Empty Promises: 5 Reasons Why Barack Obama’s State Of The Union Address Was Completely Wrong About The Economy

ilene's picture

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RKDS's picture

Where and when, pray tell, have evil union line workers ever made anything approaching $150 per hour?  Americans assembling iPads would be paid closer to $25 per hour, which would add all of maybe $100 (if that) to the end cost of the iPad.

Burticus's picture

Any honest "State of the Union" address should start with the admission that there is no union of sovereign states any more, just one huge omnipotent consolidated government.

The second admission should be that this consolidated government is controlled by "the Chairman," whose power to create "money" enables him to control everything, including the parasite (politician) class and the entire economy.  There is only one political party, the ElephantJackass (or ConRat) Party; any vote for this ruling party is a wasted, sucker's vote.

All we can do is protect ourselves by converting our excess financial assets into precious metals (gold, silver, steel & lead) and get the first two (and ourselves) off shore, away from the tyrannny of the totalitarian police state.

sethstorm's picture

First of all, when you consider all forms of taxation, U.S. businesses face one of the most oppressive taxation regimes in the entire world.


So exactly how is more "innovation" going to produce millions of U.S. jobs if all of the high tech manufacturing continues to be shipped out of the United States?

You complain about work being sent offshore, yet you complain that the government acts too much in terms of taxes(a common citation by fraudsters who try to not hire US citizens).  Short of the government making the move to kill offshoring as we know it, the problems with it will remain. 


As for the regulations, quit trying to screw with people & regulation in the quest of making everyone bow to business.  Perhaps you could try hiring US citizens on honest, full-time engagements or hope that you don't offend the wrong bureaucrat.  That is, start being part of the solution, and not being a regulatory problem.



ilene's picture

It's not a matter of more or less regulation -- there's good regulation and bad regulation, but the problems are so complex and have been building for a long time, that I can't see any particular regulation or regulations (or lack of) that will make much difference. 

RKDS's picture

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we have a very severe deficit of honesty and integrity in this country.  Business lies, government lies, everybody lies...and we're surprised the economy is full of fraud and collapsing under the weight of it all?

Disambiguation's picture


While it is true that Foxconn manufactures the Iphone, the profit per  unit for this service is $4, while Apple makes $64 per unit. Apple is the type of innovation we need more of. More than 35% of those who joined the ranks of the unemployed since 2008 were previously working in a real estate related profession. The misallocation of capital, both human and monetary took place over a long period of time. Redirecting those who have been left in the lurch will likely take as long. The sharpest rise in the bubble was from 97 to 07, this is the likely period that redirection of these millions of unemployed will require. The President will have nothing to do with this process.

ilene's picture

You might find this paper interesting:


Yuqing Xing and Neal Detert noted in a research paper published by the Asian Development Bank Institute, the iPhone contributed $1.9Bn to the US trade deficit with the People’s Republic of China. How is it possible that an American designed product is adding to the U.S. trade deficit?

According to Xing and Detert, “All ready-to-use iPhones have been shipped to the US from the PRC [People’s Republic of China]. Foreign direct investment, production fragmentation, and production networks have jointly reversed the trade pattern predicted by conventional trade theories. The manufacturing process of iPhones illustrates how the global production network functions, why a developing country such as PRC can export high-tech goods—at least according to the currently applied methodology for calculating trade statistics—and why the US, the country that invented the iPhone, becomes an importer.”

Korbin Dallas's picture

It seems that last night he couldn't help bringing out the gimps and micro-economy stories to make his major points about healthcare (gimps) and supporting small businesses (micro-economy) while doing everything he can to kill businesses that generate jobs & income via 1099 and the like.  And this is after a bruising Nov 2010 election result; imagine what would have happened had the Democrats done well!

Amidst the parade-of-gimps he's taken the low road, to evoke Kennedy, as many attempt, and brings back the story (yawn) of the moon shot.  So I sit up at that point and what do I hear, taxing the oil companies to fund a government-sponsored and undefined mammoth project.

