers the employees’ wages without increasing the federal unemployment budget.
A few benefits include: Employees learn new skills and can continue to seek full employment. Employers lower risks of hiring new employees, spur innovation, and reduce prices of goods and services to compete in the global market. Government supports job growth through direct infusion of dollars into small businesses, and lets the free market determine how to maximize resources.
This idea can employ all Americans now, and can move many from the sidelines of our economy onto the field of American ingenuity and global competitiveness. I ask your readers to share with their representatives thoughts about this voucher plan in hopes that a leader might champion its concept now when we need it most.