Thursday, May 13, 2010
That there is the Atlantic City skyline on a cloudy day. A cloud that, despite the clear blue out my window, hangs over the nation with seemingly no intention of blowing out to sea any time soon. So on this day there is good news and bad news. Let's get the bad over with, shall we? And a cautionary note: If you're one of the people on the verge of despair wonderin if the answer to the dismal economy and appalling, endless search for a job might be retraining at one of those dubious bastions of post secondary education bleating at you through the telly screen to "gain new skills for today's rapidly changing job market", think again. Read this woman's story in today's Times. Makes me so mad I could spit!
The paternalistic (when has it not been so? and when does paternalism not smack of condescension?) and willfully chipper White House seems determined to keep its 'children' (we citizens) from seeing the truth: that the US economy has been permanently and irretrievably hollowed out like an October pumpkin to the sole benefit of an upper class (and their minions) of corporate/financial fat cats enjoying ever greater profits and productivity, despite permanent layoffs, as they hail each other, speeding away to offshore banks, unable to mask their disdain for the weak, lazy ex-workers with their slow American waddle who trusted the system and are now left cryin in their beer, mopping the bar with worthless Enron stock options.
Obama appears irrepressibly upbeat (and often seems exhausted by his efforts in that area) about jobs growth. The Times article implies it's a lack of certain skill sets (or automation) as well as (maybe just a little) the continued offshoring of jobs that is killing US workers. The proportionality of these "causes" isn't clarified, but if it's really skillset shortage, how is it that productivity is up to record levels? Yet Obama is determined to finance retraining opportunities despite knowing full well that in this lean and meaner "economy" (as in 'stingy'), the demand for new skills moves ever faster than the workers are able to retrain. Perhaps designedly so. And even after you, in good faith as you sip the KoolAid passed out at job centers, borrow money to retrain yourself from the same, ruthless banks still refusing to lend to smaller companies so they can hire, it's such a buyer's market for employers, that they want a year's experience in your new field before they'll hire you-- your new costly training be damned! As if the recent graduates of DeVries Institute and the like were in teh same boat as the lucky children of well connected upper middle class parents, the ones who comfortably and with ease finance summer internships on the Hill, on the job training for the privileged. Every deck you can imagine is stacked against wage workers now. And they are 4/5 of the American workforce.
It's enough to send you tearing out to the garage for a pitchfork. This baloney about retraining is a lie. We heard the same crap in the seventies and the eighties while the corporations and manufacturers were exporting jobs faster than you could say " service economy". Retraining so the corporations wouldn't go offshore for better trained workers? Fiddlesticks. They're just buyin time til the next generation comes up to the plate, with no knowledge of the hoaxes Corporate America (we capitalize them now, are they not men? sayeth the Court) laid on their forebears, and absolutely no sense of history or their place in it. But they can work a remote. They can sit at a screen for hours without becoming bored. Never aspiring to something better, more meaningful. It's Henry Ford's dream redux, but on a national scale.
The country is hollowing out as the cancer of over consumption, greed and wasteful living eats it alive, its citizens quickly divided into the haves and the have nots of excellent credit, those who will suffer permanently and those who, because of the savings that very suffering affords them, will come out smelling like a rose.
And was it not ever thus? "A Republic, if you can keep it." Franklin knew people were lazy, greedy. But we were supposed to be the hope of the world. The Great Experiment which, through trial and error, brought fair government policies to bear in order to ensure its citizens equal opportunity, meritocratic pay; work hard, learn much, find reward in a just society. This was the aspiration, at least of those who bought the idea and strove to see it materialize.
Poor President Obama. I 'd like to like the guy, he seems affable enough. Affable? Is that the best we can do? Where'd all that fire go? Where's the leadership he pretended to? There's something there I don't trust. Never have. Agree with Ken Silverstein or whoever it was in Harper's (post note: sorry, it was John MacArthur) who said ages ago the guy was Clinton/DLC all over again, or some such. Changed his tune too often during the campaign, along the margins, then entire paragraphs, until he stuck that flag pin in his lapel and it was all over. Me, I voted for the one man who never, ever lied to me. Who for years honored me as a citizen by never assuming I'd prefer a fairy tale to the truth. Yes, I'll admit it was tempting to vote for the first - half - black president, but I realized that was a kind of hubris in itself, wasn't it? Thinking we could put the past behind us with one lousy vote after so much damage had been done, the ghettos worse than ever. And choosing Rahm.. well that's just too big a disappointment to believe. Rahm and half of Wall Street running the show? The foxes aren't just guarding the henhouse now. Like Hutus, they've hacked the hens to pieces and are feasting on barbeque of the remains.
For pity's sake, the Dems have enough votes to nominate another genuine liberal light to replace Stevens. The ONLY justice who saw clearly in 2000 and was brave enough to cry foul with a loud voice. I wanna know what Kagan's view of Bush v Gore was. You think anyone will ask her that? Doubt it. Whether she has the legal mettle to impress progressives really hinges on her view of that one decision. Can she see the forest for the trees? THAT is the question. Bush v. Gore is NOT settled law, so it's fair game for the Judiciary committee. The majority opinion themselves said that decision was NOT to be understood as setting any precedent. ('Scuse me, folks, but isn't that your JOB? Your stated Constitutional function?)
I don't care if Kagan's fun to play poker with. People voted for Bush cause they thought he'd be fun to drink with. Well, in a nation of people addicted to one thing or another, it's a no brainer that half of them will vote for a fellow addict. And what will we get? A consensus builder? Please. This is a sellout; The Bland leading The Bland. Obama's forte.
I feel today as a woman scorned, and you know what they say about us.
A rapper whose name i've forgotten said: Wars are won by those who endure.
Who here will endure? What will be the quality of what remains?
I believe I've worn you out today. The good news I mentioned upstairs will just have to wait.