FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama’s Jobs Bill and Other Fictions

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.

 

More articles by:

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Peter Crowley
Outsourcing Still Affects Us: This and AI Worker Displacement Need Not be Inevitable
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
Martha Rosenberg
New Questions About Ritual Slaughter as Belgium Bans the Practice
Nicky Reid
Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality
Jill Richardson
Hollywood’s Fat Shaming is Getting Old
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Wide Sphere of Influence Within Folklore and Social Practices
Richard Klin
Dial Israel: Amos Oz, 1939-2018
David Rovics
Of Triggers and Bullets
David Yearsley
Bass on Top: the Genius of Paul Chambers
Elliot Sperber
Eddie Spaghetti’s Alphabet
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail