Disabilities Into The WorkForce
Approximately 20% of the population has a disability. Of that population, 90% are unemployed. This is a huge drain on public coffers that can be eliminated in many cases because the unemployment rate is caused primarily by discrimination, rather than lack of aptitude. Particularly with the strategic training and use of adaptive technology, paired with telework, we believe we can bring this segment of state supported citizens into the workforce, thus decreasing state expenditure to maintain them, and turning them into tax paying and productive citizens, which most of them want to be in the first place.
The graph below is a perfect example of what we consider poor planning in budgeting and planning (we don’t consider it reduction of government expenditures because of the hidden gotchas and downstream costs it contains) because it relies on traditional assumptions about the economy in terms of infrastructure, a traditional economic environment (which we will never see again), traditional business models, which again have gone the way of the dinosaur, particularly for example with the ever continuing rise in popularity of e-commerce, and its acceptance both by the public and retailers for whom it represents a huge savings in overhead.
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The technical industry cleantech jargon is triple bottom line financing, but essentially what the lingo translates to is additional streams of revenue are built into greened projects (both new and rehabbed) that boost ROI, no matter who the investor(s) are, or what the mix of them look like. The graph below is exactly the kind of short circuited, myopic planning that creates the stereotypical bureaucratic model of wasteful government that created the drive towards privatization, and the elimination of the state (which we do not agree with, since there is a vital role for the state and some industries such as water and utilities should NEVER be privatized, given the potential for abuse) although a mixed economy works well for some economies, it just takes some experimentation.
There is no way to know exactly the right ratio without a bit of trial and error, but we have to start somewhere and that is what our plan is designed to do in terms of the kind of planning, and assumption making we did when putting together our forecasting and model. The creators of the other model above clearly did no long term infrastructure planning or growth modeling or even provided opportunity for the same, and sacrifices the environment as an opportunity cost, when that is not a feasible option just as EMEA and the UK are about to begin building Europe’s smart grid. Figure 9: Reduction in Public Expenditures & Services, 2009, Institute For Fiscal Studies, p. 13
Furthermore just in that instance alone, the planners who created this long range scenario did not think about the additional costs they would be incurring in other places in an already stretched budget and an era of high unemployment where, for example, the government subsidizes heating bills with dirty energy; thus both spending more money on increasingly expensive dirty energy itself, while polluting the environment which will have to be cleaned up at a later date, costing even more money downstream. That is why we make sure to focus on budgeting for cleantech infrastructure and technology in our modeling and assumptions as non negotiable items.
While it may seem like a frivolous, unnecessary or even luxury expense, these budget items actually offer vital infrastructure, huge government savings, not to mention a huge income generator and a potential source of jobs (both public and private) that are all advantages of a sustainable and carbon free cleantech economy. Furthermore, cutting back on things like business innovation and job training is almost suicidal in a fast changing business environment where most ADULTS will need to be retrained. Those are precisely the line items one DOES NOT CUT if you want to revitalize the economy, not to mention boost the tax base. For precisely that reason, at a time of government penny pinching, it is essential to have government strategies that generate income – a novel concept but one that is possible with a cleantech and sustainable model and infrastructure. Efficient Budgeting
While we realize that many of our recommendations deviate significantly from the conventional wisdom, we also submit these recommendations with the caveat that we are at an unprecedented moment in time and history, and facing equally unprecedented conditions, and on several fronts: environmental, fiscal, globalization of capital and labor, the economic meltdown of 2008 and the predicted decade long fallout that will have, the absolute imperative for public investment in the face of this and reduced public outlays and income streams from traditional income sources due to reductions in GDP, high unemployment caused by the economic crisis, and a changing business paradigm.
It is our contention that with proper management, oversight, strategic decision making and proper investment in the right projects that will yield income for the state, as we have outline above, we will indeed be able to both ameliorate some of the worst damage done by the economic crisis, if not move much faster to fix the damage completely, and transition to the new cleantech, carbon free, information economy of the future. One of the beauties of the cleantech model is that it also provides new ways of thinking about budgeting and return on investment and those tools can be used just as easily for the private sector as they can for government. Our outlays for example on infrastructure will be designed to both meet pressing civic needs AND also maximize ROI.
While there are certain sectors of the economy, just in analysis of other cases globally, that we do not believe should be privatized (such as the Railway system, which failed miserably in Britain, so badly in fact that it was renationalized) to the Enron scenario in California where the company blackmailed the entire state with rolling blackouts of electricity to force outrageous increases in electricity rates, to privatization of water rights, which as of this moment is causing a huge and contentious legal battle in Los Angeles with a company called Pom Wonderful who figured out a way to backdoor privatize what would otherwise have been public water rights, we do not believe that all privatization is bad. Nor do we believe that outsourced government business to private firms is the incorrect model in every case. But for example, again, it depends on the service.
To use the example, again from the United States, the privatization of the prison system has caused such controversy about the conditions for its inmates created by vendors, and the lack of oversight, leading to horrific conditions, from everything like openly roaming vermin to live and uncovered electrical wiring, to even in one case a vendor attempting to purchase land to build a prison on in the first place (for $1) that used to be a toxic waste site that hadn’t even been remediated, with no plans on the part of the vendor to do so, that this particular industry and the conditions perpetrated by privatization of it (which is very profitable for the owners) was specifically noted in a U. N. Report on the state of human rights in the United States in 2009, with the description of the same described as “abominable. ” It is also outrageously expensive.
In the United States, which has the highest percentage of any country in the world of its population in prison, America spends approximately three times the amount per annum to keep a person in prison than to educate a child ($30,000 per annum vs. $10,000 per annum respectively). This is precisely the kind of regressive spending, not to mention social policy we wish to avoid and have tried to make recommendations accordingly.