Supporting American Jobs

September 6, 2010
Commuters and Workers Walk Down Street During Rush Hour in New York City

About the Author: Robert D. Hormats serves as Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs.

Normally, my blog entries are short and succinct. (Or, at least, I hope so!) But I wanted to use this entry to provide a bit more depth about one of the State Department's highest priorities: supporting American jobs.

As President Obama underscored in his address to the nation on August 31, "Our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work." Under Secretary Clinton's leadership, the State Department is focusing fully on that goal by advancing an international economic policy that promotes opportunity and job growth for Americans.

The primary task of the State Department's international economic policy is to promote American economic success in the global economy. That means crafting policies that help create -- and sustain the growth of -- well-paying, productive American private sector jobs. We do so by using a wide range of tools: promoting exports, protecting intellectual property rights, expanding trade opportunities, attracting foreign investment, supporting a fair business environment abroad and drawing on the successful experiences of other countries.

Secretary Clinton has made our jobs agenda a top priority and is leading our efforts to ensure that our diplomacy supports American workers. As the Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, this is my central focus -- as it is for our entire team here at the State Department. We also recognize that a strong domestic economy, with high levels of employment and growth, is the fundamental base for a strong foreign and national security policy.

Our overriding aim is to connect with the concerns and aspirations of the American people. While many of us in the Department actively engage with representatives of other countries to promote American interests abroad, we are engaging at least as actively on the home front with leaders of businesses -- large and small -- as well as labor and farm groups. Our international economic policy must earn the support of these groups by delivering tangible benefits to them, or it will not be sustainable -- especially at a time when so many Americans are feeling economic pain. And the most tangible benefit we can deliver is to demonstrate that what we are doing abroad increases the ability of American companies to generate good jobs at home.

To achieve this, we are taking action in several key areas:

Implementing the President's National Export Initiative.

The President has set the goal of doubling American exports over five years to support two million new U.S. jobs. To achieve this goal, we have mobilized senior officials here in the Department and in our embassies abroad. As Secretary Clinton has noted,

"Other businesses from other countries have a strong partnership with their government; whether it's state-owned enterprises from China or private companies from Europe, they often have much more support from their governments than we have in recent years given to our businesses."

The Obama Administration is stepping up its efforts to support U.S. companies competing in global markets -- and the State Department is actively supporting this effort. We believe that American businesses should receive the same enthusiastic and forceful support from the top levels of our government as foreign competitors receive from theirs. This is vital to creating jobs at home. Exports currently support 10 million American jobs. We know that by helping more companies, particularly small and medium sized companies, to export and tap new markets, we can substantially boost that figure. But we also know that many of the largest American companies are our biggest exporters. They frequently must compete against national champions abroad supported by foreign governments. So we work closely with them to actively advocate for their export sales.

The profits our companies make from sales abroad play a key role in funding more research and investment at home. And that will lead to new hiring and additional well-paying jobs for Americans.

Secretary Clinton has mobilized her team here in this Department and all of our embassies to ensure that our businesses are being fully supported overseas. And she personally has been a strong advocate on her trips abroad. Day-in and day-out we work alongside colleagues in the Department of Commerce under Secretary Locke's leadership and with other agencies. Our embassies provide enormous support to American businesses in foreign markets. Our diplomats are also traveling across this nation to help American companies learn how our embassies can provide information and contacts for the development of business opportunities in other countries. In fact, a group of our ambassadors to Middle Eastern nations will visit several American cities in mid-October. And we have similar plans for our Asian, Latin American and Central European Ambassadors.

Opening markets abroad -- and keeping them open.

We pursue reverse trade missions and comparable programs because trade is a contact sport. As President Obama noted, "We have to seek new markets aggressively, just as our competitors are.  If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores." 
The President is exactly right. There is a temptation during periods of high domestic unemployment to turn inward. But that is exactly what we should not do. That would cost us jobs, not increase them. Instead, we must take greater advantage of opportunities to increase our exports. With 95 percent of all the world's consumers living abroad, expanding trade must be a central component of any job creation strategy.

Ambassador Ron Kirk and his team at the Office of the United States Trade Representative are leading the effort to further open markets abroad. We, at the State Department provide strong support. The Administration's key priorities include the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the Trans Pacific Partnership, which will provide new opportunities in the Pacific for American workers and companies. Completing the Doha trade round with ambitious and mutually beneficial results is another priority. We, and our trading partners alike, need to determine whether we can achieve the greater level of ambition necessary to make an agreement feasible. We are also using forums like Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Trans-Atlantic Economic Council (TEC), where State plays a central role, to achieve more open markets.

The State Department also supports the efforts of USTR and the Commerce Department to enforce the rights of American companies under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other agreements. Together, we press governments in myriad ways to end discrimination against American goods, farm products and services. The strong alliance between USTR, Commerce and the State Department on these matters demonstrates to other nations our resolve to defend our interests whenever violations occur.

Protecting American Intellectual Property.

Our greatest assets in today's knowledge-based economy are the ingenuity and creativity of the American people.

