Lars Larson on Obamanomics and American jobs

Let’s talk a little bit about Barack Obama’s plan to bring American jobs back home.

I have to admit that I’ve just about had my fill of candidate Barack Obama complaining about American companies taking jobs overseas. Look, I’d like to have Americans have great jobs here as well. But, American companies go overseas because labor is cheaper, regulations are smaller or lower, and taxes are lower as well.

He’d like to bring them back home and he’d like to do that by punishing those companies. By punishing them for not being open to unions. By punishing them for not having first rate health care plans.
You know, most of the things that candidate Obama promises to punish American companies for are bound and determined to make those American companies stay overseas, instead of bringing the jobs back here.

The right way to keep American jobs at home is lower regulations, lower taxes, make it easier to do business here, automate, and use our technology. Do it the smart way. Keep the jobs that way, not by punishing those who don’t tow the Obama line.

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Posted by at 09:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 18 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Rupert in Springfield

    Wow, less jobs in the US and Obama wants to start punishing companies. Sounds pretty much like Hoover all over again. Gotta wonder if these clowns ever crack a history book.

    Might be nice if someone would sit Obama down, show him a tax form:

    “see Obama, there isn’t a line there that says “tax break for shipping jobs overseas””

    My favourite is when he unilaterally renegotiates NAFTA. Wow Obama, pissing off Mexico and Canada right off the bat by breaking a treaty?

  • Anonymous

    Obama is a fraud in a moderate’s clothing like so many other liberals.
    Campaigning as a tax cutter for the middle class when there exists no such liberal in this land.
    The liar Democrats campaigning in this state do the same.

    Kate Brown running ads for her SoS race claiming she is bipartisan?
    That’s like Sam Adams claiming he is straight.

    Defend Oregon (democrat union thugs) running anti-M64 ads claiming they’ll be prevented from doing their jobs, placing saftey and our children at stake.

    This was the last straw for me. These unions are so corrupted and stab the public in the back every election cycle.

    I will NEVER vote for any money levy for any of their government functions until public employee unions are disbanded.

    It’s the only way we can battle these powerful and dishonest forces.

    Vote NO on every library, fire, school, police and park levy.

    • Bo

      I hear much about Defend Oregon, but do not know who they are.

  • dean

    Lars says: “I’d like to have Americans have great jobs here as well. But, American companies go overseas because labor is cheaper…”

    OK Lars. Why don’t we work our wages down to Mexican levels, which would be a great way to keep jobs here AND end illegal immigration?

    And you wonder why “conservative” politicians are about to get the big boot. Completely out of touch with working Americans.

    • Steve Plunk


      American companies have the advantage of higher productivity. That higher productivity is a buttress against the low wages of foreign workers and keeps many jobs at home. The problem is the jobs at the margins, not all jobs. If the Dems add higher taxes or regulations the jobs that are marginal will ship overseas. Conservatives are not out of touch but simply understand the problem. Your extreme tongue in cheek solution is another tiresome liberal response to real world dilemmas.

  • Joanne Rigutto

    Barak Obama is not going to bring back jobs to this country. He can’t. Neither can congress unless they decide to pull this country out of the WTO and recind NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT and all the rest of our trade agreements and that ain’t gonna happen, there’s too much presure from business to allow it. And in truth, there are too many of us who like paying as little as possible for products with little regard to where they came from.

    The only way to keep jobs here is for people to buy USA made products where and when they can find them. Simply put, the only way to bring jobs back is to create a market that will support those US jobs, and that’s something that will take a long, long time, if it’s even possible. Even our food production is subject to the same pressures and trade agreements. You should see what I’m seeing on the Country Of Origin Labeling front. While I like COOL, it is being challenged on many fronts to being a technical barrier to trade. I’ll be surprised if COOL survives the 6 month shake down phase it’s in right now.

    What will happen (my prediction) is that in addition to trade and sanitary regulations harmonizing between nations, our wages will all eventually harmonize as well. That means that our wages will drop while developing country’s wages will rise, untill an equilibrium of some kind is reached. This is going to take a long time, assuming the countries and their people can survive the transition.

    Get used to it, we’re in for a wild ride….and Barak’s rhetoric about bringing jobs home is just empty talk.

