Jobs, Not 'Deficit,' Should Be The Focal Point Of The SOTU

Why any good Democrat would think the focal point of the deficit is the most important thing that President Obama should be talking about in the SOTU is beyond me.


By accounts Christina Romer is one of the better members of Tribe Econ, but the idea that it's good politics to talk about the deficit in the State of the Union is insane, and the idea that it will be good for policy to have the political dialogue focused on the deficit, as opposed to, you know, JOBS, is even more insane.

We are doomed.

Focusing on the deficit only strengthens the GOP's hold over this administration and the media narrative, when what Americans are really interested in JOBS. Republicans only care about the deficit when they can use it like a sledgehammer to pulverize any Democratic administration as a way to justify their insane beliefs that the working class are only cattle to be used as goods.

You have to read Chrystia Freeland's article: The Rise of the New Global Elite. It's an excellent piece that delves into the Randian/Super Elite mindset. How do you think they feel about the American worker?

The U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds told me that his firm’s investment committee often discusses the question of who wins and who loses in today’s economy. In a recent internal debate, he said, one of his senior colleagues had argued that the hollowing-out of the American middle class didn’t really matter. “His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade,” the CEO recalled.

I heard a similar sentiment from the Taiwanese-born, 30-something CFO of a U.S. Internet company. A gentle, unpretentious man who went from public school to Harvard, he’s nonetheless not terribly sympathetic to the complaints of the American middle class. “We demand a higher paycheck than the rest of the world,” he told me. “So if you’re going to demand 10 times the paycheck, you need to deliver 10 times the value. It sounds harsh, but maybe people in the middle class need to decide to take a pay cut.”

At last summer’s Aspen Ideas Festival, Michael Splinter, CEO of the Silicon Valley green-tech firm Applied Materials, said that if he were starting from scratch, only 20 percent of his workforce would be domestic. “This year, almost 90 percent of our sales will be outside the U.S.,” he explained. “The pull to be close to the customers—most of them in Asia—is enormous.” Speaking at the same conference, Thomas Wilson, CEO of Allstate, also lamented this global reality: “I can get [workers] anywhere in the world. It is a problem for America, but it is not necessarily a problem for American business … American businesses will adapt.”

Americans businesses will adapt, which means that the American worker will suffer and suffer badly. Richard Wolffe reported that Obama will work with the business community, and I guess that will lead into regulations, or the gutting thereof. Darry Issa already is asking business what regulations they want him to attack so we know where his committee is headed.

With the GOP's help, they can continue to make their fortunes off of the backs of our workers with no remorse or regard to the Tea Party fetish of cutting Social Security, unemployment, medicaid/medicare and the destruction of all unions. The Military Complex will of course not be called on to sacrifice any of their federal dollars, only the working class.

President Obama needs to champion the cause of the working class and make the case that he will not allow these programs to be compromised.


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