President Obama has declared the Administration's commitment to "aggressively protect our intellectual property… It is essential to our prosperity and it will only become more so in this century." Led by Vice President Biden and a top White House team, senior officials of the State Department in Washington and abroad are carrying out the President's commitment to ensure that intellectual property is being protected around the world. My colleagues and I meet regularly with business leaders, union officials, and leaders of the technology, entertainment and pharmaceutical industries to identify problems in this area and forge effective responses.

Protecting our intellectual property -- the patents, copyrights, trademarks, innovative technologies, and creative products that drive our economic growth against piracy, counterfeiting, forced transfer, and discriminatory procurement practices -- is a core interest of the United States. The stakes for American jobs are high. The information and telecommunications sector alone -- one of the many sectors in our country that depend on intellectual property and constant innovation -- employs five million people. And we want to enable American workers and businesses to continue innovating, creating, and designing the products that will ensure our prosperity for years to come. Ensuring that their innovative products are protected against counterfeiting and various other techniques that jeopardize their intellectual property is essential to doing this.

Ensuring a welcoming environment for foreign investment.

From the time of our founding through today, foreign investment has made an important contribution to American economic growth and job creation. The strength of the foreign investment we attract is testimony to the strength of our economy. And investments by foreign-based companies in the U.S. employ a great many Americans: Currently, foreign direct investment in the United States supports roughly 5.5 million American jobs -- in highly unionized and largely non unionized states alike. About 4.6 percent of all American private sector workers are employed by foreign-based multinational companies that invest here; two million of these are in manufacturing jobs. Foreign investments account for nearly 15 percent of the research and development in the United States and 18.5 percent of our goods exports.

We must and will firmly enforce American laws that require the careful review of investments that could have adverse national security implications. But the vast majority of foreign investment does not come under that heading. And through visits by U.S. officials abroad and the work of our embassies and missions we seek to demonstrate that we -- along with governors and mayors throughout the country -- welcome that investment. The State Department, utilizing our embassies abroad, helps foreign investors better understand American laws and regulations. We also emphasize the great opportunities foreign investors have to succeed in our country's very open business environment, highlight the security of investments here, and communicate the benefits of our first-class workforce.

Fairness and transparency in international business practices.

In an effort to achieve a truly level playing field for American businesses overseas and in so doing to sustain and increase the jobs these companies support at home, the State Department and others in the Administration are working to build an effective international anti-corruption regime. We aim to galvanize the world's leading economies to support a clean business environment.  Both bilaterally and through multilateral fora, we are encouraging other countries to step up and enforce strong anticorruption measures.  We have also strengthened our enforcement actions under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; this includes taking measures against foreign companies for actions falling within the scope of U.S. jurisdiction. 

In addition, we have pressed for international commitment to a robust peer review of implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption.  With our G-20 partners, we have formed a G-20 Anticorruption Working Group, which will make comprehensive recommendations on international efforts to combat corruption.  We have called for enactment and enforcement of transnational anti-bribery legislation among the world's leading economies, in concert with the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.   

Forging new partnerships.

The international economic geography has changed dramatically over the last decade. New economic powers have become important players in global finance, trade, investment and technological innovation. A key part of our jobs agenda is working with them to expand exports, encourage more investment in the U.S., and strengthen cooperation to promote growth, balance and stability in the global economy. Increased engagement in such forums as the G-20 and in bilateral arrangements such as the Strategic and Economic Dialogue with China, the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, the U.S.-Russian Bilateral Presidential Commission, and similar dialogues with Brazil, South Africa and other nations will be important instruments to establish a more solid framework for our bilateral and multilateral economic relationships.

In many of these dialogues, parallel business-to-business commissions meet to strengthen private sector commercial collaboration. These forums also provide vehicles for encouraging the newly rising economic powers to assume responsibilities for the international economic system, and international norms and rules, consistent with their commercial and financial strength and their shared interest in the openness and stability of the international economy. Progress in such areas will significantly improve prospects for American firms and job growth.

Learning from other nations.

As in so many other nations these days, many Americans are unemployed and large numbers have been so for a long time. Several nations are currently struggling with average unemployment of even greater duration than ours -- and some of them have drawn on past experience to craft new policies to address these problems.

Our embassies abroad carefully track the economic problems and policies of other nations. And we work closely with experts in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to share experiences. Working with the Department of Labor -- and using our international outreach -- we in the State Department can inform the U.S. economic debate by distilling the practices and programs of other nations to reduce their levels of unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment, and by convening experts from other nations to identify policies that could be applied here.

We will continue to bolster American efforts and policies to support jobs and prosperity at home. The State Department and the entire Obama Administration are dedicated to promoting, protecting, and enhancing American prosperity in this rapidly changing world.

Comments

Comments

Faraz J.
|
Virginia, USA
September 7, 2010

Faraz J. in Virginia writes:

We need to go after the companies who have and are outsourcing jobs (including R&D) to India and China, make them pay taxes or panelize them for each job lost in US on yearly bases. Enough is enough when will this administration full fill the promises they made during the election that they will stop the job out sourcing!!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 7, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Under Secretary Hormats,

There's a reason I stay away from domestic issues if at all possible, like one would a shunk in the bushes. As it stinks of partisanship.

But I wrote one of my Senators the other day and asked if he's willing to read this on the floor in debate, and whether he is or not remains to be heard.

Folks need gain a little perspective on all this I think, from a foreign affairs standpoint.