Last time I looked at a recent publicly-funded investment it was while getting scanned, patted, and invaded at the airport on a work-to-rule underpaid "civil" servant clown posse before I could get on my plane.  They make the postal business look efficient.

nmewn's picture

Great summation.

Mercury's picture

Empty promises is the best case scenario.

All I heard was that the government is going to launch more spending programs while trying to allocate capital and pick winners in the process.  What happened to all those "shovel ready" infrastructure jobs from the stimulus anyway? 

Stay tuned for even more government, everywhere, all the time says Barry.  We're supposed to feel grateful that he's actually going to take a look at the effectiveness of some of the numberless and counterproductive government agencies that so far he's only created even more of.

Never in a million years would Obama entertain the question as to why the government even has a smoked slamon policy or a housing policy in the first place.

ReeferMac's picture

Great article, thanks for sharing! Had to laugh when I read this one though.. talk about wasteful government:


"new federal regulations that mandate that all vending machine operators and chain restaurants must label all products that they sell with a calorie count in a location visible to the consumer."

Hahahaha! Ya know, I _was_ going to get the snickers bar, but I see Twix has 30-fewer calories, so... WTF. If you're buying a 50-cent bag of chips from a vending machine somewhere's, I hardly think the calorie content is part of your decision-making process! That's totally and absolutely ridiculous. Only a goverment agency could produce such a worthless piece of legislation (anyone w/ half a brain-cell left would see that it's ludicrous!)


hardcleareye's picture

It's not ridiculous, but it might not be the most efficient use of our tax payer dollar, of course this is dust on the ledger compared to QE2....

For many people calorie and sodium (folks with high blood pressure) content are very much a part of the decision-making process. 

I think that the fast food places should post the price and the calories of the item side by side.

Of course in a few years this problem will resolve it's self.....  obesity will not be a issue.

Tic tock's picture

Non-French europeans...you talking of the serfs, or private interests? France was Republic under the Rule of Law. The rest of Europe was owned by the princes appointed by the Vatican, who led war-bands over ownership of land and all it contained.

Europe was returning to the Dark ages - every nation was constantly at each others' throat - see the history of the Carribbean. War was a condition of the Age: it wasn't 'pleasant' living in Europe before Napolean's arrival, there was massive inequality...and it was perpetrated by 'the elite' (Anna Karenina). Napolean went out and cut the head off the serpent, the Vatican. After establishing a perimeter, he rested his armies - then the rest of Europe came after him, why? ...perhaps because Republic and the Rule of Law was anaethama to divinely-inspired Kingship,, and in later iterations of the republic, citizens of french-held terriatory were French. 

AnAnonymous's picture

Big revision here.

Napolean ended the french republich that needed later restoration. The guy crowned himself Emperor. He diverted the spirit of the revolution to serve his personal interests. Very much like US citizens.

Bahamas's picture

George Carlin's definition of Americans:

"buy things they don't need with money they don't have".

A Man without Qualities's picture

and turning themselves into slaves in the process.


Seems to me the fundamental problem in America is a crisis of leadership, whether it be in business or politics, where the dominant personality trait is sociopathy.



Tic tock's picture

I keep suggesting that Zhedge, or some site, actually start a working group on this one issue:- a bare bones sketch of a regulatory framework.

Naploean did this with his legal code, it turned France around, without Facisim. If we stand for anything here on ZHedge, I would have thought it would've been this, a regulatory framework arising from a democratic process.

..populations are clamouring for this, they're rioting and dying for it. Reggie, Krugman, Universities, anyone should be on top of this...! What are we doing- complaining, whining, about how banks manufacture numbers..how governments are run by private interests..how Freemasons are ensuring that education will become too expensive for 99% of the pop. instead of just 95%...  --cutting edge, ZH, supremely fucking relevant. 

Unless you're all waiting for the Second Coming..in which case you'd better hope he's coming with his own central bank and decent sized country.


