Alms for the Poor

In Paul Krugmans column in the New York Times today, he points to Republican obstructionism in the labor market. The Jobs Act proposed by President Obama was, as per usual, voted down by the Republican led House of Representatives. Republicans have no intention of allowing the jobs market to improve as long as Obama is in the White House and they are in control of the House or have the ability to filibuster in the Senate.

The immeasurable harm that Republican tactics are imposing on the American people goes beyond a lust for power. It prevents them from affirming that they are supposed to be acting in support of the people that elected them, not of special interest groups among the wealthy and industry.

It is clear that an improving labor force is not in the best interests of the One Percent. The wealthy and corporations far prefer that labor costs remain depressed, allowing them to hire labor at vastly reduced cost and extract more hours and productivity from the employees that they have.

The single reason that Conservatives are in favor of smaller government is that larger government swallows up a proportion of the labor pool and pushes the cost of labor up. When people have wider choices for employment they are less easily manipulated and controlled, and less likely to open themselves up to exploitation by corporations.

Conservatives would far rather have a greater number of very low paying jobs than a smaller number of better paying jobs. They can then claim that they created more jobs than the Democrats. Corporations want a vast labor pool that they can tap when they need employees, rather than having qualified people that they need to entice with better remuneration and packages.

Conservatives have no intention of improving the labor market, of educating a population. They know that they can get talent from India and China at far less cost, import them into the United States on temporary visas, and send them back when their expertise expires or they are no longer needed.

The Jobs Act that Obama wanted to pass would have created positions for people that would need filling here in the United States. It would have the additional advantage of improving infrastructure that is sorely in need of repair. Conservatives don’t want anything of the sort. They want a pliant and easily manipulable work force that votes the way corporations want, that buy when they are told to buy and that don’t need much maintenance.

Krugman is right when he says that Conservatives want a weak economy that they can then exploit for political gain. That has been their game plan from the beginning. Trash the economy and blame Democrats and especially the President for the resulting debacle. Driving more and more Americans into Poverty just to satisfy their lust for power is the ultimate game of cynicism and has no place in a civilized democratic state.

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