What's First on Your Presidential Agenda?


What's the first thing you hope Barack Obama does as President-Elect?

Posted by Fareed Zakaria on November 4, 2008 2:24 PM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (58)

Zolko Author Profile Page :

Yes, well, sorry Washingtonpostspam.

I'm afraid Mr Obama will not even be president that he'll already have his hands full. He won't even have time to wait till he IS president. The latest on his agenda are the Detroit car-makers: if Paulson is staying in charge, by the time Mr Obama becomes president, there is no more General-Motors: millions of jobless more.

So Mr Obama should actually make a coup d'état and take office BEFORE the official date, or else some very nasty things could happen. I don't know what that would imply, though: should he ask the military for help ? Would it still be, technically, a coup d'état ?

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

WASHINGTONPOSTPAM - I thought it is pretty clear, what we wan done first, right from the start, is to end outsourcing by enacting tax laws that will punish investors and corporations that engage in our aid in or invest in, outsourcing. Then, e want the H1-B and L-1 visas ended immediately and we want the sponsoring companies held liable to ship every single one of these guest workers home within 30 days. That pretty concrete and recent polls show that over 2/3 of the voting public wants exactly that and believes that, in doing so, we will end the current recession. Anyone with half a brain would agree that ordinary people have more common sense and a better handle on these sorts of issues than all of the "experts", the well connected and wealthy, put together.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

FARKLOL - If I gave the impression of being a racist, then please accept my sincere apologies. I am Native American, so I guess that makes me (distantly) Asian, too. I singled out India and China because 95% of H1-B workers come from those countries. Most are actually from India, where the U.S. has become nothing more than a place to dump their unemployed hi-tech workers. It is, likewise, true that those two countries use our public universities as a cheap way of educating their students. Over half of the students in our engineering, computer programming, and hard sciences classes are Indian or Chinese nationals. I view that as dangerous, short sighted, and ultimately suicidal.

As a U.S. citizen I want you and me and every other U.S. citizen to have first crack at any and every job. After us would be "green card" holders. I would move any foreign guest worker to the end of the line.... or, better yet, right out of the line. We need to put U.S. citizens in those jobs. There is no excuse whatsoever to hire or bring in any H1-B or L-1 worker, just as there is no excuse for outsourcing any job.

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

"No Tom, our country owes zero gratitude to Bush/Cheney. They have proven themselves to be barbarians and should go down in history as such."

We are rehashing old news. First of all, I view Bush as a war time President, but even given that, he crossed the line in some of his actions. None the less, his actions protected Americans (very well, I might add) - torture or not. Also, all wartime Presidents (and other leaders as well), usurp power while at war. That's nothing unusual. Consider, for example, Clinton’s enacting of the controversial “rendering of prisoners“ program which was proposed in 1993 after the first attack on the World Trade Center. Suspected terrorist were delivered to foreign governments to be tortured for information. In addition, Clinton bypassed Congress entirely to go to war in Kosovo. Pond scum?

Sorry, but I appreciate the effort Bush made on our behalf. His most controversial decision - by far - was to go to war in Iraq. None of the others even show up on the radar screen.

Just to reiterate how differently we view these last eight years, in my opinion, the Democratic Congress acted disgracefully concerning the war in Iraq. The Democrats invested in defeat for political gain. It’s one thing to politicize an issue such as offshore drilling, it’s quite another to invest your party’s future in the defeat of your country’s military. The Congressional Democrats should be remembered with contempt during the Bush years in the White House.

None of that reflects on Obama, however. Despite his selection of Emanual as Chief of Staff (who I've quoted on several occasions for politicizing the war in Iraq), I look forward to Obama's Presidency - especially his approach to foreign policy. Of course, I probably will disagree with him on occasion, but I do wish him luck on this very difficult job.

blund Author Profile Page :

Tom,

Go look it up. I have no recollection of ever calling McCain Pond Scum. Actually, my only problem with McCain was his voting record. For obvious reasons McCain has been against torture and made no about it. I find that an admirable quality.

I really don't know why you find it so hard to believe the issue of torture was and will always remain with me more important then failed policies. I firmly believe with every fiber of my body civilized people don't torture other human beings. Bush/Cheney enacted policy to use torture as a fishing expedition under the guise of national security. I find that action sub-barbaric.

I have said in the past I disagreed with the invasion of Iraq, but I understood the logic. I never beleived as much as Bush/Cheney wanted to turn Iraq into a budding democracy it would ever happen. Especially not with a gun pointed at them. I never understood their approach to Afghanistan and Bin Laden. I have always thought and still do these should have been our primary targets and we can all see from the resources expended they were not.

Were it not for torture I still would have been against Bush and used terms like incompetent, stupid, in la-la land, etc., but never Pond Scum. That term was used by me only after his administration sunk to the level of torturing people. If Obama doesn't stop the practice immediately upon taking office I'll be calling him Pond Scum as well.

The real eye openner here is when the FBI pulled out it's agents from Gitmo due to the "aggressive" interrogation techniques and the CIA had to have further clarification in order to continue them. Cheney's continued assertion, "we don't torture," is as ludicrous as saying Abu Gharib was just a few rogue soldiers in the face of the amounting evidence to the contrary.

No Tom, our country owes zero gratitude to Bush/Cheney. They have proven themselves to be barbarians and should go down in history as such. Obama should actually make his first act as president doing away with this horrendous policy and apologizing to the world for it.

farklol Author Profile Page :

MIBROOKS,

I am a second-generation Chinese-American who happens to work in the tech industry and I'm not a fan of the H1-Bs program either. What I'm concerned with is your singling out of Indian and Chinese H1-Bs. While it is true that a majority of H1-Bs come from China and India, H1-Bs come from a variety of nations all over the world. Wouldn't it be better to say you wish to end ALL H1-Bs regardless of their race or country of origin?

Also, what is your opinion of Chinese- and Indian- Americans who are born and raised here or are immigrated naturalized citizens?

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Bob

Please, cut the BS. First of all, you did call McCain pond scum, OK? I can find the quote if you want. Secondly, there is no inference of calling Obama a terrorist - not by any stretch of your wondrous imagination, but Obama's associations were fair game (remember Trent Lott?) during this election whether you like it or not. Two factors diminished their importance during this election cycle:

1. The timing of the financial crisis and,

2. The media was in the tank for Obama, and protected him by pulling the race card which is every bit as much of a character assassination as anything the Republicans have pulled.

Pam

Please read my first post. Sorry, though. We all get on PG to discuss politics which includes policy, and the blame game is a part of politics. That won't change. I wouldn't want it to change because the learning curve is highest on this site when you are forced to confront the results of unpleasant policies that you may have supported in the past. Nothing wrong with blame at all.

By the way, where have you been the last couple of years when the blame game has been the number one topic on this site?

mohammad_allam Author Profile Page :

The first thing not a single step but it is bundle of many steps.In my opinion the following thing the Mr obama should prefere to do
1. Selection of a team
2 understanding the present policy of present administartion and national interest of USA.
3the problems that persisting and look for solution
4 take all person together to work out for massive plan of rejunetive to administration.
5 Avoid any conflicting statment and arrogance as shown by the present going administration.

blund Author Profile Page :

Washingtonpostspam,

Thank you so much for reminding me why we post. Although, you must consider the idea this question is not much of a question. There is only one obvious and correct answer.

Without a viable economy Obama's hands are tied. Health care will go no where. His tax policies will have to shift and he'll have to make tough decisions on shrinking existing social programs. Energy policy will only be able to be altered slightly. If he chooses to engage in his campaign promises with the current state of our economy he'll be forced into continuing running up the national debt. Very few people would consider this a wise move. To quote James Carvelle, "It's the economy, stupid." Hence, before Obama can make a substanate difference he'll have to oversee bringing the economy back into a healthy growth cycle. If he can't do this his platform of change will fail miserably.

Obama is inheriting a presidency and a nation that has serious problems. These problems in order of priority are 1. economy 2. the wars/occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan 3. Foreign relations that are in shambles. Only the third priority is easy for Obama to fix. He will be able to forge alliances with our European allies again. As for the second priority to some degree his hands are tied in the immediate future. He is inheriting a situation on the ground where just about all of the military powers that be do not agree with Obama's stance on Iraq and it will take time to resolve these differences. The first priority is the toughest to deal with. Housing prices basically tripled nationally under Bush. When the bubble burst too many homeowners couldn't refinance their debt and afford their mortgages. As the defaults rose the number of CDO's and Mortgage Backed Securities failed. Since the Fed's made the decision not to back this market and to let it sort itself out we went into a economy spiral downward and we're still falling. Stopping this fall and reversing it is what is That alone is a good thing.

I'm a liberal and estatic Obama won. However, in terms of legislation that will change the society I'm rather pessimistic he will be able to afford to make the changes he campaigned on.

yousufhashmi1 Author Profile Page :

This question is being asked in each media channel.

BBC says that Mr. Obama will have 10 immediate challenges as soon as he takes over the office. This is a very logical and true assessment.

Looking the performance of the president elect I want him to work as a super president and tackle all matters at one time.

More over the economy which is so far # 1 choice by all gurus is related to other 9 problems.

washingtonpostpam Author Profile Page :

BLUND, ZOLKO, MIBROOKS27, VIETNAMVETERAN, TOMW2, et al.

The question is: "What's the first thing you hope Barack Obama does as President-Elect?"

Do you have ideas about what Obama should do as President-elect? This discussion has wandered from ideas and into the blame game swamp.

Can't we rise above this, just for a few days? I don't think I'm alone in being sick and tired of living in this dismal swamp. I'd like to hear your ideas, not more tirades, more personal attacks.

Please.

Thank you,
Pam

washingtonpostpam Author Profile Page :

Barack needs to hit the gym, play b'ball, sleep, cuddle with his wife and daughters, and attend to his grandmother's service. As President-elect, he should continue to do what he does so well -- solicit ideas and solutions from "the best and the brightest," people who have expertise about the challenges we face, people who do not speak with the same voice.

This morning, Mr. Zakaria laid out an ambitious agenda for Obama's first 100 (or 200) days on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." Initially, I was surprised at his wide-ranging recommendations. Upon reflection, I agree. President Obama must take advantage of the momentum - it will fade too soon.

Mr. Ignatious and Mr. Zakaria: As admirers, we look forward to more questions on Post Global.

Mr. Zakaria, I am delighted that your bright young son (and you) know he has a shot at the Presidency.

Mind_Blind Author Profile Page :

In all fairness, Obama must abolish the SEC's "Day Trading" rule and restore the stock trading to status as was before Jan 2001.

blund Author Profile Page :

Tom,

You are absolutely right about my calling GW Pond Scum. Frankly, I thought I was being kind. The concept of torture is something I find barbaric and anyone who would institute such a program can be nothing less to me then Pond Scum. Were it not for the torture issue my opinion of Bush would have been more along the lines of an incompetent ideologue who represented about 30% of America. The reason you didn't see me go after McCain with words like Pond Scum is because he is on public record as opposing Bush's actions. In most other areas he is on record as having supported Bush so about the worst thing I said about McCain was McSame.

This is a quantum leap from calling either of them terrorists. The inference Obama was a terrorist because he paled around with them was pure slime at best. According to both Obama and Ayers they weren't pals and barely knew one another. They certainly knew who each other was, Obama was thrown a small coffee fund raiser in Ayers living room early on in his political career, they both live in the same community, but that's a far cry from being friends or supporting Ayers ideas of 40 years ago. It is nothing less then a insult to accuse a sitting US Senator of being a terrorist.

Bush has earned his reputation as a bad president by his actions in office.

DwightCollins Author Profile Page :

obama has to restore balance to America, but he can't, why, because if he does he will hurt the world...
so which does he help, America or the world...
which one do you think he will choose?

Zolko Author Profile Page :

Mike, here is a nightmare scenario for you:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2008/nov/07/barack-obama-immigration-policy

I very much doubt this was what you had in mind when helping Obama's campaign. Incidentally, he didn't really explain his immigration policies, did he ?

Zolko Author Profile Page :

Mike, there are too much dollars out there. Much more than needed. And the US government knows this, and has stopped publishing the M3 money volume:

http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Articles/M3_money_supply.asp

If China & the rest dump their dollars, the dollar looses value, then the Saudis start selling oil in other currencies, the dollar looses even more value, Japan goes bust (they hold 99% of their reserves in US dollars: it's not nice to loose a war), making even more of a recession, making even less need for the dollar, the UK goes bankrupt and joins the Euro (they're already talking about it). Already today, only 10% of European and Asian trade is outside the zone. When the US goes down, it will be felt, but only partially.

True, it won't happen overnight, it will take a couple of months.

Why didn't it happen yet ? I've read an interesting explanation: short-selling. Many speculators have made bets, months ago, on borrowed money. This borrowing has stopped (the credit crunch) so they can't pay back what they have "short-selled" with borrowed dollars (*), and therefore they need cash (in dollars). So they are selling whatever they can (hence the fall in stocks) and are in need of huge amounts of dollars to pay their bets that come to fruition. Thus, the dollar raises against other currencies for which there is no particular need. What happens when they have sold all the assets denominated in dollars ? Printing press, increasing even more an already overinflated dollar bubble. The ultimate bubble. Combine this with the next wave of defaults on credit card debts that will make the mortgage defaults look like a pick-nick.

That's the way empires end.

Which, also, will set an end to immigration into the US. Especially when the gun-holding Americans start blaming the foreigners for their own hardship.

