Friday, March 08, 2013


Peggy Noonan's latest column has inspired some first-rate (and entirely justified) snark over at Wonkette and Gawker -- but I want to make a serious point about what Noonan's writing. She starts off by describing her recent stay in an airport hotel in Pittsburgh:
... there's no information desk, no doorman, no bellman or concierge, just two harried-looking workers at a front desk on the second level. The man who checked me in put his phones on hold when I asked for someone to accompany me upstairs.....

Things are getting pretty bare-bones in America. Doormen, security, bellmen, people working the floor -- that's maybe a dozen jobs that should have been filled, at one little hotel on one day in one town. Everyone's keeping costs down, not hiring.

What that hotel looked like is America without its muscle, its efficiency, its old confidence.

... Meanwhile, the president is stuck in his games and his history. He should have seen unemployment entering a crisis stage four years ago, and he did not....
Right -- Obama is responsible for the fact that the hotel isn't hiring. The hotel isn't hiring because America has lost "its old confidence."

The reality, of course, is that (as The New York Times reminded us on Monday) corporate America has plenty of confidence -- and what it has the confidence to do most of all is say, "We don't need to hire any more of you damn workers":
... With millions still out of work, companies face little pressure to raise salaries, while productivity gains allow them to increase sales without adding workers....

As a percentage of national income, corporate profits stood at 14.2 percent in the third quarter of 2012, the largest share at any time since 1950, while the portion of income that went to employees was 61.7 percent, near its lowest point since 1966....

The path charted by United Technologies ... underscores why corporate profits and share prices continue to rise in a lackluster economy and a stagnant job market. Simply put, United Technologies does not need as many workers as it once did to churn out higher sales and profits....

At 218,300 employees, United Technologies' work force is virtually unchanged from seven years ago, even though annual revenue soared to $57.7 billion in 2012 from $42.7 billion in 2005.

... four days after the company's shares soared past $90 to a record high last month, United Technologies confirmed it would eliminate an additional 3,000 workers this year, on top of 4,000 let go in 2012 as part a broader restructuring effort.

... the work force at 3M, based in Minnesota, has grown substantially in recent years, rising to 87,677 last year from 76,239 in 2007. But of those 11,438 positions added, only 608 were in the United States....
Of course, it should also be noted that Noonan's column appeared the day the unemployment rate hit a four-year low. The rate is still too high and corporations still aren't hiring enough Americans, but they're hiring more than they have been -- apparently they're not as horrified by the Obama presidency as Noonan thinks they are -- and their mood, to judge from their stock prices, sure seems a lot sunnier than Noonan thinks it is.


Now, let me pick up that Noonan quote where I left off:
Meanwhile, the president is stuck in his games and his history. He should have seen unemployment entering a crisis stage four years ago, and he did not. At that time I was certain he'd go for public-works projects, which could give training to the young and jobs to the experienced underemployed, would create jobs in the private sector and, in the end, yield up something needed -- a bridge, a strengthened power grid. He instead gave his first term to health care.
Um, as I seem to recall, the president went for public works projects -- which were condemned as wasteful pork by nearly every Republican and right-wing commentator in America, Noonan included. And there might have been even more public works projects if Republicans hadn't insisted on (a) a reduction in the size of the stimulus and (b) an overemphasis on tax cuts as a proportion of the total stimulus package. Oh, and of course the president proposed a bill to do precisely what Noonan says she wants in the summer of 2011, and it went nowhere in a Republican-dominated Congress.

As of late last year, Noonan was concluding that the stimulus happened solely because mad scientist Obama's evil plan was to increase the size of government just for the sake of doing so:
What is motivating him primarily is ideology. And an ideological opening. He doesn't like the malefactors of great wealth. He wants to "spread the wealth around," as he told "Joe the Plumber" in Ohio in 2008. His ideological and political affinities are with those he defines as the needy, and his answer to them is to see they are the focus of greater public spending. Period.
Today she concludes that Obama is deliberately inducing austerity and inspiring gloom in order to destroy the economy:
Conservative media should stop taunting the president because he spent the past month warning of catastrophe if the sequester kicks in, and the catastrophe hasn't happened. It hasn't happened yet. He can make it happen. He runs the federal agencies. He can decide on a steady drip of catastrophe -- food inspectors furloughed on the 15th, long lines at the airport on the 18th, sobbing children missing Head Start on the 20th, civilian contractors pointing to a rusting U.S.S. Truman on the 25th.

He can let them happen one after another, like little spring shoots of doom. And it probably won't look planned and coordinated, it will look spontaneous and inevitable.

And you have to assume that's the plan, because that's kind of how he rolls.

... Dr. Doom talks about coming disaster when businessmen need the confidence to hire someone. He's missing the boat on the central crisis of his second term.
There are people who believe Obama is destroying America so he can turn U.S. sovereignty over to the U.N., or so that he can impose sharia law. At this point, there isn't a dime's worth of difference between those tinfoil-wearing conspiratorialists and Peggy Noonan.


Victor said...

If 'Men are from Mars,' and "Women are from Venus,' then right about now, Peg "O' My Fart" is on the space rock once known as the planet Pluto.
Or, possibly another planetary system!

Can you possibly be any more out of touch?

And, I believe she's suffering memory loss due to alcoholic dementia, since she can't even remember the "TEH STOOOPID" shit she wrote not too long ago.

This was my overall favorite, though, about staying in an AIRPORT hotel in fucking Pittsburgh, Fer Christ's Sake!!!:
"...there's no information desk, no doorman, no bellman or concierge, just two harried-looking workers at a front desk on the second level. The man who checked me in put his phones on hold when I asked for someone to accompany me upstairs..."

Really, Peg?

Uhm, Peg, let me ask you, what were you so afraid of that you needed someone to accompany you upstairs to your room?
All of us riff-raff just lug our own luggage.
That, since this isn't the Ritz-Carlton, you might run into a "Blah" person who wasn't a maid?

Oh, and Peg, since it's been awhile since you obviously were in a non-5-Star hotel, besides no 'info desk, no doorman, no bellman, and no concierge,' you know what else hotels the rest of us riff-raff stay in DON'T have?
No stable-boys.
No grooms.
No maid for every room, 24X7.
No personal chef.
No hitching-posts.
And no modern convenience, like an elevator with an elevator-boy in a spiffy uniform and cap, who'll thank you for your nickel tip.
Oh, and also, Peg, I hate to tell you this - but there are no more station-runners for your critical Western Union telegrams, either.

Now, maybe the riff-raff hotels in your long, long, long, gone youth had those, but I'm 55 and I don't remember any workers like that, EVER!

"Why, what's happened to the world?
What hath Obama wrought?!?!
Airports hotels WITHOUT infomation desks, doormen, bellmen, or concierges!"

ROTFLMAO - Vomiting, and pooping and pissing myself!!!

STOP IT PEG, YOU'RE FUCKING KILLING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Ground control to Pundit Peg!"

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't Nooners I would have sworn the whole thing was satire. Alas this is just how Peg rolls. Hard to decide what part was my favorite - probably the notion that eeeevil dictator Nobummer can "decide on a steady drip of catastrophe" "like little spring shoots of doom" just BECUZ!!

Steve M. said...

If I had a Cure-inspired '80s-revival mope-rock band, I'd definitely call our next album Little Spring Shoots of Doom.

A.J. said...

" (Obama) doesn't like the malefactors of great wealth."

Who the hell does you vacant supercilious twit? Definition, "Malfactor: to do WRONG. Subject to prosecution and punishment.". Teddy Roosevelt, a Republicn, coined that phrase, and not in a nice way.

Maybe you should lay off the box wine for a while?

Pops said...

I must emphasize I am not a Health Care Professional but it has obvious to me AND Health Care Professional that I speak that Peggy Noonan suffered a horrible Menopause. Peggy you need some Hormones, Drugs or something but until you do get that help PLEASE STOP MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF

Ten Bears said...

No, Steve... as one who occasionally makes a few bucks rooting about the bowels of the cybersphere, the conspiracy theorists make more sense. Lay out an arguement, provide support, draw conclusions. Like wrtting an essay for grade, or profit.

Original Stepford Clone, or stronger Kool-Aid?

No fear...