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The Expansionist
Saturday, December 31, 2011
 
Super-Rich Abandoning Obstructionism, Tea Party, Libertarianism? Odd things have been happening of late. The refusal of myriad businesses to hire has begun to break down. It has long been obvious that the enemies of President Obama have been trying very hard to keep the economy in recession to defeat Obama on economic grounds. This was a very difficult proposition, to keep the economy depressed for four years, even with the destructive effects of the China trade (be it called "globalization" or anything else) working to suppress hiring in the United States.
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Here we are, little more than 11 months before the general election, and hiring has broken out! I have seen no one else speculate that the people who thought they could keep the economy down until after the November 2012 election have given up on that, nor why.
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Malice toward the President may have proven less powerful than greed, and the desire to see one's business prosper — against rivals, if not in absolute terms — may have trumped the desire to displace Obama and the Democrats.
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If the Republicans seemed to have a potent candidate to rally behind, and the will to rally behind one candidate, the anti-Obama crowd might have continued to obstruct recovery. But it is becoming increasingly obvious that the 2012 Presidential election is likely to be a rout for Republicans because the current crop of candidates are unattractive to the Republican base, first; independents, second; and thus to the Nation at large, third.
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Ron Paul, the Radical Libertarian loon who has absolutely no chance of landing the Republican nomination, is now making noises about not endorsing the eventual Republican nominee. That fits into wide speculation that Congressman Paul will mount an independent run for President, as a Libertarian or other Third Party challenger. Everyone knows that such a run would fracture the Republican base, and that the Republican Party stands absolutely no chance of defeating Obama unless it holds together as a monolith. Cleave the monolith, and all you have is shards, that will be toppled and rolled in the sands by a Democratic tsunami.
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The greedy rich see the handwriting on the wall. They have had to roll back abusive fees, first at Bank of America (and other banks that wanted to charge a fee to use a debit card), then at Verizon (which recanted in a single day a plan to charge $2 for phoned or online, one-time bill payments). The Occupy movement and other resistance from consumers has the abusive super-rich very worried. They can't buy off those movements the way they have (felt they could) buy off politicians. There is now a dispersion of power, thanks to consumer resistance and the Occupy movement, that wasn't in place four years ago.
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To retain significant economic leverage with the movers and shakers in Government, then, the greedy rich cannot antagonize the likely winners in November, even if they would rather their opponents win. There is, in short, only so much enmity from Democrats that the abusive rich are willing to risk, if the likelihood is that not only will Obama be re-elected, but the Senate will also stay firmly under the control of Democrats and the House will be retaken handily by Democrats. What big business wants to have powerful enemies in Washington?
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There is a lot of pent-up consumer demand that major corporations dare not frustrate, lest new players pop up and take market share. Current players cannot satisfy pent-up demand without ramping up production, which means hiring workers to produce the goods and provide the services in demand now and between now and November.
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So, altho they might like to continue to depress the economy to oust Obama, they know that polls that talk about a "generic Republican" against Obama are absurdist nonsense, because Obama won't face a "generic" Republican but an actual person, most likely from the current dismal crop of candidates. And when pollsters match Obama against any actual candidate, with a name, face, and baggage, Obama wins every time.
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In strictly economic terms, the globalization that the abusive rich have worked so hard to produce in order to destroy American workers, and esp. unionized workers, cuts both ways. Foreign corporations can now compete in the U.S. domestic market with minimal barriers to entry, and thus cut into the very bone of U.S. corporations in their home market. The abusive rich created the globalized economy, and now that very globalization threatens their own bottom line. They can't just sit on their market share and wait it out until a new Administration seizes control of Washington. First, the market is wide open to foreign competition. Second, the next Administration will likely be the second term of the President they would love to displace, but almost certainly cannot.
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So now, not only do American workers  have to compete with foreigners, but the owners and managers  of U.S. corporations also have to compete with foreigners, on the same unfair terms as they willfully created for laborers. They are now, to use the familiar Shakespearian quote, "Hoist with [their] own petard". Isn't it sad?
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Government may not be able to end recessions by fiat, but nor can business greatly prolong recessions by conspiracy.
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Once the majority of economic news is positive, Republicans lose all possibility of displacing Obama. That reality is well understood in the boardrooms of even the most reactionary and racist businesses. Expect to see a lot more hiring, and a widely perceived end of the Great Recession before November — and thus re-election of President Obama, and, probably, retaking of the House by Democrats. Maybe globalization will prove less than a complete disaster for the people of the United States after all.



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