Obama Said What?

Normally I try to stay away from the daily tit for tat of the Democratic primary but this latest buffoonery needs a comment.

Two days ago Obama said:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them," Obama said. "And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,

It is not only that Obama just put down working class America, target ground zero, Pennsylvania citizens, but what the pundits are saying in response.

They claim Obama is right!

Well, frankly, no, Obama is dead wrong!

Working Americans know exactly what caused their jobs to be lost, their wages repressed. The causes are precisely what they are complaining about, bad trade deals in favor of multinational corporations and their global wage arbitrage agenda, offshore outsourcing, corporate welfare, tax breaks to corporations and the super rich, a corrupt Congress and an Administration representing special interests instead of the people, all the while squeezing the middle class to the point it's getting blood from a stone.
And yes, bringing in foreign cheap labor by any means does wage repress and yes, replace union and American workers.

What makes these pundits think for one second it is not bad trade deals as a major reason the United States has lost it's manufacturing base? How condescending is that? Isn't that the complaint about Barack Obama's obviously elitist statements? How out of touch or in denial are our Washington DC insiders and cable show pundits? Obviously pretty badly when there are now so many economic studies and statistics proving blue collar Pennsylvania voters, which Obama claims are just frustrated, are actually exactly right!

Just frustrated?   Sure, I think all of America is frustrated by the refusal to deal with the objective statistics on the real state of the economy for most of America.

Now guess what both McCain and Clinton claim is the insult to working America?   Bad trade deal? (oh no)   Offshore outsourcing? (oh no no no)   How about guest worker Visas? (oh Good God no!)   I see.    Nope according to both campaigns the issue is Obama said people are bitter.

Bitter. How about bitter because no Presidential candidate will even acknowledge the economic realities on the ground and promise significant policy changes to turn this all around and put US workers, America 1st? Not a single Presidential candidate will address the illegal immigration issue to actually put US workers first and stop the flow. Not a one. All of them have promised corporations more guest worker Visas. So of course the criticism has to put the focus on some nebulous term like bitter to avoid having to answer why they keep selling Americans down the river?

Moreover, when (if ever) will our Presidential candidates acknowledge not only is the US middle class in desperate trouble, to the point people are dying because they cannot afford health care, the United States, on a macro economic scale, is in decline.

Blue collar workers know exactly what caused their jobs to be lost and more the question is will working America be able to change this culture of corruption that dominates our news media, political pundits and candidates?

Will we ever get anyone acknowledging what most of working America already knows along with many economists?




They ignore workers and Obama just proved it. So have McCain and Clinton.

Obama Said What?

What did Obama say that is insulting? He just seems to be trying to explain the experience of Penssylvanians to his audience. He never says their sentiments are wrong. It seems more likely he is trying envoke empathy in those, who may have benefited from trade deals, and immigrant labor.


What Obama said is exactly what I have observed in my own personal experience.

How else do you get 81% of Americans saying the country is on the wrong track, and yet McCain (who will continue all of those losing policies) winning some presidential polls?

Workers may know exactly what caused their loss of jobs (and I agree with you on that) and yet they always seem to be ready to vote for more of the same. Maybe a good bracing reality-concentrating slap in the face is necessary.

I also agree with you that Obama is hardly making the progressive economic case (a la Edwards), but at least he is recognizing there is a problem, and some of its manifestations.

depends on the focus

What I am focusing in on is his claim that working people are "anti-immigrant" or "anti-trade".

I have seen that rhetoric repeatedly from him and during a debate he even claimed that it's not causing wage repression.

I linked to his constituent letter who was talking about being displaced (and have to train) a H-1B guest worker and he claims that it's immigrant bashing and the most odious corporate lobbyist talking points of all (see link).

Well of course most of the rage about illegal immigration is about wages. If candidates got into those areas of the country and neighborhoods, their daily lives, they would know it. The nation didn't magically turn into one gigantic KKK membership overnight, no, many jobs which used to be high paying jobs now use illegal labor and pay minimum wage, no benefits or close to it. If you add 8-20M workers into a system that has about ~35M workers in it, occupational area low skilled to blue collar skilled (100M workers in the US approx, low skilled occupational categories I'm guessing about 35M), that of course will flood the labor supply, depress wages and displace US workers.

It's not the keywords frustrated or bitter, it's the keywords "anti-immigrant" "anti-trade". He just called the working people basically racist xenophobe which is just ridiculous and not what most people are concerned about when dealing with immigration. Dems don't want to acknowledge these economic realities (most Republicans won't either) because of the US Chamber of Commerce, SEIU, La Raza, and so on who want unlimited migration and have formed a coalition to get it in so many words.

So, Obama, once again just called people racist xenophobes.

Then, in terms of trade, it is so well documented that is the reason for the loss of US manufacturing base but it's not just NAFTA, it's China where most of the manufacturing has gone. The China PNTR has to be the most biased trade treaty ever written. I call it the would you like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge too? treaty.

So, in essence, his attitude is that working people are just gun toting fundamentalists who are also protectionist, isolationist, racist xenophobes.

