Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Clueless Barry

Obama's been so shielded off from reality, he thinks he can go to a warehouse employing low-wage workers and tout it as some kind of alternative for the millions of people who are trying to get income to survive since he and Congress won't do one goddamned thing to fix the jobs crisis. He was gallivanting around Chattanooga yesterday, offering platitudes about how warehouse work is one (fruitless) avenue for jobseekers to look into.

Unfortunately for him, most of these jobs like Amazon.com's are located in out-of-the-way places where there is NO public transportation; in fact, in most of the country, public transportation either doesn't exist or is very limited. People have to have cars, and many of them cannot afford the gas and any possible mechanical problems that could result.

Furthermore, Amazon and its ilk are notoriously bad places to work.

For people who can afford cars, the takeaway from these numbers is straightforward: Drive to work and hope you keep earning enough to pay for gas, insurance and any unplanned maintenance. Even for people in this group, the risks can be considerable. Many people fall into joblessness when their car breaks down, depriving them of the means to get to work -- a downward spiral that can extend all the way down to homelessness.

For those who cannot afford a car, the disconnect between jobs and transit poses uniquely grave challenges. It makes for long odds that poor people will ever climb their way to a better place. According to Brookings, 1 in 10 low-income residents of major American cities relies on some form of public transportation to get to work.

All of which makes Obama's visit to the Amazon warehouse in Chattanooga hard to square with his recent job creation push. He went there to urge Congress to strike "a grand bargain for middle class jobs." My colleague Dave Jamieson has already covered the fact that many of the new Amazon jobs are temp positions, meaning they are low-paying and generally devoid of health benefits -- in short, no ticket to the middle class. Putting that aside, how will the people who need these jobs the most get to work? In Chattanooga, less than 23 percent of the metro area's working-age people have access to public transit, according to Brookings, making it the worst endowed metropolis in the United States.

This is just another example of how compromised "Democrats" like Obama really are. He talks a lot of talk, but he has no intention of doing one goddamned thing about it.

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