Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Obama Off Message, America In Decline

Hillary Clinton, the present Secretary of State and ex-President Bill Clinton’s better half by far, spent Election Day a safe distance from the epicenter of what appears to be a Republican Party awakening. In a massive shrug, the nation shucked off the Democratic Party control of congress, taking back the U.S. House of Representatives and putting a large dent in the U.S. Senate. The seismic event bypassed Connecticut.

The day after the political earthquake in Washington, President Barack Obama traveled with his retinue to India, where he gave a few stirring speeches that appeared to be fatally off-message.

Harley Davidson, the American maker of the iconic motorcycle, is building a plant in India. Ordinarily, the un-American drift of jobs and business offshore would excite the interests of senator-elect Dick Blumenthal and other members of Connecticut’s Democratic congressional delegation, all of whom made much ado in their campaigns over the leeching of jobs to foreign countries.

Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Larson et al made “Made in American” a central pillar of their campaigns and promised to bring home jobs. Mr. Blumenthal stressed during his campaign that, once in Washington, he would staunch the leeching. Ditto Democratic U.S. congressional representatives Mr. John Larson, Ms. Rosa DeLauro, Mr. Jim Himes, Mr. Chris Murphy and Mr. Joe Courtney.

Concerning the creation of jobs, Mr. Blumenthal was particularly amorphous in his response to a question from then Republican Party nominee for the senate Linda McMahon:

“A job is created, and it can be in a variety of ways by a variety of people, but principally by people and businesses in response to demand for products and services. And the main point about jobs in Connecticut is, we can and we should create more of them by creative policies. And that's the kind of approach that I want to bring to Washington… I know about how government can help preserve jobs. And I want programs that provide more capital for small business, that are tax policies that will promote creation of jobs, stronger intervention by government to make sure we use the Made in America policies and Buy America policies to keep jobs here rather than buying products that are manufactured overseas.”

If Mr. Blumenthal stumbled a bit in his response, perhaps it was because he had not sufficiently rehearsed the script supplied to Democratic campaigners by Washington insiders, one of whom, the illustrious Rahm Emanuel, has now departed the Obama administration to run for mayor of Chicago.

In 2008, India was somewhat alarmed by the message of then presidential campaigner Obama, according to Express India:

“Taking a tough stand against outsourcing, the presumptive Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama said that the choice is between giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas or give benefit to those corporations that keep jobs domestically.

"’We can keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, or we can give tax benefits to companies that invest right here in New Hampshire,’ Senator Obama said at a joint appearance with Senator Hillary Clinton in Unity, New Hampshire.”

It turns out that current Democratic members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation have fallen behind changing times.

In his recent trip to India, an outsourcing post utilized by Big IT firms and others in the United States, Mr. Obama, his 2008 campaign far behind him, put ancient Indian fears to rest. Announcing new business deals between the U.S. and India, the president said the deal could result in as many as 50-thousand new U.S. jobs.

“Now,” the president said, “our two nations have a chance to do what many also thought was impossible, and that is to build a global partnership in a new century.”

In Mumbai, the Times of India reported, the president implicitly acknowledged the decline of American dominance:

“Speaking at a town hall meeting in Mumbai, he [President Obama] said, ‘I do think that one of the challenges that we are going face in the US, at a time when we are still recovering from the financial crisis is, how do we respond to some of the challenges of globalization? The fact of the matter is that for most of my lifetime and I'll turn 50 next year - the US was such an enormously dominant economic power, we were such a large market, our industry, our technology, our manufacturing was so significant that we always met the rest of the world economically on our terms. And now because of the incredible rise of India and China and Brazil and other countries, the US remains the largest economy and the largest market, but there is real competition.’”

A possible visit to the president's childhood haunts in Jakarta, Indonesia, the world’s most populist Islamic country, was put in doubt by the eruption of the country’s most volatile volcano. Mr. Obama moved to Jakarta when he was 6, after his divorced mother remarried an Indonesian, and lived there until he was 10.

Connecticut’s congressional delegation, on its return to Washington, will face a disturbance of a different order, one made in America.


Unknown said...

My erstwhile Congressman Murphy seemed to have dropped out of sight during the campaign (and before as well) except for some extremely negative adds and the "Buy American" nonsense. Except for the 3500 Machinist workers left at Pratt CT is a big trading state. I've got a little firm but we do work in Mexico Columbia, Africa, Persian gulf etc. (almost none in CT since our local economy is trash).

Yep I just need my representative trashing my business.

Don Pesci said...


You might like this: a macro economic view of U.S.-China relations. It would apply to other trading partners as well. I think he did a good job with the figures, and it helps to place trade deficits in a proper context.

Bottom line: Whatever hurts productivity has got to go.

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