Obama Blames “Soft, Uncompetitive” Americans for High Unemployment

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2011/09/obama-us-had-gotten-a-little-soft/1

With his own party admitting that his meager efforts to restore the economy and create jobs have been a complete failure, it seems the time has come for President Obama to look for scapegoats.  So who will it be?  Parasitic trade partners?  Nah, that would just make the cocktail parties at the G20 meetings a bit awkward.  Greedy CEOs of global corporations?  Nah.  Why piss off your biggest donors? 

Instead, he’s decided to blame American workers for being “soft” and “uncompetitive.”   As detailed in the above-linked report about an interview with an Orlando television station:

“…   the United States “had gotten a little soft” in the years before he took office, and needs to regain its “competitive edge” in the global economy.”

What a crock.  Americans are still, by far, the most productive workers on the planet.  Many are working 12 hour days, 6 or 7 days a week (with all that overtime off-the-clock, by the way).  And, when they’re not at work, they sleep with their cell phones next to their pillows, at the boss’ beck and call 24/7.  Most are afraid to take vacation that they’ve earned or to call in sick when, by all rights, they should be in a hospital. 

How is that Americans are blamed for losing their competitive edge when workers in France and most of Europe, where we have trade deficits that, on a per capita basis, are even bigger than China’s, are coddled with 35-hour work weeks and take far more vaction than Americans?  Why isn’t their low productivity a problem for them?  Why can’t our president ask himself the same question? 

Now that he has Americans feeling bad about themselves, let’s buck them up with a vision of their savior, Obama, riding to the rescue:

“… making sure that we’re revamping our education system, making sure we’ve got world class infrastructure, investing in basic science and research and technology, making sure that we are moving manufacturing back to the United States, and that we are being tough with our trading partners — making sure that they’re not taking advantage of us … there are a lot of things we can do …”

Wait a minute.  Isn’t this the same crap we heard three years ago before the election?  “Being tough with our trading partners.”  Oh, you mean like your first visit to Mexico to talk about NAFTA, when they slapped us with tariffs and sent you home with your tail between your legs?  Have you done anything in response to that yet, other than to capitulate and let Mexican trucks cross the border?  And exactly what have you done to “make sure that we’re moving manufacturing back to the United States,” aside from saying the words?   Yeah, there’s a lot of things you could do.  When do you plan to start?

Perhaps realizing that he may have just insulted voters, he closes with this :

We still have the best universities, the best scientists, and best workers in the world.  We still have the most dynamic economic system in the world.  So we just need to bring all those things together.

That’s not what you said at the beginning.  You said we’re “soft” and have lost our “competitive edge.”  It seems that the only place we’ve gotten soft in the last two decades is between the ears of our politicians and the only thing we’ve lost is leadership and the ability to correctly diagnose our problems.

Obama is rapidly moving beyond being merely a disappointment.  This guy is really beginning to annoy me.

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11 Responses to Obama Blames “Soft, Uncompetitive” Americans for High Unemployment

  1. Ben Hoffman says:

    We are soft. We used to be exceptional but now we’re laggards. We’re lagging behind the rest of developed nations in high-speed rail and renewable energy. American cars are far less reliable than Japanese. China is pouring money into their space program and we barely have anything going on at NASA these days. Bush canceled the replacement for the space shuttle as one of his first acts as president. Most of our manufacturing jobs have gone overseas. You can barely buy anything made in the U.S.A. We’re 14.5 trillion dollars in debt and the crazy f*cks in congress are blocking any attempt to balance the budget. As our country moves further and further to the right, we become more and more soft. In the head.

    • Pete Murphy says:

      Ben, what you’ve described is true, but it’s not a matter of being “soft.” What you’ve described is a function of our country being drained of its financial resources as a result of more than three decades of consecutive trade deficits that are approaching a cumulative $11 trillion. I hope you take the time to read more on this blog to find out just why that’s happening. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Ben Hoffman says:

        What you’ve described is a function of our country being drained of its financial resources as a result of more than three decades of consecutive trade deficits

        No, it’s a function of priorities. We pour trillions into military spending while our infrastructure crumbles. Part of it is the anti-government sentiment that started with the Reagan administration. Our government created the internet, the space program (and the computer technology that came from it), our highway system, national parks and forests, the Panama canal, and a great number of other things that defined American Exceptionalism.

      • Pete Murphy says:

        I agree that these wars have been a terrible waste. We’ve poured about $2 trillion into the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but a lot of that actually ended up boosting the economy with orders for planes, helicopters, trucks, munitions and equipment, not to mention the wages paid to military personnel. Compare that to the $11 trillion lost to stupid trade policy, every penny of which has been sucked out of the economy.

      • Ben Hoffman says:

        a lot of that actually ended up boosting the economy

        That’s true, but what exactly do we have to show for it? Had we put that money into our infrastructure, we’d be the envy of the world.

      • Pete Murphy says:

        Ben, I’m not arguing with you on the whole wasteful military spending thing. What I’m saying is that trade policy is a far bigger drag on the economy. Where would we be if we had those $11 trillion dollars back?

      • Ben Hoffman says:

        That’s true, our trade deficits are a huge problem, and part of that is due to our decision to grant China “most favored nation” trading status.

      • Pete Murphy says:

        Agreed. But I encourage you to read further on this site to learn exactly why that was such a huge mistake. When expressed in per capita terms, our trade deficit with China is rather unremarkable. In per capita terms, our deficit with other nations is much worse. Our trade deficit with China is exactly what we should have expected when we applied a trade policy to China that was already a proven failure around the world.

    • Pete Murphy says:

      Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Ben. Regarding American cars, you need to update your perspective on that one. With the exception of Chrysler products, which still have a ways to go, American cars are every bit as good as, if not better, than anything coming out of Japan. (You might want to check a Japanese car with a Geiger counter before buying one.) Toyota’s been having major quality issues and Consumer Reports recently dropped the Honda Accord from its recommended list. Thanks to the rising yen, Japanese companies are cutting corners and costs every way they can to hold the line on sticker price to hold onto their market share.

  2. ClydeB says:

    Re: Chrysler cars.
    Jeep practically has a lock on that segment. NOBODY touches them.

    • Pete Murphy says:

      You’re right, Clyde. My bad. Jeep is one brand that Chrysler does very, very well. And they’ve got some other good things going, too, like the Dodge Challenger and Charger.

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