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Los Angeles, Orange County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

Economy and Jobs

By Ken Arnold

Candidate for United States Representative; District 46; Democratic Party

This information is provided by the candidate
Rebuilding our economy with quality sustainable jobs must be priority one, too much else is dependent upon this. We need strong thoughtful concerned leadership in both the public and private sector to accomplish this.
Our economy has failed due to misunderstanding of and misapplication of economics, a failure to regulate, a failure to protect our vital industries and technologies from foreign theft and exploitation, unfair trade and just plain ignorance, corruption and greed.

The actions taken to date by the federal government have kept things from total collapse but are not enough. We need to encourage bank lending to business and individuals, continue unemployment compensation, invest in repairing, replacing and upgrading our infrastructure, as well as making greater investments in green technologies and jobs, protecting our local government and education systems, fixing our wasteful health care financing systems and our trade policies and do much more to rebuild the U.S. economy into the dynamic, productive, sustainable, world leading force for good and prosperity around the globe that it can and should be.


Our country and especially our middle class jobs have been and are being sold out from under our feet. We do not have fair trade but governments and corporations destroying nations and societies around the world as they continuously shift jobs around the globe in search of cheaper labor. They leave many damaged environments, societies and economies in their wake. Mexico is only the nearest example. Through 'trade' they ruined most rural agriculture, then attracted workers to the border maquiladora factories, only to shutter many of them years later in favor of work in Asia and elsewhere. As we rebuild our economy for the future, we need to return most of our manufacturing with a strong "buy American" ethic restored, and a consumer preference to "buy local" when possible. We need to retain the jobs that come from the great technology and creativity we possess and grow. For too long we have allowed totalitarian regimes like China to steal our technology and other intellectual property, to manipulate currency exchange, exploit their workers and the global environment, use monopolistic practices to destroy competition and otherwise not trade or compete fairly and to exploit our country and its open pro-business democratic and capitalistic systems. We cannot and shouldnot be protectionist in this new global economy, but we must enforce current trade laws and protections, insist upon fair rather than just "free" trade treaties, and take actions to assure that we maintain capabilities in core and critical industries. Buying American should again be in vogue and especially by our government with our tax dollars.

Public Sector.

This country is hurting and even though the decline in private sector employment may have slowed or stopped, there are still further economic hardships ahead for many people and sectors of the economy, especially for education and local government services suffering from still declining revenues. In California the state, county and local governments as well as all public education from pre-school to university have had to make drastic and dramatic cuts and are looking at further drop in revenue that cannot be accommodated while still providing necessary basic services.Many school districts and city and county governments are already near the breaking point, with class sizes growing toward 50, police and fire services and jobs going away, road and other infrastructure maintenance deferred or cancelled , community (senior, disabled and youth especially) programs eliminated, libraries shuttered or hours cut back, public transportation cut backs when the most people are in need of it and much more. We need to provide temporary help to local governments to maintain critical services and key employees until the economy recovers, otherwise we risk a new downward spiral and the collapse of even more neighborhoods and cities. We don't want much, or any, of southern California to go the way of Detroit and other 'rust belt' cities. The strength and heart of the American economy is the private sector and we must work to get it working again, but the private sector also depends upon the public sector for educated workers, roads, communication and other infrastructure, police and fire protection and much else.

Preventive Action.

While the people and administration have been focused on preventing runaway economic collapse or depression and trying to start a recovery, we must also look at what got us here and address the problems in hopes of preventing a reoccurrence.

The Glass-Steagal legislation that separated commercial banking from investment banking worked well for over half a century to minimize individual bank failures and prevent total failure of our banking systems. Something similar needs to be enacted to replace this law that should not have been revoked.
Besides the removal of most Glass-Steagal protections, many other sensible regulations have been removed in the past decade(s) and need to be revisited. Further, the previous administration had a poor attitude on enforcement of many regulations so that government departments were not adequately funded or just did not do their jobs. There is also the issue in some areas of the regulators being too 'cozy' with the regulated. Authors of any significant financial instrument including mortgage loans, should be required to retain at least some interest therein and thereby have an incentive to do due diligence and write reasonable instruments. A major part of the problem was the creation of the mortgage backed securities and derivatives thereof and a speculative balloon thereupon that allowed lenders to profitably dispose of loans as fast they could write them, regardless of the quality of them. Warnings had been being sounded for many years about the runaway market in derivatives and the risk they posed to the national and global economy. The "free market" (other than a savvy few) ignored the warnings, as did most of the administration, Congress and the regulatory agencies. Authority and responsibility for tracking new types of financial instruments and mega-trends in the markets needs to be assigned and funded so that we are not caught off guard again and agencies cannot all say it is "not my job". We need to have better trade policies, and to enforce the current ones when they are violated by our trading "partners". We need to protect our intellectual property rights especially from theft and misuse by other countries. We should also include in trade treaties and policies terms for environmental protection, workers rights and safety, and other to create a more fair and humane trade policy and global economy. We must be prepared to, and to, act when foreign trading partners use monetary manipulation, dumping or other monopolistic practices to inappropriately gain an advantage or damage our business or economy.

Let's make "Made in America" again a symbol of quality and make "Buying American" again patriotic and popular.

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