(*) a fascinating example of short-selling gone completely amok is what happened with Volkswagen shares. Short sellers have short-selled about 12% of Volkswagen shares, but when Porsche bought parts of VW, there were only 5% of the shares left on the market. When the speculators needed to actually buy the shares they have sold (before. yes, it's crazy) there were simply not enough of them on the market, and their prices skyrocketed by 150%. So Porsche, in it's magnanimity, sold 5% of their shares on the market to satisfy the speculators, making HUGE benefits.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

ZOLKO - "...the day the U.S. closes it's border is the day the dollar looses 90% of it's value..."? You just invented that whopper right out of thin air, right? There isn't and never has been one shred of evidence to support anything like that sort of nonsense. What would happen is lots of anguish and anger directed at us by China and India. They would likely dump their dollar holdings in some sort of mad attempt to punish us. The effect would be short term and hardly noticeable. I am not advocating the complete abandonment of "free trade", just the abandonment of importing cheap guest workers and the abandonment of exporting *any* jobs or production capacity. Since virtually all of the economic gains made by China and India are a result of a parasitical relationship upon the U.S. worker, I imagine it will be tough for them. Too bad. I don't give a rats behind and neither do over 70% of the American public who agree with my position. Actually, given the enormous leap in unemployment numbers today and the obvious and common sense solution I have advocated repeatedly here, something every person with any brains knows to be the case, this outsourcing and guest worker nonsense has avery short life expectancy anyways. The government can continue on it present path until riots break out, and the fools that pass for our leaders have at most 6 months before all hell breaks loose; they had better do exactly what the people want right now. In the end, they can squirm and blather and warn and it will make no difference because we stopped trusting them a long time ago and started trusting our own eyes and common sense. Obama blew it with his appointments of the same old tired outsourcers and corporate swine yesterday. I mean, didn't they think we'd notice that his new hi-tech guru is nothing more than a shill for H1-B job shops, advocates trading jobs for "international cooperation", is nothing more than another Bush NeoCon parading around in liberal clothing?

VietnamVeteran_ Author Profile Page :

Zolko wrote :
1. What would the Chinese government say if suddenly, they couldn't send their young qualified workforce to learn some jobs in the USA ?

2.Why did the financial crisis start exactly after the Chinese Olympics ?
---------
1.
O well, let us see. Chi Mac comes to US to study, eh - He has been determined to be a spy.

Katrina Leung comes to US for learning and ends up being a spy.

2.
We are pissed off with China for bagging highest gold medal haul.

Zolko Author Profile Page :

Blondenfreude & mibrooks27,

you seem to forget that the USA is an empire, that there are 10 times more dollars in circulation in the world as needed purely by trade, therefore the US dollar depends on the US looking, for foreigners, as an attractive country. And China is one of these foreign countries. What would the Chinese government say if suddenly, they couldn't send their young qualified workforce to learn some jobs in the USA ? Why did the financial crisis start exactly after the Chinese Olympics ?

The day the US closes it's borders, the dollar looses 90% of it's value.

John Connally said famously to Europeans: "the dollar is OUR money but it's YOUR problem". Well, it has become YOUR's now. You're prisoners of the dollar, of the criminal organization that is the FED, of the voracious gang that operates at Wall-Street. Blaming the poor Mexicans or Chinese won't help: it's the fat cats in Wall-Street (and also Hollywood, their propaganda machine !) that you need to get rid of. I don't think Mr Obama will take on them, though.


VietnamVeteran_ Author Profile Page :

As one of his task in White House Obama must fire "Challenger Gray & Christmas".

Thanks Ross.

---------
Unemployment Climbs to 6.5%, Higher Than Feared

EMPLOYMENT, UNEMPLOYMENT, JOBS, JOBLESS, JOBLESS RATE, ECONOMY, RECESSION
Reuters | 07 Nov 2008 | 08:54 AM ET
U.S. employers cut payrolls by 240,000 in October, much more severely than expected, while September registered the biggest monthly loss in jobs in nearly seven years, according to a government report on Friday that showed U.S. labor markets were sharply deteriorating.


The Labor Department said the national unemployment rate shot up to 6.5 percent from 6.1 percent in September, the highest since March 1994.

October's job cuts were much worse than anticipated by Wall Street economists who had forecast 200,000 would be lost.

Even more strikingly, the department revised September's losses to 284,000 - the highest since November 2001 just after the Sept. 11 terror attacks - and also revised August losses higher to 127,000.


That meant 179,000 more jobs were cut in August and September than previously had been thought. In total over the three months through October, 651,000 jobs have been slashed from payrolls.

In manufacturing alone, a whopping 90,000 jobs were cut in October - a period when 27,000 Boeing assembly workers were on strike. That followed a loss of 56,000 factory jobs in September.

Copyright 2008 Reuters. Click for restrictions.
---------

TomW2 Author Profile Page :

Bob

“It must have been very disturbing to you to see McSame at campaign stops, taking questions and having to tell his supports that Obama wasn't a Muslim, a terrorist and a Arab. Disturbing in the sense that the rest of the country was watching this play out and thinking how stupid could people really be.”

I agree, some people are really stupid. For example, read this pole and then refer to Zolko, November 5, 2008 on this PG question:

"...Interestingly, Americans are also dubious, with more than a third of those polled by Scripps Howard News Service in 2006 saying it was "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that "federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them" because they "wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East."..."

Just as disturbing to me was the Democrats politicizing the race issue (squelching debate) by calling Palin and McCain racist, xenophobes , race-baiting etc. I realize that racial politics will continue unabated for many elections to come (and will be used as a weapon during this Presidency), and that character issues will be a part of any discussion concerning candidates for the Presidency in the future. Character should be an issue in any election. You will also remember, Bob, that Trent Lott lost his leadership role for his associations (Thurmon?) not too long ago. The Democrats are classic hypocrites in that respect.

Character issues took a backseat because of the financial crisis. Plain and simple. Just for your information, I am not bitter and don’t suffer from Angry Republican Syndrome - at least toward voters. I am somewhat bitter toward the media, however, which clearly was in the tank for Obama. Liberals have been remarkably angry over the past several years.

Actually, I look forward to Obama in the White House and I doubt I will ever refer to him as “pond scum” (McCain) or any of the multitude of names that you referred to Bush. His job, like Bushes, will be incredibly difficult. The Democratic Congress, however, is a different story. They have been gutless, they are gutless today, and they will continue to be gutless in the future.

naveedanjum Author Profile Page :

Focus on winning hearts and minds, Obama!

