Friday, 3 June 2011

Employment sucks

The country’s latest jobless figures are out confirming the uneasy buzz in the econ/finance pages that the supposed ‘recovery’ that has made bankers (but few others) so happy may be sputtering out. Job creation totaled a pathetic 54,000, not nearly enough to absorb the new workers entering the force. Obama’s re-election mantra for disaffected supporters like me will be all about how ‘change’ takes time, so don’t be so whiny. But what if change is indeed happening but in the wrong direction?

Obama refused to countenance a New Deal-style public works or job-creation program when he was freshly in office and could have jammed something through over the howls of outrage from rich white guys. Our prez consistently has caved to the deficit panic people who hate his guts and allowed well over a million jobs (1.3 million according to this guy) to disappear in the government sector as state after state hits the fiscal wall. Sharp spending cutbacks at a time of diminishing demand used to be considered dumb policy, something that fatally discredited Herbert Hoover and aggravated the 1930s Depression. But oddly, it’s back.

Meanwhile, Europe is also in the grips of the new financial oligarchy, now doctoring periphery countries like Ireland, Greece and Portugal with the same poison that was once forced down the collective throat of people in Uruguay, Indonesia and Zambia: slash government spending, privatize everything, drive the powerless into abject poverty and declare the economy ‘healthy’. It’s working about pretty much as well now as it did in the 1970s. Britain’s recovery from the recession is now in doubt, and the debt-peonage being shoehorned into the defenseless Greek islands is a scandal. The new measures will guarantee that holders of German and French bank bonds will cream off any surplus produced by workers there for the foreseeable future.

I don’t read anything in the economics pages that suggests the people in charge really think any of this will work to restore economic health. But I gather that that is not really the goal—rather, the IMF-OECD-Treasury-Goldman fino-political bankopoly is determined to keep the cash flowing into its bottomless pockets at whatever cost necessary. We are witnessing a class war waged by experts with Barack O as Confuser-in-Chief.

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