And I hope folks @ State will look at this as another fine "lead in" to creating a better world to live in.

---

"99 weeks" ( an open letter to Congress )

Gentlefolk of the United States Senate,

I shouldn't be one to complain in writing this, for I'm alive to do so thanks to the good graces of Congress sustaining my existance for the last 99 weeks on UI.

Well, assuming you'all are hearing this, it's only safe to assume the good Senator from my state is brave enough to convey my thanks, and regard these thoughts as useful perspective for the rest of you.

I hear folks in Pakistan complain bitterly about how their government can build nukes, but hasn't the hardware, or resources to take care of the people in this current disaster they face.

For the American blue collar construction worker, of which I am one, all reported growth in my sector has been in negative numbers last I checked in general across this nation, with the exception of Alaska, and only there because it was summer.

As for paying for UI, including an emergency funding extention to those facing winter coming and homelessness due to regulatory cut-offs at 99 weeeks, there's a Metalurical and Chemical research facility that is to be built in Los Alamos to the tune of billions of dollars that could be better spent directly with the American people and pay for this UI as well as workforce retraining, immediately, and that should make everyone that wants to "pay-go" happy.

Look folks, if my grandad had the kind of facility los Alamos already has today (back in WW2 building the first bombs that won the war), he would have thought he'd been visited by aliens and they'd given him the research lab of his dreams to work in.

Enough is enough, "we started it here, we can end it here" as has often been quoted on bumper stickers, and I know we can do "reliability" of stock-piles real well for a long time to come without building a new one.

Probably the best thing you folks can do is put this project on hold, re-allocate the money as above, and come to grips with something else here that folks just don't seem to understand.

We can pay for this if we want to, but it's up to you folks to get your priorities strait about what to do with our taxdollars.

So as it concerns some kind of "socialist" program that encorages folks to "milk the system" as some are inclined to opine UI represents, remember that Joe Stalin once starved 7 million Ukrainians to death in less than a year in 32-33 by taking the bread from their tables deliberately.

Who's the "socialist" here?"

Speak now or forever get a grip.

Thank you'all sincerely for all that you've done so far, and all that you must now do to help us, help you get this nation back on its feet.

Best regards,

"An impatient patriot from New Mexico"

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 7, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

O.C wonders what she should do? I am an American citizen and can't find a job. I have have liver and kidney disease but was rejected for California medical because I'm not an illegal alien. It's easier for an illegal alien with an underage child to get benefits no questions asked than for an ill and dying American under Obamacare. I've tried to get a job but my former employer prevents me from doing so. What can I do?

Steven E.
|
North Carolina, USA
September 7, 2010

Steven R.E. in North Carolina writes:

Do you mean jobs that use taxpayer money to rehabilitate mosques like the one in Egypt, or the one in Tanzania in violation of the UCFR?

John B.
|
New York, USA
September 7, 2010

John B. in New York writes:

Is the Administration planning to bring any WTO cases against China?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 7, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Clarification on "99 weeks";

For the record, I stated,

"For the American blue collar construction worker, of which I am one, all reported growth in my sector has been in negative numbers last I checked in general across this nation, with the exception of Alaska, and only there because it was summer."

The figures I referenced were released in July, for the month of June.

The President of these United States cited "positive job growth" in the nation's construction sector (in his labor day speech yesterday -which was "fired up" in delivery), last month for the first time in almost 2 years...that's for August.

I just wanted to clear this fact up before any confusion arises from my post, his figures are news to me, I have seen no evidence of its effect.

Thing is construction always slows in the winter and this comparitively in my thirty years of construction work, has been like "snowmaggeddon" for two freekin' years in a deep freeze, and this sector isn't going to make visable steady recovery for at least another year that's what any contactor will tell you if you ask, who's able to scrape by now, most of us can't, there isn't the work, and it will take more time to get infrastructure projects moving than I've got time to starve waiting for an economic jump start in the "green economy".

Most of us depend on making the majority of our income in the warm months, as even in good times it's tough to find steady construction work in the winter.

It occurs to me that if my Senator doesn't have the guts to read my thoughts aloud to his peers in debate as his constituent, that I might as well seek his seat the next time he comes up for it, and run as an independant.

That would be justice served cold, on ice..as I'll be tempted to see how he likes being unemployed.

---

@Steven RE ...If we use taxpayer money to try and change the minds of many, they'll be a lot less terrorism to go around.

So some things as "intangible" as returns on the investment may seem to be, are actually critical investments to make. And "it's who we are and what we do." as the President has stated correctly, or at least a part of that.

America has been in the buisiness of changing mindsets for a long time and I'm sure that will continue regardless of who's elected to Congress.

---

@John B.

I have a feeling folks at State are talking to the Chinese about the ramifications of their policies at this very moment.

If it were up to me, I'd send them an itemized bill for the last 50 + years of providing security on the Korean peninsula and wipe out any debt we may owe them instantly...and then some.

Then we'll be seeing an "economic stimulus" of the likes of which built our American "middle class" in the first place.

Why? Because we can bro,...because we can.

I've posted the details previosly on other topic threads here if you really want to know.

When "yes we can." becomes "yes we did." folks will better off and have a better world to live in.

