The State of the Union is spinning and weaving a tall economic tale to avoid offending corporate donors and super rich pals. Instead 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:
Meet the new buzzword, same as the old buzzword. In advance of the State of the Union, President Obama has telegraphed his main theme: competitiveness. The President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board has been renamed the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. And in his Saturday radio address, the president declared that “We can out-compete any other nation on Earth.”
Even business leaders have made it clear, while innovation is great, it simply does not scale to create a strong middle class. One must require production and manufacturing to occur in the United States with U.S. citizens as workers. Even more important, manufacturing actually spawns innovation, not the other way around. The two go hand in hand.
On labor markets, we have this statement in the speech:
One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.
Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let's agree to make that effort. And let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.
While Americans cannot get jobs Obama wants to turn our educational system into an automatic free immigration ticket. This will enable labor arbitrage on steroids, displacing even more Americans and enabling more technology transfer to India and China. Having U.S. taxpayer dollars be used to make sure your kid cannot even get into college, not even get accepted, due to all of the foreigners getting the seats, much less a job upon graduation, is an astounding denial of labor economics. There is a reasond why localities have taxpayer funded educational systems for their residents. Universities are already high rejection rates for acceptance, some hitting 90%, in addition to not being affordable. Only 24% of new college graduates obtained jobs in their area of study in 2010. 85% had to move back home.
Are you dizzy yet? Obama is claiming pushing more bad trade deals will create jobs and even claims labor has endorsed them, which from the reports, doesn't appear to be true. These are trade deals started by the Bush Administration.
To help businesses sell more products abroad, we set a goal of doubling our exports by 2014 - because the more we export, the more jobs we create at home. Already, our exports are up. Recently, we signed agreements with India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs in the United States. And last month, we finalized a trade agreement with South Korea that will support at least 70,000 American jobs. This agreement has unprecedented support from business and labor; Democrats and Republicans, and I ask this Congress to pass it as soon as possible.
Before I took office, I made it clear that we would enforce our trade agreements, and that I would only sign deals that keep faith with American workers, and promote American jobs. That's what we did with Korea, and that's what I intend to do as we pursue agreements with Panama and Colombia, and continue our Asia Pacific and global trade talks.
Even worse, Obama touts a subtle deregulation and we noted his example, saccharin, is made in China.
The Alliance of American Manufacturing also point to trade and manufacturing as the real way to grow the United States economy:
The president needs to state clearly in his State of the Union address that we face another "Sputnik moment" with implications that may be far more consequential than the launch of that satellite in 1957. He needs to change the debate. In the current political environment, we really have no answer to the rise of China, when, in fact, it should be an issue that unites Americans to a common purpose.
One look at the trade deficit or the U.S. GDP, it's clear beyond reducing the financial sector, the United States must grow production and manufacturing. . The trade deficit with China is massive and the United States has lost 2.4 million jobs just from 2001-2008.
Another studies show the U.S. Treasury loses $100 billion in revenues due to tax havens and with the Bush Panama and Columbia trade deals in the mix, which Obama wants to also pass, the trade deficit is projected to increased $16.8 billion dollars.
This is no way to create 11.5 million jobs. More frustrating, the American people are screaming from the rooftops at this point on the way to create American jobs. They vote for it and of course are betrayed once that person gets into office. This administration is no exception.
The rest of the speech has some basics about cutting the deficit, including being open to reforming social security. There is infrastructure and a strange agenda to create high speed rail across the country. There is no doubt we need infrastructure rebuilding and jobs, although the high speed rail practicality particulars are yet to be seen. Gas lines that do not blow up, bridges that do not collapse, levees that do not break and water mains that do not spew toxins might be a good start.