Racial barriers pulverized on November 5th when American voters embraced call for change and elected the first black chief executive of their country.
But it wouldn’t be a smooth-sailing for the 42-year-old Barack Obama. He’s facing an uphill task, with vanishing jobs, slumping markets and growing anti-American feelings particularly in the Muslim world.
A day after his epoch-making win, Obama heard a chorus of congratulations from around the world but also warnings about the controversial foreign policy of his hawkish predecessor.
Iran asked Obama to pursue his campaign promises, and avoid confronting other countries as President George W. Bush did in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, welcomed Obama’s win, but called for him to review his country’s counter-terror policy to prevent civilian casualties in strife-torn Afghanistan.
But in an ominous development coinciding with Obama’s victory, U.S. warplanes ‘mistakenly’ targeted a wedding party in Kandahar province, killing 37 civilians, among them 23 children. The U.S. military could only offer “apologies” for civilian casualties, “if any”.
Obama has said that Afghanistan and Iraq figure high on his priorities’ list. He has also spoken about eliminating, what U.S. officials call, “TERRORIST SANCTUARIES” in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan.
U.S. pilot-less drones have carried out several missile attacks against such “TERRORIST SAFE HOUSES” in North and South Waziristan agencies since mid-August. The new head of US CENTCOM General David Petraeus, who is still basking under his Iraq success, says three of the top 20 extremists were killed in these strikes. But, what about the “COLLATERAL DAMAGE”? What about scores of innocent civilians killed in these missile strikes?
Pakistan has condemned repeated violations of its airspace and killing of civilians…Not only that it has also warned that such attacks will prove “counter-productive” in the war against terror. But it seems these condemnations went unheeded in Pentagon and White House.
If the new President-elect Barack Obama really believes in a CHANGE which he promised to his voters, he must rethink Bush’s controversial counter-terror policy, and focus more on winning hearts and minds than further stoking anti-American sentiments in the world.

Naveed Hussain
Karachi, Pakistan

blund Author Profile Page :

Tom,

Sour grapes on Ohio and Florida? Look at the numbers Tom. Dems voted for their ticket as did repubs for theirs. It was the independents that gave Obama his victory.

It's OK though. If you show me a good loser I'll show you a consistent one. McSame's campaign was always an uphill battle and I believe you knew that. Given the unpopularity of the war and the Bush administration in general made McSame's candidacy a long shot at best. It was almost a valiant effort. By almost I don't believe McSame ran a very good campaign. Shifting messages and shifting attacks along with the Palid selection didn't help his cause.

As you brought up Ayers did you see his interview? He, like just about all republicans, wasn't happy with the press. Hmmm, since Ayers and the repub's share this trait it's fair to say Ayers is really a republican? After all, if they complain alike they must be the same. Complaining about Bill Ayers was and will remain smear and slime. Bill Ayers and Obama were never friends (according to both of them). Obama never "paled" around with Ayers. Hopefully, 4 years from now the repub's will have learned a lesson from this. That lesson is a party (repub's) have no more character or integity then the dems. Hence, running on character while sliming your opponent days have come and gone for the next few election cycles. Even if Obama and Ayers were bossom buddies independents weren't buying the connection. They viewed it as just another repub smear attempt.

It must have been very disturbing to you to see McSame at campaign stops, taking questions and having to tell his supports that Obama wasn't a Muslim, a terrorist and a Arab. Disturbing in the sense that the rest of the country was watching this play out and thinking how stupid could people really be.

I'm curious as to why you didn't include Virginia, Indiana, Colorado and North Carolina in places to send Gitmo prisioners to? They also defected.

Back to Obama and the question. Priorities:
1. Cabinet and Staff
2. Political appointments
a. Clean out Justice Department. Offer the 9 fired US Attorney's jobs back as a good start.
b. Clean out EPA and start over.
3. Iraq, Afghanistan, Economy, Energy, Health Care.
4. Foreign policy issues like Iran, Russia, NK, Sudan, Pakistan.

AnjuChandel Author Profile Page :

Barack Obama should bring The Change(s) needed and which we can believe in in Washington and in America!

...............

Thank you, Toots

Thank you, Toots, for giving us Barack Obama! I know you must be proudly watching your grandson from up above the sky so high - Heaven - "create History" by becoming the "1st Black President" of The United States of America!

It is almost like the re-birth of America.: Time for Tom Cruise to get ready for "Re-born on the 4th of November"!

And, it is a Blessing!

Today, it is not only your little Barry who is Blessed - Barack means Blessed - but the US and the entire world have been Blessed! Shall we say, "United States of "Barack" America" and a "Barack world"!

Toots, as he rightly said in his winning speech, "Change has come to America!" … I add: "Change has come to the world!"

And, Yes We Can! In fact, We Will! We will work together under the incredible leadership of Barack Obama and try to make our earth a much better place to live, for all!

You know, Toots, very rarely does come a time in evolution of human life that "a Body gets an extraordinary Soul". Your Barack Obama is that "special creation of God", whom you and your daughter - his mother, Ann - nourished and chiseled, and instilled in him great values and morals and intelligence and helped him become what he is. … May he Live long - forever! - and Lead! May God, and you, always be with him, his family, the US and the entire humanity.

Thanks, again, Toots :)

..........

As you all know, Toots is for Tutu - grandmother - in Hawaiian. Wish she had lived for one more day and seen her darling little Barry become the President.)

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

I do have a problem with the thousands of illegal immigrants. A lot of them are criminals and should rounded up and deported. But, a lot of them are simply families and a lot of them have "anchor babies" - US CITIZENS!! Do you want those US citizens deported, raised in Mexico or some other foreign country? Not me! I want their entire family issued green cards and fast tracked for U.S. citizenship. In the meantime, we need to lock the border tight to keep out criminals and drugs and further illegal immigrants and, at the same time, we need reasonable quotas to allow as many of these hard working and honest people into the country as possible.

Most illegals take low paying jobs, often at sub-minimum wages, with no benefits. They are used by employers in a bidding war against American citizens to depress wages and benefits. Immigration reform would grant legal status to those families with U.S. native born children and as many other families as we can assimilate and end the exploitation of them and employer use of them against U.S. workers.

Blondenfreude Author Profile Page :

mibrooks27 wrote :
Blondenfreude - put it this way, I volunteered to elect Obama becasue I understood that he would end the H1-B visa and impose penaslties on companies that outsource jobs. I knocked on over 1000 doors, donated hundreds of dollars, and spent countless hours working at his campaign headquarters. If he DOESN'T end this nonsense, I will take it rather personally.
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mibrook, I agree with you on labor issues you have raised mostly. But you have to understand that the issue is not H1-B/L1. The issue really is how technology giants/their customers/their vendors use the H1-B/L1 to selectively elimibnate legitimate US competitive workers/employees/executives to retain/increase their clout.

If Obama or you or thousands of volunteers have an issue with H1-B/L1, how come you do not have issue with millions of illegal immgrants that are pouring into this country each minute of the day. How come you and Obama do not have issue with people who come here on visitor or such visa and stay illegally in this country.

If you and Obama are so passionate about workforce issues related to immigration, then can you atleast stop using double standards - abolish H1-B/L1 for legitimate candidates whereas on the other hand legitimize millions of illegal immigrants in thsi country?

