Obama Readies Jobs Plan While The Right Plans To Scuttle It In A Country Facing Economic Apocalypse

Labor Day New York 1882

New York, Labor Day Weekend 2011: The magic wand is being readied in the White House as the President and his minions finally unwrap the mother of all jobs plans that will be revealed to the rest of us in a speech next Thursday before the cameras and Congress with the gravitas-packed aura of a State of the Union Address.

Attention, collapsing Economy: you finally have the big man’s attention. Nearly 70 organizations are pressing the President to take strong action.

Please give him a break. He’s been busy tending Empire business — waging GWOT warfare on IraqAfghanistanLibyaYemenPakistanSomalia et al …

Call it the greatest “long war” in American history: an unending and unbelievably expensive intervention justified as necessary to keep us safe.

We can assume that contingency plans for new wars with Syria, Iran and the Republic of Wikileaks are being drafted as we speak.

The challenge this week is to bring together all of the Administration’s sophisticated strategic planning, disciplined focus and ‘get it done’ fervor finally to straighten out this out of control economic mess.

There are jobs to produce and one big job to save.

One hardly expects any sort of mea culpa or acknowledgment that the masters of the economic universe Obama appointed, like Geithner, Summers, Rohmer and Golsbee may not have served us well, i.e., may have blown it big time.

That’s history; Obama now has as a new Ivy League advisor, Alan Kreueger, who was, in fact, an old advisor and Geithner crony.

But, lets not be negative. Forget the past and banish any suggestion of a blame game,

Except, of course, for a clear but unspoken missive for the likes of policy critics Robert Reich and Paul Krugman. To them, the White House says, “Drop Dead!”

What do you they know?

Instead, let’s look ahead at the next media event, a now 7PM barely “prime time” (Prime Time always starts at 8)speech to Congress in which, at last, ‘do something big economic recovery secrets’ that have so far eluded us, will be revealed.

The timing couldn’t be worse. Economist Max Wolff tells us, “For the second time in monthly jobs report history we have created no new jobs. …We continue to see consistent and large job losses at the local government level… It is particularly alarming to see cuts remain concentrated among those who work in public schools.”

The brilliant Eric Jantzen of iTulip.com says. time is up: “attempts to restart the FIRE Economy – the economy oriented around the finance, insurance, and real estate industries – will fail at the expense of the Productive Economy – the economy of goods and services produces that employs over 90% of consumers.

“If policy makers persist with this wrong-headed approach… the result will be persistent high unemployment, a depreciating dollar, rising consumer price inflation, falling home prices, and rising budget deficits.”

And. let’s not talk about our divided Federal Reserve and squeamish Justice Department which has never seen a big bank it is willing to prosecute, not to mention, the deficit buster gang in Congress who won’t provide a single centavo to do what needs doing and should have been done in the first place: a sizable investment plan to stimulate job creation.

That is, alas, a non-starter, but we need to go through the motions anyway; the “experts” on the right gloat that the stimulus failed while the experts on the left counter that it was never really tried. Both are right, but does it matter?

Each day brings new reports of more jobs lost, not found—at banks, in local, state and federal government agencies and manufacturing. When you hear the term job creation, think job destruction.

Why is this happening? The smart folks at the Economic Cycle Research Institute point to structural problems beyond the reach of any President.

Ed Harrison reports on Credit Write Downs:  “we are in a decade-long post-credit crisis struggle which will mean high unemployment even if policy makers focused on jobs (which they have not, I would add)…The likely outcome for the next decade is one of sub-par global growth with short business cycles punctuated by fits of recession.”

So, yes, while it may be wrong to blame Obama for forces beyond his control, beyond any President’s control, it isn’t wrong to ask what has taken him so long to make jobs a priority?

Just as justice delayed is justice denied, waiting too long to do what has to be done insures that that we may be beyond the tipping point, too late to get much accomplished, given the political realities and uncertainties in this government killing environment.

Economist Dean Baker thinks this delay may prove fatal. “President Obama’s weak response to the recession over the first two and a half years of his presidency, explains the tidal wave of skepticism facing his widely hyped upcoming speech on jobs after the Labor Day weekend. The list of remedies leaked ahead of time does little to inspire hope.

“At the top of the list of job-creating measures is extending the 2 percentage-point reduction in the social security payroll tax. This provides no boost to the economy, since it just keeps in place a tax cut that was already there, but if the cut is allowed to end at the start of 2012, it will be a drag on growth.”

And at a time of a crisis brought about in part by banks, the golden bullet now being touted is a National Infrastructure Bank. The idea: give investors who already have too much a chance to make even more by bailing out an economy they helped wreck.

Concludes Harrison, “Ocala’s failure to understand where we are in the economic cycle and the relationship to historical precedent has been catastrophic to the conduct of economic policy and critical in his missteps. There is more to Ocala’s misfortune than a bad economy.”

So what can he do? His proposals will be skewered just because he is making them, What buttons can he push when any initiative he takes will be labeled Marxist or worse?

Oddly enough—and perhaps as a sign of the times where the people who are supposed to know what to do don’t, a banker, George Magnus, writes on Bloomberg business news that Karl Marx may actually have had the answer all along.

He says the bearded one taught us, “We have to sustain aggregate demand and income growth, or else we could fall into a debt trap along with serious social consequences. Governments that don’t face an imminent debt crisis — including the U.S., Germany, and the U.K. — must make employment creation the litmus test of policy. In the U.S., the employment-to-population ratio is now as low as in the 1980s. Measures of underemployment almost everywhere are at record highs.”

Concludes Harrison, “What President and Congress do now will only be relevant in the medium-term as the election of 2012 nears. I have repeatedly indicated Republicans will be unlikely to support these current job initiatives. Instead they will focus on trimming government expenditure.”

It sounds like stalemate revisited, paralysis redux.

What no one is talking about is why the jobs are gone—and a good part of the reason has to do with the attacks on unions that fought to protect American workers. As one analyst noted, at least three million of 10.4 missing jobs can be traced to a form of aggressive class war where the “weakened bargaining position of labor was achieved by the growing assertiveness of management in slashing costs to maintain share prices.”

With their work outsourced, factories gone and anti-labor laws restraining their growth, Marx’s faith in the working class going from being a class in itself to a class for itself—and the rest of us—was sabotaged.

So if Marx can’t help us, and Obama is posturing for political reasons, and the Republicans are playing at trench warfare in the interest of big business, and while the US still lacks the kinds of populist movements that are rocking the streets of Europe and even Israel, where can a breakthrough occur?

Calling our superheroes. We need you now more than ever.

Filmmaker and News Dissector Danny Schechter edits Mediachannel.org. For more on his film Plunder: The Crime of Our Time and companion book The Crime Of Our Time: Why Wall Street Is Not Too Big To Jail, visit plunderthecrimeofourtime.com

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  • Hadrian999

    it makes perfect sense in the 2 party system scam. as a politician you don’t have to do anything at all constructive for the people you are supposed to represent, all you have to do is obstruct the other side and spout a few buzzwords usually involving, jesus, guns, abortion, or some scary bogey man ism like calling the other guy a fascist/socialist. do that and you are free to carry out your corporate master’s orders without the serfs noticing

    • Anarchy Pony

      Or you get what seems to be a kind of double teaming sort of thing where one side pushes policy that is so crazy that it makes policy that is merely incredibly undesirable seem perfectly reasonable.

  • Hadrian999

    it makes perfect sense in the 2 party system scam. as a politician you don’t have to do anything at all constructive for the people you are supposed to represent, all you have to do is obstruct the other side and spout a few buzzwords usually involving, jesus, guns, abortion, or some scary bogey man ism like calling the other guy a fascist/socialist. do that and you are free to carry out your corporate master’s orders without the serfs noticing

  • Wanooski

    Or you get what seems to be a kind of double teaming sort of thing where one side pushes policy that is so crazy that it makes policy that is merely incredibly undesirable seem perfectly reasonable.

