The President delivered remarks at Concord Community High School highlighting the economic progress that Elkhart and America has made, the economic challenges that remain, and the decisions that face Americans in communities like Elkhart.
President Obama took a bow for the economy – which is in far better shape than it was when he inherited it in 2008 – and also admitted that 'long-term trends' stretching back decades are holding down wages and increasing income inequality.
In this case American political commentator Robert Reich shared on Facebook:
'He pointed to globalization and technological displacement as reasons many American workers are being left behind.
But he failed to point out to the third big reason: A political system over which the moneyed interests have so much power that they’ve managed to
1. Cut their effective tax rates and thereby cause the federal and state governments to cut vital services (including K-12 education, public higher education, and the maintenance of roads and bridges and public transportation).
2. Bend bankruptcy laws to serve their interests and not the needs of underwater homeowners and former students buried under student debt.
3. Extend patent protections on pharmaceuticals and prohibit the government from using its bargaining power to reduce drug costs -- so Americans now pay more for the drugs we use than the citizens of any other advanced nation.
4. Water down antitrust laws so giant airlines, Internet service providers, food processors, chemical companies, and health insurers can merge into behemoths with the market power to charge far higher prices.
5. Make it harder to form unions, and encouraging companies to move to so-called “right-to-work” states.
6. Eliminate effective bans on insider trading on Wall Street.
7. Water down the Dodd-Frank Act so that Wall Street has resumed many of its gambling habits.
8. Make it easier for companies to classify employees as “independent contractors” with no labor rights at all.
9. Make it easier for companies to insert mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts with employees and consumers – often abrogating constitutional rights.
10. Get special bailouts, subsidies, regulatory loopholes, and tax loopholes that enable powerful companies and industries to milk us even more.
Globalization and technological change are two causes of widening inequality. But Americans also know the game is rigged. Unless or until this nation tackles the increasing political power of big corporations, Wall Street, and the billionaire class to change the rules of capitalism to their liking, we cannot hope to reverse widening inequality or get an economy that works for the many rather than the few.'