If you and Obama are so passionate about workforce issues realted to imkmigration, why not bust the door of Microsoft, EDS, IBM, HP, Perot Systems etc executives and respective senators/representatives and make them accountable to H1-B/L1 mal practices?

cmburn Author Profile Page :

Mr. Zakaria,

I’m hoping the first thing President-Elect Obama does is take a good long nap to recharge his batteries after a long two year presidential campaign. After that he needs to assemble a bi-partisan administration with the best minds in the world. His economic team must be his first priority. He should assemble the best international economic team ever, for the world is teetering on a global financial disaster. If we can get the global financial engine repaired, then many of the other problem can be addressed and solved. However, the world financial system must be rebuilt, strengthened, and made equitable for all the countries, especially the emerging nations.

FUZZYTRUTHSEEKER Author Profile Page :

Don't worry, Mr. Sher, they will do that. They will approach the world, if not with actual respect, at least with a semblance of respect. That is because, having approached the Gulf Arab states with a begging bowl, Gordon Brown got very little so far. And, having used financial threat in their initial joint recommendation published in Washington Post on 15 September, Henry Kissinger and Martin Feldstein had to immediately withdraw it to remove the more aggressive sentences and publish a sanitised version.

They are learning their lesson, reluctantly, as all long-spolt children do, but they ARE learning.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

Blondenfreude - put it this way, I volunteered to elect Obama becasue I understood that he would end the H1-B visa and impose penaslties on companies that outsource jobs. I knocked on over 1000 doors, donated hundreds of dollars, and spent countless hours working at his campaign headquarters. If he DOESN'T end this nonsense, I will take it rather personally. This was THE issue for everyone I worked with. I'd bet that over half of his volunteers are violently opposed to outsourcing and the H1-B and L-1 visas, so much so, that if they are gone, and gone very very soon, there will be hell to pay. As Mr. Obqama said, we are responsible for making him President. If he doesn't keep his word to us, well, we can make that a very short and very unpleasant job.

Blondenfreude Author Profile Page :

mibrooks27 wrote :
Blondenfreude - Well, then we'll just have to agree to disagree. Every statistic I have seen demonstrates that, not only should be H1-B and L-1 visas be eliminated entirely, but that they should eliminated immediately
----------
H1-B/L1 cannot be eliminated because it serves to keep our workforce competitive.

US government should closely examine to eliminate H1-B/L1 mal practices being perpetrated by technology giants and their vendors such as:
1. Technology giants and its vendors/customer management falsely claim that current US workforce cannot support its technology, when actually they should be retraining the existing competitive workforce.
2. Serious examine use of H1-B/L1 use to reinforce clout phenomenon in workplaces.
etc.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

Blondenfreude - Well, then we'll just have to agree to disagree. Every statistic I have seen demonstrates that, not only should be H1-B and L-1 visas be eliminated entirely, but that they should eliminated immediately and the companies sponsoring those guest workers need to be responsible for shipping back to India and China, or wherever else they come from, every single one of the guest wokers within 30 days of the end of those programs.

Blondenfreude Author Profile Page :

mibrooks27 wrote :
1. Blondenfreude - Your post repeats a lot of the nonsense being spread about the H1-B visa by it's apologists.
2. As of 2001, 9 out of every 10 new job openings for computer/IT were taken by H-1Bs, and despite record unemployment the INS issued 312,000 visas in 2002 and has increased that number every year since.
---------
1. To point number one, I did not crap about H1-B/L1 as you mentioned. H1-B/L1 cannot be eliminated, but certainly US and foreign employers mal practices with respect to H1-B/L1 need serious exeamination by US government.

2. US certainly does not need 312000 H1-B visas anually. These inflated quotas are created based on estimates by companies like intel, microsoft, oracle, eds, HP, IBM etc. These technologies employers are at forefront of US economy and are the engines on which US economy runs. These giant corps know this fact fully well and exploit it to advance their own selfish agenda.

This is how H1-B/L1 estmates are produced by companies like microsoft - Microsoft produces newer products/technology. There are very few microsoft vendors in US who go out and adopt newer technology instantly because the technlogy really is not needed at the moment - it is just microsoft pushing its technologies to rachet up its earnings for wall street. However foreign vendors adopt such technologies instantly, because their survival is based on quick adoption. So now Microsoft goes to US government and claims it need 50000, 100000 H1-B to support its product/technology in US and US government has no choice but to agree.

How this H1-B quota deternmination harm employment in US? The answer is simple. The new technology is in hot demand for couple of year to five years after which H1-B/L1 workers for such technologies are eliminated by Microsoft/its vendors. Such displaced H1-B/L1 herd together ahd start ganging up on the legitimate skilled workers at customers sites, thus replacing them.

So if at all the blame has to be placed it is on technology giants, who do not wish to spend enough or resist to finance programs to train US workforce to support their newer technologies.

US government should closely examinie such H1-B/L1 mal practices.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

Blondenfreude - Your post repeats a lot of the nonsense being spread about the H1-B visa by it's apologists.

Here are a few facts to consider, every one these from the Department Of Labor:

By the year 2003 the total number of H-1B visas for high-tech workers issued was greater than the total number of high-tech jobs eliminated. Negative job growth in Computer/IT for U.S. citizens can be directly correlated with the huge influx of H-1B visa holders.

H-1B is used to import workers for jobs that American employers claim can't be filled in the "tight American labor market". Their claim is a lie because there are more than enough Americans to fill these jobs. L-1 visas have no yearly quota and may one day surpass H-1B as a means of importing skilled workers.

As of 2001, 9 out of every 10 new job openings for computer/IT were taken by H-1Bs, and despite record unemployment the INS issued 312,000 visas in 2002 and has increased that number every year since.

Blondenfreude Author Profile Page :

mibrooks27 wrote:
Moreover, at least HALF of our own computer programmers have been displaced by H1-B guest workers or have had their jobs outsourced, usually to India or China.
---------
I agree with you mostly, except when you trash H1-B and make a case that H1-B or outsourcing happens only to India or China.

For past couple of years, I have noticed that I received calls from call center in Africa, Australia, Philippines, Brazil, Poland, Canada, England even Russia. So your statement that call centers have been outsourced to India and China is misleading.

Secondly, H1-B visas are available to all countries in world. When other countries do not fulfill their quota, the balance of their quota is made available to which ever country needs it. So your case that there is discrimination in H1-B quota is baseless.

H1-B, green card or citizenship processes do not harm the country or employment to US citizens and residents.

So let us examine the factors that harm employment opportunities for citizens and residents in US with respect to H1-B/L1:
1. Typically management from US employers and foreign employers, maliciously gang up on US citizens/residents working in their workplace and replace them by H1-B/L1 etc for retaining/increasing its influence in the company.

2. H1-B/L1 are foreign workers so for self preservation it is only expected that these workers will tend to keep friends and family as close to each other as possible.