AnAnonymous's picture

Naploean did this with his legal code, it turned France around, without Facisim. If we stand for anything here on ZHedge, I would have thought it would've been this, a regulatory framework arising from a democratic process.


Napolean, the Emperor Napolean? Well...


Again, that is a big failure here. People do not complain about  the system, they've built it, they love it. People complain about being tossed out of the system. Totally different.

What people want is not a system make over, they want their pass to enter dream land again. And if possible, a card for permanent residency, for them and all their generations to come.

Makes it totally different.

DaBernank's picture

Indeed, non-French Europeans would take issue with Napolean's methods. Perhaps if he had stopped at legal reform and remained in France I could support your example.

Igiveup's picture

There are two possible ways for the average american to finally get it. One, they live through the crash and form a new life from the ruins.  God only knows what that will be like.  The second way, and I have personally done  this, is to have the small employers of this country sit there employees down and explain all of this in terms they understand.  Before the 2010 election, I called in all of my employees from three separate locations, to a meeting to discuss the upcoming election.  I didn't tell them they had to vote or who to vote for.  I did however tell them who I was voting for and why.  I made sure every reason I used to  support my decision was based on something they could  relate to.  For example, I told every  one of them to  go  home that night,  add up their utility bills for last year.  I then told them that if cap and trade passed, there house wouldn't be any  brighter, warmer in the winter or cooler in the summer but that number they came up with would be double.  In  effect, paying twice as much for the  same thing.  I  then asked them if the grocery  store and gas station and every other place they shopped had  a utility bill too.  Did they think those  businesses would simple eat the utility price increase or  pass it on to them.  They  all got  it.  I went through everything on  the political  agenda and related it back to  them in  the same way.  A meeting I planned for  an hour took four.  I finally had to call it.

I left them with  this.  At the end of the year,  I look  at how much money the company has left after it pays its bills.  It was from that remainder that raises, bonuses, new equipment, profit sharing, health insurance benefits and other things that improved their lives came from.  I told them the government of BO had promised to punish those who created this pool by taking it away from them so he could give it to those he felt more  deserving.  Effectively,  they now had a share this remaining pool with another group of people. 

That was two years ago.  In my business I have given no raises, no bonuses, cut salaries, cut overtime, raised contributions to health plans and purchased no new equipment.  I remind them at every opportunity that the money in the pool needs to stay there until I figure out how much BO and the congress are going to leave me with.  Until that happens, nothing is coming their way.

If every business person in the US made it a point to educate his/her employees, the special interests, the talking  heads on TV and the MSM wouldn't have a chance.  People running for office would have to convince  the people who sign the employees checks that they were worthy of the trust being placed in them.  It would make it much easier to campaign and much easier to throw out the bastards who lie or don't do their job.

Employers are the solution to the problem.  They create wealth.  They share the wealth they create.  They will grow the country.  They can solve these problems.  Wealth creation shouldn't be a sin.  Wealth people are not there to be plucked.  Anybody out there working for a poor person?

DavidC's picture

It also requires that the CEO (or whoever) provides a leadership of integrity. Here in the UK, for example, last year the average CEO's salaries in the FTSE 100 companies went up over 50%. The average employee? Less than 2%.

If the CEO of a company (who already earns good money - I'm not saying ALL of them do though), took a salary increase at the same level of the lowest employee increase, percentage wise, that would provide one hell of a leading example to the staff.

Or, if the CEO's salary was capped at a set multiple of the average company employee's salary, everyone in the company would benefit if the company does well (or not, if it doesn't).

Meanwhile we continue to be lead by troughing pigs.

sethstorm's picture

So you want people to worship businesses?  No thank you, and it only justifies a deeper effort against employers who intentionally withold prosperity or intimidate people with the threat of losing one's job for holding different political views.  Your withholding of prosperity contributes to the problem that exists; you just simply want no prosperity to happen unless politics align in your favored way.  Second, your less-than-obvious intimidation is your willingness to use your workplace as a weapon.


