Skip to content

FRED BARNES: Whip Unemployment Now? – The Weekly Standard

September 19, 2011

Whip Unemployment Now?

The Obama presidency enters its pathetic phase.

SEP 26, 2011, VOL. 17, NO. 02 • BY FRED BARNES

It’s come to this: The president touted for his brainpower, idealism, and global esteem has been reduced to leading captive audiences in chants of “Pass this bill,” a measure that Republicans loathe, Democrats regard warily, and Congress is un-likely to approve even in truncated form.

The Obama presidency has entered the pathetic phase. This occurs when a president acts in a demeaning fashion while trying to rebuild his popularity and political strength. It’s a product of desperation.

There are numerous examples from earlier presidencies. Gerald Ford had his WIN buttons (Whip Inflation Now). George H. W. Bush told New Hampshire voters, “Don’t cry for me, Argentina.” Jimmy Carter boasted endlessly he hadn’t “panicked in the crisis” and insisted he wasn’t contrasting his conduct with rival Teddy Kennedy’s at Chappaquiddick.

For Obama, the pathetic phase began over the summer when the economy weakened further and his job approval rating tanked. He recklessly called for a joint session of Congress to announce his jobs initiative. During his speech, he demanded 18 times, “Pass this bill.”

via Whip Unemployment Now? | The Weekly Standard.

One Comment
  1. September 19, 2011 8:36 PM

    Employability in the job market whips unemployment. As businesses, universities, states, counties, cities stumble through the recession some find themselves in a phase of creative disassembly. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are shed. World class University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) and his $7 million outside consultants are firing employees via Birgeneau’s “Operational Excellence (OE)”: 2,000 axed by end 2011. Yet many cling to an old assumption: the implied, unwritten management-employee contract.

    Management promised work, upward progress for employees fitting in, employees accepted lower wages, performing in prescribed ways, sticking around. Longevity was good employer-employee relations; turnover a dysfunction. None of these assumptions apply in the 21 century economy. Businesses, universities, public institutions can no longer guarantee careers, even if they want to. Managements paralyzed themselves with a strategy of “success brings successes” rather than “successes brings failure’ and are now forced to break implied contract with employees – a contract nurtured by management that future can be controlled.

    Jettisoned employees are discovering that hard won knowledge earned while loyal is no longer desired in employment markets. What contract can employers, employees make with each other?

    The central idea is simple, powerful: job is a shared partnership.
    • Employers, employees face financial conditions together; longevity of partnership depends on how well customers, constituencies needs are met.
    • Neither management nor employee has future obligation to the other.
    • Organizations train people.
    • Employees create security they really need – skills, knowledge that creates employability in 21st century economies
    • The management-employee loyalty partnership can be dissolved without either party considering the other a traitor.

    Sustained employability in the 21st century economy is not loyalty to management, company, university, public agency or union. Employability: are you employable?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: