After watching the President's state of the union address, two things immediately came to mind:
1- If he is going to use executive orders to circumvent GOP electeds in Congress and the Senate who are trying to sabotage his initiatives, why didn't he do it sooner? If his Presidency were a football game, we would say that it is now well past halftime. The President's attempts at trying to take a “bipartisan” approach with the Republicans have diluted most of his initiatives, helped their obstructionist tactics succeed and allowed their lies to become the ongoing dialog among many low information voters.
2- The theme that pervaded his state of the union was that of fixing income inequality. The cold hard truth is that the main driving force behind income inequality has been high paying manufacturing jobs that “patriotic”, “job creating” U.S. corporations have shipped overseas to places like China. The loss of those jobs created a buyer's market for employers by generating desperate workers willing to work for lower wages and less benefits. From actual experience, we know that “free” trade agreements have been the driving force behind job offshoring, less jobs in the U.S.A. And by extension, income inequality. President Obama has expressed strong support for fast-tracking the mother of all “free” trade agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership commonly known as TPP. He was strangely silent about it during his state of the union.
The interesting thing about fast-tracking the TPP is that it would make an end run around public congressional debate. That's sort of combines the worst aspects of item one and item two above. He's making an end run around Congress but doing so to foist a “free” trade agreement us that will cause more income inequality.
Experience has proven that in the case of President Obama's State Of The Union addresses, what he doesn't say is far more significant than what he does say. Judge his latest speech accordingly!
Gee, I'm overjoyed that the stock market has shot back up to the 15,000s. We wouldn't want the 1% to miss one cent of profit, now would we? The powers that be want us to believe that rigging the system to make Wall Street gamblers more prosperous will somehow make the average Jane and Joe financially secure. That's like saying that a bunch of rich people in evening gowns and tuxedos gluttonously gorging on caviar and foie gras in front of poor, starving folks will somehow, by osmosis feed them.
The many perversities that drive stock market prices up or down usually have no bearing or have a negative bearing on things that affect our everyday life. Translation, what's good for Wall Street usually isn't good for the average person. In their constant quest to improve the quarterly bottom line to please Wall Street, corporate CEOs have become merciless cost cutters who have resorted to shipping American jobs to places like China and India. The workers who are displaced by job offshoring create a huge pool of desperate people that other greedy CEOs, who have to answer to Wall Street, not to us, can exploit to keep the wages that they pay their employees low.
The most insidious aspect of the above is that job cuts and stagnant wages cost our country tax revenues which then cause our corporate owned electeds to try to balance the budget on the backs of those who can least afford it by cutting so called entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. That would give many Americans less money to spend, costing more jobs. Did I hear you say vicious circle? If you thought that all of that was the entire mess,you would be wrong so read on and you will be outraged.
Let's suppose that, by some miracle, you had a few bucks to spare and wanted to start a small nest egg for either retirement or a rainy day. You open a savings account at your local multinational bank because you are only able to put away a small amount of money at a time. You are shocked to find out that your “friendly” local bank is not only paying you close to or zero percent interest, but has the nerve to charge you all sorts of fees. Yes, you are paying them to keep and use your money. That's because our “friends” at the Federal Reserve Bank are giving banks money for nothing at around zero percent interest. Guess who wins when they compete with you, the small saver?
I have just scratched the surface in this article. I didn't talk about our rigged healthcare system that denies care to many people and bankrupts others with huge bills. I didn't talk about the endless, gratuitous wars for fun and profit that sap our country of its youth and tax revenue that could be put to better use saving lives. They will be addressed in future articles and have been addressed in previous articles. At this point, you might want to know what you can do about the situation? The answers are in the articles on this website. Read, read!
Most of our electeds, including the President are climbing onto the exporting = jobs bandwagon. The main reason being that they need a few convenient token gestures such as exporting and “green” jobs to show that they are actually doing something about the unemployment problem that they caused years ago by setting up a favorable climate for job offshoring. The President is currently pushing three NAFTA style job killing “free” trade agreements, ostensibly to create exporting jobs. Though these agreements couldn't get passed under the Bush administration, in the current, “let's give away the store” atmosphere of the current administration, they become “job creators.” While exports may create a few jobs for American workers, they will not offset the vast job loss caused by the above and earlier “free” trade agreements.
The insidious thing about making exporting the almighty cure for unemployment is that it does the opposite, in the long run, it creates unemployment. When a corporation gets into the habit of finding its customers overseas, instead of here, it no longer has ANY use for Americans. The corporations will eventually succumb to the urge to move those “exporting” jobs overseas to save foreign customers any product shipping costs and to take advantage of lower local labor prices. At that point, the few American workers who got those exporting jobs will join their fellow workers who are already unemployed due to the job loss caused by those “free” trade agreements on the unemployment line.