You are asking to be a rent-seeker, much like your enemies already are.  That's right, you are no better than Rangel, Geithner or Bernanke.  Like them, you need to be stopped.

hardcleareye's picture

"People running for office would have to convince  the people who sign the employees checks that they were worthy of the trust being placed in them." 

That doesn't sound like a democracy to me!!  Perhaps you should sit down and read what you have written on this post.  Your employees must be desperate to tolerate this type of management. 

Many years ago I had a wonderful mentor who explained that Unions only come into your facility (I was working as a manager at a food processing plant) if you have bad management.  If I had spoken to "my people" like that I would have been fired, and if I wasn't fired there would be a push to unionise the facility..... and rightfully so!!!!

Your post is an example of "bad management", piss poor employee relationship, and you are to ignorant to realize it! 

There are more eloquent ways to express your political point of views to your employees....

Sudden Debt's picture















I still remember the interviews with people from the street when he got elected: OBAMA IS GOING TO PAY OUR BILLS!!! WE ARE SAVED!!




There are to many American sheep that think there is a microwave solution for all the idiotic things they did.

Got a problem? Daddy will fix it!


Is it all Obama's fold? HECK NO!!!



It's like blaming the schools for the fact that children aren't thought the morals they need in life. Parents beating up teachers because a teacher smacked a kid for being a pain in the ass.

It's not the fold of the school, IT'S THE PARENTS THAT ARE WRONG!


Same for the rest of America. Don't blame everybody else, only blame yourself.

You've got 15 credit cards all maxed out above 20K? And it's because of the government? THEY SHOULD LOCK YOU UP IN THE LOONEY HOUSE!!


The only way America will change is if Americans will change.


It first needs to hit rock bottom for a few decades, and those who deserve it will crawl out of the mud and make things happen.

But only if they smuther the lemmings first!


I was raised with a picture of hardworking, patriotic, strong Americans.

If I turn on the television now YOU LOOK LIKE A FREAKING JOKE!!!

You all talk about THE GREAT AMERICANS!




Without the electronic war gadgets, THAT'S A JOKE!!!!



I just hope for your sake the barbarians will never really stand before the gates.

hardcleareye's picture


Look at the choices we had, McCain (not in good health)with the Pig in Lipstick ready to take over or Obama.   Who would you vote for?


fajensen's picture

I just hope for your sake the barbarians will never really stand before the gates.

That would be real progress actually. Because right now all the barbarians have to do is demand asylum and the gates will open automagically, special rights will be granted and tax-money handed over with liberal and gay abandon.

BigDuke6's picture

Noisy laddie... but true.

Are you saying that america is like caprica before the fall?

And europe is like new caprica...

NoClueSneaker's picture

Yepp, ECB just sold a bunch of EU-Bonds ( de facto CDOs), with an huge applause. Bernank here is used to be called almost right  - Jean-Claude Tricheur ....

praps's picture

State of the Union? Why does he fail to mention the most basic problem. That the majority of the wealth is owned and enjoyed by a tiny minority. The majority of people are fast becoming, or already are, simply slaves working all day to produce a huge surplus for the minority to enjoy. That's the state of the Union.

DaBernank's picture

The vast majority of that "wealth" is tied up in rigged financial markets and ponzi schemes. Case in point: Best Buy CEO lost $500 million of personal "wealth" after bad earnings numbers. Plutocrats will always be with us but much of the "wealth" in the discussion of "top x% owning x% of wealth" is based on paper derivatives. The US survived Andrew Carnegie, J P Morgan, and the Rockefellers; we can survive the Walton family having lots of money. It's Jamie, Lloyd, and The Bernank who scare the shit out of me, not because they have money but rather what they do with it.

sethstorm's picture

That doesn't mean it's the best idea to allow the Waltons outsize influence. 

loup garou's picture


Yeah, Ilene had a sex change; flip-flopped from liberal to conservative; and changed her name to “Michael Snyder” (at Economic Collapse).


ilene's picture

Neither liberal nor conservative, and no plans for a sex change.  

