Wednesday, January 26, 2011
"The list of pro-corporate behavior is blatant enough to make Bush Jr. blush."
by Shamus Cooke
Finally, Obama will be delivering real change. But not the kind envisaged by those who voted for him. Rather, Obama's revolutionary change builds upon the foundations laid by Reagan, who drastically altered American society by promoting the corporate sector at the expense of working people.
Obama's state of the union speech was the culmination of months of right-wing policies that began in earnest after the mid-term election, where his fake liberal garb was completely shed. Now, the naked, corporate President presides unhindered by any pretense to help working people.
And while Obama's policies will be explicitly pro-business, he'll continue to lavish encouraging words to working people, asking them for their patience as he attempts to make corporate America more "competitive and innovative." Obama has made it clear that he believes that job creation is created by the private sector (corporations), which will begin hiring once their profits are high enough. Reagan called this trickle down economics. It remains a lie.
But this lie has been at the center of the Obama administration's activities for months. The list of pro-corporate behavior is blatant enough to make Bush Jr. blush.
Extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy was only the beginning. Next, Obama signed off on the corporate-written Korean free-trade agreement. This was followed by the announcement that JP Morgan executive William Daley would be the new White House chief of staff, Obama's closest adviser.
To the delight of the business community, Obama then signed an executive order concerning regulations, which begins with the following:
" Our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth [corporate profits], innovation, competitiveness, and job creation."
This mutually exclusive sentence did not confuse the corporate-elite, who correctly interpreted it to mean that Obama would ease the rules that restrict their profit making, such as worker, environmental, and consumer protections.
Even more shocking was the announcement that Obama was creating a Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, headed by General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, a sworn enemy of working people. The New York Times noted that the "... the company [GE] has closed 29 plants in the United States and one in Canada in the past two years, eliminating more than 3,000 jobs." (January 22, 2011).
Meanwhile, GE exports have risen in recent years, due to its effectiveness in driving down its workers’ wages, as much as $10 an hour.
And this is precisely why Obama chose the CEO of General Electric to promote his new economic policy. Obama intends to turn the United States into the exporting nation it once was, as a way to deal with the Great Recession. He has repeatedly stated that he intends to boost exports by "five fold,” which can only be achieved by following the ruthless policies of General Electric: layoffs, reduced wages and benefits, reliance on part-time workers, and so on.