the entire reason behind Obama's amnesty hoax to legalize Mexico's looting is to keep wages DEPRESSED and WALL STREET CONTRIBUTORS happy and generous to the LA RAZA DEMOCRAT PARTY
"This is Obama’s new “middle class,” working for half the wages of their grandparents and barely keeping one step out of a homeless shelter."
"Corporate profits are at their highest share of GDP since World War II, while the portion of national economic output going to labor has fallen to the lowest postwar level."
............. THE ENTIRE REASON FOR AMNESTY AND OPEN BORDERS IS SO THE INVADING HORDES KEEP WAGES DEPRESSED.
"As for the state of Michigan, which once had among the highest living standards for workers in the country, it now ranks in the bottom 10 for per capita income in the US, barely ahead of Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas and other traditionally poor states."
At Michigan auto factory, Obama says more “sacrifice” needed for economic turnaround
By Jerry White
In an appearance at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in suburban
8 January 2015
Detroit Wednesday afternoon, President Barack Obama pointed to
the “sacrifices” the White House demanded from auto workers
during the 2009 restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler as the
model for resurrecting manufacturing and the US economy as a
At Michigan auto factory, Obama says more “sacrifice” needed for economic turnaround
By Jerry White
In an appearance at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in suburban Detroit Wednesday afternoon, President Barack Obama pointed to the “sacrifices” the White House demanded from auto workers during the 2009 restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler as the model for resurrecting manufacturing and the US economy as a whole.
8 January 2015
Accompanied by Ford executives, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan and other local Democrats, along with representatives from the United Auto Workers union, the president put on his phony rolled-up-sleeves persona. He said Michigan workers embodied the grit and resilience of America, which had come back stronger than ever after the 2008 financial crash.
The US economy, the president said, saw the strongest job growth in 2014 since the 1990s. Over the last four years, he said, the US had created more private sector jobs than Europe, Japan and every other advanced economy combined. The manufacturing sector had led this rebound with US industries “making more stuff and selling it around the world.”
The president’s comments only underscore the enormous gulf between the self-satisfied ruling elites—which have enriched themselves though the unrelenting attack on the jobs and living standards of workers—and the tens of millions of working people struggling each day to survive.
In fact, the manufacturing sector has only added 650,000 jobs since 2010, far shy of the 2.3 million jobs shed in the preceding three years. Those jobs predominantly pay low wages and lack the benefits and conditions won by industrial workers in the last century. Manufacturing jobs were traditionally the highest paid private sector jobs. More than 1.5 million manufacturing workers—one out of every four—earn $11.91 per hour or less, and 600,000 earn $9.60 per hour or less.
As for the state of Michigan, which once had among the highest living standards for workers in the country, it now ranks in the bottom 10 for per capita income in the US, barely ahead of Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas and other traditionally poor states.
Just a few miles away from Obama’s stage-managed event, nearly one out of seven residents of the city of Detroit, which just emerged from municipal bankruptcy, face eviction from their homes because they are behind on their property taxes. The “Motor City,” Obama said, was experiencing a “rebirth” with new business and private investment, tech startups…there are still challenges but it’s coming back.”
In fact, Mayor Duggan, a multimillionaire former corporate executive, is overseeing a brutal campaign of water and other utility shutoffs, cuts to city worker pension and health care benefits, and the selloff of public assets to service the debts of the Wall Street banks.
“America’s resurgence is real,” Obama insisted, saying no one should convince workers otherwise. Now that the US was in “calmer waters and the worst of the crisis is behind us,” the president said, it was “time that everyone pitched in so that the rising tide is lifting all boats not just some.”
This was a passing reference to the fact that 95 percent of all economic gains under the president’s tenure have gone to the richest 1 percent. Corporations, including GM, Chrysler and Ford, are reaping record profits and hoarding trillions in cash while the stock market has reached stratospheric heights. Corporate profits are at their highest share of GDP since World War II, while the portion of national economic output going to labor has fallen to the lowest postwar level.
Obama recounted how his administration decided to use the crisis in the auto industry to ram through concessions in wages, benefits and working conditions long sought by the auto bosses and Wall Street. Pointing to the precarious state of the industry following the financial meltdown, with plunging sales and one out of five workers losing their jobs, Obama said, “We could have given billions in taxpayers dollars to the corporations without accountability or change, but that would have just kicked the problem down the road.”
