fresh voices from the front lines of change







Earlier tonight, Robert Borosage appeared on MSNBC to analyze the President’s appearance before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Excerpts from his remarks are below the video clip.

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We’ve got record profits in corporations and we have a massive job problem here at home. And largely that’s because the big corporations are making more and more profits abroad and locating their plants there. It will take a changed public policy to turn that around…

…In recent years, we have seen them accumulate more and more of that money at the top, among the CEOs and top executives. When this economy was growing under Bush, the top 1% were capturing about two-thirds of all of the rewards of growth. We’ve never seen that before, while most families were losing income.

And that’s again got to be changed by public policy. It’s not going to be changed by the corporations themselves. Those executives have a quite personal stake in keeping the system as it’s working now…

…I don’t know that I would go talk to the Chamber of Commerce, which is just a right-wing lobby group … raising money from big corporations that prey on American taxpayers.

I do think he has to make business comfortable. I don’t have a problem with that. I do think we need a policy for making things here in America, and that’s where we’ve gone wrong.

Germany is a very high wage producer. But it’s an export superpower. And the reason is that it has an industrial policy that ensures that the companies keep high quality jobs in Germany. We’ve got to move to that. That will take a very different set of policies than begging the Chamber of Commerce to be patriotic…

[In Germany,] workers have unions and they have a stake in the company leadership and so they make collective decisions. They have long-term capital from their banks that is not speculative. They make collective decisions about what kinds of plants they move abroad and what technology they’ll keep at home. They have a middle level of corporations that are funded by municipally located banks that are geographically located and very dynamic … and they also manage their trade with China and the like so they don’t get overwhelmed by the Chinese mercantilist policies.

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