The “Job Creation” Farce

Posted on January 16, 2012 by

Republican success in the 2012 election depends on a miserable economy and they must be ticked off that their business allies are beginning to hire.

Because a one or two percent drop in unemployment could help the democrats keep the white house and senate.

Employers, of course, are just responding to business conditions by adding a few employees here and there which does, in fact, offer some relief to tens of thousands of American workers who need to make a living.

Politically, President Obama is playing it about right, bringing CEOs to white house summits, tax-breaking business and proposing to streamline the commerce department.

But no one really believes that the American economy is entering a boom cycle which will result in millions of well-paying jobs.

And nothing substantive is happening to undo the “financialization” of the economy. After all, it took generations to build a system in which wage-earners, not investors, suffer all the consequences of economic downturns driven by speculation.

Forty years ago, the organized working class promoted a different model.

The pre-Reagan 1970s saw the last gasp of the so-called “full employment” movement with public planning, “industrial democracy” and even labor law reform.  But that disappeared in the union-busting, globalizing and trickle-downism of the 1980s.

Unaccountable corporate and financial interests ascended and working class power virtually disappeared.

Now, city and state governments craft generous hiring incentives just to tease out a few jobs around the edges of the economy.

Only then – after fully exploiting all other profit-making “efficiencies” – will employers consider adding some part or full-time positions at “competitive” wages.

Comments (4)


  1. Frank Stricker says:

    interesting. Lou, what kind of labor law reform are you talking about in the 70s? 1977-78 was the defeat of two important labor law reforms and they happened under Carter. Congress already had a bunch of Watergate
    Democrats, many of whom were not labor liberals.
    And they gutted Humphrey Hawkins in 78. At least there was a group trying to do something big.

  2. Alan K. says:

    Nice digest of how we got here. I’m sending around to those on my mailing list.

  3. Mitchell McGuire says:

    Washington is run by the almighty dollar and the middle and lower classes are being denied their right to even exist in this atmosphere. We need to clean house and unseat all our representatives who are on the Wall Street dole. Lets get new blood and make sure they know what we elected them to do: bring back the middle class by taxing the well off and stop the graft going on with or representatives who get rich by merely winning an election. It has to stop of we will have a revolution like days of yore.

  4. Rod Bradley says:

    Well, revolutions are not pretty and tend to enshrine those who are not great at governance — but sometimes they are the only way.

    I think “labor” as a concept has to be expanded and become the “little guy” and include small independent entrepreneurs and the small grocer and the artist working the day-job, etc — that is the overly simplistic notion of the 99 per cent.

    The only way this can be achieved short term is by dismantling the two corrupt parties and the notion that money can buy any office. Alas, they won’t happen until we reach a state close to when revolution is the only answer. In other words, the crumbs thrown from the oligarchic carriage, so far, have been just enough.

    There is some hope in Obama’s lack of conviction and vison and center — he can be pushed. He’s just another political animal. Even FDR said make me do it. We can make Obama do it (I think, I mean, I think the man is still human although very aloof and remote from the common man –).
    Anyway, before an actual physical bloodshed revolution, I think it’s worth a try.

    Remember, his main agenda is to maintain his dignity, his life, and to please. He just has to know the little guy demands that he stand for something, like the little guy. No compromise. We are the people. The 99 per cent, as simplistic as that is. (in reality, more like the 74 per cent.)

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