  • Anarchy Pony

    They act all surprised at these job losses in the public sector, but what the fuck do they expect with all the spending cuts? With spending cuts, the first thing that gets axed are employees and benefits.   

    • Haystack

      Employees who then have no money to “stimulate the economy.” 

      • Hadrian999

        it is a problem for the elite, for the system to work the serfs must be able to afford their chains, if the lower classes can’t afford tv’s cable tv and the trappings that keep them to comfortable to act  they may start to wake up, the elite really don’t want that, they want serfs to be numb not desperate

  • Wanooski

    They act all surprised at these job losses in the public sector, but what the fuck do they expect with all the spending cuts? With spending cuts, the first thing that gets axed are employees and benefits.   

  • Haystack

    Employees who then have no money to “stimulate the economy.” 

  • Haystack

    At this point, I’ve just resigned myself to getting used to a lower standard of living. 

    Survival tip: only one creditor can garnish your wages at once, so you can safely ignore the others. 

  • Haystack

    At this point, I’ve just resigned myself to getting used to a lower standard of living. 

    Survival tip: only one creditor can garnish your wages at once, so you can safely ignore the others. 

  • rtb61

    Obama is in a position to play brinkmanship with the idiot, “Just Say No” Republicans. He can put up a plan with everything the American electorate wants to hear, knowing full well the Republicans will reject it (Obama can even add stuff his banker buddies would reject, knowing the Republicans will can it anyhow).
    All ready to make the Republicans like a buffoonish bunch of corporate lick spittle idiots for the next election, as they reject everything in order to further cripple the middle class and make them ripe for exploitation by the likes of the Koch(head) brothers.
    Your are going to see some of the ugliest stupidest things come frothing from the mouths of Tea Bagger Republicans, the stuff of pure capitalist pseudo religious right wing insanity.  .

    • Anarchy Pony

      Like almost anything that Michele Bachmann says.

  • Anonymous

    Obama is in a position to play brinkmanship with the idiot, “Just Say No” Republicans. He can put up a plan with everything the American electorate wants to hear, knowing full well the Republicans will reject it (Obama can even add stuff his banker buddies would reject, knowing the Republicans will can it anyhow).
    All ready to make the Republicans like a buffoonish bunch of corporate lick spittle idiots for the next election, as they reject everything in order to further cripple the middle class and make them ripe for exploitation by the likes of the Koch(head) brothers.
    Your are going to see some of the ugliest stupidest things come frothing from the mouths of Tea Bagger Republicans, the stuff of pure capitalist pseudo religious right wing insanity.  .

  • Johann VonRodkrammer

    The US has the right to bear arms. The plutocrats would have the lower 99% die in the street like dogs, were it not for the fact that they need to stand on the backs of the 99% to reach the top. Seems the threat is real and imminent. Time to bear those arms has come. That’s my one cent, I cant’s spare the other.

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      Just to be clear, you’re calling for the violent deaths of the top 1% of our population that we’re going to label, “Plutocrats”?

    • Hadrian999

      well considering that those most likely to own guns identify with the plutocrats I don’t see this plan as being viable. before any change to take we have to crack the facade of American democracy

      • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

        Unfortunately it’s viable and what’s worse, it may become inevitable.

        • Hadrian999

          you are much more likely to see the have nots fighting amongst each other for table scraps than you are to see  the masses gang up on the elite, take the teaparty, you have lower middle class and poor white trash fighting for the rights of the top 1%, a mass class uprising is pure fantasy. I love the melting pot of the usa but it use very useful to the elite, it keeps anyone from ever unifying  and keeps society fragmented

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            You’re right about the “have nots” fighting with the “have nots”, but in my modest travels and decades, I’ve met a surprising number of people who know “what’s up” and who the real enemy is.