AnAnonymous's picture

The money is on the Internet. Tons of money are circulating the Internet. Good to be on a nexus.

ak_khanna's picture

The politician­­­s around the world are nothing more than auction items which can be sold to the highest bidder. They will do whatever they can for the lobbyist paying them the maximum amount of money or votes, be it the unions, the banksters, the richest corporatio­­­ns or individual­­­s. They are in the power seat to extract maximum advantage for themselves in the small time frame they occupy the seat of power.

The rest of the population is least of their concerns. The only activity they do is pacify the majority of the population using false statistics and promises of a better future so that they do not lynch them and their masters while they are robbing the taxpayers.


Common_Cents22's picture

Obama can be summed up by this song.  All you need to know.  Seriously.  Throw in the Bernank, Lloyd, jamie and all the rest too.

Cult of Personality, Living Colour

“And during the few moments that we have left, we want to talk, right down to
earth, in a language that everybody here can easily understand.” (Malcolm X)

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
the Cult of Personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I've been everything you wanna be ohhh…
I'm the Cult of Personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I'm the Cult of Personality
the Cult of Personality
the Cult of Personality

Neon lights, Nobel Prize
When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You won't have to follow me
Only you can set me free

I sell the things you need to be
I'm the smiling face of your T.V. ohh…
I'm the Cult of Personality
I exploit you; still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three ohh…
I'm the Cult of Personality
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi ohh…
I'm the Cult of Personality
the Cult of Personality
the Cult of Personality

Neon lights, Nobel Prize
When a leader speaks, that leader dies
You won't have to follow me
Only you can set you free

(Guitar solo)

You gave me fortune, you gave me fame
You gave me power in your God's name
I'm every person you need to be ohh…
I'm, the, Cult, of, Per, Son, Al, Ity

I am the Cult of (x8)

“Ask not what your country can do for you…” (John F. Kennedy)
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)





Marge N Call's picture

+1. I forgot about that one. JFK+FDR+Oprah=Obama

sethstorm's picture

There is no bit of FDR in Obama, for he is too weak willed against business.  Carter, however would be more apt of a comparison.

Marge N Call's picture

Fair enough. I was specifically speaking to the "cult of personality" aspect of each. I would never be so bold as to compare Obama to those who have actually DONE something on their own.

Cruel Aid's picture

JFK was a relative fiscal right wing conservative. Might have got him killed.

And can you imagine the cost of an Ipad, if it was a product of union labor @ $150/Hr.

Apple would not be the shit, P/E wise.

anonnn's picture

"Education" is derived from roots e-- out of + ducere-- to lead. Thus origin was "to lead out".

One should ask, "Lead out of " what?

Answer: Out of whatever [hole, trap, condition, etc.] you want to escape.

Was a very bright idea, yes? 

Sadly, it now means "schooling", which means babysitting, brainwashing, obedience training, ritalin injections, dog and pony training, blah-blah-blah...and anything that can benefit to an enslaver of the spirit.

tony bonn's picture

i have never read ilene before but she is making a whole lot of horse sense...

"Millions of college graduates that have been able to find jobs have ended up taking jobs that they didn't even need a college education for"

the education mob has created the myth that you need a college degree and additional credentials to be employed...while that is true of some professions, most business jobs require only a high school degree. the amount needed beyond that could be supplied in a year of extended votech which is precisely what college is any way except that it is protection money paid to academic terrorists who have created the lie that you must have a degree...why? so you can get a good job...it foster discrimination which makes the justification a self-fulfilling prophecy...otherwise it hasn't a shred of logic.

education is a massive fraud and hoax on the american people who have been bamboozled into paying protection money to the education mobsters...it is a ginormous misallocation of capital...most college graduates are about as intelligent as a philodendron....i know - i have interviewed / hired them....

but of course the president of the lie is not about to tell the truth on this or anything else....a man who lies about his country of birth is not about to tell the truth about anything else.



sethstorm's picture

"Millions of college graduates that have been able to find jobs have ended up taking jobs that they didn't even need a college education for"

Never mind what happens to the non-degreed-but-with-experience folks that get displaced.