Which also implies...he has no clue or more, corporations don't want anyone to acknowledge the real clues.

I've seen many other statements, plus the constituent letter that really imply this view of most of America by Obama.

My post is saying these people are none of that, although the truth of Government ignoring all of these concerns for 30 years is dead on.

recognizing there's a problem

"Obama is hardly making the progressive economic case (a la Edwards), but at least he is recognizing there is a problem, and some of its manifestations."

Well, I suppose that some of us who have lived through offshore outsourcing, nationality-based job discrimination and tried to influence politics are rather cynical and suspicious.

Paraphrasing Norm Matloff, empty expressions of empathy are of little significance.

People will not vote on economic issues if the candidates will not differentiate themselves on economic issues...

The fact that Obama will not even use the term "offshore outsourcing" is a blow to his credibility.

Is Obama, like Kerry before him, wanting to have it both ways: Keep the powerful pro-outsourcing interests happy while benefiting from the popular disaffection with free trade?

Thing is that....

.........the only folks that matter, to Obama and his wife, are the 'creative class'.

Despite my never having seen any numbers on how many of these Chris Bowers created folks vote.

Despite the total lack of evidence that there is such a thing.....

Barry the Ignorant is campaigning for their vote. Which, if you've read his books, is very consistent with his view of recent American history. A wonderful fantasy land where everyone has good intentions, none more than that defender and champion of the working man Ronald Reagan, and all ultimately ends well. Except for those nasty traffic controllers that is. Union members are not good Americans as St. Ronnie and his acolyte Barry the Ignorant have repeatedly asserted.

It was not 'til today that I read over at TalkLeft, a good site except for Big Tent Democrat who's got a case of W hat O bama R eally M eant, that Obama attended private school all his life.

No wonder he acts and talks like a Libertarian teenager.

'When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.'


Who is Barry?

Also, on this creative class, I believe most bloggers are college educated and of a group that has enough free time to blog. Obviously a single mother working 3 jobs does not have time to learn how to blog and spend hours commenting, neither does that small business owner, trucker or landscaper, construction worker.

That said, there are many of us who know perfectly well that the working class is the American class.

I don't get these people because there is no doubt that Professional careers, which require a college education are under attack for labor arbitrage and globalization as well.

Maybe they are young, or are not aware of what's going on here, maybe they haven't been laid off yet from a job or be sitting there with multiple Masters degrees, homeless yet but I don't see any real difference in economic reality between those working blue collar jobs and white collar jobs as a general rule.

I do see a huge difference between the executive class as well as Washington elites who close ranks on their own circle and give each other and their friends more money. I think CEO is one of the few jobs in the United States where one can be completely incompetent yet get a raise, yet another job and a huge bonus. It's clearly class that is driving that inner circle of corporate executives, elites and Politicians doing their bidding.

Barry is Senator Obama with a more 'American' name...

....my point, not well expressed perhaps, is that this thing many bloggers in Obama's camp have named the 'creative class'; this thing which they claim is coming to save our nation from itself...

Does not exist.

It's a figment of Chris Bowers imagination which has caught on somewhat.

As near as I can make out it's made up of the Millenials who have, at the moment, decent jobs and subscribe to the Libertarian outlook that all government is bad and that unions are yucky...

Yes, I know it doesn't make much sense but then....

Much of what Barry says doesn't either.

'When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.'


Well, let's keep Obama's name to his actual name. It's rare for me to go into this tit for tat stuff but I do really see an issue, esp. in the blogs of a disdain for working people.

But this site was started in order to get people to look at the real statistics, the details and now I guess I'm veering into this sort of political rhetoric.

I hears ya...

and I will use only proper terminology from now on.

I support your efforts to keep this site about the facts, such as we know them, and not the political spin too often applied to our economic discourse.

Which certainly can use some more good writing about a topic vital to policy making and....

A field about to go through, I believe, a real upheaval.

From now on it will be Senator Obama or Senator Clinton. I urge you to keep your standards where you want them.

I do at my blog.

'When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck to crush him.'

empty empathy

At the outset, I want to publicly acknowledge my skepticism and suspicion re. politicians generally.

That said, I'm unconvinced that Obama's comments represent any real indication that he would do anything different with respect to the offshore outsourcing of American jobs. He expresses seeming empathy for people affected by so-called "free trade".

Yet, what votes or resolutions in the Senate can he point to as evidence of his concern?

Even viewing his comments in the most favorable light, what should I think about Obama when he won't even utter the term "offshore outsourcing", voices support for expansion of guest worker programs (such as H-1b) and repeats the lies that pro-offshoring lobbyists use about insufficient numbers of skilled American workers?

me too

and I sure want to believe and we know all three have promised to increase guest worker Visas, ignoring the affect on Professional workers. I just posted an overview on the manufacturing forum where I seriously cannot find evidence on precisely now how he will be different.


I found nothing wrong with Obama's comments until he got to the trade part. Trade pacts are not scapegoats.

However, there's a symbolic dimension here that may resonate. He was talking ABOUT small-town Americans to a group of urban coastals (San Francisco).