Cross-posted from New Deal 2.0.
Today, President Obama welcomes Jeffrey Immelt to his White House inner circle as chair of a newly created jobs council after saying good-bye to economic adviser and Wall Street critic Paul Volcker, who is leaving after a two-year term. Is this good news for workers…or corporate executives? Our economic brains at the Roosevelt Institute weigh in.
“Volcker out and Immelt in, because the administration now wants to emphasize ‘recovery’ and ‘jobs’ instead of ‘crisis stabilization’? Since when did any stabilization not include jobs as a top priority? What we actually have here is the disappearance from the scene of the best known and most visible critic of the excesses of the financial sector and his replacement by the sitting CEO of a company that is heavily dependent on government aid of all sorts, including diplomatic assistance to invest more in China. This is not about jobs, but political money — the White House knows that after Citizens United, it will need to raise about a billion dollars — that’s right, a billion — for its reelection campaign. That’s the context in which this and its other recent appointments need to be judged.” ~Thomas Ferguson, Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and Professor of Political Science at U Mass, Boston
“President Obama seems to be putting all efforts into cultivating the confidence of the corporate community. One can see the appointment of Mr. Immelt in this light.
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