In his book titled Dreams of My Father, President Obama wrote:
“Eventually a consulting house to multinational corporations agreed to hire me as a research assistant. Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office and sat at my computer terminal, checking the Reuters machine that blinked bright emerald messages from across the globe.“
Regardless of what he may say to us when addressing workers around the country from behind the Presidential Seal, Mr. Obama loathes the private sector. If you disagree, read the excerpt above again. It’s obvious, and in his own words, written before the economic crisis and before he became President. Mr. Obama continues:
“I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors – see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hands and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve.”
Does this sound like an individual that understands the critical importance of the private sector when it comes to job creation and economic development?
Simply holding a jobs creation summit and calling it a Jobs and Economic Growth Forum, won’t make jobs magically appear, especially when you consider that most of the attendees on the list are large unions, democratic party community organizers or CEO’s of companies who donated funds to the Obama Presidential ticket.
In his opening address at the forum, President Obama made a statement that seems counter to his government-is-the-answer core beliefs:
“We donâ€™t have enough public dollars to fill the hole of private dollars that was created as a consequence of the crisis.Â It is only when the private sector starts to reinvest again, only when our businesses start hiring again and people start spending again and families start seeing improvement in their own lives again that weâ€™re going to have the kind of economy that we want.Â Thatâ€™s the measure of a real economic recovery.”
The President is absolutely correct when he says we don’t have enough public dollars to fill the hole that was created as a consequence of the crisis, even though they did their best to fill this hole with trillions in stimulus and bailouts over the last year with no improvement in our underlying economic fundamentals. The President, not surprisingly, failed to mention that the crisis in the private sector was enabled by the very people that have been appointed to fix the problem.
My own father, like Mr. Obama’s, has dreams too. He often talks about one of them, where he dreams that the politicians and bureaucrats in the public sector first breaks his legs, and then they give him crutches to help him walk.
They’ll never admit they broke your legs, but they will all jump in front of a news camera for as much air time as possible to tell you how they gave you the crutches so you can walk again.
Talk is cheap, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to have any hope that change will come to America when we hear the President say one thing at the jobs forum, all the while he and Congress having been doing another:
“If there are things that we are doing in Washington that inhibit you, we want to know.“
Really Mr. President? Because for the last year it seems that the people, including America’s workers and small business owners, have been doing just that. We ask only that you turn on the radio or visit a few non-mainstream blogs and web sites, and I’m certain you’ll find that we’ve been telling you what is inhibiting us.
- How about telling us that you’ll be raising our income taxes and eliminating the “Bush” tax cuts? You know, when you tell the American working and middle class that you’re going to raise our taxes, we’ll probably respond by saving what little money we have left after paying our monthly expenses. Why would we take the risk of spending any excess money, when we know you’ll be raising our taxes next year? There’s a big inhibitor.
- What about universal socialized health care? We realize that there are millions of Americans who believe health care is a right, but there are many more millions who don’t believe this, and do not want the government controlling it. How do you think the private sector small businesses are going to respond when you tell them they will be forced to provide coverage for their employees or be shut down? How will private citizens respond when you tell them they’ll need to spend an additional $5000 a year on health insurance or be sent to prison? Well, my guess is that small businesses and individuals will respond the same way, they will not spend a dime! And those small businesses, they will certainly not be looking to hire more people if they know they will be shelling out a large percentage of their available hiring capital to the federal government because of mandated health insurance policies. We could call this another inhibitor, no?
- We have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. The President must realize, don’t you, that when you raise taxes on evil corporations, that those costs are then translated to consumers right? And most consumers, not because they want to, but because they have to in order to maintain fiscal solvency, will purchase cheaper goods from foreign producers who don’t have to pay the obscene tax rates. In many cases, the corporations that actually produces tangible goods can’t compete on a global scale, so they will either become extinct, or relocate to a country that won’t tax them like they do in the USA.
