Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Focus on Jobs Again

The press and blogosphere are finally talking about jobs in earnest again.  It apparently took 10.2% national unemployment rate to bring the "jobs question"  back into the same focus the Democrats has placed on it before the election.  Simultaneously, some people are starting to talk a lot about "greed".  This is a good sign.  It means Americans will stop spending their time  worrying mindlessly about terrorism and patriotism and start thinking about
(1) their own economic self-interest and
(2) the importance of economic justice.
They may also start wondering why all their wealth has disappeared and who has that wealth now.  The first thing middle-class America needs to do is recover their anger and self-respect. President Obama will host a Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth on December 3rd.  Make sure to participate!

Jim Hightower gets biblical.  Almost starts to remind you of Norman Thomas:
Hightower: Obscenely Rich Bankers Claim to Do God's Work -- They Can Go to Hell
By Jim Hightower, AlterNet. Posted November 18, 2009. :

"Profit is not satanic," the CEO of Barclays recently proclaimed. "Size is not necessarily evil," asserted the head of Deutsche Bank.
But leave it to Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs (and the world's highest-paid banker -- $68 million in 2007 alone) to combine self-pity with self-adulation in a grandiose PR effort to reposition financial thieves as paragons of social altruism. "I know I could slit my writs and people would cheer," he acknowledged in an interview published Nov. 8 in London's Sunday Times. But, he said of himself and his big banking brethren," We're very important. We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital. Companies that create more growth and more wealth. This, in turn, allows people to have jobs that create more growth and more wealth. It's a virtuous cycle."

Here's how the Democrats were playing the jobs issue before the election:
Hispanic Unemployment Disproportionately High, as Americans Lose Jobs for Seventh Straight Month 
Big Oil Continues to Rake in Record Profits
August 1, 2008

“This week has made it crystal clear that the only ones doing well in the Bush-McCain economy are oil company executives,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said. “As we pay more than ever to fill our tanks and to heat and cool our homes, Exxon, BP, Shell and Chevron all announced billions in new profits – including the highest single-quarter take in history.  Meanwhile, American jobs continue to disappear, millions have seen their full-time jobs cut to part-time work and unemployment has reached a four-year high. It is disturbing that none of this news seems to concern Bush-McCain Republicans.  While employers have cut jobs for seven straight months, Republicans have blocked at least seven of our efforts this year to create good-paying jobs here at home by investing in alternative, renewable energy sources.”

Here's where the White House is at on jobs today:
White House Announces December Date for Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth 
WASHINGTON, DC- The Obama Administration announced plans today to hold the Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth on Thursday, December 3rd at the White House.  The forum will be an opportunity for the President and the economic team to hear from some of the best and brightest CEOs, small business owners, and financial experts about ideas for continuing to grow the economy and put Americans back to work.

“During these difficult economic times, we have a responsibility to consider all good ideas to encourage and accelerate job creation in this country.  At the forum next month, I am looking forward to hearing from the private sector, from CEOs and small business owners and from Americans struggling to make ends meet on how we can work together to create jobs and get this economy moving again,” said President Barack Obama.

This is how Joe Biden's top economist describes wealth inequality:
For Whom the (Trading) Bell Tolls: Reforming Wall St. to Protect Main St. 
And while the top was surfing the big wave, the middle class was treading water and the poor were drowning. Despite years of economic growth and solid productivity in the last economic expansion, the median income went nowhere and poverty rose.  Incredibly, according to Census Bureau data, real median household income in 2008 was about $1,000 lower—that's right, I said lower—than it was a decade before.

Robert Reich is really hammering this issue home:
"The Great Disconnect Between Stocks and Jobs" :
"At the same time, the Treasury continues to be fixated on keeping banks afloat. The Administration's mortgage mitigation efforts are lagging. Small businesses are starved of credit. The White House has announced a "jobs summit," which is better than nothing but not nearly as good as pushiing immediately for a larger stimulus, a new jobs tax credit, and a WPA-style jobs program.

The Fed and the Teasury have, in effect, placed a huge bet on a recovery driven by asset prices. That’s a bad bet. The great disconnect between the stock market and jobs is pushing stock prices way out of line with the real economy. This isn't sustainable."

Robert Reich also has a great talked entitled "How Unequal Can America Get Before We Snap?"

No comments: