Why A Second Economic Stimulus Is Essential!

If you listen to conservatives, they will constantly state that the economic stimulus legislation of 2009 has failed, and that the nation does not need any more attempts at economic stimulus, a totally wrong viewpoint!

Sure, the economic stimulus has not been a panacea, but ask most economists and they will say that WITHOUT the stimulus, our unemployment rate would have been closer to 20 percent, instead of the 9.6 percent that it presently is!

We are facing an extreme economic crisis with local and state governments, undermining public safety and public education, with the anticipated dismissal of hundreds of thousands of police, firefighters, teachers and other public service fields that we all take for granted!

The first stimulus helped to prevent many of these people losing their jobs, and it is estimated that at least three million people either kept their employment because of the stimulus, or were employed when they had been unemployed due to the economic collapse that began at the end of 2007!

This is, of course, a “drop in the bucket” solution of the problem, but if we continue to act as if we have no need to deal with this crisis in public safety and education, we will pay the price in higher crime rates and worse educational opportunities for millions of school children, which will affect lives not just for a year or two, but for the long term future!

Also, extension of unemployment compensation creates consumer spending and gives the long term unemployed a lifeline until things get better, and if it is not done, we will have widespread starvation and homelessness!

It is easy to say it is someone else’s problem and not care about it, but this could literally happen to anyone at anytime, and the fact that it does not is due to a lot of luck, as there is nothing inherently wrong with people who lose their jobs!

We should not be judging others, and looking down on them, as “there but for the grace of God go I!”, and one does not have to be religious to realize the truth of that statement!

We must also work on creating critical infrastructure jobs, as that is a long term need and will provide many new employment opportunities, and we cannot allow the fear of deficits long term to make us paralyzed in our actions short term!

The problem is that if the Republicans gain control of either or both houses of Congress in November, the room for action on these matters may very well be lost, and the country will then suffer through a much worse economic downturn over the next few years!

We might look back in 2012 and after and bemoan what the voters did in 2010, in their moment of frustration and anger! Let us hope they do not take self destructive actions! 🙁

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