            It doesn’t need to be a mass class uprising against the elite. Assumming a 50/50 attrition rate we’d only need 1% of the population to target the elites.

            I can assure you, my town is covered.

            How about yours?

          • Hadrian999

            my backwater town isn’t anywhere near any elites

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            Prudent answer. ;)

          • Hadrian999

            we do have plenty of people who think they are elites though ;)

  • Johann VonRodkrammer

    The US has the right to bear arms. The plutocrats would have the lower 99% die in the street like dogs, were it not for the fact that they need to stand on the backs of the 99% to reach the top. Seems the threat is real and imminent. Time to bear those arms has come. That’s my one cent, I cant’s spare the other.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Who keeps falling for this narrative that one party is trying to save us, only to be constantly stymied by that other, evil party?

    • Anarchy Pony

      Lots and lots of people.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Who keeps falling for this narrative that one party is trying to save us, only to be constantly stymied by that other, evil party?

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Just to be clear, you’re calling for the violent deaths of the top 1% of our population that we’re going to label, “Plutocrats”?

  • Hadrian999

    well considering that those most likely to own guns identify with the plutocrats I don’t see this plan as being viable. before any change to take we have to crack the facade of American democracy

  • JoiquimCouteau

    THE STATE CAN NEVER CREATE JOBS
    ONLY PARASITES

    • Andrew

      THE STATE CAN NEVER CREATE ROADS
      ONLY PARKING LOTS

      • 5by5

        Well, except for that pesky interstate highway system….. LOL.

    • Anarchy Pony

      What are you an anarcho capitalist? Rightist libertarian? Just so you know, real anarchists fucking hate that.

    • ICE

      The state can only print money 

  • Anonymous

    THE STATE CAN NEVER CREATE JOBS
    ONLY PARASITES

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Unfortunately it’s viable and what’s worse, it may become inevitable.

  • Hadrian999

    you are much more likely to see the have nots fighting amongst each other for table scraps than you are to see  the masses gang up on the elite, take the teaparty, you have lower middle class and poor white trash fighting for the rights of the top 1%, a mass class uprising is pure fantasy. I love the melting pot of the usa but it use very useful to the elite, it keeps anyone from ever unifying  and keeps society fragmented

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    You’re right about the “have nots” fighting with the “have nots”, but in my modest travels and decades, I’ve met a surprising number of people who know “what’s up” and who the real enemy is.

    It doesn’t need to be a mass class uprising against the elite. Assumming a 50/50 attrition rate we’d only need 1% of the population to target the elites.

    I can assure you, my town is covered.

    How about yours?

  • Andrew

    THE STATE CAN NEVER CREATE ROADS
    ONLY PARKING LOTS

  • Hadrian999

    my backwater town isn’t anywhere near any elites

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Prudent answer. ;)

  • Hadrian999

    we do have plenty of people who think they are elites though ;)

  • Hadrian999

    it is a problem for the elite, for the system to work the serfs must be able to afford their chains, if the lower classes can’t afford tv’s cable tv and the trappings that keep them to comfortable to act  they may start to wake up, the elite really don’t want that, they want serfs to be numb not desperate

  • ICE

    seems like the new world order is trying to bring their plan of destroying the USA they rebuilding it as they see fit under total control

    • ICE

      project phoenix. then*

  • ICE

    seems like the new world order is trying to bring their plan of destroying the USA they rebuilding it as they see fit under total control

  • ICE

    project phoenix. then*

  • Wanooski

    Like almost anything that Michele Bachmann says.

  • Wanooski

    Lots and lots of people.

  • Wanooski

    What are you an anarcho capitalist? Rightist libertarian? Just so you know, real anarchists fucking hate that.

  • ICE

    The state can only print money 

  • 5by5

    Well, except for that pesky interstate highway system….. LOL.