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Film at 11: Obama's SOTU "competiveness" meme is bullshit

Wow. I never would have imagined that. Avedon:

But, really, there is no way to mitigate crap like this:

[OBAMA] They're right. The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there's an Internet connection.

Because, of course, we never had ships before, and we never had international trade. It's a revolution! Nothing to do with the fact that we changed the laws in our country and actually now reward corporations for weakening our economy and exporting jobs.

[OBAMA] Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They're investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became the home to the world's largest private solar research facility, and the world's fastest computer.

Yes, by God, now that the people of China and India have discovered our secrets of education and math, they are getting even in the race. If only we had kept our secret and never let the Chinese know about our clever invention of the abacus!

The revolution has not been in technology. The revolution has been that the immorally rich have finally rebelled against the very possibility of democracy and equality and are making sure to nail down any hole in their walls against the rabble, eliminate any possibility of clever "little people" being able to better themselves with hard work or clever ideas. It has become increasingly difficult for any small business to emerge or survive, for poor kids to work their way up to a decent living. And it's not an accident.

A government's policies determine who lives and who dies, who earns and who starves. Government makes the money and decides where to spend it. It can give to rich people and buy nothing in return, or it can give it to the rest of us and give us roads and jobs and a stable base of government-employed public servants whose steady income results in steady spending in the real economy and thus creates the private sector jobs. A government can set policies that protect its workers, or one that forces them to compete with the worst, most corrupt slave economies.

Obama has chosen to give our money to the Malefactors of Great Wealth and make up excuses about technology and international competition to convince us that we should survive on subsistence wages in order to "compete" with China and India. Compete for what? Why, compete to make our rich people richer than their rich people. Whoever's behalf we are working for, it won't be for us.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

Comments

Submitted by Fran on

"Yes, by God, now that the people of China and India have discovered our secrets of education and math, they are getting even in the race. If only we had kept our secret and never let the Chinese know about our clever invention of the abacus! "

Good rant!

I am so tired of the idea that people are unemployed because their skills are outdated or they lack education. As RD has pointed out, she knows plenty of scientists who have been laid off. I have a friend with 4 degrees - in physics, architecture, business and computer science - including a PhD who was laid off.

It is the Humanities that universities have been cutting back on and neglecting. The universities now have symbiotic relationships with big pharma and defense industries.

Worker's skills really will become at least rusty if they are subject to prolonged unemployment. It is a lot harder to bring an industry back than to keep it alive in the first place. The unemployment is due to worker displacement, not to worker inability.