3. Aliens who are on H1-B/L1 tend to operate in herds and anyone can notice that in a given workplace if you have several H1-B/L1, those aliens typically belong to one country or sometimes from a particular region of foreign country. These H1-B/L1 herds operate in such a way so as to eliminate any skilled worker from entering their work place. This is done typically as a self preservation measure, to protect the H1-B/L1 herd from being terminated especially because the green card/citizenship process takes about 5+ years to complete.

The herd mechanism of operation of H1-B/L1 is harmful to US - H1-B/L1 is given out to foreign workers to help US increase its competitiveness and efficiency in workplace. But the herds of H1-B/L1 kill the competitiveness principle, because it uses its clout to eliminate some of the best talent available in US from US schools/universities. Also a herd of H1-B/L1 from one country will eliminate another H1-B/L1 from another country, thus defeating the competitive workforce argument.

US government should examine these antitrust practices in workplaces.

It is certainly not a time to eliminate H1-B/L1 completely, but now that US schools are producing quality students/workforce, it is time to re-examine H1-B/L1 mal practices by US and foreign employers.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

mnjam - I am an engineer and I would correct one misconception in your otherwise excellent set of suggestions, there really isn't any need for a crash program in math and science. Unlike most countries, we test all of our students. If you look at the education set, using the same rules that are used in Japan and Europe, our college bound students do just as well as their's. Moreover, at least HALF of our own computer programmers have been displaced by H1-B guest workers or have had their jobs outsourced, usually to India or China. The fact is, we have PLENTY of computer programmers, engineers, and scientists to fill every single vacancy with American's if we ended the madness of employing foreign nationals.

Worse, as reported in the Post last week, some 3 milllion former H1-B workers were simply dumped when their sponsoring company went out of business or laid them off. Those former hi-tech workers drive taxi's, wash dishes, work in the underground economy. They were dumped onto the streets as if they were bothing more than an inconvenient pet. Now, the taxpayers have to pick up their medicale and other social services costs and find some way of helping them to get back home. This is so criminal, so sickening, that it defies any sort of excuse or explanation. We do have a solution, however. Track down every one of those workers and make the companies or exectives AND INVESTORS in those companies, if the compoany is out of business, financially responsible for every dime of the cost of those workers. Common sense, justice, decency, and partriotism provide reason enough to do ALL of these things.

mnjam Author Profile Page :

The current economic crisis is the culmination of three decades of misguided Conservative economic policies (voodoo economics), with the temporary and partial exception of the Clinton Administration. For 40 years, it has been clear that the US had to shift to a higher savings and investment economy. Conservatism, while promising to accomplish that, did the opposite. Obama must use this economic crisis to do what had been sorely needed for the past 40 years -- to articulate and implement a set of policies that will substantially increase the rate of public and private savings and investment. He can start with a "stimulus" package that emphasizes spending on infrastructure, rather than "tax cuts" or "rebates." Beyond that, we need more progressive income taxation and proportionately greater investment of the proceeds in infrastructure, education and research (especially in new energy technologies); an end to borrowing from foreigners to finance the government; meaningful reform of primary and secondary education to restore American leadership in these areas; and a rationalization of a health care system which diverts over a trillion dollars from useful purposes into unnecessary overhead costs.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

Zolko - ALl of those Indian and Chinese H1-B workers, every last one of them, takes a job for which there is a fully qualified U.S. worker. There is absolutely no reason for those programs to even exist and they need to be done away with. Likewise, if we brought back trade tariff's, which served this country for most of it's history, both as a major source of federal revenue and as a means of protecting our jobs, we could fund some basic and badly needed programs like health care and energy. At the same time, adding punitive taxes onto companies AND INVESTORS, that outsource jobs or production capacity or even technology, would both provide federal revenue and would lead to the return of at least half of the jobs we have outsourced since 2000 - manufacturing jobs, call center work, xray technologists, customer service representatives, records management and database administration and programming. The flood of jobs returning home will lead to consumer spending that will lead us out of this recession and short order. All of this is just plain common sense and I am delighted to note that Obama agrees with me.

realist2 Author Profile Page :

Unfortunately the first thing Obama will do is begin paying back all of the Middle Eastern "businessmen" who bought him. And he won't be doing that with money necessarily. He is like a puppet and they will be pulling his strings. But don't put all the blame on Obama. When your political career begins in a place like Chicago you can't help but be corrupt.

Daho Author Profile Page :

The first thing Barack Obama should do is to evaluate - now he may have all the information from the inside of the White House - the extent of the damage caused by the decisions taken during the last eight years of the Bush administration. The next important steps is to carefully choose the persons who will compose his future cabinet. The choice should exclude everything that is not personality, experience, ability and integrity.
From there he should determine and tackle the problems which need immediate attention.
Thereafter, everybody must hope that he succeeds to realize his promises as closely as possible.
Gook luck M. President.

SsisterSara Author Profile Page :

The optimism generated among masses due to Obama's win, will help to dissipate the negative sentiment that has been around for past few years.

However, the realities of Wall Street, Financoal Markets and security threats will not take much time to catch and dilute this optimism in due time.

The five point implementation promise made by Obama as his highest priority, will take more than one term to implement.

So, Obama's and his teams first task should be to come up with an agenda, that will engage american masses so as to retain their trust for the next four years and enable him to stay in White House for the presidential term beginning in 2012.

deximac Author Profile Page :

RUEGO A DIOS LE ILUMINE!!! DEBE TERMINAR CON LA SEGREGACION INTERNA Y LA SEGREGACION HACIA AFUERA QUE LOS EEUU HACEN CON EL RESTO DE LOS PAISES!! DEBE CERRAR DEFINITIVAMENTE GUANTANAMO, LIBERAR SUS PRISIONEROS Y DEROGAR EL PATRIOT ACT!!. DEBERA TERMINAR CON LA GUERRA DE IRAK URGENTE Y MAS CON LA DE AFGANISTAN!! DEBE PENSAR QUE TODOS LOS PAISES SON HERMANOS Y LA PAZ VENDRA CON EL RESPETO Y LA SOLIDARIAD MUTUAS!! DEBE TERMINAR EL EMBARGO CON CUBA Y ESTABLCER RELACIONES CON LA HABANA DEJANDO DE LADO LA OPINION DE LA MAFIA CUBANA DEL EXILIO. DEBE FIRMAR EL TRATADO DE LYOTO Y EL DEL TRIBUNAL PENAL INTERNACIONAL. DEBE AL FIN HACER VER QUE EL CAMBIO ES POSIBLE SI SE DESEMBARAZA DE TANTOS INTERESES DE LOS HALLIBURTON, CARLYLE, ETC. ENJUICIARB A BUSH Y A CHENEY POR LOS ACTOS DE FELONIA CONTRA LA NACION E INVESTIGAR LOS AUTOATENTADOS A LAS TORRES GEMELAS Y EL PENTAGONO!! RESPETANDO A TODOS Y NO OLVIDANDO A LOS MAS NECESITADOS, EN SALUD, EDUCACION, SERVICIOS SANITARIOS BASICOS, ETC. DEBERA DERRUMBAR EL OTRO MURO DE LA VERGUENZA, EL CON MEXICO. Y LEGALIZAR EL CONSUMO DE DROGAS. ESTO SERA FATAL PARA LOS GRANDES POOLS FINANCIEROS QUE LAVAN EL DINERO DEL MALDITO TRAFICO Y QUEDAN IMPUNES!! ESO PARA EMPEZAR DESDE EL MISMO 21 DE ENERO!!!

katypaillard Author Profile Page :

Dear Président,

I am so glade for you and US country....
I hope you 4 beautiful Years..
Be strong.
You are the first one... The historic one..
(sorry for my english, a long long time i did'nt write and speak)

Mr Président, god bless you and all the people living in USA.

So happy... So proud

First thing :

Help américan's to live this hard time.

Be the best you can.

GOD BLESS YOU

Katy PAILLARD

despinoza05 Author Profile Page :

I think he needs to reassure USA image around the world. After he choose a cabinet with experience and common sense:
First, Gitmo should be closed and the detainees should be trailed respecting human rights and civil rights.
Second he needs to focus in economy and domestic problems. Create confidence and stability is the most important thing, with economic policies based on common sense, and looking for stability in the future, some regulation would be needed, no doubt about that.
Third: Get out of Iraq!!!! as soon as possible. And focus in Afghanistan.
Good luck Mr. Obama, and listened to your people and the others around the world that is the MOST important thing that you have to do as a President. You are no alone, everybody is watching you

despinoza05 Author Profile Page :

I think he needs to reassure USA image around the world. After he choose a cabinet with experience and common sense:
First, Gitmo should be closed and the detainees should be judged respecting human rights and civil rights.
Second he needs to focus in economy and domestic problems. Create confidence and stability is the most important thing, with economic policies based on common sense, and looking for stability in the future, some regulation would be needed, no doubt about that.
Third: Get out of Iraq!!!! as soon as possible. And focus in Afghanistan.

Good luck Mr. Obama, and listened to your people and the others around the world that is the MOST important thing that you have to do as a President. You are no alone, everybody is watching you

Zolko Author Profile Page :

yeolds:

"the USA economy whose appetite for 2-3 billion dollars a day can not be financed without international cooperation"

Well, one solution to this would be to allow more workforce from India and China with H1-B visas. What do you reckon, Mike ? It's interesting to call the endless financing of the US way of life by foreigners as "international cooperation".

Obama has a big mountain to climb.

yousufhashmi1 Author Profile Page :

The day when Mr. Obama enters the oval office the first thing he must think that after eight years he will be leaving this office.

He has promised a change. And he has to face the resistance to change.

On 5th Nov 2016 he should be able to tell the nation that his stay in office has brought the changes in all aspects of the life of US citizens and the entire world.

His success of today will then be complete.

Mean time heartiest congratulations for running a very professional campaign


TomW2 Author Profile Page :

PG

First things first:

This is truly an historic event in America. There can be little doubt that Obama will be a tremendous role-model for people (especially minorities) who work hard and rise against the odds in our society, but Obama’s story couldn’t just happen anywhere. Contrary to what has been written for so long in this country - mostly by liberals, the liberal media and Marxist professors such as William Ayers - we are not a racist people. No other western liberal democracy has elected a person of African descent to lead their country. American has a diverse population (just visit New York). Successful integration of minorities into our society can be attributed to economic opportunity and our melting pot history of immigration. From Obama’s humble beginnings, what were the odds of him becoming President?

What should President-elect Obama’s first priority be in office?

Domestically, the economy is the obvious priority. Several important issues dominate foreign policy.

1. Regain the momentum in Afghanistan (hint: you cannot talk the Taliban leaders and their hardcore followers into some sort of compromise, but you probably can talk local tribal leaders who support the Taliban into working with the US - with money and security)

2. Reevaluate your position on Iraq.

3. Iran: convince the Europeans that strong unilateral sanctions may be the last hope to end Iran’s weapons program, although it may be too late to be effective. The last two options are undesirable - war and containment. Europe is Iran’s biggest trading partner.

4. Free the detainees at Guantanamo. Give them a no down payment, low interest Fannie Mae backed loan for homes in Florida and Ohio.

yeolds Author Profile Page :

Without doubt the most inmportant step for Mr. Obama and the World is to get a new international regulatory body to slow/stop the further economic contraction due to the excesses of toxic debt exported by the USA in the last few years.

Within and without the above international agreement the immediate steps needed is the problems of the USA economy whose appetite for 2-3 billion dollars a day can not be financed without international cooperation.

Without strengthening the USA economy, the problems of Iraq, Afganistan, Somalia, N Korea, Iran can not be solved - for without funds the DoD can not operate, and without funds the old diplomatic nonsense of carrots and stick is meaningless.

While Dr Roubini and others talk of international resession/depression as a possibility, the countries experiencing such economic malaise will blame the USA for their hardships, thus putting strain on international cooperation, even in case that Mr, Obama completely denies any ambition for the USA to be unipolar.

Overall the choices for the USA are limited to two:
1., persuade the international wealthy community [EU/Russia, China, OPEC Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc] to help in solving the toxic debt [frozen lending] issue; or
2., keep printing money, which will lead to hyperinflation in a year or less [a la Weimer Republic, Hungary, etc]

Good Luck to Mr. Obama and the USA!

Zolko Author Profile Page :

I hope he launches an independent and powerful investigation about what exactly happened on 9/11, who was behind it, what flying object crashed into the Pentagon, where are it's debris and who ordered to remove them, why did WTC-7 collapse and what did it contain. How come a terrorist's passport has been recovered while no aircraft part could be found. How were passengers able to make cellular phone-calls in an aircraft in 2001 when in 2008 it's a rare experimental service.

I also hope he will shut down Guantanamo in his 1-st day in office.

I also wish he tells us at last about those weapons of mass destruction that Iraq was supposed to have and about which the US foreign minister (Secretary of State, Colin Powell) was allowed to make a public hearing in front of the world's eyes.

school_is_in_session Author Profile Page :

Bomb the Bush family into the stone age?
Hang Dick Cheney?
Burn Rumsfeld alive?

monicabergen Author Profile Page :

Dear Mr Obama, the entire world salutes you not just as a new President of the United States of America, but in addition as THE NEW MAN who has been born to build A NEW ERA. THE ERA of peace, equality, inclusion, and respect for the diversity.
God bless and protect you, and your family- Guides your ways, brights your decisions, and supports you on difficulties.
Finally, my most important hope is nothing bad happens to you, so you can help our world to FULLFIL ITS DREAM.
A sincere hug from Chile.