    • dean

      Joanne…there are a couple of wrinkles to think about. First, if energy costs stay high or go higher, transport becomes more expensive, especially for heavy stuff like most foods. That makes local production more competative. Second, about 70% of all American jobs are service and government sector, and most of these can’t be off shored, and can have wages raised. Third, high skill manufacturing will still be mostly located in first world nations. Fourth, Obama is not entirely off base when he argues that we have tax credits that all but encourage companies to move production overseas. These can be ended. Lastly, if we really became an “ownership society,” we would find ways to get actual ownership of larger companies more widely distributed.

      We are not powerless to make changes, and do not simply have to wait for labor markets to equalize.

      • Joanne Rigutto

        I believe that transport for food products is primarilly via ships, so the cost for container transport will no doubt remain relatively low, at least low enough that people will still buy foodstuffs made with foreign produced components. The COOL issues I’m currently following concern Canadian and Mexican origin meats and livestock, which don’t ship too much farther than US produced livestock.

        As far as service jobs go, all you have to do is look at how many of those are going to foreign workers who come into this country, and government jobs are dependant on the tax paying citizenry to fund them, so they can’t go up more than the rest of the public can fund them.

        I still say that US and other developed countries’ wages will drop while the wages in the developing countries will rise untill eventually an equilibrium is reached. We have the same situation in this country between the states.

        I didn’t say that we were powerless to make changes. I do say, however, that the changes have to be market based. Those changes can’t be made by increasing tarrifs, etc.. The people who can drive the change are the buyers of products. I just bought a new tile saw and one of the reasons that I bought it was that it was made in the USA. I’m currently buying all of my beef from a local slaughter house. The owner’s sister produces the calves and raises them, in our area, and the owner of the slaughter house finishes them herself, again in our area, the cattle are slaughtered near Canby, about 78 miles away from my house, and that’s where I pick up the meat.

        When I go to the store, I look for that COOL compliant label on produce. I buy produce that was grown in the USA where I can, and if that means that I don’t buy tomatoes out of season, then that’s what I do. If I want tomatos in the middle of winter, then I buy US produced tomatos and put them up.

        I’m not saying that everything I buy is soley produced in the USA, but where I have the choice, I buy USA.

        I even contacted a local national chain store regarding this and their selection of fresh meats. I had a very nice exchange with one of the fellows in charge of meats. I told the store that if and when they dicided to sell fresh meats that caried the ‘Product of USA’ label I would be happy to resume buying from their stores, and that Foster Farms already had that on their fresh/frozen chicken and that I would continue to buy that product from them because it had that designation.

        That’s how you keep what manufacturing there is left here, and how manufacturing can be brought back. That’s the only realistic way to do it.

        • Sean in Forest Grove

          Honestly that is about the only thing that I agree with Obama on. His economic plan, while for the most part garbage, does include a tax break for job creation in the United States. Previous policies allowed tax breaks for corporations creating a job in any market, as long as they filed their tax returns to the US, which did give tax breaks to companies that didn’t *deserve* (at least from my perspective creating jobs in other countries is not an activity to be promoted) them. That is about the only thing that I really can’t tear apart on his economic plans.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Ok – I am really curious.

            I am a type S corporation, the tax forms are pretty complicated and Ill be honest, I hire an accountant to do them so I have not gone through them line by line. Can you show me where on a corporate tax form there is a line giving a tax credit for jobs created overseas? I know there might be one for Puerto Rico, since that has special tax status. However I am looking for the exact line that gives tax credits for jobs created overseas. I have asked everyone I know what line on what form gives this credit, and no one seems to know.

            I see this quoted so often I figure someone out there must have actually taken the time to research exactly where in the tax code this is.

          • Sean D

            Good point, I have never filed taxes as a company, so I don’t even know what the form would look like. You would definitely think that this information would be more widely known if it were exactly what it sounds like.

          • Joanne Rigutto

            Rupert and Sean D.,

            I think that unless you are a corporation with manufacturing in a foreign country, you’re accountant probably won’t even deal with the issues associated with being a transnational company.

            I’m sure, however, that you could look up the forms and laws over at IRS – a daunting task to be sure. Given how complicated tax law and filing forms are on domestic companies, though, just thinking about wading through US tax laws and forms governing international trade makes my head want to explode.

