No Cure For That
 
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With 9.4 % Unemployment and real unemployment hovering near 20%, President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union is going to focus on the economy.

What follows then is not a preview of what he will say, but what he could say.  Imagine the world tomorrow if Obama said anything like this:


The Great Recession – in the words of former Sec. of Labor Robert Reich - accelerated trends starting three decades ago -- outsourcing abroad, automating work, converting full-time jobs to temps and contracts, undermining unions, and getting wage and benefit concessions from remaining workers. 

The result is that a few corporate behemoths now serve as the tail that wags the dog. Too big to fail, they act with immunity, impunity and will in perpetuity work to enslave more of us while worshiping at the alter of the bottom line. 

Obama could say:

The Supreme Court, in their landmark Citizens United ruling, have assisted the corporate state in advancing toward the day when the vote of the individual citizen (unless that citizen also happens to be a multi national corporation) will be as impotent as a eunuch at a rugby match.

Obama could say:

The isle in this chamber that separates us is a farce. Until radical election finance reform and lobbying laws are enacted in this country we all take our marching orders from the same cadre of capitalist criminals.

Obama could say:

We cannot win the war in Afghanistan, just as we could not win the war in Iraq. You cannot win an occupation.  You may have called preventive wars the Bush doctrine, but the truth is Presidents of both major parties have been operation under the same foreign policy since ww2. Tonight, I am announcing that I will bring all troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, and slash the military budget to one that matches the expenditures of China. That we spend more than China- a country of 1.3 billion- and the next 17 countries ranked in terms of military expenses combined is obscene in times of economic prosperity; during this- our great recession, it is nothing short of pornographic.

The money will be re-allocated to establish an FDR like jobs program aimed at making the Unites States a leader in green technology. Additionally, a significant portion of money saved in slashing the military budget will go towards the establishment of a Department of Peace. For too long, the Department of Defense, in implementing a foreign policy that lead Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr to say, correctly, that US is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world has created a culture of blowback that endangers the United States and our allies. A Department of Peace (imagine the peace corps on steroids) will create a culture of blowback that will make future generations of US citizens not fear the concept of Karma as a boomerang.

The President will not say any of this, of course. No one who has just appointed a former JP Morgan chase executive to his chief of staff is looking out for the common woman or man.

Why then, do so many of us commoners still look to him for hope?