The 99 percent have been removed from McKeldin Square. Closing down the Occupy Baltimore encampment went smoothly, with no arrests and no blood shed, and everyone was offered a place to stay for the night. Both sides—city and police, and the Occupy folks—deserve praise for that. It went as well as it could, and it provides a welcome contrast to the closing of encampments in Oakland, New York and Los Angeles.
I am one of those people who believes that the Occupy movement had some good points to make, though it did not make them well. There is indeed too much wealth concentrated among too few people in the United States. The inequity is not good for the economy or the nation.
My rationale for that opinion? The “job creators”—the one percent—are not creating jobs. Unemployment is holding steady at about 9 percent, and that is too many good people who are willing to work going without work. That is too much misery and too much wasted potential.
Problem is, the Occupy movement didn’t have any solutions to offer for the inequity. It doesn’t look like Congress has anything useful to say on the subject either.
Here’s what I think, and I am not an economist, though I have been reading the economic news with interest ever since my mutual funds tanked. (That got my attention, you betcha!)
I think that Congress should offer businesses a tax credit for every job created. I think the credit should be greater for small businesses than large multinationals, because small business creates the most jobs—and doesn’t move the jobs to Bangalore when profits decline by a micropoint.
So far, so good. I also think Congress should offer business a tax surcharge for moving jobs overseas, and it should be a much greater number than the tax credit for creating jobs here. If Citigroup, or GM, or Verizon or any of the rest of them want to move jobs out of the country it should hurt them. Badly.
Presently Congress is playing ping-pong with the middle-class payroll tax cut and flirting with a government shutdown, so I doubt they would consider anything useful like a true job creation bill. But they should.
And maybe it’s time for us voters to consider bringing our Congress members, most of whom live among the one percent, back home to live among us 99 percent. It would be nice if the incumbents—all of them, Democrats and Republicans alike—felt threatened enough to actually do something about the lousy situation in this country.