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The State of the Union address had the theme "build America to last" with heavy emphasis on jobs. I want to know why now? This is where Mr. Obama should have placed his emphasis when he first took office instead of health care reform.
In March of 2009, he said that not only are most of the jobs that were moved offshore not going to come back, but that we did not need or want them to do so because they would be bad for the economy. After three years of continuing high unemployment it would seem Mr. Obama was mistaken about the last part.
I strongly feel that we must bring these jobs back, and that we must use an all-of-the-above approach to energy, but the timing of this push by Mr. Obama makes it look much more like election tactics rather than genuine interest. It seems a lot like how the issue of immigration reform is trotted out every four years to entice the Hispanic voters and then forgotten until the next election.
It is also disturbing that we do not hear more about our trade policies. Yes, the SOTU mentioned recent agreements, but those agreements benefit our partners almost immediately while our companies must wait as long as five years to see improved terms. This does not seem like a good deal for us.
Mr. Obama has said nothing of how our trade relations with China have impacted our economy other than to say we must revise our tax codes. Yes, that is badly needed, but it is our trade policies and acceptance of restrictions placed upon us by the WTO, combined with China's continued abuse or ignoring of the WTO agreements that is the real culprit. Why has nothing been done about this?
I close with questions for Mr. Obama. Mr. President, do you support Harry Reid's efforts to bring Chinese manufacturing interests into our domestic energy projects? If it is bad that we buy so many products manufactured in China, is it not worse than we must obtain our new jobs from them, as well? Is it wise to have China heavily involved with energy production when that is so intertwined with our national security?
Jim, at the risk of sounding callous and jaded, the reason why, for your first question, is that the professional pols know all too well that they CANNOT effect job growth. It really is a simple matter-of-fact observation.
They know it, so they only speak to it under conditions of public myopia - as in , no way the Dems would have made it their rally issue three years ago, as the pros know that employment trends are based on macro demographics which government is near powerless to manage. Talk about accountability! Three years is a long time to fail.
Even when they do speak of it, they cannot see past the same old public works projects of last century, the old paradigm. While TVA style programs are not bad on their face, they are not the sustainable programs that can help create jobs long run which, unfortunately are mostly programs that are very difficult to measure short term results in, i.e., education and science. 21st century TVA style programs might be massive projects, that only a governmental umbrella can cover.
Some of the President efforts in small business building are actually very good job creators. Oddly, we hear little of them in the MSM news feeds.
Therefore, the ONLY initiatives the government ought be invovled in are those basic long term infrastructure efforts, both human and physical, where results are not easily measured but which can feed the right talents into a renewed economy.
These would be considered strategic intiatives.
The constraints of the two party system DO NOT ALLOW strategic planning of any sort. Again, a simple matter-of-fact observation that is undeniable.
Short Ans: Because they pay only lip service to things they know they truly cannot change for the better.
Unless, of course, they simply got the heck out of our way, economically speaking and focused on infrastructure alone. HUMAN infrastructure. And very long term, low rate infrastructure loans to rebuild the physical side.
Possible Whig approach:
Whig jobs program: 100 year - 3% fixed loans with which to modernize our nation infrastructure to serve us for the next 100 years.
Switching primary school math cirricula back to 18th century standards might be appropriate as far out as it sounds! Kids in the last century knew how to physically measure things better and use math in a more applied sense. THE US AND STATE EDUCATION DPEARTMENTS HAVE BEEN ALTERING CIRRICULA TO GIVE THEMSELVES SOMETHING TO DO. Bureacratic interia is hurting our kids ability to compete and excel all across the board. Time to unass it once and for all. Kill the bureaucracies, give teachers more control to teach the best way for them and our kids.
Home Grown Fuels Initiatives - old industrial cities such as Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, et all have acres upon acres of brownfields in their inner cities, lands polluted beyond safe inhabitation. The fix: Hire inner city chronically unemployed to grow canola, jatropa, etc on them for bioheat/biodiesel. This type of program would have very small profit margins for a private enterprise, so it really should be something public monies help finance where a 2-3% return on equity would be sufficient for a self-sustaining program once its up and running.
Encourage cottage machine industry of retrofitting current automobiles with alternative energy devices ( this is already being done by the private sector and I own 100 shares in one of the main players.) by relaxing EPA standards for experimental alt fuel vehicles, esp for commuters.
I.E., cut the Red tape, so the Blue flag of Yankee ingenuity can come to the fore.
Target industries and impose modest TARRIFS on imports. Yes, this WILL make the taxpayer partially fund the Renewed American Sytem. Given the choice of funding it though higher prices for finsihed products to ensure a better future for their children, most Americans wouldn't hesitate and many try to do that now.
If I wasnt at work I could go on...... all things we Whigs have been speaking about.....that the big money pawns are near blind to.
I'm going to agree with much of what Gene had to say and to touch on a point that many conservatives seem to scream out - That regulation is the reason the economy is moving so slow. That is the lazy person's response. A true entrepreneur or businessperson would see any regulations as a challenge to be met and hopefully exceeded. "You want fewer emissions? Okay, I can design/build/remodel/renovate to not only beat your threshold but exceed by a few more % for leeway!" That is what the business community should be attempting, rather than crying about over-regulation of an industry or environmental standards. And by taking on these challenges, they are presenting the opportunity for more jobs, local jobs, various skilled jobs to come up with and build or implement their innovations. Quit your crying! Suck it up and build something! Get people back to work!