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5 years ago
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State of the Union: Jobs Rumored to Make a Guest Appearance... Again

Posted: 02/11/2013 11:47 am

The big news about President Obama's fifth State of the Union speech tomorrow night is that it's going to focus on "job creation" and "economic growth." Or, as the New York Times put it, Obama will "define a second-term agenda built around restoring economic prosperity to the middle class" and will "vow to use the power of his office to recapture robust job growth and economic expansion." This theme was previewed in a speech the president gave last week in which he told House Democrats that he will talk about "making sure that we're focused on job creation here in the United States."

But what's really newsworthy is less that Obama is going to focus on jobs in his State of the Union speech, or that the White House is telegraphing the same, but that, with nearly 8 percent unemployment and the economy contracting in the last quarter of 2012, it's actually a news story that the president is going to focus on jobs and the economy. That this is news is a symptom of how far both Washington's responsiveness to the economy and our expectations have fallen.

It's now more than three months past the election. That we need "job creation here in the United States" is not exactly a novel idea. And yet much of the president's focus from November to February has been on how to craft a version of economic austerity that is less destructive than the wildly destructive one advanced by the Republicans. Certainly less destructive is better than more destructive -- but neither will result in job creation. I guess that's why it's news that the president is going to, as they say in Washington, "pivot" to job creation.

But it's what comes after the speech that's important. Or, I should say, between this speech and the next one, since jobs and the economy have made regular appearances in Obama's four previous State of the Union speeches, as well. Here are just a few highlights:

(Go to link above for rest.  It's lengthy but a good read)

5 years ago

Presidents don't create jobs. The only thing President Obama can do, with the assistance of Congress, and provided the Republicans lend their support, is to help create favourable conditions for businesses so that they will be in a position to hire more workers.

Corporations have been getting tax break after tax break for years now, yet they still send their jobs overseas. Tax breaks clearly don't work as intended. 

The jobs that are left, tend to suck and are not long-term. A lot of companies hire temp workers now so that they don't have to pay benefits. Many jobs that are available are low-skilled, low-paying service industry jobs. Manufacturing jobs are still disappearing. Recent union-busting activities in some areas have seen an overall decrease in wages and benefits.

Start rebuilding the infrastructure. Start building a comprehensive high-speed rail system across the country. Speed up creation and production of green technologies. Then you'll see some job action. Will the Republicans step up to the plate? Highly doubtful. Just watch when they blame President Obama for lack of progress and jobs in 2016 like the hypocritical rat bastards that they are.

5 years ago

Christian, I don't disagree that a President can only do so much.  However he needs to show leadership, determination and workable solutions. 

When it comes to corporations, you have to be careful.  They are not all huge and outsourcing.  Not all benefit from loopholes.  Those are the big guys.  I do agree though that outsourcing labor should not be benefited with tax loopholes.

I have noticed on the job market that most jobs are about 30 hours or so.  This avoids that status of full time employee.  This allows them to eliminate benefits and existing and potential costs to the employer.  Also temporary work is the order of the day.  No job security or hopes for longevity within an organization.  The job market is horrible.  If a decent job opens up, hundreds go for it.  My experience anyway.

Maybe with your suggestions above some jobs will be created but also surely some will be lost to not being in on the new technology and such.  Need to retrain a whole group of people.  Who would you hire for a job a new young savy technologically advanced person or an old hack who needs training?

I hope they all can get their act together and come up with some solution that benefits the unemployed through getting work rather than extending unemployment.

The dance has been long and it needs to see some movement in a different direction.

5 years ago

What gets me though is when certain Republican types insist that the Government can't create jobs.  THEN insist that the President isn't doing enough for jobs.

5 years ago

True, it is a contradiction.  I think they refer more to regulations, taxes and such to ease up stress on business.  Which usually only encompasses big business.

I just don't think President Obama stands up for what he wants if it is what he really wants.    What is it he does propose anyway? 

5 years ago

I do realize that about taxes and regulations, but....

