An 800 billion dollar stimulus package, a budget boost for schools, an agreement with Russia on nukes, reduced forces in Iraq, not to mention healthcare "reform"—with a record of accomplishment like that, say Obama supporters, why are voters so mad?
Well maybe it's those three consecutive quarters of economic growth. The highest productivity gain—6.2 percent since 1962. Strong profits at US companies and the stock market is moving up. While at the same time, the percentage of Americans out of work for more than six months stands at 46 percent—that's the most people out of a job that long in 60 years. One of 50 children in America is homeless. One out of 8 mortgages has fallen behind. Maybe that's why voters are disillusioned.
Oh yes, and then there's that flow of jobs overseas. In 2000, the US government granted China "Most Favored Nation" trade status to allow more US investment in China. Before China, it was Mexico. That flow of cheap stuff in and good jobs out, to be transformed into cheap and dangerous jobs abroad... that's "free trade." Going back 30 years, Democrat or GOP—it's been the policy... And the price is millions of lost jobs, lower wages, trade deficits and a huge foreign debt.
Candidate Obama said he'd review NAFTA. It hasn't happened. Meanwhile, US multinational investors have made a killing in the era of free trade—profits have been sky high. Today with all those nice profits US companies are investing—but in China. Not here. And the American worker has no prospects. Unless the White House institutes a fair, balanced trade policy, recovery will only be for the few. And the political price is a detail.
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com [http://TheNation.com]. Support us by signing up for our podcast, and follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com [http://Twitter.com].