When John Kerry referred to Bush’s propaganda team as the “worst bunch of liars and crooks,” he was referring to their campaign to hornswoggle the American people. He was issuing the same warning as Abe Lincoln did back in his day. Lincoln warned that there are hornswogglers who will try to convince you that a “horse chestnut is the same as a chestnut horse.”
Bush’s bull throwers (not the ones from the ranch) are trying to introduce a new dimension to Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economics.
They say that shipping jobs abroad (the largest American export item) is good for the economy. It will bring low prices and future economic growth when it finally trickles down. That’s first class hornswoggling – it really is trying to sell you a horse chestnut for a chestnut horse.
And the chief purveyor of new trickle-down economics is W himself. He recently spoke in Ohio, where he defended job exporting. But 260,000 Ohio workers are among the 2.2 million workers who have lost their jobs since Bush took office. And there has been a drop in industrial employment for just under four years straight, with no end in sight.
Also out of sight is the next unemployment check for the 760,000 who have run out of benefits.
But don’t worry, says W – this job loss recovery is on its way out. He points to a company which just hired two new workers, and that is going to be repeated all over the country, he says. Should the 760,000 who have exhausted their benefits wait for all that trickle-down bonanza to come? And along with trickle-down job growth, we now get …. guess what?… new Bush math.
How do you make the number 400,000 equal zero? When the 400,000 workers who “dropped out” of the labor market last month aren’t counted as unemployed workers any more. Since they aren’t counted as unemployed, then capitalism’s crooners can sing and yodel – “La de da, how happy we are – the unemployed rate is still 5.4.”
Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
Oh, how I wish he’d go away.
And please, take the other 399,998
When does the number 3 million equal zero? When it represents the pipedream claims that there will be 3 million new jobs this year. That’s 250,000 jobs a month. They haven’t produced one week’s quota needed to reach 3 million jobs and it’s late March already.
So, now we have a 5.4-percent jobless rate – but not counting the disappearance of 400,000 workers and their families. We have 3 million new jobs that aren’t there and aren’t coming.
This kind of White House/Capitol Hill Bush math wizardry even has some Wall Streeters shaking their heads and muttering in disbelief. Wall Street likes the job loss recovery but is also scared about what the 400,000 and other unemployed will do. After all, they have Nov. 2 to contend with.
For the 760,000 now out of unemployment insurance benefits, for the 18 million caught in some phase of the unemployment quagmire, and for those still working but living in fear of layoffs, trickle-down job growth or mumbo-jumbo Bush math won’t make jobs, won’t put bread and meat on the table. Action is needed and changes can be won – right now.
First, we must mobilize a struggle in Congress to extend unemployment insurance benefits to all unemployed.
Second, we need to open a campaign for job-to-job benefits.
Third, we should call on Congress to pass a federal health plan to cover all unemployed and their dependents.
Fourth, the union halls should be opened to the unemployed to organize the struggle. The unemployed are critical to any alliance-building. They will become politicized in their struggle to survive. History shows how strong an ally of the people’s movement they can be. They are critical to the struggle to build a new America – an America in which labor will get “much the higher consideration,” as Abe Lincoln said.
Pat Barile is a member of the National Board of the Communist Party USA. He can be reached at email@example.com.