Unemployment is high. It’s very high.

The nation is focused on jobs. Why did we lose them? How do we get them back?

Some argue the Republicans are playing politics so that Obama will be weaker in 2012. If he wants more money for “stimulus”, make him cut popular Democratic programs like Social Security and Medicare. The lord giveth and the lord taketh away. The Republican mantra: no spending allowed – Obama must lose.

And the Democrats? What’s their mantra? The Democrats, including luminaries like Robert Reich, understand that in the long run, neither jobs nor the overall economy can recover until demand for goods and services increases. More consumer demand equals more jobs. Since the corporate sector refuses to spend, even though it sits on enormous piles of cash, the “spender of last resort” must be good old Uncle Sam. In true Keynesian form, the Democrats want to stimulate the economy by putting more money into the pockets of consumers. Obama’s latest offering is a pathetic drop in the bucket toward that end.

But, is either of these mainstream party ideas the real path to jobs and the recovery most of us are desperately hoping for?

The tragic answer is a resounding “No”.

There’s nothing wrong with the Democrats’ model of a demand-driven economy. We do, indeed, need to create more demand. That’s especially true with consumers representing roughly 70% of our economy. The problem with the Democrats, though, is that “stimulus spending” is just a small part, i.e. an inadequate part, of the economic policy changes we need.

First, let’s note that the current paradigm of robbing Peter to pay Paul does almost nothing to put money in people’s pockets. If your medical costs rise or you lose Social Security benefits or you need to spend more to support your aging parents, you aren’t going to be able to spend more in the consumer economy. Also, much of Obama’s plan does not put money directly into the hands of consumers nor does it promote much infrastructure spending. Putting money into one pocket by taking it out of the other pocket is little more than a game of two-party pretend.

Second, and far more importantly, federal government “trinkets” are not going to get the job done. The transfer of wealth out of safety net programs and into stimulus is the wrong approach. Instead, what is critically needed is a massive transfer of wealth from the top one or two percent back to the masses. Centralized wealth, i.e. excessively centralized wealth, is the issue. Frankly, it’s the only issue because today’s worst-in-history centralization of wealth corrupts all government institutions and all government policies and leaves most of us with no job, no economic security and no confidence that we are safe spending what little money we have.

You cannot repair our decayed system with a few tempering handouts. Even if a little stimulus does create a little stimulation, it will be short-lived. The perverse inequity of wealth must be eliminated for there to be any real progress towards economic recovery. You cannot create consumer demand, or jobs, while simultaneously allowing a system of governance that virtually mandates that the rich will continue to get richer at the expense of the rest of us. We don’t need your short-term Keynesian trinkets, Mr. Obama; we need to dismantle rich-get-richer governance and all the ills and evils it has brought us.

Until we understand that unemployment is a symptom of a much deadlier disease, all discussion about creating jobs is little more than a distraction.