- Excessive regulation is another problem. See, when the government over regulates, guess who is hurt the most? It’s not the billion dollar corporations who have the legal and regulatory resources to deal with government guidelines. It’s the small business on the street, which doesn’t have the funding to keep up with yearly and monthly changes to regulatory laws, that is threatened.
- And finally, the over spending in Washington. On main street, when we spend more than we have, it’s called bamkruptcy. And, people that go bankrupt often lose everything, and may even find it hard to feed their family. Of course, this isn’t an issue in Washington, right? There, we just spend trillions of dollars, using the backs of the American people as collateral. Here’s a clue: when business owners see the government spending trillions of dollars they don’t have, and then blowing that money on so called “stimulus” projects that produce nothing of long-term value, they become alarmed. Because business owners know that when the government flushes this money down the deficit toilet, that someone will eventually h ave to pay for it. And that someone is going to be the businesses themselves and the people who buy goods from those businesses. If someone can explain to me how this leads to more hiring by businesses and more spending by consumers, it would be much appreciated.
In the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, America somehow elected the exact opposite of what was needed to quell the crisis and get this nation back on the right foot. And unless something changes in Washington, there is not going to be any true recovery.
Actions speak lounder than words, and right now, the actions of the President and Congress are screaming: INVIDUALS, SAVE YOUR MONEY, DON’T SPEND ! BUSINESS OWNERS, GET OUT OF AMERICA AND SAVE YOURSELVES WHILE YOU STILL CAN! THERE IS NO RULE OF LAW, YOUR CAPITAL IS NO LONGER SAFE HERE!
For Mr. Obama, and many of our other elected officials, the private sectory is the enemy. Make no mistake that the goal is the total and complete destruction of that enemy.
Great web site.Â That said, I do disagree with your conclusions.Â First of all, the economic mess that we are in is due to under regulation and lax enforcement, not over regulation.Â Capitalism, to thrive, needs a strong regulatory framework.
As for health care, take a look at http://www.lean.org and you can see some of the numbers.Â Our health care system is not the best in the world and it is unacceptable for people to go bankrupt due to medical bills even if they have insurance.Â Our “free market” health care system is broken and “market based” solutions will not fix this.Â By the way, I am one of those people who think that health care for all is a right.Â It is selfish to think otherwise.
We may have some of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, but most of our corporations find a way to legally not pay taxes at all.Â Most of our corporations have become fat, dumb and happy and are getting their behinds kicked by companies that think long term and produce products that people will buy.Â Most of our CEO’s spend too much of their time trying to emulate kings and princes rather than spend the time trying to improve their products.Â That is if they make anything at all.Â
In any case, don’t blame Obama for this mess.Â He did not create it and it will take longer than a 4 yr. presidential term to fix this. If you want people to blame, blame anyone who calls themselves a “conservative”,Â has an R next to their name, works in the financial sector,Â is a believer in unfettered capitalism or blames the government for their problems. They are the ones who created the problems that we face.Â
Shogunole, thank you kindly for your comments. While I understand many of your points, I do disagree with a couple of them.
Mainly this one 🙂 :
In any case, donâ€™t blame Obama for this mess.Â He did not create it and it will take longer than a 4 yr. presidential term to fix this. If you want people to blame, blame anyone who calls themselves a â€œconservativeâ€,Â has an R next to their name, works in the financial sector,Â is a believer in unfettered capitalism or blames the government for their problems. They are the ones who created the problems that we face.
The President and jobs creation summit just happen to be on my radar today, so this is why I am placing blame there at this time. I believe you are correct when you say that this will take longer than 4 years to fix. One can argue this problem started with Reagan’s rapid increases in spending. One may also argue it started with Kennedy, when he became (if memory serves) the first President to use deficit spending. Or perhaps it was FDR, who really cranked up the wealth distribution machine during the depression. One could also argue that this began with Woodrow Wilson and the signing of the Federal Reserve Act back in 1913. I will blame democrats. I will blame republicans. Because, to be honest, I have seen maybe a dime’s worth of difference between them in the last two decades. To suggest that conservatives ONLY are responsible is, in my opinion, short-sighted and playing only to the party line. I realize I probably just lost our conservative and liberal blog readers, but I suspect there are one or two independents/libertarians that will keep reading 🙂
Secondly, I do agree with you that one of the reasons for the problems we are having is because of lax enforcement of existing regulations. If only we would enforce the regulations already on the books then we would not have this mess. The problem is that the enforcement agencies, in this case SEC, FDIC, and CFTC are just not doing their jobs. I am sure we could name off a hundred other acronyms here, as well.
