Buffett Week Continues
According to Michael Tomasky, Obama can’t just talk about fairness. He needs to do MORE to win re-election.
Fortunately, there is an answer, and Obama himself sometimes supplies it in doses. In all of his economic speeches now, including Tuesday’s, he includes language arguing that we need to invest in the middle class not merely on fairness grounds, but because investing in the middle class is really the way to create growth. In this narrative, middle-class consumers with money in their pockets, not trickle-down 1 percenters, are the real “job creators.”
According to Obama:
In this country, prosperity has never trickled down from the wealthy few. Prosperity has always come from the bottom up, from a strong and growing middle class. That’s how a generation who went to college on the GI Bill — including my grandfather — helped build the most prosperous economy that the world has ever known. That’s why a CEO like Henry Ford made a point to pay his workers enough money so that they could buy the cars that they were building. Because he understood, look, there’s no point in me having all this and then nobody can buy my cars. I’ve got to pay my workers enough so that they buy the cars, and that in turn creates more business and more prosperity for everybody.”
Trickle UP, you Rethuglican.
“Thinking about fairness comes more naturally to liberals, and we care passionately about it. But that doesn’t mean we should assume everybody else does.”
Au contrair. I think about “fairness” all the time. Like, it isn’t fair that 50% of our population doesn’t pay any income tax. And, that it’s isn’t fair that the government picks winners and loser in business under the title of “investing.” Lots of things aren’t fair.
So how do they suggest Obama promote growth through fairness? They’ve got 16 “great” ideas – Jobs programs, expanding social security, increaseing federal student aid, and a bunch of other wonkish, big-government solutions.
This one is good:
Create a web-based national career guidance system to help workers navigate career advancement, education and training, and connect with future employers
This would entail using technology for two purposes. One is to create a home-base web platform (think E-Trade meets Facebook) in which individuals can manage their knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests as assets to be matched to labor market needs (a human capital asset profile). The other is to create a labor market information platform that uses web-scraping and data-mining technology to connect job openings, skills requirements, wages, and degree information in order to better understand the relationship between where jobs are, what skills are being well compensated, and what education yields those skills.
These platforms could be connected by the individual worker by having them give permission to potential employers to match their human capital asset profile to employment needs, or workers could search the labor market information platform to find good employment matches (think match.com).
The departments of Labor and Education could partner with state agencies to create such a program.
The government is SO GOOD at this kind of thing!!! The government, it’s finger on the pulse of hiring and jobs and education. I get giddy at just the thought.