Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jobless "recovery"

Now that the senatorial election in Massachusetts has tossed Obama's lame-ass health care bill into the toilet, nothing will help the Democrats but some aggressive action against the bankers. How can that be done, considering that Wall Street is a major funder of candidates of both parties?

Beats me. Frankly, I see the plutocracy remaining firmly in control. As you may have noticed, I tend to be bearish on America.


Here's why the recovery is jobless:
  1. Productivity — When employers figure out that they can get more work out of decreasing numbers of desperate workers, that's exactly what they do. In case you haven't noticed, that's exactly what they're doing now. Why hire more?
  2. Low Interest Rates — The low rates now being maintained by the Fed are supposedly going to make it easier for businesses to borrow, expand, and hire more workers. Nope, not quite. Low interest rates make it easier for businesses to afford the machines that replace workers. Why spend money on some smelly, angry guy who wants health insurance when you can have a machine that demands nothing?
  3. That Whole Globalization Thing — Maybe you can train an out-of-work factory worker to be a telephone customer service representative, but cost-benefit analysis still will send the business to Mumbai or Calcutta. The whole argument that better education will improve the American economy is crap, because, whatever it is, we can't do it for less then they can.
So where do the jobs come from in this "recovery?" Beats me — and if the jobs are scarce and pay minimum wage, who has money to buy the services (we can pretty much forget about goods, except for export) the alleged recovery will produce? The Chinese? Maybe we could retrain unemployed Midwest factory workers to speak Chinese, so they can work the telephones for Chinese collection agencies.

Nah. The Indians will get those jobs.

So what is a cafe au lait president who promised change and so far has delivered just more and more of the same to do?

Me, I'd start by firing Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, and anybody else who ever was attached to Robert Rubin's teats. I'd replace Summers with Joseph Stiglitz. As for Treasury, Paul O'Neill would be a pretty amusing choice, and could help Our President continue his idiotic pretense of seeking bipartisanship.

Frankly, I don't think the Democrats have the guts to enact health care reform via reconciliation, so unless one of those oddball Republican women from Maine crosses over to the "dark" side, health care reform is as good as dead. All that's left to rescue Democratic candidates in 2011 is a really hard, stinging slap at Big Finance — accompanied by a lot of rhetoric about Republicans sucking Wall Street's balls. Since the Republicans will be sucking Wall Street's balls, the only obstruction to using this approach will be the difficulty Democrats will have disentangling Wall Street's balls from their own tonsils.

If you're looking for work — good luck. If you need health care and don't have insurance — good luck. What the hell — if you're living in contemporary America, good luck! You'll need it.

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