Definitions are important to the context of this segment of John Boehner's economy speech Thursday, so here they are:
- Job Creators = Corporate interests. If you were to take the member list for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, top Republican donors, and oil interests in this country, that would more or less be who John Boehner's "job creators" are.
- "On Strike" = holding their breath (and assets) until they turn blue and get their way. It is antithetical to assume any relationship between worker strikes and the kind of strike Boehner is referring to in his speech. Workers strike because they are at a disadvantage against corporate interests and can only withhold labor as a way to expand their rights and their voice. The Boehner brand of "strike" is where already-powerful actors choose to withhold assets and investment in the economy in order to gain even more power than they already have, at the expense of workers and the health of the country. It's an unpatriotic, ugly sort of strike.
Now that the nomenclature is defined, I think it's safe to say that John Boehner just admitted that corporate interests, in collusion with the Republican party, are intentionally sabotaging the United States economy in order to gain even more political power and strip everyone else of theirs.
For some context, here's a snippet from the transcript:
"They've been undercut by a government that favors crony capitalism and businesses deemed 'too big to fail,' over the small banks and small businesses that make our economy go.
"They've been antagonized by a government that favors bureaucrats over market-based solutions.
"They've been demoralized by a government that causes despair when we need it to provide reassurance and inspire confidence.
"My worry is that even after all of this, much of the talk in Washington right now is basically about more of the same. More initiatives that seem to have more to do with the next election than the next generation. . .initiatives that seem to be more about micromanaging economic decisions than liberating them.
"I think the American people are worried about this too.
"I can tell you the American people -- private-sector job creators in particular --- are rattled by what they've seen out of this town over the last few years.
"My worry is that for American job creators, all the uncertainty is turning to fear that this toxic environment for job creation is a permanent state.
"Job creators in America are essentially on strike.
Isn't it bizarre to have Boehner equate "the American people" with "private-sector job creators"?
The job creators are the people who spend money on products and services offered by those private-sector businesses. If the people have no money, they won't be spending any. This is Economics 101. It's incredibly cynical, but not surprising, for John Boehner to endorse the concept of a strike provided that the outcome is even more power consolidated in the hands of a few.
Perhaps he should have simply said "Oligarchy!" and walked off stage. It would have been more honest.