QUOTE: I am one of those people who think that health care for all is a right.Â It is selfish to think otherwise.
I must disagree with you. Healthcare is not a right. In fact, I would argue that neither food, water or clothing are a right. My reasoning?
When the government ‘pays’ for someone’s health care, they are doing so not with their money, but with the money seized from another individual involuntarily. In essence, you are taking, by force, the time energy yield of another human being, and transferring that time energy yield to someone else. I realize this seems selfish to you, and perhaps it is. I would be ecstatic if every American had health care, but I will not renounce my core principles of individual liberty and property rights to achieve this goal. Thus, I maintain that none of these things are a right. You, like every American, are equal under the law. That is your right and you should use it to the best of your ability. In nature, there are winners and losers, and unfortunately, this means that some go without health care, and some go without food. This may seem unjust, but it is a natural phenomenon that has spanned the beginning of time on earth.
QUOTE: but most of our corporations find a way to legally not pay taxes at all.
I really am not sure how accurate your assessment that “most” corporations don’t pay taxes is. However, I agree that most corporations are looking for a way out, and how are they doing this? They are shifting their capital OUTSIDE of the USA, which leads to hiring of foreign workers and production of goods outside of the USA. This is simply a mathematical issue — If a company is forced to pay 25% in corporate tax revenues in the US, why would they not shift to Asia where they enjoy no corporate taxes and can then pass those savings on to their shareholders in the form of dividends, which incidentally, would help to boost domestic spending, thus increasing economic output — but that’s neither here nor there 🙂
Shogunole, I sincerely appreciate the dialogue and value your opinions. Thank you for reading and commenting.
I’ll chime on this one…
Yes, an argument can be made that UNDER regulation led to this mess.Â However, in my opinion, a large portion of what needed more regulation was essentially created by government intervention in the first place.Â Although what we are seeing now is probably the result of DECADES of idiocy, just go back to early this decade – when we SHOULD have had (and really NEEDED) quite a recession…
…but we didn’t.Â Why?Â If I understand things correctly, the Federal Reserve stepped in and cranked interest rates way down, which led to the housing bubble, and perhaps an asset bubble in general, as prices were driven up because of artificially low rates.
Sure, had financial activity since then been regulated more efficiently, maybe things wouldn’t be as bad as they are now, BUT an argument can be made that the government’s intervention at that time helped create this mess.
Re Obama – no one is their right mind can blame Obama for this (although he WAS a senator…)…and think few peopleÂ do.Â However, everything his administration and the Fed are doing isÂ the same kind of nonsense that got us here in the first place…and is probably only making things worse – at least in the long run.
Yet again – the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
…and that, my friends is exactkyÂ what our goverment, including Obama, is doing now.Â It’s just another attempt to kick the can down the road…
The problem is that the road is only so long…and I think I see a cliff on the horizon…
…and our government hasn’t hit the brakes yet.Â Hell, they’ve got the pedal to the metal.
Right-o on the Fed 2001 bubble Rick. We shoulda taken the pain then. But I wonder if it would have stopped anything. It seems to me that politicians will be politicians, so the eventual debt collapse would happen in 2030 or something instead of 2010-2015.
FLASH BACK: Greenspan – October 2004:
Alan Greenspan on Tuesday defended one of the most tangible results of his tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board: the big increase in homeowner debt.
In his most detailed discussion yet on the subject, Mr. Greenspan disputed analysts who worry that home buyers have become swept up in a speculative housing bubble that the Fed is partly responsible for creating. While he acknowledged that consumer debt has risen ”especially steeply” in the last five years, he said family finances were still in ”reasonably good shape.”
Mortgage debt and housing prices have both soared since 2001, in part because the Federal Reserve pushed borrowing costs to their lowest levels since the 1950’s. With interest rates now rising, a growing number of economists worry that many home buyers will face higher monthly debt payments in an economic environment that could cause house prices to fall.
In a speech here to a convention of community bankers, Mr. Greenspan said fears of a speculative bubble in housing prices were exaggerated, because people cannot buy and sell their own homes as easily as stock market speculators can buy and sell stock. (source)
Good call Mr. Greenspan. Good Call.
Also of mention is that Greenspan was nominated by Reagan, and sat through Bush, Clinton and Bush. So, we can’t blame a single party, a single Congress, or a single president for the irresponsibility of the Fed, and it’s not like Bernanke is doing anything revolutionary over there either. So, let’s just blanket blame the whole lot of ’em!
I too believe in individual liberty and property rights, but we as human beings do not live and die as solitary creatures.Â We live and die as a community.Â I am not speaking of communism either.Â What I mean by this is that we survive by helping each other out because we are ultimately dependent on one another.Â Health care is just one problem that can only be solved using a systemic solution.Â It may mean that you may have to sacrifice for me or I may have to sacrifice for you, but in the end we both benefit.Â In ” technical” terms, a bunch of all-stars does not a championship team make(see 2004 US Olympic Basketball team for a good example).Â
By the way life is one of those inalienable rights isn’t it?Â Last I knew, we need health,Â food, clothing and water in order to live.Â We can do better than standing idly by while people are suffering and chalking it up to the law of the jungle.
One other thing.Â Trickle down economics does not work.Â Shareholder dividends get put in shareholders pockets.Â They don’t get spent.Â Outsourcing is a short term fix that ends in the long term destruction of industry after industry(Made in China, anyone?). This will eventually lead us losing our lead in innovation(How many of our best and brightest major in engineering or science?).
Shogunole, I agree with you on the outsourcing issue. As an electrical engineer, I have seen many jobs at my own company get shipped to India over the past two years. What really bothers me is not that it’s going on, but that management still tows the party line and says everything will be fine. The lying has to end because I know that businesses want to hire someone for $30/hour over someone else for $180/hour, even if that lower paying person produces slightly inferior work. It’s all about the bottom line. Who do they think they’re kidding?
As for trickle-down, I see it wrong for 2 reasons, one of which you mentioned. The other is that by the time it does (if it does) trickle down to the man on the street, thanks to the monetary phenomenon known as inflation that person can expect that dollar to buy less than it did when it was first printed and released into circulation. Trickle-down also fails to address economic reality at the time. For instance, if we’re facing a massive deflationary episode, how many wealthy families will elect to hole their money up in Treasuries or CDs instead of buying stocks and spending it on the economy itself?
I used to think like you do regarding healthcare. And that’s not a bad thing and I mean no disrespect by it. What I mean to say is that we used to have an affordable (more affordable anyway) system that pretty much took care of everyone just 40-50 years back. What happened since then? Why are middle class families now getting priced out of insurance plans? If I remember right the creation of the HMO had a lot to do with it, and that was an invention under the Nixon years (he may have even helped with it). Since then, prices have inexorably exploded one decade after another. Since HMOs were an attempt to pool together subscribers/hospitals/etc. to bargain for lower prices, it seems to me that their creation had the opposite effect. If it can be proved that the government had anything to do with their creation, then that leads to the unfortunate conclusion that government helped created this problem, and that more regulation is not the answer.
I am an engineer too, so I understand where you are coming from.Â It is sad that this country is losing the ability to make things.Â It will be something to see when the lights go out and there is nobody around who has the technical chops to fix the problem.
Wow! You should really stay on your meds Mac. It is clear to me that the reference to “behind enemy lines” had to do with his working for a consultant to “multinational corporations.”