Paul R. Gregory's writings on Russia, the world economy, and other matters that he finds of interest.
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Monday, August 29, 2011
Why Obama Can't Support A Real Jobs Program
President Obama’s much-anticipated jobs speech will undoubtedly cover more of the same things that already haven’t worked. He will propose an infrastructure bank, extension of unemployment and food stamps, promotion of green jobs, more government-corporate partnerships, and a one-year extension of the payroll tax reduction. He’ll advocate a second stimulus. He may be flanked by his jobs commission, headed by the CEO ofGeneral Electric, which earlier issued a lame interim jobs report.
His speech will not be about jobs. Instead, it will be a campaign speech in disguise.
Obama cannot propose a real jobs program. His constituents would rebel. A real jobs program attacks too many of the core beliefs of his party, such as minimum wages and higher taxes on the better off. Even if his presidency rested on it, Obama couldn’t emulate Bill Clinton’s 1996 Welfare Reform Act that triangulated him from his own party. There is no way for Obama to enunciate the equivalent of Clinton’s “We must end welfare as we know it.” His core beliefs rule out such a dramatic move to the center.
However, if Obama really wished to create jobs, he must:
Politics, Murder, and Love in Stalin's Kremlin: The Story of Nikolai Bukharin and Anna Larina
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Women of the Gulag
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Who Am I?
Paul R. Gregory is a Research Fellow, Hoover Institution Cullen Professor of Economics, University of Houston. He is also a research professor at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin. He is chair of the International Advisory Board of the Kiev School of Economics. He serves as co-editor of the Yale-Hoover Series on Stalin, Stalinism, and Cold War. He has co-edited archival publications, such as the seven volume History of Stalin's Gulag (2004) and the three-volume Stenograms of Meetings of the Politburo (2008). Gregory is the organizer of the Hoover Sino-Soviet Archives Workshop that takes place in the summer at the Hoover Institution. His recent publications include Lenin's Brain and Other Tales from the Secret Soviet Archives (Hoover 2004) and Terror by Quota (Yale, 2009).