Honestly, I hate to say it but I am not sure Obama knows what he wants in the specifc.  He seems to have great ideas and then negotiates in his own mind.

5 years ago

Honestly, I don't think either of you would do much better if you were in his position.

5 years ago

No matter what you think you want to do, there will always be opposing forces preventing you from doing it. That's just reality.

5 years ago

Yes, Christian, very true.  That is why you have to be prepared to go all out and fight for what you want.

I often wonder though if there is true will behind anything any of them say or do.  Or if it is all a great big show, a planned act for us all. 

I mean in all honesty very little of what they do harms them personally.  They all sit pretty collect their benefits and their checks, live comfortable lives, vacation, eat out etc.  Maybe they pretend to battle and do nothing because we buy into it.  Just a thought ...

5 years ago

Hey Christian, not saying I would. But if you are negotiating in yoru mind midn ebfore you even go out and fight for something, there is a problem. 

5 years ago

Nancy, I get what you are saying.  If you yourself are not fully behind what you say you want.  The commitment to it is not there.  Who the hell is going to fight for it?  Interesting...

5 years ago

That is always the sense I have had- at least since Obamacare was pushed through.  I think he was more interested in mkaing sure he got something pushed thourgh too without caring what it was.

5 years ago

I was thinking the same thing.   I figured I wouldn't mention it.  Don't want to go there again   At least not this week.

Although, it really could apply for so many of them.  They are always fighting...fighting...fighting for us.  And always seemingly fail

5 years ago

At the risk of sounding audacious, I will have the temerity to say that yes, I very definitely DO think I could do better as President.  The solutions are actually very simple, very practical. 

Firstly, in dealing with a very unwilling bunch of useless wind-bags in the Senate and House, I as President, can still very definitely call a press conference.  That's when the gloves come off.  Nos false smiles, and jargon mixed with pretty words from me.  I blast the vermin with a nationwide address that interrupts all other programming, since it's of extreme importance.  I tell the people: I not only put it in perspective in very direct and understandable terms that their State elected officials in D.C. are not at all representing the people; but I go on to suggest that each and every household of each and everyone of the sandbaggers should be "Occupied", and that Presidential pardons will be issued to anyone arrested for such protest gatherings.  Perhaps I'll call for many votes of "no confidence". 

Then, I tell the people, I tell them exactly what the plan would be that the vermin are preventing.  It's a very sound one, one that most would find more than agreeable.  But for now, I'll just talk about the jobs thing:

Where jobs are concerned, the plan is two-fold:  First, any company that has shipped jobs overseas, and has its headquarters on this soil, will then pay their foreign workers with American-sized wages.  They will keep their overseas businesses within the same standards of safety and health that we do here.  This is important, because our business practices are, after all, a reflection of our "great" nation, so, we can't be doing shady things out there, now can we? 

They won't like that much, but it gets worse for them:  All goods then coming back into this country from overseas are, by definition, foreign goods.  They should therefore cost quite a bit more than domestic goods.  Tax, tax, tax, and more tax. 

This will do two very major, major things:

1)  It will most certainly compel many of these businesses to come on back home.  Awww, poor babies. 

2)  Whether they do or not is irrelevant in the long run, because their goods will be expensive here, as opposed to our own stuff, so, naturally, people will buy American, again.  This also opens a massive window for American businesses to pop up like zits on a greasy-faced 14 year old.  Thus creating jobs, thus people can spend, thus businesses grow along with stocks and the value of our dollar, thus more jobs, thus more money, thus more spending, thus more growth, round and round, like a.....hmmm...well, kind of like the symbol of eternity, about that?  Such a simple equation, really, I often wonder how this has been overlooked by our elected officials for so long....

Obama, after all, has been calling for "economic patriotism", though his definition was quite different, I think.  I find my idea to be as patriotic as it gets.  Root for the "home team", right? 

But I've got other ideas, that would also lower our cost of living here, thus raising the value of our dollar even more.  It's so damn easy, an assembler can do it, so why in the blue hell can't our 545 wealthy, educated "elite" "representatives" do it?  Unless of course it gets in the way of their corporate masters, and the gold they line their puppets' pockets with....? 

