Posted by: Doug Henwood | February 11, 2010

Obama luvs business

More nuggets from Obama’s interview with the freshly renamed Bloomberg BusinessWeek, now under new management.

The irony is, is that on the left we are perceived as being in the pockets of big business; and then on the business side, we are perceived as being anti-business…. You would be hard-pressed to identify a piece of legislation that we have proposed out there that, net, is not good for businesses…. We are pro-growth. We are fierce advocates for a thriving, dynamic free market.

Some scene-setting from the piece:

As Obama defended himself against charges he is isolated from business, a number of CEOs sat outside in the West Wing lobby: General Electric Co.’s Jeffrey Immelt and Honeywell International Inc.’s David Cote were among those waiting for a meeting with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and energy coordinator Carol Browner to discuss climate-change policy.

In a separate story, Bloomberg reports that the CEO that Obama most admires is Frederick Smith of FedEx. Smith is a fiendishly anti-union Republican who served as John McCain’s finance chair, and is an old Skull & Bones pal of George W. Bush.

FDR said, maybe not entirely honestly, of the American rich, “I welcome their hatred.” Obama will do or say anything so that they’ll return his love—which, despite all his efforts, isn’t yet forthcoming.

About these ads

Responses

  1. But how many career progressives would argue with him? Especially among the NGO types.

  2. Especially interesting in that the rival private mail-carrier is a Teamsters outfit. Fed Ex is not.

  3. Fedex doesn’t employ its drivers. They are all “independent contractors”. Have to buy their own truck and uniforms, and there are no benefits or vacations. The drivers brought a class action suit against them. Found this link is anyone is interested.

    http://www.fedexdriverslawsuit.com/

  4. @Ives, that’s the FedEx Ground/Home Delivery division, which was originally Roadway Package System. Ordinary FedEx Express drivers are indeed (nonunion) employees with benefits.

  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Becker

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawn_Johnson

    Obama should be judged against Clinton, not FDR. But go ahead and be jaded, it’s a free country.

  6. [...] co-chair of his finance committee. He is also “fiendishly anti-union,” in the words of Doug Henwood; he has been engaged in a long-running battle with the labor movement over allowing his workers [...]

  7. [...] co-chair of his finance committee. He is also “fiendishly anti-union,” in the words of Doug Henwood; he has been engaged in a long-running battle with the labor movement over allowing the [...]

  8. Some can’t distinguish between being “jaded” and the ability to think critically. As Obama’s favorite president said, “…you can fool some of the people all the time…”

    Go ahead, judge the crimes and count the bodies of Clinton vs. Obama. That should keep you occupied and prepared to vote for the next imperial mass murderer/wage and debt slaver submitted for your approval.

  9. In retrospect I shouldn’t have called people jaded and I’m sorry.

    Here’s a funny anecdote about Pete Peterson from Yves Smith:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yves-smith/schwarzman-says-kowtow-to_b_459679.html

    “Then he and Schwarzman spent the next 20 minutes talking about Blackstone, and they make it abundantly clear how jealous they were of leveraged buyout king Henry Kravis (at the time, Peterson and Schwarzman were mere advisor types, their looting wealth creating opportunities were far more limited than if they had oddles of investor and bank money to play with).

    So in effect, they spent an hour telling us that they really wanted to be doing LBOs, that was SO much better paid than M&A, they wanted to grow up to be Henry Kravis, but since they hadn’t raised the money to do that yet, then yeah, our client’s deal might be worth their while in the interim.”

  10. There is a great Chinese saying related in the following LA Times story (about the National Stadium white elephant): “Once you board the thieves’ ship, you can only go forward.”

    Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian . . .

  11. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-china-birds-nest15-2010feb15,0,550814.story

  12. Funny you mention Peterson. He’s think kind of “centrism” Obama’s shooting for.

    The Democrats thought they had a chance to be the Business Party after the Republicans went too gonzo on religion, war and pork barrel.

  13. There are lots of enterprises that try to claim that employees are independent contractors. Microsoft had to pay a lot of money several years ago to people they said were independent contractors but who turned out to be regular employees. With the FedEx employees (oops, independent contractors), it’s particularly galling because I can’t imagine how one could organize package delivery in such a way that it would meet the IRS test.

  14. Anyone see this WSJ op-ed?:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703444804575072332713741308.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    It contains this passage that sounds like DH could’ve written instead of a WSJ wag:

    Our shadow government, the financial industrial complex, is our potential Greece. High unemployment lingers, higher interest rates are on the horizon and U.S. aid to the mortgage markets is coming to an end. Government guarantees in the markets will be withdrawn leaving them exposed to the whims of confidence. Amid that uncertain state, Wall Street is chugging along as if the last few years were merely a blip.

  15. Chris Hedges has a fine article about Fedex today. It’s at…

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/boycott_fedex_20100222/

  16. Why is it you Nation-type folks always place your focus on the individual, rather than system and structure when analyzing politics and the economy? First it was incessant columns and books on Bush and now it’s contrived outrage at Obama, the person.

  17. Pretty funny to call me a “Nation-type folk,” since the mag barely gives me the time of day lately. In any case, I write and talk plenty about structures and systems. But those things are inhabited and activated by individuals. It’s not like one should ever focus on one and exclude the other.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,020 other followers

%d bloggers like this: