By Andre Damon
January 10, 2014

President Obama, announcing his so-called “economic promise zone” initiative in a White House speech on Thursday, gave a performance that expressed the cynical and contemptuous attitude of his administration and the entire ruling class to the plight of working people in America.

The event was staged as part of the administration’s supposed campaign against inequality, whose entire substance, besides the “promise zones,” consists of a call to restore long-term unemployment benefits and enact a small increase in the minimum wage.

Speaking in the midst of the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, with the poverty rate rising and social inequality at historic levels, Obama made no attempt to present an objective picture of the social crisis in America. He offered no statistics on poverty, unemployment, hunger or the vast chasm separating the financial elite from the rest of the population. Nor did he attempt to explain why the social crisis had worsened during his tenure.

His remarks were perfunctory, off-the-cuff and punctuated by jokes. He gave no concrete details about the five “promise zones” he was announcing—in impoverished neighborhoods of Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Antonio, and in Southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

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