Trading Jobs for More of the Same
The Clinton years analogies have been coming fast and furious since the midterm elections and Obama's self-described “shellacking.” But today's administration seems anything but worried about the comparisons—in fact, they seem to be doing their best to roll back the clock.
The rumors hit yesterday that Bill Clinton's commerce secretary, currently an executive at J.P. Morgan Chase, will be appointed as Obama's new chief of staff or another senior White House position. William Daley's the brother of Obama's hometown mayor Richard Daley, and worked on a Chamber of Commerce commission on financial deregulation*. That means Obama would be replacing one Chicago pol with Clinton experience and Wall Street ties with -- another. There's change for you.
The Wall Street Journal notes that Daley has been an advocate of moving policies to the center in search of common ground. But what center is that? Daley was Clinton's NAFTA czar, charged with pushing through the free trade agreement past furious Labor voters and a reluctant Congress.
Now there's a new trade deal, with Korea, hovering over Congress, and despite opposition from a trans-partisan coalition that runs from Rep. Ron Paul to Sen. Sherrod Brown, it looks like Obama's turning to an expert to ram it through.
And what'll that mean? The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the Korea deal will ship 159,000 jobs overseas. Who needs to beat up on unions, as we noted yesterday, when you can simply ship their jobs out from under them?
Mike Papantonio reminded us that while the State department bribes foreign governments on behalf of US companies, in the name of serving American interests, so-called American companies like Boeing and Caterpillar are doing most of their manufacturing elsewhere. While unemployment remains stratospheric, the only people who benefit are the exectutives and investors who rake in bigger profits off lower wages.
And we've seen all this before. We know how the story goes. American jobs disappear, factories close, wages and pensions gone. And even a familiar cast of characters to reenact the story.
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv and editor of At The Tea Party, out now from OR Books. GRITtv broadcasts weekdays on DISH Network and DIRECTv, on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter and be our friend on Facebook.