Thing is, Mr. Hu is coming to Washington soon I hear and I think we're going to find out just how cooperative China is willing to get with the American consumer, and get a grip on risk management before he loses 100% market share in our economy should "lil Kim" in NK start a shooting war 'cause chickens have a way of coming home to roost.

See the American public can bankrupt China, we are not of a "victim mind" here in any ecomomic regard, and we need to remember that.

Remember "freedom fries" ? That boycot was on a friend of ours, for simply not having our back in dealing with an international terrorist in the form of Saddan Hussein.

It hurt their pride and it hurt their pocket book and it took Sarkozy to speak before Congress to show the American public there was a new attitude in France before things got back to normal.

If a Chinese trade rep reads this, what exactly does he think the boycot will look like for supporting a now nuclear-armed regime that threatens nuclear war in the region?

Well, I know one thing...it will keep the poor fellow up at nights thinking about it, that's a fact. I want results so he better think quick and I'm not just speaking for myself in saying this, I think that much is a "given".

Instant karma is a train wreck in the making.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 8, 2010

Eric in New York writes:

If the Dept of State took it's micro-financing programs and redesigned the concept to work on the domestic level and sent it up the hill as a method of applied economic stimulus, then you close the gap in lending that leaves those of us with having no chance of lifting ourselves up, because we may not "qualify" fopr an A-1 credit rating.

You folks make these micro-loans and grants to folks that probably haven't had a bank account in their lives in a lot of cases.

And the record of repayment is better than most major lending institutions have on their books right now, though they claim to be "solid".

There's about a trillion dollars in banks waiting to be lent, but I can't even borrow on the title of my vehicle to secure a loan for a new tranny and clutch for it, it's just too old.

I figure that the programs state uses to lift folks out of poverty have application to our own economic recovery.

The danger of sinkin' billions into large infrastructure projects to create jobs is to be found in my semi-classical experience of working on a state highway dept. survey crew decades ago with 6 people standing around watching one guy do the work, and guess who was working while the rest of the crew played craps every chance they got because they were so bored on the job.

Instead, you could take that same money (50 billion), and send every adult in the nation a check to spend as they see fit, and pay us back for bailing out the "banks of inconvieniance" and AIG (Associates In Greed) and Wall Street buffoons that didn't give a tinker's damn about us.

Well, millions of folks are soon to be without any safety net at all, just because time ain't on our side in a weak economy.

I don't know how the President expects to create hope and a stong economy if folks like myself who "through no fault of their own" are maxed out on the time they have on unemployment insurance; when they are rendered homeless, hungry, and without recorse by drop dead 99 week deadlines.

Since when did any crisis or disaster end on a neat tidy timeline established by "the powers that be" in this government?

You go out and try to apply for a job with no phone to provide contact info or an address to give as a place of residence and try your luck.

See the cut off is going to create conditions of permanent unemployment for a whole lot of folks very soon.

Unless one has been homeless you don't have any idea just how hard it gets to pull yourself back up to be a productive member of society again, because not only do you have to hold on to a sense of self worth , but you have the added stima society put on you for being homeless and outside the normal access of communications and means to pull yourself up by the bootstraps.

I figure the cost of keeping people afloat for a little while longer till jobs are available is a lot less than the strain on social services would be overall.

I maqy be luckier than most, before the meltdown of the economy, I was on a projected income path to graduate off the federal Section 8 housing program that has helped me for the last 4 years overcome homelessness, now since UI is not going to enable me to pay my portion of rent under the program, they are adjusting my rent accordingly to my now non-existant "income level" , but I still have utilities and other bills that I have no idea how they are going to get paid without a job, and so it's costing the Fed. in material ways in other programs inherantly.

Now If I don't pay my utilities (to my landlady directly in this case being on a common meter in this tri-plex) I still run the risk of eviction and defaulting on section 8 for "non payment". Which would disqualify me permanently.

The Prssident said all this was "wearing on folks" if I got this quote right. Well, I'm writing this because I haven't given up yet, and I try to manage my anger in positive direction with intent through these words.

The president needs to know this ain't just "wearin' on us", I've lost just under thirty pounds on unemployment that I couldn't afford to lose, @ one meal per day.

That's reality on a third of normal poverty line income, if anyone suggests living on the "dole" is "easy living", they just need to step into my shoes for a week.

Well, all I can say to friends and staff here @ Dipnote is that I'll do the best I can to contribute as much common sense as I can untill the phone company flat cuts my line of communication off for "non payment", and makes it impossible to make even a volunteer effort to give something back to the gov. so I don't feel like I'm "living on the dole".

I hate to think that after chasing the American dream all my life, that the reason I have never quite been able to "grab the brass ring" was because I wasn't greedy enough.

I see the greed that got us all into this and it makes a fellow wonder sometimes.

Don M.
|
New York, USA
September 8, 2010

Don M. in New York writes:

American manufacturing should let workers know, jobs that will last in manufacturing will not be created by new investments in our country, knowing that the Federal Government is not seriously addressing, the “economic pass” that has been given to foreign ships polluting our waters with ballast discharges and carbon emmissions as they bring their foreign manufactured products into our country.

