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Dear Mr. President

BY SHARON MARTIN

The idea that President Obama’s policies were bad for jobs is a lie. Robots are bad for jobs. Every time we go through the self-checkout line, computers do the job of a checker. Robots assemble and paint cars. They water plants in greenhouses, check for leaks in pipelines, and diffuse bombs. Those jobs aren’t coming back.

The official [U3] unemployment rate was 7.8% when Obama was sworn into office, on its way up to a high of 9.9%. This was the hand Obama was dealt. Thanks to his policies, the rate was just 4.8% when you took office.

The U6 unemployment rate, which adds in both discouraged workers and workers who choose to work part time, reached a high of 17.1% at the height of the recession, and had dropped to 9.4% at the end of Obama’s second term in office.

Whichever set of numbers you use, be consistent.

As for your claim about record crime rates, some actual facts might help.

In 1995, there were 8.2 murders and non-negligent manslaughters per 100,000 people in this country. In 2015, the rate had fallen to 4.9 per 100,000 people.

Now, let’s talk about your taxes.

The IRS says that being audited does not prevent you from releasing your taxes. It’s clear you just don’t want to release them. What are you determined to hide?

And, no, the United States is not a high-tax country. You and GE are proof of that, but here are more numbers.

Measuring taxes as a percentage of GDP, the average rate in developed countries is 34%. We are 32nd out of 35 countries, at 26%. If you want lower taxes, move to Korea, Chile, or Mexico.

Speaking of Mexico …

Considering your history with immigrants, including those who have worked for you, it appears that you’re fine with them … if they aren’t brown or Muslim.

Immigration over our border with Mexico has been dropping, and is now below net zero. In other words, more people are returning to Mexico than are coming from Mexico. This trend has been going on for some time, perhaps as a result of NAFTA?

If illegal immigrants are taking jobs Americans want, do something about it. 1] Make sure workers, including young men of color, have the education they need to do the jobs that are available. 2] Hold the people who knowingly hire illegal workers responsible.

America has problems. America also has solutions, but isolating ourselves and creating a new class of enemies aren’t among them.

Neither is whipping up the fury of the less fortunate with lies.

Mr. President, you have a First Amendment right to lie. We, the people, have a duty to call you on them.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

February 12, 2017

About Author

Sharon Martin

sharonedge

Educator & OEA member Sharon Martin lives in Oilton and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer.


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Dear Mr. President”

  1. Ms. Martin,
    I think your article is relevant. I note your mention of robots. I believe that we have not done an adequate job of dealing with the economic impact of automation. We are still in our jobs, jobs, jobs mode. If a robot on an assembly line takes the jobs of 5 workers, that productivity is not lost. You still have the product that they produced and the income for that product. It is a safe assumption the robot and its maintenance are cheaper than the 5 workers it replaced. Where do the resources that provided their incomes go? I believe a lot of it goes to the top where it stays. We should examine a basic guaranteed income that redistributes that wealth. We have to look at things in a totally new way, but we are stuck in our full employment mode that is wrecking the middle class by taking away paying jobs enabling profits from productivity to a few. It may not be more jobs we need, but rather, an equitable distribution of our country’s wealth. People will always work, but our country has plenty of resources to provide basic needs; the dream of humankind since the beginning of civilization.

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