Intellectuals love to deride populism, but consider this: Five years ago, America’s “Jobs Czar” Jeff Immelt made a speech. As reported by ZDNet:
“Immelt noted that in the U.S. globalization is not a concept appreciated by the majority. He suggested that in a vote yes or no on globalization 60 percent of Americans would vote no.”
Too bad we never had that vote, because Joe Sixpack was obviously right.
Too bad our trade policies were “fast tracked” through Congress in a virtually fascist process in order to override the wishes of the American people.
Immelt went on to say:
“There is a lot of misinformation,” Immelt said. “Ultimately, we have to rebuild confidence as industrialists. I worry about our fear creeping into our ability to make long-term industrial decisions.”
Turns out, it was the “industrialists” who were misinformed, the fear was rational, and Immelt is still waiting on that restoration of confidence.
Note to Immelt: When will you man-up and admit that you were wrong?
Immelt made those comments in front of an audience of Indian engineers at an event in Silicon Valley. Most of the audience was likely brought to the USA to outsource the jobs of American engineers. Immelt used to be in the body-shopping business, so it was logical for him to be the keynote speaker.
And Immelt knew what the consequences for the USA would be:
“Part of globalizing is creating a win-win situation. ‘Can the standard of living in India grow by 100-fold without the standard of living in the U.S. going down over time?,’ Immelt asked. He didn’t have a clear answer [to] his own question, but described the problem.
Everybody knows the answer to that question today is “no” – except perhaps our “Jobs Czar”.
At first, it appears ironic that a man who has personally exported jobs to China, Mexico, and India would be the jobs czar. But look at the title of his outfit: the “President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness”.
“Competitiveness” is code for lowering wages to the “global equilibrium” level of about $2 per hour. That would make the USA “competitive” with low-wage nations when it comes to attracting “industrialists” and their sweatshops.
So maybe Immelt is doing his job after all…