With this administration not addressing the issues of one Senator Boxer who objected to historic legislation passed by the House (395-7) in 2008, and then delaying action on ballast water with another study to coincide with a 20 year military plan ,it shows those who manufacture goods that a policy of economic globalization is still being pursued over economic Americanization, and will continue to stiffle the cost of manufacturing in our country. This is especially evident by a report created in 2009 for congress that describes the cost of national ballast water legislation mandating installation of technology. The report suggest the cost would be incurred by, mainly foreign ships, bring foreign imports into our country and this would cause the cost of imports to rise.

Currently our military is offering incentives to foreign ships, importing foreign goods, to install technology to protect our waters. If they leveled the playing field with legislation that protected our water, and our commander and chief directed the military to worry about enforcement, rather than offering incentives to ease the problems that cost, would create for foreign shipping bringing foreign manufactured goods into our country, manufacturing may again decide to investment in America. Back in the 1990’s environmentalist were not happy with President Clintons, help to delegate ballast water under the Clean Water Act to the EPA, they knew then with all the new free trade treaties and visions of economic globalization being the way for America’s future that his plan had holes in it.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
September 8, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

OVER 12 MILLION AMERICANS WITHOUT JOBS!

My proposal or suggestion is, the President of United States Barack Obama sets a stage at Capitol HIll, welcomes all JOB Agencies, All Major Companies Human Resource people, ALL Temp Agencies, rounding up all business points of contact then offer 12 Million JOBS to people who wants JOBS. This would prove if those people who are sitting at home collecting a check every month, if they are willing to visit Capitol Hill and obtain work. This would also give President Barack Obama a big push in JOBS and the Markets. Treat it almost like WALL STREET, if you have 100 jobs vacancy at Raytheon Systems, the first 100 people with any kind of experience, HIRE THEM get them on the payroll, working again. There should be NO EXCUSES for people not having jobs.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 9, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Donald,

Let me explain how it is, so you understand.

Do you have any idea what it is like to look for work for 99 weeks strait? No one is sitting around twiidling thumbs waiting for Santa Claus bro...ain't no free lunch.

Trouble is, when the paint store I've dealt with for the last twenty years calls me up at home to ask me if I need a new roller cover , they are hurting to move product out the door, meaning no one is buying paint to maintain their homes.

You think someone is going to hire a professional tradesman to wash dishes in a restaurant knowing I'm outa-there as soon as I get a paint job , because I'll make more money?

OK try and get a job a Ratheon without a BS at the very least..."any type of experience"?

I've lost count of the number of "guilded loos" I've painted for the rich and brain dead, you think that qualifies me? (chuckle)

I've been thinkin' about knocking on a few doors in Washington anyway, care to spot me gas money? I'll bring you some green chile so you can see how it grows there next season.

Just don't be implying anyone's sitting around waiting for hope to spring eternal my friend, or that our government has the answers though I believe they hope they do with all their heart a government can muster, being human in its cogs of beaurocracy.

I see you were spared the wrath of Earl and dodged that bullet by a wisker and a fortunate wind.

Well I try to anticipate miracles too, that maybe what I've said here will make just a little too much sense to ignore, as much as I appreciate the need to rebuild "crumbling infrastructure", that's not by itself going to stand up this economy on its feet again, though it has been tried a few times and we do need an investment in this for obvious reasons with or without an unemployment problem to try and fix in the process.

We're a nation of nation builders on a lot of levels and when we stop building, stuff crumbles.

Lot more than just simple physical infrastructure.

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 9, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

It's strange. There was a man outside a wlfare benefits office I passed on my way to the doctor's. He was asking illegal aliens if they needed a job. As I passed, he shut up and as I got ten steps away he started to ask again. There was also a poster plastered on a lamp post for a big rally to end Capitalism. Then I got on a Metro bus driven by a Russian. What's really going on here? Hillary stated that there was an insurgency in Mexico.
I think the insurgency is right here in America to end Capitalism. You treat citizens as second class citizens, deny them work, deny them healthcare and let in every illegal alien from anywhere in the world and destroy your education, health and government systems.
Sounds like an insurgency to me.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
September 9, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@Eric in New Mexico

I would of taken the storm after what I have been through in the past two weeks. My son blew the engine out of the only car I had running. My computer decided to crash and burn, everything from transportation to a vaccum cleaner, and my lawn mower blew its motor. Its one thing to have bad luck, its another to have multiple things happen at the same time and try to get through it all. I went for a 12 mile hike to get a cheeseburger and drink to think how to solve these problems. Sometimes all you need is a good healthy walk to think things over. I have no magic wands for JOBS, I was trying to come up with an idea to actually get people back to work, that includes painters, plumbers, welders, etc...by changing the concept of offering 12 Milliion JOBS to the public. The Capitol of each state can run this program. Eric, I want you working, earning a paycheck, because then prices of goods would come down. The more people that are employed, it decreases the cost of goods over the long haul, and helps our economy. At times like this, even I have thought about the lemonaid Stand, selling fresh lemon aid on the side of the road, but at present, I'm still plugging away, trying to sell what I can to recoup the costs of everything that has gone wrong. If someone wanted me to say "Uncle" they have it. I did hear on the news that the pastor has cancelled the book burning of the holy quoran. This is wonderful news, and the mosque is being moved in New York. Hostages being freed in Iran. Great news all over the place. Eric you should check with the State Department on getting a tour into Pakistan or on the island of Haiti, because they will need homes painted inside and out. This is the kind of stimilis our country needs, we give aid to these countries, why not hire Americans to help get them back on their feet. I also didn't mean to step on toes saying that all 12 Million people are at home just soaking the US Government but to offer encouragement to motivate our Government in getting Jobs rolling in our Nation. President Barack Obama can take the Lead on this one!

