Monday, October 11, 2010

The Culprits

Via the Economic Populist blog I discovered this handy-dandy tool where you can punch in your zip code and find out exactly who is exporting jobs from your community.

It appears Nashville’s top five employment villains are AFL Dixiewire, Bridgestone Americas Tire, Cummins Business Services, Dollar General Corp., and Ford Motor Credit Corp.

So thank you very fucking much.

Today in the car I caught the last part of Ed Schultz’s interview with Virg Bernero, Democratic candidate for governor of Michigan. Bernero is a pants-on-fire economic populist if I ever heard one and I wish I could share clips of his interview with you, it was amazing. He talked about how there is an economic war going on, which you can see in all the shuttered businesses and foreclosures all across the country, and America is losing big-time because we aren’t even fighting it. Hell we don’t even talk about it. And he's right!

My question is, is this by design? I have to wonder if so much of our crazy discourse in this country -- Christine O’Donnell is a witch! Sharron Angle says Sharia law has taken hold in Texas! -- isn’t designed to distract from this important discussion. And I think it’s why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been so threatened by attacks from the left about its support of Republican candidates because it puts the focus exactly where the corporatists don't want it. "Please," I can hear them all saying, "let's talk about the crazy people some more!"

The Chamber’s tagline is “Fighting For Your Business.” Once upon a time that implied “fighting for your jobs, your communities, your country.” Those days are long gone. Today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is fighting for your business’ right to ship manufacturing jobs to Mexico and China, make those workplaces that remain in the U.S. unsafe, pollute our air and water, all to benefit a few overpaid CEOs at the top of the heap.

Again: thank you very fucking much.

Pay attention, people. You’re being played.

Hungarian authorities arrested Zoltan Bakonyi for unleashing an ecological hell on the Danube. The CEOs of Massey Energy, British Petroleum and the Tennessee Valley Authority all walk free. The U.S. Chamber philosophy is: mistakes were made! Bygones!

So yes, it’s an economic war, and there are turncoats in our midst who are aiding and abetting the enemy. Strong words? Yes of course. But I don’t know how else to wake folks up.