“The alternative was to do nothing and let the companies fail,” the president said, but this would have had the cascading effect of wiping out suppliers, communities and stronger auto companies like Ford. “So, in exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We told the auto companies ‘you have to change with the times.’ Plants restructured. Labor and management worked together, settled their differences and everybody made sacrifices; it was not just the workers who gave something up.
That’s when America works best. We rejected the false choice that either the unions or the businesses could succeed but not both…. We believed in shared sacrifices and that leads to shared prosperity.”
In fact, the Obama administration collaborated with the United Auto Workers to make sure that the corporations and the UAW apparatus succeeded—at the direct expense of the working class. The UAW agreed to cut in half the wages of new workers, freeze the pay of traditional “legacy” workers, eliminate the eight-hour day and tear up other long-standing job protections and working standards. In exchange, the UAW was given control of billions of dollars in corporate shares and other assets as part of the union’s takeover of the companies’ retiree health care obligations.
New auto workers make less than the average manufacturing wage of $19.10 an hour and lack traditional retiree and health benefits. All told, the auto companies reduced hourly labor costs by 25 to 30 percent, and lowered their break-even point to sales of 11.5 million to 12 million a year. With next year’s sales predicted to return to pre-recession highs of 17 million vehicles, this means billions in pure profit.
Obama said jobs in the auto industry had for generations been representative of what it meant to “get into the middle class.” If you worked “hard on this job you could afford to raise a family, buy a house, go on vacation and retire with some dignity…. Every car you sent down the line…gave you a sense of security. Plants like this built more than cars, they built the middle class and that was worth fighting for.”
In fact, many new auto workers at Ford and other companies have been forced to live at home with their parents or stretch to pay rent for an apartment and other necessities. Vacations, retirement and job security are little but an illusion.
A profile by marketplace.com of workers at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant where Obama spoke noted that 20 of the 23 workers on one line were being paid entry-level wages of $16.78 an hour. “Three of them are legacy workers, and 20 are entry level,” a worker is quoted as saying. “Each one of them have families, a couple of them are single mothers, a couple people that are in their 50s that are starting over.”
These workers have no job security. In fact, the factory where Obama spoke was on an extended holiday shutdown because of low car sales, with thousands of workers on layoff. Late last year, nearly 100 workers at Ford’s Chicago Assembly plant—so-called Long-Term Supplemental Employees (LTSE) earning even lower wages agreed to by the UAW—were informed by automated robo-calls that they had been terminated because sales were down.
Obama boasted that Ford had relocated some of its production from Mexico back to the United States, and that many manufacturers who went offshore are realizing that “America is back and we got to get in there”—i.e., that the US has become a new cheap labor haven.
Eric, a worker at Chrysler’s Warren Stamping plant, told the World Socialist Web Site, “When I started in 1995, the job offered hope. I live in Warren, and now you can see vacant houses where people have lost their homes. It really doesn’t seem like there is any improvement on the horizon. The whole movement from a manufacturing-based economy to a service economy has led to a wider gap between the haves and the have-nots.”
Referring to the two-tier wage, Eric said, “I believe it was devised to keep us separate. The company hasn’t given the first-tier workers a raise in 10 years, and now it seems that isn’t even up for discussion. They are saving money and laughing all the way to the bank.”
Another young Warren Truck worker added, “The amount of money the second-tier workers get is barely enough to live on. You work your ass off, but it is gone very quickly.”
Obama concluded his remarks with a homily that revealed more than he intended about social reality in America. He cited a worker, named Ramone, who had been hired into the Ford plant after returning from eight years of military duty in Afghanistan and Iraq and being forced to go into a homeless shelter because of the lack of work. Obama said Ramone was now working at Ford like his grandfather had for 25 years.
This is Obama’s new “middle class,” working for half the wages of their grandparents and barely keeping one step out of a homeless shelter.
6 January 2015
Obama’s State of Delusion
22 January 2015The delusional character of Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday—presenting an America of rising living standards and a booming economy, capped by his declaration that the “shadow of crisis has passed”—is perhaps matched only in its presentation by the media and supporters of the Democratic Party.