Good luck and keep your spirits, like that old saying, "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger and wiser"

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 10, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

If the American people revolt and grafitti the White House then Eric can get a job painting it white again.

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 10, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

@Donald,
I made your same point on DIPNOTE before. My idea was to employ massive development teams that go in like American gangbusters (a figure of speech) and get the job done. The work can be done by mostly local labor but the overall organization, training, building to standards and opening up new markets is overseen. That's a partnership. It would get talented Americans to work, reduce corruption and have something to show for in the end when we finally pull out of a country. It's like government democracy and development on steroids. Get in, get the wheels turning, take off the training wheels, get out. It's like a franchise. Money comes in the form of increased trade. If American companies want to supply the pipe and water pumps they'll have to compete( not like fake government contracts) but really compete with rock bottom prices, Walmart style. As Americans we can build anything a country needs but not use the existing corrupt channels to get the job done.
If countries want our expertise they need to move out of our way temporarily so we can get the job accomplished.

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 10, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

One thing the State Departmment should consider is redesigning the government hiring process which is ridiculous. I noticed that there were about 40 unfilled child development jobs in various DOD locations worldwide yet, when you try to apply for any of them you have to read through 5 pages of government speak gibberish no one understands. Then they send out notifications that state do not call, do not email, call this number, don't call that number etc. It's designed to be confusing and all it does is turn off good potential candidates. Are they hiring or not? Do they need excellent teachers or not? No one will ever know because the process makes no sense.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 10, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Donald,

(chuckle) No magic wands either I agree. Funny that, one might consider it ironic that I have at this moment a higher probability of offering an idea on this blog that might pull millions out of poverty than cast a magic spell in my own life to pull myself out of it.

30 years in construction without a vacation, never on unemployment prior to this, and admittededly I probably could have used a bit of a rest, but this is feeling a bit like "forced retirement".

So I've kind of had to invent a job, a "virtual" job if you will.

I used to have a routine in my life, now I can barely remember what day of the week it is having no point of reference to a "weekend" anymore.

Now admittedly I can toss out some crazy ideas at times on this blog and some might say this situation of joblessness would drive even the best of us nuts.

And some might ascribe my crazy ideas to the fact that it has driven me absolutely bonkers to be like a yo yo on congressional purse string for the better part of this year.

I take the Ranger training school approach.

goes like this here...

" Ruck up Ranger, and suck it up.

It sucks coming and going but we like stuff that sucks.

So let's have a little fun with it since it sucks so much."

Like my cash-for-clunker unemployment restoration project (the antithisis of going green), that is my most important piece of physical infrastructure and I think I invested the time and scrapings of weekly UI payments wisely in the process, so that when there's work I can get to it reliably.

Same can be said for national infrastructure, as long as the projects don't stall trafic, a-la 100 mile traffic jams in China.

Then no one will be pleased.

Speaking of which if it's twin in my drive doesn't get sold to a friend this week, I might be able to hook you up with transportation.

You hear about neigbors helping neigbors get stuff done sans money in exchanges of skills and services, time and effort and maybe the staff at dipnote will help facilitate a "negotiated solution" to solve mutual problems.

I should note this blog is probably not the place to do "craigs list" type transactions, but maybe they can help put us in email contact if we're both agreable to it.

EJ

P.S. somewhere in the files of Overseas Building and Operations @ State there might be record of an email I sent in late 2001 or early 2002 when I saw the photos of the interior of the old Embassy in Kabul. Trashed it was. Figured they needed all the help they could get putting it to rights and functioning, so I told them "Have paintbrush, will travel." and they gave me a point of contact with KBH or KBR Haliburton( who can keep acronisms strait anyway?) and no one ever got back to me from that inquery.

But I do know that folks at OBO sure appreciated that email, and the offer still stands.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
September 10, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@Eric in New Mexico and O.C.

I have managed to acquire another vehicle, used with over 130 plus thousand miles, seems to handle quite well. I'm still working on removing my Bell Hornet situation, appparently the nest was bigger than imagined. I agree about what your saying O.C., the most important thing Americans need right now is JOBS. People need work, so they can survive. We learn how to adapt and overcome situations. I had to find an old computer out of the closet, hopefully I should be getting back to normal.

I almost think maybe the best way of looking at the United States is starting over. The Ross Periot method of going green might have been a good start. Begin with a small town in the United States and model it, for around the country and the world to see the benefits of going green.

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 10, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

@Donald,
What's wonderful about Americans is that we're like a shark, we constantly have to be moving forward. I like that you're creating work even when jobs are scarce. That's the American spirit. I work too. I keep cleaning the bathroom and kitchen floor and rearranging the furniture but its starting to become very monotonous. I also grow big worms.
Do you like to fish, Donald?

