Barack Obama recently made nice with the Chamber of Commerce and American corporate interests. The Republican punditry in America assumes this is a thinly veiled attempt to “move to the center” in preparation for a difficult 2012 reelection campaign. Jim Cramer hailed Obama’s speech to the Chamber as an epiphany by the President. Obama finally understands the American engine according to Cramer, meaning the President finally gets the importance of Wall Street asset inflation and debt financed personal consumption. The channeling of the Reagan myth was complete. The speech to the Chamber of Commerce did not signal a radical shift in the American fascist system in any way shape or form; actually it was a complete acquiescence by the President to the machine. It was quite a sight to behold.
There is a lot of debate about the ideology of Obama. Is he a communist, a socialist or oh my, even a Muslim? I see little need to get hung up on definitions or semantics. At his core, I believe him to be a communist embedded in an entrenched fascist system. Obama’s speech was simply an affirmation that his attempt to elevate the state to a position of total dominion over the distribution of wealth and production was at an end. The fusion of state and corporate power would remain intact, and the balance or power would be shared. Quid pro quo as many have described it. Obama will relent on onerous regulations, lower the corporate tax rate, end the complexity in the tax code as well as fight for more free trade (sic). In exchange, the corporate nations of the world (American in name only) would rehire American workers and Obama can start to fill his campaign coffers with his new found buddies’ political donations. Standard operating procedure.
Obama is on board with the corporate state direction of America, the endless moral hazard, algorithms running our financial lives while riding each bubble and the aforementioned free trade. Free trade is a concept far too nebulous to attempt to scope here, but if it must be distilled down, on a fundamental, mathematical level it does make sense, at least to the eggheads at Harvard, Princeton and Yale who live in a two dimensional false reality. Comparative advantage is sighted as the logic behind free trade. The problem is, comparative advantage is entirely too simplistic to account for all the variables in global exchange. Comparative advantage does not assume capital is mobile and comparative advantage does not concern itself with petty things such as national economic health and observable history. The specious math means Americans get more stuff is all the acolytes understand.
Even in a common market such as America with a single currency and uniform trade laws between states (the true reason for the Commerce Clause); local economies’ industrial composite, production cycles and consumptive tastes widely vary throughout the country, and so does income disparity and standard of living. Even with the “free trade” panacea in place in America, how long before taxpayers in North Dakota are bailing out and providing services for the people of California? The fundamental problem with the concept of free trade is that it is never free, a zero sum game or a win-win scenario. However, comparative advantage teaches otherwise. Free trade always ends up being little more than mercantile trade as nations rarely play fair. Additionally, there is always a trade off that never seems to be the highlight of the establishment’s bill of goods. No country can currently provide the consumptive power of the American people. Opening up American industry to the sniping power of Colombian labor and regulatory environment hardly seems like an equitable deal. I like coffee and all, but I am not sure what the Colombian market offers the American producer (relative to the cost to the American wage earner) except an easier flow of capital out of this nation. The trade offs of these deals are never as advertised. Quietly the establishment has been forced to admit that certain jobs are never coming back and we are faced with a “new normal” in terms of an acceptable level of unemployment, a statistic that is highly manipulated.
In college, I was casually taught that yes, free trade would mean a loss of American factories and manufacturing jobs, but who cares, wouldn’t you rather sit down on the job selling mortgages after piling up four or five years of college loans? Who wouldn’t want to work at a hotel or in a nursing home instead of a dirty factory? Who would want a pension when a 401K and a mutual fund will do? The new economy is superior and any member of society in rebellion over globalism is nothing more than an inflexible Luddite. There is no cause for concern, Federal jobs programs and state colleges will train you to fill these higher paying jobs while the transition takes place. Neo-Feudal global serfdom is progress because we have more electronic gadgets in 2011 as opposed to 1911.
But what of the competition in these new economy fields, can’t they be outsourced in some fashion? As a person working in IT, there is not a week that goes by that our company does not get unsolicited phone calls for application coding outsourcing from India. How does American wage not begin to feel pressure from workers around the world who are better educated and work cheaper? We all can’t be physical therapists or pay for our imports with back massages and icing groin pulls. The answer to these questions are to hang in there champ, one day there will be global equilibrium and everything will work out fine. No mechanism for this miracle is known, even by the people teaching this doctrine. My professors did not tell me that free trade and globalization meant the taking of American rights and the lowering of wage and standards of living to be more in line with the rest of the world. This whole “harmony” business was going to raise the tides for all, not drain the pool. I was pitched rainbows, unicorns, Pax Corporate Americana and individuality through iPods.
The stats do not lie on the destruction free trade has done to America. Here are a few articles packed full of statistical support of the harm that has been done at the altar of free trade (here, here, and here). In short, the middle class is going the way of the dodo and our productive base has already flown the coup. However, we can never forget the men behind the curtain in this discussion and the real tool of the fascist corporate empire. I am of course speaking of the Federal Reserve.
A huge part of the machinery Obama found impossible to confront, and gleefully embraced in the name of crisis, is the power of government debt and the reserve currency. Frankly, America’s status as the global currency mule allows our government and society to act in insane and delusional ways. From credit cards to 18 year olds with no income and no assets (the CARD Act has not changed this), to no document loans, to student loan bubbles, housing bubbles, tech stock bubbles, to the government $14 trillion in debt with $100 trillion more in unfunded liabilities, to American taxpayers on the hook for $24 trillion in the form of Federal Reserve bailout guarantees and in a $500 trillion CDO black hole of unknown value and absolutely no utility; the message Obama sent the Chamber of Commerce and the American people is business as usual. These are not the policies that built America’s great economic, military and industrial might. None of these destructive agendas are possible without the reserve currency status and madmen at the helm keeping the fascist ship of state on course. Captain Obama is retracing a path worn thin. Actually, a fact totally ignored by the groupthinkers is that America surpassed the continent of Europe in terms of industrial firepower in an era of deflation, protective tariffs and no central bank.
The party on Wall Street continues with the humming, well actually buzzing and beeping of the electronic money machine in the background. All systems are good to go as the final big bubble is right on our horizon, the currency bubble. The Fed talking points are all wrong. Low aggregate demand can not stave off the continued erosion of faith in the U.S. dollar or government. There is not a Jenga bond maturity structure that can engineer our way out of this budget mess and certainly no way to grow our way out. Obama’s speech to the Chamber of Commerce really means nothing has changed. Quid pro quo politics, corporate welfare and more globalization are the bullet points for the future as well as the past.