The general tone was set by the New York Times in its lead editorial on Wednesday, which described the speech as a “simple, dramatic message about economic fairness, about the fact that the well-off—the top earners, the big banks, Silicon Valley—have done just great, while middle and working classes remain dead in the water.”
The attempt to present Obama’s remarks as a clarion call to combat social inequality runs first of all into the inconvenient fact that the individual supposedly making this call has been the head of state for the past six years. The Times writes as if the policies of the Obama administration—the multitrillion-dollar bailout for the banks, the coordinated assault on wages, relentless cuts to social programs and the social counterrevolution in health care known as Obamacare—have nothing to do with the record levels of social inequality that prevail in the United States.
The Times quotes Obama’s question delivered toward the beginning of the speech: “Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an
economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes an effort?”
Anyone listening to the speech with even a passing knowledge of the record of his presidency would immediately respond that, for Obama and for the entire political establishment that he heads, the answer is clearly the former.
As for the proposals themselves—including tuition assistance for community colleges, tax credits for child care and college education, an increase in the minimum wage and paid maternity leave—they consist of insincere and paltry measures, tailored to the interests of big business, that no one, least of all Obama, expects will pass.
The Times itself acknowledges, “Mr. Obama knows his prospects of getting Congress to agree are less than zero.” White House officials freely admitted ahead of the State of the Union that Obama had no expectations that the measures he proposed would be taken up on Capitol Hill. “We will not be limited by what will pass this Congress, because that would be a very boring two years,” White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer told the press before the speech.
Previous State of the Union speeches have produced similar wish lists aimed at generating illusions that Obama sought to advance a “progressive” agenda, proposals dropped as soon as the president completed the obligatory tour of photo-ops and speeches at college campuses.
In his 2014 State of the Union, Obama called for ending tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs overseas, investing tens of billions in infrastructure projects to create jobs, making pre-kindergarten available to every four-year-old child, regardless of family income, and enacting equal pay for women. Instead, one million people were cut off food stamps, long-term unemployment remained stubbornly high, poverty increased, and wages stagnated.
On the other hand, every major initiative by Obama in domestic policy—the 2009 stimulus program, the 2010 health care reform legislation, the 2010 financial regulatory overhaul, countless budget deals with the congressional Republicans, right up to the executive order on immigration issued a month ago—was dictated by the needs of corporate America, and, in many cases, drafted by corporate lobbyists.
The consequences for working people—record long-term unemployment, a tidal wave of home foreclosures, the slashing of wages in basic industry, the steady decline in living standards over all—were not accidental. They were the deliberate goal of government policy, for both Democrats and Republicans, because mass suffering by the working class was required to obtain the resources needed to bail out the financial aristocracy.
The main purpose of Obama’s remarks was to give the various publications and organizations that orbit the Democratic Party—the Times, the Nation magazine (whose columnist John Nichols described the spech as a “serious effort to address income inequality”), the trade unions, and the network of pseudo-left organizations that present themselves as “socialist”—fodder for promoting the Democrats in the 2016 elections.
Thus, Obama’s speech was peppered with references aimed at the upper-middle class practitioners of various forms of identity politics (Time magazine, for example, enthused that Obama “made history Tuesday night” by the inclusion in his speech of one word: “transgender”).
Here is how to paint the Democratic Party in progressive colors, he was telling them. Here is how the Democratic Party will seek to fool the American people as it collaborates with the Republicans in enacting ever more right-wing policies over the next two years, combined with endless war abroad and the assault on democratic rights.
The delusions, self-delusions and lies of Obama and his supporters cannot, however, alter the underlying reality of American political life: the unbridgeable gulf between the entire state apparatus and the vast majority of the population. It is notable that Obama’s speech, delivered less than three months after the midterm elections, made no reference to the debacle that the Democratic Party suffered at the polls—due primarily to the collapse in voter turnout produced by six years of right-wing policies from the “candidate of change.”
Perhaps the most striking delusion of all is the belief by the ruling class and its representatives that it can, through a few honeyed and lying phrases, forestall the tidal wave of social opposition that is on the horizon.
Patrick Martin and Joseph Kishore