One of the advantages of running a little behind the news cycle on some days is you get a chance to see things develop or to unravel. The media – that mythical librul media we hear about starting at birth – took a few words out of President Obama’s speech and offered them up as a gift to cranky conservative peanut tossers. Obama’s press conference: The public sector isn’t fine
We’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the past 27 months. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing problems is with state and local government, often with cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help they’re accustomed to from the federal government.
Were I in charge of reviewing POTUS speeches I would have suggested that he say “growing” rather than fine. Obama was also making a point about how the private sector would be doing better and the overall jobs picture would be better if Republicans at the state level had not slashed and burned public sector jobs.
Since Obama was elected, the public sector has lost about 600,000 jobs. If you put those jobs back, the unemployment rate would be 7.8 percent.
But what if we did more than that? At this point in George W. Bush’s administration, public-sector employment had grown by 3.7 percent. That would be equal to a bit over 800,000 jobs today. If you add those hypothetical jobs, the unemployment rate falls to 7.3 percent.
Both of those numbers, it should be said, are holding all else equal: If more workers had reentered the labor force, the unemployment rate could be higher. And if there were 1.4 million more Americans with jobs, they’d be spending money and creating jobs for other people. So private-sector employment could be higher, too.
In the last paragraph Ezra is referring to the multiplier effect. If we had those public sector jobs – those people would have spent their paychecks on rent, groceries, shampoo, dry cleaning and so forth. Jobs create demand, which in turn creates more jobs. Conservatives have done their best to make sure the economy did not have that multiplier effect. Why would Republicans act in a way that was so hurtful toward their country and fellow citizens? because as all conservative policy agendas do – it will ultimately benefit the conservative movement. The conservative movement has and will always take priority over what is best for the USA. As the news cycle on the speech and some more mindless noise over the meaning of the Wisconsin recall went on, Romney was good enough to make a forceful confession about the conservative agenda – Mitt Romney: We don’t need more cops, firefighters or teachers
When Republicans attack public workers, they often take care to exempt cops and firefighters, because they are culturally sympathetic figures, and muddle the message that government workers are parasites who are destroying the economic conditions of ordinary Americans.
But today Mitt Romney got a good deal more specific, claiming we do not need to hire more cops or firefighters specifically, which would, he said, cut against the interests of the American people. He also specifically named teachers.
Romney made the comments in response to Obama’s presser today, at which the president claimed the “private sector is doing fine.” Per CNN:
Romney said of Obama, “he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
[ ]…One of the components of the American Jobs Act that Obama continues to demand that Republicans pass would invest $35 billion in federal funds to keep cops, firefighters, and teachers on the job. Republicans, Romney included, oppose this plan. Central to their argument against this type of investment is to keep the focus on public sector workers as a class, arguing that they are bilking the taxpayer and are to blame for the economic plight of struggling Americans. As Romney recently put it: “We have 145,000 more government workers under this president. Let’s send them home and put you back to work.” ( Romney just made up that 145,000 figure).
The original stimulus funds – or part of them, was supposed to be used by states for the purpose of retaining teachers, firefighters and public sanitation workers, court clerks and so forth – Republicans who publicly criticized stimulus but used those funds – here, here, here, here and here. A Republican is a by definition a shameless serial liar and hypocrite.
This is just one recent example of the kind of micro-economic being practiced by the private sector – CATERPILLAR: Record profits, CEO pay hiked by 60%, company wants wage concessions from workers
Now comes word that workers at an Illinois plant for the manufacturer Caterpillar have been on strike for a month after rejecting a “concession-heavy contract” proposed by the company, say union officials. Last Friday workers rejected a second Caterpillar offer, by a vote of 504-116.
According to a new report by Nation of Change the contract “provided no raises, eliminated the defined benefits pension program, weakened seniority rights and required machinists to pay higher contributions for health care.”
“All of this, at a time when the company is making record profits. In fact, Fortune Magazine recently said the company is “crushing it” when it comes to profitability,” yet at the same time refuses to give its workers a raise while the company did see fit to increase its CEO’s pay by 60 percent.
The annual compensation of Caterpillar Inc.’s chairman and chief executive rose 60 percent in 2011, as the company posted record revenue of $60.1 billion.
Douglas Oberhelman earned $16.9 million in 2011 in salary, bonuses, stock and option awards and retirement plan contributions.
The typical American worker would have to work 244 years in order to earn what the average CEO makes in just one year.
I wish some writers would stop using the word ‘earn’ when they should use something more neutral like make or enjoy the privilege of getting $16.9 million. No one earns that kind of money. Most corporations could have very talented executive management at a much lower costs – are we to believe that there is not a great CEO out there that would run Caterpillar for say $700k in compensation, not including retirement. This is all about the egos of the elite class determining what they’re worth – which in this case is 244 average American work years. I’ve meant a few gifted scientists and mathematicians that make low six figures, so it is not about compensating intelligence either.
Those conservative bloggers who suddenly became concerned with free speech will be all over this any minute.
Council Bluffs, Ia. — A 62-year-old Vietnam veteran who continuously disrupted Mitt Romney’s event here today by screaming “liar” over a megaphone says he was disrespected by security and guests who shouted insults and escorted him to a less convenient area to protest.
The Romney supporters who stopped to yell names at Randy ? Well, no one dragged them away. Romney is a serial liar, even his staff at admitted as much in a round about way, Romney Camp Admits That Its Bain Job Creation Number Is Bogus and Romney’s magic act. The “magic act” has become even more relevant in the last two weeks as pro Romney PACs run ads that claim Obama is ruining the country by running up all kinds of news debts. Not only is Obama not running up the debt, Romney’s very public economic plans will increase the debt the PACs claim to care about.
That irritating buzzing sound is the sound by a conservative mosquito named Bobby, Louisiana Gov. Jindal: Obama Is ‘Most Liberal, Most Incompetent President… Since Jimmy Carter’. Like every other conservative today Jindal thinks anyone not wearing a brown shirt is too liberal. It is not hard to believe that this blood sucker is on Romney’s VP list. Who did Jindal endorse during the primaries? Rick Perry. The same Rick Perry who said “The idea that you’ve got private equity companies that come in and take companies apart so they can make profits and have people lose their jobs, that’s not what the Republican Party’s about.” — Rick Perry [New York Times, 1/12/12]. Don’t worry about Jindal being held to account for his flip-floppery or his own economic record in Louisiana. Where he took stimulus money from that “incompetent” president, gave corporations big tax cuts which produced no jobs and gutted the state’s education budget – Louisiana’s road to global economic irrelevance.
Conservatives have always been crooked and immoral: Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought.