ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Bipartisan Plutocracy

United States President Barack Obama has completed two years in office and it seems that he is more interested in not ending up as a one-term president. Playing safe and kowtowing to the demands of corporate and financial lobbyists may assure Obama a second term - but it leaves his agenda, its promise of a society that was fairer to the poor and asked more of the rich, largely unimplemented.

o pportunity seen anywhere in history – is being gutted as state revenues have declined and nearly every governor is facing unprecedented decits. Amidst this deep economic crisis, Congress is deadlocked T wo years into Barack Obama’s presidency, the United States (US) is a deeply divided society. The “shellacking” (in his phrase) which saw the Democrats lose control of the House of Representatives and greatly diminished in the senate in the elections of November 2010 was not unexpected. In the last 100 years, on an average the president’s party has lost 31 seats in the House of Representatives and about four seats in the senate in such mid-term elections. Just in recent decades, Reagan, Clinton and George W Bush all faced sharp diminutions in their party’s representation in Congress in midterm elections, though admittedly not as severe as Obama (whose party dropped 63 Congressmen and six senators). American voters have historically voted their pocketbook and three years into the “Great Recession” those wallets are lighter than ever. “Ofcial” unemployment is currently at over 9% (with its real extent being estimated at up to twice that by some analysts). The administration’s view that the recession is over and the economy growing is belied by negligible job creation. Recent estimates by the Department of Labour found that as against a need for at least 1,40,000 new jobs per month to prevent further deterioration, the economy was adding just 67,000. Freshly minted graduates of prestigious law and business schools are nding employment prospects bleak, let alone those from the average state universities or those entering the workforce with a high school diploma.

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