            I don’t even like dealing with my taxes, and I just have two sole proprietorships, exempt, no employees etc., as simple as it gets.

            That having been said, when you’re in business, there are so many ways to hide income and shelter it from taxes, that even if a rule, regulation or law doesn’t have the title “Tax Break for a Corporation Doing Such and Such”, if it walks like a tax break/credit and talks like a tax break/credit people are going to call it a tax break/credit…

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Joanne – NAFTA and the WTO are essentially agreements that ensure no tariffs or trade restrictions. I’m sure you are aware of this. So lets say we eliminated them? What would that do? Nothing by itself.

    Ok, so what are you proposing? Elimination of these things, coupled with tariffs on imports? What would that accomplish other than impoverishment of Americans? Its not like these countries would just simply accept tariffs on their goods coming in to this country and not retaliate.

    So great, imported goods would become more expensive and workers in this country would lose jobs quite rapidly as we would not be able to export much of anything. I’m not sure what this would accomplish.

    So now that imported goods are high priced, due to tariffs to bring their prices in line with domestic goods what then? People would be out of work, due to drastic cut backs in our agricultural sector since we couldn’t export anything at this point due to tariffs placed on our goods by other nations in retaliation. It would therefore be a buyers market place in the labor pool, so wages would plummet since there would be so many people available to take jobs. How would they afford these new high prices on everything?

    At the end of the day what we have is the seeds of what we have sown. It is very expensive to run a business in the US when compared to other nations. We have the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. We have endless regulations and labor laws that other countries don’t have. whether or not those are bad things is not the question. The fact is that no matter what ones opinion on those things, they cost money, and we have to live with that impact on the business sector. No amount of complaining about corporate behaviour will ever change the simple fact of that. Corporations exist to make money, that is their function. They are not jobs programs. I think its high time this country learn to accept and live with the consequences of the restrictions they have placed on business. If people would like more jobs, fine, do things that don’t impoverish people. You want more jobs, higher paying jobs? Fine, you will need business to do that. That takes investment. You lower capitol gains taxes, and people will invest more in business allowing them to create more jobs. You want corporations providing more jobs here? Fine, make it advantageous to do so, lower corporate taxes.

    You want less business and less jobs? Fine, start a trade war so tariffs on all our goods increase and American business cant export anything.

    • Joanne Rigutto

      Rupert, I didn’t say that we should withdraw from the WTO or that we should recind NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT or any other trade agreement. I said just the opposite – that this isn’t possible. The reasons I believe that this isn’t possible are some of the very same ones you outlined in your reply.

      I said that the only way to keep manufacturing jobs in the USA and even bring back jobs if that’s even possible, is for the market, and by that I mean the consumers buying retail or wholesale, to choose USA made products where possible. That’s the only way to keep manufacturing jobs in this country and, if possible, bring back some of the jobs lost.

      It’s a hard thing to do, and it really isn’t possible to do in many instances, at least right now and for the foreseeable future.

      As I pointed out in my previous post, even COOL legislation is under fire and the USA will probably have to defend before the WTO to keep COOL in place. I have letters from the Canadian Embasador to the USA, the Canadian Cattlemens’ Association, and the Canadian Pork Council protesting COOL implementation under many different trade agreements. And if they defend their position well enough, that legislation, passed by congress at the request of constituents, will probably be overturned. Which means that unless you buy from a local producer who you know personally, you won’t even know where the beef and pork you bought at the store came from and you won’t even be able to choose USA produced meats.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        Ok – I thought since you were bringing the WTO etc. up, I understood you to be saying you thought recinding or withdrawing from them would be best, even though not immediatly possible. My mistake.

  • Anonymous

    dean, what a loon.
    We have to fix Mexico?
    Are you that friggin dumb?
    How about every other third world country?

    Do we have to fix China too?

    This brilliant way of yours is” a great way to keep jobs here AND end illegal immigration”?

    You’re the one out of touch.
    Too much in touch with Mexico apparently.

    What’s your current job?

  • rcatfire

    America has chosen Obama and Lars is now part of the minority who think that Americans should work without a living wage and health care. If he wants to work for peanuts, more power to him. He and those who are likeminded, can move to Mexico and work for Hershey at substandard wages, no benefits and no healthcare.

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