At a time when corporate profits are through the roof, the Dow is flirting with 12,000, Wall Street paychecks are fat again, and big corporations are sitting on more than $1 trillion in cash, you'd expect jobs be coming back. But you'd be wrong.
Democrats want to hear that America's trade problems are caused by exploitative capitalism. But the problem is that corporate pursuit of profit has been decoupled from the success of the economy as a whole.
The president's failure to address the decoupling of American corporate profits from American jobs makes reviving the nation's "competitiveness" seem somewhat beside the point but also cedes to Republicans the dominant narrative.
In the global economy, the only "asset" that's unique to any nation -- and that determines its living standard -- is the people who comprise it. Hopefully the president will touch on this Tuesday night.
It's politically important for President Obama to avoid the moniker of being "anti-business." But the president must not be seduced into believing that the well-being of American business is synonymous with the well-being of Americans.
China is eating our lunch. Why? It has a national economic strategy designed to create more and better jobs. We have global corporations designed to make money for shareholders, regardless of where they reside.
The GOP version of class warfare is to pit private-sector middle and low income workers against public servants. They'd rather set average working people against one another than have Americans see who's really raking it all in.
Republicans are telling Americans a big lie, and Obama and the Democrats are letting them. The Big Lie is that our economic problems are due to a government that's too large, and therefore the solution is to shrink it.
What will happen to the US economy in 2011? If you're referring to profits of big corporations and Wall Street, next year is likely to be a good one. But if you're referring to average American workers, far from good.
Will lower taxes on the rich spur them to create more jobs? Not a chance. Since 1980, Reagan's supply-siders have said lower taxes on the rich will trickle down to everyone else. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Wall Street is back. Bonuses on the Street are expected to rise about 5 percent this year. But nothing is trickling down. Job growth is still anemic and the median wage is barely rising, adjusted for inflation.
I admire Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. I advised the former and worked for the latter. They are good men. But they have either been outwitted by the privileged and powerful of America, or seduced by those on Wall Street.
By extending tax cuts to the wealthy, shrinking the estate tax, and freezing discretionary spending, Obama is leaving almost nothing for education and infrastructure -- precisely what we need to get back on top internationally.
Obama's new tax compromise is not only bad economics; it's also disastrous from the standpoint of educating the public about what has happened to this country over the past three decades and what needs to happen in the future.
The vast American middle and working class can't and won't buy enough to get people back to work. They're still under a huge debt load. The only viable source for domestic demand is government. But it's not doing its part.
Unless the President and Democrats explain why the economy still stinks for most Americans and offer a plan to fix it, the Republican explanation and solution -- it's big government's fault, and all we need do is shrink it -- will prevail.
This week will likely see a number of measures to stimulate the economy and help struggling families shot down in the name of fiscal responsibility, while measures that help the rich and add to the debt will pass.
The Palin Strategy is to circumvent the Republican establishment. That's why her path to the Republican nomination isn't the usual insider game. It's a celebrity game -- a snark-fest with the nation's entire white working class.