Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

This Is Interesting

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 4, 2009

Drive-time AM radio this morning has been pushing a variant of this Matt Apuzzo AP story from last Wednesday questioning the job creation effect of the stimulus package.

Meanwhile, a similar version of this theme seems to have made its way from the Indian press to The Raw Story and was picked up by Avedon Carol at The Sideshow — the key change being to state — or at heavily imply — that Obama’s policies were sending green jobs overseas (especially to India) instead of creating them here at home.

So what’s this all about? Well, I suspect that some US-based multinational corporations (such as, perhaps, Microsoft?) don’t like the fact that banks and other entities taking TARP bailout money can’t keep importing and using dirt-cheap H-1B workers instead of American workers, and so they’re doing some pushback.

Another angle is that Obama also wants to crack down on offshore tax havens — something else that his critics (particularly those on the right) say is impossible and which can lead to undesirable effects, even though a new study, which you almost certainly won’t hear as much about on the evening TV news or drive-time radio as you will the other news stories I’ve mentioned, shows how Bush policies that enabled tax-haven junkie corporations to continue their tax-dodging ways wound up costing America tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of jobs since 2004. (h/t to Scholars and Rogues for this.)

If the people who want to preserve the tax-haven option can get the masses to seriously doubt the efficacy of the stimulus plan, then they can stop the plan to shut down the tax-haven option. And if they can use a story from the Indian press (which has a big ol’ dog in this fight) about green jobs allegedly fleeing the country under Obama to smother a much better sourced and detailed story about how Bush tax-haven-enabling policies touted as job-savers actually cost tens of thousands of jobs, that’s also something that helps the protectors of the tax havens.

Now, granted, many of these stories I’ve mentioned may well have groundings in reality. But the timing is, as I say, interesting.

One Response to “This Is Interesting”

  1. Charles II said

    Gee, this is definitely not what I get from the links you provide.

    The Rawstory link states that firms are adopting green technology because of energy costs and regulation. But they’re having the work done in India because Indian firms have better credentials than American companies. I don’t see any connection to Obama’s policies at all.

    As for cracking down of offshore tax havens, this idea goes back at least to Michael Dukakis, before the wave of corporate crime that the era of conservative rule brought on, when tax cheating was a nuisance rather than a threat to national survival. It’s a good idea, which should both be popular and helpful to closing the budget gap. Without cooperation from the Europeans and Japanese, it won’t stick, but they are both probably in a more receptive frame of mind now than they were during Clinton.

    Connecting the two (green job offshoring and tax havens) requires a leap longer than I am capable of making. Sure, success feeds on itself. If the stimulus (of which only a small fraction relates to green jobs) succeeds in halting the economic slide, then people will be more willing to go along with Obama. If unemployment keeps going up, doubts are going to rise. That’s normal, and healthy.

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