The Administration Double Speak on Jobs & Exports

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.

On what planet, besides a made up one, does someone believe displacing a U.S. worker with a foreign guest worker helps U.S. workers get jobs? Of course firing Americans and replacing them with cheaper labor does not create U.S. jobs for American workers. Evidence of U.S. workforce displacement through global labor arbitrage is overwhelming. The top users of foreign guest worker visas are offshore outsourcers and even the GAO has documented the displacement and wage repression of U.S. workers.

The H-1B “has become the outsourcing visa" …"If at one point you had X amount of outsourcing, and now you have a much higher quantum of outsourcing, you need that many more visas.“ - Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath to International Herald Tribune

It is estimated a South Korea Free Trade agreement alone will lose 159,000 jobs. This isn't job creation for Americans, it's enabling even more labor arbitrage for corporations. As Obama pushes for Columbia and Panama trade agreements, Union members are being executed. Murder as a method to union bust is a popular method in Columbia.

Yet, right in the President's ear are multinational corporations pushing for these bad trade deals. The Wall Street Journal:

Several executives say that on trade, they'll remain skeptical until the president moves to push trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama through Congress.

This is the business round table and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's agenda. To labor arbitrage, displace U.S. workers and offshore outsource more jobs.

Meanwhile very good plans to revamp U.S. jobs are ignored. Intel Corporation founder and former CEO Andy Grove answers how America can create jobs by tax incentives, as well as a tax levy for corporations who offshore outsource jobs instead of use U.S. labor. Grove even mentions the P word, protectionism, but notes we must learn from Asia on how to rebuild U.S. manufacturing, in particular advanced technologies. Get that? It's not the United States who knows how to build up an economy these days, it's China. Andy Grove is no worker oriented touchy-feely guy. A hard nosed industrialist, Grove did manage to build up a new industry in the U.S. called computer processors.

Today, manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is about 166,000, lower than it was before the first PC, the MITS Altair 2800, was assembled in 1975.

Look at how many tech manufacturing jobs have gone to China in just one company, Foxconn, in the Business week graph below.

 

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Here are Dr. Grove's proposals:

The first task is to rebuild our industrial commons. We should develop a system of financial incentives: Levy an extra tax on the product of offshored labor. (If the result is a trade war, treat it like other wars—fight to win.) Keep that money separate. Deposit it in the coffers of what we might call the Scaling Bank of the U.S. and make these sums available to companies that will scale their American operations. Such a system would be a daily reminder that while pursuing our company goals, all of us in business have a responsibility to maintain the industrial base on which we depend and the society whose adaptability—and stability—we may have taken for granted.

Is Andy Grove being called into the White House as a business adviser? No.

Yet the Business Roundtable, with a pure corporate agenda that has nothing to do with creation of U.S. jobs, sure gets a seat at Obama's table. Here are some of their complaints. Notice the foreign tax credit, which gives multinational corporations a nice profit to offshore outsource your job. Notice another agenda item is to union bust.

Does the below complaint list look like any plan to scale up U.S. domestic production? Of course not.

  • FCC controls on broadband Internet
  • EPA regulation of greenhouse gases
  • Increased taxes on foreign earnings
  • Shareholder rights to nominate directors
  • New requirements on derivatives trading
  • End to secret ballots in union elections
  • Expanded damages for pay discrimination
  • Uncertainty over new healthcare rules
  • Restrictions on drilling

Meanwhile shippers are refusing U.S. exports Why? They are too low cost. In other words, we're shipping trash while imports are high value products, which pay shippers more.

The situation has gotten so bad that the Federal Maritime Commission has initiated a "fact finding investigation" to determine why shipping companies are canceling shipments or refusing to carry American exports.

"My fellow Commissioners and I have personally met with and expressed our concerns with Mr. Young Min Kim, the CEO of Hanjin Shipping and new chairman of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, as well as executives of other carriers," Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) chairman Richard Lidinsky told a House of Representatives hearing in March. "I have communicated to Mr. Kim a number of grievances we have heard from shippers." Heading up the investigation is FMC commissioner Rebecca Dye, who said: "If a U.S. exporter has goods to sell overseas, that exporter must be able to get them delivered."

The Alliance for American manufacturing also had a host of good plans to revamp U.S. manufacturing. They too were ignored.

We also have corporations sitting on hordes of cash, refusing to reinvest in the United States.

Despite the overwhelming evidence China is a currency manipulator in order to capture U.S. advanced technology sectors and other manufacturing, the Obama administration refuses to do anything about it.

It's no wonder we have people asking if Obama is Bush's third term, for once again we are getting agendas touted that do exactly opposite of what is claimed. In this case, more job destruction. Unemployment is at a critical tipping point and is a national emergency. Instead of creating jobs, it appears this administration is planning on destroying more jobs, per multinational corporate demands.

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Comments

It's hard to get a progressive in a seat ...

...with Barack Obama on any subject - the seat that he promised when, as candidate Obama, he said he would listen to everyone - has proved to be most difficult. But we are at fault, too. We need to be demanding that seat in a fashion that will eventually get us one rather than talking (as too many do) about abandoning the Dems for some ephemeral third party or just not voting. Cynicism leads to apathy which leads to despair which kills activism. Good analysis, Robert.

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Not pretending to be an economist

how about common sense?

I do not personally know Andy Grove but I'll bet dollars to donuts he's simply looking at the overall economic trends knowing sucking the life blood of an economy will cause it to collapse upon itself and that in turn will lead to a global depression.

It's kind of like T. Boone Pickens. I think he's an arch-conservative but he sees the writing on the wall and his numbers are right. In other words it really appears no one who has some very good ideas, common sense ideas that really are not some sort of social engineering but more make some great business sense not only for companies but also for the national economy....they are locked out of this administration. So, it's like the church of globalization, labor arbitrage, bad trade deals and corporate elitism/super rich are not going to let anything else into that circle, regardless of how much business sense, economic sense, it makes.

It appears to not be a so called Progressive, it's anyone, anyone at all that has great ideas and policies that are outside of this globalization/labor arbitrage religiosity, led by the Rubinites (Summers, Geithner et. al, I should mention the queen of outsourcing, Diana Farrell in that bunch).

As far as Obama goes I see the disappointment, and it's clearly hitting people like a drug binge crash.

When Obamamania was becoming popular is when EP started. I knew he was another corporate owned guy with an incredible hype machine going. But you could not get people to wake up and read the advisers and campaign cash or voting record to save your soul! Even people who knew better to me where in feverish denial. That's scary.

One of the reasons EP is non-partisan is to try to get the focus on real stats, real policy, theory, cause and effect.

I'd like to see the common sense caucus. With some sort of oath of alliance to the national interest, abiding by all macro econ/international theory that does indeed show we're losing big time on trade and other issues with the financial press wants to deny....as well as valid, credible Academic and other studies.

Thou shalt not quote or claim as truth lobbyists white papers, special interests' "research" that doth defy the laws of economics and all statistics. Thou shalt not allow a corporate lobbyist to enter thy door. Thou shalt not accept money from thy lobbyists surrounding the hill, thou shall use small contributions and online media to win elections. Thou shalt not endorse politically expedient yet nonsensical special interest agendas.....

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Sarah Palin

oops, I just saw on cable noise Sarah Palin is claiming to be the "common sense" party. Ha ha, so I guess creation of real common sense as a caucus for Congress is out.

There is the Populist caucus, which is nonpartisan. Peter DeFazio is one of the founders.

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