Once a corporation realizes that virtually ALL of its income comes from exporting, it has no further use for Americans. That corporation isn't going to worry about upsetting people who are now unemployed and are no longer potential customers. Translation we won't be their customers, nor employees, we'll just live here. The only thing that we will be exporting under those circumstances will be our jobs.
This is a lose/lose proposition, American workers lose jobs and America loses precious tax revenue. Hey, you can't tax people who aren't drawing a paycheck. The only winners are the unpatriotic corporations that only care about their bottom lines, no matter who it hurts and the corrupt politicians who are owned by said corporations. The only way we can restore prosperity to America and Americans is to contact our electeds and insist that they pass legislation that restores each and every one of the pre Reagan tariffs on imports!
Let's bring back the American dream by Building It Here and Buying It Here!
Many of our electeds love to preach "austerity" and "shared" sacrifice. They infer that we, the people did something wrong that caused the deficit. That's like saying that a rape victim caused her rape because she wore "suggestive" clothes. Make no mistake about it, as members of the bottom 98%, we were the victims of a mass economic rape. As a matter of fact, we were gang banged by our electeds and the upper 2% who own them.
I'm going to use the family budget analogy to explain how our electeds destroyed our economy and how there is only one way to fix it. When you sit down at the kitchen table to hash out the family budget, you take out your paycheck, and divvy it up to cover your bills and expenses. If you lose that paycheck or have a reduction in income, you have to get it back or practice fiscal triage and sacrifice some expense items. Maintaining your income will allow you to keep some of life's luxury items like food and shelter.
Now that we're clear that increasing income or revenue is always preferable to making draconian cuts in expenses or in the case of government, infrastructure and safety net spending. Let's see how that applies to and what is the real cause of the deficit. Our troubles started when Ronald Reagan decided that it was more important for America's corporations to have a source of cheap labor than for America to have a manufacturing infrastructure and for American workers to have the kind of manufacturing jobs that made the American dream possible. He did that by lowering many trade tariffs on imports which started corporate America's outsourcing frenzy. Ever since then, globalization and job outsourcing continued as a given through every administration and was escalated by Bill Clinton's “free” trade policies that featured job killing NAFTA.
We are now at the point where America has become a country without a product. Our corporatons have become order takers that have their products manufactured overseas in contracted factories, under questionable working conditions for low wages then have their trademark slapped on the product. This process has not only caused unemployment in many industries, but has destroyed America's manufacturing infrastructure. The U.S. corporations that comprise the high tech sector, who pride themselves on their design capabilities and, in some cases boast that their products are designed in the U.S.A. are actually giving American technology to China when they have their products made there. That American technology wouldn't have been possible without all the taxpayer financed research that took place under NASA's space program.
With diminished employment possibilities and stagnant salaries, the Bush administration had a novel approach to the problem of a middle class that was rapidly becoming impoverished, he gave them the illusion of prosperity by encouraging them to borrow. Heck, they were still part of the middle class as long as they could tap their credit cards and take out secondary mortgages on their homes to make up for wages that didn't cover their expenses. The next paragraph ties it all together.
By encouraging "free" trade, our government has allowed Americas corporations to use the third world as it's hiring hall. As our citizens lose their jobs, or take low paying jobs, our government loses tax revenue. Instead of doing the right and patriotic thing for America and the American people by passing legislation that discourages imports and encourages manufacturing here, our electeds from BOTH parties have let America run up a negative balance of trade tab with China. That's why China has invested so heavily in U.S. Treasury notes, to protect THEIR interests. Translation, the American government is borrowing due to a diminishing income, just like the middle class did under Bush.
So now we have the spectre of President Obama endorsing three NAFTA like "free" trade agreements as job creators instead of the job killers they are when the real, honest solution to unemployment, the deficit and most of our economic problems is exactly the opposite. To balance America's budget, our electeds must not hack away at America's safety net and infrastructure, they must increase America's tax revenue by passing legislation that undoes the damage that they did to our country over the past thirty years. Legislation that discourages U.S. corporate offshore manufacturing in the strongest possible way, by reversing every bit of pro "free" trade legislation that was passed since the Reagan regime and by re-instituting each and every tariff on imports.
Let's bring back the American dream and restore America's economy by bringing every bit of manufacturing back to the U.S.A. That can't be done when the President endorses "free" trade agreements and cuts to Social Security as the solution. If it takes a third party, a Labor Party to fix America's problems than so be it.
Some politicians think that Exporting will solve America's unemployment problems. I say that exporting is a phony cure and our electeds are economic snake oil salesmen. To hear about "Doctor" Wade's genuine economic cure, visit my Listen Here! page.