by Stephen Lendman
Key Obama officials comprise a virtual rogues gallery of scoundrels. On June 10, he nominated Jason Furman to replace Alan Krueger. He’ll serve as White House Council of Economic Advisors chairman.
He was Clinton’s Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council. He began advising Obama in 2008.
Since January 2009, he’s been Obama’s National Economic Council deputy director. His nomination requires congressional approval. More on him below.
Krueger’s returning to Princeton. He’s Professor of Economics and Public Affairs. He compromised his integrity in Washington. Prior to becoming CEA head, he was Obama’s Assistant Treasury Secretary for Economic Policy.
He and other Obama economic officials hail economic recovery. They do so duplicitously. They’ve done so throughout protracted Main Street Depression conditions. They willfully turned a blind eye.
They endorse corporate friendly policies. They spurn popular ones. Real unemployment’s 23%. Monthly jobs reports are phony. Fantasy best describes them.
Good jobs are vanishing in plain sight. Low pay mostly service employment replaces them. Thirdworldizing America is policy. A race to the bottom continues. Krueger substituted dissembling for truth and full disclosure. It’s part of the package he accepted.
Perhaps his Princeton students fare no better. They’d be wise to make better choices. He’s returning for the fall semester. Obama called him “the driving force behind many of the economic policies that I have proposed that will grow our economy and create middle class jobs.”
Obama’s done more to wreck America’s economy than any US president in history. As key Treasury official and CEA head, Krueger helped craft some of his worst policies.
Furman promises worse, not better. He’s pro-corporate, neoliberal, anti-labor, and anti-populist writ large. He’s Wall Street’s man in Washington. He’s one of many likeminded scoundrels infesting the capital.
United Steelworkers official Marco Trbovich called him “an unalloyed cheerleader for the trade policies that have been very destructive to manufacturing jobs in this country.” His nomination raises “serious concerns.”
Lori Wallach directs Public Citizen’s global trade watch. Furman’s nomination is “jarring,” she said. He’s “a liability, given his anti-worker writings and statements about Wal-Mart, fair trade, and other middle class issues.”
Furman’s a former Council of Economic Advisers staff economist. He worked as a senior World Bank economic adviser. He served on Clinton’s National Economic Council as explained above.
He directed Brookings’ Hamilton Project. It affirms policies most Americans deplore. It’s ideologically neoliberal, corporatist, soulless, anti-populist and extremist. It exceeds what some Republicans support.
Former Clinton Treasury Secretary/Goldman Sachs chairman/Citigroup head Robert Rubin founded it. He remains actively involved. Former Clinton Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott heads it.
Its agenda is brazenly corporate. It spurns popular interests. It feigns concern for reducing inequality. It’s policies prioritize increasing it.
It supports government of, by and for privileged elites alone. It wants America’s social contract destroyed. It wants everyone on their own sink or swim.
It favors thirdworldizing America for profit. It prefers workers as serfs with no rights. It’s high-minded rhetoric pretends otherwise. It’s thinly veiled duplicity doesn’t wash.
Furman’s an uber-Wal-Mart booster. He calls the company a “progressive success story.” “Always low prices” come on the backs of sweatshop near-slave labor.
Workers toil globally under hazardous, unhealthy, abusive conditions. Fear and intimidation targets anyone speaking out, organizing, or attempting to unionize. Predatory retail policies drive small competitors out of business.
Furman’s paper titled “Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story” cheerleads the company. It does so deceitfully for whatever benefits he derives.
“By acting in the interests of its shareholders, Wal-Mart has innovated and expanded competition, resulting in huge benefits for the American middle class and even proportionately larger benefits for moderate-income Americans,” he claims.
“Wal-Mart has blazed a path that numerous other retailers are now following, many of them vigorously competing with Wal-Mart.”
“Today, Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the country, the largest grocery store in the country, and the third largest pharmacy.”
“Eight in ten Americans shop at Wal-Mart. There is little dispute that Wal-Mart’s price reductions have benefited the 120 million American workers employed outside of the retail sector.”
In 1962, Sam Walton founded Wal-Mart. It went public in 1972. American prosperity began declining.
Since the mid-1970s, real wages haven’t kept pace with inflation. Benefits steadily eroded. High-paying jobs disappeared.
Improved technology forces wage earners to work harder for less. “Free” markets work only for entrenched interests. They control them for benefits they derive.
Class struggle between haves and have-nots rages. Wealth extremes are unprecedented. A race to the bottom defines America. Destructive economic policies assure rolling crises following speculative booms and jobless recoveries. It’s the new normal.
Wal-Mart’s part of America’s grand theft culture. Corrupt politicians and officials like Furman support its worst policies. Ordinary people are hostages to unprincipled exploitation. Benefits gained come at the expense of low wage/poor benefit/no future jobs.
Furman endorses what demands condemnation. He manipulates facts doing so. He ignores vital ones too important to conceal. He fronts for power. He scorns popular needs.
He disgraces ethical, moral and legal standards. He’ll advance in Obama’s administration. He’ll serve Wall Street and other corporate favorites. He’ll do so exclusively. He’ll remain unapologetic like before. Scoundrels never say they’re sorry.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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