Weekly Radio Address 11-22-08
It appears the President-elect’s radio addresses will continue to be posted to YouTube. Here’s this week’s address.
The address is primarily a rehash of his Emergency Economic Plan laid out in his Blueprint for Change. I previously analyzed the plan in this post. However, the campaigning Obama has evolved into the soon-to-be-in-office Obama. Gone is the Obama who, if elected, would immediately turn the tide and repair our diseased economy. Welcome to the elected Obama who now says we’re going to feel more pain, things will get worse before they get better. Well, at least we now know he is facing the reality of the situation.
He goes on to say that he’s already directed his economic advisers to come up with a plan to create 2.5 million jobs by January 2011. In his Blueprint for Change, he states he already has a plan to save 1 million jobs that might soon be lost and he states he already has a plan to create another 7 million jobs over the next 10 years. That was the if-you-elect-me-I-will Obama. The soon-to-be-in-office Obama now says details of the plan will be worked out in the next few weeks.
This sounds so Roosevelt-esque. I’ve said it before though, and I’ll say it again, Roosevelt’s New Deal didn’t get us out of the Great Depression. It did put people to work and boost morale, but real economic recovery didn’t begin until WWII. Take a look at this chart.
The market peaked in October 1929 and didn’t reach that peak again until November 1954. That’s during a time when people took whatever job they could find. Our economy is in for a long hard road I’m afraid, and New Deal style programs aren’t going to solve the problem.
It remains to be seen if Americans today will take a job “rebuilding our crumbling roads, schools, and bridges” after they’ve lost their jobs in air conditioned work spaces. Most people who’ve tried to hire folks from the unemployment office to work manual labor can tell you things are different today. I’ve tried and been told “it’s not worth it.” For this program to really work, there will have to be an ultimatum–take the job or no check! The options will have to be work or starve.
The President-elect refers to schools that are failing our children. I teach in the schools and I can tell you there are teachers who are failing our children, but the problem is much deeper than that. I won’t make excuses for bad teachers and administrators, but I will say that many good teachers are driven from the schools by apathetic children and uncooperative, unmotivated parents.
If you haven’t been in a high school lately, take a walk through and look at the shape your local school is in. If you see graffiti or property destroyed, guess who is causing the destruction. The students, because so many of them have no respect for themselves, authority, or anything else. Now, guess where that attitude comes from. The parents, who have become so accustomed to government handouts that they don’t respect themselves or anyone else. I’m all for ensuring teachers are doing their jobs, but if you want to really fix the problem with schools you’re going to have to change the culture of the students, and their parents. That’s not going to happen with more government handouts.
Obama says he wants cooperation between Democrats and Republicans. In the past, bipartisanship generally means the minority party succumbs to the will of the majority. Call me a cynic, but I don’t think that’s going to be one of Obama’s changes.
Brace yourselves ladies and gentleman for a long, hard road on the economic front. We the people have overspent to get ourselves into this mess, buying things we couldn’t afford and over-leveraging ourselves to a point that demands a swift kick to the backside. Our political leaders should have seen it coming, and most probably did, but they looked the other way because their only concern was getting re-elected. How we survive this mess, and if we survive it is up to us. Obama can’t save us, no politician can. He’s bracing us for this now that the election is over.
“It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
I do believe that.
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