FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama’s Jobs Bill and Other Fictions

by ROB URIE

Several seemingly well meaning pundits have asked: if Occupy Wall Street wants jobs, why don’t they come out and support President Obama’s jobs bill? Answering only for myself, the better question is: why doesn’t Obama support his own jobs bill? The White House is claiming that it needs sixty votes to pass the jobs bill in the Senate to overcome a threatened filibuster by Republicans. Maybe, but are these the same Republicans who just passed his toxic free-trade agreement with South Korea, Panama and Colombia with bipartisan support from Democrats? Why yes they are.

At this point in history, the evidence is in that these free trade agreements are a neo-liberal hoax to transfer jobs from the U.S. to low wage countries. Anyone who cares to can view the facts for themselves in the government statistics—the decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs has a very high correlation with the advent and implementation of free-trade agreements. Not only have manufacturing jobs been in absolute decline for more than a decade, the Participation Rate, the percentage of the working age population that is employed has been declining with it. As for the purported benefits of so-called free trade, where are they?

So Obama is willing to go to the mat with Republicans to send U.S. jobs elsewhere with a free-trade agreement but he is making only a symbolic effort to pass his weak, pathetic three-and-one-half-years late jobs bill because he needs more votes than George W. Bush ever needed to get his legislation passed?

But what has Obama accomplished with his jobs bill? The panel of pundits on a recent NPR roundtable agreed that he has gotten his poll numbers up on “who cares more about the economy, the president or congressional Republicans” by a full ten points. That is, Obama got what he wanted, an increase in his poll numbers, by creating the appearance of trying to create jobs without creating any jobs. And he did this while destroying jobs in the U.S. with a free trade agreement passed by the same Republicans he claims are holding his jobs bill hostage.

So, support Obama’s jobs bill? Thanks anyway, but Barack Obama and the dysfunctional political system that he represents is the problem. Getting cynical opportunists like him out of public office is the priority, not forever playing the patsy to his misdirections.

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist living in New York.

 

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics will be published by CounterPunch later this month.

Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail