Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton detailed their "Put America Back to Work" initiatives on Wednesday, and both were surprisingly similar, but for one major exception.
Clinton's plan calls for companies to pay U.S. workers higher wages while encouraging the use of substandard materials to balance production costs. Meanwhile, Obama's plan will require companies to pay lower wages while letting employees get away with murder on the job, a perk many already enjoy, just without legal backing.
Both candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination agreed that America has to bring jobs back from overseas, and stop helping the world get economically stronger while bleeding the U.S. dry. They blamed President George W. Bush for the current malaise.
Clinton, a favorite of organized labor, said Americans deserve better-paying jobs "because, well, we're Americans." She said that if companies used inferior materials in products, the products would soon break, and that would generate more sales. One Wall Street investor said that "that's flawed thinking, but it just might work."
"It's win-win for the employees and the companies," said Clinton, smiling and waving to constituents. "Just not for the consumer."
Obama gave nod to his adversary's plan, calling it "a never-ending circle of corporate hustle and flow that could have a positive effective on the economy." But the charismatic Democratic challenger said his plan will be more cost-effective because it starts with an uneducated workforce, which America has in spades.
"Even though there are a million college students, many were handed passing grades, so their degrees are worthless," said Obama, firing up a crowd of supporters on hand for his announcement. "And a high school education is a joke because all they teach are How to Round off Numbers and the History of Slain Rap Artists."
Obama, the master of the catchy phrase, said high school should be called, "Every Child Left Behind."
"But that's OK, because a stupid worker will be thankful just to have a job, even one paying peanuts, as long as there are ample perks so that he can slough through the day," Obama said.
Obama's plan said laziness coupled with sloppy workmanship will be Job 1. The plan also includes incentives for companies that look the other way when incompetence is reported.
"I don't know any kid who wants to learn more and work harder," he said as the crowd responded with huzzahs. "A low-wage job means job security."
Highlights in Obama's "perk package" include being allowed to go on break as soon as a worker clocks in; free iTune earphones so an employee can bee-bop through the day and block out bosses giving orders, co-workers asking questions and customers complaining.
"We have enough distractions in our lives already, am I right?" Obama shouted.
Obama said employees won't just be permitted to come to work wearing ratty or revealing clothing, they'll be encouraged to. Service-industry workers will be allowed to talk back to customers, mock them without fear of disciplinary action from management, and either mumble responses or speak with food in their mouth. Employees will no longer have to go to restroom stalls for a quick nap in the middle of the day. His plan ensures that they can sleep at their work stations.
"And we're going to streamline incoming calls for businesses," Obama said. "Workers can disconnect callers rather than transfer them to the proper department. Just press that Easy Button, America."
Obama, borrowing a Chinese proverb, then twisting it to suite his message and passing it off as his own genius, said that "if you give a man a job, he'll eat for a day, but if you teach him a skill, he'll quit and collect unemployment."