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 10, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"Prince and Pauper" (part 3 of 3)

Day 4-6;

Flurry of phone calls to allies, Russia calls and says July 2045 works for them and the rest of the world as a

goal, many press ops and interviews explaining I have no intention of being drafted to run in any upcoming

Presidential election, as this is a one-off aberation of "the great experiment" and I'm just "passing through" and

not all that ambitious.

Accept position offered by State as intel. analyst and make call to Karzai.

He tells me, " The Afghan people have never laughed so hard in all our history when you put that 'pissed off

preacher' in that glass cage and hung him on high for all the world to ridicule as he sat in his own feces.""Well my friend, I figured it was the least I could do with the time I had to make a difference."

He tells me, " I got a call from bin laden today...apparently from what I could gather in between sobs was that

you've just trashed his whole reason for existance, and he's intending to go home and take care of his mother, and

on top of that calling for the Taliban and the rest of the terrorists of the world to do the same.""You mean he's actually read my posts on Dipnote to this effect?""That's where he claims he found the meaning of life.""Indeed." (it was all I could manage in my state of shock)

Day 7 was a blur...the President had gained a new appreciation for hardship, reconnected with the populace and gained in poll standing for waging a "social experiment" so succesfully. It was "his idea" after all.

Found out in the process he was allergic to cats, so was more than glad to be taking up residence again, with a lot less problems on his plate to deal with, and I was just happy to have gotten my foot in the door and a job at the end of that rainbow.

Just before I stepped into the limo to catch a ride back home, some staffer comes running up with dipnote in hand and it's from the Israelis.

Aparently Hamas, Hisbollah and other terrorist org's are giving up on terror since the Iranian regime is busy at the moment packing their bags, that since they don't have a sponsor to count on and the notion of terror has been boiled down to a lack of empathy, they are now searching to find some to take care of their mothers with.

(Always was a dreamer, figured big dreams being the only one's worth having.)

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 10, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"Prince and Pauper" (part 2 of 3)

Day 2; Address UNGA, call for two thirds majority vote to banish Iran from these chambers, as the last peacefull option left on the table.

To bring them to the table.

Set goal timeline of WMD free planet by July 2045 to mark "100 years of insanity" and be done with it forevermore.

Set new parameters of the notion of "protecting populations" by calling for a global "OSHA" standard of occupational safety and living standards to coexist with industry and create working regulatory mechanism in place to combat climate change.

Have heart to heart talk with Mr. Hu of China and present the true meaning of what being a "stakeholder" is, with a 2.6 trillion dollar bill (give or take a half a trillion) for what it cost us to be a responsible nation in keeping the peace in their back yard for the last 50+ years (which I'm beating like a dead horse on this blog for a
reason) and explain to him kindly that America doesn't owe China a thing at this point.

Day Three;

Polish off all the scuff marks I've just put on my Cowboy diplomacy boots on folk's backsides over that last couple days, change socks and invite the Republicans over for tea and crumpets, explain to them that in order to form a "more perfect union" I'm borrowing from the Brits and instituting "the President's question time" every week in Congress and that I figure it's the only solution to taking partisanship out of the legislative process and making entertainment of it.

They agree now that I've just found about 3 trillion dollars they never thought possible which has now resolved the national debt in large measure.

To which I reply, " What about the 'land of No.' do you now accept as being nowhere?"

Again they contemplate navels and tell me they'll "get back to me."

I say, "Well make it quick, I don't have a lot of time left to help you get a grip on that realization, you're looking at living proof anything's possible."

They accept reality because the President is busy at that moment feeding my cat... Somethings in life being undeniably self-evident.

Low and behold Amanutcase from Iran gives me a call, says he's read all my posts about him on this blog and wants to "talk" now that his nation has been booted out of the UN, and I tell him, " The talking is done, what about
diplomatic isolation do you not understand? Now, I strongly suggest you thinkabout 'early retirement' before we all institute "forced retirement". End of negotiations!" and hang up on him.

( this is what I call "negotiating in good faith) and the American people appreciate it, knowing any other methodology is virtually useless. The "green movement" celebrates in the streets as freedom rings out loud and clear from every mosque.

Lil' Kim is waiting on the other line pleading with me to let him give up his nukes since Mr. Hu gave him an estimated life expectancy of his regime if he failed to after a chat with me at the UNGA.

I say, " So we can just drop in and pick them up anytime now?""Oh yes you may, I've been thinking a lot lately about the legacy I wish to leave my son when he takes over, and I've been real stupid thinking America was my enemy all these years when you would rather feed my people than nuke me.""Glad to hear that "lil Kim" now do you think you can convince Amanutcase?""Well, he won't be getting our help any longer that's for sure, and I'll give it a good try Eric.""Right then, I'll arrange for Bob Gates to accept delivery and get the air lift underway to get your people the help they need."

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 10, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"Prince and Pauper" (part 1 of three)

I had a dream last night...I guess one would call it one of those "wish fulfilment types".

The President had taken some advisor's good suggestion that he play "Prince and Pauper" with one of his unemployed citizens to up his poll rating numbers before mid-term elections, and my big mouth had gotten me in a world of hurt, as he offered me the opportunity to sit in the big chair for a week.

Litterally stepping into my shoes, feeding my cat, and pulling a few weeds in the yard in exchange for the privilege of being me, just for grins and giggles and anticipated miracles.

