Tag Archives: Jobs
President Obama exits following his address on Monday.
Many of you have been going through tough times for longer than you care to remember.Â And I won’t pretend that the tough times are over.Â I can’t promise you there isn’t more difficulty to come.Â But what I can promise you is this:Â I will fight for you.Â You’re the reason I’m here today.Â I got my start fighting for working families in the shadows of a shuttered steel plant.Â I wake up every single day asking myself what can I do to give you and working people all across this country a fair shot at the American Dream. (March 30, 2009)
“Good, but not good enough.” President Obama emphasized this particular point in yesterday’s address that focused on the administration’s recommendations for the struggling U.S. auto industry. Recall in February, GM and Chrysler both offered to restructure their companies and provide the government with comprehensive plans to stay afloat. After thorough evaluation, Obama’s Auto Task Force decided that the the plans don’t go far enough in attacking the problems plaguing the auto companies and put a date on company restructuring.
The reactions to the administration’sÂ have varied from agreement to resigned dissent. Unsurprisingly, the Michigan delegation, though voicing support for the plan, is deeply concerned with the possible repercussions of the recommendations on an already struggling state. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) wrote only today, “I urge the Obama administration to review carefully the progress made by Chrysler and GM in 30 and 60 days, respectively, and give strong consideration to allowing more time for restructuring. The fate of these corporations and their cumulative impact on the national economy are too important to be subjected to an arbitrary deadline” (USA Today).
Is the deadline “arbitrary” and unjustified? There’s obviously multiple perspectives. Take a look at the actual plan and then make your own decision.
TheÂ President’sÂ rejection of loans for GM and Chrysler may prove to be the worst decision of his presidency so far.
The President claims neither car company has presented a viable plan for success. Â With all due respect, Mr. President, this isn’t 1970, or even 1990. Â American cars are now equivalent to theirÂ JapaneseÂ and German rivals inÂ reliabilityÂ and quality. Â They are often equally fuel-efficient. Â UAWÂ salaries, which wereÂ admittedlyÂ once obscene are nowÂ competitiveÂ with salaries of non-unionÂ transplantÂ employees. Â Sure American cars aren’t selling right now, but neither are imported cars. (more…)
White House numbers suggest that Michigan stands to gain or maintain 109,000 jobs with the passage of the stimulus package.Â With 3.5 million jobs expected to be spread out over 300,000,000 Americans, and 10,000,000 Michiganders we should expect about 15,000,000 – ideally more given the fact that we have been harder hit than most states by the current economic downturn.Â Still 109,000 is a big number.Â To put that in perspective, there are 114,000 people in Ann Arbor.Â Imagine this entire city minus the 5,000 people on the College Dems listserve, and imagine all of them unemployed and getting a job as a result of this bill.Â Then imagine you’re a Republican member of the Michigan congressional delegation and decided to vote against this bill.Â You’d have to be crazy.Â Or just blinded by partisanship.
SNL pretty much summed up the feeling of Democrats everywhere with Saturday’s opening skit, featuring SNL alumnus Dan Akroyd. Impeaching Obama? Unfaltering love for Rush Limbaugh? Banning slumber parties? What will they think of next? Just more of the same.
My favorite moment of Conservative insanity came from Friday’s Wall Street Journal opinion page, with a piece from Bradley Schiller that opened:
President Barack Obama has turned fearmongering into an art form.
Hold up. After the last eight years I’ve become very adept at spotting fear mongering and false analogies. Nice try. If you’re feeling riled up, just read another one of these. The metaphor of John Dingell as a “vintage” automobile should be enough to cheer you up.
This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending — it’s a strategy for America’s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, health care and education. And it’s a strategy that will be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability, so Americans know where their tax dollars are going and how they are being spent. (President Barack Obama, Washington Post)
The Washington Post just this morning published an editorial, written by President Obama, defending the stimulus package. Reading it, I thought smacked of everything he said in his weekly address a week or two ago… and was sort of like a stump speech, more than anything else.Â Everything Obama wrote was valid, of course, but didn’t really convince me, as a reader, why this stimulus package is going to work.Â It’s weak point, in my opinion, was that the editorial did not address the concerns tied to the stimulus package. At the same, I do think it is a good idea that he is using the media in such a manner to reach those who don’t watch his weekly addresses (as in, everyone else who is not Nina!).
Sure, you can live here!
IBM, through its program Project Match, is offering up jobs to laid-off, domestic workers in places like India, Brazil, and China.Â Perks? Awesome food and cheap living — and IBM off-sets most costs related to moving. Downside? The wages aren’t so hot, with this program. Of course, critics are booing the program vehemently. “Those are not U.S. jobs!” they cry, shaking their fists angrily at Big Blue. (Information Week)
Granted, that’s true, but IBM isn’t the first company to offer such a program. If anyone recalls, Delphi was sliding downhill a few years ago, but still had fairly successful offices abroad at the time. One of our family friends, in example, took such an offer to work in Bangalore for two years.Â Their lovely, gated-community bungalow was company-paid and the wages were comparable to when he was in the United States. His children attended a good international school, and there were many other perks involved.Â Clearly, this example isn’t completely comparable to IBM’s Project Match, but working abroad still isn’t that bad. Think of the cultural experience! Honestly, if I was laid-off and no other options were coming up, I’d give it a shot myself…
For those of you who missed it, our beloved Governor Jennifer Granholm, stopped by Hardball with Chris Matthews to discuss the importance of Obama’s stimulus package for Michigan and the rest of the country.Â Coupled with the release of December’s job report, Granholm apperance becomes all the more relevant. Issued just hours ago, the reports indicate 524,000 jobs were lost in December, bringing the yearly total to more than 2.6 million jobs lost. This is the largest loss since 1945, when nearly 2.8 million jobs were lost.
Today Governor Gladiator (Granholm) went up against Mitt Romney (one time governor, one time presidential candidate, current fool) on Meet the Press today.
Mitt Romney. Remember when you were heralded for that innovative health care program in MA? Why do you suddenly forget that health care is the greatest weigh on our economy when you are in the spotlight? It is completely irresponsible to call for drastic wage decreases when the greatest difference are health care legacy costs.
More videos after the jump…
Pleads with Congress…
The Detroit Free Press is taking the unprecedented step of writing an editorial and personally sending it to members of Congress. The Freep has been writing about the auto industry since the beginning of Ford/GM/Chrysler and today it speaks out to help save that industry.
IN the impassioned editorial the Detroit Free Press reminds us that:
Because the losses from an auto industry failure are about more than dry statistics. Every job associated with the industry is a family, a home, a college education, a cancer treatment or a secure retirement. Every one of those jobs is about someone making a living doing work that’s vital to the nation’s economic interests.
This crisis is beyond just a simple calculation. Commentators, politicians, and ideologues love bash to the auto industry on pure statistical reasoning, but it is essential to remember that each one of those numbers represents a human story, Probably, a human story that has connections to many of you reading this blog.
The Free Press article addresses the fact that the auto industry has been wrong in the past: