This week, Democratic Perspective again spoke with former Congressman Alan Grayson. The focus was on the economy and jobs. According to Grayson, there are currently 23 million American workers without full-time jobs if you count those who have given up looking. “It’s up to the government to hire,” he said. “We cannot depend on the private sector to create jobs because the goal of businesses is simply to maximize profits. They can make all the money they need by making people work harder and increasing productivity. More money is going to dividends, profits and executive compensation,” Grayson said. “As a result, we have what Karl Marx once described as a large reserve army of the unemployed.”
“There is no reason to think the private sector would ever hire 100% of our workers,” he continued. “Businesses will always hire the minimum number of workers possible to make the maximum amount of money. When there’s a shortfall of demand, the only way to put people back to work is for the government to hire them. Keynes laid out the solution to this problem 75 years ago.”
In response to a question of why Republicans have continued to block attempts to create jobs while offering none of their own, Grayson said their response is the same as it was for health care. “Republicans have no plan,” he said. “I like to say they’re ignorant and arrogant.”
“There are 27 million more Americans than 10 years ago. Yet we have 1 million fewer jobs,” Grayson stated. “To solve this problem, the government must do what Roosevelt did – hire people. We have two choices: Hire people or let them go to hell,” said Grayson.
When asked about Obama’s job plan, Grayson responded, “It’s better than nothing. All of the pieces seem like Rube Goldberg plans to me, if you know what I mean. $70 billion of it is pure corporate welfare. In addition to the TARP bailouts, which I voted against, the Federal Reserve has already handed out $16 trillion in secret bailouts to companies. But there is $70 billion for infrastructure in the plan.”
“When I was in Congress, I was the only Congressman who worked as an economist. I worked for an economist while I was going to law school. And I learned a lot. I used what I learned to start a company that is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The problem is that there is not enough demand. Either the government makes up the difference, or we will have another Great Depression,” he concluded.
Grayson ended the interview by expressing his admiration for Congressman Raul Grijalva. “I want Arizona to know what a great representative you have. He’s a very kind soul; someone with a conscience; a fighter for the middle class; a paragon of virtue.”
Alan Grayson is once again running for Congress. If you’d like to read more about the former Congressman, you can visit his website at http://congressmanwithguts.com/.