Barak was telling me, as he tossed me the keys to the oval, "Just don't touch the "football" else the Marine guard will shoot you, but other than that you're free to use the phone and the power of office 'cause I'm curious to see what may come of your ideas.""You actually think I can make a difference in a week sir?" I asked.

"Well, I've got it on good authority that all you've needed for all this time is to get your foot in the door, so I figured this might work out well for the both of us in the end run. Just don't burn the house down please I'm kind of fond of those digs.""Indeed sir, and a fine challenge you've offered, which I accept in the spirit of this "great experiment".

"Well that's democracy at work for you, Eric.""You know Mr. President, there's a few folks that are a little upset with the fact that you figured the trappings of office should also include the power of it, and putting that in my hands without voter aproval, even if it's just for a week.""Well, now you know how it feels to have to earn people's trust. But don't worry, they think of me like "like a dog" and I still get stuff done.""Well sir, let's see if they'll be a few less problems for you to contend with at week's end, and if we both be cursed with living in interesting times, then we're just going to have to create opportunity out of crisis.""That's why we're trading places to shake stuff up Eric, so go for it!"

( all this is like one of those "waking dreams" you "wake up into" and it's as real as if you can reach out and touch it as we shook hands and I got into his limo.)

This "world of hurt" I'd just stepped into was now on my shoulders for the next 7 days.

Day one; Address joint session of Congress just prior to opening of session, and presenting them with a slew of ressess apointments and a few words I'd asked a Senator to say on my behalf...Congress does a lot of contemplation of navel, as I teach them all how to take deap breaths and learn to meditate on the human condition, not their poll numbers.

Have the White house construction crew over for dinner and lay out design for 8ft plexiglass cube to be hung thirty stories above Wall street as the final place of destination for those who steal from the American public or display terminal stupidity to gain imfamy in their birthday suit and be hung from high places. It's first resident
of the month being an idiot who wants to burn the Koran.

Sign executive order banning the burning of books in America because we don't need a "farenhight 451" mentality alive and well in this country.

Buisness applauds this as massive government regulation becomes unnessesary to maintain fiscal dicipline in financial market places.

Muslims around the world applaud the common sense of it, and greater understanding is reached globally.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
September 10, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@O.C.

The answer to whether I like to fish? Sure, one of the best fishing trips I had taken was in Scotland. My wifes nephew knew a captain of a 40 foot ocean going fishing boat. I can remember bringing the "Black Trawler Rum" and we would fish in the North Sea. One evening, I caught the biggest fish, over six pound COD. Keep in mind in the Northern Sea, the waters are very turbulent, and the temps were freezing cold in the winter time. So a nip of the rum kept you warm while fishing. How about you O.C. do any fishing?

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 11, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

I've sailed the Solent so I know how turbulent the waters are. I love to fish. It's a really good thing for young children to learn because it teaches patience. This is an inexpensive activity that all schools should take up. There is no reason why all American children shouldn't learn to fish, swim, sail, kayak. If there wasn't so much graft in the school system we'd have these kids out and about, travelling the world. When children travel it opens up their fishbowl world and they make better employees. It also improves national security because their lives suddemly become very exciting and they have no use for extremist ideologies. When children are bored and have nothing to do, what happens?..Classroom chaos. The same is true for everyone else. People need to work because work satisfies one's spiritual side. I can't express enough to all governments the magical power of work. Then afterwards of course, we go fishin'.

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 11, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

@Eric,
Interesting idea your "Pauper and the Prince."
What about "Undercover President" or "Undercover Congressmen" where our elected officials are forced to work on the border for a week or work in a county hospital for a week or teach in an inner city school for a week. I think they'd learn a lot about how their policies are translated in the "Real World of the everyday American".

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 11, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

OC, It was just a dream. Strange...been fighting off infection in my jaw, I suppose that had something to do with it being so vivid.

I don't suppose it matters, all things considered.

They're going to do what they are going to do.

What? a national "bring a fat cat to work" day?

They might get their suits dirty.

---

Donald,

Glad to see you got the show on the road once again.

OysterCracker
|
United States
September 12, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

@Eric,
You can have your infection looked at but you'll have to wait in line behind all the illegal inmmigrants. Maybe you'll get a diagnosis in another two months.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
September 13, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

Thanks @Eric in New Mexico

After surviving Carrier Duty, Southern Watch, the Iraq war, Two Earthquakes and plenty of Hurricanes, its always good to come back and feel alive!!!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
September 13, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@Donald,

Yeah, I guess all that would lend one an appreciation for life.

I'll tell you what's a whole lot of fun though...is when the state's leading nuro-surgeon tells you you'll never use your left hand or arm again and 6 weeks later you make his eyes bug out of his head on the way to a full recovery from wasting paralysis via accupunture.

That was a decade ago.

As hard as things might be for me at the moment, there's a reason I tell folks to anticipate miracles. There's a reason to dream. Life has been a lot tougher.

I don't know what the future is going to bring, but there's a lot of satisfaction in making the experts look like complete idiots when they offer a person no hope of recovery, trust me on this one...

I suppose one could translate that into economics as well.

"I need a miracle every day."

- The Greatful Dead

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