159,000 jobs lost in September

September saw the the biggest job loss since 2003. As the economy continued to tank, employers eliminated 159,000 jobs and the unemployment rate held steady at 6.1%, thanks to a system so screwed up that people are giving up on looking for new jobs.

Think about that. We are running head strong into the ditch with our economy. People are losing their jobs, their homes, their pensions, their livelihoods. As this was happening in September, John McCain was giddy about how the "fundamentals of our economy are strong". John McCain's economic philosophy and his policy positions are largely responsible for the mess we are in today. He has called himself fundamentally a deregulator, and deregulation is what is responsible for this mess.

You can talk about Wall Street greed all you want, John McCain, but I got news for you. I am a died in wool capitalist. The reason people take risks in private enterprise is the prospect of reward. Corporations and business are amoral institutions - structurally they are neither good nor evil. They are there to look out for their bottom line. In fact corporations that sell stock are legally obligated to maximize their profits. There is nothing wrong with that. It is the very nature of our economy that corporations and businesses will seek to maximize profits. Corporations are not made up of, nor lead by, nor are they supposed to be made up of or be lead by, people whose goal or expertise is in safeguarding the general welfare by pulling back on the corporate strap when the interest of profit conflicts with the interest of the general welfare. That's why we have a government - a public trust - people we put in charge to ensure that when such conflict arises, those are solved on the side of the public good rather than the interest of profit. This requires 2 things: strong regulations in law to ensure safety and fairness, as well as strong regulators who enforce those laws with a zeal for protecting the public interest.

George Bush and John McCain and the Republican party, in their platform, have a fundamentally different philosophy on both counts. They believe that (a) regulations are counterproductive to economic growth and (b) the role of regulators is to make things easier for business rather than to look out for the public good. Both of these things boil down to a basic, bad, philosophy on government: that the government is in essence the protector of profits, not a public trust.

So can you blame John McCain for the job losses and the economic turmoil? Did he single-handedly fire 159,000 people this month? Probably not. But prevailing philosophy of government that has lead to this crisis is the same one held by Sen. McCain. This is a serious issue and a serious election. It's time for serious people. It's time for people who see government as a public trust with a task of persuing the public good.


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