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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Fall of Barack Obama- and why there can be no ‘good’ US President.

Highly trained tool and die workers, the aristocrats of the manufacturing sector, are flipping hamburgers – at best – for $7.50 an hour because US corporations sent their jobs to Guangzhou, with the approval of politicians flush with the money of the "free trade" lobby.

It is not Obama's fault that across 30 years more and more money has floated up to the apex of the social pyramid till America is heading back to where it was in the 1880s, a nation of tramps and millionaires. It's not his fault that every tax break, every regulation, every judicial decision tilts towards business and the rich. That was the neo-liberal America conjured into malign vitality back in the mid 1970s.

You can read the rest of Alexander Cockburn’s excellent piece on how it all went wrong for Obama- and why there can be no ‘good’ US President, here.


jack said...

LaRouche has actually given the best summary of how the economy through generations of US presidents starting with Truman after the death of Roosevelt British aligned financial oligarchy and City of London banking institutions starting with the launch of the Cold War by Churchill with the various currency manipulation measures through generations of US Presidents with the major turning point being Nixons taking of the US dollar of the gold reserve.

Mr. Piccolo said...

In my opinion, the best analysis of the current situation in the United States has been given by Prof. Richard D. Wolff. In his work “Capitalism Hits the Fan,” Prof. Wolff traces the history of American capitalism, explaining how, for the most part, wages and economic opportunities for American workers continued to increase almost constantly for 150 years due to chronic labor shortages and the existence of the American Frontier, that is until the 1970s, when a number of factors led to a stagnation and even downward trend in real wages that has not stopped.

In response, having come to see their self-worth in how much money they make and what they could consume, American workers went on an insane borrowing spree in order to prop up their lifestyle. The result was massive indebtedness for American workers and a profit bonanza for businesses that not only stopped paying higher real wages, but actually took their extra profits from stagnant or lower wages and loaned them out to their own workers, with interest!

Wolff targets this end to rising real wages as the major catalyst for the economic problems in the US and the world today. For example, America’s wealthy elite, flush with money under the system of stagnant and declining wages, turned to risky speculation in things like derivatives, in order to make more and more money.

Prof. Wolff’s solution to these problems is one that has surprised many people on the traditional American Left. Instead of calling for more government intervention via Keynesianism and regulation, he calls for American workers to start their own worker cooperatives.

Seeing the wage system as the key to our economic problems, Wolff argues for a movement beyond the wage system, into a system where workers themselves own and operate the means of production.

If anyone is interested in reading more about Prof. Wolff’s ideas, here is a link to his website:

Douglas said...

Mr. Cockburn and I live in different worlds, but I carefully read his article. We got along until I got to the line "Obama reveres the capitalist system."

From time to time, President Obama says or does something that gives the impression that he believes the core purpose of government is the redistribution of wealth. The appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick as head of Medicare and Medicaid is the most recent instance of this. Mr. Obama has recognized that many Americans find this repugnant, and thus tries to hide this belief.

There are other times where he acts like a common-garden variety looter politician, using the machinery of government to transfer wealth from his opponents to his supporters. The government intervention in GM and Chrysler that resulted in the auto workers union becoming part owners of those companies, is an instance of this.

But no matter which of these two ways Mr. Obama acts, the result is a hostile environment to capitalists and entrepreneurs.

I do agree with Cockburn that the credibility and good will that Mr. Obama once had the American people is long gone. The Democratic party faces electoral ruin in the November elections, with the possible loss of control of the House of Representatives, as in 1994.

A lot of people wrote articles and posts about the first 100 days of the Obama administration. I did too; I hope this helps.

jock mctrousers said...

Later in that article Cockburn says: " But it is Obama's fault that he did not understand this... "
Why does Cockburn have to try and paint Obama as 'trying to do the right thing'? If he'd ever shown any hint that he'd any desire to do anything but what he's told to he'd never have got within a light year of the job.

Lyndon LaRouche is a nut.

Karl Naylor said...

When Obama was elected there was little reason for hope despite the messianic uplift of his speeches and the crapulent paeans of praise heaped on him by windbags such as Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian who rhapsodised,
"For the last eight years, it's been hard to keep the flame alive. ...But on Tuesday night I stood in Grant Park and watched a crowd of 200,000 erupt as they saw Barack Obama become America's next president..... From now on, admiration for the US will no longer need to be whispered nor weighed down with a thousand qualifiers...."

A crapulent homily that meannt that no matter how badly Obama's policies might turn out to be, Freedland need not be embarrassed about having given his unqualified blessings to it.

In Dr Johnson's words this, like a second marriage, is 'the triumph of hope over experience'.

JG Ballard understood the underlying forces at work when he wrote of Blair and British politics that it ' has lost its will, and may even have reached its close, absorbed into consumerism and public relations. Perhaps elections and the ballot box are little more than a folkloric ritual, along with parliament itself.

Ballard continues," The chief function of election campaigns is to convince us that politics and politicians are still important'.

That could apply as much to journalists like Freedman to cowardly and supine to face the reality.

And reality has and is hitting the USA and UK hard. Debt fuelled consumerism and resource wars necessary to sustain high octane consumer economies mean the decline of "the West" and the rise of China.

Obama made Afghanistan his Iraq and this "Good War" is yet another futile waste of blood and treasure to get the TAPI pipeline built via Afghanistan before his re-election. Hence the "surge".

A surge against what he termed in his election contest against McCain as the dangers of a "resurgent Al Qaida and Russia". Why? Because of the Great Game for the fossil fuels of "the stans".

We simply need to put into place measures to cut down on wasteful consumerism and start manufacturing again and be self sufficient in energy and goods. The alternative is darkness.

jack said...

@jock mctrousers

How exactly is LaRouchee a nut?

That "nut" have forecast all the major economic pitfalls since he started in the late 50's.

jack said...

@Karl Naylor

Al Qaeda is a continuation of US backed Islamic mercenary force since 79 for the estimates of the mid 70’s EU and Asia’s future energy needs depended on Eurasia’s untapped oil and gas supplies then under Soviet domination and now under Russian influence hence the US/NATO created and manufactured wars in the Balkans, Chechnya and conflicts in the Stans and China to untimely create an oil and gas bridge into the EU.

This was clearly laid out in Brzezinski’s 97 book The Grand Chessboard which is a revised version of info and policies of the Mid 70’s.

In fact all the terrorist attacks or attempted terrorist attacks in Europe and the US are connected to Eurasian terrorist groups and networks like the latest thwarted terror attack uncovered in Norway.

And Obamas “surge” in Afghanistan is to support the spread of radical Islamic groups into Central Asia justifying US military intervention just like in the former Yugoslavia and what they are attempting to do in the North Caucasus using the Afghan heroin trade and financial funding.

The crime figure directing Afghan heroin into Russia are located and reside in the US and have links to the CIA.