Common_Cents22's picture

Obama is a one trick pony.

He is a perma campaigner, that's it.

He can tell you what he will do.   But never does much of anything except destroy the country.  We all know he should reduce govt and get the hell out of the way of real job creators.

Ari Fleischer had great analysis of Obama.   He said obama is not a new president any more.  He can't tell you fancy rhetoric of the future.  He is now judged on his track record, not his promises (lies).  He has a horrible track record over the past 2 years of taking this country backwards.  Fancy hopenchange don't work anymore.   When it comes down to actually doing any work, he is an epic fail.


You can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all the time, but not all of the people all of the time.   The man behind the curtain is exposed.   The emperor has no clothes.


sethstorm's picture

I don't fear Obama for I know what kind of person he is.  I do fear the person who follows him, for they will be an unknown quantity outside of being an opposite to Obama.

pitz's picture

The H1-B visa is a massive problem.  It has displaced over 1 million American tech workers from employment in the technology industry, an industry that hasn't grown in the past decade. 

America's best and brightest grads in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Physics, often don't even get the 'time of day' from employers who run around claiming a need to hire foreign nationals.  Programs such as "OPT" essentially ensure that new technology graduates end up competing with indentured slaves, and cannot leverage their skillsets for appropriate compensation. 

H1-B is also a gateway towards outsourcing entire technology R&D operations and IT departments to India.  The H1-B's come here, take over all of the positions, and soon enough, entire divisions are sent to Bangalore along with intellectual property that ordinarily would be a closely guarded secret of the United States.

Encouraging such nonsense is not only stupid on Obama's part, it is the definition of insanity.  And the US economy will continue to collapse so long as we have an industry and a government that is dedicated to ridding the US of every good paying job around, except for the financial sector.  Which, too, will eventually succumb and collapse.

AnAnonymous's picture

All these are only measures to cope with the internal pressure the US has been building up for decades and decades.

As the US is concentrating more and more wealth on its territory, the natural consequence is that less and less jobs allow to afford living in such a general environment.

This is the bottom line.

Jobs that require graduates are the next batch of jobs that will get evacuated from the US. The job output valuation is not enough to maintain those jobs in the US.

It is not non sense. It is the common procedure the US has been using for long. It's shaped the US landscape. The non sense is to believe it can be stopped at the US borders.

US citizens have supported this way  with their heart and mind.

IT sector workers are used to the drill: they move where the jobs opportunities are relocated in the US.

This only grows an issue when it happens outside the US. A big beef within IT populations to my knowledge. Yet when asked why they do not move in India or Russia to follow the jobs, it is usually a blank stare.

No rationality in this. IT workers have like the others supported the model that leads jobs to be moved around. But this should happen only within their borders. On what ground? They, like the others, are unable to explain.

This is extremely difficult to understand as the US model is forced onto the world through the US world order.

sethstorm's picture

Jobs that require graduates are the next batch of jobs that will get evacuated from the US. The job output valuation is not enough to maintain those jobs in the US.


You seem to make the fallacy that any non-drudgery job requires a graduate.  With regards to IT (and many other professions), that work just requires a very interested US citizen. 

Skilled work != degree holder worlk.


Yet when asked why they do not move in India or Russia to follow the jobs, it is usually a blank stare.

Perhaps those IT folks (and many First World citizens) are smart enough not to move into a hellhole.  You'd have to give them hazard pay and a more physical form of job security to consider it. 


AnAnonymous's picture

Skilled work != degree holder worlk.


Maybe. But skilled work requires skills that are usually trained during an educational process.


Perhaps those IT folks (and many First World citizens) are smart enough not to move into a hellhole.  You'd have to give them hazard pay and a more physical form of job security to consider it. 


Maybe. In all cases, they were not smart enough not to promote a system that leads to outsourcing jobs.