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Obama to end recession in December -- by holding "jobs summit"

By Robert James Bidinotto
web posted November 16, 2009

On a website I visit, somebody was complaining about news that Barack Obama was planning to hold a "jobs summit" in December to solve, once and for all, the dire problem of soaring unemployment. How could another meeting at the White House possibly end our recession? this Doubting Thomas demanded to know.

His angry outburst struck me as the woefully short-sighted rant of a Tea Party Nazi. It certainly demonstrated a fundamentally feeble grasp of the nuances and subtleties of modern economic theory, which are clearly understood by our president.

Of course Mr. Obama's "Jobs Summit" will create jobs! Let me count the ways:

First, think of all the boosted employment we will witness in the "Useless Summit" industry: conference organizers, badge-makers, PowerPoint experts, flower-arrangers, coffee-pourers, table-cloth folders—I mean, the list just goes on and on.

But that's merely at the conference. What about all the preparations for travel to and from the conference?

Think of how many attendee business suits will go to dry cleaners. Think of the airline tickets purchased. The airports. The cab rides. Ponder the army of accountants who will have to go over all the expense reports from this crucial event.

Consider all the wear and tear on the transportation vehicles involved—jets, cabs, limos—putting them just that much closer to being replaced by new purchases, which, in turn, will stimulate the auto and airline industries. Consider the White House electric bill alone, and how much it will mean for the local power company. Think, too, of all the fuel that will be used up coming and going to the Summit, stimulating the oil and gasoline industries.

And regarding that fuel: Reflect for a moment, if you will, on all the CO2 that attendee jets and limos will emit en route to the Summit. This ginormous release of carbon into our atmosphere would not have occurred, except for the Summit. Yes, Barack Obama would be the first to acknowledge that it will contribute to a environmental crisis; but, as Rahm Emmanuel would say, there is always opportunity to be found in a good crisis.

For example, the CO2 emissions no doubt will be carefully monitored by atmospheric scientists and climate-modelers, leading to scores of "jobs created or saved" in this vital field. Consider also the longer-term ramifications. Emergency remediation efforts for the increased CO2 emitted by the conferees will stimulate entire cottage industries of new jobs. A "Keynesian multiplier effect" will occur: Each dollar spent by atmospheric scientists and conference attendees on issuing dire reports and forecasts will, in turn, generate $3.26 spending in the printer-paper industry, $1.82 in the lumber industry, $4.37 for Kinko's, $1.85 for the ink industry, $5.50 for overnight deliveries by Federal Express, $7,223.44 in overtime for postal workers—plus 378,498 downstream jobs created or saved in federal and international regulatory bureaucracies.

These calculations, of course, do not even begin to include the boost to peripheral service industries, such as Washington-area restaurants, hotels, bars, tourist traps, and hookers.

In short, this single event alone could generate enough economic activity to pull us out of the recession! Why, it would be treasonously irresponsible if Barack Obama did not hold this summit.

So, enough of the criticism, already. We should be gladdened and relieved that, at last, we have a firm and steady hand on the tiller of our economy. And I, for one, just can't wait for the next stimulative product of his ever-fertile brain. ESR

Robert Bidinotto is former editor of The New Individualist and an award winning journalist who can also be found blogging here.


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