January 5, 2014

After this segment, I'm trying to figure out who signs Jim Cramer's paycheck these days. Wasn't he the guy who inspired all those "grassroots" tea party protests back in 2009?*

Today, Cramer went populist for the beginning, and then lapsed into his 'poor abused CEO' schtick over "Washington" and its failure to get out of their faces.

Cramer's deep concern for workers in states "desperate for workers" comes in the form of a question. "What's being done to get people to Louisiana, to Texas, to Ohio, to North Dakota, to Pennsylvania, to soon New Mexico, to Montana, these are states that need workers. But no one is helping them get there."

I wonder if the fact that all the states he named are deep red Republican "free market" states that work hard to screw people for the benefit of CEOs has anything to do with their labor shortage.

Moving on, Cramer then stands up for those poor CEOs, so maligned and so unfairly stigmatized, but the crux of his argument seems to be that those poor billionaires are just forced -- FORCED, I tell you, to take their polluting selves offshore to countries which will let them pollute the environment, exploit workers, and rake in the big bucks.

Because Washington. Somehow this is supposed to bolster the middle class and create jobs? Or do we just shed more tears for the billionaires?

Transcript, via NBCNews:

GREGORY: All right. The president also wants to raise the minimum wage. Is that a fight he should win, Jim?

MR. CRAMER: Yes. I mean, look, again, it's a bit of a distraction. Now remember, Wal-Mart can pay the minimum wage no matter how-- how high it goes. The smaller business guy, it actually is a factor. You don't want to be able to think, I can't start a business. But I don't want to get too caught in the weeds here. Minimum wage, these jobless benefits, they do not do anything versus getting people in the states that are desperate for workers. What's being done to get people to Louisiana, to Texas, to Ohio, to North Dakota, to Pennsylvania, to soon New Mexico, to Montana, these are states that need workers. But no one is helping them get there. Highly paid jobs, 90 thousand dollars for a trucker this year starting. No high school.

GREGORY: So why is there uncertainty? Do you see the unemployment…

MR. CRAMER: Washington.

GREGORY: Right. Well, so here-- that gets to something in your book that I want to put on the screen that I thought was interesting. You write in the book, this book is about getting rich carefully. Washington is writing a serial novel about bankrupting us slowly. So Washington is a factor in whether the economy takes off the way people think it might?

MR. CRAMER: Well, the CEOs, much maligned in this country, I believe, are trying to figure out how to save the most. Now Gene wrote book not that long ago called Pro-Growth Progressive where he believed in globalization. I'm sure he still does. The problem with that is the CEOs are saying, you know what, other than Boeing with the Seattle agreement the other day, let's just do it in Ireland. Let's just do it in Asia. You know what, let's do it in China. They can pollute all they want. There's no duty. They can import here, the jobs can go over there, because you know what, they have got a very capitalist government. And we have a government that stands in the way. And by the way, I'm saying government, Gene, I'm not saying Democrat, okay?

*No, it wasn't Cramer, as numerous commenters have noted. Hard to tell one screaming fool from another.

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