Mar 28 2009

Obamanation : No Dress Yet

Published by at 16:09 under Rants

I must admit, I was nearly persuaded – he almost convinced me. But, as all snakes are, they reveal their true nature given enough time. In this case, time enough was about thirty seconds.

I work for a news agency, and as such I have access to all things news. As I twiddle bits for a living, I have the perk of being able to tune in on news conferences and Congressional hearings live or by tapping into a comprehensive video archive. I decided to do just that and listen to the Obama Internet Town Hall Meeting(tm) in which Obama seemingly took questions from the internet and answered them, with the telecast being streamed live over the internet. Now, understanding that all questions would be hand-picked for answering like the rigged game shows of yore, I didn’t expect much in they way of actual “voice of the people” because Obama would not be presented with any question that he wasn’t briefed, de-briefed, coached, de-coached, folded, stapled and mutilated to answer to the best of his agenda.

The first question, IIRC, was about education and Obama went down his speaking points but blended it with enough pop-politics and “doing the right thing” phrasing that I, coupled with the current astonishment with the market rebound, began to feel warm toward this man. As I have often said – though not on this forum until now – I like the man’s methods, just not his agenda. I was beginning to think that I would actually have to don a dress in Union Square as promised. But, as time wounds all heels, he went on to the second question.

The second question was delivered via video, and asking Obama what he was going to do to bring all the off-shored jobs back to America. As I am very interested and schooled as well as affected by this topic my ears really perked up. Then the Obamanation spoke. It seems, according to Obama, all the jobs that have gone offshore are low-paying jobs that nobody wants. And by those he is speaking of support call centers. And then he went on to his taking points of how we needed to invest in infrastructure to create high-paying jobs here at home. That proves that Obama has absolutely no clue as to the problem.

With all the publicity and fervor and lobbying about how H-1B’s are displacing American workers with cheap, less qualified, and less effective off-shored engineers; after Microsoft went to Congress and said that he could not find enough high-skilled engineers and then proceeded to layoff 5000 American engineers while keeping all of the offshored and H-1B resources; after IBM announced just this week that they, too, were laying off 5000 because they have been systematically moving their engineering efforts overseas;  after all that – Obama still thinks that the only jobs that are being offshored are call center positions.

As meager as they are, lowly call center positions are jobs that unskilled people can do and will happily fill. But the engineering positions – those that create the products that Microsoft and IBM want to sell in the American market place – are sapping this country of two very important things: intellectual innovation, and a cash base. These companies – and others – want to have their cake and eat it too. Somewhere along the line somebody sold the idea – probably Accenture – that anyone can write code, or design electronics, or do ground-breaking research. And if that “anybody” is someone living in a trash-bag shanty in India that they can pay pennies to do it, then that just lowers their cost while passing none of the savings on to the consumer. They will say that their development costs are too high and that is why they’re going overseas – but when they get that cheap labor strangely enough their costs do not go down. That’ s because the difference between what they’re not paying Americans and what they’re reaping in the marketplace is being diverted to management bonuses and other compensation. And as is the norm these days – the plan is to get out of Dodge with the cash before the house of cards comes crashing down. Way to go Obama for  once again caving to lobbyists and selling out Americans for your short-sighted, ill-earned gains.

As I’ve said many times – George W. Bush was just naive, but Obama is dangerous and naive.

I won’t be getting fitted for that dress any time soon.

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