Are we ready for "no confidence", yet?  Are any of these fools are going to be "difference makers"?  "Heroes"?  Ain't happening.  Not if we're voting for Dems, GOPs, or anyone backed by corporate cronies.  Not if we're voting for big-business.  Not if we're just chilling, and letting the popular vote mean next to nothing. 

5 years ago

Your jobs plan won't work.  First, do you think China cares if their factory workers get bigger wages?  Hell no.  Those Apple workers were committing suicide right and left by jumping off the building and the government was fine with that.  American corporations that manufacture overseas do not have to pay taxes in their native country (USA) because they pay taxes overseas - in China.  That;s what the Chinese government cares about - the money it gets. It isn't going to sit idly by while American and t axpaying to China corporations get called home.

And the repubs like things the way they are.  Obama tried to make corporate outsourcers pay taxes at a higher rate and the House republicans shot it down.  Then the SCOTUS republicans gave us CU and it's a money grab bag free-for-all in Washington now.  

A president can ony do so much when the other political party is standing in his way by design 100% of the time. 

5 years ago

Over 17% of America's imported oil comes from Canada, Shane. By taxing the hell out of that, you raise gas prices through the roof which will then raise the cost of goods through the roof.

5 years ago

Certianly at least getting rid of tax breaks for corporations and esepcially those taking jobs overseas ought to help.  I don't think we can force a company to pay minimum wage overseas. 

But sure Shane,  YOu might be a better President. 

5 years ago

I agree. I also think Shane has a future in politics.

5 years ago

What a lot of people forget as well is it is not all the "corporations" fault here. No one ever wants to accept their role in all of this as consumers and investors.

Corporations will do what they do to keep investors investing. Do you have a 401k, mutual fund, or IRA? How do you feel when it loses money or, essentially, stagnates? Investors demand returns or they take their money elsewhere.

That motivates a lot of decisions by these companies. They are not alone up in a castle on the top of a mountain.

They are smack dab in the middle of the people.

The people can change their investment decisions and make a difference...

5 years ago

We don't forget that.  Well, at least I don/t. 

We can't be consumers unless we make enough money to consume.

If we aren't even able to consume, we are certainly not investing.

401K?  Ha!  Yeah, I don't like it when it loses money and guess what, the market has more than doubled under Obama.  There is plenty there, it just isn't getting spread around.

My "stockholder shares" have been voting against bonuses and executive raises for four years. 

But, yes, you have some valid points. 

5 years ago

the market has more than doubled under Obama.

So Obama gets credit for the stockmarket but does not have take blame for not creating jobs?

So are we saying any good numbers he is applauded for and any bad numbers are not his fault because he is not responsible for whatever that is?

And, it also doubled under Bush at one point from 7,200 in Oct of 03 to 14,000 in Jun 08.

So what does it mean..?

5 years ago

Sounds about right.

5 years ago

No, I wasn't trying to give tha credit for the market to Obama at all.  Should have said the last four years.

I'm NOT applauding him.

I have eoften wondered what the market means when it was just about the only thing people looked at saying the economy was better back in the 80s.

All those companies that are presumably doing better, as evidenceed that the increase in their stock price, could be hiring.  Not seeing much of that going on.

And it is those "too big to fail" type comp[anies, certainly NOT all companies. 

If they can pay bonuses, they ought to be able to hire.  If they can't hire, why are they aying bonuses.

5 years ago

This is interesting...

Also, Nancy is right about the market going up 50%+ under Obama.  It did.  Did he do it     Although it was really hitting pretty damn low there for a bit, so I am glad it went up.  I don't have much in retirement even after years of trying to put it there so any market that is good, works for me.  No matter who it falls under.

5 years ago

Interesting as well.  I wish I knew the market better and how to work it.  I surely do....

