We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Administration Double Speak on Jobs & Exports

from The Economic Populist

The author does not seem to understand that the system, capitalism, in an age of globalization requires the government to pursue such policies. He offers the former CEO of IBM as an alternative voice that supports national capitalist policies, but such thinking is now out of date. 

Today's capitalists are doing everything they can to erase boundaries for their activities while strenthening them in order to control working people. They couldn't care less if their workers are Hungarian. Nigerian, or Paraguayan. What they do care about is cheap labor, weak labor regulations, weak unions, weak or unenforced environmental regualtions, and strong property rights laws.

He seems to take too seriously public propaganda statements about the importance of job creation for American workers.
The most absurd thing is happening. Claiming to push exports, President Obama is planning on pushing a host of policies that are well documented to offshore outsource jobs and displace U.S. workers. On Obama's export council is Verizon, a notorious labor arbitrager. Ford, Disney, Pfizer (another notorious offshore outsourcer of advanced R&D), and Dow Chemical are also appointed.

Business Week:

    He’ll have to push new trade agreements, higher quotas for skilled foreign workers, and tougher enforcement of intellectual-property rights.