Modliberative Author Profile Page :

“Mission Begun”

On November 4, 2008, America had its most successful day in its on-going quest to defeat global terrorism. Without firing a single bullet or spilling a single drop of blood, America demonstrated to the World --- BY EXAMPLE and not by force --- the awesome power and promise of Democracy.

Among the least cost-effective ways to spread Democracy is FORCING our brand of Democracy --- which is a unique byproduct of our particular history and culture --- on another sovereign nation. Instead, Democracy can only endure if it is a creation OF its citizens, BY its citizens, and FOR its citizens (tailor-made to that nation’s particular history and culture); and then only if those citizens are willing to make the necessary sacrifices and fight for its own brand of Democracy.

On November 4, 2008 America showed all the citizens of the World why Democracy is worth that fight; and in so doing, America delivered a most devastating blow to extremism and global terrorism.

On November 5, 2008, however, we must not declare “Mission Accomplished.” Instead, we must unite behind Barack Obama and the great leaders of a reunited civilized World to complete this vital “Mission Begun.”

[FYI, I consider myself a "Modliberative," meaning I am a small part Moderate, a small part Liberal, a small part Conservative; but for the most part, none of them and constantly challenging and questioning them all.]

blogwaltbennettcom Author Profile Page :

Obama Watch, Part 1: Unemployment

It is widely understood that there has been an enormous economic contraction in the last year, much of which has occurred in recent months. It has become clear that investor overconfidence has turned to paralytic fear. Investment firms, banks, traders, manufacturers, even entire governments, all teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.

The wave of closings has only just begun, and will in the next several years mount into a tsunami of job loss. This will be a world-wide recession, perhaps an actual depression, perhaps lasting a decade or longer. The world of 2008 is significantly different than the world of 1929, when the stock market crashed, and than the world of 1933, when unemployment reached 25%. The world of today is more integrated, more interconnected than that world. Jobs flow much more easily around the globe than they did then.

And in capitalism, capital will always flow in the direction of the cheapest labor.

American workers will soon be pitted against workers living in other, cheaper economies, and therefore against each other. American workers will soon be faced with a choice between a job with far less pay and fewer, if any, benefits than the job they lost to the meltdown, or no job at all.

Here are some numbers, which will be updated by the end of the week when the October figures are published:

2,399,000 workers have lost jobs in the first three quarters of 2008. Annualized, that number is 3,200,000. That’s not the total number of unemployed; that’s the number of additional unemployed in the first nine months of 2008; a number which is larger than the population of 21 U.S. states. Looked at another way, the number of jobs lost this year are equivalent to the combined populations of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming and Vermont. More than the entire population of states such as Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas.

The current number of unemployed is 9,477,000. Looked at yet another way, The State of Unemployment is currently the tenth largest state.

That number could be over 10 million workers by the end of the year. It might reach 12 million, 13 million or more by the end of 2009. The fifth largest state in the union would be the State Of Unemployment.

Keep another number in mind: there are nearly 5 million more who say they want a job but have become too discouraged to look for a job. Based on that number the current unemployment rate is not 6.1% but 9%. The combined number could reach 18 million by the end of 2009, and might overtake Florida as the fourth largest state.

In his recent stump speeches, president-elect Obama promised to create 7 million new jobs in public works and technology projects. In the last year, the labor force grew by 100,000, but the number of people of working age who are not in the labor force grew by 800,000. How quickly the promised jobs become available will go a long way toward defining the length and depth of this meltdown, and will go a long way toward determining whether or not the Obama presidency will be transformative.

In order to fund the many projects which need doing in this country, which will also put many people to work in good paying jobs, two things need to happen: 1) President Obama must, through the tax code, confiscate significant amounts of wealth from those who have the most to give, and use these seizures to fund the projects. He can use emergency powers if necessary. 2) He must make sure that these projects do not enrich the very same power brokers. The money must flow primarily to workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses.

If President-elect Obama is serious about job creation, he has to remove the real barriers to job creation: the hoarding of cash by the richest few. The old economic theory that this cash would somehow trickle back down to the working class has been shown to be a complete lie. Quite the opposite, in fact. The recent Wall Street bailout is a prime example of trickle-up economics. When the power brokers made bad bets, we paid them off, so the fat cats could stay fat.

Senator Obama voted for that bailout, and so it is clear that his philosophy is to preserve the free enterprise system. In his acceptance speech tonight, he reminded his audience that this is not his victory, but theirs, ours.

There are large problems affecting all people of the world. Many of these problems will afflict this country in the near future. Many millions of people will be cast into unemployment, poverty and dereliction. A true economic revival can only happen when the 10 million people who want work can get work; when those who want training can get training; when those who want education can get education.

As the term of President Obama unfolds, one measure of his success or failure will be how soon these workers can reclaim their place in the workforce, in meaningful, good paying jobs.

We’ll be watching.

http://blog.waltbennett.com

saunded Author Profile Page :

The most interesting thing to watch in the post-election period is how Obama handles the grassroots movement he started. He has proven to be a creative thinker, and I doubt he will just drop it until the next election.

I predict he will create a party-within-the-party that:
-gets out his messages,
-keeps grassroots pressure on Congress,
-maintains a huge fund-raising operation,
-develops and backs local candidates

Like a cross between the old DLC and MoveOn.org.

mibrooks27 Author Profile Page :

I was a campaign worker for Obama because he will end much of this outsourcing nonsense. Three months to go. Then, companies that outsource jobs will see their taxes increase dramatically, their deductions gone, and the old manner of doing business made very unpleasant and unprofitable. Likewise, most of those Indian H1-B workers will be making arrangement to move back home. I did note that the Indian government, today, craven opportunists that they are, jumped in and blathered about the "continued economic partnership" between India and the U.S. Note quite, guys! The free ride is over and we have elected a President that will see to it that "free trade" is in the interests of this country and our citizens and our workers.... or free trade will end.

Shiveh Author Profile Page :

The first thing for Obama to do is to choose a knowledgeable and capable cabinet to help him govern. His budget is where he can be most effective in shaping the country. Prioritizing the country's needs and working with his cabinet to budget the costs and then forcefully going after obtaining enough votes to have it approved ought to be his first priority. The damage that American military and finantial institutions have caused in the world take some time to correct. The best thing to do is to act responsibly and in harmony with other sober countries from now on and let the past heal itself.

Citizenofthepost-Americanworld Author Profile Page :

From the bottom of my heart, I hope the first thing Barack Obama does as President-Elect is stay alive!

We, Americans, have been here before.

This is the day to remember John F. Kennedy.

This is the day to remember Robert Kennedy.

This is the day to remember Martin Luther King.

"I have a dream."

We, the United States of America, have been here before.

Barack Obama's first duty is to stay alive.

More than ever we need to be:

"Free at last! Free at last!"

We still need to see the day when:

"Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.