Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

A commenter on the Just One Minute blog posted the following:

Could some talented soul research the etymology of “jobs, jobs, jobs?” (Here’s hoping “etymology” isn’t the one about bugs.) First time I can recall hearing it was when James Baker was asked why it was necessary to go to war to liberate Kuwait. His answer, after a very brief pause, was “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

In a very real sense he was right, but I doubt any of his listeners understood it, and it’s about 50-50 whether he did.

Posted by: Danube of Thought | September 03, 2010 at 05:32 PM

Since I am always up for a challenge, I thought I would do a quick search. This is the only article I  could easily find with Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! because when I searched with “jobs, jobs, jobs” as the keywords, I got results for every single “jobs” which  amounted to thousands of hits. Needless to say, I did not go through all of them looking for more “jobs, jobs, jobs,” if there were any.

Anyway, this article if from 1938, and is quite good. If fact, it could be reprinted today if a paragraph or two were added about CUTTING SPENDING. So without further ado:

By MORRIS S. TREMAINE

Comptroller of the State of New York

Unless we are prepared to say goodby to the traditional system of private enterprise that has made the United States the great nation that it is, we must do something — and do it quickly — to cure unemployment, not merely alleviate it. The sooner those who direct the destinies of this country recognize that fact, which daily is becoming more obvious, the better off all of us will be.

I think history will show that no form of government can long be safe when millions of its citizens, through no fault of their own, are permanently deprived of earning an honest livelihood.

What this country needs more than any other one thing is jobs, jobs, jobs! Not just sustenance jobs artificially created and paid for by back-breaking and punitive taxes, but a chance to create jobs for themselves and other that will increase the productive powers of the nation.

But it seems too evident for argument that before men can be put to work, business must be permitted to go to work by relieving it of the taxes that choke off every budding new enterprise.

You Can’t Blame ‘Em

In previous articles I have endeavored to show how essential to the country’s welfare is the use of accumulated savings in developing new job-giving ventures. I also have tried to demonstrate that, because of the present provisions of the Federal tax on captial gains, the tax on undistributed earnings and the punishment rates of the high brackets of the income tax, those who still have money will not employ workers or otherwise risk their money in developing new work-creating ventures because they are convinced that nearly all the profits, if any, will be taxed away.

They prefer to hang on to what they’ve got and place it in tax exempt securities at ridiculously low interest returns — and nobody can blame them.

This country still has a vast reservoir of accumulated savings and untold possibilities of further productive development; and although that reservoir is not inexhaustible or immune from stagnation through disuse, it can be tapped for vast new production if the Government will not divert too much of the flow from work-creating enterprises to work-blighting taxes.

Urges Repeal of Taxes

I believe firmly the outright repeal of these three forms of taxes we have been discussing would ultimately increase the Federal revenues — to say nothing of the general benefits to business — by a figure that would make the present estimated yield of these taxes look sick by comparison.

Why, if the business of the country could create jobs for only eight  million, the 12 million or more men now estimated to be jobless, at even a minimum of $900 a year each, it would amount to 7200 million dollars — or approximately as much as the Government is spending for every other purpose.

I have no quarrel with the Treasury officials who have been consulted by Congress on the tax bill now before it. They are concededly smart men; and, given a set of figures, they undoubtedly know how to find the right answers. But they do not seem to have given sufficient weight to the intangible but very real estimates of how many more tax dollars the Government would receive from other existing tax sources if the business activity, or turnover, of the country could be only slightly increased.

Tax Yields Estimated

It has been estimated by men of wide and illustrious experience in public finance that an increase in general business activity of 5 percent would add more than 10 percent to the Government’s net tax collections. Ten per cent of the Federal Government’s five billion dollar budget obviously means 500 million dollars. And the advocates of retention of the principle of tax punishment continue to argue about the possible loss of the comparatively insignificant sum of 20 million dollars through an even slight alleviation of the punishment!

If Congress really wants to do something for labor it can do it only by doing something for business. Labor never has been well off when business was in the doldrums.

The only way the wages of labor can be increased is through the creation of so many jobs that employers will be forced to bid for labor’s services. Broadly speaking, whenever there are more workers than jobs it is impossible to keep wages high, just as it is impossible to keep up the price of cabbages when there are more cabbages than cabbage-eaters.

Remove the Blight!

After all, capital and labor essentially are partners in the creation of the good things of life. Each is entitled to his fair share of what the partnership creates, but when nothing is produced nothing can be shared. In the last analysis, capital is only stored-up labor. Workers represent the labor of today; capital represents the labor of tomorrow. If either is to earn anything, both must work. And anything that disturbs the equilibrium between them throws production out of kilter, creates unemployment and destroys happiness.

Let us all urge Congress to remove these blighting, job-killing taxes and thus give the average man — the “forgotten man,” if you will — a chance to earn an honest living.

The Pittsburgh Press – Apr 7, 1938

Also from the same newspaper, same edition:

Some background information on Morris Sawyer Tremaine, which I found attached to his name in  The Flanders Family Tree on Ancestry.com.

Morris Tremaine studied at the old school #14 in Buffalo and also the Buffalo Normal School, followed by some studies at the Upper Canada College at Toronto.

He built up a number of businesses and became quite wealthy. When he was 17 years old he began work as a tally boy for Holland Graves & Montgomery, a lumber firm.  He was promoted to inspector for the company, later became a salesman and then manager of the branch office in New York City. In 1897 he became a partner in the company.

In 1903 he reorganized the Toledo Fire & Marine Insurance Company and became its president, while in 1905 he organized and became president of the National Lumber Insurance Company of Buffalo.  He also organized the Montgomery Lumber company of Suffolk, Virginia, and in 1905 was elected vice-president.

In 1914 he became associated with J G Wilson Corporation, manufacturers of rolling steel doors and folding partitions and by 1916 was president of the company.

In 1923 he was elected vice-president of Smith, Fassett & Company of North Tonawanda, NY – wholesale lumber dealers.  He was also director of the National Wholesale Lumber Dealers Association for some time.

He organized the King Sewing Machine Company, employing 110 men, which was later sold to Sears, Roebuck.

On January 1, 1927 he became Comptroller of the State of New York and served effectively until his death in the middle of his seventh term in 1941.

A quote (from FamousQuotes.com) attributed to him:

Morris S. Tremaine – “Those who believe that we have reached the limit of business progress and employment opportunity in this country are like the farmer who had two windmills and pulled one down because he was afraid there was not enough wind for both.”

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