SOTU Reviews & Reactions

sotu 2012We've heard many a great speech from President Obama before. Last night's State of the Union was no exception. Here at The Economic Populist we say show me the money. We've heard soaring rhetoric from President Obama too many times, yet behind the words, deeds are either opposite or M.I.A.

Still, Obama gave a lot of lip service to U.S. manufacturing and jobs. To even get U.S. manufacturing on the national policy radar is a feat in and of itself. The actual SOTU transcript is on the White House site with a flurry of videos, social media and round tables to boot. Can't say this administration suffers from a lack of word generation!

That said, we all take President Obama at this point with a strong grain of salt. We've been so disappointed already.

Economic Policy Institute Economist Robert Scott noted China's currency manipulation was sorely absent from SOTU. Yet also noted the administration's hands are often tied by Congress:

Kudos to him for continuing to highlight this important issue, but he failed to mention the main cause of our manufacturing woes in the first place: currency manipulation.

The State of the Spinon

The State of the Union is spinning and weaving a tall economic tale to avoid offending corporate donors and super rich pals. spinInstead of confronting China on currency manipulation and trade barriers, we get almost identical recommendations that Bush made. Community colleges can fix it all, Americans can compete with anyone, more bad trade deals, we'll just simply innovate our way out of this, and finally the claim that somehow Americans are not educated when employers offshore outsource job after job, including the jobs which require that very advanced education. Education is once again being touted as a cure all, ignoring the fact unemployed Americans already have those skills and some of them have 20 years or more of direct experience. To make the situation worse, Obama touts an agenda to flood our labor markets and educational system with more foreign workers instead of hiring Americans who need a job and guaranteeing more Americans have an opportunity to go to the college of their choice.

Paul Krugman calls it The Competition Myth: