In a telling sign that American workers will be sitting at the back of the bus in the Obama administration, the first pro-labor appointment to the new Administration was made by VICE President Joe Biden.
Economist Jared Bernstein has served for years as a pro-AFL-CIO economist at the Washington D.C. based Economic Policy Institute. Given the tensions between Biden and Obama on various issues during the campaign, including battles over the influence of the race-based politics of the Bill Ayers led group in the Obama camp, this appointment will reinforce the awareness of organized labor of their relative weakness in the Administration. Bernstein was not on the stage when the big guns of the President’s economic team were named last week.
The A-team includes Paul Volcker (a notorious anti-labor figure from the Carter/Reagan era), Larry Summers (a free trader and de-regulator from the Clinton era) and Tim Geithner (a friend of Wall Street and acolyte of Summers).