Tuesday, April 13, 2021
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Evidence Prerequisite: Job Creation & Economic Development Claims

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Before the phrases "economic development" or "job creation/growth" can be used from here on out, appropriate evidence must be provided to whoever the message is directed towards. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently commented that "Alaska's energy resources...hold great promise and economic opportunity for the people of Alaska and across the nation." Political representatives in the Republican Party use these phrases with as much alacrity and certainly more gusto. Indeed, the Virginia GOP in particular has turned the utterance of such phrases into a fine art that awes as much as it infuriates.

Apparently, drilling or investing, cutting or building all inherently create jobs, maybe even thousands of them. The economic genies must therefore be fast at work for many politicians who pull the "job creation" or "economic development" card out of their hats. That is, these individuals throw out job numbers and economic figures appendixed upon proposals like the Keystone XL pipeline or drilling in the "Artic frontier" without offering the first shred of evidence to substantiate their sometimes wild or slightly exaggerated claims (or if they do provide evidence, it has become increasing industry-based). Perhaps they truly believe the almighty free hand of capitalism will swiftly come in to save the day, or maybe they are merely cynical politicians and government bureaucrats. However, the end result is usually the same.  

EPA as Job Creation Engine

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The Republican intellectual midgets now vying for a chance to run against President Obama have made railing against the Environmental Protection Agency part of their campaign speeches. Romney calls it "a tool to crush private enterprise." Rick Perry terms it "a cemetery for jobs." Both men are lying through their teeth. Right now in Virginia and neighboring states, there is proof emerging that EPA regulations can be huge job and business creators.

For people in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the EPA may be the engine for massive job growth.  A report by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation highlights the number of jobs that will flow from achieving new pollution goals set by the EPA for the Bay. Those rules require pollution flowing into the Bay to drop by 25% by 2025 and have already resulted in state and federal investment in stormwater mitigation projects, sewage treatment facility upgrades, power plant smokestack scrubbers, and better management of agricultural runoff and livestock waste.

Construction of stormwater control projects already contracted for in Montgomery County MD will create 3,300 construction and engineering jobs. According to the Economic Policy Institute, similar stormwater projects across the Bay watershed could create 178,000 full-time jobs, 52,000 of them in Virginia.

Republicans can't admit that 21st century projects in clean energy and pollution mitigation are one of the best sources for future employment and business opportunities because of their ties to entrenched corporate interests that want to maximize their profits by maintaining the status quo.  

Who Are the Parasites?

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A recent article at OurFuture.org has the answer to this question.  You know who the parasites are. They don't pay their fair share.  They have undermined our nation's economy.  In addition to their profligate tax breaks, garnered by their K-Street connections and their phony "think tanks,"  they are indirectly responsible for much of our budgetary deficits.  They cost us indirectly in excessive defense spending on far away wars.  But they spin their parasitic ways by turning day into night.  

The wealthy and corporate elite are perfectly typified by Jim Mulva, CEO of Conoco Phillips, who says that eliminating oil subsidies is "UnAmerican."  Pardon me while I laugh.  Not paying your fair share is UnAmerican.  He also says "they have shackles on us." Poor baby.  Mulva has it backwards. The Seinfeldian-named Jim Mulva should take a look in the mirror.

It is corporations and their corporate elite leaders which should be called Parasites-Are-Us.  They suck the earth dry.  They take the oil and mineral reserves of this land (and many others) for nary a fee. The lay claim to offshore waters and pay little-to-nothing for the rights to do so.  When something goes wrong, as in the Gulf disaster, they try to minimize their responsibility.

Every write-off has a cost to the rest of us.  Also, they have shackled us with oil guzzlers, most likely helped kill electric cars for a generation (see film, "Who Killed the Electric Car"), buying and shelving alternative technologies. By back-burner-ing solar power for decades, and inventing demand as an excuse for jacking up oil prices even in an economy in which people are already strapped and demand isn't up, they've manipulated markets and us. They have made record profits.  

More Republican Looney Tunes

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Sharron Angle, Republican candidate for US Senate in Nevada, slams Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for saving and creating jobs! She compared his saving of 10,000 jobs plus another 12,000 jobs as "moving the deck chairs on the Titanic." She continues to mouth Republican talking points with a naive blankness typical of the clueless Republican foot soldiers.  As a public service, here is the video showing Candidate Angle in all her glory. (Tip of the hat to DailyKos TV for catching this latest priceless moment in Republican fantasyland)