Although, the stock market has little to do with anything but the profit of corporations and business.  No GDP, No employee layoffs etc. change the market.  They rely on the viability of the corporation.

5 years ago

Oh, it would work. 

The GOP or even the Chinese gov't standing in my way would be of little concern.  Like I said, I'd basically sick the people on them, in short.  I'd give it to people straight, I'd pull no punches, I'd be going against the very grain of everything politics has become.  An anti-politician, if you will.  They would be resigning and being replaced by REAL representatives, left and right.  (Pun not intended, but I DO like it!  lol) 

As for China, what they want or don't want means little; it's what's right, and what works.  The idea is that our companies over here sure as hell wouldn't be interested in paying their workers over there properly.  That's the point.  They either shape up, or dry up.  Their choice.  Either way, the roadblocks here on this soil disappear. 

For a time, sure, stocks might suffer, and giants would fall.  The forest has to burn, sometimes, for its life to continue.  My version of this culling doesn't involve genocide or Imperial takovers, though, unlike Obama and Bush, and their ilk.  It's more akin to a spanking. 

As for oil, well, once my above equation gets into full swing, high gas prices wouldn't be such a hardship, since our economy would otherwise grow to flourish significantly.  And like I said, that's just part of the plan.  The other parts would include the elimination of much of our oil dependency, as well as other things that would lower the cost of living significantly.  Some big tycoons would take it in the shorts, for sure, but, my sympathies for these exploiters are in short supply. 

Besides, with all that, the folks who already have millions or billions or more would find their money also has more value.  It's win-win, really.   Plus, the Fed Reserve would go bye-bye, that's another piece of it.  Quite a bit of National debt eliminated, simply breaking up a crime-ring, that should've been arrested from the start. 

5 years ago

Happy Birthday Shane....

5 years ago

Oh wow!  Happy Birthday, Shane!!!

Buck makes a good point.  How and where you invest matters.

This post was modified from its original form on 15 Feb, 14:59
5 years ago

I don't think most people know exactly where they are investing.  Most people have some administrator handle that.  I am not sure where my money is invested.  The biggest part I really have in it is telling them to be agressive or more conservative and what percentages I want going to each of those areas.

5 years ago

Thanks, Suzanne, and Angelica! 

Investing is not to be done lightly, that's for sure.  It's really gambling, when you boil it down.  Educated guesses, to be sure, but guesses nonetheless. 

But that's a big part of what grinds my gears, is that, unfortunately, that's where the real money is.  And those of us who prefer to simply work for it, used to at least be able to enjoy some spoils here and there.  Not so much, these days.  And without said spoils, we're no more than drones: working, reproducing, consuming, and passing on.  Round and round, without purpose, at least no purpose for ourselves. 

It's okay if we don't think about it, and arent' sensitive to our surroundings, and haven't the perspective to see it for the prison it is; but I'm not so blissfully ignorant; I've noticed, and there's no going back.  It takes the flavor out of so much in my life.  I get that "sucker" or "victim" feeling, and it doesn't sit well with me. 

5 years ago

"Although, the stock market has little to do with anything but the profit of corporations and business."

Well, yes, except for this.  If the market is up, then those corporations DO have profits.  That menas they do have extra cash.  They could Hire people, give pay raises, and pay benefits.  all of which benefit everyone by more employed (and thus fewer getting federal help), more money to spend (and thus eventually more consumption and more orders and more business, and more moeny in for atxes), and more with benefts (and thus fewer needing Obamacare help, or fewer needin those costly ER visits that we all pay for).

Maybe this is what you link says Suzanne.  I am about to read it. 

5 years ago

Nancy, really what I meant in what I said is the market does not care if people are out of work, if they have health coverage or not.  It is not so personal for them.  If a corporation is profiting that is what they care about.

Obviously what you say above is reasonable.  However it doesn't rule the valuations in the market at all.

This post was modified from its original form on 16 Feb, 10:00
5 years ago

Got it.  I had realized that back in the 1980s.  And that is why I was glad that Obama was not crowing about it as others have in the past. 

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